Austin skyline


2020 State Councils Annual Conference 4/26/2020 4/26/2020 4/26/20204/28/20204/28/20204/28/2020 InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel Austin, TX

About the Conference

The 2020 State Councils Annual Conference will showcase how State Councils are helping private colleges and universities and their students strengthen higher education. The three-day program will take place April 26–28 at the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel in Austin, Texas.

The Annual Conference provides state executives, fundraising officers, and communications staff with face-to-face networking opportunities with colleagues, in addition to valuable program sessions that explore how state councils serve private colleges and universities. Speakers will discuss corporate stewardship; board development; fundraising; marketing trends; collaborative programs that support classroom technology; STEM education; transfer pathways; and other topics.

Registered spouses and partners are welcome to participate in all conference events and to enjoy the many sights, restaurants, and music venues in Austin.

About the State Councils

CIC’s State Councils are consortia of private colleges and universities with the mission of advancing and strengthening their member institutions. Through its State Councils, CIC provides member services and organizational development opportunities, grants, and professional support for State Councils’ activities in four specific program areas:
  • Putting a college education within reach for deserving students of all income levels by raising private gifts and grants for scholarships;
  • Expanding student internship and career opportunities, as well as developing corporate grant and sponsorship support, by connecting the private college sector to America’s business community;
  • Enhancing curricular and co-curricular programs at member institutions by facilitating the development of multi-college approaches to key targets of opportunity and seeking grant funding for these collaborative initiatives; and
  • Increasing recognition and enrollment of member institutions through collective public relations and branding initiatives that “make the case” for private colleges and universities.
CIC believes that by working collectively on these priorities, the State Councils network can strengthen independent colleges nationwide.

Who Should Participate?

State executives; vice presidents; key fundraising, communications, marketing, and scholarship program staff; and board members of CIC State Councils will all benefit from the insights and best practices shared at this conference. To strengthen each team’s professional expertise, CIC offers this year a discounted registration fee for state executives, further reduced registration fees for second registrants from a State Council, and free conference registration for a third member from the State Council. These discounts are made possible thanks to generous support by the conference sponsors: TIAA, UPS, and Credo.

Save with early-bird registration through March 15, 2020.

Preliminary Program Topics

Smart Classrooms for Student Success
Marketing for Sustainable Engagement
Harnessing the Power of the Faculty: A STEM Collaborative
Strategic Board Development
Strengthening Relationships through Better Stewardship
New Approaches to Communications and Influence
Building Pathways with Community Colleges






Orientation for New State Executives and StaffOrientation for New State Executives and Staff1All new state executives, staff, and first-time conference participants are welcome. CIC and State Councils program leadership will provide a briefing on the operations and member benefits of CIC’s State Councils programs and services.<br><blockquote><strong><em>Richard Ekman</em></strong>, CIC President<br><strong><em>Carol M. Schuler</em></strong>, CIC Vice President for State Council Programs<br><strong><em>A. Hope Williams</em></strong>, President, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, and State Councils Presiding Officer</blockquote>
State Councils Advisory Committee MeetingState Councils Advisory Committee Meeting2
Opening ReceptionOpening Reception3Richard Ekman; David Finegold; Eduardo MartinezSpouses and Partners<h3>Greetings and Conference Overview<br></h3><blockquote> <strong> <em>Richard Ekman</em></strong>, President, CIC<br><strong><em>Carol M. Schuler</em></strong>, Vice President for State Council Programs, CIC<br></blockquote> <br> <h3>Welcoming Remarks</h3><blockquote> <strong> <em>Thomas Foley,</em></strong> President, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania<br></blockquote> <br> <h3>CIC/UPS Scholarship Presentation</h3><blockquote> <strong> <em>David Finegold</em></strong>, President, Chatham University<br><strong><em>Eduardo Martinez</em></strong>, President, UPS Foundation</blockquote> <br> <h3>Remarks by a CIC/UPS Scholar<br></h3><blockquote> <strong> <em>Dominique Seneca</em></strong>, Chatham University</blockquote>
Breakfast Plenary Session Philanthropic Priorities: A Conversation with the UPS FoundationBreakfast Plenary Session Philanthropic Priorities: A Conversation with the UPS Foundation4Richard Ekman; Eduardo Martinez<div>How can State Councils work with foundations to lead change and shape innovation in higher education? Can they anticipate priorities amid changes that are reshaping companies and the global economy?</div><div> <br> </div><div>Founded in 1951, the UPS Foundation is a long-time supporter of private higher education, through visionary endowments it established several decades ago—such as the CIC/UPS Educational Endowment that has helped more than 20,000 students attend the independent college of their choice—to annual grant programs that allow the foundation to remain agile and responsive to current needs.</div><div> <br> </div>In 2018, the UPS Foundation provided $60.1 million in direct support plus an additional $54.3 million in employee gifts and 3 million employee volunteer hours to help more than 4,300 organizations across 170 countries to build stronger, safer, and more resilient communities. CIC is fortunate to be one of those organizations. The CIC First Opportunity Partners Grant Program for State Councils receives annual support from the foundation to advance diversity and inclusion, one of four focus areas that drive the UPS Foundation’s funding initiatives.<br> <blockquote> <strong><em>Richard Ekman</em></strong>, President, CIC<br><strong><em>Eduardo Martinez</em></strong>, President, The UPS Foundation<br>Chair: <strong> <em>A. Hope Williams</em></strong>, President, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities</blockquote>
Keynote Address: Bridging the FutureKeynote Address: Bridging the Future5Sue CunninghamWith higher education experiencing an unprecedented environment of complexity and change within the U.S. and around the world, keynote speaker Sue Cunningham, president and CEO of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), will discuss trends, challenges, and opportunities for fundraising in such extraordinary times. What can State Councils learn from CASE’s vantage point as a global organization? How can State Councils leverage CASE’s data and insights into fundraising for the future? Learn about the importance of integrated advancement as a vital strategy to ensure higher education continues to transform lives and society.<br><blockquote><strong> <em>Sue Cunningham</em></strong>, President and CEO, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)<br>Chair: <strong><em>Bill Spiker</em></strong>, President, Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges<br></blockquote>
Talking about Private Colleges: Busting the MythsTalking about Private Colleges: Busting the Myths7Richard Ekman; Harold V. Hartley III<p>Most people who work in higher education occasionally face tough questions from friends, family, or neighbors. “Why does college have to cost so much?” “If my niece gets a liberal arts degree, will she ever find a job?” “I’m not sure I’d fit in at a private college.” Learn the facts and figures to help answer such questions, and practice talking about the true accessibility, affordability, and successful student outcomes at private colleges. See how State Councils can use recent data from CIC to show the value and effectiveness of private higher education and to guide member institutions through conversations about private colleges in everyday interactions.<br></p><blockquote><p><strong><em></em></strong><strong><em>Richard Ekman</em></strong>, President, CIC<br><strong><em>Harold V. Hartley III</em></strong>, Senior Vice President, CIC<br></p></blockquote>
Showing Our Stories: The Difference of VideoShowing Our Stories: The Difference of Video9State Councils help enrich the lives of students, institutions, employers, and donors through key connections that, in turn, yield a trove of meaningful stories. What does it take to bring those stories to life? Is video the new imperative? How can State Councils do video well, on time, and on budget? Learn what three associations—Michigan Colleges Alliance, Independent College Fund of New Jersey, and Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges—discovered about the challenges and impact of video storytelling.<br><blockquote> <strong><em>Robert P. Bartlett</em></strong>, President, Michigan Colleges Alliance<br><strong><em>Mary-Beth Johnson</em></strong>, Chief Operating Officer, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges<br><strong><em>Louis Manzione</em></strong>, President, Independent College Fund of New Jersey<br><strong><em></em></strong>Chair: <strong><em>Mick Weltman</em></strong>, Executive Director, Associated Colleges of Illinois<br></blockquote>
Beyond the Dollars: An Innovative Scholarship for Black MenBeyond the Dollars: An Innovative Scholarship for Black Men10Abdul M. Omari; Jamil Stamschror-LottThis session will examine the impact of a scholarship program for Black men offered through the Minnesota Private College Fund (MPCF). Black men are severely underrepresented in higher education and graduate with a bachelor’s degree at much lower rates than white men. While the four-year graduation rate for Black men nationally is 17 percent, it is 46 percent at Minnesota private colleges. Through the MPCF Scholarship Program for Black Men, students fare even better. Four-year graduation rates of the first two cohorts of MPCF Scholars have been 100 percent and 86 percent, respectively. Can other State Councils duplicate the success of MPCF’s program? Find out what differences MPCF provides to support these students’ educational journey.<br><blockquote><strong><em></em></strong><strong><em>Carolyn Jones</em></strong>, Director of Development, Minnesota Private College Fund<br><strong><em>Howard Jones</em></strong>, Eddie Phillips Scholar and Scholarship Coordinator, Minnesota Private College Fund<br><strong><em>Abdul M. Omari</em></strong>, Founder, AMO Enterprise<br><strong><em>Jamil Stamschror-Lott</em></strong>, Restorative Social Worker, Saint Paul Public Schools<br>Chair: <strong><em>Ray Martinez III</em></strong>, President, Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas Foundation<br></blockquote>
MEP? A Conversation about Multiple Employer PlansMEP? A Conversation about Multiple Employer Plans21John Kahle; Eva LeeA multiple employer plan (MEP) allows two or more unrelated employers to create a single retirement plan if certain U.S. Department of Labor Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requirements are met. The arrangement can help employers achieve economies of scale through centralized support of administrative and fiduciary obligations. MEPs are often comprised of associations, institutions, or organizations that are unaffiliated, but share common interests. By joining with other employers, they can pool their assets and resources, creating a single retirement plan. TIAA leaders will discuss key considerations, including current trends, nuanced elements of MEPs, and the latest regulatory developments.<br> <blockquote> <strong> <em>John Kahle</em></strong>, Managing Director of Strategic Sales, Institutional Financial Services, TIAA<br><strong><em>Eva Lee</em></strong>, Senior Director, TIAA’s Multiple Employer Plan Relations<br>Chair: <strong><em>Mike Backer</em></strong>, President, Missouri Colleges Fund<br></blockquote>
Leveraging a CIC National Venture Fund Grant to Advance Multiple GoalsLeveraging a CIC National Venture Fund Grant to Advance Multiple Goals12How can State Councils leverage CIC National Venture Fund (NVF) Grants to build collaborative opportunities that enhance student and institutional success and magnify the impact of State Council programs? Maryland Independent College and University Association and its Independent College Fund of Maryland (I-Fund) recently launched an NVF project designed to build bridges among private corporations and foundations, member colleges, CIC, and the CollegeBound Foundation to overcome the significant challenges to academic success faced by low-income students from Baltimore City’s public schools. Learn how the program combines financial assistance and support services to improve enrollment, persistence, and completion of low-income, first-generation students at private colleges and universities.<br><blockquote> <strong><em>Tina Bjarekull</em></strong>, President, Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association and the Independent College Fund of Maryland<br>Chair: <strong><em>Kimberly Brashears</em></strong>, Director, Member Services, Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities<br></blockquote>
It Takes a Village: Partnering on Behalf of Higher Education and College StudentsIt Takes a Village: Partnering on Behalf of Higher Education and College Students13In the state of Washington, the legislature and governor have renamed and significantly expanded the state’s key student aid program, now known as the Washington College Grant. It is flexible and can be used at private nonprofit colleges and universities, at public two-year or four-year institutions, and in apprenticeship programs. The grant is available to new high school graduates and older adults who have not yet earned a degree for full-time or part-time study. Further, the state guarantee of funding means that by the 2020–2021 school year, an estimated 110,000 Washington residents will receive assistance to meet tuition and fees at the campus or program that best meets their individual needs. Can State Councils build the necessary partnerships for comparable support of private higher education and college students in their states?<br><blockquote><strong><em>Terri Standish-Kuon</em></strong>, President and Chief Executive Officer, Independent Colleges of Washington<br>Chair: <strong><em>Mark Cavanaugh</em></strong>, Executive Director, Independent Higher Education of Colorado Fund<br></blockquote>
Depart for Annual Reception and Awards Dinner at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical GardensDepart for Annual Reception and Awards Dinner at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens22Meet in Hotel LobbySpouses and Partners
Closing Luncheon: CIC State Councils Business MeetingClosing Luncheon: CIC State Councils Business Meeting20<p>Enjoy a final meal with colleagues and participate in the State Councils Business Meeting. The agenda will include a report about the State Councils network and the confirmation of a new presiding officer.<br></p>
When Emergencies Strike: Helping Colleges PrepareWhen Emergencies Strike: Helping Colleges Prepare17<p>Colleges and universities rely on myriad technologies, systems, and resources to assure smooth and effective operations. What happens when these systems are disrupted due to natural disasters or other unforeseen emergencies? The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania will share the results of its Business Continuity Peer Program that helps private colleges and universities identify essential services and functions; assess the impact of disruptions to these functions on the institution and mission; develop strategies to resume business functions in the event of a critical disruption; and evaluate the effectiveness of existing tools, systems, and planning.</p><blockquote><p><strong><em></em></strong><strong><em>Tim Alexander</em></strong>, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania<br><strong><em>Tom Carnwath</em></strong>, Business Continuity Peer Program Project Leader, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania.<br>Chair: <strong><em>Kelly Hyten</em></strong>, Executive Director, Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas Foundation<br></p></blockquote>
A Thriving Framework for Higher Ed OrganizationsA Thriving Framework for Higher Ed Organizations18Emma Jones<p>What makes higher education associations valuable, relevant, sustainable, and viable? Having worked with dozens of higher education associations and organizations in recent years,  Credo has adapted its research-based Thriving Framework for Colleges and Universities for associations to highlight the core elements of relevance, longevity, and value. This session  will present Credo’s framework as a background for facilitated conversation among leaders, leveraging the strength and challenges of session participants.</p><blockquote><p> <strong><em></em></strong><strong><em>Emma Jones</em></strong>, Chief Brand Officer, CREDO Higher Ed<br>Chair: <strong><em>Brent Wilder</em></strong>, Vice President, Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities<br></p></blockquote>
Report from the CIC State Councils Database Task ForceReport from the CIC State Councils Database Task Force19<p>State Councils include a distinctive group of development professionals who not only work with donors, but also distribute and monitor critical scholarship programs.<br>Recent research suggests that commercially available databases designed for institutional development offices fall short of the needs of State Councils. To examine this need more closely, the CIC State Councils Advisory Committee elected to form a task force to review existing and custom approaches to database development. The report of this session will inform next steps for selecting or developing a more cost-effective database for the use of State Councils.<br></p><blockquote><p><strong><em></em></strong><strong><em></em></strong><span><span><strong><em></em></strong><strong><em>Mike Backer</em></strong>, President, Missouri Colleges Fund<br><strong><em>Ed Finn</em></strong>, President, Iowa College Foundation<br><strong><em>Treva Haugaard</em></strong>, Executive Director, Council of Independent Nebraska Colleges Foundation<br><strong><em>Bill Spiker</em></strong>, President, Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges<br><strong><em>Mick Weltman</em></strong>, Executive Director, Associated Colleges of Illinois<br><strong><em>A. Hope Williams</em></strong>, Chair, Database Task Force, and President, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities</span></span><br></p></blockquote>
Breakfast: State-by-State Updates (Round Two)Breakfast: State-by-State Updates (Round Two)16<p>Learn from your colleagues as they present innovative ideas and current challenges in this lightning round of state-by-state updates.<br></p>
Luncheon RoundtablesLuncheon Roundtables23<div>Enjoy lively lunchtime discussions with your colleagues on a range of timely topics. Please circulate among tables to discuss the issues and best practices that are of most interest to you.</div><div><br></div><div><h3>Campus to Career Workforce Pathways Initiative</h3><strong><em>Bill Spiker</em></strong>, President, Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges</div><div><br></div><div><h3>Development Deep Dive</h3><strong><em>MaryAlice W. Breuninger</em></strong>, Vice President, Relationship Management and Business Development, Independent College Fund of New Jersey</div><div><h3><br>Financial Aid Nights</h3><strong><em>Edward M. Shannon III</em></strong>, Executive Vice President, South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities</div><div><h3><br>ICUT Scholars Online Integrated Scholarship Program</h3><strong><em>Ray Martinez III</em></strong>, President, Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas Foundation</div><div><br><h3>Iowa College Foundation Mobile Application</h3><strong><em>Ed Finn</em></strong>, President, Iowa College Foundation</div><div><br><h3>Social Media: Data Makes Marketing Effective</h3><strong><em>James R. Bauer</em></strong>, President, Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities<br></div>
Annual Reception and Awards DinnerAnnual Reception and Awards Dinner25Richard Ekman; H. Hiter Harris III; Mary HawkinsSpouses and Partners​Welcome: <strong> <em>Carol Schuler</em></strong>, Vice President for State Council Programs, CIC<br><br>The highlight of the Awards Dinner is the presentation of the CIC State Councils’ highest honors: the Charles W. L. Foreman Award, which recognizes a college president or corporate trustee who has demonstrated an outstanding record of service that truly distinguishes the recipient from his or her peers in support of the mission and work of the State Councils; and the CIC State Councils Leadership Award, which is presented upon the nomination of the State Councils Advisory Committee to honor transformational leadership among CIC State Councils. CIC also will recognize outgoing Presiding Officer A. Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.<br><br> <h3>Presentation of the Charles W. L. Foreman Award</h3> <br>Presenters:<br><strong><em>Richard Ekman</em></strong>, President, CIC<br><strong><em>Matthew Shank</em></strong>, President, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges<br><br>Remarks:<br><span><strong><em>H. Hiter Harris III</em></strong><span>, Co-Founder, Harris Williams & Co.<br><br> <h3>Presentation of the State Councils Leadership Award</h3> <br>Presenters:<br><strong><em>Richard Ekman</em></strong>, President, CIC<br><strong>Treva Haugaard</strong>, Executive Director, Council of Independent Nebraska Colleges Foundation<br><br>Remarks:<br></span></span><div><span><span><strong><em>Mary Hawkins</em></strong>, President, Bellevue University<br></span></span></div><div><br></div><h3>Recognition of A. Hope Williams, Presiding Officer, 2013–2020<br></h3><div><br></div><div>Presenters:<br><strong><em>Richard Ekman</em></strong>, President, CIC<br><strong>Carol M. Schuler</strong>, Vice President for State Council Programs, CIC<br></div><div><br></div><div>Remarks:<br><strong><em>A. Hope Williams</em></strong>, President, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities<br><span><span></span></span></div><div><span><span></span></span></div>

Hotel and Travel


Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel

701 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 457-8800

 Hotel Information

Aerial view of hotel and Austin skylineThe 2020 CIC State Councils Annual Conference will be held at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel, conveniently located in the heart of downtown Austin. The hotel was named after the “father of Texas” and was originally built in 1924 as the city’s first high-rise hotel. Affectionately nicknamed by Austinites as “the Stephen F,” the property features an art deco façade and is the second-oldest historic landmark hotel in Austin.

Located onsite is the Stephen F Bar, which offers small bites, handmade cocktails, craft beers, and a selection of wines. The bar has an outdoor terrace that faces the historic Congress Avenue with beautiful views of the State Capitol. The Roaring Fork restaurant is the first of two in Austin and is located on the lower level of the hotel. The hotel is within walking distance to four entertainment districts, several art museums, and the Paramount Theatre, which is located next door.

Hotel Reservations Deadline for CIC Rate:
March 27, 2020

Room Rate:
$199 single/double per night

To book your hotel reservations online at the CIC group rate, use CIC's hotel reservation link.
Hotel reservations also may be booked by calling the hotel’s Central Reservations number at (800) 235-4670. To receive the special room rate, please reference “2020 CIC State Councils Annual Conference” when making your reservation. Please note that reservations made after the deadline will be accommodated on a space- and price-available basis only.

Check-in time is 3:00 p.m.
Check-out time is noon.

Dress guidelines

Business casual wear is appropriate throughout the conference. Business attire is suggested only for the Annual Reception and Awards Dinner on Monday, April 27, 2020.



Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is 10 miles and approximately 15–20 minutes from the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel. Major airlines such as Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United service the airport and offer about 100 nonstop flights to major destinations across the country.

Cab and ride-share fares from the airport may range from $20 to $30. The pickup location for cabs, Uber, Lyft, and Ride Austin is located on Level G of the Rental Car Facility.


Twenty-four hour unlimited valet service is available at $44 plus tax per vehicle, per night. Large vehicles, SUVs, trucks, and vans also may be accommodated at $48 plus tax per vehicle, per night. Tax for valet service is 8.25 percent. Charging for electric cars is available. For additional information, please call the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel at (512) 457-8800.











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