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2016 University Retreat | Featured Speaker


Office of the Provost
Fax: 202-885-2173
Leonard, Room Lower Level

Bass, Scott A.

Office of the Provost
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8061

Dick Axelrod

Dick Axelrod

Dick Axelrod co‑founded the Axelrod Group, Inc., a consulting firm that pioneered the use of employee involvement to effect large‑scale organizational change. He now brings more than forty years of consulting and teaching experience to this work, with clients including Boeing, British Airways, Chicago Public Schools, Calgary Health Authority, Coca-Cola, Harley‑Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, Novartis, and the UK’s National Health Service. 

Dick is an instructor in University of Chicago’s Masters in Threat and Response Management Program and adjunct faculty in American University’s Masters in Organization Development program. Dick is a founding member of the Berrett-Koehler Authors Cooperative. He authored the award-winning Terms of Engagement: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations, and co‑authored You Don’t Have to Do It Alone: How to Involve Others to Get Things Done, which the New York Times called “the best of the current crop of books on this subject.” His latest book, Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done, is an hot new business seller and Hudson News best seller. Dick is the recipient of the Organization Development Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Chicago.

Catharine Hill

Catharine Hill

Catharine Hill was appointed as the 10th president of Vassar College in July 2006. Hill is a noted economist whose work focuses on higher education affordability and access, as well as on economic development and reform in Africa. She concluded her presidency on August 15th 2016 to become the managing director of Ithaka S&R, the research and strategy branch of the educational non-profit ITHAKA. At Ithaka S&R Hill will continue her work on expanding access to higher education, among other initiatives. 

Under Hill’s leadership, Vassar has reinstated need-blind admissions and replaced loans with grants in financial aid for low-income families. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awarded Vassar the inaugural million-dollar prize for Equity in Educational Excellence for its efforts to expand access and support to students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Hill established a first-of-its-kind veterans’ admission partnership with the Posse Foundation, with Vassar enrolling its first eleven veterans as freshmen in 2013. The partnership continues to thrive with ten veterans enrolled in subsequent years, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Prior to her Vassar presidency, Hill served seven years as the provost of Williams College and originally joined the economics faculty at Williams in 1985. 

Hill holds degrees from Williams College, Oxford University and Yale University. She is on the board of Yale-NUS, and is also an alumni fellow to the Yale Corporation.