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The Higher Education Innovation Awards honor and celebrate: (a) individuals for their lifetime achievement as leaders in higher education and (b) institutions for their excellence in entrepreneuring.

HEI Award Winners

HEI Lifetime Leadership Award


2019 Recipient

Dr. Robert C. Cloud

Former Department Chair of the Higher
Education Leadership Program
Baylor University


2021 Recipient

Dr. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg

President Emeritus
The George Washington University

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2020 Recipient

Dr. Jay K. Box

Kentucky Community
and Technical College System

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2022 Recipient

Dr. Roger Parrott

Belhaven University

HEI Institutional Award for Entrepreneuring Excellence


2021 Recipient

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College System

Dr. Juston Pate, President

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2022 Recipient

York County Community College

Dr. Michael Fischer, President

Award Criteria

HEI Lifetime Leadership Award - This award is presented annually to an exceptional person
who has:

  • More than 25 years of exemplary service in the field of higher education leadership

  • Contributed significantly to the success of others in the field (whether mentees, staff, students, and/or colleagues)

  • Unselfishly given of their time and expertise for the betterment of others, education, and society

  • Displayed exceptional character and is a role model with the highest standards of integrity, honesty, dedication, and humility

  • Achieved a high level of exemplary leadership within the field of higher education

  • Been recognized as outstanding and noteworthy to their peers

  • Encouraged entrepreneurial thinking and innovation within higher education

  • A history of outstanding accomplishments in practice, scholarship, and service

  • Been/is a leader and contributor to the future success of higher education

HEI Institutional Award for Entrepreneuring Excellence - This award is presented each year to
a higher education institution that has:

  • An outstanding record of student focus and assistance

  • Been recognized by peer institutions for its innovative programs and services

  • A forward-looking president who has encouraged entrepreneurial thinking and who has advanced innovation throughout the institution

  • A motivated group of faculty and staff who have been recognized on the regional, state, or national level for accomplishments in innovative practices

  • Been considered an institution that is leading the way and contributing to the future
    success of higher education

Nomination Process

Nomination Process

Submit nominations by the deadline of July 1, 2024 to Joanna Kile at Awards will be presented at our Annual Presidents Conference in 2024. All nominations must include:


1. Along with contact information for the person making the nomination, please submit

a. HEI Lifetime Leadership Award - The name, title, institution, email address, and​​ phone number of the nominee
. HEI Institutional Award for Entrepreneuring Excellence - The name of the institution AND the president’s email address and phone number

2. A 200-word explanation of why the nominee is an excellent candidate for this award
(please address criteria above).


Please note that each Advisory Board Member and HEI current and past participants of HEI conferences and workshops may submit up to three various nominees. Regular employees of HEI are not eligible for this award, but Advisory Board Members who are not employed fulltime by HEI are eligible. 

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