CIC Joins Double Pell Alliance and Releases New KIT Reports

​Double Pell Alliance

This spring, CIC joined the Double Pell Alliance—a coalition of 24 higher education associations and organizations that launched a national campaign (#DoublePell) to advocate for doubling the maximum Pell Grant by the program’s 50th anniversary, in June 2022. This summer, the alliance published a campaign website designed to provide students, families, and other stakeholders with resources that explain the benefits of expanding this federal financial aid program and with tools to encourage legislators to support doubling Pell grants to a maximum of $13,000 per year. The website also invites students to share their stories about how the Pell Grant has allowed them to pursue their educational dreams. Visit the Double Pell Alliance campaign website.

Read the #DoublePell community letter, which CIC and 1,200 organizations co-signed this spring.

KIT Reports

CIC released the latest edition of the Key Indicators Tool (KIT) reports in June. Customized for each CIC institutional member, the benchmarking report presents an assessment of an institution’s performance over time and comparisons with similar institutions. The confidential resource is prepared for the exclusive use of CIC member presidents, who in turn may share some or all of the report with others on their campus. The free report is prepared by the Austen Group and generously supported by Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL). View more information about the KIT and other CIC Benchmarking Services.

Research Digest

CIC released the ninth edition of the Digest of Recent Research in September. The Digest highlights timely and pertinent research from scholarly journals that independent college and university leaders may find useful. The Digest is edited by Matthew J. Mayhew, William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Educational Administration at Ohio State University. The latest issue includes reviews of articles on enhancing multicultural education in the classroom, achieving representational equity in faculty hiring, improving students’ persistence in college, study abroad’s impact on volunteering, and the influence of party affiliation on educational policy choices. The Digest is available online and may be downloaded as a PDF. CIC is grateful to the Spencer Foundation for its support of this series.

CIC in the News

Several media outlets reported on the Double Pell Alliance’s new campaign and listed the initial 24 higher education organizations that are contributing members, including CIC. Among the stories, Forbes published “A New Higher Ed Coalition Forms to Push for Doubling of Pell Grants” (July 13), and University Business released “Double Pell Alliance’s New Site Is a Direct Line to Congress” (July 13).

CIC’s Humanities Research for the Public Good initiative, which promotes student research and public engagement, was recently highlighted in several publications. The
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story “Mister Rogers’ Original Neighborhood Works to Preserve Fred’s Legacy” explored a series being developed by Saint Vincent College (PA), the Fred Rogers Center, and the Latrobe Art Center (May 25). Slated for a February 2022 launch, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Again?” will consist of four community events mostly curated by Saint Vincent students. The Roanoke Times story “Grant Helps Ferrum College’s Plans to Share Appalachian Folklore” discussed how the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at Ferrum College (VA) will make the tales and songs in James Taylor Adams’s papers available to a much wider audience (June 24). The collection contains 13,000 pages of Southwest Virginia folklore assembled by historian and folklore collector Adams before he died in 1954. The Greenville Sun story “Tusculum to Continue 1980s Oral History Project” discussed how Tusculum University (TN) will build on earlier research, examining past interviews and conducting new oral histories of today’s Horse Creek community to learn how life there has changed over the last 35 years (May 5).

Independent Pathways: Community College Transfer in the Liberal Arts, an initiative launched by CIC and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) to help community college students pursue bachelor degrees in select liberal arts disciplines at independent colleges in North Carolina, was featured in the Stanly News & Press. The article “NCCCS, NCICU Sign Articulation Agreement” discussed how NCICU and the North Carolina Community College System will create seamless transfer pathways among NCICU member institutions and 58 community colleges, thanks to the CIC project (April 21).

CIC’s second Independent Pathways project, a community college transfer initiative to building pathways at independent colleges and universities in Ohio, received extensive press coverage. The Ohio Consortium for Transfer Pathways to the Liberal Arts, launched by CIC and the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC), was reported in Higher Ed Dive, “How 14 Private Colleges Are Planning to Improve Community College Transfer” (July 20); Advertiser-Tribune, “Tiffin University [OH] to Improve Community College Transitions” (July 31); Delaware Gazette, “New Consortium to Aid Students” (July 21); Bluffton Icon, “Bluffton University [OH] Joins Consortium to Improve Pathways for Community College Transfers” (July 21); News-Herald, “Tri-C, Ursuline College [OH] Join Consortium to Ease Transfer Credits to Four-Year Colleges” (July 17); Crain’s Cleveland Business, “Private Colleges, Two-Year Publics Link Up on Pathways Project” (July 14), and the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland’s News of the Diocese, “Ursuline College Joins Consortium to Aid Student Transitions from Community Colleges” (July 13).

The CIC Online Course Sharing Consortium, powered by Acadeum, was highlighted in widely disseminated newswire coverage (“Network for Online Course Sharing Launches to Boost Community College Enrollment and Completion”) featured by Yahoo! Finance, Markets Insider, and many others on May 27. Higher Ed Dive also mentioned the Consortium in “Community Colleges Have a New Option for Sharing Courses” (May 27).

The Essex News Daily article “Bloomfield College [NJ] Receives $50,000 NetVUE Program Development Grant” discussed how CIC’s Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education grant will supplement Bloomfield College’s initiatives toward deepening vocational exploration and discernment among undergraduate students (April 14).

The May 1 News-Herald article “Ursuline College [OH] President Given Council of Independent Colleges’ Award” stated that on April 27 Christine De Vinne, OSU, received CIC’s 2021 Charles W. L. Foreman Award during the CIC State Councils Annual Conference. The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland also reported on the award in the May 19 story “Ursuline College President Receives National Leadership Award.”

Staff News and Notes

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) honored new CIC President Marjorie Hass during remarks in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 21. Cohen thanked Hass for her transformational leadership at Rhodes College (TN) and her service to Memphis and wished her well in her new leadership role at CIC. The remarks are published in the July 21 edition of the Congressional Record (Vol. 167, No. 128).

MaryAnn Baenninger, former president of Drew University (NJ) and past chair of the CIC Board of Directors, was named senior advisor for the CIC State Council’s Bright Futures Project in June. The project, supported by the UPS Foundation and carried out in collaboration with the UPS Talent Acquisition Team, will build an infrastructure of student support services and campus networks to help CIC/UPS Scholarship recipients prepare and compete for paid internships within UPS (see page 22).

In July, Jonnie Guerra, CIC senior advisor for annual programs, assumed additional responsibilities as CIC senior advisor for the Ohio Consortium for Transfer Pathways to the Liberal Arts. The project focuses on easing the transfer of community college students into liberal arts programs at Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges member institutions (see page 24). Guerra also was honored with a distinguished service award by the Emily Dickinson International Society during its 2021 Annual Meeting, held virtually in August.

In August, Allison Blackburn was promoted to CIC vice president for conferences. She joined CIC in October 2005 as director and became executive director of conferences in January 2018. In addition to contract negotiations and logistical management of CIC’s conferences, Blackburn will now oversee CIC’s relationships with sponsoring corporations and foundations to enhance sponsorship prospecting and recruiting initiatives.

In late September, David Brailow, CIC’s vice president for development since August 2016, will retire from his position to serve as senior advisor. In this new role, he will focus on CIC’s Crafting Democratic Futures project as well as supporting foundation and sponsor relations. Samantha Sabalis, formerly development officer at CIC, was promoted to director of development on July 1. She will lead CIC’s foundation fundraising efforts, in collaboration with Marjorie Hass, beginning on October 1. Alana K. Cassidy, director of sponsorships, will lead CIC’s sponsorship fundraising efforts, also in collaboration with Hass.

Kelsey A. Sherman Creech left CIC in early September after filling pivotal positions on the staff team for seven years. She most recently served as operations director, president’s office and assistant secretary, Board of Directors; earlier she served as executive assistant to the president and assistant secretary of the Board of Directors, among other roles. She is now supporting the CEO of a majority woman-owned commercial real estate investment management firm.

Kathleen Smith was promoted to executive assistant to the president in September. In this role she will handle responsibilities for the president’s office, serve as the primary liaison with the Board, and support CIC operations as well as the Online Course Sharing Consortium. Smith joined CIC as projects manager in August 2019.

After more than two years of successful service as CIC Vice President for Academic Programs, Kerry Pannell followed the call to return to campus and began her tenure as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Presbyterian College (SC) in June. CIC is completing the search for Pannell’s successor.

CIC Welcomes New Members

The Board of Directors and staff of CIC have welcomed the following new members since May 2021:

New Institutional Members

Hesston College (KS)
LeMoyne-Owen College (TN)
Olivet Nazarene University (IL)
Point University (GA)