Kim Blair Selected for National Leadership Program

Blair Selected for National Leadership Program That Explores Vocation and Mission

Ferrum College’s vice president for institutional advancement is one of 20 senior college administrators selected for the year-long program.
Kim Blair, Vice President for Institutional AdvancementFERRUM, VA. (May 21, 2014) – Ferrum College is pleased to announce that Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kimberly Blair is one of 20 senior college administrators selected by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to participate in a year-long Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program for prospective college and university presidents. The seminar-based program is designed to help individuals with the potential to serve as college and university presidents to understand the alignment between their personal and professional goals and the missions of institutions that they might lead in the future. With a wave of retirements of university presidents on the horizon, it is especially important that individuals who become new presidents are well suited to the needs of the institution. The program aims to produce presidencies that are longer lasting, highly effective, and satisfying to both the individual and the institution.

 Participants, including Blair, will engage in two seminars, participate in consultations with experienced mentors, and undertake a series of readings about the vocation of college presidents and the role of vision and mission in institutional leadership.

“The alignment of personal vocation and institutional mission emphasized in this program addresses a common pitfall of presidencies,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “The program aims to help participants achieve great things for their institutions and to avoid being ‘the right person in the wrong place’.”

This approach to the preparation of new presidents has proven itself highly successful in the short period that the program has been operating. Since 2005, 29 program participants (nearly 30 percent) have been named to college presidencies.

"The knowledge and insight to be gained from the CIC program curriculum and facilitators represents an unparalleled opportunity for anyone fortunate enough to be accepted.

The needs in higher education are significant and will continue to challenge our leaders every day. The pressures will surely intensify as the demands of regulation and accountability increase, and questions of value are heightened,” said Blair. “In the current landscape of higher education, a college president must have resolve, commitment, and conviction coupled with a deep abiding faith in the concept of vocation intertwined with the mission of the institution one may be called to serve.  I am honored and humbled to have been chosen to participate," she continued.

The program is directed by William V. Frame, CIC senior advisor and president emeritus of Augsburg College and author of The American College Presidency: Easing the Burden, Enhancing the Joy (2013). For more information about the Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program, which is generously funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., visit  


  • J. Blair Blackburn, Executive Vice President,Dallas Baptist University (TX)
  • Kimberly P. Blair, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Ferrum College (VA)
  • Carol M. Bresnahan, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs,Rollins College (FL)
  • Scott Edward Bryant, University Chaplain and Vice President for Spiritual Development, East Texas Baptist University (TX)
  • Melinda Cook, Vice President of Strategy and Planning and Chief of Staff, Fisher College (MA)
  • Trina Dobberstein, Vice President for Student Affairs,Baldwin Wallace University (OH)
  • Patricia Draves, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the University, University of Mount Union (OH)
  • Gigi Fansler, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Lincoln College (IL)
  • Carl A. Girelli, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Randolph College (VA)
  • Shah M. Hasan, Provost, Urbana University (OH)
  • Charlie McCormick, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs,Schreiner University (TX)
  • John McKeegan, Vice President and General Counsel, Linfield College (OR)
  • Catharine O’Connell, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mary Baldwin College (VA)
  • Gerard J. Rooney, Executive Vice President for Enrollment, Advancement, and Planning, St. John Fisher College (NY)
  • Reed Sheard, Vice President for College Advancement and Chief Information Officer, Westmont College (CA)
  • Gail Simmons, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Manhattanville College (NY)
  • James H. Smith, Provost, University of the Southwest (NM)
  • David Timmerman, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Monmouth College (IL)
  • Edward Walpin, Assistant Dean, St. John’s College (NM)
  • Burton J. Webb, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Northwest Nazarene University (ID)


About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college related to the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor's degree programs, at a cost well below the national average for private colleges. The College celebrates its Centennial during the 2013-14 academic year. For more information, visit

About CIC: The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 744 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars, and other programs that help institutions to improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, and institutional visibility. CIC also provides support to state fundraising associations that organize programs and generate contributions for private colleges and universities. The Council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.