Fourth Presidents Governance Academy Draws Strong Participation

​​​ Facilitators present from front of room to participants seated at roundtables
During the 2017 Presidents Governance Academy, Tom Ingram, CIC senior advisor and former president of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and Richard Cook, preside​nt emeritus of Allegheny College (PA) and chair of the board of directors of Second Nature, guided discussions about strategies for improving president-board relationships.

Twenty presidents, representing a diverse array of CIC member colleges and universities, participated in CIC’s fourth Presidents Governance Academy, on January 3–4, immediately before the 2017 Presidents Institute in Orlando, Florida.

The Academy provides an opportunity for experienced college presidents to contemplate best principles, policies, and practices for strengthening board performance and easing strains on president-board relationships. Sessions explored such topics as board composition, committee structure, trustee selection and orientation, and performance assessment of the governing board. Participants noted that discussions on the best structure for board meetings and the use of trustee time were particularly helpful.

The seminar was led by Richard T. (Tom) Ingram, CIC senior advisor for president-board relations and former president of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and Richard J. Cook, president emeritus of Allegheny College (PA) and chair of the board of directors of Second Nature, the founding and umbrella organization of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Rock Jones, president of Ohio Wesleyan University, remarked, “The facilitators were a strong pairing, and the exchange between the two encouraged robust engagement among all participants.”

A key feature of the Academy was a two-step critique of each participating institution’s governing board bylaws. Participants received a two-page evaluation from an Academy facilitator and exchanged reviews with another Academy participant. ​​

CIC’s Presidents Governance Academy program is supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. Plans for the 2018 Academy, which will take place January 3–4 in conjunction with the 2018 Presidents Institute, are currently being developed.

View additional information about the 2017 program.

2017 Presidents Governance Academy Participants


Alderson Broaddus University (WV)
James T. Barry, President

Catawba College (NC)
Brien Lewis, President

Champlain College (VT)
Donald J. Laackman, President

Clark Atlanta University (GA)
Ronald Johnson, President

Defiance College (OH)
Richanne C. Mankey, President

Georgian Court University (NJ)
Joseph R. Marbach, President

Hiram College (OH)
Lori E. Varlotta, President

John Carroll University (OH)
Robert L. Niehoff, SJ, President

Malone University (OH)
David A. King, President

Mount St. Joseph University (OH)
H. James Williams, President
Newbury College (MA)
Joseph L. Chillo, President

Ohio Wesleyan University
Rock Jones, President

Paul Smith’s College (NY)
Cathy S. Dove, President

Presbyterian College (SC)
Robert E. Staton, President

Spelman College (GA)
Mary Schmidt Campbell, President

Tabor College (KS)
Jules Glanzer, President

The College of Saint Rose (NY)
Carolyn J. Stefanco, President

Thomas More College (KY)
David A. Armstrong, President

Urbana University (OH)
George Lucas, President

Washington Adventist University (MD)
Weymouth Spence, President



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