Investing in Yourself

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Core Competencies: Communications, Fiscal Management, Human Resource Development, Intercultural Proficiency, Leadership, Management, Planning
December 6 – December 9, 2015
Amelia Island, Fla.

Investing in Yourself

Book Club

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 7:15–8:15 a.m.

Elizabeth Beltramini, Director of Content Curation, ACUI

One of the benefits of Women’s Leadership Institute is the opportunity to share common experiences across a range of disciplines. Extending that conversation, during the institute, we’ll be holding an optional discussion on the book Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong, edited by Jessica Bacal.

The book is a collection of essays from women working in the arts, business, technology, education, and other industries. As these innovators openly admit their on-the-job mistakes and what they learned, themes emerge across professions that showcase how we become stronger leaders from occasionally getting it wrong. Join us to discuss takeaways from the book, our own personal experiences, and which of the narratives did or did not resonate with us.

Investing in Your Career

Monday, Dec. 7, 7:15–8:15 a.m.

Liz Neumann, Principal and Co-Founder, Brill Neumann

Neumann PhotoLiz Neumann will host a special career session focused on negotiating and being an internal candidate.

Neumann has nearly 30 years of experience in financial management, organizational consulting, and executive search. At Brill Neumann, she leads searches in areas including business, finance and administration, human resources, information technology, and development for higher education, medical, and research organizations. Earlier in her career, Neumann held financial management positions at National Amusements Inc., Laventhal and Horvath, and in entertainment, real estate, and non-profit organizations. She also worked for a national executive search firm.

Neumann is a conflict resolution/management consultant for churches in Massachusetts and a volunteer for the South Shore Hospice. She holds a B.A. from Boston University. She currently serves on the board of the Brookfield Institute, an organization committed to cultivating and harvesting peace.


Higher Education Budgeting 101

Monday, Dec. 7, 3–4 p.m.

Brontè Jones, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Dickinson College
Susan Perkins, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Middlesex County College

As you move into senior leadership roles, having a working understanding of how higher education financing works is critical. This session will provide an overview of higher education budgeting approaches and a discussion of the elements that are included in your institutional financial statements and why they are important. The presenters will include a brief history of the 2008 economic crisis and its impact on private and public institutions and explore the factors that allowed some institutions to weather the storm and others to fold.

Bronte Jones Photo 2Bronte Jones joined Dickinson College as the treasurer and vice president for finance and administration in September 2013. Previous leadership positions include treasurer of St. John’s College and vice president for administration and finance at Huston-Tillotson University. In addition to her role at Dickinson, Jones is a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Small Institutions Council, board member and treasurer of the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Institute for Women in Higher Education at Wellesley College, and member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In 2008, Jones was honored with the Fannie Lou Hamer Humanitarian Award for her community involvement in the Annapolis area. She also received a NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her appointment as the first person of color to serve as an executive officer in the 310-year history of St. John’s College. Additionally, she is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Higher Education and the HERS Wellesley Institute. Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in finance, an MBA from American University, and a doctorate in higher-education administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Susan Perkins PhotoSusan Perkins has held leadership roles in higher education finance for most of her career. Currently, she is vice president for finance and administration at Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey. Her areas of responsibility include business and finance operations, human and labor relations, health and safety services, auxiliary and foundation services, and information technology. Off campus, Perkins is active in a number of organizations. Her past or present activities include serving as chair and treasurer of the New Jersey Community College Business Officers Association and chair of the accounting and insurance committees. She is a member of the New Jersey Community College finance committee and treasurer for the New Jersey Community College Workers Compensation Self-Insurance Pool. Perkins is a member of the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO) Board of Trustees and a past chair of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Community Colleges Constituent Council. She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants. Perkins has presented at several EACUBO and NACUBO conferences and training sessions and is a regular presenter for the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Institute. She is a licensed certified public accountant in the State of New Jersey, with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in accounting from Rider University.

LGBTQ Roundtable

Monday, Dec. 7, 3–4 p.m.

Sue Borrego, Chancellor, University of Michigan–Flint
Lynn Gangone, Vice President for Leadership Programs, American Council on Education
Ellen Plummer, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Administration, Virginia Tech 

This open conversation is designed to explore leadership and workplace issues unique to individuals who identify as LGBTQ. Connect with your peers through this engaging dialogue.

Human Resources 101: What Does It Take To Be a Higher Education HR Practitioner and What Do They Do?

Monday, Dec. 7, 4:15–5:15 p.m.

Sissy Meredith, Vice President and Chief Learning Officer, CUPA-HR
Allison Vaillancourt, Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness and Human Resources, University of Arizona

What does it take to be a human resources leader in higher education? Quality improvements, legislative and regulatory issues, and budget constraints are only a few of the challenges faced by institutional leaders and higher education HR leaders are no different. In addition to dealing with these challenges on a daily basis HR leaders are also frequently consulted on how to establish and maintain essential relationships across the institution. The presenters will share key leadership competencies HR leaders need to possess in order to tackle demanding issues on campus and contribute to the institution’s mission and vision.

Sissy Meredith PhotoSissy Meredith has served as vice president and chief learning officer of CUPA‐HR since November 2012. With the leadership and guidance of high-functioning boards and great national office teammates, Meredith has led the transformation of CUPA‐HR’s learning and professional development group. Her previous experience includes work in Kentucky state government as commissioner of HR, healthcare, manufacturing and higher education. Sissy holds her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in instructional communications with an emphasis in cultural anthropology.




Women of Color Roundtable

Monday, Dec. 7, 4:15–5:15 p.m.

Brontè Jones, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Dickinson College
Kim Harrington, Vice President for Human Resources, Georgia Tech
Marta Perez Drake, Vice President for Professional Development, NACUBO 

This open conversation is designed to explore leadership and workplace issues unique to women of color. Connect with your peers through this engaging dialogue.

Higher Education 101: What Do We Know About Our Enterprise?

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 3–4 p.m.

Ellen Plummer, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Administration, Virginia Tech

Leading in higher education requires that we be familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the enterprise. Higher education in the United States is shaped by history, current trends, long-standing values, and the strengths associated with being comprised of multiple—and sometimes competing—tribes and interests. Together, we will identify current trends and issues confronting our institutions and discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with the many cultures evident within our institutions. As a current and aspiring leader, what experiences, assumptions, and values do you bring to your understanding of and aspirations for your unit, your institution, and American higher education? Topics to be discussed include: current demographics and trends, the shapes of our institutional “tribes,” and current policy issues that might shape our leadership opportunities today and in the future. 

Ellen Plummer photoEllen W. Plummer serves as associate vice provost for academic administration. She has experience in higher education administration, women’s and diversity issues, faculty development, grants and project management, advocacy, social work, and has worked in private non-profit, and government environments.

In her role, Plummer provides administrative support to governance and policy processes including the Board of Visitors, commissions, and degree management. As a member of the provost’s faculty affairs team, she directs faculty recruitment, advancement, and development programs such as the New Faculty Mentoring Grant and College Liaison program. Direct reports include the Women’s Center, which provides leadership development programs, advocacy, counseling and other services, to faculty members, staff, and students. Plummer collaborates with colleges and vice presidential areas to advance the university’s InclusiveVT efforts in her role as an inclusion coordinator. In addition, Plummer assists with accreditation and strategic planning processes.

As a member of the faculty in Virginia Tech’s Higher Education Administration program, Plummer has taught the Higher Education in the U.S. class and serves as a member on masters and Ph.D. committees.

Plummer joined Virginia Tech in 2000 as director of the Women’s Center. As special assistant to the provost at Virginia Tech, Plummer coordinated the efforts of the Task Force on Race and the Institution, the university’s Diversity Strategic Plan, and supported the 2006 update to the university’s strategic plan. During the 2003–04 academic year, she served as the interim director of the Virginia Tech Office for Equal Opportunity. In the aftermath of the 2007 shootings, Plummer served in the Office of Recovery and Support and assisted in coordinating many aspects of the university’s grant-supported recovery efforts. Prior to Virginia Tech, she worked at Duke University and was affiliated with the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill School of Social Work.

Plummer has worked throughout her career on advocacy and support programs designed to promote and advance the diversity of students, staff, and faculty members. Her dissertation research focused on faculty search initiatives at NSF Advance grant institutions.

Plummer was raised in Mexico, where she lived for almost 20 years. She came to the United States to attend Northfield Mount Hermon School and later completed a B.S. in human development and family relations and an M.S.W. in community organizing both from the University of Connecticut. She holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.

Leaning In, Taking Action

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 3–4 p.m.

Michelle SmithMichelle Smith, Director of Corporate Partnerships and Events, ACUI

This open conversation is designed to exchange ideas about bringing Women’s Leadership Institute conversations and topics back to your campus. Connect with your peers through this engaging dialogue led by Michelle Smith. 

As the director of corporate partnerships and events, Michelle Smith directs many of the programs that generate revenue for ACUI. By combining nine years of ACUI programming with her prior hotel industry experience, she works with corporate partnerships for two associations, as well as the ACUI recreation and leisure activities programs, bringing synergy between the important information that the business world has to offer and the work done in college unions.

Smith is a graduate of Indiana University–Bloomington and loves life in a college town. Her family and friends keep her company at IU sporting events, local festivals, and dining establishments. She is passionate about work-life balance and loves this quote from Eliana Murillo, head of multicultural marketing at Google: “Find your purpose by aligning your passions and skills to become critical talent.”

Student Development 101

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 4:15–5:15 p.m.

Kim D. Harrington,  Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Georgia Institute of Technology

Kim Harrington PhotoStudent Development 101 is a conversation between campus members and student affairs professionals about the values and practice of student development work. Successful students become adequately integrated into the campus community and therefore are engaged learners. Understanding that helping students achieve learning and success during their college enrollment improves their chances for success all along the way. Are you committed to providing student-centered services and programs that supports student development?

Together we will:

  • Lay the foundation for student development theory
  • Learn about our students
  • Look at good practices
  • Leave prepared to help students succeed 

Kim D. Harrington, Ph.D., is interim associate vice president and chief human resources officer at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to this role, Kim served as director of the Student Center at Georgia Tech and has been with Tech for 14 years. Harrington has worked at Georgia State University, the University at Buffalo, and the State University of New York–Fredonia. She is originally from Buffalo, N.Y., and currently resides near Atlanta with her husband and two sons. Harrington is actively involved the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) serving on the Board of Trustees as past president.

Working Mothers Roundtable

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 4:15–5:15 p.m.

Elizabeth Beltramini, Director of Content Curation, ACUI

Updated Dec. 3, 2015