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Kicking Off Fourth Higher Education Leaders Institute

August 21, 2020, @ 3:07 PM

Moving into the 2020-2021 academic year, LVAIC is continuing with virtual programs and professional development events. The first such program was the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute on Thursday, August 20.

This is the fourth cohort of the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute, which is a year-long professional development program that hosts two faculty and two staff members from each LVAIC campus. This highly-selective series focuses on mid-career professionals exploring a long-term career in higher education. Each month, the group gathers to learn from LVAIC campus leaders from several areas from the campus presidents to the leaders of enrollment and admissions, students affairs, human resources, finance and administration, academic affairs, institutional advancement, and more.

The kick-off session began with welcoming remarks from Alison Byerly, President of Lafayette College. Byerly offered an overview of the value of collaboration and specifically the unique connections that the LVAIC community provides to its members. As today’s higher education institutions face continually-changing challenges, reaching out to peers across the LVAIC community offers the opportunity to connect, learn, and gather best practices. Further, several participants who completed previous cohorts of the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute served as advisors and members of the COVID-19 task forces on their campuses.

Following the opening welcome, Bryon Grigsby, President of Moravian College, presented regarding the current state of higher education. This presentation shared an overview comparing independent, public, and for-profit higher education institutions, including costs, enrollment, and graduation rates. Overall, independent colleges and universities offer significantly higher four-year graduation rates with higher discount rates for the neediest students, often delivering a higher return on investment and manageable student loan debt. Grigsby also clarified the ways changing demographics are influencing higher education, changing enrollment and creating a new student of the future with different expectations and needs. With these changes in mind, the group discussed ways that LVAIC’s campuses can better serve tomorrow’s student and the Lehigh Valley community.

Following the content presentations, participants moved to breakout rooms to connect with cohort members from different LVAIC campuses. This allowed brief time for virtual connections that will continue to build and flourish throughout the year. Participants will also connect with the other participants from their home institutions to complete a shared project throughout this year utilizing the information gathered at each session to be presented at the completion celebration in May 2021.

More information regarding the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute is available on the Leadership Development Opportunities page of the LVAIC website.

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