About the Theme

Power of Independent Colleges: Better Education, Better Outcomes

The power of independent colleges lies in their proven ability to provide a high-quality education and superior outcomes for their students. These institutions prepare tomorrow’s leaders, provide access for students from underserved populations, prepare graduates for successful careers and meaningful lives, are more affordable than the public perceives, and strengthen civic participation.

Presidents of independent colleges and universities must speak persuasively about the quality and value of the education that their institutions provide. Yet they also must confront major challenges that face their institutions—pressures to cut costs, increase financial aid, adopt new online delivery methods, and focus more on students’ job preparation than general education in the liberal arts. Emphasis on the central mission of preparing students for rewarding futures requires well-informed and effective presidential leadership.

How can the value of a private college education over a lifetime be explained effectively? How can the president articulate the institution’s distinctive mission in compelling ways? How can independent colleges promote workforce development and global competitiveness? How can an undergraduate education grounded in the liberal arts be demonstrated to connect to a lifetime of career success, civic engagement, and personal fulfillment?

CIC’s 2015 Presidents Institute—the largest annual meeting of college and university presidents in the country—will explore these and other issues of presidential leadership, drawing on the lessons learned by experienced presidents and on the perspectives of other distinguished speakers. The Institute provides a forum for candid discussion of important issues, opportunities to learn from experts, and time to network with colleagues who lead similar institutions.