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Press Room

Press Release

Debra Humphreys
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-387-3760 ext. 422
Humphreys@aacu.org

AAC&U President to Serve on Steering Committee for National Summit on Higher Education

Committee to Advise Secretary Spellings on Priorities and Next Steps for Advancing Postsecondary Education for All Americans

Washington, DC—March 22, 2007—Secretary Margaret Spellings announced today that AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider is one of 24 members of a newly appointed Steering Committee set up to provide input to the Secretary as she sets priorities for action following the National Summit on Higher Education.

“I look forward to bringing AAC&U’s perspective to the Secretary’s development of action steps that build on the 2006 report from the Commission on the Future of Higher Education,” said Schneider.  “After the Secretary’s Commission issued its report, AAC&U’s Board of Directors made clear our priorities for higher education reform—ensuring that all students achieve a set of essential liberal education learning outcomes and developing forms of assessment that deepen learning and help students achieve these outcomes.  I sincerely hope that this will be an important focus of attention in the next phase of higher education reform efforts.”

In her invitation to President Schneider, Secretary Spellings noted AAC&U’s leadership on learning outcomes especially through AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) and Greater Expectations Initiatives.  On January 10, AAC&U released College Learning for the New Global Century from the LEAP National Leadership Council—a report on the essential aims, learning outcomes, and guiding principles for 21st-Century college education.

In the LEAP report, the National Leadership Council called “on American society to give new priority to a set of educational outcomes that all students need from higher learning, outcomes that are closely calibrated with the challenges of a complex and volatile world.”  The report emphasizes the importance of developing effective methods of assessing student achievement, noting that assessments should “be linked to essential learning outcomes” and that our “framework for accountability should be students’ demonstrated ability to apply their learning to complex problems.”

Five additional members of the LEAP National Leadership Council have been invited to participate in the National Summit—A Test of Leadership: Committing to Advance Postsecondary Education for All Americans taking place today at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC.

Along with President Schneider, other members of the National Leadership Council invited to attend the National Summit include:

  • Ronald A. Crutcher, President, Wheaton College
  • Judith Eaton, President, Council for Higher Education Accreditation
  • Freeman A. Hrabowski III, President, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • George D. Kuh, Chancellor’s Professor and Director, Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research
  • Jack M. Wilson, President, University of Massachusetts System

To see AAC&U’s Board of Directors Statement on the Report from the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, click here. For information on AAC&U’s LEAP initiative, see www.aacu.org.  For information on Secretary Spellings Summit on Higher Education, see http://fsaconferences.ed.gov/conferences/marchsummit/index.html


AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises nearly 1,300 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

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