May, 2002
AAC&U Board & Staff Chart New Strategic Direction

Building on priorities set during the strategic planning process completed in 1997, and reflecting the findings from AAC&U's recent Member Survey, AAC&U's board and staff recently framed new directions for the Association's work over the next five years. This strategic plan, scheduled to be announced in its final form later this year, will emphasize three broad areas of work:

  • To articulate and advance the aims and purposes of a twenty-first century liberal education;

  • To promote a vision of educational excellence that foregrounds diversity, civic
    engagement, and global knowledge;

  • To foster principled collaborative leadership for engaged, inclusive, and powerful learning environments.

A central feature of this strategic plan is the vision of a twenty-first century liberal education, emerging from the work of AAC&U's initiative Greater Expectations: The Commitment to Quality as a Nation Goes to College and its analysis of pace-setting educational programs and innovations throughout the academy.

Strategies for advancing the strategic plan are still under development. Please forward your suggestions on this subject to Bethany Zecher Sutton at

Call for Proposals for AAC&U Annual Meeting Available
Online June 1st

AAC&U is seeking proposals for its 2003 Annual Meeting, "The Courage to Question: Liberal Education in the 21st Century," to be held January 22-25 in Seattle, Washington. The conference will address current challenges that require a radical rethinking of what we expect from college education. The deadline for the Call for Proposals is Friday, July 19, 2002.

Questions to be discussed at the meeting include:

  • What do students need to make informed judgements, embrace grounded commitments, and take action in a diverse, contested, and fast-changing world?

  • What social, economic, political, and cultural forces shaped liberal education in the last century? How might liberal education be reshaped for our changing expectations in the 21st century?

  • How can we make liberal education practical--and practical education liberal?

While liberal education promises no sure answers, it does provide the tools and the courage to ask difficult questions of ourselves and the world--who we are, how we are shaped by our histories, and how we imagine the future. We hope you will join us as we explore the role of liberal education in the lives of our students, in the character of our institutions, and in our hopes for the future.

For complete information about how to submit a proposal, descriptions of conference tracks, types of sessions, and more information about the program, check AAC&U's Web at site June 1.

Sumner Symposium Focuses on "Common Safety as Common Health"

AAC&U's 2002 Sumner Symposium of the Program for Health and Higher Education, held April 25 in Washington, DC, brought together faculty and student educational leaders from across the country to examine how student power can be "liberated to accomplish goals and aspirations for campus and community health." Co-sponsored by the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD), the symposium's discussion focused on the ways in which research advocacy, and programming might support the liberating of student power. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) hosted a reception on Capitol Hill the night before the Symposium.

Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and recently appointed co-Chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, extended his support and charged the group with "figuring out" how the agency of students can be nurtured and supported in the effort to improve common health. Student leaders from across the country shared and reflected on the importance of their experiences in promoting public health. "Their freshness of vision and dedication to improving campus and community life enriched the symposium discussions," said Dr. Bridget Puzon, director of AAC&U's editorial services and editor of Liberal Education.

For more information about the Sumner Symposium see

Special Issue of Peer Review to be Released this Month

"Value Added Assessment of Liberal Education" is addressed in a special issue of Peer Review to be released in the next few weeks. Watch your mail for this issue that enters the assessment debate by presenting the RAND Corporation/Council for Aid to Education's Value Added Assessment Initiative (VAAI), a long-term project to assess the quality of undergraduate liberal education in America at the institutional level. The VAAI seeks to initiate and advance a national conversation about the nature, purpose, and value of directly measuring student learning as a possible new metric for program improvement, incentive, and reward systems in higher education, and public policy affecting higher education generally. Peer Review begins this conversation by offering both a thorough presentation of the VAAI and several initial responses to it.

Single-issue copies and subscriptions to Peer Review are available by calling AAC&U at 800/297-3775 or 202/387-3760, or by e-mail at

Mount Holyoke College Hosts "In Search of Wisdom"

Teams from more than two dozen liberal arts institutions, most of which are AAC&U members, participated in "In Search of Wisdom: Liberal Education in a Changing Time." Hosted by Mount Holyoke College April 4-6, the conference explored topics such as civic engagement and responsibility in a divided and endangered world, interfaith dialogue and work, and collaborative leadership from student and academic affairs. Carol Schneider, AAC&U president, and Edgar Beckham, AAC&U Senior Fellow, attended the conference where team participants were "challenged to look at liberal education from a non-western perspective."

Analysis and examples emerging from the conference will be featured at AAC&U's 89th Annual Meeting in January 2003 in Seattle, Washington and in upcoming AAC&U publications.

For more information about the conference and its outcomes contact Beverly Tatum at

Twelfth Annual Asheville Institute Participants Announced

Twenty-two campus teams will participate in this year's Asheville Institute on General Education. Now in its twelfth year, this collaboration between AAC&U and the University of North Carolina at Asheville provides reflective work time for teams of faculty and senior academic administrators that are reviewing their general education programs in order to strengthen undergraduate learning. Participants in this year's institute, scheduled for June 1-5, include:

Albertus Magnus College Louisiana Community and Technical College System
Belmont University Mary Baldwin College
Berry College Marymount Manhattan College
Brooklyn College Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Capital University Olivet Nazarene University
Cazenovia College Pennsylvania College of Technology
Christian Brothers University The Universitiy of Virginia's College at Wise
Dallas County Community College District Thomas University
Eastern Oregon University West Virginia Wesleyan College
Franklin College Whittier College
Keuka College  

Over the past decade, the Asheville Institute has served as a principal resource for nearly two hundred fifty colleges and universities involved in curricular reform.

For more information about the Asheville Institute, see For information about future institutes, contact Ross Miller, Director of Programs for Education and Quality Initiatives, at

New Web Site Launched for Women in Education

AAC&U's Program on the Status and Education of Women is playing a key role in the creation of "Campus Women Lead," a new web site for the National Initiative for Women in Higher Education. Seeking to complete the unfinished business of gender equity and to bring transformative leadership to the academy, the National Initiative is committed to improving campus climates and the status of women in higher education.

Using technology as a resource and organizing tool, and managed by AAC&U program assistant, Amanda Lepof, the Initiative's new web site features resources in five broad categories: Women's Networks, Work/Life, Leadership, Teaching/Learning/Research, and Campus/Community Connections.

Caryn McTighe Musil, Vice President for AAC&U's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives, serves as one of three co-chairs to this National Initiative. Rusty Barcélo, University of Washington, and Yolanda Moses, American Association of Higher Education (AAHE), also serve as co-chairs.

AAC&U members are invited to contribute to this web site by sharing practices and by using it as a resource to advance gender equity. To be part of the network, log on to

New Look for AAC&U Web Site

AAC&U recently unveiled a new look for its Web site. The newly designed site includes more user-friendly access to AAC&U resources in all areas of AAC&U work. The new design also features pictures from member campuses. If you would like your campus represented with a picture on the AAC&U site, please contact AAC&U Web editor, Noreen O'Connor atO' To view the new site see





Diversifying the Faculty: A Guidebook for Search Committees
A crucial resource for successfully recruiting and retaining faculty of color. Takes a holistic approach to increasing faculty diversity and offers practical suggestions for before, during, and after the search.
by Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner

For ordering information, call 1/800-297-3775 or see

Diversity & Learning: Education for a World Lived In Common, AAC&U's fourth biennial Diversity and Learning conference, will explore the challenge of educating students for a world lived in common, despite the division, inequities, and differences that often seem to dominate. Planned for St. Louis, MO, October 24-27, 2002, this conference will address how campuses can provide spaces--both literal and intellectual--that foster new knowledge and new capacities for informed, sustained engagement between individuals, groups, local communities, and global partners?

Also scheduled for Fall 2002, Faculty Work and Student Learning: Meeting New Challenges of a World in Transition, another AAC&U Network for Academic Renewal meeting. This conference, co-sponsored by the Associated New American Colleges, will be held at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, November 7 -9, 2002.

"The Courage to Question: Liberal Education in the 21st Century", AAC&U's 89th Annual Meeting will be held January 22-25, 2003, in Seattle, Washington. A pre-conference symposium, "Shared Futures: Diversity, Inequality, and the Challenge of Global Citizenship" is also planned.

For more information on meetings, visit