By Edwin B. Smith
University of Mississippi
The AGB Institute for Leadership and Governance in Higher Education has selected Steven Holley, vice chancellor for finance and administration at the University of Mississippi, to participate in its 2024 class of future higher education leaders.
Holley is among 27 participants from institutions around the country to participate in the institute’s fifth cohort.
The institute will kick off with an in-person symposium in Washington, D.C., in September and includes workshops and symposiums featuring higher education experts, shadowing a sitting university president or chancellor, and attending the AGB National Conference on Trusteeship.
“I am deeply honored to be selected,” Holley said. “The institute has a proven history of growing strong executive leaders in higher education.”
Since the institute’s inception, 18 participants have become presidents or chancellors of higher education institutions, and many other participants have successfully progressed on the pathway to a presidency with commendations and new positions.
“The institute will allow me considerable time with seasoned executives across all aspects of higher education leadership, such as academics and advancement,” Holley said. “As an operations executive, I am excited to gain deeper exposure to these areas and perspectives.
“Not only does this exposure help me do my current job more effectively, the knowledge should give me opportunities to pursue more senior roles in the future.”
In his third year at Ole Miss, Holley has more than 25 years of experience in finance and accounting, including a decade in higher education. He leads university accounting, finance, budget, human resources, facility planning, facility management, parking and transportation, food service, bookstore, airport, golf course, landscaping, risk and insurance, and university investments.
The success of the institute comes at a critical moment in higher education.
“Those who are preparing to serve in leadership roles are faced with unprecedented challenges on a global scale,” said Nancy Zimpher, the institute’s co-founder and director. “Our aim has always been to ensure these up-and-coming leaders are ready to immediately step into their roles and guide their universities with confidence.”