Norwich University Administrator Selected for National Leadership Development Program


April 19, 2018

Norwich University is pleased to announce that Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Assessment Natalia Blank, Ph.D. is one of 45 mid-level administrators in higher education nationwide selected by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to participate in the 2018–2019 Senior Leadership Academy.

Individuals chosen for the year-long program are administrators in higher education who have been identified by their institutions as having the potential for senior leadership positions in independent colleges or universities. Blank will participate in an opening seminar in St. Louis, Missouri, November 2–4, 2018, and a closing seminar in Washington, D.C., June 20–22, 2019. She also will undertake a mentoring program, work with experts, participate in webinars, and engage in a series of readings and case studies during the academic year.

The Academy is designed to prepare prospective leaders to assume positions as the chief officers in any division—including academic affairs, student affairs, finance, enrollment management, and advancement—in independent higher education.

“Because the generation of senior leaders now on campus is rapidly approaching retirement, the need for able new leaders is significant,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “Competition for the available places in the program was intense, and the review committee found the nomination materials to be most impressive. They (and I) believe that Natalia Blank has the potential for highly effective leadership in a position of senior responsibility on campus.”

Blank joined Norwich University in 2005 after receiving her Ph.D. in chemistry from Dartmouth College. She is currently a tenured Associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; she teaches Organic Chemistry for students majoring in STEM disciplines. As an Associate Provost, Blank oversees curriculum development and assessment; creation and implementation of academic policies; student academic support and advising among other things. Prior to the current position, Natalia served as a founding director of Norwich University’s Honors Program and a Chair of Chemistry Department.

“Dr. Blank demonstrates great potential through her foresight to establish and direct pivotal University initiatives,” Provost and Dean of the Faculty Sandra Affenito, Ph.D., said. “She has the proven ability to advance University-wide agendas across all disciplines and co-curricular units whose focus on retention and persistence complemented the work of academic committees. I look forward to providing my support and direction as a mentor to Dr. Blank throughout this leadership program.”

Sixty-one percent of participants in the first Senior Leadership Academy cohort (2010–2011) have advanced in their careers, and 28 percent of all participants in SLA thus far have earned more advanced positions. “These indicators suggest that CIC is helping to meet the leadership needs of higher education by offering highly effective leadership development programs for modest fees to member institutions,” Ekman said.

The Academy is co-sponsored by CIC, the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), and Academic Search, Inc. Linda M. Bleicken, president of AALI, will direct the program. For more information about the Senior Leadership Academy, visit

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here:    

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