North Central News

North Central College leaders selected for prestigious CIC programs

Hannah Brauer

Apr 28, 2023

Two North Central College leaders have been selected for the Council of Independent Colleges’ (CIC) prestigious leadership programs. Dr. Jessica Brown, vice president for student affairs and athletics, has been selected for the CIC’s Executive Leadership Academy (ELA). Dr. Kristin Geraty, associate provost and dean of engaged learning and associate professor of sociology, has been selected for the CIC’s Senior Leadership Academy (SLA). 

Candidates for the programs are selected through an exacting process, with only 35 people nationwide entering the ELA and 40 making it into the SLA. The results are staggering. According to the CIC, in the last ten cohorts, 100 participants in the ELA have been appointed as presidents or chancellors and 153 people who've taken the SLA have seen career advancement.

Extending throughout the 2023-2024 academic year, the programs will each offer two in-person seminars. The ELA will meet twice in Washington, D.C. and the SLA will meet in Tampa, Fla. and Washington. 

In both programs, participants will design individualized Professional Experience Plans to augment their expertise and experience.  

CIC leadership programs also provide mentorship and connections with peers from other institutions.  

Geraty is looking forward to building a network beyond North Central. “I’m really excited to connect with others who do work similar to what I do,” she said. “I think we’re doing great things [at the College], and I’m excited to share what we’re doing with other institutions as well.” 

Brown hopes to learn from executive leaders involved in the program, especially the current presidents, as she aspires to become a college president one day. She recognizes the importance of building a path to a college presidency, and she is eager to gain exposure and experience from the program and her peers. “I’m excited to be a student and meet more folks in the executive space,” she said.

Brown embraced the challenge the ELA entails, saying, “I hope I’m uncomfortable the whole time. To be a college president is a calling. You understand the weight of the role—serving your students and the community.” 

The participation of North Central’s leaders in the programs shows that “we want to produce people that will rise to the next level,” said Brown. “It’s really cool that the College is supporting two women to [enter the leadership] space.”   

Geraty called this an “exciting time for women at the institution,” with Holly Humphrey ‘79, MD, serving as chair of the Board of Trustees, and the announcement of Anita Thomas, Ph.D., as North Central’s 11th President.

Selection for the distinguished ELA and SLA programs is an honor. Though this is not the first time North Central leaders have been selected for the programs, the continued participation speaks well for North Central. 

“I think it’s really great for name recognition [of the institution],” said Geraty. “In the end, it’s about our students, and the more our name is out there, the more it serves our students when they apply for graduate school and are on the job market.”