Higher Ed

I help leaders in higher education embrace their humanity to lead wisely, manage effectively, and grow professionally.

Higher education is in the business of changing lives. It certainly changed mine as a student.

But as a university administrator, I found higher education to be an environment laden with hierarchy and outdated practices, lackluster mentorship, and a glorification of being overworked and underpaid. Nationally, just 34% of all staff and faculty are engaged in their work. Leaders in higher education are unhappy, unhealthy, overwhelmed, and in need of change.

And yet, these leaders are increasingly called upon to create a sense of belonging, communicate a connection to the institution’s mission, and create the conditions for people to do their best work in an environment with increasingly fewer resources.

Now, more than ever, the promise of higher education is in question. More effective leaders with a deep understanding of how to engage and inspire people is the change that higher education needs to stop doing business as usual. To make campuses more human – and effective – if higher education wants to successfully navigate the challenges it faces in this century.

If you are a leader in higher education who is ready to prioritize people-centric leadership and your professional growth, I can help.

It’s time to humanize higher education. 

Meet Jessica​

I am a coach, thought partner, and strategist with a passion for working with dynamic leaders who want to make the world a better place.

I’ve spent 15+ years leading high-profile initiatives and culture change on behalf of CEOs in higher education, politics, private philanthropy, and non-profits. At the height of my career in higher education, I was chief of staff to the president of Texas A&M, the largest public university in the country.  More here.

I combine that experience with evidence-based strategies, including positive psychology, behavior change, and mindfulness, to empower leaders in higher education to become more impactful leaders of people, spend more energy on what they do best, build resilience, and navigate change in a way that supports their well-being.

"I am a better listener. More calm, kind, humble, and present in my work environment. Jessica did a great job helping me unearth what was important to me and why. I am at my best, more often because of our work together. ”
Professor of Practice
Oregon State University

I’ve worked with leaders at the following institutions:

Leadership Coaching

Be the change you want to see in higher education

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You know what it takes to be successful in higher education. Now, you are ready to take responsibility for how you show up and lead in higher education.

My clients want a partner in their leadership journey. And they know that their president, provost, dean, department head, or HR can’t be that partner – at least not in a highly personalized, meaningful way. I offer neutrality, perspective, discretion, and feedback that my clients can’t get anywhere else with a deep understanding of the higher education ecosystem.

Whether you are an executive, mid-level manager, or emerging leader – you get to decide how you want to lead. Coaching can give you strategies to survive and thrive as a leader and a human in the context of the complex environment of higher education.

Coaching engagements focus on the following:

The Details:

Sustainable change, forming new habits, and unlearning old ones takes hard work and consistency. Engagements are most effective when we work together for at least three months, meeting every two weeks.

Cost depends on the length of the engagement and the inclusion of special services (360 interviews, personality assessments, leadership style inventories). Many institutions offer support. Find out if yours does as well.

“I always came away from our sessions feeling more confident and determined to be more mindful and thoughtful — not just reacting to the crisis of the day, but approaching moments in a more measured way.”
Assistant Vice President
Texas A&M University

Ready to book a call?