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Moving the Needle Summit


June 20, 2017 9:00 AM

According to a 2012 report by the American Council on Education (ACE), women held only 26% of college and university presidencies at that time, up just 3% from 2006. Progress has been made, but gains towards achieving the goal of proportionate representation of women serving as campus CEOs have been incremental at best.

The purpose of the Moving the Needle Summit is to examine recent data regarding the status of women in higher education and explore the ways in which organizations, institutions, and governing boards can support the advancement of women leaders. During this Summit, we will address the challenges of diversifying the leadership pipeline, with a particular focus on barriers faced by women.

This event will begin with the first public presentation of findings from ACE’s 2016 American College President Study (ACPS). This interactive presentation will be followed by two panel discussions. The first panel will focus on the leadership needs of higher education and exploring ways that members of governing boards and search firms can support women's advancement, using the Aspen Institute’s Renewal and Progress: Strengthening Higher Education Leadership in a Time of Rapid Change (2017) to frame the discussion. The second panel will focus on addressing challenges to women’s advancement and exploring ways that institutions and associations can address these challenges, with framing remarks based on the American Association of University Women’s Overcoming Barriers and Biases to Women’s Advancement (2016). This summit will provide several opportunities for audience engagement, concluding with interactive discussions to address areas identified through the data presentation and panel discussions.


​9:00 a.m.

​​​Welcome and Framing Remarks

Gailda Pitre Davis, Interim Director, ACE Leadership, American Council on Education (ACE)
Margaret L. Drugovich, President, Hartwick College (NY), and Chair, ACE Women’s Network Executive Council (WNEC)

​9:15 - 10:30 a.m.

Presentation of American College Presidents Survey Results

Lorelle L. Espinosa, Assistant Vice President, Policy Research and Strategy, Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS), ACE
Jonathan S. Gagliardi, Associate Director, Policy Research and Strategy, CPRS, ACE

​10​​:30 - 11:45 a.m.

Hiring Exceptional Presidents: Future Needs, Current Practices

Framing Remarks

Robert G. Templin Jr., Senior Fellow, College Excellence Program, Aspen Institute

Panel Discussion


Margaret L. Drugovich, President, Hartwick College (NY), and Chair, ACE Women’s Network Executive Council (WNEC)


Trudi Blair, Senior Consultant, AGB Consulting, and Former Board Chair, Wilson College (PA) 
Jean A. Dowdall, Senior Partner, Witt/Kieffer
Andrea Warren Hamos, Vice President for Consulting Operations and Senior Consultant, Academic Search 
Robert G. Templin Jr., Senior Fellow, College Excellence Program, Aspen Institute

​11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.



Molly Corbett Broad, President, ACE 

​12:30 - 1:45 p.m.

Overcoming Barriers and Biases to Women’s Advancement                                                                   

Framing Remarks

Kevin Miller, Senior Researcher, American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Panel Discussion


Jaime Lester, Associate Professor of Higher Education, George Mason University (VA) 


Laura Castillo-Page, Senior Director, Organizational Capacity Building Portfolio, American Association of Medical Colleges
Kelly Mack, Vice President and Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope, Office of Undergraduate Science Education, American Association of Colleges and Universities 
Sissy Meredith, Vice President and Chief Learning Officer, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
Kevin Miller, Senior Researcher, AAUW

​1:45 - 2:50 p.m.

Bringing It All Together

Gailda Pitre Davis, Interim Director, ACE Leadership, ACE

​2:50 - 3:00 p.m.


Madlyn L. Hanes, Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and Executive Chancellor, The Pennsylvania State University
Leah Witcher Jackson Teague, Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Baylor University (TX)


Join Us!

Tuesday, June 21, 2017

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET


The ACE Moving the Needle Summit will be presented via a free, live webcast. Please click the link below to join us!


The webcast link will not be live until June 21 at 9 a.m. Please join us at that time.