2024 Presidential Spouses and Partners Program Under the Big Tent: Independent Higher Education in a Democratic Society

January 4–7, 2024 Diplomat Beach Resort | Hollywood, FL

On the surface, there is only one thing we have in common: we are spouses and partners of academic leaders. A mixed bag of men and women at different stages in our lives, with a variety of life experiences matched only by the variety of our personalities, we are one step removed from the group that can be expected to have a lot in common. If I were writing a book about rock collecting, I would despair if my publisher told me that the target audience was not the collectors, but the people who partner with them. How would one write meaningfully for an audience made up of disparate individuals about who one knows just this single fact, that they are all spouses or partners of rock hounds?

Paraphrased from Spousework: Partners Supporting Academic Leaders
Teresa Johnston Oden, 2007

CIC’s Presidential Spouses and Partners Program is designed to offer insight, advice, support, and fellowship to those who share this unique role. Developed in consultation with a task force of experienced presidential spouses and partners, it is held in conjunction with the Presidents Institute each January. The most valued benefit of the program, as consistently cited in evaluations, is the networking that takes place among the participants.

Recognizing the diversity of backgrounds and interests of presidential spouses and partners, the program features presentations, workshops, and informal discussions on a wide variety of topics. Spouse and partner sessions focus on content that is of special relevance to the spouse/partner role, rather than on higher education issues and trends that are offered through the presidents’ program. Spouses and partners who are more interested in general higher education matters are welcomed and encouraged to attend sessions for presidents, unless otherwise noted.

Volunteers are always welcome to participate in planning and presenting programs for the Presidential Spouses and Partners Program. For more information, please contact Connie Holoman, senior advisor, Presidential Spouses and Partners Program; and presidential spouse, Centenary College of Louisiana, at choloman@cic.edu.

Preliminary Schedule

(Schedule subject to change)

January 5 January 6

7:00–8:15 a.m.
Breakfast Roundtables (informal)

  • Class of 2023 Reunion for Spouses and Partners of New Presidents
  • Preparing to Retire
  • Travel Fitness
  • Staying Fresh in the Role
  • Unique Issues for Male Spouses and Partners
  • The Wordle Nerdles (for NY Times games aficionados)

10:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Welcome, Lunch, and Opening Session: The Science and Art of Marriage: Maintaining a Flourishing Partnership in the Presidency

  • Carol Bruess, Presidential Spouse, Saint John’s University and College of Saint Benedict

12:45–2:30 p.m.
A Deeper Dive: Allyship: Supporting the Campus LGBTQ+ Community

  • Nadine Smith, Executive Director, Equality Florida

1:00–2:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

  • Hot Topics in Higher Education
  • The Spouse’s Role in Development

2:30–3:30 p.m.
Topical Roundtables

  • Beach Walk and Talk
  • Dual Career Couples
  • How Do You Get and Manage Information?
  • Planning an Inauguration
  • Strategies for Connecting with Students
  • Who Are You beyond a ‘Spouse/Partner’: Maintaining Your Identity

3:30–4:45 p.m.
Spouse and Partner Reception

7:00–8:15 a.m.
Breakfast Roundtables (informal)

  • Beach Walk and Talk
  • For Introverts: Strategies for Surviving the Public Life of the Presidency
  • Raising Children in the Presidency
  • Sharing Self-Care Strategies
  • The Wordle Nerdles

10:00–11:15 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

  • Creating a Campus that Welcomes All
  • Student Mental Health
  • Weathering Personal and Institutional Crises: Supporting Your President Spouse/Partner

11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Lunch with Roundtables

  • Community Involvement
  • Managing the Residence
  • Same Gender Couples
  • Sharing Mistakes and Lessons Learned
  • Sharing Successful Programs

1:00–2:30 p.m.
A Deeper Dive: Navigating Contemporary Communication Contexts from Elevator Pitches (And Catches) To (Not So) Social Media: A Guide for Presidential Spouses and Partners

  • Randy Richardson, Presidential Spouse, Westminster College of Pennsylvania

1:00–2:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

  • A Discussion of John Sylvanus Wilson’s Book Hope and Healing: Black Colleges and the Future of American Democracy (Joint session with presidents)
  • Caring for Aging Parents and Living in the Sandwich Generation

2:30–3:30 p.m.
Topical Roundtables

  • Beach Walk and Talk
  • Best Practices for Event Planning and Hospitality
  • Working with Campus Staff

3:30–4:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

  • Open Mic
  • Spousal Contracts and Tax Implications of Spousal Benefits (Joint session with presidents)

Spouses and Partners of New Presidents Program

January 3–4, 2024

Please note: Pre-registration is required for these programs.

The Spouses and Partners of New Presidents Program (SPoNPP) runs concurrently with CIC’s New Presidents Program in advance of the Presidents Institute. The vision of the Spouses and Partners of New Presidents Program is for participants to:

  • Enhance their understanding of the role of presidential spouse or partner
  • Engage in fellowship with others serving in the same role
  • Equip them with tools for success in the role

This program provides a supportive, intimate, and confidential environment for participants as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of their new role. A small team of experienced presidential spouses leads the group through a comprehensive exploration of the spouse and partner role and helps each participant understand how he or she can serve in that role most effectively and with personal fulfillment. Participants have the option to connect with experienced mentor/buddy volunteers who can offer ongoing advice, support, and encouragement.

Hotel Information

Diplomat Beach Resort
3555 South Ocean Drive
Hollywood, FL 33019
(954) 602-6000

All program sessions of the 2024 Presidents Institute will be held at the Diplomat Beach Resort.

Presidents Institute Room Rate:
$279 single/double per night
Deadline for CIC Rate:
Friday, December 1, 2023

Aerial view of Diplomat Resort from ocean

Hilton’s Diplomat Beach Resort provides a beachfront location that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway. The hotel features bright guest rooms, two beachfront pools (including an infinity pool), and an ultramodern spa. The hotel also includes ten restaurants, two of which are celebrity chef-owned, and state-of-the-art fitness and entertainment areas. Additional features are beach and waterfront activities, such as fishing and jet skiing, off-property golf and tennis, as well as a Kids Club. Guests can explore the area by taking the Sun Shuttle, operated by Circuit. To schedule a ride, download the “Ride Circuit” app from the App Store or Google Play. Scheduled rides are $2 per person, or you may ride for free by stopping the nearest Sun Shuttle driver or by boarding the shuttle at one of the following designated stops:

  • City-operated “Garfield” Parking Garage at A1A and Connecticut Street
  • Johnson Street Mobility Hub at A1A and Johnson Street
  • City-operated “Nevada” Parking Garage at A1A and Nevada Street

The shuttle operates Sunday to Thursday between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

The Presidents Institute registration and hotel reservation deadline is Friday, December 1, 2023. Please note that hotel reservations made after the deadline can be accommodated only on a space-available basis and may be at a rate higher than the CIC rate. Hotel rooms may sell out before the deadline, so participants are encouraged to register for the Institute and reserve their hotel rooms as soon as possible.
Hotel Reservation Procedure: Participants first need to register for the Presidents Institute. Upon paid Presidents Institute registration, participants will receive an Institute confirmation email that includes detailed hotel reservation instructions and a code to make a Diplomat Beach Resort reservation at the CIC discounted rate.
The CIC hotel rate of $279 for single or double occupancy may be available for rooms reserved for the period of December 28, 2023–January 10, 2024, for participants who would like to extend their stay. Please note that rooms reserved during extended dates are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Guest rooms must be canceled up to 72 hours prior to arrival or a cancellation fee of up to one night’s stay will be charged. Also note that the hotel’s policy requires a daily credit card hold of $125 per room for incidentals.If a bank debit card is used, the available balance of the account will be reduced at the time of check-out.

Spa Services

Presidents Institute participants will receive a 15 percent discount on spa services offered at the Diplomat Beach Resort. To make an appointment, call (954) 602-8400 and indicate that you are with CIC.  Additional information is available online at the Diplomat Beach Resort.

Registration Information

Please review the current CIC Health and Safety Guidelines and Requirements and the CIC Code of Conduct before registering for the Institute.

Registration and Payment Process

Please register for the Institute online. You may pay for the Institute by:

1. Credit Card

Submit a credit card payment online.

2. ACH Transfer

Please select the “pay by check” option and use the following account information for your ACH payment:

Council of Independent Colleges
Routing number: (ABA) 021052053
Account number: 99387090
Addendum: CIC 2024 Presidents Institute
ACH confirmations may be sent to: cicaccounting@cic.edu

3. Wire Transfer

Please select the “pay by check” option and use the following account information for your wire transfer payment:

Council of Independent Colleges
Banking Institution: Truist
Routing number: 054001547
Account number: 0005163140944
Wire confirmations may be sent to: cicaccounting@cic.edu

4. Check

Mail a check payable to “Council of Independent Colleges,” with a memo indicating the check is for the 2024 Presidents Institute and a printout of your online registration page, to:

2024 Presidents Institute
Council of Independent Colleges
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 320
Washington, DC 20036-1142

To ensure timely preparation of accurate and complete conference materials, please register for the Institute by Monday, October 2, 2023. The deadline for the early-bird registration rate is September 1, 2023.

Registration Fees

The Presidents Institute registration fee includes all program sessions and resources, except for optional events and workshops. In addition, the registration fee covers all Institute breakfasts and lunches as well as the Welcome Dinner, All-Institute Reception, and the Celebration of Independent Higher Education.

CIC Member RateNonmember Rate
Presidential Spouse or Partner$598$853

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

Spouses and Partners of New Presidents Program​ (January 3–4)

CIC Memb​​​er RateNonmember Rate
Presidential Spouse or Partner$348$348

Optional Workshops 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
Giveback OpportunityNo ChargeNo Charge
Giveback OpportunityNo ChargeNo Charge

Guests, Families, and Childcare

All daytime sessions during the Presidents Institute, including breakfast and lunch sessions, are open to registered participants only.

  • Tickets may be purchased onsite for unregistered presidential spouses and partners for the opening night Welcome Dinner on January 4.
  • Family members are invited to participate in the All-Institute Reception on the evening of January 5; no tickets are necessary for this event.
  • Tickets may be purchased at the time of online registration or onsite for adult guests for the Celebration of Independent Higher Education dinner on January 6.

Children’s activities are available through the Diplomat Beach Resort’s Kids Club. Arrangements can be made directly with the hotel by calling (954) 602-6000.

Dress Guidelines

Business casual or resort casual wear is appropriate throughout the Institute.

CIC Conference Registration and Cancellation Policies

Please note that CIC requires full payment by check, credit card, ACH, or wire transfer at the time of registration.

Refunds of the registration fee (less a $50 processing fee) will be given for cancellations received in writing, including email, no later than December 1, 2023. Refund requests received between December 2 and December 15 will incur a charge equal to 25 percent of the total registration fee. Requests received after December 15, 2023, and “no shows” are ineligible for a refund. All refunds will be issued after the Institute. Please send cancellation requests to the attention of Alonso De Los Rios, CIC conference coordinator, at adelosrios@cic.edu.

Participants must cancel their own hotel reservations. Canceling your Institute registration does not cancel your hotel reservation. Please follow the directions on the hotel reservation confirmation to cancel or contact the Diplomat Beach Resort at (954) 602-6000 or (855) 689-2911. Reservations can be changed without a fee or canceled for a full refund up to 72 hours before anticipated arrival.

Contact Information

If you have registration questions, contact CIC by phone at (202) 466-7230 or by email at conferences@cic.edu.