Women in Leadership Institutes

Presidents Institute Sessions

Wednesday, November 29

1:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. | International Civil Rights Center & Museum Tour, optional

Join us for a rich and intimate tour of the Greensboro-Woolworth’s based International Civil Rights Center & Museum, which commemorates the Feb. 1, 1960 beginning of sit-ins at this whites-only lunch counter by the N.C. A&T Four college students, reflecting careful planning carried out with colleagues at Bennett College. Their non-violent direct action challenged the American people to make good on promises of personal equality and civic inclusion.

Transportation will depart from the O.Henry Hotel promptly at 1:45 pm. Pre-registration is required. Pre-registration is available after completing institute registration.

3:15 p.m.–4:45 p.m. | Session with Cabinet Leaders, optional

Women's Spaces in a Gender Diverse World

  • Summer McGee (she/her), President, Salem College
  • AJ Mazaris (they/them), Chief Campus Culture Officer and Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Salem College

What does it mean to create women’s leadership spaces in a world where many of our students, faculty, and staff identify outside of the gender binary? Can women’s spaces—like women’s colleges and women’s leadership programs—meaningfully include trans and non-binary participants while still honoring their missions and focus? This panel invites participants to consider how we can both create spaces to empower and uplift women and also recognize the breadth of gender inclusion.

6:00 p.m.–6:45 p.m. | AAC&U + Credo Women in Leadership Initiative Reception

Join us for appetizers, beverages, fun, and fellowship as we build community and anticipate the evening's keynote panel.

6:45 p.m.–8:30 p.m. | Keynote & Dinner

Presidential Voices: Leading with Longevity in Higher Education

  • Beverly Hogan (she/her), President Emerita, Tougaloo College
  • Carol Leary (she/her), President Emerita, Bay Path University
  • Emma Jones (she/her), Executive Vice President / Owner, Credo
  • Gail Mellow (she/her), President Emeritus, LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York
  • Lynn Pasquerella (she/her), President, American Association of Colleges & Universities

It's not difficult to find stories of failed college and university presidencies. Books, articles, and local media outlets provide meticulous postmortems of brief leadership tenures; presidencies fraught with conflict, misalignment, shared governance issues, and moral failings. There are many presidents, though, who beat the odds of the national tenure average, leading campuses successfully for years through challenge and success alike. Credo is examining the personal and professional conditions in which a leader can stay and flourish, hoping to answer the question: how do presidents thrive in their roles over time, and how can those considering a presidency build a path to leadership longevity with intention?

In this panel discussion, participants will have an opportunity to examine an emerging framework for leading with longevity in higher education and hear from a panel of long-serving women leaders on their leadership experience and learning.

Thursday, November 30

8:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m. | Breakfast

8:45 a.m.–9:00 a.m. | Welcome & Introductions

9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m. | Session 1

Survivor-Leaders: Habits of Mind and Body for Sustained, Energized Leadership

  • Amy Storey (she/her), President, Keuka College
  • Heather Maldonado (she/her), Vice President for Student Development, Keuka College

Successful executive-level leaders in all industries know that they must engage in mission-driven work and meet the needs of diverse constituents in dynamic environments in order to be effective in their roles. These challenging realities are compounded in higher education given declining government funding, post-pandemic realities, “enrollment cliffs,” and politics regulating what can - and cannot - happen on college campuses. Female executives frequently encounter further difficulties such as underrepresentation, pay inequity, the “pink tax,” restricted access to women’s healthcare, “second shift” work at home, and gendered social norms. These realities make sustained, energized leadership an art form that requires specific habits of mind and body to achieve professional and personal longevity.

In this session, the presenters will use anecdotes from their experiences to illustrate the habits of mind and body that have allowed two women on non-traditional higher education leadership paths to survive cancer, relationship upset, and sexism in academia and thriving in this current, tumultuous moment for post-secondary education in the United States. Participants will explore how to cultivate habits of mind and body to avoid behaviors such as people-pleasing, fear of failure, perfectionism, resistance to change, and excessive consumption to stay energized in their work. They will also explore the habits of mind and body to embrace such as embracing a sense of purpose, optimism, gratefulness, practicing self-care, developing social connections, and humor in order to sustain their leadership practice. Participants will leave the session with a deeper sense of self-awareness and with strategies to engage in authentic leadership that is true to themselves so they can lead more courageously and effectively.

10:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m. | Break

10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. | Session 2

Gendered Experiences in the Presidency: Navigating Contemporary Challenges

  • Roslyn Clark Artis (she/her), President & CEO, Benedict College
  • Zillah Fluker (she/her), Director of Executive Leadership, United Negro College Fund; host, UNCF's “HBCU Voices: Executive Leaders Unfiltered” talk show

The session will explore the experiences of women presidents and higher education leaders who have faced obstacles in their roles due to their gender. Participants will experience a "fireside chat"-style dialogue between Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis and Dr. Zillah Fluker. The dialogue will explore how women presidents can successfully navigate challenges and discuss innovative approaches to creating support and resources for women leaders in higher education. The session is designed to also provide a platform for a dialogue with other participants who may have similar experiences to share.

12:15 p.m.–1:00 p.m. | Lunch

1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m. | Session 3

Presidential Closed Door / Open Forum: Contracts, Board Challenges, and Life Management, Oh My!

  • Joretta Nelson (she/her), Vice Chairman & Founder of MTN / Owner, Credo

This closed-door/open forum session offers an opportunity for presidents to confidentially bring issues to the table that they are navigating, gaining the input and experiences of their colleagues and other experts in the room. Additionally, lightning rounds of quick feedback from the group could include the most meaningful leadership reads, favorite apps or services that build personal and leadership capacity, and other relevant topics. Topics will be solicited in advance as well as in the moment.

2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m. | Break

3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. | Session 4

Nurturing Leadership Longevity in Your Cabinet

  • Tiffany Franks (she/her), President, Averett University
  • Joanne Soliday (she/her), CoFounder, Credo

The best cabinets increase presidential leadership capacity by serving as campus-wide leaders and champions of campus culture, and keeping the right people in cabinet roles over time can significantly improve institutional momentum. In this session, facilitators will explore how presidents support and develop cabinet leaders, individually and as a team, toward their own powerful and sustained leadership; and engage presidents in a conversation about where they have experienced challenges and successes with their own teams.

This marks the official close of the Presidents Institute, though there are additional opportunities below in which we invite and welcome your participation.

4:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. | Break

Take advantage of the O.Henry spa services, catch up on email, or utilize Credo-organized transportation to the nearby Friendly Center shops.

6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. | Casual Dinner, Green Valley Grill, optional

Each year, we gather casually on this second night of the Institute to relax and enjoy a delicious meal together at the O.Henry’s excellent Green Valley Grill. RSVPs will be collected at the beginning of the day.

Friday, December 1

Half-Day | Strategy Sessions with Senior Credo Consultants

  • Joretta Nelson (she/her), Vice Chairman & Founder of MTN / Owner, Credo
  • Joanne Soliday (she/her), CoFounder, Credo
  • Bill Fahrner (her/his), President / Owner, Credo
  • Emma Jones (she/her), Executive Vice President / Owner, Credo

Credo leaders will be available for one-hour individual strategy sessions for confidential discussion and problem-solving. Topics for exploration include but are not limited to your board of trustees, your leadership cabinet, strategy and strategic planning, student success and retention, presidential coaching, and advising. Sign-ups will be available in advance and on-site.