May 20, 2016

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

Dr. Michael Black Completes USG Executive Leadership Institute Program

Pictured is Dr. Michael Black, director of Institutional Effectiveness at VSU.

VALDOSTA – Dr. Michael Black, director of Institutional Effectiveness, represented Valdosta State University in the University System of Georgia’s (USG) 2015-2016 Executive Leadership Institute program. Black was one of 37 employees throughout the USG selected to participate.

Developed in 2009, the Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) is a comprehensive 120-hour development program that prepares high-potential leaders for advancement in the University System of Georgia. The program is facilitated by faculty and administrators from the USG who are leading experts in strengthening the core leadership skills of participants in four critical competency areas, including strategy, engagement, collaboration, and execution.

Throughout an eight-month period, Black engaged in major institute components including group learning sessions, assessments, cross mentoring, alumni development, reflection activities, and job shadowing.

Some of the key activities he noted were a 360-degree assessment, which provided him with direct feedback from supervisors and peers for improvement, and an action research project that allowed him to combine his knowledge with other ELI participants to solve a large-scale need for a USG institution.

Black also had the opportunity to spend a week job shadowing Dr. Stanley “Stas” C. Preczewski, president of Georgia Gwinnett College, and observing the leadership styles of other senior executives.

“The ELI program and the job shadowing experience, particularly, allowed me to expand and improve my leadership techniques as well as learn more about myself as a person and leader,” he said.

Black recently completed his 14th year of employment at Valdosta State University and said he looks forward to many more.

“I have worked in several areas of higher education such as finance, policy, institutional research, strategic planning, assessment, compliance, accreditation, and academic planning,” he said. “As I work and gain expertise, I become more enthusiastic about the importance of higher education and my commitment to it.”

Black earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance and Master of Education degrees in higher educational leadership and instructional technology, all from Valdosta State University. He continued his education at Florida State University, where he earned a Doctor of Education degree in higher education and a graduate certificate in institutional research.

He is married to the former Krystle Kennedy, a VSU alumnus. Together, they have one son, Matthew.

Contact Dr. Michael Black at or (229) 245-6517 for more information.

On the Web:

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

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