The College of Saint Rose is pleased to announce that Dr. Shai L. Butler, vice president for student success and engagement and chief diversity officer, is one of 20 senior college administrators selected by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to participate in a year-long Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program for prospective college and university presidents.

The seminar-based program is designed to help individuals with the potential to serve as college and university presidents to clarify the alignment between their personal and professional values and goals and the missions of institutions that they might lead in the future. With a wave of retirements of university presidents on the horizon, it is especially important that individuals who become new presidents are well suited to the culture of the institution. The program aims to produce presidencies that are long lasting, highly effective and satisfying to both the individual and the institution.

Participants, including Butler, will engage in two seminars, participate in consultations with experienced facilitators, and undertake a series of readings about the vocation of college presidents and the role of vision and mission in institutional leadership.

Butler is the only participant from the Capital Region and one of just four from the Northeast.

“The alignment of personal vocation and institutional mission emphasized in this program addresses a common pitfall of presidencies,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “The program aims to help participants achieve great things for their institutions and to avoid being ‘the right person in the wrong place.’”

“Widely respected in the field of higher education and in the Capital Region, Shai brings a wealth of professional experience that enables her to propose and to lead initiatives that shape and empower graduates for life. I am so pleased that CIC has selected her for this important program with a proven track record of preparing future leaders of higher education,” said Saint Rose President Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco. “Her participation in this program also supports another goal I am passionate about – the American Council on Education’s Moving the Needle initiative – which is aimed at creating parity for women in higher education senior leadership. Currently, only 30 percent of college and university presidents in the U.S. are women. Encouraging female leadership is key to moving that needle.”

Stefanco completed the Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program in 2012-2013.

At Saint Rose, Butler works across multiple divisions to improve the College’s retention and graduation rates as set forth in its Strategic Plan. She oversees the College’s Center for Student Success, which includes the Academic Opportunity Experience, Academic Success Center, Intercultural Leadership and First-Year Programs, as well as Spiritual Life and other initiatives that pertain to the success of students and alumni. As chief diversity officer, a position she has held since joining Saint Rose in 2007, Butler leads the development and implementation of strategic plans for diversity, develops education and training programs for faculty, administrators and staff, and works with College administrators to develop efforts to increase recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students of historically underrepresented groups.

A resident of Schenectady, Butler holds a doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University in Boston, a master’s degree in educational administration and policy studies and a bachelor’s degree in English, both from the University at Albany.

This approach to the preparation of new presidents has proven itself highly successful in the period that the program has been operating. Since 2005, 50 program participants (35 percent) have been named to college presidencies – a very high rate of advancement among leadership development programs.

For more information about the Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program, which is generously funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., visit its website.