December 2011
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AAC&U’s Annual Meeting: Early Registration Closes December 16

AAC&U’s 2012 Annual Meeting begins Wednesday, January 25, with afternoon workshops and an all-day pre-meeting Symposium—“Reversing a Civic Recession: What Higher Education Can Do”—featuring an opening plenary by Martha Kanter, under secretary of the US Department of Education, titled “Civic Learning for Democracy’s Future,” and a luncheon plenary by Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University. We welcome all registrants on Wednesday evening for our Opening Forum, “Separated at Birth: The Twin Proficiencies of Work and Civic Engagement,” presented by Ken O’Donnell of California State University. Plenary sessions include “Opening a Democratic Front: Confronting Disparate Conceptions of What Matters in College,” with Carol Geary Schneider, AAC&U; Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Core; and David Scobey, The New School for Public Engagement; and “From Résumés to Revolutions: Realizing the Rights and Responsibilities of Education in the Twenty-First Century,” presented by Lisa Anderson of the American University of Cairo. Conference highlights and a preliminary program are online now. Early registration ends December 16.


Two Informal Discussion Forums Added to Annual Meeting

We welcome the addition of two informal discussion forums scheduled for AAC&U’s Annual Meeting. On Thursday evening at 8:00 p.m., all interested participants are welcome to an “Organizing Meeting on Business Education and Civic Engagement.” The conversation follows on the Carnegie Foundation’s recent study and publication, Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education (Jossey-Bass, 2011) and the related conference session “Reshaping Business Education: Preparing Students for Society and Democracy” (Thursday at 4:15 p.m.). More information is available here. On Saturday morning—9:45-10:45 a.m.—registrants are invited to join a conversation on “Tenure and Promotion and the Challenge of Institutionalizing Civic Learning.” The conveners hope to begin a national dialogue on how to reshape institutional structures to appropriately incorporate civic learning—and support the faculty who do. More information is available here.


Network for Academic Renewal 2012 Spring Conferences to Address General Education and Assessment, Student Success

General Education and Assessment: New Contexts, New Cultures
February 23-25, 2012:  New Orleans, Louisiana

General Education and Assessment will cover national trends in curriculum design, pedagogy, and assessment and will focus on how campuses are reframing general education and providing opportunities for students to study complex problems that require interdisciplinary approaches, integrative skills, ethical decision-making, and life-long learning.  Keynote speakers include Elizabeth Coffman, Associate Professor, Program Director International Film and Media Studies program, Loyola University Chicago; James P.  Collins, Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and Environment, Arizona State University; and Ted Hardin, Professor of Film and Video, Columbia College Chicago.

For more information, please visit

Student Success:  Pushing Boundaries, Raising Bars
March 22-24, 2012: Seattle, Washington

The Student Success meeting will feature presentations by Michelle Asha Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, who will examine new interpretations of student success in the twenty-first century; Douglas Thomas, University of Southern California, who will share his latest findings on today’s students and how they learn; Vincent Tinto, Syracuse University, and José Cruz, the Education Trust, who will share practices that advance cultures of faculty innovation; and Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College, and Connie Green, president of Tillamook Bay Community College, who will discuss strategies for leadership focused on student success and for providing high-impact practices equitably to all students.

For more information and registration, please visit: visit


Save the Date—AAC&U’s 2012 Summer Institutes

The Institute on General Education and Assessment will take place June 2-6, 2012, in Ellicott City, MD, and will offer campus teams opportunities to refine and substantially advance campus projects on general education and its assessment. The Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success will take place June 19-23, 2012, in Portland, OR, and is designed to help campuses develop intentional and integrative plans to strengthen student learning and student success. The Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments—formerly the Engaging Departments Institute—will take place July 11-15, 2012, in Burlington, VT, and is designed for campus teams who are working to implement change that deepens students’ integrative capacities over time—including their ability to connect disciplinary knowledge and inquiry to responsible choices and actions. More information and application materials for these three institutes are now online.



Kentucky Becomes Seventh LEAP State

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education recently announced that Kentucky would become the seventh official state partner in AAC&U’s LEAP initiative. Kentucky sought to become a LEAP state because the goals of LEAP fit well with Stronger by Degrees, the state’s plan for improving postsecondary and adult education, said Robert L. King, president of the council. “The assessment strategies and development of high-impact educational practices we will be developing and testing as a part of our involvement with the LEAP initiative will be critical to meeting our goal of increasing high-quality degree production and completion rates at all levels,” King added. Kentucky is also one of eight states involved in AAC&U’s new Quality Collaboratives initiative, funded with support from the Lumina Foundation.



PKAL Events at the Annual Meeting

PKAL will sponsor three sessions and host a reception on Friday, January 27, at AAC&U’s Annual Meeting. The sessions will address strategies for planning, implementing, and institutionalizing interdisciplinary STEM programs and developing institutional strategies for wider-scale success. More information on PKAL events at the Annual Meeting can be found here.


PKAL Summer Institutes

The PKAL Summer Leadership Institutes will take place July 17-22, 2012, and July 31-August 5, 2012, in Crestone, CO, and are designed for early and mid-career STEM faculty engaged in transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. Application information are now available; application deadline is April 6, 2012.


PKAL Regional Network Events Planned for January, February

Upcoming PKAL Regional Networks Events have been scheduled in Southern California, Upstate New York, and the Portland area for January and February. See here for more details.


Project Highlights

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, 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.


Other AAC&U News

Join AAC&U Member Associates Program

If your institution is a member of AAC&U, you are eligible to become an AAC&U Associate. Associates Program dues are just $60 per calendar year. Associates receive all the benefits enjoyed by their AAC&U Campus Representatives, including subscriptions to all AAC&U’s print and online periodicals (Liberal Education, Peer Review, Diversity & Democracy, On Campus with Women, and AAC&U News), notice of calls for proposals for institutes and meetings, and invitations to apply for grant-funded projects and to participate in special AAC&U events. Associates now receive an additional 20 percent discount on the purchase of one to ten copies of a single publication purchased via AAC&U’s online shopping cart. Learn more about this discount online. Now is a great time to join, since your benefits start immediately and will continue through December 31, 2012. For more information, please contact Renee Gamache, membership coordinator, at 202-884-0809 or


Nominations, Applications Invited for 2012 Wye Faculty and Deans' Seminars

AAC&U and the Aspen Institute invite nominations and applications for two Wye Seminars on "Citizenship in the American and Global Polity" to be held in summer 2012.The Wye Deans’ Seminar, held June 10-14, 2012, for college and university chief academic officers, academic vice presidents, provosts, and academic deans, will focus on the challenges of academic leadership and liberal education in a diverse, global world. The Wye Faculty Seminar, to be held July 21-27, 2012, will assist professors of every discipline and from a wide range of colleges and universities in relating their teaching to broad issues of citizenship and civil society. The Wye Seminars combine vigorous intellectual exchange with time to read, reflect, exercise, and socialize on the beautiful Aspen Wye River campus in Queenstown, Maryland. More information and application materials are available from the Aspen Institute online or by calling 410-820-5374.


Call for Proposals–AAEEBL 2012 E-Portfolio Conference

AAC&U is cosponsoring the Association for Authentic, Experiential & Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL)’s 2012 conference, "ePortfolios as a Catalyst for Connections: Celebrating the Curious, Creative and Capable Learner." The conference will be held July 17-19, 2012, in Boston. AAEEBL invites conference proposals until February 3, 2012. This Third Annual Conference promises to again serve as a vital meeting space for making connections and sharing conversations about e-portfolios in learning. For more about using e-portfolios to advance achievement and assessment of essential learning outcomes, see AAC&U's VALUE project and the publication Electronic Portfolios and Student Success: Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Learning.


Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research Invites Applications for Cohort VII

The Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research convenes research/practitioners to study the impact of e-portfolios on student learning and educational outcomes. The Coalition invites applications for Cohort VII, which will constitute from Fall 2012 through Spring 2015. Applications are due January 13, 2012. Selected teams will be notified by January 30. If you have any questions about the Coalition, this cohort, or your campus's readiness to participate, contact any of the Coalition's codirectors-Darren Cambridge, Kathi Yancey, and Barbara Cambridge. For more about using e-portfolios to advance achievement and assessment of essential learning outcomes, see AAC&U's VALUE project and the publication, Electronic Portfolios and Student Success: Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Learning.




Assessing College Student Learning
Liberal Education Global Positioning: Essential Learning, Student Success, and the Currency of US Degrees
Diversity & Democracy Transforming Undergraduate Education: Theory that Compels and Practices that Succeed

Annual Meeting

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

Network for Academic Renewal Conferences:

General Education and Assessment: New Contexts, New Cultures
February 23-25, 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana

Student Success: Pushing Boundaries, Raising Bars
March 22-24, 2012
Seattle, Washington

For more information on meetings, visit