Docking Named To Steering Committee of the Future of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges

ADRIAN, Mich (July 21, 2014) – Adrian College is pleased to announce that Dr. Jeffrey R. Docking, 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 23-member panel to develop a plan that encourages independent colleges and universities to revitalize their missions and business models. The project on the Future of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges is funded by the Lumina Foundation.

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. It 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.

“I am honored to take part in this initiative,” Docking said. “Together, Lumina and the CIC are working to establish a framework for independent colleges to use in evaluating their missions and strategic plans for the future. I look forward to addressing the issues, concepts, and practices brought before this committee.”