CIC Launches Workshops for Campus Teams on Planning the Future

Through the Securing America’s Future initiative, CIC has launched a series of free workshops designed to help member institutions think about and plan for the future with new ideas, promising strategies, and a wealth of resource materials. CIC will offer eight half-day workshops at locations around the country between September 2016 and April 2017 (see dates and locations below). The workshops will bring together teams of presidents, senior administrators, and faculty leaders to explore key trends in higher education and society, the pressures facing individual colleges and universities, and potential solutions. Registration deadlines vary by location and space is limited, so institutions are encouraged to register online as early as possible.
During the half-day workshop, institutional teams will:
  • Examine the body of original research prepared from 2014 to 2016 for CIC’s Project on the Future of Independent Higher Education and the award-winning public information campaign, Securing America’s Future: The Power of Liberal Arts Education. The research includes compelling evidence and arguments for the value of the liberal arts and the effectiveness of independent colleges and universities, plus practical examples of mission-driven innovations in action.
  • Discuss and refine future directions for their institution, reconsider business models in the context of each institution’s mission, and share ideas with peers. Discussion topics will include the greatest challenges and opportunities facing the institution, innovative approaches that have been pursued or considered, and both potential and preferred futures for the institution.
  • Develop plans to expand the conversation back on campus with colleagues and other stakeholders after the workshop. The workshops will provide a collegial and confidential environment to consider strategies for possible change that can be shared with others.
The workshops are especially appropriate for institutions that are considering new business models or other strategic initiatives and are prepared to reexamine aspects of their mission. Institutional teams of three-to-five members ideally will include the president, at least one other senior administrator (such as the chief academic officer, chief financial officer, or vice president for enrollment), and at least one faculty member who can take a leadership role in campus discussions and institutional change efforts.
CIC President Richard Ekman stated, “Our members report that institutional stability is the most pressing concern at many independent colleges and universities, especially in the face of shifting demographics and economic uncertainty. Presidents are aware that to secure their institution’s future, they need to explore new options.” Ekman added that the workshops create an opportunity to address two central questions: How can independent colleges and universities respond to disruptive changes in society, the economy, and the academy without compromising a remarkable tradition of high-quality education? And what can individual institutions do to refresh their missions, adjust long-term strategic plans, and consider new business models that sustain the student-centered nature of the education they offer?
Most workshops will be hosted by a member of the steering committee that guided the Project on the Future of Independent Higher Education. Roger Casey, president of McDaniel College (MD) and a steering committee member, said, “I’m delighted to see CIC moving forward with these workshops as an extension of the steering committee’s work. McDaniel is thrilled to host one of the gatherings.” The workshops will be led by the host institutions’ presidents, CIC senior staff, and other presenters with research expertise or practical experience with innovation at independent colleges and universities.
Workshop materials, lunch, and parking will be provided for participants at no cost. Institutions are responsible for team members’ travel and, if necessary, overnight lodging. For additional details about each workshop, visit the website.
The workshops are supported by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Endeavor Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Workshop Locations and Dates

U.S. map with markers of workshop locations  

  1. Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY): Wednesday, September 14, 2016
  2. Adrian College (Adrian, MI): Thursday, September 29, 2016
  3. Augustana College (Rock Island, IL): Tuesday, October 25, 2016
  4. California Lutheran University (Thousand Oaks, CA): Monday, December 12, 2016
  5. Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA): Thursday, January 26, 2017
  6. St. Edward’s University (Austin, TX): Friday, February 10, 2017
  7. Webster University (St. Louis, MO): Tuesday, March 14, 2017
  8. McDaniel College (Westminster, MD): Wednesday, April 18, 2017