AAC&U News, January/February 2019
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

Register Now: General Education and Assessment Conference

Creating a 21st-Century General Education: Responding to Seismic Shifts
February 14–16, 2019, San Francisco, California

There is an emerging—and necessary—revolution occurring within general education. This revolution is led not by higher education “disruptors” intent on breaking apart existing systems, but by innovators creating intentional, coherent, engaging, and integrated educational experiences. College and university faculty, cocurricular professionals, and other academic leaders are attending and sharing their work at this conference to engage with colleagues and create the path forward for a twenty-first-century general education. Leslie Wong, president of San Francisco State University, will deliver the keynote address, “Developing Lifelong Energy: The Lost Mission of General Education.” View the conference program for more information on sessions, workshops, and speakers. 

Register Now: Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference

Engaged Inclusivity: Perceptions, Realities, and Aspirations
March 28–30, 2019, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Register by February 28 for best rates

What does it mean to work toward a campus environment where inclusivity thrives through constant reflection, analysis, and accountability? Join educators, students, and community stakeholders as they raise critical questions about institutional and external practices, policies, and structures that hinder full inclusion and identify strategies for improving higher education environments for all participants. Plenary sessions include a keynote by Charles H. F. Davis of the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center, a panel on campus inclusion and free expression moderated by Lorelle Espinosa of the American Council on Education, and a closing plenary on reframing disability by Amanda Kraus of the University of Arizona. Program information is available from the conference schedule.

Send a Team to AAC&U’s 2019 Summer Institutes

AAC&U’s team-based summer institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work in support of advancing campus change initiatives, along with a curriculum focused on important trends, research, and best practices delivered by a resident faculty of educational experts and consultants. Information about institutes, including application materials, is now online.

  • The Institute on General Education and Assessment, taking place June 4–7 at the University of Vermont, provides campus teams with opportunities to refine and advance general education programs and their assessment. The institute conveys a deep and abiding commitment to ensuring that access to excellence in higher education is available to all students, striving toward a vision of education that is energized by students’ multiple and intersecting identities.
  • The Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success, taking place June 18–21 at Villanova University, is designed to help campuses and state systems advance student success by developing and strengthening efforts to support student engagement in high-impact practices, advance curricular coherence, and generate equitable outcomes to make quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education.
  • The Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work, taking place July 16–19 at Emory University, is intended for faculty and administrative teams leading change to deepen students’ integrative learning over time—connecting general education with learning in the major, and curricular with cocurricular learning, leading to signature work. This institute will be held in conjunction with the Interfaith Youth Core’s Institute on Teaching and Learning for Campus-Wide Interfaith Excellence, with the programming and activities of each institute open to all participants. Through the generous support of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, all costs will be covered for campus teams accepted to the interfaith excellence institute.

Announcing the 2019 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers

AAC&U is offering the second annual institute on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers for campuses seeking to break down racial hierarchies and create a positive narrative about race in their communities. At the institute, new and returning TRHT Campus Center teams will identify evidence-based strategies that support their vision for what their communities will look and feel like when the belief in the hierarchy of human value no longer exists. Teams will participate in racial healing circles, take part in workshops, and collaborate with experienced TRHT Campus Center mentors, workshop facilitators, communication experts, and evaluation consultants to develop or refine their transformative campus action plans. The TRHT Institute will be held June 25–28 at Villanova University. In conjunction with the TRHT institute, there will be a post-institute preparation process for participants interested in learning how to facilitate racial healing circles. Applications must be received by March 14, 2019.

Apply Now for WPI’s 2019 Institute on Project-Based Learning

AAC&U and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are pleased to announce that the application process is now open for the 2019 Institute on Project-Based Learning, to be held June 18–21, 2019, at WPI in Worcester, Massachusetts. The institute, a flagship offering of WPI’s Center for Project-Based Learning, will bring together teams of faculty and administrators from colleges and universities for interactive workshops, consultations with institute faculty, and collaborative teamwork guided by a dedicated coach. Participants will come to the institute with a proposal outlining a specific goal or project they would like to advance and will leave the institute with an enhanced understanding of project-based learning and a tailored plan to advance work on their own campuses. Randy Bass, vice provost for education at Georgetown University, will be returning as keynote speaker. Applications are open through February 12, 2019. Hear from past participants about the impact of the institute on advancing project-based learning initiatives on their campuses. 

AAC&U Announces Spring 2019 Webinar Schedule

AAC&U is pleased to announce its next series of webinars highlighting the work being done at colleges and universities around the country to address challenges and identify best practices for enhancing the teaching and learning experience, demonstrating the value of liberal education, and preparing students to contribute to a diverse democracy and global citizenship. Information about webinars later in the spring is available online.

  • Wednesday, March 6, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
    “Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers: Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders to Confront Racism”
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
    “The Evolving Contributions of Teaching Centers in Rewriting the Value Narrative of Education”
  • Tuesday April 9, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
    “Connecting the Branches: Insights from the National Academies Report on Integrative Learning”
  • Tuesday April 16, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
    “Integrating Interfaith Engagement with Curricular and Cocurricular Initiatives”


Project News

New Publication: “We Have a Rubric for That: The VALUE Approach to Assessment”

The newest publication in a series of reports on the AAC&U Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) Initiative—We Have a Rubric for That: The VALUE Approach to Assessment—compiles ten years of evidence to provide an argument-based framework for the assessment of student learning in higher education using the VALUE rubrics. This publication presents a wide range of sources to provide timely evidence of the power of the VALUE approach to assessment. First introduced in 2009 as an alternative to the predominant educational assessment paradigm—standardized tests—the VALUE rubrics have moved from the periphery of student outcomes assessment to the center of conversations about the quality of student learning within and across institutions. As of 2018, the rubrics have been downloaded more than 70,000 times by individuals representing nearly 5,900 organizations, including more than 2,188 colleges and universities. We invite you to download the rubrics—available for free on AAC&U’s website.

Recipients of the 2019 K. Patricia Cross Award

AAC&U is excited to announce the recipients of the 2019 K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, recognizing 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. The awards honor the work of K. Patricia Cross, professor emerita of higher education at the University of California–Berkeley. This year’s recipients are: Brianna Benedict, PhD student in engineering education at Purdue University; Naniette H. Coleman, PhD candidate in sociology at University of California–Berkeley; Andrew Katz, PhD candidate in engineering education at Purdue University; Aurora B. Le, PhD candidate in health behavior at Indiana University; Shelbi Nahwilet Meissner, PhD candidate in philosophy and American Indian and indigenous studies at Michigan State University; Hannah Volkman, PhD candidate in environmental infectious diseases at University of Minnesota; and Arley R. Ward II, PhD candidate in history at the University of Arkansas.

Call for Papers: International Journal of ePortfolio

The International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP), a publication of AAC&U, is a double-blind, peer-reviewed, open-access journal freely available online. It is published twice a year (typically in April and October). IJeP is now accepting manuscripts for consideration for its Fall 2019 issue. Those wishing to be considered for this issue should submit by June 1, 2019. Those submitting manuscripts to IJeP can expect the review process to take less than ninety days. The full call for proposals, including submission guidelines, can be found here.

VALUE Institute Registration Now Open

AAC&U has announced the opening of registration for the 2018–19 VALUE Institute. The VALUE Institute is a resource for colleges and universities to document, report, and use learning outcomes evidence to improve student learning and success. VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) is a campus-based assessment approach developed and led by AAC&U as part of its Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative. Using the proven VALUE approach to assessment to assess authentic student work, the VALUE Institute provides institutions with data and reports to determine whether and how well students are meeting graduation-level achievement in learning outcomes that both employers and faculty consider essential. VALUE Institute assessment results provide participating institutions with actionable information about students’ learning and support capacity-building for faculty, institutions, and policy makers on how to use evidence to support student success and effective pedagogy. Registration remains open through March 1.

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

PKAL Regional Network Meetings in Puerto Rico; Southern California; Washington, DC Region; and Ohio

2019 AAC&U TIDES Institute

Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM (TIDES)
June 10–14, 2019, Los Angeles, California

The enrollment of Hispanic students in US colleges and universities is expected to continue to dramatically increase over the next decade, but . . . are we ready for them? The AAC&U TIDES Institute offers a different approach to empowering STEM faculty to implement culturally responsive pedagogy in core STEM classrooms. Modeled after our unique professional development design, the TIDES Institute uses the combined power of critical reflection, accountability, awareness, and coalition building to increase the self-efficacy of STEM faculty in designing and delivering culturally responsive STEM content. Participants will use their authentic voices, institutional contexts, and individual worldviews to create meaningful solutions for retaining Hispanic students in STEM. Space is limited.

PKAL STEM Leadership Institute

Institute I:       July 9–14, 2019
Institute II:      July 16–21, 2019
The Claggett Center, Adamstown, Maryland

Enlightened institutions of higher education recognize the value of cultivating leadership capacity among STEM faculty and administrators. The PKAL STEM Leadership Institute empowers individuals in fully understanding and implementing the theory and practice of navigating the politics of change, addressing inter- and intrapersonal conflicts, and restructuring the institutional systems that limit our capacity for global competitiveness in science and technology. Early application deadline is January 15, 2019; the regular deadline is March 15, 2019.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

NASPA Hosts Webinar on CLDE Theory of Change

The "CLDE Theory of Change Tool Kit Foundry" webinar is intended to further explain the CLDE Theory of Change and to share emerging tools to incorporate the four-question framework into your work. Specifically, the webinar will explore a civic autobiography tool and a social distance reduction tool. Offered on February 13 at 2:00 p.m., this webinar is free for NASPA members and $99 for nonmembers.

Campus Compact Podcast Highlights Two Campus Civic Action Plans

The first 2019 Compact Nation Podcast, “Putting the “Action” in Civic Action Plans,” highlights the work of two institutions that approached the concept of civic action planning in very different ways, making big impacts on their campuses and communities.

NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and Campus Compact 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

Well-Being and the Equity Imperative Workshop at AAC&U’s Diversity Conference

In March 2018, BTtoP will host a pre-conference workshop at AAC&U’s Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Facilitated by Joselyn Schultz Lewis, Timothy K. Eatman, and Caitlin Salins, the workshop will address two questions: What does it mean to place support for student flourishing at the center of the equity agenda, and what does it mean to place equity, diversity, and inclusion at the heart of our understanding of student well-being? It will focus on the experiences and needs of students whose experiences of marginality often undermine their success: students of color, first-generation students, low-income students, and adult working students. It will combine research on student well-being and precarity, discussion of best practices, and reflection on what general commitments constitute a “well-being equity agenda.” Click here to learn more about the workshop. 

BTtoP Releases RFP for New Multi-Institutional Innovation Grants

Last December, BTtoP announced Multi-Institutional Innovation Grants, a new funding opportunity for colleges, universities, and other higher education organizations, with awards of up to $7,000. These grants will fund multi-institutional collaborations that use innovative practices, programs, policies, or research to advance BTtoP’s commitments to educating the whole student, equity and inclusion, and creative innovation. Awards will be announced by March 15, 2019. For the complete request for proposals, please visit https://www.bttop.org/grants-funding/funding-opportunities.

BTtoP Issuing New RFP for Public Research and Practice Grants

In mid-February, BTtoP will announce its newest RFP opportunity: Amplifying, Disseminating, and Increasing the Public Reach of Research and Practice (AMP) Grants. Intended for both public and nonprofit universities, colleges, and consortia, AMP grants will provide between $500 and $3,000 to increase the public reach of work previously supported by BTtoP. These grants may be used to support a range of activities, including campus-to-campus consulting visits, multi-campus convenings, public writing, and the release of digital and media products. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis starting March 1, 2018, with award announcements beginning on April 1, 2018. Once released, the RFP will be available on BTtoP’s Funding Opportunities page

Invitation to Bring Your Voice to the BTtoP Community

Every two weeks, BTtoP sends out an informal email update entitled "Bringing It." The platform is meant for the whole BTtoP community and those wishing to join it: a place to get news, share work and readings, brainstorm, argue, and build connections. If you would like to contribute to “What We’re Reading,” please send a comment of no more than one hundred words. If you have an idea for a project you would like to float, or simply want to send advice or questions, kudos, or critiques, please reach out to info@bttop.org. Your voices are welcome.

Other News

AAC&U Seeks Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs

AAC&U seeks an experienced, self-motivated, and creative leader for the position of Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs. The vice president will report to the president and will provide strategic leadership for all aspects of AAC&U communications with internal and external audiences. Specifically, this position oversees media relations, marketing, AAC&U’s web site, member communications, and development and production of publications. This includes AAC&U’s three quarterly journals: Liberal EducationPeer Review, and Diversity and Democracy. In addition to communications skills and experiences, the ideal candidate will also possess in-depth knowledge of trends and challenges in higher education today and will have had opportunities on a college/or university campus to lead change in ways associated with AAC&U’s mission. In addition to overseeing AAC&U’s Communications Office, the vice president will also serve as a key contributor to senior leadership within the association. Review of applications will begin on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. View the full job posting here.

AAC&U Welcomes Christen Aragoni as Academic Editor and Editor, "Liberal Education"

AAC&U has appointed Christen Aragoni as academic editor and editor of Liberal Education, the flagship journal of AAC&U. Prior to joining AAC&U, Aragoni spent four and a half years as an editor for Currents, the membership magazine of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She covered the alumni relations beat and other topics on advancement in higher education, while also overseeing production. She previously was a senior editor at The American Prospect magazine. She serves on the alumni committee of Cornell Alumni Magazine. Aragoni holds a BA in English, with minors in writing and women’s studies, from Cornell University and an MFA in creative writing from American University.

Call for Submissions for the "Academic Minute,” Cosponsored by AAC&U

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella is the host of the Academic Minute, a radio segment produced by WAMC Northeast Public Radio in partnership with AAC&U. The Academic Minute features professors and researchers from colleges and universities around the world discussing what’s new in the academy and the ways in which academic research contributes to serving the public good. Producers of the Academic Minute are seeking submissions about all research topics, and universities are encouraged to submit ideas for “weekly takeovers” featuring five separate research segments from one institution. Recent weekly takeovers include research from New York Institute of Technology, Roanoke College, University at Albany, Carleton College, and Amherst College. Please send your submission to David Hopper at dhopper@wamc.org

Action Collaborative on Sexual Harassment in Higher Education

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are seeking to advance efforts to prevent and effectively respond to sexual harassment in higher education. To do so, they are organizing a group of higher education institutions and foundations that want to lead the way and form an Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. The group will work toward targeted, collective action for addressing and preventing all forms of sexual harassment and promoting a culture of civility and respect. Members of the Action Collaborative will meet in-person twice a year to collaborate on developing new campus policies, strategies, and programs; to share and exchange promising practices; to develop a shared research agenda; to conduct research on effective ways to prevent sexual harassment; and to coordinate with foundations and professional and disciplinary societies on addressing sexual harassment in higher education. If institutions are interested in joining the Action Collaborative, they should contact Frazier Benya (FBenya@nas.edu) and Tom Rudin (TRudin@nas.edu) at the National Academies by the end of February.

Interfaith Leadership Institute

Interfaith Youth Core’s annual Interfaith Leadership Institute (ILI), to be held August 2–4 in Chicago, is a three-day workshop that equips undergraduate students and educators with the skills to bring the movement for interfaith cooperation back to their campuses and communities. Learn more here, and sign up to be the first to know when registration opens in March and receive a $50 discount. The AAC&U discount code (AACUILI) provides $100 off the $299 registration fee and can be redeemed in addition to a $100 early bird discount.

AALHE's Ninth Annual Assessment Conference

Saint Paul, Minnesota, June 10–13, 2019

Register now for the annual conference of the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE). Proposals for the conference are due February 22. The AALHE Annual Assessment Conference is an exceptional forum for assessment practitioners in higher education. Small sessions and multiple opportunities to interact with others in the assessment community make this one of the best resources for assessment professionals. Conference attendees choose from sessions that showcase assessment practices, participate in hands-on workshops, discuss ideas during poster and panel sessions, and engage with leading thinkers in assessment throughout the conference. 

Announcing the Network of Concerned Academics

The Network of Concerned Academics (NCA) is a coalition of US higher education organizations, networks, campus groups, administrators, faculty, staff, and students who seek to promote and advance the principles of higher education: the unfettered search for truth, the cultivation of an inclusive democratic culture, and the expansion of access to high-quality education for all members of our diverse society. Affiliated with AAC&U and the American Association of University Professors, NCA provides support, materials, and advice to enable groups to protect and strengthen the essential role of higher education in a democratic society. Visit their website for more information, including model responses for administrators, faculty, and students facing difficult situations including controversial speakers, targeted faculty, outside interference with academic due process, etc.

Professional Development Opportunity for Early Career Scholars with Disabilities

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Spencer Foundation are jointly sponsoring a formal mentoring and professional development opportunity to address the unique challenges faced by promising doctoral candidates and postdoctoral scholars with disabilities seeking to pursue tenure-track faculty positions. Up to twenty scholars will be selected to participate in the two-part program, which consists of a pre-conference seminar held from April 4 to 5 before the AERA annual meeting, followed by working with a virtual mentor. Please contact Keri L. Rodgers for more information.

Thought Leadership from Presidents’ Trust Members

Articles and Op-Eds by Members of AAC&U's Presidents' Trust

The Presidents’ Trust is a leadership group of nearly three hundred college and university presidents from all institutional types who are committed to advocating for the value of liberal education and inclusive excellence and rebuilding public trust in higher education. More information and a roster of all trust members can be found here. For more information about Presidents’ Trust membership, please contact the President's Office at presidentsoffice@aacu.org.

To Survive, Colleges Must Adapt and Change
By Scott D. Miller, President, Virginia Wesleyan University
February 3, 2019
The Virginian-Pilot

US Colleges May Have Trouble Keeping Presidents
By Pete Musto and Dorothy Gundy
Featuring AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella and Presidents’ Trust Chair Grant Cornwell, Rollins College
February 2, 2019
Voice of America News

5 Takeaways From 24 Hours at a Major Teaching Conference
By Goldie Blumenstyk
Featuring Presidents’ Trust Member Mary Schmidt Campbell, Spelman College
January 29, 2019
The Chronicle of Higher Education

America’s Colleges Struggle to Envision the Future of Diversity on Campus
By Laura Pappano
Featuring Presidents’ Trust Member Martin Krislov, Pace University
January 16, 2019
The Hechinger Report

United Methodist University Leaders Call for LGBTQ Acceptance by Church
By Susan Svrluga
Featuring Presidents’ Trust Member Scott D. Miller, Virginia Wesleyan University
January 16, 2019
The Washington Post Grade Point Blog

Viewpoint: Colleges Must Make Case for Value
By Lynn Pasquerella, President, AAC&U, and Ramon S. Torrecilha, President, Westfield State University
January 9, 2019
Boston Business Journal

President Speaks: Creating Leadership Pathways for Women in Higher Ed
By Carolyn Stefanco, President, The College of Saint Rose
January 8, 2019
Education Dive

We're Proud to Be in the Fiesta Bowl, But Fostering Social Mobility Matters More
By Dale Whittaker, President, University of Central Florida
December 31, 2018

Liberal Arts Programs Face Challenges in Changing Priorities
By Max Filby
Featuring Presidents’ Trust Member Michael Frandsen, Wittenberg University
December 30, 2018
Dayton Daily News

When Visions of Mission Collide
By Raynard S. Kington, President, Grinnell College
December 20, 2018
Inside Higher Ed

Our Shameful Support of the Status Quo (Part of The Chronicle Review's Compilation, "The Awakening: Women and Power in the Academy")
By Carmen Twillie Ambar, President, Oberlin College
December 18, 2018

The Chronicle of Higher Education Review
Scott D. Miller: What We're Wishing for This Year
By Scott D. Miller, president, Virginia Wesleyan University
December 16, 2018
The Virginian-Pilot

President Speaks 2018: 5 Big Issues Higher Ed Leaders Faced This Year
By Hallie Busta
Featuring Presidents’ Trust Chair Grant Cornwell, Rollins College, and Presidents’ Trust Member M. Duane Nellis, Ohio University
December 13, 2018
Education Dive

What a Liberal Arts College Is and What You Should Know
By Josh Moody
Featuring Presidents’ Trust Members Jill Tiefenthaler, Colorado College, and Jonathan Veitch, Occidental College
December 7, 2018
U.S. News & World Report

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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