Featured Speakers

The 2013 State Funds Annual Conference features a strong lineup of speakers addressing this year's theme, “Making the Case, Fulfilling Our Mission.”

David Brandt is president emeritus of George Fox University (OR), and he served as a fellow of the Foundation for Independent Higher Education. He was president of George Fox for nine years beginning in 1998. During his tenure, he guided the university through an expansion of facilities, locations, and programs—including successful access and success initiatives. Previously, Brandt served as president of Tabor College (KS), where he was responsible for a new comprehensive strategic plan aimed at enhancing the college’s financial viability. Earlier, he served as the chief academic officer at Bethel College (MN) and Messiah College (PA). Brandt was a member of the CAO Task Force for the Council of Independent Colleges for five years and received the Chief Academic Officer Award from CIC in 1995.

Holiday Hart McKiernan serves as chief of staff and general counsel for the Lumina Foundation. McKiernan directs the Foundation’s legal affairs and leads Lumina’s exploration of the Bologna Process and the implications of that reform effort on American higher education. She speaks frequently on legal, governance, and policy issues concerning nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions. McKiernan began her career practicing law, concentrating on nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. Prior to joining Lumina in 2003, she was executive director and counsel for Alpha Chi Omega and advised universities on approaches to high-risk student behavior. McKiernan has co-authored several journal articles, including “Making the Implicit Explicit: Demonstrating the Value Added of Higher Education by a Qualifications Framework,” The Journal of College and University Law. She serves on the board of visitors for DePauw University (IN); the board of directors of ADI, Inc., a corporation that holds the charters for two Indianapolis charter schools; and the international advisory board for the Stetson University College of Law Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy (FL).

Douglas W. Orr is president emeritus of Warren Wilson College (NC) and serves as a workshop facilitator and consultant for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. He also serves as a leader of CIC’s New Presidents Program. Orr recently retired after serving for 15 years as president of Warren Wilson College, where he oversaw a growth period for the college, exemplified by 22 new facilities, 11 new academic majors, two highly successful capital campaigns, and a managed growth plan that doubled student enrollment. Prior to his presidency, he served as vice chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he was a recipient of the teaching excellence award. Orr currently serves on the boards of trustees of Berea College and the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Previously, he served as board chair of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

Jo Young Switzer is president of Manchester University (IN). Prior to assuming the presidency in 2004, she served as vice president and dean for academic affairs at Manchester University. Switzer is the co-author of Interviewing: Art and Skill (Allyn & Bacon, 1995), two instructors’ manuals, and numerous published articles and book chapters on communication. She was a member of CIC’s Board of Directors from January 2009 to January 2012 and chairs the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and the board of directors of the Independent Colleges of Indiana. In addition, she provides consultation to colleges on assessment, curriculum development, and preparation for accreditation. Switzer serves on the board of Bridge Connect Act Study Abroad, a consortium headquartered in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, and travels widely in her advocacy for study abroad. She also is a member of the Regional Opportunities Council of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.