Academic Officers Summit

Academic Officers Forum on Strategic Issues
October 12-13, 2017
$399 per person

  • Location: ABHE Weber Center for Leadership Development, Orlando, FL
  • Full two-day program
  • Includes 3 night’s lodging
  • 7 meals, all snacks and beverages
  • Program costs

> Download Program Schedule

Outstanding leadership – it’s the hallmark of every great institution. And nowhere is that more crucial than for the chief academic officer.

You have the unique opportunity to . . .
*  Build an exceptional learning community led by transformational faculty.
*  Create academic programs of distinction and value
*  Cultivate a faith learning community centered on Christ and the Word of God
*  Prepare students for service in an increasingly Christian-hostile world
*  Navigate the swirling currents of cultural change
*  Serve as an executive partner for your institution’s mission accomplishment

Your enduring legacy will reflect how well you excel in these and many other points of responsibility and opportunity. What an exciting challenge!

That’s the spirit inside this warm invitation for you to connect with other academic officers at ABHE’s premier professional development conference designed specifically for you – our 2017 Academic Officers Forum on Strategic Issues.

It’s obvious you believe in learning – you lead the learning community of your institution. But often, the learning journey for the point leader is taken for granted and overlooked. This is a golden opportunity for you and your top academic leaders to expand the capacity and sharpen the competency of your gifts and graces for academic leadership. Our passion is simple and clear – to help take your impact as a high-capacity academic leader to the top.

In that spirit, learn from these distinguished colleagues and network with other academic leaders. Look through the program details that are attached. Consider these pertinent topics to the challenges and opportunities of your responsibilities.

  • Strategic Planning in a Disruptive Climate – Hank Kelly, Provost, Ohio Christian University
    Overview: Why try to strategically plan is such disruptive times? Learn from a high capacity veteran how to get the essentials right and plan well for your future, including adaptive flexibility. 

    • Is strategic planning possible in an age of chaos? How? Why?
    • Getting the essentials in order – understanding the process
    • Engaging the team – all of them
    • Planning for constant change – creating flexibility
  • Crafting Academic Programs That Make a Difference . . . And Sell Phillip Dearborn, Provost, Lancaster Bible College
    Overview: You are the architect of your institution’s programs. What are the key ingredients of creating programs that students need and want . . . and that sell? Learn how to gracefully phase out programs that need to close.

    • The true “ends” of academic programs – student impact
    • Responding to the market – seizing opportunities
    • Tuning academic programs for distinction – their value proposition
    • The art of killing programs that no longer matter – when & how
  • Competency-Based Education – The New Frontier John Lillis, Provost, Grace College & Seminary
    Overview: Is CBE a new fad or emerging delivery model here to stay? Learn from an early pioneer what they have learned . . . and what you should know.

    • What are the basics of CBE – how does this work?
    • Pros & cons of CBE as an alternative delivery model; why consider this?
    • Implementation process; ideas & suggestions, mistakes to avoid
    • CBE and accreditation review
  • Techxtraordinary Teaching – Transforming Teaching Through Technology IntegrationJennifer King, Jen B King’s Consulting
    Overview: Are you connecting with this tech savvy generation with appropriate integration of technology in your classrooms? How do you help aging faculty adapt to a new digital native environment? Learn from an expert how you can make your learning community tech friendly.

    • Exploring the possibilities of technology integration
    • Creating faculty engagement with enhanced teaching technology
    • Cultivating a technology friendly innovation learning climate
  • Assessment That Results in Improvement – Jim Lanpher, Provost, Columbia International University
    Overview: Assessment is at the heart of continual improvement . . . so how can this work without being a time-consuming burden? Take another look at your assessment process and perhaps take it to another level of excellence and efficiency.

    • Grasping the end game of assessment – continual improvement
    • Building an integrated system that works
    • Providing catalytic oversight
    • Mistakes to avoid; ideas to consider
  • U.S. Higher Education Policy – A First Hand Look From Inside the Beltway – NAICU Representative, Washington, DC
    Overview: Gain an insider’s assessment of accreditation reform proposals; policy and funding changes being pushed in legislative arenas that could affect your institution. Learn from a well-connected expert on government regulations and advocate for independent higher education.

    • What accreditation system changes are being proposed and how likely are they to succeed?
    • Implications of student aid funding, regulatory, and tax code changes
    • Emerging risks and compliance obligations
  • Enhancing the STEM Base of Your Curriculum Cameron McKenzie, Academic Dean, Providence University College
    Overview: Take another look at your STEM curricula. Reconsider the vital place this has in an effective and high-quality Bible college program. Don’t miss the impact this could make on your mission. 

    • What can STEM curricula look like in a Bible college?
    • Cost effective ways to strengthen your STEM
    • Responding to the market, meeting real needs
    • STEM and biblical worldview integration
  • Penetrating the Urban Market Dan Wright, Pillar College, Newark, NJ
    Overview: Do you understand the dynamics of reaching the expanding urban market? Learn from the journey of this urban institution how they are connecting and effectively delivering education in this unique setting.

    • Understanding the unique urban market
    • Connecting with urban students – as adult learners
    • Delivery models that work in the urban setting
    • Practical educational outcomes and assessment

Network with other colleagues who share your same passion and calling. Be encouraged and refreshed. We are so glad for your service and hope you hear us cheering you on.

Philip Dearborn

Philip DearbornPhilip Dearborn is the Provost at Lancaster Bible College|Capital Seminary and Graduate School. He is also serving as the Interim Dean of Capital Seminary and Graduate School. Over the last 21 years, Philip has served in numerous roles within LBC, starting his higher education career recruiting students in the Admissions Office. He then made the transition to Academic Affairs serving as the Registrar, Associate Vice President of Academic and Affairs, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and now Provost. Philip earned his doctorate from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Most recently, Philip coordinated the programmatic efforts related to constructing and moving into the “Teague Learning Commons,” the newest building on the LBC campus. This 42,000 sq. ft. building is the hub of LBC’s academic learning and resourcing. Philip and his wife Amy live in Maytown, Pennsylvania, along with their three children – Michaela, Ryan, and Jack

Hank Kelly

Hank KellyHenry (Hank) Kelly has 26 years of experience in higher education, the last 10 at Ohio Christian University. Previously he served at the Air Force Institute of Technology (near Dayton, Ohio) and Indiana Wesleyan University. Hank holds a BS from the US Air Force Academy, MS from the University of Arizona, and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, all in civil engineering, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from Regent University.

Jennifer King

Dr. Jennifer King left higher education after 12 years to launch her own company. She consults with K-12 schools, colleges, and universities providing consultation in online instructional design, strategic planning toward assessment and accreditation, faculty development, and technology integration. She has authored two textbooks entitled “TechXtraordinary Integration,” was recognized by the Center for Digital Education as a “Top 50 Education Innovator,” and one of the “Top 22 Education Professors in Florida” by Online Schools of Florida.

James Lanpher

Lanpher-Jim80x80Jim Lanpher serves as Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Columbia International University. Dr. Lanpher has been a leader in Biblical higher education, previously serving in a variety of capacities with the Association for Biblical Higher Education including Chairman of the Commission on Accreditation. Dr. Lanpher taught overseas at the Alliance Biblical Seminary (now the Alliance Graduate School) in Manila, The Philippines. He also taught at the University of Notre Dame and Crown College and served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Trinity College of Florida.  Jim holds a B.S.F.S. (1984, Georgetown University); M.Div. (1988, Alliance Theological Seminary); M.A. (1991) and Ph.D. (1994, University of Notre Dame).  Jim and his wife, Lisa, reside in Columbia, SC.

John Lillis

John is the Provost at Grace College and Seminary and a Senior Associate of the Global Associates for Transformational Education. His call to ministry led him to seminary, overseas missions, and leadership within Christian higher education. As the Asia Director of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary’s Southeast Asia Extension Program, which later became the Asia Biblical Theological Seminary of Cornerstone University, he lived in Bangkok, Thailand (1982-1985) and in Manila, Philippines (1985-1990). He served for 11 years at Cornerstone University, most recently as provost and executive vice president. He also taught Christian education and spiritual formation at the university’s seminary. From 2001 until 2014 he served as the Executive Officer/Dean of Bethel Seminary San Diego. John is a contributing author to the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality (2011) and the Encyclopedia of Christian Education (2015), having served on the editorial board of the latter. He is the author of the course Discipleship in Community: Spiritual Formation and the Church.

Cameron McKenzie

Tim Powers

Tim Powers is responsible for representing NAICU on issues of federal student aid policy. He joined NAICU in January 2015 after more than five years on the staff of former U.S. Representative Tim Bishop (D-NY), where he focused primarily on higher education issues under the jurisdiction of the House Education & the Workforce Committee.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Wake Forest University (NC) and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University (DC).

Dan Wright

Dan has served in a variety of community and non-profit service roles. He has also given many years of service to his church in various leadership positions s including deacon, elder, treasurer, and district board member.
Dan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Masters in Business Administration, both from Indiana Wesleyan University. He is currently enrolled in an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program at the University of the Cumberlands.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott – Orlando Airport
5828 Hazeltine National Dr,
Orlando, FL 32822
(407) 816-5533
SpringHill Suites Orlando Airport is an all-suite hotel offering you first class service, located minutes away from the Orlando International Airport (MCO), and features amenities, including free Internet access and on-site dining. The ABHE staff will make your hotel reservations for you.  Please indicate your room type/preference when you register for the conference.

Complimentary shuttle service is available from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the SpringHill Suites. To request the complimentary shuttle from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the SpringHill Suites:

  • Call the hotel for shuttle pickup – (407) 816-5533
  • Take airport elevator to level 1 – ground transportation
  • Go through the sliding doors
  • Stand at either A4 (A Side) or B4 (B Side) for pickup

Conference Staff

David Medders
Executive Vice President

Carol Dibble
Director of Communications & Events

Stacey Greene
Communications & Events Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions

Is lodging included in the registration fee?
YES, 3 nights, including arrival the evening before the conference begins.
Are meals included in the registration fee?
YES, including 7 meals and all snacks/beverages.
Can my spouse participate in some or all of the conference?
Participation in the conference by spouses requires their own separate registration.  In light of shared housing, there is a $200 discount for spousal registration.  If a spouse does not attend the conference, they may join in the evening meals for $25 per meal paid in advance through your registration.
Are scholarships available?
YES, limited scholarships are available.  Please email your request to with an explanation of your financial need.
Is airport shuttle service available?
YES! Complimentary shuttle service is available from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the SpringHill Suites. To request the complimentary shuttle from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the SpringHill Suites:

  • Call the hotel for shuttle pickup – (407) 816-5533
  • Take airport elevator to level 1 – ground transportation
  • Go through the sliding doors
  • Stand at either A4 (A Side) or B4 (B Side) for pickup
Where is the hotel located in relation to the ABHE Conference Center?
The ABHE Weber Center is located in the Citadel I Building, less than a mile away from the Orlando International Airport and a short walk from the SpringHill Suites by Marriott. Complimentary shuttle service is available from the hotel to the conference center.
How do I CANCEL a person on my registration?
You may log back into your registration form at any time with your confirmation number to make any cancellations, etc.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
In the event of registration cancellation, fees paid in advance are refundable – less a $50.00 service charge per person, provided written notice is received by ABHE no later than three weeks prior to the event. No refunds will be granted after that date. E-mail notification will suffice. Please e-mail to request a refund. There are no refunds provided for no-shows.