Navigate, Balance, Connect: Academic Leadership for Today’s Higher Education


74th Annual Meeting

Throughout American history higher education has been seen as the gateway to opportunity, allowing people to step beyond limited means and helping people engage in continual improvement from generation to generation. The 2018 ACAD Annual Meeting program focuses on academic leadership in today’s Higher Education and features 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.


ACAD 7th Annual Deans’ Institute
Wednesday, January 24, 8:45 AM—4:30 PM

The Deans’ Institute provides an opportunity for academic administrators to develop their leadership abilities in a supportive environment. It is designed especially for deans, provosts, associate deans and associate provosts, and other academic leaders above the rank of department head.

The featured opening plenary speaker for the day is Nayef Samhat, President of Wofford College. The closing speaker will be Stephanie Fabritius, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Centre College. The Institute will also include a series of roundtable discussion opportunities on more than fifteen different topics/themes.

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 Institute program will be available in late September by visiting the ACAD website at


ACAD Workshops
Wednesday, January 24, 2:00—5:00 PM
  • “Through the Looking Glass”: Leadership Lessons on Negotiating Race and Identity in the 21st-Century Academy
  • Learning to Thrive “In-Between”: Succeeding as an Assistant/Associate Dean


ACAD Keynote Luncheon
Friday, January 26, 11:45 AM

Intergenerational Mobility and Higher Education in America: New Findings from Big Data

Which colleges and universities account for the most upward mobility? And how is this changing over time?  Recent research on these questions using big data has provided the most detailed picture yet of student backgrounds and long-term outcomes for colleges and universities of all types.  Prof. Friedman will present key findings from this research to offer a new perspective on student success in higher education in America and suggest new directions for policies to improve opportunities for all students.

John N. FriedmanJohn N. Friedman is PI for the Equality of Opportunity Project and Associate Professor of Economics and International Affairs and Public Policy at Brown University. His research brings together theory and data and harnesses the power of large administrative datasets to yield policy-relevant insights on a wide range of topics, including education, taxation, retirement, and healthcare. His work has appeared in top academic journals as well as in major media outlets, and his work on the long-term effects of teachers was cited by President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union Address.  From 2013-2014, Prof. Friedman worked as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council in the White House.  He holds a Ph.D. in Economics, an A.M. in Statistics, and a B.A. in Economics, all from Harvard University.  He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.


ACAD Sessions

ACAD sponsored sessions are open to all attendees and include the following:

  • Deans’ Reflections on Creative Tension in the Academy
  • Shared Governance in Practice: What Every Dean Needs to Know
  • Can the Subaltern Speak?  Listening to Conservatives on Campus
  • The Storytelling Imperative: Articulating the Value of Higher Education
  • Higher Education Today: Practices for Survival
  • The Dean as Public Intellectual and Advocate for Higher Education
  • Bridging the Liberal Arts - Vocational "Divide"
  • Toward Life and Career: Re-organizing and Re-imagining Student Success Initiatives
  • Liberal Education and Preparation for Career and Life: Is General Education a Help or a Hurdle?
  • STEM to STEAM to STREAM: Balance and Realignment for Humanities


ACAD and CCAS Joint Reception
Friday, January 26, 5:30 PM

ACAD and CCAS (Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences) are co-hosting a reception Friday evening. All are welcome to join us as we celebrate our new partnership.