Plenary Speakers

The 2012 Institute for Chief Academic Officers features a diverse lineup of speakers on this year's theme of “Core Responsibilities in a Changing Environment."

Featured plenary speakers this year include:

Saturday, November 3
Keynote Address
“Reframing the Leadership Role of the Chief Academic Officer”

In his presentation, Lee G. Bolman will address the challenges facing CAOs at independent institutions, with an emphasis on the different leadership options that CAOs can choose. As the issues with which CAOs contend have evolved, CAOs may need to be more conscious of leadership styles that suit individual strengths: chief bureaucrat, head coach, academic champion, visionary prophet, or something else. In a time of economic constraints, changes in student demographics, public doubts about the value of a liberal arts education, and calls for greater accountability and measurable educational outcomes, the job of the CAO has never been more demanding, and the choice of role has never been more fateful. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on how they currently understand their role and to consider new possibilities.

Bolman holds the Marion Bloch Missouri Chair in Leadership at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management. Prior to his current appointment, he served as lecturer at the Yale School of Organization and Management and in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He also served as director and principal investigator at Harvard’s National Center for Educational Leadership, as educational chairperson for Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management, and as founding educational chairperson of Harvard’s Management Development Program.

Bolman’s teaching and writing over the past three decades have explored the intersection of organizations and leadership. He has distilled the management literature to make it relevant to leadership in private colleges and universities and not a misapplication of business concepts.

Bolman is the author of numerous books on leadership and organizations. In 2011, he co-authored Reframing Academic Leadership with Joan V. Gallos. He has co-authored several with Terence Deal, including Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership, 4th edition (2008); and Leading with Soul: An Uncommon Journey of Spirit, 3rd edition (2011).

Chair: Judith Muyskens, Provost, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Sunday, November 4
Plenary Session
“Attracting First-Generation and Minority Students to a Liberal Arts Curriculum”

In this plenary session, the Honorable Henry G. Cisneros will outline his vision for educational programs that prepare first-generation and minority students for productive lives as leaders and citizens in a globalized society. From his advocacy work with the Latino community, he will offer strategies to attract students to a liberal arts curriculum and suggest new ways for independent colleges and universities to provide the intellectual and financial resources that will enable first-generation and minority students—who dominate the rising generation of college-goers nationwide—to achieve their educational goals.

Secretary Cisneros is executive chair of CityView companies, an organization that works with urban homebuilders to create affordable homes for families of average means. His community-building career began at the local level, when he served three terms as a city councilman in San Antonio, Texas. In 1981, he became the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major U.S. city, San Antonio. During his four terms as mayor, he helped to rebuild the city’s economic base and spurred the creation of jobs through infrastructure and downtown improvements. In 1992, President Bill Clinton appointed Cisneros to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In this role he was credited with initiating the revitalization of many of the nation’s public housing developments and formulating policies that contributed to achieving the nation’s highest ever homeownership rate. After leaving HUD in 1997, Cisneros served as president and chief operating officer of Univision Communication, the Spanish-language broadcast that has become the fifth-most-watched television network in the nation.

Cisneros has served as president of the National League of Cities, as deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas, and currently, as an officer of Habitat for Humanity International. He remains active in San Antonio’s leadership, serving as chair of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. He has been inducted into the National Association of Homebuilders “Builders Hall of Fame.” His book projects include Interwoven Destinies: Cities and the Nation (1993), which he edited, and Opportunity and Progress: A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy (2004), which he wrote together with former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, real estate and finance expert Nicholas P. Retsenas, and housing studies expert Kent W. Colton. The latter book received the Common Purpose Award for demonstrating the potential for bipartisan cooperation.

Greetings: Tessa Martinez Pollack, President, Our Lady of the Lake University (TX)
Chair: Michael Selmon, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Alma College

Monday, November 5
Plenary Session
“The Increasing Importance of Public Accountability and Its Implications for Colleges and Universities”

The 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and the rules that followed in 2009 and 2010 have given the federal government significantly more authority in academic decision making—domains that have in the past been the responsibility of colleges and universities and regional and specialized accreditors. Anxiety among colleges and universities about the increased reporting requirements imposed by state and federal governments and by other assessment and accrediting bodies has been triggered by a federal definition of the credit hour, transfer-of-credit rules, distance-learning regulations, and recent guidelines for student-learning outcomes.

In this session Judith S. Eaton will discuss advocacy work by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHE A) on behalf of its degree-granting members as the voice for voluntary accreditation and quality assurance to the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of Education. Participants will gain a better understanding of the public’s concern for accountability and what strategies CIC institutions can use to respond to increasing public involvement.

Eaton has served as president of CHEA since 1997, one year after its formation. The largest institutional higher education membership organization in the United States, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and a national advocate for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation. As the only organization focused exclusively on accreditation, CHE A serves as a reliable and comprehensive source of information on accreditation and as an effective representative of member institutions.

Prior to her work at CHE A, Eaton served as chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, where she was responsible for leadership and coordination of 32 institutions serving more than 162,000 students statewide. Previously, she was president of the Council for Aid to Education, Community College of Philadelphia, and the Community College of Southern Nevada, and she served as vice president of the American Council on Education. She also has held full- and part-time teaching positions at Columbia University, University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. Eaton currently serves on a range of boards and has authored numerous books and articles on topics in higher education and accreditation.

Greetings: Louis J. Agnese, Jr., President, University of the Incarnate Word
Chair: J. Bradley Creed, Provost and Executive Vice President, Samford University

Tuesday, November 6
Closing Plenary Session
“Can We Keep Higher Education Affordable?”

In the closing plenary session Lucie Lapovsky will address the cost of a college education and the impact that the national economy continues to exert on the choices that families are forced to make about undergraduate education. She will explore strategies that CIC institutions might consider for keeping college costs under control while also ensuring excellent academic programs. These strategies include providing seamless access to courses, building regional consortia to offer programs more efficiently, increasing the number of three-year degree programs that would allow these students to enter the workforce earlier, and forging collaborations with community colleges where students are able to complete the first two years of a baccalaureate degree.

Dr. Lapovsky is an economist and principal of Lapovsky Consulting. She studies tuition discounting and cost containment in higher education. From 1999 to 2004, Lapovsky served as president of Mercy College (NY). Prior to her service at Mercy, she served her alma mater, Goucher College, for nine years as vice president for finance. She also has held administrative positions as special assistant to the president of the University of Maryland at College Park, director of finance and facilities at the Maryland Higher Education Commission, and fiscal planner for the Maryland Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning.

Lapovsky chairs the board of the National Council for Research on Women and serves on boards and advisory committees for Cedar Crest College, Western New England College, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, Higher Education Resource Services, Knowledge Works Foundation, and the White House Project.

Lapovsky has co-edited three books, including The White House Project: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership (2009) with Deborah Slaner Larkin; Strategic Financial Challenges for Higher Education: How to Achieve Quality, Accountability, and Innovation (2008) with Donna Klinger; and Roles and Responsibilities of Chief Financial Officers (1999) with Mary McKeown-Moak.

Chair: Helen J. Streubert, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Our Lady of the Lake University (TX)