January/February 2009
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Meetings and Institutes:

Register for Spring Meetings on General Education and Assessment; Faculty Roles

Register for AAC&U’s spring meetings: General Education, Assessment, and the Learning Students Need, scheduled for February 26-28, 2009, in Baltimore, Maryland; and Shaping Faculty Roles in a Time of Change: Leadership for Student Learning in San Diego, California, on April 2-4, 2009. The General Education and Assessment meeting will help campuses align general education vision and action, including action to assess and strengthen students’ cumulative learning. The Shaping Faculty Roles conference will engage participants in shaping the priorities and roles of the twenty-first century faculty, with a particular focus on undergraduate education.

Apply to Send Teams to AAC&U Summer Institutes; 2009 Focus on General Education, Engaging Departments on Learning Outcomes, and Making Excellence Inclusive

Online applications are now being accepted for three AAC&U summer institutes: the 2009 Institute on General Education and Assessment, May 29-June 3, 2009, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; the 2009 Greater Expectations Institute: Leadership to Make Excellence Inclusive, June 17-21 at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont; and the new Engaging Departments Institute, July 8-12, 2009, on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Institutes offer campus leadership teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work on an important project—away from the daily pressures of campus life. Details on each institute and application deadlines are online.

Submit Proposals for Integrative Learning Conference

Proposals are now being accepted for sessions at AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal conference, Integrative Learning: Addressing the Complexities, to be held October 22-24, 2009, in Atlanta, Georgia. We invite submissions of promising practices that advance integrative learning as part of a substantive vision for undergraduate curricular and cocurricular programs. For more details about the four conference themes, please see the Call for Proposals. The submission deadline is March 11, 2009.

AAC&U to Launch Global Learning Leadership Consortium

For a decade, AAC&U’s Shared Futures Initiative has helped institutions develop curricular models and faculty capacities to enlarge students’ knowledge and sense of social responsibility for action on the most pressing questions of our time. The next stage of Shared Futures will be shaped by AAC&U’s Global Learning Leadership Consortium (GLLC), to be launched by an invitational Global Learning Forum (March 19-21, 2009). Forum participants will frame a national agenda for the next generation of liberal education.The GLLC will remap the curriculum and provide expanded study opportunities for faculty to become familiar with new scholarship, pedagogies, curricular architectures, and leadership strategies.

More than 1,300 Education Leaders Gather at AAC&U Annual Meeting

AAC&U’s 2009 Annual Meeting, Ready or Not: Global Challenges, College Learning, and America’s Promise, held in Seattle January 21-24, 2009, brought together more than 1,300 participants from 550 institutions and organizations. Speakers included Molly Corbett Broad of ACE, Peter Sacks, author of Tearing Down the Gates, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, and Eric Liu. Podcasts of selected plenary speeches and resources from concurrent sessions will be available online in February.

AAC&U Awards:

Tearing Down the Gates Wins Frederic W. Ness Book Award

AAC&U announced at its Annual Meeting in Seattle the winner of its Frederic W. Ness Book Award: Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting The Class Divide in American Education (University of California Press, 2007). The Ness award is given annually to the book that best illuminates the goals and practices of a contemporary liberal education. In Tearing Down the Gates, author Peter Sacks creates a powerful indictment showing how schools, colleges, and universities exacerbate inequality by providing ample opportunities for advantaged students while shutting the gates on the poor—and even the middle class. The Ness book award was established by AAC&U in 1979 to honor AAC&U's president emeritus, Frederic W. Ness. For more information, see the press release.

Ten Graduate Students Honored with K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Awards

The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award is given annually by AAC&U to graduate students who are committed to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and others, and who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education. The 2009 winners are:

  • Holly Bruland, English, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
  • Cara Gormally, Plant Biology, University of Georgia
  • Mitchel T. Keller, Mathematics, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Tessa Lowinske Desmond, Literary Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Tamara Mann, History, Columbia University
  • Elizabeth Munz, Communication, Purdue University
  • Geoff Preidis, Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Marcella Runell-Hall, Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Lisa Thornhill, Language and Rhetoric, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Kyle Whyte, Philosophy and American Indian Studies, Stony Brook University

More information is available in the press release.

LEAP News:

AAC&U Announces Nine Pilot Sites for LEAP "Give Students a Compass" Project

AAC&U announced the nine institutions in California, Oregon, and Wisconsin that will model new approaches to general education designed to increase achievement of important learning outcomes. These pilot activities are part of the Give Students a Compass project that works with large state systems of higher education to advance student achievement and ensure that all students—including those historically underserved by higher education—get the educational practices proven to be effective. See the press release for a complete list of institutions.

Clark University and LEAP Public Forum to Focus on Liberal Education and Effective Practice

A conference on Liberal Education and Effective Practice in Worcester, Massachusetts, March 12-13, 2009, will focus on how undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences can be enhanced to empower students to be sophisticated, well-informed thinkers and also effective doers. The conference will be informed by five commissioned papers written by experts in the areas of undergraduate education. Approximately thirty leaders from academia as well as the nonprofit and corporate worlds will participate. Conference outcomes will be shared in upcoming AAC&U publications. See the current issue of Liberal Education for an article on the forum’s theme written by forum coordinator Richard Freeland.

New Online and Print Resources:

AAC&U’s DiversityWeb Features Resources for Supporting Faculty and Staff

This month’s DiversityWeb content updates feature a number of Web sites, articles, books, and organizations dedicated to supporting faculty and staff. Many of these resources focus on the experiences of faculty and staff from underrepresented populations, while others explore issues related to equity, pedagogy, and human resources that are inclusive of diverse contexts.

A New Way to Support AAC&U and Advance Liberal Learning

AAC&U has launched a new way to provide financial support to the association and support our campaign to advance liberal learning. You can now submit a gift online to the Leadership Fund for Liberal Education. The Fund supports Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP), AAC&U's signature initiative under our 2008-2012 strategic plan, Aim High and Make Excellence Inclusive. The LEAP initiative serves as a national vehicle for advancing the importance of undergraduate liberal education for all students


A Measure of Equity Cover  
A Measure of Equity: Women's Progress in Higher Education
By Judy Touchton with Caryn McTighe Musil and Kathryn Peltier Campbell
Our Students' Best Work Cover  
Our Students' Best Work: A Framework for Accountability Worthy of Our Mission
AAC&U Board of Directors Statement
Peer Review Fall 2008 Cover  
Peer Review
Toward Intentionality and Integration

Network for Academic Renewal Conferences:

General Education, Assessment, and the Learning Students Need,
February 26-28, 2009
Baltimore, Maryland

Shaping Faculty Roles in a Time of Change: Leadership for Student Learning,
April 2-4, 2009
San Diego, California

Summer Institutes

Institute on General Education
May 29 - June 3, 2009
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Greater Expectations Institute
June 17-21, 2009
Burlington, Vermont

Engaging Departments Institute
July 8-12, 2009
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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