TIAA-CREF Institute's 2009 Higher Education Leadership Conference Concludes with Look to the Future

Nov 06, 2009, 12:01 ET from TIAA-CREF Institute

NEW YORK, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The TIAA-CREF Institute's 2009 Higher Education Leadership Conference, Smart Leadership in Difficult Times, concludes today with a look to the future in continuing to manage the financial challenges that universities and colleges face in the 21st century.

"Our dialogue uncovered solutions and new strategies arising out of an unprecedented opportunity to reconstruct existing models," said Madeleine d'Ambrosio, Institute Vice President and Executive Director, TIAA-CREF. "Leaders explored what is being learned during the financial crisis and helped define the new normal for higher education."

Thursday began with a session entitled, "What's the New Normal? Higher Education for the 21st Century," bringing together leaders Muriel Howard, president, AASCU; Michael Crow, president, Arizona State University, Brit Kirwan, Chancellor, University System of Maryland, and Charles Reed, Chancellor, California State University System to discuss the new focus of higher education in this weakened economy.

"In higher education we've reached a point of self-satisfaction, we feel we've achieved greatness and have therefore stopped innovating," said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. "There should be no state of normal; we should be as creative and competitive as we can going forward."

Charles Reed, Chancellor, California State University commented, "The 'new normal' is serving, to the best of our ability, a new population of students including those of color and low socio-economic backgrounds."

The lunch portion of the day included a "Conversation Cafe" where attendees were grouped together by topics they had expressed interest in prior to the event. Topics included: Supporting Innovation in the Current Economy, Effective Communication in Times of Financial Distress, and Consequences for International Initiatives.

Lois DeFleur, president of Binghamton University discussed her school's priority for ensuring students have a meaningful study abroad experience. "We want to go beyond the traditional global study requirements and build on the character of our university. One of the many programs we are offering allows students to earn a dual diploma studying at a university in Turkey and here at Binghamton in the United States."

Today's conference begins with a session entitled, "Where is the Money, Leading in a Changing Environment." It examines how universities and colleges are doing more with less, looking at new revenue streams, the evolution of fund raising, use of technology, and cost saving strategies.

The concluding session, "Looking Ahead: Leading Successfully into the Future," looks at the current economic situation, as well as congressional and public examination of higher education. It presents college and university leaders with renewed motivation to review policies and practices, programs, departments and course offerings, and organizational structures.

Featured speakers for the November 6th program include:

Kent Chabotar, President, Guilford College; William Kirwan, Chancellor, University System of Maryland; Alan Korthals, Director of Client Support, Kaspick & Company; John Lippincott, President, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE); Gregory O'Brien, Former Chancellor, University of New Orleans and President Emeritus, Argosy University; Jane Wellman, Executive Director, Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity and Accountability; Blenda Wilson, Former President, Nellie Mae Foundation and Former President, California State University, Northridge; and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President Emeritus, The George Washington University.

Important information shared during the conference will be posted on the Institute's web site,

The TIAA-CREF Institute will also publish a book based on the dialogue, with chapters contributed by presenters and other higher education thought leaders. The book will be co-edited by David Breneman, professor, University of Virginia; Madeleine d'Ambrosio, Vice President and Executive Director, TIAA-CREF Institute; and Paul Yakoboski, Principal Research Fellow, TIAA-CREF Institute. A limited supply of books based on prior annual TIAA-CREF Institute Higher Education Leadership Conferences is available through the Institute web site.

"The conference, post-conference materials, and other resources in our Series on Higher Education are intended to help higher education leaders make informed decisions and maximize opportunities for success," said d'Ambrosio.

Photography, video and transcript of the event will be made available following the conference.

For a complete agenda and list of speakers, visit:


TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with more than $420 billion in combined assets under management (9/30/09) and the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC and Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., members FINRA, distribute securities products.

Annuity products are issued by TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America), New York, NY.

About the TIAA-CREF Institute

The mission of the TIAA-CREF Institute, part of TIAA-CREF, is to foster objective research, build knowledge, support thought leadership, and enhance understanding of strategic issues related to higher education and lifelong financial security. For additional information, please visit