Concurrent Sessions

January 6, 2023

(Sponsored by Westfall Gold and Ziegler)

By the Numbers: Using Big Data to Build and Shape Enrollment Success

Big data can help build and shape enrollment and retention to secure long-term institutional sustainability and success at independent colleges and universities. The use of new technologies to analyze the massive amounts of data on campus in a comparative way can better serve a demographically shifting marketplace and allocate campus resources as wisely as possible. Join us to learn what big data tells us about the CIC sector and how institutions are leading the charge toward a smarter, more data-forward future.

Mary Dana Hinton, President, Hollins University
Rock Jones, President, Ohio Wesleyan University
Lori E. Varlotta, President, California Lutheran University
Moderator: James H. Day, Founding Principal, MARKETview Education Partners

Financially Sustainable Strategies for Smaller Colleges

Among the many issues facing independent college and university presidents, financial sustainability is the most crucial to institutional survival and long-term health. Presidents of smaller colleges and universities that often do not have the revenue sources or endowment support of larger institutions are especially hard-pressed to endure enrollment and investment fluctuations. This session will feature different strategies that presidents are deploying at smaller institutions to pave financially sustainable paths for their futures.

Bryan F. Coker, President, Maryville College
Roderick L. Smothers, President, Philander Smith College
Jane M. Wood, President, Bluffton University
Chair: Suzanne Elise Walsh, President, Bennett College

Leading in the Age of Digital Communications

The ways in which the public consumes stories about higher education continue to evolve. Growing numbers of people use platforms such as Tik Tok and YouTube where influencer marketing and grassroots viral content play more central roles in moving information. How are higher education institutions portrayed on these new platforms? What can college and university presidents do to tap these nontraditional news feeds to change perceptions of their institutions and higher education in general? What are the costs and benefits of engaging students and other stakeholders on popular digital platforms? Does traditional journalism still have a role to play in influencing an institution’s reputation?

Andy Carlson, Vice President State Strategy, CollegeAPP
Emily Dreyfuss, Senior Managing Editor, Shorenstein Center, Harvard Kennedy School
Lindsay McKenzie, Reporter, StateScoop & EdScoop
Moderator: Rochelle Ford, President, Dillard University

Maximizing the President-Spouse Partnership in Fundraising

Joint Session with Presidential Spouses and Partners
Fundraising is among the most important and daunting presidential tasks. It requires finesse, diplomacy, charm, patience, and persistence. This session will explore the unique way the president and spouse or partner can work strategically to enhance fundraising for the college or university. Drawing on their experiences, the presenters will share effective approaches to consider when planning for the participation of the president and spouse or partner as a fundraising team, from donor cultivation to the major ask.

Michael L. Frandsen, President, Wittenberg University
Sharon Frandsen, Presidential Spouse, Wittenberg University
Cindy Gnadinger, President, Carroll University (WI)
John D. Gnadinger, Presidential Spouse, Carroll University (WI)
Chair: Dana Lentini, Presidential Spouse, Molloy University

Organizational Models to Build Equitable Campuses

College and university presidents are taking bold steps to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion on their campuses. While they often share similar goals regarding access and justice, the organizational models that they deploy to achieve those goals vary. In this session, college and university presidents will share their successes in developing institutional approaches to developing equity on campus.

Ajay Nair, President, Arcadia University
Lillian B. Schumacher, President, Tiffin University
Sherry L. Turner, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Rhodes College
Chair: Sandra J. Doran, President, Bay Path University

Red State, Blue State: Navigating Board Relations in Politically Polarized Times

Every president must make decisions about maintaining fidelity to institutional mission and values in the face of cultural and political challenges from beyond the campus. While we often focus on students, sometimes these challenges are introduced or given voice by board members. “Red state” and “blue state” issues can become the source of agreement and disagreement between presidents and boards. How can presidents best navigate relations with trustees and other constituents in a politically polarized environment? Participants in this session will discuss how presidents can navigate board relations in politically polarized times.

Robin E. Baker, President, George Fox University
Pamela J. Gunter-Smith, President, York College of Pennsylvania
Richanne C. Mankey, President, Defiance College
Moderator: Thomas L. Hellie, Senior Advisor and Co-Director, Presidents Governance Academy, CIC; and President Emeritus, Linfield University