Council of Independent Colleges

During the ASHE Annual Conference in November 2014, several scholars from smaller and mid-sized private colleges came together with representatives of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to form a group that would develop a series of white papers aimed at describing and translating empirical research to college and university leaders at CIC member institutions. Some of the goals of the collaboration are to:

  • Recruit top faculty from a variety of institutional types to construct a publication addressing top issues affecting CIC institutions and what do we need to know about these issues.

  • Institutionalize collaborative bridge between CIC and ASHE members (i.e., do more than simply lament the research/practice divide)

  • Identify ways to help CIC and their member institutions

  • Position ASHE as a go-to place for leadership questions (instead of consultants).

  • Involve doctoral students; Make it normative for ASHE doctoral students and researchers to participate in this kind of collaborative work.

The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 755 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars, and other programs that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, and institutional visibility. CIC conducts the largest annual conference of college and university presidents. CIC also provides support to state fundraising associations that organize programs and generate contributions for private colleges and universities.

Members of the ASHE-CIC Collaboration:

  • John Braxton, Professor of Higher Education, Vanderbilt University

  • Erin Ciarimboli, Graduate Student, University of Georgia

  • Valeria Crespin-Trujill, Doctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin

  • David Guthrie, Associate Professor of Education, The Pennsylvania State University

  • Harold V. Hartley III (co-chair), Senior Vice President, Council of Independent Colleges

  • James C. Hearn, Professor of Higher Education and Associate Director, Institute of Higher Education, University of Georgia

  • Nick Hillman, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin

  • Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, Center for Postsecondary Research & NSSE Institute, Indiana University

  • Matthew Mayhew, Associate Professor of Higher Education, New York University

  • Christopher Morphew (co-chair), Executive Associate Dean for Research & Innovation, University of Iowa

  • Julie Park, Assistant Professor, Education; Student Affairs, Asian American Studies (Affil.), University of Maryland, College Park

  • Laurie Schreiner, Chair and Professor, Department of Higher Education, Azusa Pacific University

  • Barrett Taylor, Assistant Professor, Counseling and Higher Education, University of North Texas

  • David Weerts, Associate Professor; Faculty Director, Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education, University of Minnesota -Twin Cities

  • Cynthia A. Wells, Assistant Professor of Higher Education; Director, The Ernest L. Boyer Center; Program Director, M.A. in Higher Education, Messiah College

Outcomes of the ASHE-CIC Collaboration:

Publication: Chapters written by individual faculty members will address a variety of issues from the lens of small and mid-sized private colleges and universities. It is the intention of the Collaboration to publish the papers in book form. The topics of the chapters will be: Access and Affordability, Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes, Leveraging Learning Technologies, Ensuring Student Success, Student Demographics and Equity, Meaning Making and the Liberal Arts, The Faculty Role in the Smaller Private College, Institutional Strategy and Adaptation, Public Purposes and Benefits of Independent Higher Education.

The Conference: Representatives of the members of the ASHE-CIC Collaboration will lead an ASHE Presidential Session that will provide an opportunity to discuss the topics covered by the white papers in the context of contemporary challenges facing the leadership of CIC member institutions. The Conference: Representatives of the members of the ASHE-CIC Collaboration will lead an ASHE Presidential Session that will provide an opportunity to discuss the topics covered by the white papers in the context of contemporary challenges facing the leadership of CIC member institutions. 

The participants of the collaboration in this conference will be: Christopher Morphew, Natalie Pullaro-Davis, Hal Hartley, John Braxton, Jim Hearn, Laurie Schreiner, Nick Hillman, Cynthia Wells, and Jillian Kinzie.

Other Outcomes: In addition to the conference and white papers/book, the ASHE-CIC team has identified several other areas of potential collaboration. These include:

  • Constructing a “speakers bureau,” which would serve to connect ASHE scholars with leaders at CIC member institutions engaged with contemporary challenges and in need of insight from experts in a particular subject area.

  • Institutionalizing CIC involvement in future ASHE conferences with a liaison responsible for, among other things, engaging local/regional CIC members near ASHE conference sites.

  • Producing a periodic digest of recent research to inform presidents and other leaders of independent colleges and universities of findings relevant to their work.