Professional Education

Harvard Seminar for Experienced Presidents

November 6-8, 2014Apply
3+ Years of Presidential Experience

Tuition: $3,595

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Program Overview

The Seminar offers a rare opportunity for college and university presidents to step back from the daily responsibilities of the presidency and discuss key leadership issues in a confidential setting. 

In the Seminar, you will consider the choices that lie ahead for you and your institution and reflect on where you are in your presidency. The interactive, retreat-like program recreates the intimate and stimulating learning environment that has long been part of the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents. 

Over the course of three days, you will work closely with faculty and colleagues in classroom sessions, small group discussions, consultations and informal conversations to address key issues facing your institution, including: crisis leadership, fundraising, the role of MOOCS and online education, initiating change and overcoming barriers, and your personal planning with regard to your presidency.

Who Should Attend

  • College and university presidents from across American higher education with a minimum of three years of experience in the presidency

Faculty Chair

Judith Block McLaughlin is Senior Lecturer on Education, Director of the Higher Education Master’s Program and the Higher Education Doctoral concentration at HGSE. McLaughlin’s teaching and research interests focus on leadership and governance in higher education. She is Chair of the Massachusetts Public Education Nominating Council, the body that nominates trustees for the state's colleges and universities. McLaughlin has written and consulted extensively on leadership transitions, presidential assessment, board-president relationships, senior staff functioning and board governance.


Lawrence Bacow, President-Emeritus, Tufts University; President-in-Residence, HGSE

Kevin Guthrie, President, ITHAKA

James Honan, Senior Lecturer on Education, HGSE; Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School

Brian Lee, Vice President, Development and Institute Relations, California Institute of Technology

Herman B. "Dutch" Leonard, George F. Baker Jr. Professor of Public Management, Harvard Kennedy School; Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Enrollment Instructions

The Harvard Seminar for Experienced Presidents is an application based program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. To maximize the learning experience, the institute aims to bring together as diverse a group as possible. 

To apply, you will need to submit a letter of interest and curriculum vitae. Admissions decisions will be made within 3–4 weeks of receipt of a completed application.

Payment is due within 30 days of acceptance into the program. If acceptance falls less than 30 days prior to program start date, payment is due upon acceptance. 


The comprehensive tuition includes all instructional materials, accommodations, refreshments and most meals. Participants receive a certificate of participation at the close of the program.

Payment or a purchase order is due 30 days after registration. If acceptance into the program falls less than 30 days prior to program start date, payment is due upon acceptance. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses.


Participants will be housed at a local hotel. Detailed information will be provided to all admitted participants. The Harvard Graduate School of Education is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred. We recommend that you not make travel arrangements until you are admitted to the program.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be submitted via fax or email. Full refunds will be given up to 30 days prior to the start of the program. Due to program demand and pre-program preparations, cancellations received 29–14 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a fee of 10% of the program tuition. Cancellations received within 13 days prior to the start of the program and no-shows are subject to the full program tuition. Please note: cancellation fees are based upon the date the written request is received.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The Harvard Graduate School of Education affirms the right of all individuals to equal treatment in education without regard to age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, handicap, national origin, or any other factors that are extraneous to effective performance. The Harvard Graduate School of Education will accommodate anyone with disabilities.