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Richard Hughes to help research the American college presidency as vocation

November 19th, 2009

Richard Hughes, Senior Fellow at the Ernest L. Boyer Center at Messiah College, will assist the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) with its continuing research on the theological exploration of vocation—newly funded by a $2.4 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.—the second largest grant in CIC history.

Hughes will specifically assist in the research component that examines “The American College Presidency as Vocation.” From 2005 through 2009, the CIC held year-long seminar series on Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission, aimed at helping college presidents, and those who aspire to presidencies, to align personal vocation and institutional mission through their work as leaders of independent institutions of higher education. The Lilly grant will allow the CIC to hold four additional, similar leadership development seminar series over the next five years for academic leaders in private higher education.

Hughes and William V. Frame, CIC senior advisor and president emeritus of Augsburg College, will interview past participants from the 2005-2009 seminars, seeking tangible evidence as to whether the program has made positive contributions to the satisfaction and durability of presidential life in America’s small and mid-size private colleges and universities. The research results will be shared with presidents and prospective presidents, their spouses, and others in all sectors of higher education, and will result in the publication of a new book, “The American College Presidency as Vocation.”

The final component of the CIC’s grant project will establish a “Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education” over six years. This initiative will connect colleges and universities who are committed to a sustained exploration of vocation through national and regional conferences, an exchange of resources and participation in online networking services.

For more details, read the CIC news release.

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