Plenary Speakers

The 2014 Institute for Chief Academic and Chief Financial Officers features a diverse lineup of speakers who will discuss this year's theme of “Fostering CAO-CFO Partnerships for Institutional Success."

Featured plenary speakers this year include:
Saturday, November 1
Keynote Address
“Conflicting Realities: Bridging the Gap between Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants”
In his keynote address, Arthur Levine will offer his distinctive perspective on the present generation of college students and what they have in common with—and how they differ from—previous generations of students. College students today are digital natives; they have grown up with digital technologies and expect there always to be a “next new thing.” They are constantly connected to a “tribe” of family, friends, and acquaintances through social media, but they shy away from face-to-face communication and often have weak interpersonal skills. Colleges and universities and their faculties and staffs, on the other hand, are digital immigrants; they lag behind students in the adoption of new technologies and struggle to adopt new teaching and learning methods. How can we prepare students to be the creators of the next phase of the digital revolution? How can we help them develop stronger face-to-face communication and problem-solving skills? How can we acclimate ourselves to the “new normal” of constant change? Levine will offer practical and specific suggestions grounded in his extensive research to help CAOs and CFOs think productively about these challenges and opportunities.

Levine is the sixth president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Before his appointment in 2006, he was president and professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He previously served as chair of the higher education program, chair of the Institute for Educational Management, and senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Levine also was president of Bradford College (1982–1989). He received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and his PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Levine’s most recent book is Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student (with Diane Dean, 2012). Among his other publications are Unequal Fortunes: Snapshots from the South Bronx (with Laura Scheiber, 2010); When Hope and Fear Collide: A Portrait of Today’s College Student (with Jeanette S. Cureton, 1998); and Beating the Odds: How the Poor Get to College (with Jana Nidiffer, 1995).

A recipient of numerous honors, including Carnegie, Guggenheim, and Rockefeller Fellowships as well as the American Council on Education’s Book of the Year award, Levine is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the boards of the Educational Testing Service and Say Yes to Education.

Chair: B. Connie Allen, Provost, Saint Augustine’s University

Sunday, November 2
Plenary Session
“Information Technology in Higher Education: What’s Next?”

Information technology has become an integral part of the infrastructure of higher education, necessary for the daily functioning of the enterprise. Innovations in information technology have the potential to influence teaching and learning at small and mid-sized colleges and universities. What are the new tools, processes, and technologies that can improve the quality, flexibility, and scalability of higher education? How can CAOs and CFOs work together to distinguish between fleeting trends and permanent advances and embrace those that will have the greatest positive impact on campus/community connectedness and achievement of student learning goals?

Diana G. Oblinger is president and CEO of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology. Previously, Oblinger held positions in academia and business: vice president for information resources and chief information officer of the University of North Carolina system, executive director of higher education at Microsoft, and IBM director of the Institute for Academic Technology. Earlier, she was on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia and Michigan State University and served as associate dean of academic programs at the University of Missouri.

As president of EDUCAUSE, Oblinger created the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, known for its leadership in teaching, learning, and technology innovation, as well as several signature products, such as the “7 Things You Should Know About” series. She also initiated EDUCAUSE’s first fully online events and its e-book series, including Game Changers (2012) and Educating the Net Generation (2005). In collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Oblinger led the creation of the Next Generation Learning Challenges, a $30 million program focused on improving college readiness and completion through information technologies.

Oblinger has served on a variety of boards, including the American Council on Education, ACT, the national visiting committee for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Science Digital Library project, and the NSF committee on cyberinfrastructure. She is co-author of What Business Wants from Higher Education (2006) and editor of Learning Spaces (2006). Oblinger holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Iowa State University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Xi.

Chair: John D. Kolander, Provost, Wisconsin Lutheran College

Monday, November 3
Plenary Session
“College Choice, Access, and Success for Low-Income, High-Achieving Students”

In her work with the Expanding College Opportunities Project, Caroline M. Hoxby has worked extensively on the subject of how low-income, high-achieving students select colleges and how to help them make choices that are better both for them and for the colleges they attend. Hoxby will discuss her research findings and give practical advice on how to attract these students and support them through graduation. She also will describe the impact of low-income, high-achieving students’ enrollment on financial aid in particular and institutional budgets in general.

Hoxby is Scott and Donya Bommer Professor of Economics at Stanford University, director of the Economics of Education Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and senior fellow of the Hoover Institution and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Before moving to Stanford, she was Fried Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Hoxby has been a presidential appointee to the National Board of Education Sciences and currently serves on advisory committees for the federal government, top policy think tanks, and foundations with interests in education.

A public and labor economist, Hoxby is one of the world’s leading scholars in the economics of education and is well known for promoting scientific methods in education research. She is the principal investigator of the Expanding College Opportunities Project, which has had dramatic effects on low-income, high achievers’ college attendance rate. Other research interests include explaining the rising cost of higher education, the effects of school choice and charter schools on student achievement, and the effects of teacher unionization. Hoxby also writes on public school finance, peer effects, and how education affects economic growth.

Hoxby is author and co-author of two chapters in the forthcoming book, How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education (2014, University of Chicago Press). She has published numerous other book chapters and articles in journals such as Economic Policy, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Human Resources, and Journal of Political Economy, and she is editor of College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay for It (2004) and The Economics of School Choice (2003).

Hoxby holds a PhD from MIT, studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and obtained her baccalaureate degree from Harvard University.

Chair: Marlene Moore, Dean of the College and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Willamette University

Tuesday, November 4
Closing Plenary Session
“Tuition: Discounting, Resetting, and Planning”

Much has been written in recent years about how colleges and universities need to adapt to the current economic and social climate. Concerns about high tuition are central to those discussions. How can campus leaders put tuition levels in proper perspective for students and their families? What strategies are effective for maintaining affordability and continuing to provide the resources necessary for an excellent college experience? How does the relationship between tuition and institutional financial aid affect the perception of price for students and families? A lively panel discussion on tuition discounting, resetting, and planning will include the president of NACUBO and three CIC member presidents who have implemented different strategies in pursuit of the goal of controlling costs and tuition levels.

Donald J. Farish has been president of Roger Williams University since 2011. Previously he served for 13 years as president of Rowan University in New Jersey. At Roger Williams, Farish launched the Affordable Excellence initiative, which has positioned the university at the leading edge of the national dialogue regarding cost, debt, and job-preparedness for today’s college graduates. Through his president’s blog and other community outreach efforts, Farish has become an advocate for changes to make higher education more affordable. In 2013, he was selected to lead the executive board of Rhode Island Campus Compact. He also serves on the governing boards of the New England Council and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, among other organizations.

Farish received his bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of British Columbia. He holds a master of science degree in entomology from North Carolina State University, a PhD in biology from Harvard University, and a law degree from the University of Missouri.

Elizabeth A. Fleming became the ninth president of Converse College in 2005, after having served in administrative positions at the Frick Collection in New York, the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles, Yale University Art Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prior to her arrival at Converse, she was executive director of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston.

Fleming led the Converse College initiative to reset tuition for fall 2014 at 43 percent below the level for fall 2013 to emphasize Converse’s affordability and transparency of financial aid practices. The reduced tuition was accompanied by a reduction in tuition discounting. The college still offers institutional financial aid but only to the extent covered by endowed scholarship funds.

Fleming currently serves on the boards of the Women’s College Coalition, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the ETV Endowment of South Carolina. She is the current president of NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas and vice chair of South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

Fleming graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and received an MA from the Royal College of Art in London. She holds a PhD in the history of art from Yale University.

John M. McCardell Jr., president of Middlebury College from 1992 to 2004, has served since 2010 as vice-chancellor and president of Sewanee: The University of the South. He is a distinguished historian and respected national leader in liberal arts education and in student life.

In 2011, Sewanee reduced its total cost of attendance for students by 10 percent. The university continues to modify its pricing model to help families become more comfortable with the cost of college. For example, Sewanee set four-year costs for incoming students so they and their parents know what they will need to pay to complete a degree. The university has seen an increase in both enrollment and retention.

McCardell is the author of The Idea of a Southern Nation (1981), developed from his PhD dissertation. His specialty is U.S. history with emphasis on the 19th-century Old South and on American historiography. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa and has been honored with grants and fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute for Southern Studies. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and did graduate work at Johns Hopkins University and at Harvard University, where he earned his PhD in history.

John D. Walda assumed the presidency of NACUBO in 2006, following a career in both public policy and law that spanned three decades. He served as president of Indiana University’s board of trustees for eight years, as chair of the Indiana Lottery Commission, as a director and chair of the Association of Governing Boards, and as chair of the board of Clarian Health Partners (now Indiana University Health), which owns and operates the Indiana University hospitals. Walda has been the chair of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat (2009–2011) and a director of the American Council on Education (2008–2011). He is a trustee of Carroll College and Stetson University and serves on the board of directors of the Indiana University Foundation and the Yellowstone Park Foundation.

Before leading NACUBO, Walda was a partner in the Bose McKinney & Evans law firm and senior vice president for federal relations for BoseTreacy Associates LLC. He received his BA and JD from Indiana University.

Chair: John D. Walda, President and Chief Executive Officer, NACUBO