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68th Annual Meeting
American Conference of Academic Deans

January 25-28, 2012
Washington, DC / Grand Hyatt Hotel

The Deanship:
Balancing the Demands of Mission, Democracy and Markets

ACAD’s Annual Meeting program will feature sessions that academic administrators will find useful, challenging, and enriching. ACAD sessions are known for their emphasis on practice and the use of interactive methods of presentation and are open to all meeting attendees. 


ACAD Deans’ Institute
Wednesday, January 25 8:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

New this year, this full day, pre-conference event is open to all academic administrators and is intended to provide an opportunity for individuals to develop their leadership abilities in a supportive environment.  The goals of the day-long institute are:

  • Advancing the leadership abilities of deans and academic administrators
  • Sharing valuable information about the current state of the deanship
  • Providing updates on important developments in the world of higher education
  • Creating networking opportunities

A full symposium program can be found by visiting the ACAD website


ACAD Keynote Luncheon
Friday, January 27, 11:45 a.m.

(This event is sponsored by Interfolio)

The Market Made Me Do It
Don Randel, President, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


ACAD Workshops
Wednesday, January 25, 2:00—5:00 p.m.

Long-Term Planning:  The Integration of Finances and Programs
Academic deans must be engaged with long-term financial planning. How can we balance revenues and expenses into the indefinite future, and how can we maintain that balance without sacrificing academic excellence or creative vitality?  In this interactive workshop, we will discuss models for projecting revenues and expenses over a multi-year period, methods for expanding revenues, and methods for limiting expenses. Topics include endowment management, tuition revenue, annual gift giving, new sources of revenue, staffing models, deferred maintenance, health care costs, and energy costs. We will discuss several critical issues: How to maintain academic quality while balancing the budget; how to develop new programs while supporting existing ones; how to resolve conflicts among constituencies; and how to set parameters for critical characteristics such as student body size and faculty size. Of vital importance is the creation of working relationships between deans and financial affairs officers that include a mutual understanding of academic goals and fiscal challenges. The workshop format will include both the presentation of ideas and techniques by the panelists and discussion by all workshop participants.
Thomas Axtell, Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services, and Lawrence B. Breitborde, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College—both of Knox College; David Burrows, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, and Brian Riste, Vice President for Business and Operations—both of Lawrence University

Mission-Defined Assessment: Using Institutional Identity to Shape Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes and Decision-Making
Mission-defined assessment can be a valuable tool in fostering a solid understanding and commitment to institutional identity, enhancing educational programs, and communicating “brand” to various groups.  This workshop will present four principles for mission-defined assessment: (1) shaping a college culture that refuses to see assessment as a "test," but instead promotes faculty and staff ownership of a process that enables mission fulfillment; (2) incorporating both co-curricular and curricular goals into a comprehensive vision of student development capable of producing graduates who embody a college’s mission; (3) integrating general education, academic major, and co-curricular learning goals into an institutional assessment framework that addresses vital components of a college’s mission; and (4) engaging both external (e.g., parents, alumni, employers) and internal (e.g., faculty and staff) audiences with a college’s mission and its assessment practices.  We will use case studies from Macalester College and Westminster College to illustrate each principle of mission-defined assessment, and encourage participants to interact with each other based on guiding questions for each principle. Consequently, this workshop will be interactive, focus on sharing best practices, and discuss realistic challenges/opportunities associated with mission-defined assessment.Workshop participants should bring their college’s mission statement, and/or related documents, to the session.
Kendrick Brown, Associate Dean of the Faculty and Kathleen Murray, Provost and Dean of the Faculty—both of Macalester College; Carolyn Perry, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, and Robert Seelinger, Director of Assessment and Professor of Classics—both of Westminster College

ACAD Sessions

  • Becoming a CAO
  • Responding to Academically Adrift: Panel Discussion of Campus Actions
  • Learning to Speak Both Adminispeak and Academese
  • Synchronous Course Delivery Between Institutions: Potential Benefits and Opportunities for Two- and Four-Year Institutions
  • Advising and Liberal Education: Engaging the Mission
  • Embracing Academic Politics
  • Associate Deans—Managers of Innovation
  • The Benefits of Collaboration: Lessons Learned from a Teagle Collaborative
  • ACAD Open-Mic

For more information about the ACAD meeting, and for a full program, please visit the ACAD website

ACAD Reception: Friday, January 27, 5:30 p.m.

Hosted jointly by ACAD and the Phi Beta Kappa Society