Harvard Seminar for New Presidents

Dr Alicia Harvey-Smith, President of River Valley Community College, with locations in Claremont and Keene, New Hampshire was one of 50 competitively selected presidents from private and public institutions from around the country to participate in the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents. The Harvard Seminar for New Presidents is held annually at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. The seminar provides new presidents with a practical and conceptual orientation to the presidency. It further familiarizes new presidents with the opportunities and hazards they will likely face and prepares them to respond to the multiple responsibilities and constituencies of their new role.

Productive, articulate, responsive leadership is expected as soon as a new college or university president assumes office. Multiple institutional pressures do not permit the luxury of learning on the job. Instruction was provided by nationally renowned leaders and the 5-day schedule included sessions ranging from fundraising to building the administrative team and focused on the critical issues of the first months and years of the presidency. It provided a chance for new presidents to reflect on their own situations and to consult with experts about their special concerns and circumstances. Most importantly, the seminar introduced presidents to an extraordinary level of resources and information and an exceptional peer group of colleagues from around the country. While in attendance Dr. Harvey-Smith was chosen by her classmates to receive the Phoenix Award and participated in interviews conducted by the Harvard Press on her experiences as a new president in rural New Hampshire. “The Seminar was a brilliant connection of the intellect and the heart. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and believe it has already made me a better and even more effective president”, said President Harvey-Smith.

River Valley Community College is one of seven Colleges in the Community College System of New Hampshire, offering over 37 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs in Claremont, Keene and Online. www.rivervalley.edu.

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