Visiting Fellows Program

Visiting Fellows Program

Notice: The CIC Visiting Fellows program will be on hiatus for the 2022–2023 academic year.

The CIC Visiting Fellows Program enables colleges and universities to plan a customized visit from a prominent professional who engages students, faculty, and community members in exploration of the most significant and complex issues of our times. Fellows are prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other nonacademic professionals. Fellows are available with expertise in such topics as economic inequality, global terrorism, criminal justice reform, and immigration, among many others.

Responding to each institution’s specific academic and co-curricular program needs, Fellows are available to offer campus-wide lectures, host subject matter specific workshops, teach a session in a first-year or capstone seminar, speak with local community groups, and participate in nearly any other campus event imaginable.

The program is designed to work with and for your campus—no matter the current or anticipated operating mode. The visits are cost-sensitive, and support is available from CIC program staff to select a Fellow and plan for the most meaningful visit.

Due to changes in campus operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual visits are now available. Many Fellows are open to and experienced in virtual delivery. Read more about virtual visits in the FAQ section.

The program is available to all four-year public and private, nonprofit colleges and universities in the United States as well as CIC International Member institutions. CIC member campuses participate at a discounted rate.


Campuses have the option to select a full week or an abbreviated visit length. During a standard visit, a Fellow participates in programming for four or five days. During an abbreviated visit, a Fellow participates in programming for three days.

Institutions pay a set fee to CIC. They also cover the Fellow’s travel, room, and board for on-campus visits. CIC covers the Fellow’s honorarium. The fee prices for hosting a fellow are:


CIC Non-Member Price: $6,000
CIC Member Price: $5,500


CIC Non-Member Price: $4,900
CIC Member Price: $4,500

The program is designed to keep costs relatively modest for the campus. CIC is able to do this, in part, because the Fellows care more about participating in the educational process than receiving significant financial reward. You can read more about program fees and other costs in the FAQs section.


Fellows are selected for their professional expertise, personal enthusiasm for the goals of the program, interest in interacting with students, and ability to listen as well as to speak. They come to campus prepared to help students, faculty, and community members explore interesting, dynamic, and complicated topics. They share their practical knowledge in such areas as journalism, politics, business practices, the arts, the role of the United States in global affairs, and the social and environmental impact of technological advances.

Searchable Roster of Fellows
Search for Visiting Fellows to visit your campus. This comprehensive list is searchable by name, expertise, or keyword. Listings include photos and brief biographies.

Featured Fellows
View a list of Fellows recently added to the roster.

Fellows Emeriti
View a list of long-serving Fellows no longer actively visiting campuses who have earned Emeritus status.

​Campus Request Form
The priority application deadline for the receipt of applications to host Fellows in the 2021–2022 academic year is April 16, 2021. If your campus is ready to start the process of hosting a Fellow, please complete this online form. The form should be completed by a campus-designated “campus coordinator” who will be CIC’s point of contact throughout the planning and execution of the visit. Be prepared to provide a short list of preferred Fellows, preferred time to host a Fellow, preferred visit length and mode (on campus or virtual), and a brief paragraph about the intended engagement of the Fellow on campus. You can read more about what happens after an application is received in the FAQ section.

​Selected Post-Visit Feedback

Judith Berry Griffin at Voorhees College

The residency exceeded our expectations due to Judith Berry Griffin's knowledge and passion. Ms. Griffin was nothing less than amazing. Her experiences and background fit perfectly with the College's need to understand and to develop a plan to suture the disconnect of our guided career pathways model. The highlight was that Ms. Griffin was able to engage every facet of the campus, the CEO and Executive Cabinet, Academic Leadership Team, faculty, community groups, and most importantly students. Our college struck gold having Ms. Griffin visit the campus. She has left an indelible mark on our institution.
—Ronnie Hopkins, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Voorhees College

David Shipler at Wabash College

The coordinator of my visit did one of the best jobs I’ve seen in the 25 years or so that I’ve been making these Visiting Fellow visits. With the very active participation of faculty, he arranged a comfortable rhythm of classes and meals with students on just about every topic that’s been jammed into my brain over my working career. For example, I used a PowerPoint presentation on patterns of racial stereotyping in Introduction to Black Studies, spoke about the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict to students in a Middle East History course (over lunch), discussed race in a class on African-American Environmental Literature, and women in poverty in a class on Gender Studies. Students in Citizenship in Dystopia read part of one of my civil liberties books, and with them I discussed electronic surveillance, the Patriot Act, and the relevant lines of Supreme Court cases. I did three public presentations: An evening lecture on encrypted racial stereotypes, an afternoon talk and discussion on the interactions among problems of families in poverty, and a panel with four international students on cross-cultural communication.  I also had dinner with President Hess and some faculty at his home, a very interesting and congenial evening, and a lunch with a small group of faculty to discuss freedom of speech and the press. Some of these encounters with faculty have continued by email as we’ve exchanged thoughts about one or another issue.
—David Shipler, CIC Visiting Fellow

Program Updates

PDFView our most recent annual program update newsletter to read about a recent visit and updates from Fellows.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Details for Current Participants

​Overview, Instructions, and Evaluation Links

Currently Participating Campus Coordinators

Experience has taught us that the best visits are those that were planned in close coordination with the Fellow, have well attended events, and engage the entire campus community.  Please read over the Frequently Asked Questions section for advice on how to plan a successful visit and information about payment to CIC, Fellow travel, and other common logistics questions. Whether you have been campus coordinator for some time or are relatively new to the role, please use CIC as a resource in planning. Program staff can be reached at

Word documentThe News Release is a boilerplate news release your institution can use to publicize the visit. Share this with campus contacts, including your public relations staff, local media outlets, and any other press contacts your institution might have.

After your visit, please complete the post-visit evaluation. Please also submit copies of the visit schedule, samples of promotion materials, and photos from the visit to CIC also seeks quotes about the impact of the program to use in promotion materials.

Currently Participating Fellows

Experience has taught us that the best visits are those that were planned with close coordination between the Fellow and campus coordinator. Please be in regular communication in advance of your visit.

Please review the PDFCampus Visit Terms and Procedures before your visit. This document provides travel guidelines, expense reimbursement protocol, and other information for Fellows.

After your visit, please complete the post-visit evaluation.

To receive your honorarium, please complete the CIC Expense and Honorarium Form. CIC will need to have a recent W9 on file to complete payment.

To update your Fellows profile or change your mailing information, email with your new information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is the status of the CIC Visiting Fellows Program?

The CIC Visiting Fellows program will be on hiatus for the 2022–2023 academic year. This hiatus will provide CIC and the Institute for Citizens and Scholars the opportunity to re-consider the program’s goals and its ability to meet those goals effectively within the current environment. In recent years, the program has met with declining interest. While the COVID-19 pandemic is a strong and immediate factor in this, there was declining participation and noticeable shifts in campus preferences well before the pandemic. We believe this is a good moment to pause and reflect on the needs of our campuses and the ways the program might be re-invigorated. CIC will provide full and total support for all visits already scheduled for the spring of 2022. CIC, however, will not support any visits under our auspices during the 2022–2023 academic year. Fellows may continue to identify themselves with the CIC Visiting Fellows program.

Is my institution eligible to participate?

The program is open to all four-year public and private, nonprofit colleges and universities in the United States regardless of CIC membership status. CIC International Members institutions also are eligible to participate.

What is the role of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)?

CIC is responsible for administering the Visiting Fellows program. Its role includes promoting the program, enlisting appropriate Fellows, screening and selecting participating colleges, matching colleges and Fellows, and evaluating the program. After a visit is confirmed, CIC issues letters of agreements to the Fellow and the host institution, invoices the college for the visit fee, and supports the campus coordinator and the Fellow in the planning process. After the visit, CIC issues the Fellow’s honorarium and gathers post-visit feedback from the Fellow and campus coordinator.


CIC operates the Visiting Fellows program for the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation founded the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program in 1973 and operated it until 2007. In 2008, CIC took over operation of the program. In June 2020, the founding foundation released this statement on its decision to change its own name. During this period, CIC decided to refer to the program as the “CIC Visiting Fellows” program and will continue to do so. In November 2020, the foundation rebranded as the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. More information about the institute is available in this press release.


When the COVID-19 pandemic halted travel, it became essential for the CIC Visiting Fellows program to offer virtual visits. As long as the need remains, CIC will continue to offer this option. We do not know when it will be safe for Fellows to travel and for campuses to host in-person visitors, but we are optimistically scheduling on-campus visits for spring 2022, with the understanding that the plans may change. Similarly, we see most campuses opting for virtual visits for fall 2021. We encourage you to apply for the visit type you think will most meet your needs and know that CIC will work with you to make any adjustments. As always, any decisions about the visit will be made in consultation with the designated campus coordinator, the Fellow, and CIC program staff.

A virtual visit is a dynamic multi-day schedule of various events held online, instead of on-campus in person. Many of the traditional functions of an on-campus visit—from large lectures to one-on-one meetings—can be translated to the digital realm with careful planning. Many Fellows are open to and experienced in virtual delivery and ready to meet the new normal of your campus. There is no change in fee for virtual visits. CIC bills the campus for the same amount, and the Fellow receives the same honorarium. The only difference in cost is that the campus does not incur any charges for travel, room, and board.


In short, the role of the campus coordinator is to make Fellows’ visits successful. In order to do so, the campus coordinator must communicate with the campus community, the Fellow, and CIC. With the help of the Fellow and faculty members, the campus coordinator plans the main public lecture and class topics as well as subjects for discussion with student clubs and faculty seminars. This person is responsible for reserving housing, making meal plans, arranging transportation, and ensuring the Fellow’s comfort. This person will keep senior administration officials informed of the residency. After the visit, the campus coordinator will evaluate the success of the residency and communicate the evaluation to CIC. They are also responsible for ensuring that the Fellow is properly reimbursed for any travel, room, or board costs.


The campus coordinator can be any one person on campus who can serve in the above capacity or who can serve as the primary point of contact for a group of people, such as an ad hoc Visiting Fellows Planning Committee. Most often, the campus coordinator is an academic officer, a department or division chair, or a faculty member. On some campuses, the campus coordinator is an assistant to the president or chief academic officer, a librarian, a staff or faculty director of a campus center, or other staff member. The specific job title is not important. What is essential is that the person can bring together the campus community to plan a successful visit.


Applications can be submitted anytime and are processed on a rolling basis. The most common schedule is for institutions to apply in the spring to host a Fellow in the following academic year. We encourage interested institutions to apply to host a Fellow at least six months before their anticipated visit date to allow enough time to plan a successful visit. The priority application deadline for the receipt of applications to host Fellows in the 2021–2022 academic year is April 16, 2021.


The roster of Fellows includes prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other working professionals who have deep expertise and can lead students, faculty members, campus staff, and community members in substantive dialogue. Whether they have influenced governmental policy, had first-hand observation of national crises, or have helped build a major corporation, Fellows provide a better understanding of the world beyond college walls. Fellows are selected for their professional expertise, personal enthusiasm for the goals of the program, interest in interacting with students, and ability to listen as well as to speak.


The first step in selecting a Fellow is for the college to assess its needs. Fellows can be used to build on an institution’s strengths, shore up areas of weakness, explore and develop new program areas, and contribute to a multi-program theme or special colloquium. Fellows may serve as consultants for organizational needs, bridge gaps between academic departments, and act as catalysts for interdisciplinary programs.

Few campus coordinators are omniscient about their colleges. Most campus coordinators find that the best way to assess institutional needs is to establish a Visiting Fellow Planning Committee for program oversight. Most Visiting Fellows Committees are diverse, including students and faculty members from different disciplines. Some institutions use ad hoc committees formed for each visit, others have institutionalized the program and its support framework.

Campuses often use cross-departmental committees, which can lead to multi-department support, as a tool to bring together financial support from various parts of campus.

Once the campus coordinator has a sense of institutional interest, they should consult the searchable roster of Fellows. This comprehensive list is searchable by name, area of expertise, or keyword. Listings include photos and brief biographies.


Yes, of course. CIC Visiting Fellows program staff are happy to make recommendations, as they are very familiar with specific Fellows and their areas of expertise. Fellows are recommended based on the college’s expressed interests. CIC usually will place veteran Fellows (rather than new recruits) at colleges participating in the program for the first time. Indeed, many successful visits have started when an institution shares academic, topical, or career areas of interest rather than identifying individual Fellows.


You as campus coordinator are in the best position to identify when the visit would be most effective on your campus. Visits should not be scheduled too close to examinations—neither students nor faculty members respond well. Residencies should not conflict with holidays, vacations, or major campus events such as Homecoming. Some campuses have success with visits that coincide with the beginning of a semester; for others this just does not work. The campus coordinator should check the college’s calendar for the upcoming year. If the college indicates broad availability, it is more likely that a compatible Fellow will be available.


Campus coordinators are encouraged to submit a full and complete application to ensure a good match. This means applications should include details about the intended use of the Fellow and reference any special semester themes, areas of special focus on campus, first-year experience themes, or similar points of emphasis that need to be addressed by the Fellow.

Campus coordinators should list their preferred Fellows in rank order. Applications should include potential dates for the visit that take into account the campus calendar. If you are most interested in a specific Fellow, please submit as many possible dates for the visit as might work. If you are most interested in hosting a Fellow at a specific time, please list a number of Fellows that you would be excited to host.


CIC Visiting Fellows program staff review the application and immediately begin the process of matching the institution with a specific Fellow. Staff contact your preferred Fellow to check his or her availability for your preferred date, and proceed this way until a match is made. To this end, please only list Fellows and dates that will work for your campus. Within a few weeks of submission, campus coordinators will receive an email with a status update on the match-making process or the details of a confirmed visit. Once a match is made, campus coordinators can begin to plan for the visit.


What will I receive from CIC?

You will receive an email from CIC confirming the visit details: specific Fellow, their contact information, and the visit date and mode. This serves as your notification to begin planning the visit. At some point before the visit, most usually in the summer before the academic year if you applied in the year previous, you will receive a letter of agreement to sign and an invoice for the visit fee from CIC. Payment is due 30 days before the scheduled visit.

You can request a Fellow’s bio, high-resolution photos, and other information that CIC may have on file. CIC provides participating institutions a sample press release that can be used to promote the visit.


Most Fellows will know little about the college before they arrive. It is the responsibility of the campus coordinator to give them an accurate sense of the institution and the community in which it is located, including information about campus culture, student demographics, and senior leadership. Campus coordinators should be in regular email and telephone correspondence with the Fellow before the visit to jointly develop a schedule for the visit. It is important to talk with a Fellow about the type of visit they want to have and find a way to craft a schedule that is mutually beneficial. Some Fellows like an event every minute of the day, others prefer a slower pace or need to allow time to keep up with their work at home. Some Fellows want to focus on their area of expertise, and others want the opportunity to speak broadly.


If the visit will be on campus, yes. Campuses should provide transportation for the Fellow. This may mean buying their plane ticket and providing airport transportation directly, arranging it through a travel agent, or providing timely reimbursement of said expenses.

Note: This is new policy in place for visits that happen during the 2020–2021 academic year or after.


If the visit will be on campus, yes. Colleges are responsible for housing the Fellow for the duration of the visit. This means both securing and paying for the arrangements. Try to house the Fellow on campus with comfort and privacy. An on-campus guesthouse is ideal if the college has one. Local bed and breakfasts or hotels also are a possibility, but attention must be paid to providing the Fellow local transportation and providing ample opportunities for informal interactions with students.


If the visit will be on campus, yes. The host campus should provide all meals for the Fellow whether the meals are a part of the organized campus programming or not. Because the Visiting Fellows Program values dialogue, the informal talk that takes place at meals contributes greatly to the success of the visit. At a breakfast with students, lunch with faculty members, or dinner with friends of the college, Fellows have the opportunity to speak informally and to share their experiences in more intimate surroundings than a classroom or lecture hall. Every campus coordinator will make meal arrangements to suit his/her college environment. Meal programming has included: breakfast with small groups of students or faculty members, informal “brown bag” lunches with student interest clubs, lunch with a faculty member in the campus dining room, dinner with the president or with friends of the college, and potlucks off-campus.


Each visit schedule looks very different, but they all share four essential elements.

  • The classroom visit is at the heart of the residency. Most visits include at least one, and up to three or four, classroom visits a day. Fellows should not be expected to deliver a different polished 50-minute lecture in each class. Usually they make comments on a specific subject they know well for 15 to 20 minutes and then open the discussion for questions. The best classroom visits occur when the Fellow has all the relevant information about the class (size and level of class; syllabus; outside reading list; aims and objectives; what students have covered recently or are scheduled to cover immediately before the Fellow’s appearance) and when the Fellow and faculty member have been in direct contact about the visit. In some instances, the Fellow and faculty member work together to assign students a reading that can be discussed.

  • Each visit should include at least one public lecture. Public lectures give Fellows broader connection to the local community and to students throughout the institution. This looks different on each campus, but attention should be given to ensure a large and engaged audience.

  • Informal interaction. Opportunities for informal interaction between the Fellow and students, faculty and staff members, and the campus coordinator should be built into the schedule. This can happen over meals, during receptions, or even during Fellow “office hours.”

  • Hospitality. Most campuses have the president or chief academic officer host a lunch or dinner for the Fellow to thank them for their visit and to strengthen the connection between the Fellow and the campus.

Depending on the Fellow and the campus, visits also can include writing workshops, film screenings, walking tours, and other special events.


Yes! We have many tips for a successful visit and encourage you to reach out to program staff to get recommendations that match your campus needs. Some general recommendations that nearly always apply: involve students as early and as often as possible; engage with faculty members for classroom visits before they finalize their syllabi, if possible; engage with community groups to boost attendance at the public lecture; and encourage broad participation by soliciting partners across campus, and communicate and publicizing early and often. Talk with the Fellow to learn what elements of a visit would excite them, as their enthusiasm will be contagious.


Do I need to complete an evaluation?

Yes. CIC requires campus coordinators to complete a brief online evaluation of the visit. To complete that evaluation, please be in touch with members of the campus community who participated in the visit to get their feedback.

Do I need to submit anything else to CIC?

CIC encourages campus coordinators to submit copies of the visit schedule, samples of promotion materials, and photos from the visit (high-resolution photos are preferred). CIC also seeks quotes about the impact of the program to use in promotion materials.

Do I need to issue payment to CIC? To the Fellow?

Payment for the visit fee is due to CIC 30 days before the scheduled visit. Payment should not be issued to the Fellow. CIC pays the Fellow’s honorarium.

Does the campus reimburse the Fellow for travel costs?

For on-campus visits, yes. The campus should pay for the Fellow’s primary travel, which includes the airfare, train ticket, mileage, or corresponding costs for the main mode of transportation between their home and the host campus. You should also pay for the Fellow’s ground transportation on the Fellow’s home side, such as between their home and the airport, and for incidental expenses such as meals while traveling. The campus should provide room and board while on campus, ground transportation between the airport and the campus, and transportation while on campus. If possible, the campus should provide and pay for all these items in advance. If the campus cannot arrange to pay this in advance, than it will be necessary for the campus to reimburse the Fellow for these uncovered expenses.

Contact Information

For additional details or questions about the CIC Visiting Fellows program, contact Michelle Friedman, senior director of programs, at