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    photo wkNEW ORLEANS, LA – Dillard University is pleased to announce that Walter M. Kimbrough, president, has been named to a new steering committee of college and university presidents that will assess the future of independent colleges. The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) has organized the 22-member panel to develop a plan that encourages independent colleges and universities to revitalize their missions and business models. The Lumina Foundation funds the project on the Future of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges.

    “I was excited to be asked to participate in this important work,” said Kimbrough.  “With increased pressure on private colleges to prove out worth, even with lots of evidence already existing that does just this, we have an opportunity to further strengthen our place in higher education."

    With the guidance of the steering committee, the project will explore new approaches to higher education, alternative college business models, and potentially disruptive trends in American society and education along with the traditional characteristics and missions of independent liberal arts colleges that are regarded as essential to their success. The project will provide a new opportunity for CIC members to lead the national conversation about what it means to offer a high-quality education in the 21st century.

    “Predictions about the future of higher education by politicians, journalists, and policy analysts often disregard or deride the effectiveness of traditional colleges and universities,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “CIC, however, has always tried to find an appropriate balance between innovations in higher education that show real promise for the future and the existing features of member institutions that have long demonstrated their value. In this spirit, CIC’s new project will explore the future of independent colleges.” 

    During its initial meeting—which will convene September 16–17, 2014, in Washington, DC—the steering committee will focus on the development of a research agenda for the coming year. CIC staff and others will then conduct the research and prepare several framing papers based on the steering committee’s guidance. The committee’s second meeting will be devoted to development of an action plan to help CIC member institutions reexamine their missions and long-term strategic plans in intentional ways. 

    The Future of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges Steering Committee

    Steven C. Bahls, President, Augustana College (IL)

    Luis Maria R. Calingo, President, Woodbury University (CA)

    Ronald L. Carter, President, Johnson C. Smith University (NC)

    Roger N. Casey, President, McDaniel College (MD)

    Margaret L. Drugovich, President, Hartwick College (NY)

    Elizabeth A. Fleming, President, Converse College (SC)

    Thomas F. Flynn, President, Alvernia University (PA)

    Christopher B. Howard, President, Hampden-Sydney College (VA)

    Todd S. Hutton, President, Utica College (NY)

    Chris Kimball, President, California Lutheran University

    Walter M. Kimbrough, President, Dillard University (LA)

    Larry D. Large, President, Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities

    Paul J. LeBlanc, President, Southern New Hampshire University

    Mary B. Marcy, President, Dominican University of California

    John McCardell, President and Vice Chancellor, Sewanee: The University of the South (TN)

    Kevin M. Ross, President, Lynn University (FL)

    Ed L. Schrader, President, Brenau University (GA)

    Elizabeth J. Stroble, President, Webster University (MO)

    Henry N. Tisdale, President, Claflin University (SC)

    Edwin H. Welch, President, University of Charleston (WV)

    John S. Wilson, President, Morehouse College (GA)

    Cynthia Zane, President, Hilbert College (NY)

    Dillard University is a private four-year liberal arts historically black university with a history dating back to 1869. It is located on a picturesque 55-acre campus in New Orleans, Louisiana which boasts an “Avenue of Oaks,” spacious greens and white buildings of both Jeffersonian and modern architectural styles. Academically, Dillard ranks among the top in a number of areas including Forbes’ 2013 list of Top Colleges and Universities in the U.S.; top 60 liberal arts institutions by the Washington Monthly (2013); consistently ranked as one of U.S News and World Report top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); American Institute of Physics’ top producer of African Americans with bachelor’s degrees in physics (2012); and according to the National Science Foundation (2013), among the top 50 colleges whose graduates earn doctorates in the sciences. 

    The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 744 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 to improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, and institutional visibility. CIC also provides support to state fundraising associations that organize programs and generate contributions for private colleges and universities. The Council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For more information, visit  


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