AAC&U News, September 2018
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

Register Now: Global Engagement and Spaces of Practice Conference

Exploring Global Challenges across Disciplinary Boundaries
October 11–13, Seattle, Washington
Register by September 10 for best rates

In today’s interconnected world, place is a crucial point of departure for inquiry, collaboration, and discovery. The Global Engagement and Spaces of Practice conference will consider how educators are using place-based disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry to focus and integrate learning across a variety of geographic, cultural, and philosophical domains to engage students in issues that matter to them and to society. Jessica Evert, executive director of Child Family Health International, will deliver the keynote address on “The Power and Perils of Interdisciplinary Education and Global Engagement.” Mark Kingwell, professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, will deliver the closing plenary, “Where Is the University? Thoughts on Place, Thinking, and Thinking in Place.” View the preliminary conference program for more information on sessions, workshops, and speakers.

Register Now: Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference

Confirming the Authority of Evidence
November 8–10, Atlanta, Georgia
Register by October 8 for best rates

Hosted by AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope, this conference’s mission is to chart a daring path toward the reform of STEM higher education by strategically integrating disciplinary introspection, social consciousness, and self-reflection into an unparalleled conference experience that gives deeper meaning and purpose to our way of knowing, understanding, and advancing STEM higher education practice, research, and policy. Keynote addresses include “Using Evidence for Organizational Learning and STEM Institutional Change” by Sylvia Hurtado, professor of education at the University of California–Los Angeles; “Uncorking Curricular Bottlenecks to Student Success in STEM” by Nathan Klingbeil, professor of mechanical engineering at Wright State University; and “Post-Secondary STEM Education: A Path or a Wall to Modern American Citizenship?” by Kamau Bobb, senior director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Call for Proposals: Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference

Engaged Inclusivity: Perceptions, Realities, and Aspirations
March 28–30, 2019, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Proposals Due September 13

This conference will examine what it means to work toward a campus environment where inclusivity thrives through constant reflection, analysis, and accountability. The conference will provide a forum for educators, students, and community stakeholders to raise critical questions about institutional and external practices, policies, and structures that hinder full inclusion and to identify strategies for improving the educational environment for all participants.

Speakers Announced for AAC&U’s 2019 Annual Meeting

"Raising Our Voices: Reclaiming the Narrative on the Value of Higher Education
January 23–26, 2019, Atlanta, Georgia
Registration Opens September 17

AAC&U’s 2019 Annual Meeting will open Wednesday evening with a presentation by Kwame Anthony Appiah, professor of philosophy and law at New York University and writer of "The Ethicist" column for the New York Times, on “The Honor Code in America Today.” The opening plenary, moderated by AAC&U president Lynn Pasquerella, will feature speakers Gail Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College–City University of New York; Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College (invited); Kirk Carapezza, education reporter for WGBH Boston; Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education (invited); and Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core. The final plenary will be delivered by Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law and Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence at Yale Law School. The meeting will also feature a special event on Thursday evening—“Music of the Movement”—a performance inspired by the music of the civil rights movement. The Annual Meeting also features the 2019 Premeeting Symposium, “Is There a Rubric for That? A Decade of VALUE and the Future of Higher Education,” on Wednesday, January 23, and the Tenth Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios on January 26.

AAC&U Webinar: “Engaging All Students in Global Learning”

September 12 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Free for AAC&U Members; $100 for Nonmembers

To ensure that all students have an opportunity to engage with global perspectives, institutions are increasingly seeking ways to integrate global learning across the curriculum and cocurriculum. This webinar, “Engaging All Students in Global Learning,”  brings together a panel of global learning leaders to provide strategies and practices that afford global learning experiences for all students across disciplinary, on- and off-campus, and curricular and cocurricular lines. Participants will leave the webinar with examples of global learning assignment design and strategic ideas that can be implemented at a variety of institutions for diverse student groups with differing levels of global experience and engagement. Moderated by Dawn Michele Whitehead, senior director for global learning and curricular change at AAC&U, the webinar includes panelists Kristina Watkins Mormino, professor of French and coordinator of the Global Studies Certification Program at Georgia Gwinnett College; Paloma Rodriguez, associate director of international studies at the University of Florida International Center; and Bridget G. Trogden, associate dean for engagement and general education and associate professor in the Department of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University.


Project News

AAC&U Releases New Employer Research

AAC&U's newest employer research, “Fulfilling the American Dream: Liberal Education and the Future of Work,” summarizes selected findings from two parallel national surveys—one of 501 business executives at private sector and nonprofit organizations and another of 500 hiring managers whose current job responsibilities include recruiting, interviewing, and/or hiring new employees. Both executives and hiring managers express a higher degree of confidence in colleges and universities than does the American public. They also agree upon the value of college and believe that it is both important and worth the investment of time and money. Additionally, consistent with findings from six earlier surveys commissioned by AAC&U as part of its ongoing LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) initiative, employers overwhelmingly endorse broad learning and cross-cutting skills as the best preparation for long-term career success. AAC&U members can access the recording of AAC&U's webinar that provides additional analysis and insight about the report's findings. 

Nominations Due October 1 for K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

The K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education, who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and others, and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. Nominees must hold student status in January 2019, and award recipients will attend and present at AAC&U’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. A list of previous recipients is available here.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

Fifth Anniversary Issue of “PUBLIC: A Journal of Imagining America”

This special anniversary issue of PUBLIC highlights Imagining America’s move to the University of California–Davis by investigating public scholarship and community-engaged teaching in California's Central Valley, whose population experiences many of the tensions experienced nationally, such as equitable access to housing, education, land, water, and employment. The opportunities and tensions involved in producing timely and locally engaged public scholarship in a specific regional setting are explored throughout this volume.

New Online Resources to Support Democratic Learning and Political Engagement on Campus

AAC&U has compiled Learn-Engage-Vote, a list of resources to foster political learning and democratic engagement in their Civic Learning resource hub. The Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) recently published Election Imperatives: Ten Recommendations to Increase College Student Voting and Improve Political Learning and Engagement in Democracy. Campus Compact has released Education for Democracy, a non-partisan initiative that will focus on preparing students to engage effectively and constructively in public life.

Fall 2018 Events Hosted by CLDE Action Network Members

There is still time to register for meetings hosted by CLDE Action Network member institutions. The Anchor Institutions Task Force (AITF) Annual Conference will take place November 15–16, 2018, in New York. The AITF explores how anchor institutions can deepen their engagement in their localities and regions. The 2018 Imagining America National Gathering, "Transformative Imaginations: Decarceration and Liberatory Futures," will be held October 19–21, 2018, in Chicago.

Imagining America, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE), Campus Compact, and the Anchor Institutions Task Force (AITF) are members of the CLDE Action Network, an alliance of twelve leading civic learning organizations convened by AAC&U. Responding to the ambitious goals set forth in A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future, the CLDE Action Network coordinates, constructs, and advances efforts to prepare college students for informed and responsible citizenship and make civic inquiry and engagement expected rather than elective in college. See the CLDE events calendar for upcoming civic conferences and webinars.

BTtoP News

BTtoP Establishes New Formal Advisory Board

On July 1, David Scobey succeeded Don Harward as director of Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP). This was the culmination of a year of transitional planning that also included the inauguration of an advisory board designed by Harward and collaboratively selected by Harward and Scobey. The board comprises long-time BTtoP leaders, such as cofounders Don Harward and Sally Engelhard Pingree, and faculty, staff, campus administrators, and national higher education leaders from a variety of fields, academic sectors, generations, and regions. Board members include Adriana Aldana, Randy Bass, Johnnella Butler, Joyce Bylander, Timothy K. Eatman, Sally Engelhard Pingree, Donald Harward, Tessa Hicks Peterson, Martha Kanter, Caryn McTighe Musil, Jonathan Metzl, Ken O’Donnell, Lynn Pasquerella, Joan Riley, Verdis Robinson, Philip Rous, and a representative of the Endeavor Foundation. The board embodies BTtoP’s commitment to both foundational academic values and creative change, enabling the project to integrate established and emerging priorities. To learn more about BTtoP’s advisory board, visit https://www.bttop.org/about/advisory-board.

BTtoP Director David Scobey Issues Call to Community

On August 2, BTtoP Director David Scobey reached out to both friends and partners of BTtoP with a call to community addressing BTtoP’s past and future, as well as the current erosion of higher education as a public good. The letter was a call to action, but it also served to launch a new dialogic and collaborative process between the BTtoP team and its larger community. Through a follow-up feedback survey, the BTtoP team has invited members of its network to offer thoughts about the organization’s mission, past accomplishments, unfinished work, and outreach efforts. BTtoP welcomes any additional questions, concerns, and suggestions via the above survey link or the director’s email.

BTtoP Director David Scobey Attends Great Colleges for the New Majority Institute

David Scobey attended the third annual summer institute of the Great Colleges for the New Majority Network in Chicago from August 27 to 30. The Great Colleges Network is a collaborative of adult-serving bachelor’s programs and colleges dedicated to offering excellent, transformative education to adult, working, and nontraditional students. The institute was cohosted by two Chicago-based programs in the network, DePaul University’s School for New Learning and National Louis University. It was attended by educators from a dozen colleges and programs and focused on themes such as best practices for mentoring and supporting students, building peer-to-peer student community, faculty development, and redesigning high-impact practices for adult, working, and parenting students. Scobey—who was among the original members of the network—took part in this year’s keynote conversation.

Other News

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella Appointed President of Phi Beta Kappa Society

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella has been appointed president of the Phi Beta Kappa Society for a three-year term from 2018 to 2021. She has served Phi Beta Kappa in several national and local roles, most recently as vice president of the society from 2016 to 2018. “Phi Beta Kappa’s mission to recognize intellectual rigor and academic excellence, and advocate for the liberal arts and sciences, is more critical than ever. I am thrilled to be assuming the presidency of an organization that has championed the liberal arts and sciences, and freedom of inquiry and expression, for over 240 years,” Pasquerella said. “I look forward to working with Phi Beta Kappa’s staff and the senate to ensure that this mission is upheld on the campuses and in the communities of each of our chapters and associations.”

AAC&U Members Earn Excellence in Assessment Designation

Two AAC&U member institutions—Northern Arizona University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte—have earned the Excellence in Assessment designation, cosponsored by AAC&U, for their commitment to the comprehensive assessment of student learning outcomes as a means to drive internal improvement and advance student success. According to the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, “The Excellence in Assessment (EIA) program—the first national designation of its kind—spotlights institutions successfully integrating assessment practices across campus, providing evidence of student learning outcomes, and using assessment results to guide institutional decision-making and improve student performance.”

New Book Cosponsored by AAC&U: “Interreligious/Interfaith Studies: Defining a New Field”

There is little debate that interreligious/interfaith studies is flourishing at a remarkable pace. However, as this field becomes more established, key questions and considerations emerge. How is interreligious/interfaith studies distinct from, yet similar to, other fields, such as religious or theological studies? What are the field's signature pedagogies and methodologies? What are its motivations and key questions? In other words, what is the shape of interfaith and interreligious studies, and what is its distinct contribution? Edited by Eboo Patel, Jennifer Howe-Peace, and Noah Silverman and featuring more than twenty-five authors from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, Interreligious/Interfaith Studies: Defining a New Field explores the field's theoretical constructions, pedagogy and classroom practices, challenges and tensions, and applications beyond the classroom.

About AAC&U News

AAC&U News is written and edited by Ben Dedman. If you have questions or comments about the newsletter's contents, please e-mail dedman@aacu.org.


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