2016 Institute for Chief Academic Officers to Examine ‘New Realities, New Solutions’

​​​​​​​​​​CIC’s 2016 Institute for Chief Academic Officers, “New Realities, New Solutions,” will provide advice and concrete examples for CAOs and their academic leadership teams to consider regarding changes in the core responsibilities of the chief academic officer and the need to sustain strong academic leadership. The Institute, which is the largest annual conference of chief academic officers, will take place November 5–8 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Institute will explore challenges that academic administrators face today including stresses on shared governance, expanded definitions of faculty work, public challenges to free speech inside and outside the classroom, relentless pressure from social media to respond to campus events rapidly and publicly, campus cultures that are not as diverse or inclusive as desired, and the need to take prompt action against incidents of sexual assault. To handle these challenges, campuses need strong, dynamic, and intensive teamwork within and outside academic affairs. Institute sessions will help associate and assistant provosts/academic vice presidents understand the wider vision for the campus, assume new responsibilities, and be tenacious in their pursuit of both broader institutional responsibilities and their goals for specific domains.

Jeff Selingo headshotThe Institute will begin with a keynote address by Jeffrey Selingo, best-selling author of There Is Life After College (HarperCollins 2016) and award-winning columnist, who has found that graduates of CIC member institutions are succeeding in their post-college careers. Selingo will address key questions: Why is the transition to post-college life so difficult for many recent graduates? How can new graduates market themselves to employers who are reluctant to provide on-the-job training? What skills should all students develop before they graduate from college? Selingo also will offer a practical step-by-step plan that students can follow to acquire the skills companies want.

Beverly Daniel Tatum headshotBeverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, will address the need to help all students understand the pivotal role that race and the development of racial identity play in students’ lives. How can we hold meaningful conversations about race and racism without becoming overwhelmed by anger, guilt, shame, and despair? How can we help students frame their experiences and the experiences of others in ways that lead to positive change?

Carl Wieman headshotNobel prize-winning physicist Carl E. Wieman has pioneered and championed the use of experimental techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of various teaching strategies in the sciences. The data are dramatic: Even the best lectures produce significantly less student learning than active learning methods. Wieman will discuss the cognitive science foundation of the most-effective teaching strategies, the results of his data-based research, and the implications for STEM education and beyond.

Katherine Phillips headshotKatherine W. Phillips, Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and Ethics and senior vice dean of Columbia University’s business school, will discuss the ways social diversity increases learning in both the classroom and the workplace, based on the results of her research. She will demonstrate how the inclusion of numerous perspectives in a group setting enhances creativity and spurs group members to work more tenaciously at presenting their own positions and anticipating alternatives.

Concurrent sessions will focus on areas of keen interest and importance to academic officers, including the challenges of shared governance, academic planning, academic restructuring, hiring and evaluating faculty members, balancing faculty workload, improving student retention, and Title IX compliance and best practices. The Institute also will include an “open mike” session and time for networking and informal discussions.

“I look forward to the Institute each year as the best time to network with colleagues, learn more about current higher ed issues, and explore new ways to address challenges on my campus,” remarked Mary K. Boyd, vice president for academic affairs at St. Edward’s University (TX). “It’s terrific to be among people who understand the daily experiences of a CAO. I’m planning to bring one of my team members this year to build my leadership team and share the wealth of information available from presenters and participants.”

The Institute will offer a number of workshops. The Workshop for New CAOs and the Workshop for CAOs in Their Third or Fourth Year of Service will address the key issues chief academic officers face at these stages in their work. The Workshop for New Academic Team Members will offer professional development for deans, associate provosts, and associate vice presidents who are new to their roles. Two additional workshops—Aligning Planning with Resource Allocation and Assessment and The Challenges of Shared Governance in a Time of Constrained Resources—will offer opportunities for CAOs and their academic team members to work together on issues important to their campuses.

Registration materials and preliminary program information are available on the CIC website at www.cic.edu/2016CAOInstitute.​​