Designing the Future of Independent Higher Education

2023 Presidents Institute

January 4–7, 2023 Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel


Designing the Future of Independent Higher Education

2023 Presidents Institute

Tuesday, January 3

Wednesday, January 4

Thursday, January 5

Friday, January 6

Saturday, January 7

Sunday, January 8


Designing the Future of Independent Higher Education

2023 Presidents Institute



Distinguished Patron



Major Donor




Designing the Future of Independent Higher Education

The future of independent colleges and universities is in the hands of today’s leaders. CIC’s 2023 Presidents Institute will offer presidents and other participants an opportunity to think creatively in community about how to design a thriving future for their institutions and shape the trajectory of the independent sector in higher education. The Institute will draw on Bay Area and Silicon Valley industry and tech experts to discuss how independent colleges and universities can innovate with new technologies and prepare students with the skills needed for the workforce of today and the future. Sessions will also address the practical aspects of leading colleges and universities today, with peer-to-peer exchange complementing expert perspectives. Networking opportunities will encourage the sharing of wisdom, reflection, and fellowship.

Join us in the largest annual meeting of college presidents in the country. Participants consistently report that the Presidents Institute provides them with unmatched personal and professional renewal and inspiration.

The Presidents Institute will enable participants to:

  • Engage with peers and experts in thoughtful and stimulating conversation about the most important issues;
  • Find inspiration and renewal of vision and purpose;
  • Build and deepen professional relationships and networks;
  • Learn about timely and relevant solutions to pressing problems; and
  • Enhance skills in key leadership areas such as change management, strategic planning, forecasting, and communication.

We welcome presidential spouses and partners. A Program for Presidential Spouses and Partners (January 4–7) that runs parallel with the program for presidents offers an excellent opportunity to explore roles, receive guidance and advice, and build networks.

On January 3–4, CIC will offer the New Presidents Program, with its parallel program for spouses and partners of new presidents, and the Presidents Governance Academy, to address president-board relations.

View the 2023 CIC Presidents Institute awards recipients.

Special Program Features

​Designing the Future: A Guide for Presidential Leadership

Thursday, January 5, 8:45 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

(Sponsored by TIAA)

Lunch will be provided.

This interactive session offers participants an opportunity to explore how design thinking can help their institutions respond to their most vexing challenges. Design thinking is the discipline of finding problems worth solving and creating solutions in response. This approach to planning and strategy offers presidents and other higher education leaders some novel ways of asking pertinent questions, solving human problems, and creating viable new campus offerings. Dawan Stanford and his team of experts from Fluid Hive are experienced in applying the principles of design thinking to opportunities and challenges in higher education.

Joining Stanford in leading the breakout sessions will be Karen Hold, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Experience Labs; and Riley Leary, Learning Designer and Project Manager for Fluid Hive.

Want to know more? Listen to Dawan’s podcast.

A Celebration of Independent Higher Education at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art

Friday, January 6, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

(Sponsored by National Management Resources Corporation and Sodexo)

San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) is home to over 33,000 works of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, and media arts. The collection is displayed in 170,000 square feet of exhibition space, making the museum one of the largest in the world for modern and contemporary art. During the celebration guests will have the opportunity to tour one of the museum’s permanent exhibitions. Dinner and drinks will be served.

SFMoMA is approximately a 15-minute walk from the hotel for those who prefer to walk. Transportation will be provided beginning at 6:15 p.m. from the hotel with return trips ending at 9:00 p.m. from the museum.

Please note: The Celebration of Independent Higher Education is included in President Institute registration, but an advance registration is required.

January 7 Opportunities

Meeting in San Francisco offers many special opportunities. On Saturday, January 7, Presidents Institute participants can choose from a variety of options, including a fundraising workshop for presidents, site visits to Silicon Valley and Bay Area destinations, excursions to explore the area, and opportunities to support the needs of this urban community. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited.

Optional Workshop

Building Institutional Support: New Approaches to Cultivating Lead Donors

Saturday, January 7, 10:00 a.m.–Noon

(Sponsored by Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein and Rize Education)

Please note that advance registration by presidents is required for this workshop, as space is limited. Presidential spouses and partners may register on a space-available basis. A workshop fee of $50 covers the program, materials, refreshments, and other workshop costs.

Presidential involvement in fundraising is crucial to the long-term viability of higher education institutions. The president must articulate a vision for the future of the institution and motivate and inspire others to support this vision through philanthropy. Lead and major gifts are the conduit to make a president’s vision for the future of the institution a reality. The president is in a unique position to leverage the role as the head of the institution and is ideally positioned to cultivate and solicit top donors. Painting the picture of the future requires a gift for storytelling to make donors share the dream and understand the transformative nature of their donations. Establishing donor trust that their investment will be used wisely and in a way that honors their philanthropic intent requires strong donor relationships with the institution and the president. Presidents must be visible in their support and involvement in making the vision a reality. Successful fundraising from lead donors also requires strategic management of key prospects who have the capacity for this level of giving. The chief advancement officer must work closely with the president to focus time on the most important donor calls and to plan solicitation strategies.

This session will focus on:

  • Proven techniques for identifying and growing a cadre of supporters with the inclination and capacity to make transformational gifts;
  • Guidelines for determining which prospects should reside with the president for continued relationship building and cultivation to secure a gift;
  • Leadership’s role in providing resources and oversight to ensure advancement is adequately resourced to support donor cultivation at an appropriate level to achieve the institutional vision.

Amy C. Novak, President, St. Ambrose University
Paul Pribbenow, President, Augsburg University
Angela White, Senior Consultant and CEO, Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates
Chair: Jaffus Hardrick, President, Florida Memorial University

Site Visits

CIC has arranged special optional opportunities for presidents and other Institute participants to visit two Silicon Valley and Bay Area firms. Fees cover transportation and in some cases lunch. Please note that advance registration is required for each site visit, as space is limited.


Saturday, January 7, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Representatives from Apple Education will lead an introductory conversation about leveraging technology as a tool for improving equity, affordability, and career readiness on campus. Participants will travel by bus to the Apple Park Visitors Center in Cupertino, an architectural expansion of the company’s private campus. During a building tour and experiential Today at Apple learning session, participants will see Apple technology in action and can network with representatives from Apple Education.

Matt Feeman, National Manager, Education, Apple Education

Transportation to and from the site is provided, along with boxed lunches. Fee: $75 per person

Global Silicon Valley (GSV) Ventures

Saturday, January 7, 10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Global Silicon Valley (GSV) Ventures is a venture fund investing in education and workforce skills technologies that are disrupting the $7 trillion education sector. They identify, advise, invest in, and accelerate the fastest growing, most dynamic companies in the world. Investments include Coursera, Turnitin, Guild, MasterClass,, and more. The annual ASU+GSV Summit, now in its 14th year, celebrates innovations and innovators across the global “preK to Gray” learning and talent landscape and attracts over 5,500 live and 10,000 virtual attendees. This site visit will provide an overview of GSV Ventures investment strategy and insights into their view of the future of higher education.

Transportation to the site is provided. Lunch and return transportation are on your own. Fee: $50 per person

Give Back: Supporting the Needs of San Francisco

Participants will have opportunities to work with local organizations on projects that support city needs:

Preparing and Serving Meals for the Homeless

Saturday, January 7, 10:15 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
GLIDE is a nationally recognized center for social justice, serving the Tenderloin and San Francisco since 1963. GLIDE is dedicated to fighting systemic injustices, creating pathways out of poverty and crisis, and transforming lives, and their mission is to create a radically inclusive, just, and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. GLIDE’s Daily Free Meals program serves a diverse cross-section of homeless and insecurely housed individuals and families as well as low-income working people, and senior citizens and differently abled folks on small, fixed incomes.

Presidents Institute participants will have the opportunity to partner with GLIDE to help those in need. Serving a meal in the Daily Free Meals Program can be a transformative experience. The shift starts with clamshell prep at 10:30 a.m. and lunch is served to the community from noon to 1:00 p.m. Volunteers will assist with everything from plating food and sanitizing the workspace to handing out boxed meals, silverware, and drinks. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and make some beautiful human connections! Volunteers will gather in the Hilton hotel lobby by 10:15 a.m. and leave for GLIDE’s office, which is a 2-minute walk away.

Providing Support and Encouragement for the Elderly

Saturday, January 7, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) is a national, nonprofit organization with locations across the United States, committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly. LBFE was founded by Armand Marquiset, whose humanitarian work of preparing meals for the homeless was inspired by experience in his native France after World War II. LBFE serves people who are over 65 years of age or differently abled through outreach, advocacy, and companionship and offers the opportunity to join the elderly in friendship and celebration of life.

Presidents Institute participants can create and decorate homemade greeting cards or use store-bought cards to mail to older adults to brighten their day. These cards are sent out monthly as well as for major holidays. Cards can be decorated however you like, but LBFE asks volunteers to avoid religious themes and messages. They also ask volunteers to avoid mention of family and friends, as many older adults are without those in their lives. LBFE encourages volunteers to bring their own greeting cards if feasible; if not, LBFE will provide them.

This activity will begin with a brief volunteer orientation with LBFE staff followed by preparing cards for those in need. With the cards made by the volunteers, the LBFE staff will be able to mail them out to their older adults, as well as include them in care packages.

Optional Excursions

The city of San Francisco offers many attractions and opportunities for entertainment, which Presidents Institute participants can schedule in advance or explore on their own.

Sonoma Winery Tour and Tasting

Saturday, January 7, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Participants will tour two vineyards in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, a wine growing region outside of Santa Rosa. The first stop will be at Hook and Ladder Winery, where guests will enjoy a five-flight tasting. This winery is a boutique “estate” producer, specializing in small bottlings of Pinot Noir, “Old Vine” Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends sourced from the family’s sustainably farmed vineyards and its sub-appellation, Chalk Hill. The winery also produces and sells estate-grown olive oil from their Los Amigos Ranch.

The group then will head to the Kendall-Jackson Winery where participants will enjoy a seasonal four-course lunch paired with wines. The menu will be curated by the executive chef and their team using the freshest ingredients from the Kendall-Jackson culinary garden and will include locally sourced fish and meats, Sonoma and Napa Valley cheeses, and a decadent dessert, with limited-release wines paired with every course.

Fee: $185 per person

Big Bus San Francisco

Big Bus San Francisco is a convenient way to see many of the world-famous destinations that the city is known for. Presidents Institute participants will receive a 20 percent discount on Classic, Premium, and Deluxe tour tickets. See the many tour options online and book your tour directly with Big Bus San Francisco.

Explore San Francisco on Your Own

Be sure to check out San Francisco’s many distinctive and well-known neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, Nob Hill, North Beach, and Union Square. See suggestions online for additional things to do and activities to enjoy while visiting San Francisco.

Hotel and Travel

Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel
333 O’Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 771-1400

All program sessions of the 2023 Presidents Institute will be held at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel.

Located in the heart of vibrant Union Square, the four-star Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel is surrounded by world-class dining options, museums, and shopping. Resort-like hotel amenities include on-site restaurants, a top-floor Cityscape lounge with stunning views, a year-round outdoor swimming pool and a health club and fitness center. Room rate includes guest room Wi-Fi and complimentary use of the hotel’s fitness center. The famous San Francisco Cable Car is a quick three-minute walk away; the Moscone Convention Center is just a 12-minute walk away; and the San Francisco City Center is a 20-minute walk from the hotel.

The deadline to make a reservation at the CIC discounted rate has passed. Participants are encouraged to make their reservation on the Hilton San Francisco Union Square website at the current room rate available.


All daytime sessions during the Presidents Institute, including breakfast and lunch sessions, are open only to registered participants. Tickets may be purchased on-site for unregistered spouses and partners to participate in the opening night Welcoming Dinner on Wednesday, January 4. Tickets for adult guests (21 and older) or for the Celebration of Independent Higher Education on Friday, January 6 can be purchased at the time of registration.

Families and Childcare

Please note that all daytime Presidents Institute sessions, including breakfast and lunch sessions, are open only to registered participants. Family members are invited to participate in the All-Institute Reception on the evening of Thursday, January 5. The Welcoming Dinner on Wednesday, January 4, is open only to registered participants and ticketed adults, and the Celebration of Independent Higher Education on Friday, January 6, is open only to registered participants and ticketed adults over the age of 21 years. Please note: According to SFMoMA’s guidelines (the venue for the Celebration of Independent Higher Education), guests under 21 years are not allowed to attend any event at the museum where alcohol is being served.

Childcare services are available through KiddieCorp, a childcare company that specifically works with conventions. Arrangements can be made directly with KiddieCorp by calling (800) 942-9947.

Dress Guidelines

Business casual or resort wear is appropriate throughout the Institute.


The Hilton San Francisco Union Square is located approximately 14 miles (or 19 minutes) from the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and 20 miles (or 25 minutes) from Oakland International Airport (OAK). Transportation to the hotel is available from both airports through several taxicab and rideshare providers located on the ground level just outside the baggage claim areas.

From San Francisco International Airport

The following services provide transportation to walk-up customers and do not require an advance reservation. The rate ranges between $80-$100 one-way.
SF Green Cab: (415) 626-4733
Taxi Bay Area: (408) 541-1515
Yellow Cab: (415) 333-3333

From Oakland International Airport

The following services provide transportation from the airport and do not require an advance reservation. The rate ranges between $110 -$140 one-way.
Friendly Cab: (510) 536-3000
SF Green Cab: (415) 626-4733
Taxi Bay Area: (408) 541-1515
Veteran’s Cab: (510) 533-1900
Yellow Cab: (415) 333-3333


Uber, Lyft, and Wingz services also are available from both airports. The fare from the San Francisco International Airport is $30–35. At the domestic terminals, rideshare services can drop off curbside on the Departures or Arrivals levels, or on Level 5 of the Domestic Parking Garage. Passengers are encouraged to request Arrivals-level or garage drop-offs to avoid traffic on the Departures level at peak times.

From Oakland International Airport, the fare is $35–42. Once you have requested your ride, call your driver to confirm the best location to meet.

Rental Car

Both San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland International Airport (OAK) offer several onsite rental car providers. Please consult individual rental car company websites for details.


Self-parking at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel is discounted to approximately $53 per day for Presidents Institute participants. Overnight valet parking is approximately $80 per day. Taxes are included with these rates.

Registration Information

Registration Fees

The Presidents Institute registration fee includes all program materials and sessions, except for optional events. In addition, the registration fee covers all Institute breakfasts and lunches as well as the Welcoming Dinner, All-Institute Reception, and the Celebration of Independent Higher Education. CIC is grateful to the many firms that sponsor the Presidents Institute whose support subsidizes the cost of attendance and significantly lowers the registration fees.

CIC Member RateNonmember Rate
Presidential Spouse or Partner$575$820
Retired President$645N/A

New Presidents Progr​am​ (January 3–4)

CIC Member RateNonmember Rate
Presidential S​​pouse or Partner$335$335

Presidents Governance Academy​ (January 3–4)

CIC Memb​​​er RateNonmember Rate

Optional Workshop, Site Visits, and Opportunities to Give Back (January 7)

(Advance registration is required as each option has a limited number of spaces.)

CIC Memb​​​er RateNonmember Rate
Workshop: Building Institutional Support: New Approaches to Cultivating Lead Donors (10:00 a.m.–Noon)$50$50
Apple Site Visit (10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.)$75$75
GSV Ventures Site Visit (10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.)$50$50
Sonoma Winery Tour and Tasting (10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.)$185$185
Preparing and Serving Meals for the Homeless (10:15 a.m.–1:30 p.m.)No ChargeNo Charge
Providing Support and Encouragement for the Elderly (10:30 a.m.–Noon)No ChargeNo Charge

Not a CIC member? In addition to reduced registration fees for the Presidents Institute, view the full list of member benefits.

Changes to a Registration

To make changes to a completed registration, please contact CIC at

To ensure timely preparation of accurate and complete conference materials, please register for the Institute by Thursday, December 1, 2022.

Retired President Eligibility

CIC welcomes retired presidents who wish to participate in the Presidents Institute and remain involved in discussions of professional matters with former colleagues. Having retired presidents at the Institute is of value to current presidents, especially those who are relatively new to their positions, as an additional source of welcome advice from more experienced colleagues. Retired presidents who work for a sponsoring firm, however, should participate in the Presidents Institute as one of the firm’s representatives, not as a retired president. Retired presidents who work for a firm that is eligible to be a sponsor, but is not a sponsor, may not participate in the Institute. Questions about eligibility to register as a retired president should be directed to Jeff Woods, CIC director of presidential engagement, at or (202) 552-8968.

Cancellation Policy

Refunds of the registration fee (less a $50 processing fee) will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than December 1, 2022. Refund requests received between December 2 and December 9 will incur a charge equal to 25 percent of the total registration fee. Requests received after December 9, 2022, and “no shows” are ineligible for a refund. All refunds will be paid after the Institute. Please send cancellation notifications in writing to CIC by email at

Contact Information

If you have registration questions, contact CIC by phone at (202) 466-7230 or by email at