Presidential Fellows Program (PFP)


The mission of the Presidential Fellows Program (PFP) is to provide formal assistance that fosters leadership development for outstanding academic faculty members. The PFP provides a professional development opportunity to faculty members whose contributions have been outstanding and whose potential is determined to be exceptional, with the ongoing aim of nurturing their interests and capabilities such that they progress to become highly effective academic leaders.


The vision of the PFP is to evolve into a sustaining mechanism through which promising academic leaders at Central are identified, cultivated, and strengthened. The ultimate aim of the program is to develop a pipeline of outstanding faculty leaders who are prepared, motivated, and sufficiently skilled to assume additional academic leadership roles. Alumni of the PFP will be better prepared to meet the challenges of effective management, including strategic planning, budgeting, and addressing broader issues in higher education.

Program Description

The Presidential Fellows Program is sponsored by the Office of the President of Central. The program encourages interested faculty to consider leadership careers and, if selected, assists them to develop the skills required to progress as effective institutional leaders. The primary objectives of the PFP are to identify faculty members who demonstrate exceptional ability and administrative leadership potential and to subsequently prepare them for future leadership roles through the support of a vigorous leadership development program. The candidates who are chosen for the program will attend a series of professional development workshops, shadow the president and other senior leaders to witness first-hand how units are led and managed, and contribute to special projects that will enhance their leadership skills.

Presidential Fellows will work in close collaboration with the Office of the President, Executive Committee members, and university colleagues. As part of the program, Fellows will enhance their knowledge and understanding of university academic initiatives, strategic planning, budget issues, and broader challenges in higher education. In addition, Fellows will directly contribute to Central by completing special projects and assuming leadership roles on critical campus strategic initiatives and projects that are designed in conjunction with Fellows’ individual interests and long-term career aspirations. They may also be invited to share their insights on a broad range of issues with the president and senior leadership.


Presidential Fellows are provided the release time outlined below to support their experience and recognize the commitment of internal and external meetings that will occur.


  • Fall: 3 credits of release time
  • 10.12 – Winter session: 1 to 3 credits depending on project schedule
  • Spring: 3 credits of release time
  • 10.12 – Summer: 1 to 3 credits depending on project schedule

Selection Process

To be eligible, a nominee must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a tenured academic faculty member.
  • Currently hold or have previously held a position at the level of the department chair or above (full-time/acting/interim) or serve as leader in the department, school, college, or university through committee assignments or other similar work.
  • An outstanding record in at least two of three faculty performance areas of teaching, creative activity, or service. An outstanding record of performance in all three areas preferred.
  • Possess an exceptional record of achievement in their current and past positions, along with an aptitude for administrative or faculty leadership.
  • Exhibit a commitment to shared governance and collaboration.
  • Exhibit a discernable commitment to diversity and inclusion.

All applicants must be nominated by an academic dean, a member of the Executive Committee, or the president of the Faculty Senate. Nominators may choose their own process to select nominees.

Nomination packets must include the following:

  1. A one-page cover letter from the nominator(s) supporting the nomination.
  2. A personal statement (1-2 pages, approx. 1,000 words) from the nominee that outlines
    • The nominee’s interest in the program.
    • The anticipated way in which the program will impact the nominee’s professional development and ability to assume a leadership role at Central.
    • The proposed projects the nominee hopes to implement as a Fellow.
  3. A comprehensive curriculum vitae.

Members of the Executive Committee and the president of the Faculty Senate will review the applications. President Toro will make the final decision on the class of Fellows based on the applications, input from the Screening Committee and the Executive Committee, and interviews with the finalists.

Nominations must be submitted to Dr. Beth Merenstein, the Interim Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Experiential Learning, by March 20. You can direct any questions to her atmerensteinb@ccsu.eduor at 860.832.3174.