June 2006
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Call for Proposals Now Available for AAC&U’s 2007 Annual Meeting in New Orleans

AAC&U invites proposals for its 2007 annual meeting, “The Real Test: Liberal Education and Democracy’s Big Questions,” which will be held January 17–20 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Participants at the meeting will consider how efforts to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast challenge educators to engage—with new intensity—the complex connections between knowledge and responsible action. How do we learn from past experiences, identify problems and opportunities, and implement credible solutions? How should we direct our efforts to prepare students to be responsible citizens and leaders in times of both crisis and relative tranquility? The deadline for submitting proposals is July 24.

AAC&U Invites Proposals for Spring 2007 Network for Academic Renewal Conferences

Proposals are now being accepted for “General Education and Assessment: Engaging Critical Questions, Fostering Critical Learning,” a Network for Academic Renewal conference to be held March 1–3, 2007, in Miami, Florida. The conference will explore ways of creating and assessing a coherent general education curriculum that fosters increasingly sophisticated learning outcomes and integrates learning across the disciplines and majors. Proposals are due by July 20.

AAC&U is also accepting proposals for “The Student as Scholar: Undergraduate Research and Creative Practice,” which will be held April 19–21, 2007, in Long Beach, California. This conference will examine strategies for developing effective undergraduate research programs that foster in students sophisticated analytical and problem-solving skills. The deadline for submitting proposals is August 3.

Register Now for Diversity and Learning Conference

Online registration will be available on June 15 for “Diversity and Learning: A Defining Moment,” a Network for Academic Renewal conference to be held October 19–21, 2006, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The conference will examine the course of the next generation of diversity programs; John Hope Franklin, professor emeritus of history at Duke University and the distinguished author of From Slavery to Freedom and other books, will deliver the keynote address. Early registration discounts continue through September 27.

Liberal Education Explores Academic Freedom

The latest issue of Liberal Education is focused on academic freedom. Among the articles on the topic is an official statement from AAC&U’s board of directors, as well as three responses to it. Liberal Education invites readers to join the online discussion of the statement. The new issue also includes a piece on the relationship between academic advising and liberal learning, a report from two engaged learning experiments, and a look at an institutional change initiative designed to foster "equity-mindedness."

LEAP Partner Announces Winners of Liberal Arts Essay Contest

The University of Wisconsin (UW) System, a partner in AAC&U's Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) campaign, has announced the winners of its first "Liberal Arts Scholarship Competition." This undergraduate essay contest is one of many activities supported by UW's Currency of the Liberal Arts and Sciences initiative, which seeks to spark public debate about the knowledge, skills, habits of mind, and values that today's students need. Essays written for the competition explore the value of liberal arts education in the twenty-first century. This year's winners are Heather Damitz of UW–Sheboygan, Andrew Myszewski of UW–Madison, and Jennifer Urbanek of UW–Milwaukee. The winning essays will be published in a future issue of Liberal Education.

UW–Oshkosh Chancellor Connects LEAP Goals to Solutions for Our Future

As part of LEAP’s advocacy activities in Wisconsin, the chancellor of UW–Oshkosh is speaking out about the importance of liberal education outcomes in “providing solutions for the future of our society.” Chancellor Richard H. Wells’s remarks and a cover story about the LEAP campaign that appeared in the UW–Oshkosh Magazine are featured on the American Council for Education’s Solutions for Our Future Web site. Visit LEAP online to learn more about the campaign and how to get involved.

Bringing Theory to Practice Project Features Rosalynn Carter at Recognition Event

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a leader in mental health reform, was a featured guest and speaker at a forum to recognize achievement in and chart new pathways for the Bringing Theory to Practice project. A partnership of AAC&U and the Charles Engelhard Foundation, the Bringing Theory to Practice project supports and examines the impact of engaged learning practices on students’ mental health and their commitment to civic engagement. Other speakers at the luncheon included William Durden, president of Dickinson College, and Daniel C. Silverman, chief medical officer and executive director of University Mental Health Services at Princeton University. The event honored the many schools involved in the project, including the seven institutions serving as demonstration sites. For more information about participating schools, resources from the project, and ways to get involved, see the Bringing Theory to Practice Web site.

Greater Expectations Leadership School Honored with Malcolm Baldridge Award

Richland College has been named recipient of a 2005 Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, the highest presidential honor for college performance. Richland, which was a member of AAC&U’s Greater Expectations Consortium on Quality Education, is the first community college to receive the Baldridge award. Steve Mittelstet, the college’s president, now serves on the Liberal Education and America’s Promise National Leadership Council.

Wingspread Issues Declaration on Religion and Public Life

Participants from a July 2005 Wingspread conference sponsored by the Society for Values in Higher Education recently produced a declaration entitled Religion and Public Life: Engaging Higher Education. In the declaration, Wingspread participants call for a renewed examination of higher education's commitment to public reason and to intercultural learning. The full text (PDF) of the declaration is available from the Society for Values in Higher Education. AAC&U’s president, Carol Geary Schneider, serves on the advisory board of the society’s Democracy Project and participated in the Wingspread conference.

Winners of Youth Film Competition Announced

AAC&U, an academic partner of Film Your Issue, is proud to announce the selection of the five winners of this year’s film contest. Film Your Issue is open to all U.S. residents between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six; the contest invites submission of thirty- to sixty-second “issue films” as a way to engage young people in pressing contemporary issues. The resulting videos are, in turn, poignant, raw, personal, relevant, and sometimes emotionally difficult to watch. Visit Film Your Issue online for more information and to view the winning films.

AAC&U Senior Fellow Edgar F. Beckham Dies at 72

The AAC&U community mourns the passing of senior fellow Edgar F. Beckham. In his many roles at Wesleyan University, the Ford Foundation, and AAC&U, Edgar F. Beckham guided far-reaching change in higher education and worked tirelessly to help the entire educational community engage diversity—in our communities and in the college curriculum. Over his many years as an educational leader, he became a beloved adviser and mentor to faculty members, administrators, and students throughout American society and in South Africa and India as well.

The AAC&U community will celebrate Edgar Beckham's leadership and lasting legacy in October at the Diversity and Learning conference.This conference carries on the work that Edgar launched during his tenure at the Ford Foundation from 1990 to 1998. His speech at the 2002 Diversity and Learning Conference, Diversity at the Crossroads: Mapping Our Work in the Years Ahead, is an excellent summation of much of that work.


Assessing Global Learning: Matching Good Intentions with Good Practice
By Caryn McTighe Musil

Shared Futures: Global Learning and Liberal Education
By Kevin Hovland

AAC&U Summer Institutes:

Greater Expectations Institute: Campus Leadership for Student Engagement, Inclusion, and Achievement
June 21–25, 2006
Snowbird, Utah


Network for Academic Renewal Meetings:

Diversity and Learning: A Defining Moment
October 19–21, 2006
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Faculty Work and the New Academy: Emerging Challenges and Evolving Roles
November 9–11, 2006
Chicago, Illinois


2007 Annual Meeting:

The Real Test: Liberal Education and Democracy’s Big Questions
January 17–20, 2007
New Orleans, Louisiana

For more information on meetings, visit www.aacu.org/meetings/index.cfm