Listening and Learning

Marjorie Hass headshot

One of the best things about my role at CIC is that I get to follow the CIC “circuit,” enjoying many in-person events. While I have been a regular participant at the annual Presidents Institute and earlier in my career had participated in the Institute for Chief Academic Officers, this year has let me see behind the scenes of those events. It also has brought me to the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) Conference, the annual gathering of CIC State Council executives, and to a host of smaller face-to-face gatherings that are part of CIC’s various leadership development programs and campus-based projects. The result of all of this travel is that I have now had a chance to spend time with more than 2,000 program participants. In addition, I have met with CIC members on campuses, at the meetings of CIC’s sister organizations, and in my office now that many campus leaders are once again visiting DC.

As I speak with campus leaders I hear them express nearly universal concerns and questions about their campuses: How do we attract and retain talented students? How can we achieve excellence while remaining affordable? How can we navigate the culture wars in ways that enhance student learning and growth? How do we live out our mission in a turbulent time? How can we make better use of data to inform our decisions? These questions draw CIC members together to learn from each other during Institutes and workshops, to collaborate in networks such as the CIC Online Course Sharing Consortium, Tuition Exchange Program, and NetVUE, and to provide mutual support and inspiration.

The strength of CIC comes from the ideas and inspiration its members share, and it comes equally from their diversity. Member institutions vary in size and wealth as well as in the character of their unique missions and the make-up of their student bodies. Each institution must address these questions in its own way as it strives to align its mission, its culture, and its business model. During CIC programs and in personal conversations, I regularly see the ways this diversity animates productive discussion and leads to often surprising coalitions and solutions.

For me, this has been a time of listening and learning as I work to understand member needs and make decisions about the ways CIC can best meet them. In the coming months, CIC will release the key findings from a recent membership survey, an internal analysis of member engagement, and the resulting strategic priorities that will guide us in becoming ever better at serving our members. I am committed to leading CIC with the same dedication, energy, and creativity that you bring to your work and your campus.

Marjorie Hass