Lincoln College is pleased to announce that Dr. Gigi Fansler, Vice President of Academic Affairs, is one of 23 senior-level administrators in higher education nationwide selected by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to participate in the 2016–2017 Executive Leadership Academy.

Individuals chosen for the year-long program are vice presidents or cabinet officers in higher education who may wish to consider a presidency of an independent college or university. Fansler will participate in two seminars in Washington, DC; the opening seminar will take place July 11–13, 2016, and the closing seminar will be held June 19–21, 2017. She also will engage in readings, webinars, and a mentoring program. In addition, she will develop a professional experiential learning plan focused on specific areas of presidential responsibility.

The Academy is intended to help prepare provosts and vice presidents to serve as effective college presidents. “Competition for the available places in the program was intense,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “The review committee found the nomination materials to be most impressive. They (and I) believe that Dr. Fansler has the potential for highly effective leadership as a college or university president.”

Dr. Fansler came to Lincoln College in 2001 from Illinois State University and has 23 years of experience in public and private higher education. In 2007, she was recognized with the prestigious Athena International Award in McLean County. Fansler has presented numerous times at regional, national, and international conferences and workshops on topics including lifelong learning, diversity, accreditation, conflict resolution, mentorship, and sexual harassment.

Fansler holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Illinois State University, focusing on Research Methods.  She also holds a Master of Arts in Foreign Languages (Spanish Linguistics and Literature) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Psychology and Spanish, also from Illinois State. Additionally, Dr. Fansler earned a post-graduate studies certificate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education’s Institute of Education Management.

“Dr. Fansler has played an integral role in helping lead our faculty and administrators forward with a strategic plan as we continue to expand our 2-year and 4-year degree options. Lincoln College is very proud of Dr. Fansler and congratulate her on being chosen for this prestigious role,” said Dr. David Gerlach, President of Lincoln College.

Fifty-nine percent of participants in the first Executive Leadership Academy cohort (2009–2010) have since advanced in the higher education ranks, and 34 percent of participants in a recent cohort (2014–2015) have already “moved up” in the ranks. “These indicators suggest that CIC is helping to meet the leadership needs of higher education by offering highly effective leadership development programs for modest fees to member institutions,” Ekman said.

The Academy is co-sponsored by CIC, the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Tom Kepple, president of AALI and president emeritus of Juniata College (PA), is the program director.

For more information about the Executive Leadership Academy, visit