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Administrators as Entrepreneurs

Leadership Workshop and Certificate

The Administrator as Entrepreneur workshop enhances creative, entrepreneurial, relevant, and innovative transformational leadership and helps college administrators move their institutions to higher levels of success in times of radical change. An added benefit of the workshop is the continued collaboration among participating administrators after completing the workshop. We are seeing some big wins from our graduates!

Dates for The Administrator as
Entrepreneur Workshop

The registration fee includes:

  • Workshop training and materials (including textbook for in-person format)

  • Networking with other administrators from various backgrounds

  • Meals during workshops (for in-person format)

  • A complimentary one-hour coaching session with our primary presenters (Appointments must be scheduled and the offer is good for six months after workshop completion)

  • A 10% discount for any preliminary assessment work (good for six months after workshop completion)


Cohort 8: Closed

Dr. Bruce Gover, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, Somerset Community College

The workshop has challenged me to think differently, more creatively, and the experience has helped me to become a more entrepreneurial-minded, innovative and transformative leader.


The most valuable takeaway – Entrepreneurial thinking can transform higher education because it disrupts and challenges the status quo (both individually and organizationally), provides unique angles for approaching traditional higher education issues, and because it influences and sustains a change in mindset and outlook that can lead to the discovery of new opportunities.


I thought the workshops were very well balanced in terms of content and are designed very well. The speakers were excellent, very experienced in their subject areas and provided engaging and thought-provoking sessions. The supporting materials and books were outstanding and worked well with the workshop content. The workshop (series) was outstanding..


Dr. Mary Landon Darden

From Survive to Thrive:  What Presidents Need to Know About Recent Research and the Future of Higher Education

Rapid and radical change in higher education, along with predictions that half of the U.S. higher education institutions will close in the next decade, makes understanding and plotting the future success for colleges and universities more important than ever.  Darden will share findings from research on the future of higher education and provide a landscape view of where higher education appears to be heading and what might be done to proactively set a course for maximal success.  Darden will also provide tools on how to create, launch, and plan from an institutional assessment that is focused on innovation and the future.

Assessing Your Institution: Finding Fertile Ground for Innovative Development

Conducting an open and honest analysis of an institution and using the creative minds of those who truly see viable untapped opportunities and issues within can be an enormous asset and can fuel excitement and buy-in for moving into a “thrive” mode.  Learn how to turn this type of assessment into an engine that moves operations
forward into the future.

Research Findings on Future Institutional Success: Admissions, Recruiting, Retention, Messaging, and Customer Service / Micro-Target Marketing with Regional Businesses, Organizations and Institutions

Colleges and universities have long depended on tradition, established practices, often siloed departments, and high levels of autonomy at many levels. When studying a number of institutions, we found that too often, rather than facilitating recruiting and admissions, they were actually better at discouraging students from attending.  Messaging was frequently negative and top administrators were often unaware of what students were hearing. We must learn from those who have successfully navigated these areas and who continue to improve in order to thrive in the future.  This workshop will contain specific examples and exercises in ramping up prospective student relations by developing micro-target marketing partnerships within a region.

Dr. Jay Box

Business and Industry Partnerships:  How to Identify and Build High Demand Programs

The future is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Business and industry desperately need higher education to be responsive, innovative, and relevant in designing and delivering essential, custom-designed training programs. While serving as President of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in charge of 16 colleges, Box had extensive experience building and facilitating innovative course-delivery partnerships with business and industry. These customer-service focused, non-traditional programs established statewide economic stimulation, well-paid employment opportunities, and continuous revenue for KCTCS while also creating prospective student pipelines. Box will discuss his strategies and experience, and then work with the group on identifying opportunities and strategies for targeting partnerships within the leaders’ geographical regions.

Dr. Greg Leman

Innovation Part I: Sparking College-Wide Innovation from the President’s Office

Each president has a unique perspective on the challenges facing their institution and – better than anyone – may be able to clearly define exactly what is needed for both the institution’s survival and success.  And yet, almost no other organization or institution is so committed to the independence of its staff and faculty. Nowhere is leadership by inspiration and clarity of narrative more crucial than in higher education.  In this session, presidents will take their perspective, insight, and vision and frame a “call to innovation” that their entire campus can respond to in ways that are the faculty and staff’s own creation while remaining in alignment with the direction the president and Board know the institution needs to go.  With some follow up coaching, presidents will be able to launch a new kind of strategy-aligned invitation to innovation on each campus.

Innovation Part II:  Enabling On-Campus Self-Sustaining Innovation

The invitation crafted in Session One will be used to generate the first round of potential opportunities that align with the big picture view and fit into operational parameters.  These will be shared with co-participants, and a few will model the process of turning raw ideas into validated, actionable, excitement-attracting plans.  Armed with the new knowledge about facilitating that process, along with the work of the session on the ideas presented, presidents will return home ready to engage teams, and begin building a culture of sustainable innovation.

HEI Legal Expert

Mitigating Legal Liability: The 10 Biggest Risks and the Best Plans

Colleges and universities are losing many millions of dollars and far too many hours in the courtroom.  This session will cover the current top ten areas that strike higher education, how to mitigate risk, and – as best as is possible – avoid the courtroom.

Dr. Mary Landon Darden and Team

Identifying your Critical Pivots and Making Them
Revenue Stream Development: Your Plan for the Future

Tuition and donors are no longer sufficient to fund higher education. Explore the possibilities of what potential revenue streams may be created and/or deepened at your institution.  Learn from what others are doing and brainstorm your own options.

Hon. Chet Edwards

How to Work Best with Legislators and Access Available Public Funding

Reaching and influencing local, state and national government leaders is a crucial part of insuring the best possible future for higher education and prospective students. The best way to learn how to reach out, connect, and influence these leaders is from someone who served in those legislative positions. Join the Honorable Chet Edwards as he helps you navigate what works and what does not.

Benjamin Mohler, M.A., CFRE, ACFRE

Philanthropy and Development: From Transactional to Transformational

Colleges and universities that only utilize advancement because it generates alternative sources of revenue are losing out. More significant and longer-lasting results are possible by focusing on personal involvement of leadership volunteers; viewing gifts of time, talent, and treasure as donor investments; and valuing the influence committed advocates bring to your organization.

Mohler will discuss the experiences and strategies that have led to his success in generating exponential results. He will provide examples of how to activate these principles, as well as demonstrate the importance of providing opportunities for meaningful engagement to maintain donor retention. This session will uncover the various motivations that individuals and corporations use to guide their support. Participants will be equipped to approach philanthropy and development with a mindset that is donor-centered and mission focused—meaning, aligning donor interests with the organizational mission.

 Dr. Joanna Kile

Organizational Change = Stability: Identifying Organizational Change Dynamics and Planning for Successful Organizational Change Implementation (2 sessions)

Change = Stability. A thriving and dynamic organization embraces change as normative and vital for a healthy, relevant and sustainable future. Change ebbs and flows naturally whether it is planned or at times unplanned, catching us by surprise. However, inherent in all change processes are dynamics that are predictable and can be planned for systemically, culturally, operationally and fiscally. The first session will focus on identifying and gaining insight into organizational change dynamics and leading individuals through change. The second session will focus on the president’s role in leading the organization through change. Both sessions will include tools to achieve successful organizational change.

Ramona Curtis

Tangible Methods for Moving the Diversity and Equity Needle at Institutions 

Ramona Curtis directed diversity and equity initiatives for decades in both the university and community college arena.  She will discuss the important responsibility and the way to lead toward increasing diversity, equity, and opportunity fairness at institutions. Using the Social Change Model of Leadership to explore the important and necessary work needed to make the critical shifts, she will give tips to navigating conversations that challenge the status quo and provide key takeaway ingredients that leaders need to use in planning to increase equity.

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