News & Announcements

Board of Trustees Extends President Michael E. Hill’s Contract

Hill to Pursue Doctoral Degree

The Chautauqua Institution Board of Trustees has extended President Michael E. Hill’s appointment for three years, through Dec. 31, 2021, following its annual review of presidential and institutional performance last month. Hill, who was appointed in 2016 and began his work at Chautauqua on Jan. 1, 2017, is the 18th president of the nearly 150-year-old Institution.

“Michael has met or exceeded all of our expectations in his first two years of service, and he has outlined an ambitious agenda for the future of our beloved Institution,” said James A. Pardo Jr., chair of the Board of Trustees. “The Board approved his contract extension with great excitement and anticipation for the future.”

Hill and others currently are in the final stages of a comprehensive and collaborative strategic planning process that is outlining the Institution’s priorities over the next five to 10 years. As part of this process, Hill’s vision to expand Chautauqua’s impact beyond the summer assembly season and beyond the grounds of Chautauqua’s historic campus has been tested and reaffirmed. The plan is scheduled to be approved by the Board in May and released to the community in June.

“It has been a true honor to engage with the Chautauqua community and to understand its aspirations and potential in the world,” Hill said. “I am thrilled by the Board’s confidence in my leadership and vision, and I look forward to building on the extraordinary experiences and conversations that we convene here on the grounds during the summer months and to also bring them to a world that is calling for Chautauqua’s multidisciplinary brand of positive, action-oriented dialogue and engagement.”

As part of his new contract, Hill’s aspirations to pursue a doctoral degree at Vanderbilt University will be supported. In February, Hill was admitted into Vanderbilt’s Ed.D. program in Leadership and Learning in Organizations, a three-year, low-residency degree program whose curriculum focuses on designing learning systems in communities, ethics in a democratic context, and data-driven program design. Hill will begin his studies in September.

“Given Chautauqua’s status as the pre-eminent expression of lifelong learning in the United States, it is fitting that we support Michael’s continuing education goals,” Pardo said. “In addition, the Board of Trustees views Michael’s pursuit and achievement of a doctoral degree, among other things, as a desirable way for him to maintain, improve, and expand his skills not only for his personal growth but also to enhance the Institution’s image within its various communities.”

Chautauqua Institution will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding in 2024. Leading up to that celebration, Hill said Chautauqua is poised to grow its summer program attendance, expand its impact in the Chautauqua region, and create new ways of engaging with the world year-round.

“Our founders created Chautauqua in response to educational and spiritual needs in American society in the late 1800s,” Hill said. “As we continue to evolve according to the needs of our community and society in general, we also elevate and amplify our mission which calls us to explore the best in human values — a timeless imperative that is more relevant today than ever.”

Chautauqua Institution’s 2019 season runs from June 22 to August 25.

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