In light of enormous turnover of college presidents and senior leaders, a shrinking pool of candidates, and the need for better systems for preparing diverse and non-traditional candidates for the job, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, in 2015, convened the Task Force on the Future of the College Presidency. Thirty-five distinguished presidents from across four sectors of higher education—research universities, community colleges, regional public universities, and liberal arts colleges—spent 18 months identifying major issues facing colleges and their presidents and crafting near- and long-term recommendations.
This set of open-access hiring tools—including job announcement language, interview questions, and a candidate evaluation rubric—is designed to help boards of trustees, search committees, search consultants, and others hire presidents capable of leading community colleges to high and improving levels of student success.
The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is preparing the next generation of community college presidents to lead institutions that achieve exceptional outcomes for students in learning, completion, post-transfer success and the labor market—and equity in those outcomes for students historically underserved in higher education. Over the course of a ten-month program including residential seminars, structured mentoring, and development of an analytic portfolio, fellows are given the opportunity to learn from and alongside each other about strategies for achieving exceptional student outcomes. The Fellowship was designed and is delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative.