ACCU Advising Services
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"In the ACCU Advising Services, I found a coach, a collaborative partner, an educator, and expertise—all of which helped me to focus my thinking and prioritize actions, having been in the position of university leadership for less than a year."

- First Year ACCU President

ACCU Advising Services

Confidential, informed advising and consulting exclusively for ACCU member presidents.


ACCU Advising Services offer member presidents informal advising, structured consultation, mentoring, and referrals on a broad range of issues, always with sensitivity to an institution’s mission-centered perspective.  


Leaders of Catholic universities have long turned to the ACCU for:  ACCU Leaders

  • A thought partner for quick conversations
  • Connections to other presidents who have faced similar challenges
  • Recommendations of experts who can be of assistance
  • Mission and identity audits
  • Sponsorship and governance structure reviews
  • Mediation and advocacy services with sponsors and church leadership
  • Facilitation of organizational sustainability, strategy, and more specific challenges facing the institution
  • Planning and negotiation of partnerships between Catholic institutions
  • Mentoring for newer presidents or those facing especially dire challenges  
  • A broad range of lectures and other educational events for boards, senior administration faculty, and others, on topics related to the challenges facing Catholic higher education    

The “new” ACCU Advising Services are designed to coordinate these frequent requests more efficiently and meet the need for targeted advising to ACCU member presidents. Simply put, the best service that ACCU can provide is to help ensure that its members thrive in a world that so desperately needs them.


"ACCU Consulting Services listened and then connected us to experts to proactively address ways to think about mergers, acquisitions, and the complexities involved with this as we navigate the challenging landscape higher education faces in the future. What was especially valuable and unique to these services was having a former ACCU president identify an appropriate firm and be actively involved in facilitating this process. This was the most substantive and tailored work with a consultant that our institution has had dealing with such a complex and necessarily confidential issue." -Long-Time ACCU President

ACCU Advising Statistic

ACCU Advising Services fills the need for focused, reliable, and confidential advising among Catholic higher education leaders, dedicated to the particular needs of the sector. What makes this program different from other consulting services? Take a look:

  • Advising is president-to-president. Advising is conducted by experienced former ACCU presidents. By design, Catholic higher education leaders who use the service are talking to peers who have navigated many of the same challenges. All conversations and services are strictly confidential.
  • The services are customized to the needs of the individual member president throughout all stages in their role. The initial conversation may be through phone or email and will be responsive to the inquiry and determine if any next steps may be helpful.  The process is designed to be informal — unless the member president requests a deeper level of engagement, such as a campus visit. 
  • Advising understands the complexities inherent in Catholic higher education. Concerns that are particular to the sector — for instance, relationships with founding congregations — are addressed from both firsthand knowledge in and personal commitment to the special mission of Catholic higher education.
  • Affordability.  These services are offered as a member benefit. Most of the work is done pro bono or at modest cost. Informal conversations are free of charge with in-depth conversations priced below market value. 


Dr. Tom Flynn, senior associate for ACCU Advising Services and president emeritus of Alvernia University, coordinates these services, working closely with ACCU President Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, CM.  Dr. Flynn brings to this work over two decades of experience as a senior executive, most of it as an ACCU president. He has extensive background with institutional and board governance, sponsorship relations, and presidential mentoring, as well as deep familiarity with the diverse issues and challenges facing ACCU presidents. 


Want to get started?

Contact Dr. Flynn at or (484) 955-2577, or Fr. Holtschneider at or (202) 457-0650.