LEAP Presidents' Trust

The Presidents’ Trust is a leadership group within the LEAP initiative. The Trust consists of presidents from all sectors of higher education who are committed to advocating for the vision, values, and practices that connect liberal education with the needs of the twenty-first century. The mission and work of the Trust are grounded in the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes.

The role of Trust members is to engage with campus and key external stakeholders about the core purposes and practices of liberal education, and to provide leadership for advancing reforms in the practice of liberal education both on campus and with other groups and organizations with which they are affiliated.

Resources for Campus Leaders Crafting Messages in Response to Issues of Racial and Social Justice

Trust Membership

Membership on the Presidents’ Trust is open to the chief executive officers of all AAC&U member institutions. Members of the Presidents’ Trust make a financial commitment, as well as a commitment of time and energy, to this important work.

For information about joining the Trust, please contact Bethany Zecher Sutton, Coordinating Director of LEAP.

How Presidents' Trust Members are Making the Case for Liberal Education

Context for the Presidents’ Trust

There is growing concern about the quality of student learning in college – not just about who has access, but also about the demonstrated level of achievement. Accountability debates are the symptom of this growing angst. In the longer view of history, the world itself is setting new and higher expectations for student learning - both for the sheer number of people who need higher learning to succeed in this economy and in the scope and level of what educated people now need to accomplish educationally.

AAC&U has used this larger context—greater expectations in the world at large, and calls for accountability in the policy environment—to advance the case for a guiding vision for college learning, a vision that applies across multiple sites and levels of learning, and that provides a common compass for student achievement across disparate fields of interest and study.

The LEAP essential learning outcomes capture this guiding vision. Drawn from faculty and campus leadership, as well as employers, they apply, not just to general education, but to majors as well. The essential learning outcomes call for a renewed commitment to liberal education, but also for new emphases within liberal education, including integration of learning across different disciplines, new connections between analytical and applied learning, a new emphasis on civic engagement, and, above all, a new emphasis on real world problems and applications.