Dr. Mary Breckenridge

VP for Academic Affairs Selected for National Leadership Program

Notre Dame College has announced that Dr. Mary Breckenridge is one of only 25 chief academic officers nationwide selected to participate in a seminar on "Leadership for the 21st Century for Chief Academic Officers" that will be held July 12 to 16 in Annapolis, Md. Dr. Breckenridge has been the vice president for academic affairs at Notre Dame since July 2008.

The highly competitive leadership development program is intended to foster perspectives and skills of chief academic officers that can lead to success in unpredictable times. The program is offered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), a national association of more than 600 independent, liberal arts colleges and universities, and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), which provides leadership identification and development programs across all sectors of higher education.

The five-day seminar will focus on the topic of “Administrative Wisdom for Chief Academic Officers: Classic and Contemporary Readings on Leadership and Responsibility,” and will be led by John Churchill, secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Educated at Rhodes College, the University of Oxford, and Yale University, Churchill brings to the seminar years in the small college classroom, decades of senior academic administration, and eight years at the helm of the nation’s oldest academic honorary society. He said of the seminar, “I relish the prospect of engaging these texts and these issues with academic leaders who are committed to wringing practical leadership value from the process.”

Selected from among 60 applications from private colleges and universities nationwide, participants will have the opportunity to read, reflect on, and discuss key issues of leadership and responsibility.

In announcing the program, CIC President Richard Ekman noted that “the high level of interest indicates this is a valuable approach toward developing the capacities of leadership in the nation’s colleges and universities. We were pleased with the exceptionally high quality of the applications and intend to offer similar programs to meet the need for leadership development.”

AALI President Ann Die Hasselmo described the seminar as a rare opportunity for CAOs to engage with colleagues nationwide in a rich and substantive exploration of the issues facing academic leaders in today’s challenging times. “We can get so immersed in the dilemmas of the day that we neglect to remember that serious leadership issues and challenges have always surrounded the leader—regardless of the place, situation, decade, or century,” she said. “This seminar offers the opportunity to read and reflect on the writings of current and historical leaders and scholars and to bring those leadership lessons into the present to provide guidance and counsel.”

Under Dr. Breckenridge’s leadership, Notre Dame College has achieve national accreditation for its nursing program and expanded its online curriculum. The College is also in the process of establishing an honors program and an online master’s program in security policy studies. 

Dr. Breckenridge earned her bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech, her master’s at the University of Southern California and her doctorate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has taught at Kansas City Kansas Community College, Big Bend Community College, Duquesne University, and Mercyhurst College.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or bjohnston@ndc.edu.  

For more information about the Leadership for the 21st Century program, visit www.cic.edu/projects_services/academic_leadership_21st_century.asp.