6/11/12 ASHLAND, Ohio -- Dr. Dan Lawson, dean of religious life at Ashland University, is one of 20 senior college administrators selected by the Council of Independent Colleges 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 better the fit between their personal and professional goals and the missions of institutions that they might lead in the future.
Individuals chosen for the program are senior administrators who aspire to the presidency of an independent college or university and their spouses. Participants, including Lawson, 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.
Lawson, who joined Ashland University in 2003, earned a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Regent University; a doctor of ministry degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; a master of divinity degree from Ashland Theological Seminary; and a bachelor of arts degree in religion and speech from Ashland University.
Before joining AU as dean of religious life, Lawson served as director of United States ministries for the Brethren Church. He also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Ashland Theological Seminary. He previously served as pastor in Brethren churches in Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Lawson, who does consulting work for churches and corporations in leadership and ethics, also is an adjunct faculty member in the Dauch College of Business and Economics at AU. He resides in Ashland with his wife, Lynne.
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. Participation in a program such as this will help potential presidents to enter into a presidency that is more long-lasting, highly effective, and satisfying to both the individual and the institution.
“The alignment of personal vocation and institutional mission emphasized in this program addresses a common pitfall of presidencies,” says Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges. “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, 19 individuals who have participated in the program have been named to college presidencies. For more information about the Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., visit www.cic.edu/vocationmission.
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 640 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and 90 higher education 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 the quality of education, 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, D.C.
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2012, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.