Managing the Moment: Forging the Future

2020 Institute for Chief Academic Officers and Academic Team Members 11/7/2020 11/7/2020 11/7/202011/10/202011/10/202011/10/2020 Virtual Event

About the Institute

 The theme of CIC’s 2020 Institute for Chief Academic Officers and Academic Team Members—“Managing the Moment: Forging the Future”—highlights academic leaders’ tactical challenges in our country’s current circumstances and the strategic thinking necessary for their institutions to emerge from the crisis in a stronger position. As always, the Institute will offer participants plentiful opportunities to share ideas with colleagues and with leading scholars. Participants, both experienced and newer academic leaders, will explore forward-looking models for the future they wish to create.

Who Should Participate?

CIC invites chief academic officers of all independent colleges and universities to participate in this annual Institute. Chief academic officers also are encouraged to invite senior members of their leadership teams—for example, associate and assistant vice presidents/provosts and academic deans—to participate with them in the Institute to enhance their collaboration in the current challenging and rapidly changing environment. Experienced academic administrators will lead many of the interactive concurrent sessions.

This year’s Institute should provide excellent opportunities for professional development for your colleagues as well as the opportunity for you to see old friends, hear from colleagues who have been grappling with—and often solving—the same issues that many of us are facing, and interact with nationally recognized experts. The Institute will intentionally focus on group problem-solving strategies as teams respond to new pressures and challenges. Among the focused topics will be many of the immediate questions that chief academic officers in the COVID-19 era confront, including “Redesign of the Academic Calendar,” “Pass/Fail Policies for Online Learning,” “Approaches to Budget Cuts,” and “Town-Gown Collaboration during the Pandemic.”

Virtual Format

This year’s Institute will be CIC’s first virtual CAOI. Thanks to a flexible and engaging technological platform, the Institute promises to provide the meaningful interaction—in small groups, affinity group meetings, concurrent sessions, and plenary addresses—that has long been a hallmark of CIC programming.

The virtual format offers many advantages and encourages broad participation.
  • The elimination of travel reduces both the time and expense of team participation.

  • The availability of on-demand content allows participants to deepen their experience; they can catch up on sessions they might have missed, review important content on demand, and readily access supplemental materials such as handouts or video presentations.

  • Networking tools allow participants to connect with each other and with sponsors to schedule one-on-one or small group meetings easily and conveniently.

  • Concerns about viral exposure are entirely removed.

  • CIC is able to offer a rich and important program at a significantly reduced registration fee.

Featured Speakers

Bryan Alexander headshotBryan N. Alexander

Senior Scholar, Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, Georgetown University

Bryan N. Alexander is a widely respected futurist who is in demand as a speaker and consultant. His work focuses on how technology transforms education. Currently, he is a senior scholar at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

From 2002 to 2014, Alexander served the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) as senior fellow, director of emerging technologies, and co-director of a regional center. He began his academic career as an assistant professor at Centenary College of Louisiana, where he organized an information literacy initiative and established multi-campus interdisciplinary courses.

Quoted regularly in the national press, Alexander has been interviewed by the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and U.S. News & World Report, among others. His most recent book, Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in January 2020. He has already begun work on Universities on Fire: Higher Education in the Age of Climate Crisis (2022). Alexander received his BA, MA, and PhD degrees in English Literature from the University of Michigan.

Sandy Baum headshotSandy Baum

Senior Fellow, Urban Institute

Sandy Baum is a nonresident senior fellow at the Urban Institute and professor emerita of economics at Skidmore College. She has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to college access, college pricing, student aid policy, student debt, affordability, and other aspects of higher education finance.

Baum co-authored the College Board’s annual publications Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing from 2002 through 2019. Through the College Board and the Brookings Institution, she has chaired major study groups that released proposals for reforming federal and state student aid. She is the principal researcher on the Urban Institute’s website on college affordability, and her recent work includes Urban Institute briefs on Federal Work Study, Parent PLUS loans, and college endowments. Baum has published numerous articles on higher education finance in professional journals, books, and the trade press. She is the author of Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing (2016) and co-author with Harry Holzer of Making College Work: Pathways to Success for Disadvantaged Students (2017). Baum also publishes frequent blog posts on the Urban Wire. She earned her BA in sociology at Bryn Mawr College, where she is currently a member of the board of trustees, and her PhD in economics at Columbia University.

In 2014, Baum was a co-recipient, with Michael S. McPherson, of the Allen P. Splete Award for Outstanding Service from CIC. The award honors significant contributions to higher education and recognizes national leadership through ideas and commitment on behalf of private colleges and universities. Baum earned a BA in sociology at Bryn Mawr College, where she is a member of the board of trustees, and a PhD in economics at Columbia University.

Judith S. Eaton headshotJudith S. Eaton

President, Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Judith S. Eaton is president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the largest institutional higher education membership organization in the United States. She has served as CHEA’s president since shortly after its founding in 1996.

A national advocate for academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of degree-granting colleges and universities. It provides recognition to the other institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations, as well as a comprehensive source of information on accreditation and its value to society. The CHEA International Quality Group provides an international forum to address issues of quality assurance throughout the world.

Prior to her work at CHEA, Eaton served as chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, as president of the Council for Aid to Education, the Community College of Philadelphia, and the Community College of Southern Nevada, and as vice president of the American Council on Education. She has held teaching positions at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. Eaton has written numerous books and articles on higher education and accreditation-related topics and addresses accreditation and quality assurance at conferences and meetings in the United States and internationally. Her recent publications include “Combatting Academic Corruption: Quality Assurance and Accreditation” in International Higher Education (2018) and “Quality, E-Learning and Alternative Providers of Higher Education” in Cross-Border Higher Education and Quality Assurance (2016).

David A. Thomas headshotDavid A. Thomas

President, Morehouse College

David A. Thomas is president of Morehouse College. He is an expert on workplace diversity and equity and is consulted widely for advice on organizational change. Previously, Thomas was dean of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, where he diversified the faculty and staff of the McDonough School of Business, led major revisions of the curriculum, expanded the endowment, and increased research funding. Earlier, he was senior associate dean and H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor at Harvard University. He began his academic career at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas’s scholarly work has been published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Administrative Science Quarterly, Harvard Business Review, and Business Ethics Forum. He has coauthored two books related to his work on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America (1999) provides lessons for companies that wish to diversify their executive ranks. Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County Public Schools (2009) outlines the way districts can transform schools to overcome achievement gaps for diverse groups of students. His most recent publication is a volume coedited with Laura Morgan Roberts and Anthony J. Mayo: Race, Work, and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience (2019).

Thomas serves on several boards, including the American Red Cross, Commonfund, and DTE Energy. Previously, he served on the boards of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Cambridge Trust Company, and the Posse Foundation. He has been a consultant on cultural diversity, mentorship, and organizational change for 100 of the Fortune 500 companies and has worked with nonprofit and government organizations. He received a bachelor’s degree in administrative sciences from Yale University, a master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in organizational behavior also from Yale University.

Schedule Information

The virtual Institute will be held November 7–10, 2020. Each day of the Institute will have a plenary, small group discussions, concurrent sessions, and opportunities to meet with other academic administrators and Institute sponsors. The schedule of this year’s Institute has been designed to recognize that participants will be located in multiple time zones and will be combining Institute participation with their ongoing campus and personal responsibilities.

Each day’s schedule includes ample opportunities to organize one-on-one or small-group meetings with colleagues or sponsors, to access on demand content from previous sessions, and to enjoy social interactions.

Saturday, November 7

Sessions will run from noon to 6:00 p.m. EST, including:

  • Bryan N. Alexander keynote address at 12:45 p.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions at 2:00 p.m.
  • Receptions at 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 8

Sessions will run from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST

  • Sandy Baum plenary address at 12:30 p.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions at 2:00 p.m.
  • Workshops at 3:30 p.m.

Monday, November 9

Sessions will run from noon to 5:30 p.m. EST

  • David A. Thomas plenary address at noon
  • Concurrent Sessions at 1:30 p.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions at 3:00 p.m.
  • Workshop at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 10

Sessions will run from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST

  • Judith S. Eaton women's brunch discussion at 11:00 a.m.
  • Discussion Groups and Concurrent Session at 11:30 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions at 1:00 p.m.
  • Plenary panel of chief academic officers in conversation about the future of independent higher education at 2:30 p.m.
  • Discussion Groups at 4:00 p.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions at 5:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Below are listed just a few of the concurrent sessions that will take place during the Institute. Additional sessions and panelists will be featured over the summer and fall as they are confirmed.

Academic Strategies for the COVID-19 Era and Beyond

COVID-19 responses have required increased flexibility by academic administrators and lower barriers to institutional change. The push to teach remotely in the spring term 2020 demanded a variety of complex changes in short order. Fall preparations required planning for multiple scenarios: campus leaders must be ready to switch among them as developments warrant. Meanwhile, the urgent necessity for adaptation to unforeseen circumstances is understood by all constituencies. How does this newfound flexibility affect the work of academic administrators? This session will focus on agile strategies that have improved academic practices and can now increase future institutional resilience and performance.
David A. Berque, Vice President for Academic Affairs, DePauw University
Terri Bonebright, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Hendrix College
Kerry D. Fulcher, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Point Loma Nazarene University

Accommodation and Personnel Challenges during the Pandemic

The need for rapid adjustments to classroom and workplace circumstances in response to the pandemic did not always include new employment policies or accommodation practices. Two experienced higher education attorneys will provide an overview of the current legal landscape and assess what lies ahead for student and employee higher education policies.
Marti Fessenden, Special Counsel to the President, Agnes Scott College
Jeff Gingerich, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Scranton
Hayley Hanson, Partner, Husch Blackwell

Agile Courses and Academic Program Continuity

Managing an academic program during a pandemic means handling course disruptions in a smooth and productive way. This session will introduce tools that can be used to anticipate and plan responses to needs that may arise during the term. These tools also can help faculty members adapt aspects of individual courses in all disciplines, with the goal of maintaining progress toward course learning objectives and overall program goals.
Elizabeth Oliver, Interim Provost, Washington and Lee University
Jeanine Stewart, Former Chief Academic Officer, Hollins University

Building Strong Academic Affairs Teams

A well-functioning academic affairs leadership team requires talented administrators in roles that span the needs of the division. What are some good approaches to defining roles and developing and recruiting talent to the team? Experienced academic leaders will describe their recruitment processes, including searching for, hiring, and onboarding new administrators.
Sandra G. Affenito, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Norwich University
Jeffrey Frick, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Washington & Jefferson College
Andrea Warren Hamos, Vice President for Leadership Development and Senior Consultant, Academic Search
Kathy Ogren, Provost, University of Redlands

Closing and Re-Opening: What Worked and What Didn’t?

The coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the best-laid plans for academic calendars for most of 2020. Faculty and staff members, administrators, and technology systems stretched to ensure that students remained engaged in valuable educational experiences and connected with their instructors, fellow students, and institutions. What lessons can be drawn from the way campuses closed in the spring and how they reopened in the fall? Two experienced CAOs will discuss what worked well and less well on their campuses and will outline key takeaways for meeting inevitable future challenges.
Cheryl Kisunzu, Provost, Washington Adventist University
Tracy Parkinson, Provost and Vice President for Enrollment Management, Mars Hill University
Wendy Sherman Heckler, Provost, Otterbein University

Community College Pathways

Because transfer students are a growing component of many independent colleges’ student populations, clear pathways for the efficient transfer of courses toward majors and graduation requirements are keys to their success. Community college students are especially in need of these pathways to assure timely progress to bachelor’s degrees. With enhanced advising and collaboration between institutions, transfer students’ success is improved. CAOs of institutions that are participating in CIC projects that are supported by the Teagle Foundation will describe how they strengthened community college pathways at their institutions and will outline lessons learned for other CAOs interested in developing similar programs.
Gary Daynes, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Barton College
Stephen D. Stahl, Provost, Baldwin Wallace University
A. Hope Williams, President, North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities

Curricular Adaptation to the COVID Crisis

The pandemic spurred many colleges and universities to adapt schedules, programs, and courses during this unprecedented challenge for higher education. Several CAOs of colleges that successfully changed their operations for the fall term will describe how they transformed their curricula to create better learning opportunities for students at a time when flexibility is essential. This session will help participants generate concrete new ideas for their campuses in light of the likelihood of ongoing needs for change under uncertain conditions.
Eric Boynton, Provost and Dean of the College, Beloit College
Suzan Harrison, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Eckerd College

Developing Your Academic Affairs Team

Academic affairs professionals need training to succeed in their roles, and leadership teams thrive when they take time to build their capacity to perform well. What types of professional development generate strong outcomes for individuals and for the group? In this session, CAOs will share best practices for helping members of their academic team both to develop new skills for career advancement and to work together collaboratively.
Kim Coplin, Provost, Denison University
Jonnie Guerra, Senior Advisor, CIC
John D. Kolander, Provost, Wisconsin Lutheran College
Lori Werth, Provost, University of Pikeville

Educating Civic Professionals

Independent colleges and universities with roots in the liberal arts often embrace civic engagement as part of students’ education. A partnership between the Kettering Foundation and the New American Colleges & Universities (NACU) strives to go further and meld citizenship to students’ academic disciplines and ultimately their professions. How can institutions inspire students to think of their specialized academic training and professional work to be an element of how they contribute to civic life? This session will outline the work that NACU colleges are doing to promote the development of civic professionals and its adaptation by other institutions.
Sean Creighton, President, The New American Colleges & Universities
Beth Harville, Executive Vice President and Provost, Drury University
Andrea Talentino, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Nazareth College

How to Set Up a Science Pedagogy Seminar on Your Campus

The goal of CIC’s Seminars on Science Pedagogy is to enhance the effectiveness of science education at participating institutions. Faculty members learn interactive techniques and exercises developed in conjunction with cognitive scientists for use in the classroom. Could a Seminar work on your campus to invigorate science instruction? How can CAOs support faculty members who are trying new methods or techniques, including the transformation of courses into interactive online offerings? How can the enthusiasm for change in science education be generated and sustained? Participants in the 2019 Seminar will share lessons learned and discuss how an institution can provide opportunities for science faculty to participate in a seminar experience on their own campus.
Wendy Billock, Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science, Technology, and Health, Biola University
Susan Singer, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Rollins College
Katherine M. Whatley, Senior Advisor for Academic Programs, CIC

Instructional Technology Challenges and Solutions

The near-universal push to remote learning during the spring 2020 term created challenges for administrators and faculty members who rely on instructional technology. Some of the imaginative solutions promoted strong student learning so well that they offer a basis for increased application of instructional technology to both in-person and remote-learning pedagogy. Which approaches are likely to carry through to the spring 2021 term and beyond? Panelists will draw lessons learned that can be applied to future academic terms.
Agnes Caldwell, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, Defiance College
Diana Davis, Provost, Mount St. Joseph University
Maria (Cari) Garriga, Vice Provost, Thomas More University

Integrating General Education and Career Preparation

Undergraduate students are frequently anxious about future employment prospects and mystified about the relevance of general education requirements, while faculty members often prefer to focus on the academic program and leave matters of employment to the career services office. As institutions work to bridge the perceived gap between the liberal arts and professional preparation, many have found that encouraging student reflection on “calling” and “vocation” can be a highly successful strategy. In this session, leaders from two institutions will outline their efforts to strengthen the relationship between the academic program and the career services office by supporting their students’ exploration and discernment of their various callings in life.
Karen An-Hwei Lee, Provost, Wheaton College (IL)
Anthony J. Leigh, Senior Vice President for Student and Institutional Development, Huntingdon College
Tom Perrin, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Huntingdon College
Dee Pierce, Director, Center for Vocation and Career, Wheaton College (IL)

Legal Issues Update

It is critical, especially in the current regulatory and political environment, for senior campus leaders to be up-to-date in their understanding of key legal issues in higher education. An experienced higher education attorney will offer an update on the most important legal issues likely to affect independent colleges and universities in the near future.
Natasha J. Baker, Founder, Novus Law Firm

New Title IX Implications

The U.S. Department of Education published new Title IX regulations in May 2020 with the requirement that colleges and universities have revised policies and processes related to allegations of sexual misconduct in place by mid-August. In this session, an experienced higher education attorney will outline the compliance implications of these new regulations and provide an assessment of ongoing challenges.
J. Andrew Prall, Provost, St. Edwards University
Scott Schneider, Partner, Husch Blackwell

Reforming the Gateway Course Experience to Promote Equity in Student Success

Gateway courses frequently taken during the first year of college can make-or-break degree completion. Retention of students who receive a D, F, W, or I grade in a gateway course tends to be low, despite the students’ ability to do other college-level work. In addition, far too often, students of color and from low-income families disproportionately constitute those who do not succeed in gateway courses. In this workshop-style session, participants will learn ways to recognize challenging course contexts and develop strategies to redesign teaching and learning to help more students, especially student from historically marginalized backgrounds, complete their degrees.
John N. Gardner, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Gardner Institute
Drew Koch, President and Chief Operating Officer, Gardner Institute
Tracy Parkinson, Provost and Vice President for Enrollment Management, Mars Hill University

Responding to Calls for Greater Justice

Campus constituencies, especially students and alumni, increasingly look to presidents and provosts to lead efforts to remediate past injustices perpetrated on behalf of their institutions. Seeking to uphold their missions and ensure productive learning environments, campus leaders are wrestling with how to take principled positions and educate students within and on the process. Two experienced chief academic officers will share their institutions’ responses to racial injustice embedded in their campus histories.
Donna Heald, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Loras College
David Timmerman, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Carthage College

Support for Student Mental Health

To provide an excellent learning environment, whether in-person or online, institutions must prioritize students’ mental health needs. Butler University and Goucher College have implemented examples of “wrap-around” services as outlined in the Jed Foundation’s signature program, Jed Campus. By reforming policies across all aspects of students’ experience and implementing programs in a holistic way, the risks to students’ mental health have been mitigated on their campuses. Chief academic officers from both campuses will discuss how they manage fall semester uncertainty and what approaches their campuses find most valuable.
Elaine Meyer-Lee, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Goucher College
Kathryn Morris, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Butler University

Using Course Analytics for Prioritization

Many campuses undertake prioritization processes to preserve resources, reduce costs, and streamline academic program offerings. One fruitful approach bases potential reductions on analytics that identify courses, rather than programs, to be revised or eliminated. Academic leaders from CIC institutions that have used this approach will outline how the process worked on their campuses and describe lessons learned.
Bob Atkins, Founder and CEO, Gray Associates
Carl A. Girelli, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Randolph College
Peter J. Holbrook, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Tiffin University


​Academic Affairs and Student Progress

Formed in November 2018, the CIC Online Course Sharing Consortium now has over 200 members that integrate the consortium into major institutional strategic priorities. This workshop will examine how two institutions have organized their administrations to support one such strategic priority: student progress. Both institutions integrate the registrar function into their approach to student progress, and very successfully integrated the CIC Online Course Sharing Consortium into this approach. The workshop will highlight how their focus on student progress has led to substantial improvements in retention, graduation rates, and U.S. News & World Report rankings, and it will help participants assess the opportunity for such improvements at their own institutions.
Bryan Boatright, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and University Registrar, University of Mount Union
Mary Ann Coughlin, Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Springfield College
Robert Manzer, Chief Academic Officer, Acadeum

Developing a Grant Seeking Strategy in the Current Environment

Federal and foundation grants can provide extensive support for curricular reform, faculty professional development, and student research at independent colleges and universities. Recent challenges for higher education mean greater opportunity for funding. At the same time, however, campuses may have greater need and foundations may be reconsidering their priorities. This workshop will outline proven grant-getting strategies with approaches that have worked for CIC member institutions.
Jessica Gerrity, Vice President, McAllister & Quinn
Catharine E. O’Connell, Provost and Dean of the College, Illinois College

Dispute Resolution for Academic Administrators

Led by an experienced higher education attorney who is a college president, this workshop will feature practical and accessible dispute resolution tools that can be used to identify, manage, and resolve the conflicts encountered by academic leaders, including those related to pandemic, personnel, and human resources issues.
Kathleen A. Rinehart, President, Cardinal Stritch University

Fundamentals of Finance for CAOs and Deans

Budget processes that can be difficult in the best times are even more challenging now. In CIC’s recent study of CAOs, budgeting and financial management emerged as topics that place increasingly high demands on a chief academic officer’s time and attention. Understanding the details of college finances will help academic administrators manage resources, establish priorities, and proactively create budgets for strategic plans.
Ken England, Vice President for Business and Finance, Agnes Scott College
Mary Van Brunt, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Gwynedd-Mercy University

Discussion Sessions

Below are listed a selection of discussion sessions that will take place during the Institute. Additional sessions and discussion leaders will be added as they are confirmed.

Academic Honesty during the Pandemic

The move to remote learning last spring increased many CIC faculty members’ concerns about academic dishonesty. What changes in policy and practice are being implemented to promote academic honesty in online and hybrid courses? Join other academic administrators for a discussion of effective strategies to maintain a culture of academic integrity during the pandemic.
Teresa I. Reed, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Quincy University

Benefits of Collaboration during the Pandemic

How are CIC colleges and universities benefiting from new or existing partnerships with other higher education institutions as well as businesses and industry during the pandemic? How might such collaborative relationships be of strategic importance in a post-COVID-19 world? Participants are invited to exchange information about long- and short-term partnerships that have been beneficial and to share ideas about new collaborations to take back for consideration on their campuses.
Brian Hartley, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Greenville University

Building Community and Spirit in a Virtual or Hybrid Environment

The coronavirus pandemic means that many campuses that will be open for face-to-face instruction will nevertheless lack the full vibrancy of campus life that is a hallmark of independent colleges and universities. How can academic administrators create and maintain a lively environment? Participants will share ways to build community spirit when work and study are hybrid and campus life is constrained by social distancing.
Christon G. Arthur, Provost, Andrews University 

Cabinet Dynamics during the Pandemic

Cabinet dynamics can make or break a senior leadership team at the best of times. What did chief officers at CIC institutions learn about leadership and working as a team from the challenges of responding to a pandemic? What skills were helpful in developing and implementing the institution’s COVID-19 response plan? What aspects of the plan needed better collaboration? Participants are invited to reflect on their experiences and to learn from those of other campuses.
Elizabeth Frombgen, Dean of the College and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Thiel College

Challenges for Libraries during the Pandemic

The pandemic has created special challenges for liberal arts college libraries. Some library staff have been furloughed, while library services are in greater demand. Students and faculty members require additional research and teaching support in the online environment. This discussion will include the range of challenges and potential new opportunities generated by the pandemic.
Luke Villelle, University Librarian, Hollins University, and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Liaison

COVID-19 and Faculty Development Initiatives

Preparing faculty members to offer hybrid models of instruction that could simultaneously support face-to-face and remote students was a crucial part of fall 2020 planning at Virginia Wesleyan University and other CIC campuses. Join the facilitators to discuss effective faculty development initiatives and how these may affect faculty members’ willingness to use online technologies in their courses beyond the pandemic.
Susan Larkin, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Virginia Wesleyan University
Maynard Schaus, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Virginia Wesleyan University

COVID-19 Leadership Lessons

Academic leaders across the country have been tested by the unprecedented uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the need to take decisive action on short notice. What leadership lessons can be drawn from the way administrators responded to the crisis and how they planned for the fall term? Participants will share ideas—and inspiration—that they have taken from recent events.
Barbara Sunderman, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Hastings College

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing of students, faculty members, and staff became a necessary part of many colleges’ reopening plans. What strategies have been effective, and where does testing go from here? Participants are invited to share experiences in order to plan for ongoing coronavirus challenges through the winter and beyond.
Beth Schwartz, Provost, Endicott College

COVID-19’s Impact on Tenure Policies

COVID-19 has affected many aspects of academia, including tenure policies. What kinds of changes and impacts have occurred on CIC campuses? Participants will discuss both policy issues that have emerged and possible solutions.
Jonathan Reed, Provost, University of La Verne

Crisis Communication Strategies during the Pandemic

Strong communication practices for internal and external audiences have been essential for managing operations and setting expectations for all campus constituencies during the pandemic. What strategies have proved to be the most effective for handling emergencies and ensuring information is well received? This session will engage participants in a discussion of ongoing communication challenges.
Ryan A. Neal, Provost, Anderson University (SC)

Effects of COVID-19 on Retention

The coronavirus has thrown off many fine-tuned independent college and university practices, including those designed to retain students. How do the new challenges for retention manifest themselves? How can existing processes be reformed to maintain student persistence and success despite the pandemic? Participants will share policies and practices from their respective campuses.
John Shannon, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Trine University

Encouraging Campus Dialogue about Race

Which formats are proving to be most successful for a campus dialogue about racial issues? Participants are invited to exchange information and share advice about what has been working well on their campuses.
Judith Muyskens, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Hiram College

Enhancing the Latinx Student Experience

At CIC colleges and universities that serve Latinx students, what programs and services have been effective in enhancing their undergraduate experience and increasing their persistence to graduation? The CAO of Our Lady of the Lake University will discuss what her institution is doing to improve the student experience for Latinx students and invites participants to share their successful practices and to seek advice about initiatives in the planning stages.
Lourdes Maria Alvarez, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Our Lady of the Lake University

Helping Students Find Their Callings

CIC administers the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), which supports programs for vocational exploration and discernment among students at more than 250 independent colleges and universities. Learn about the ways your institution can benefit from NetVUE grants for programming and professional development opportunities, as well as other programs, services, and gatherings (both virtual and in person.)
David S. Cunningham, Director of NetVUE, CIC
Lynne M. Spoelhof, NetVUE Program Manager, CIC

Inclusion and Equity Essentials for White Higher Education Leaders

As calls to dismantle systemic racism are increasing, especially from students and alumni, the diversity gap in higher education leadership becomes even more glaring. What kind of personal and professional work should white higher education leaders be doing to prepare for and support authentic antiracist work? What kinds of change management processes work best when there’s a lack of diversity at the top? Participants will share their stories, struggles, and inspirations about the move toward inclusion and equity on their campuses and beyond.
Jeff Rutenbeck, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Arcadia University

International Students: Pandemic Challenges and Responses

The COVID-19 pandemic has required international students to navigate many new challenges to gain government clearance to travel to and reside in the United States. In addition, many also face family financial problems related to the concomitant economic disruption. How are CIC colleges and universities responding to assist their international populations? The chief academic officer will share some strategies that have been successful at Rivier University and invites colleagues to share how their campuses are responding to the pandemic challenges.
Brian Ernsting, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Rivier University

Keeping Internship and Community-Based Learning Alive during the Pandemic

Internships and community-based learning are hallmarks of a strong liberal arts education. How can academic administrators ensure students are able to engage in these valuable experiences? This discussion will allow participants to develop ideas about best practices to take back to their campuses.
Stacy A. Hammons, Provost, Indiana Wesleyan University

Leading for Equity as an Administrator of Color

Many students today protest against the institutional racism they see in the news and on their campuses. How can administrators of color ensure students are heard by their institutions and that actions are taken to move toward more equitable educational environments and outcomes? Administrators of color are invited to share perspectives on the challenges they have faced and the steps they have taken to increase equity on their campuses.
Sheila Smith McKoy, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Holy Names University
Chinyere Oparah, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Mills College

Looking Ahead to Spring 2021

Coronavirus surges forced many CIC institutions that hoped to have a fully in-person fall semester to reverse or alter their plans. In addition to lessons learned, what new factors are influencing campus planning for the remainder of the academic year? Chief academic officers and academic team members are invited to share institutional plans and advice for spring 2021 and beyond.
Jeffrey Kraus, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Wagner College

Maintaining Trust and Morale during the Coronavirus Crisis

Good academic administrators work hard to build relationships and earn the trust of faculty and staff members. Uncertainty and budgetary challenges brought on by the coronavirus crisis may erode this trust and reduce morale. How can administrators maintain trust and morale during these challenging times? Participants will share strategies that have worked on their campuses.
Ellen Goldey, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Centre College

Pandemic Challenges of Programs in the Health Professions

As the pandemic made face-to-face instruction difficult, it also created special challenges for programs in the health sciences that require labs and practical training. This discussion will include a range of creative solutions that participants have developed to address these challenges.
Mark L. Hammond, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Campbell University

Promoting Racial Equity on CIC Campuses in the COVID-19 Era

Higher education leaders face a double imperative: to address the daunting issues of racial equity on their campuses and, simultaneously, to lead their institutions through the global pandemic. In the midst of financial shortfalls and other COVID-19 challenges, how are CIC colleges and universities responding to the increasingly vociferous demands for racial justice? Participants are invited to share their experiences and advice about making permanent systemic changes.
Mark Schneider, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Ursinus College

Recruiting the Class of 2025

COVID-19 has rendered many of the usual recruitment activities impossible or imprudent for fall 2021. How can institutions reach a high volume of prospective first-year students without traditional large-scale events such as visit days or college fairs? Participants in this discussion will share ideas and innovations for recruiting the class of 2025.
Lauren Schellenberger, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Culver-Stockton College

Rethinking the Academic Calendar

Maintaining the instructional mission of the institution in the face of imperatives for protecting individual and community health presents significant challenges. How have coronavirus concerns driven adjustments in the academic calendar on CIC campuses? What advantages or disadvantages presented themselves as campuses implemented revised calendars? Are there changes that merit permanent adoption or further development after the pandemic threat has subsided? Join with colleagues to discuss academic calendar experiments.

Sharing Courses for Student Success

CIC’s Online Course Sharing Consortium allows students to enroll in and complete courses hosted by members of the consortium. This discussion will be an informational session for those who are interested in learning more about joining the consortium and how course sharing works in practice.
Robert Manzer, Chief Academic Officer, Acadeum
Carol M. Schuler, Vice President for State Council Programs, CIC

Strategic Approaches to Budget Cuts

For many CIC colleges and universities, the financial impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the timeline and increased the need for budget cuts. What approaches to budget reductions will help our campuses effectively navigate the current crisis while building strength and resiliency for the future? Participants will discuss cost reduction strategies that promote institutional viability and sustainability.
Janet Sommers, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Northwestern-St. Paul

Summer Outreach to Prospective Students

When COVID-19 required cancelling on-campus orientations, registration days, and other events for new first-year students, CIC colleges and universities had to manage the “home stretch” of bringing in the fall 2020 class on the fly. What strategies and practices were effective in keeping prospective students engaged and enthusiastic about their fall enrollment? Participants will share successful approaches from their campuses as well as lessons learned.
Darin E. Fields, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, The University of Findlay

Sustaining Strategic Vision during Times of Crisis

In the midst of a crisis, such as the current pandemic, how do CIC college and university leaders keep themselves and their campus community focused on the institution’s strategic vision? Participants will discuss challenges, leadership strategies, and opportunities to strengthen their institutions and achieve transformative change.
Ron Cole, Provost and Dean of the College, Allegheny College

The CAO’s Role When Learning Goes Virtual

In a matter of weeks and with little notice, CIC colleges and universities transitioned thousands of courses to an online format. How did chief academic officers lead their campuses in the transformation to virtual learning? Participants will engage in a conversation about their experiences, both success stories and lessons learned for the future.
Deborah R. Garrison, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Methodist College (IL)

The Debate over Standardized Tests

When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted SAT and ACT testing dates, more CIC colleges and universities joined those that already had made standardized test scores an optional part of the admissions process. Participants will discuss why their campuses will or will not remain test-optional in the future.
Janet R. Clark, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (IN)

Tough Conversations with Faculty Members

Chief academic officers face difficult conversations with faculty members for a host of reasons, ranging from student complaints and personnel matters to program discontinuation and budget cuts. How can CAOs prepare for and approach these conversations in a manner that aligns with institutional mission and policies as well as AAUP principles of shared governance? Participants will review best practices and discuss their experiences and new insights in light of tough conversations required by the pandemic.
Jennifer Bonds-Raacke, Vice President for Academic Affairs, St. Norbert College

Uncovering the Digital Divide: Addressing Technological Challenges in the Remote Environment

When colleges and universities sent students home and shifted to remote learning in spring 2020, many students were without the equipment and stable internet access they needed to attend online classes. How did CIC institutions respond to the digital divide that the pandemic exposed? Participants will discuss their experiences and share advice about strategies to assist students with technology challenges.
Glenell M. Lee-Pruitt, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Jarvis Christian College

Virtual Interviews

Despite the pandemic, hiring continues. Concerns about safe travel mean that candidates may never be seen in person before completing searches for positions, so online interviews may be necessary. Participants in this discussion are invited to share their experiences about conducting virtual interviews.
Graciela Caneiro-Livingston, Provost, Nebraska Wesleyan University

What CIC Campuses Learned about Good Teaching in Spring 2020

The chief academic officer of Southwestern College (KS) will share results of a survey he conducted with students as the starting point for this discussion. The session will explore what CIC campuses learned about good teaching following the spring 2020 pivot to online learning.
Ross Peterson-Veatch, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Southwestern College (KS)


​​CIC is grateful to the following sponsors (to date) for their support of the Institute: