By: North Carolina A&T State University
Melissa J. Holloway, J.D., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Division of Legal Affairs, Risk and Compliance (DLARC) vice chancellor and general counsel, is among 22 outstanding, senior-level higher education professionals chosen to participate in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) 2022 Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI).
MLI is a premier leadership development program that provides individuals traditionally underrepresented in the highest ranks of postsecondary education with the opportunity to develop skills, gain a philosophical overview, and build the network and knowledge needed to advance to the presidency.
In addition to providing operations, management oversight and supervision of DLARC, Holloway serves as the legal liaison with the University of North Carolina System, the North Carolina Attorney General, and external legal counsel.
She joined N.C. A&T in May 2019 after serving as deputy general counsel at Ball State University from October 2015 through April 2019; as general counsel at North Carolina Central University from February 2009 to October 2015; and as chief legal affairs officer at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay from January 2001 to February 2009. She spent four years as an associate at the law firm of Foley & Lardner in Milwaukee before entering higher education.
Holloway holds a B.A. in business administration from Syracuse University, M.A in political science from Binghamton University, and J.D. with honors from the University of Wisconsin School of Law.
She received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). She has been a member of NACUA since 2001 and is past member of the NACUA Board of Directors (2016-2019) and immediate past chair of its Committee of Membership and Member Services. She also is a regular speaker nationally on higher education legal issues.
With the increasing challenges facing today’s college and university presidents, the 2022 MLI will serve as a pilot year to bolster the qualitative dimension of the curriculum.
“This year will bring an enhanced program that will inform and empower MLI cohorts to be better, more egalitarian leaders, attuned to the imperatives of a full promise democracy,” said John S. Wilson Jr., MLI’s executive director. “We believe this will only enhance AASCU’s annual success in shaping ideal leaders for America’s college and university campuses.”
Since its inception 23 years ago, 694 participants have graduated from MLI. One-fifth of MLI graduates have become a president or chancellor, and more than one-third have advanced significantly to other leadership positions within higher education, including at the state level.
“AASCU unequivocally supports the cultivation of diverse leaders in higher education, and MLI reinforces the vital role diversity plays in the institutional mission,” said Mildred García, AASCU president. “I am proud to be an MLI alumna from the very first class in 1999. My experience helped shaped me to be the leader I am today.”