August 2011
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Meetings and Institutes

2012 Annual Meeting to Feature Speakers on Civic Learning, Perspectives from the Middle East, and Evidence on Underachievement
AAC&U is pleased to announce speakers confirmed for the 2012 Annual Meeting—“Shared Futures/Difficult Choices: Reclaiming a Democratic Vision for College Learning, Global Engagement, and Success”—which will be held in Washington, DC, January 25-28. Confirmed speakers include Carol Geary Schneider, AAC&U; Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Core; David Scobey, The New School for General Studies; Lisa Anderson, American University of Cairo; Alexander and Helen Astin, UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute; Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, authors of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses; and Richard Keeling and Richard Hersh, authors of We're Losing Our Minds: Rethinking American Higher Education (forthcoming). The meeting will include a pre-meeting symposium January 25 on “From a Civic Recession to Reinvesting in Education for Democracy” and an E-Portfolio Forum on Saturday, January 28. Registration will be available in September.


2011 Fall Network for Academic Renewal Meetings to Address Personal and Social Responsibility, Arts and Humanities.

Register for fall meetings on:

Educating for Personal and Social Responsibility: A Twenty-First-Century Imperative
October 13-15, 2011; Long Beach, California.
Attend to learn about innovative and practical approaches to educating for personal and social responsibility and teaching students to use their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. Educating for Personal and Social Responsibility will feature how campus leaders are creating increasingly sophisticated opportunities for students to grapple with the ethical, societal, environmental, and global issues and translate their knowledge and skills into responsible choices and actions. Program (pdf) and registration are now available online.

 Arts & Humanities: Toward a Flourishing State?
November 3-5, 2011; Providence, Rhode Island
Arts & Humanities will explore current realities and possible futures of the arts and humanities. The conference will situate the arts and humanities both in relation to each other and within the broader context of other disciplines and fields, within liberal education as a whole. Addressing big questions about the future of the United States as a democracy, the conference will emphasize the vitality and importance of the arts and humanities and ask how that vitality might be sustained and how the arts and humanities might evolve in the future. Participants will help reimagine the democratic culture that is the United States of America and the many and various ways in which the arts and humanities weave their way throughout the fabric of the nation. Registration is available online.


AAC&U Receives Grant to Study Impact of High-Impact Practices on Underserved Students

AAC&U has received a grant from TG to conduct a mixed-method analysis of the impact of high-impact practices on learning outcomes for historically underrepresented students. Part of AAC&U’s Give Students a Compass initiative, this project will examine data from universities in California, Wisconsin, and Oregon to better understand the impact of engaged learning on underserved populations. The project focuses primarily on regional comprehensive institutions that receive large numbers of transfer students from community colleges. Read more about the project, Give Students a Compass, and other initiatives sponsored by TG.


PKAL Executive Director Susan Elrod Appointed to Advisory Board for NEXUS Undergraduate Curriculum Project

Susan Elrod, executive Director of Project Kaleidoscope, has been appointed to a board advising the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) on its new NEXUS Initiative. NEXUS (National Experiment in Undergraduate Science Education) is a four-year, $1.8 million initiative that brings together four universities to create and share effective models for teaching interdisciplinary science, including new courses and ways of assessing how well they work. Read more about the HHMI NEXUS project online.


Keck/PKAL Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning Project Report Now Available

PKAL’s report on the Keck/PKAL Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning Project is available in hard copy or as a free PDF download. The publication discusses how twenty-eight participating campuses developed new ways to create, implement, measure, and sustain effective interdisciplinary STEM learning environments.


Project Highlights

AAC&U Hosts Summer Institute on Advancing Curricular Change and National Agenda for Global Learning
AAC&U’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives is hosting its first Shared Futures summer institute for global learning and curricular change July 31-August 5. Sponsored as part of the Shared Futures Initiative, the institute convenes teams of faculty and administrators from thirty-two participating colleges, community colleges, and universities to develop ways to initiate and improve global learning programs and set a national agenda for global learning moving forward.


AAC&U and GPI Will Submit Recommendations on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement to US Department of Education
AAC&U launched Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement in 2010 in partnership with Global Perspective Institute (GPI). In spring 2011, project staff examined research and gathered feedback regarding civic learning and democratic engagement in a series of five roundtables and meetings with a coordinating council of national leaders. In September, the initiative will culminate with AAC&U and GPI submitting a report and set of recommendations to the US Department of Education. The recommendations will focus on ways the department and other stakeholders can be most effective in encouraging civic learning and democratic engagement in all college and university students.


Bringing Theory to Practice Project to Host Second National “Bridging” Conference Jan 24-25
The Bringing Theory to Practice Project (an independent entity working in partnership with AAC&U) will hold its second national “Bridging” Conference January 24-25 in Washington, DC, directly preceding AAC&U’s Annual Meeting. The theme of the conference is “Bridging Institutional Divides: Practical Applications for Strengthening Campus Cultures for Learning, Civic Engagement and Psychosocial Well-being.” The conference’s ‘bridging’ themes will address patterns of campus division and student disengagement, as well as practical strategies to maximize campus resources and connect mission to action and strengthen campus cultures for student learning, civic development, and psychosocial well-being. Campus teams of three to five are encouraged to attend. See the conference page for more information and online registration.


AAC&U and ASPH to Cosponsor Summit on Undergraduate Public Health Education
AAC&U and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) are cosponsoring a Summit on Undergraduate Education in Public Health on Saturday, October 29, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC. Registration and agenda is available at AAC&U is cosponsoring this event as part of its Educated Citizen and Public Health initiative.


Other AAC&U News


AAC&U News Welcomes New Editor
AAC&U welcomes Wilson Peden, a new member of the AAC&U staff and the new editor of AAC&U News. Prior to coming to AAC&U in May of 2011 as Associate Editor and Senior Writer, Wilson worked as an assistant editor at FDAnews and as the managing editor of dislocate Magazine, published by the University of Minnesota where Peden also received his MFA. In addition to editing AAC&U News, Peden is also providing editing, writing, and copy-editing assistance for many AAC&U publications. This issue also marks the arrival of AAC&U’s new Print and Graphic Design Production Manager Michele Stinson. We welcome both Peden and Stinson to the AAC&U staff.


AAC&U Board Member Mildred García Appointed to President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Dr. Mildred García, president of California State University, Dominguez Hills, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. García is one of nineteen individuals from the education, business, nonprofit, philanthropic, and high-tech sectors nationwide appointed to the commission, which will advise the president and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on issues related to improving education opportunities and outcomes for Hispanics. García is an active member of the American Council of Education, the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, and AAC&U, where she serves on the board of directors and on the editorial advisory board of Peer Review.


Submit Nominations by October 3 for K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award
The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education, who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and others, and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. All doctoral-level graduate students who are planning a career in higher education are eligible, regardless of academic department. Graduate students in fields where the MFA is the terminal degree, such as art or music, are also eligible. Nominees must hold student status in January 2012. Award recipients will attend and present at AAC&U’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, in January 2012. See the Cross Award Web page for more information, FAQs, and a list of previous recipients.


AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider Issues a Statement of Condolence on the Tragedy in Norway
AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider has issued a statement of condolence on the tragedy in Norway that occurred on July 22. Schneider notes, “These gruesome events only underscore the importance of embracing democratic values of tolerance, respect, the rule of law, and deliberating differences. We commit ourselves as educators to those ends as one way to honor those slain in Norway.” Read the full statement online.



Peer Review: Spring 2011  
Peer Review
Lessons on Systemic Reform from the LEAP States Initiative
Peer Review: Spring 2011  
Liberal Education
Special Issue: Civic Engagement and Psychosocial Well-Being

Network for Academic Renewal Conferences:

Educating for Personal and Social Responsibility: A Twenty-First-Century Imperative
October 13-15, 2011
Long Beach, California

Arts & Humanities: Toward a Flourishing State?
November 3-5, 2011
Providence, Rhode Island

Annual Meeting

Shared Futures/ Difficult Choices: Reclaiming a Democratic Vision for College Learning, Global Engagement, and Success
January 25-28, 2012
Washington, DC

For more information on meetings, visit