Majorie Hass Will Be the First Woman to Lead the Council of Independent Colleges

Marjorie Hass, president of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, has been selected as the next president of the Council of Independent Colleges. When she assumes her new duties this coming summer, Dr. Hass will be the first woman to lead the organization in its 65-year history.

Founded in 1956, the Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 765 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. The council offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. It conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers in the United States.

“This is a moment for bold action and meaningful leadership on behalf of independent higher education. It is not hyperbole to say our country’s future as a global educational leader and democratic standard bearer is at stake. CIC’s role is unique in its focus on building capacity at every level and within every sphere of independent colleges and universities. Areas of particular urgency include: building the leadership pipeline, strengthening financial models, education for democratic citizenship, and transformative action for equity, access, and inclusion,” Dr. Hass said.

Dr. Hass has been president of Rhodes College since 2017. Prior to that role, Dr. Hass was president of Austin College in Sherman, Texas. Earlier, she spent more than 16 years as a member of the faculty and administration at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She joined the college’s faculty in 1993 as an assistant professor of philosophy, rising to the rank of associate professor in 1998 and full professor in 2005. She was the director of the Center for Ethics from 2000-03 and served as interim dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs in 2003-04. Dr. Hass was appointed provost in 2005, a position she held until she was named president of Austin College in 2009.

Dr. Hass holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in philosophy from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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