Programs for Senior Leaders
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Programs for Senior Leaders


To strengthen and promote the Catholic mission and identity of its member institutions, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities provides services designed specifically for senior administrators at member colleges. ACCU offers timely, targeted programs and services that:

• Help foster vibrant Catholic identity
• Support cooperation among members
• Respond to emerging member needs

Register Today!

2022 Women Executive Leaders Conference

Pre-Conference Webinar

Friday, January 14, 2022

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon (Eastern)
If you are unable to join us in person in February, please register for this 90 minute webinar to stay in touch with your ACCU colleagues and to meet new ones.
Note:  If you register for the in-person conference in February, this webinar is included as part of your registration fee.  

Friday, February 4, 2022
In-Person in Washington, DC!

Tentative Program

8:00 am - 8:30 am           Breakfast
8:30 am - 9:00 am       Welcome and Introductions
9:00 am - 10:15 am

Session 1:  Women Leaders in Catholic Higher Education- How are we Contributing to our Legacy? 

10:15 am - 10:30 am 


10:30 am - 12:00 pm 

Session 2:  Uniquely Empowered:  Integrating Contemplative Practices into Catholic Higher Education Leadership

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm  Lunch
1:30 pm - 2:45 pm  Session 3:  Courageous Compassionate Leadership:  Embracing our Strength to Champion the Call
2:45 pm - 3:00 pm  Break
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Session 4:  Building Bridges to Affect all of Catholic Higher Education
5:00 pm Optional Dinner out in Washington, D.C. 


Registration is open!

We are Grateful to our Women Executive Leaders 2022 Planning Committee for their assistance in planning this year's events! 

Karin Botto, Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Syracuse University 
Kathleen Dorsey Bellow, Director, Institute for Black Catholic Studies, Xavier University of Louisiana 
Lisa Kirkpatrick, Vice President for Student Affairs, St. Edward's University
Catherine Pusalan-Manlimos, Assistant to the President for Mission Integration, University of Detroit Mercy
Anita Thomas, Executive Vice President and Provost, St. Catherine University


Women Executive Leaders in Catholic Higher Education

The history of Catholic higher education is marked by strong women leaders and the congregations of women religious that founded many of our institutions. Today, Catholic colleges and universities continue to boast a higher percentage of women presidents than any other higher education sector. We are now at a pivotal moment in history, as lay and religious women are being called to carry forth the rich legacy of our colleges and universities as senior leaders and presidents. ACCU seeks to support women to meet current leadership demands and thrive in Catholic higher education executive positions.

“Having attended the inaugural ACCU Women Executive Leaders Conference in 2020, I highly recommend this opportunity to women who are in, or aspire to, executive leadership roles in Catholic higher education. Last year's speakers were insightful and inspiring, and the opportunity to dialogue with other women who lead important work on their campuses was a great gift.” — Julie Massey, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, St. Norbert College


2021 Women Executive Leaders Conference:

Session #1 of 2:  Finding Your Fire: Women Leaders' Prophetic Voice in Catholic Higher Education
Friday, December 11, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. (Eastern)

Catholic higher education, which owes so much to the leadership of women religious, is filled with women who can bring a prophetic voice and actions to issues of equity, justice, and unity. Join ACCU and two distinguished theologians, who will lead a conversation that will inspire you to find your fire for leadership – and keep it burning.
Cecilia González-Andrieu, Professor of Theology, Loyola Marymount University
C. Vanessa White, Associate Professor of Spirituality and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, and Associate Director of the Th.M. Degree Program at Xavier University of Louisiana's Institute for Black Catholic Studies. 

Session #2 of 2:  Women Executive Leaders: Responding to the Call for Mission-Based Leadership
Tuesday, February 2, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. (Eastern)

An esteemed panel of women executive leaders will share ways to adapt structures, attitudes, and processes in Catholic higher education to increase pathways toward leadership, and participation for all. Join us to explore how women can lead transformation through compassion and an ethic of care, and how such an approach to leadership may influence the wider Catholic higher education community.
Emerald Archer, Founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Women, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles
Mana Derakhshani, Director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership, Saint Mary’s College
Dianne Pinderhughes, Notre Dame Presidential Faculty Fellow, and Chair, Department of Africana Studies and the Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

Many thanks to our Women Executive Leaders Programming Planning Committee for their assistance in planning this year's events:

Kathleen Dorsey Bellow, Director, Institute for Black Catholic Studies, Xavier University of Louisiana
Alicia Cordoba Tait, Inaugural Beirne Director of the Center for Catholic Studies, St. Mary's University (TX)
Alexandria Egler, Executive Director Mission, Ministry & Interfaith Dialogue and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, Saint Francis College
Rachel Hosler, Associate Dean of Experiential Learning, Walsh University
Julie Massey, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, Saint Norbert College
Gina Rossetti, Professor, English, Saint Xavier University
Crystal Sullivan, Executive Director of Campus Ministry, University of Dayton
Connie Tingson-Gatuz, Vice President for Student Affairs & Mission Integration, Madonna University


Aspiring Presidents

The next Aspiring Presidents program will be held in 2023.  

This program is open to all senior leaders (vice presidents, deans, and other senior executives) who have the Catholic higher education presidency in their sights. Hear from veteran presidents as you advance your understanding of the unique dimensions of Catholic identity and university mission. Presidential mentors and search consultants help guide participants' journey. Whether you have a planned trajectory toward a presidency, or you are still navigating your path, this program will leave you empowered and inspired to serve as a president within Catholic higher education. 


2021 Aspiring Presidents Conference:

Session #1 of 2: What Is the Catholic College and University Presidency Really Like?
Tuesday, December 8, 2020, 3:00 - 4:30 pm (Eastern)

Join two experienced presidents as they pull back the curtain! Advance your understanding of the unique dimensions of Catholic identity and university mission, and hear about the leadership skills and attributes needed for today’s Catholic higher education.
Suzanne Mellon, President, Carlow University
Don Taylor, President, Cabrini University

Session #2 of 2: Navigating the Search Process in Catholic Higher Education
Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.  (Eastern)

Seasoned search consultants Cheryl Hyatt and Matthew Kilcoyne will share tried and true tips for conducting your presidential search in Catholic higher education. They will discuss important mission-based knowledge needed to prepare for interviews at Catholic institutions, as well as how to plan campus visits, especially during the pandemic. The insights and information they will offer will be invaluable for future presidential candidates. 
Cheryl Hyatt, Partner, Hyatt-Fennell Executive Searches
Matthew Kilcoyne, Managing Partner, RH Perry & Associates


Many thanks to our Aspiring Presidents Programming Planning Committee for their assistance in planning the 2021 events:

Suzanne Mellon, President, Carlow University
Don Taylor, President, Cabrini University


Questions? Contact ACCU.



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