AAC&U News, August 2019
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

Late-Breaking Proposals: Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference

Transforming STEM Higher Education
November 7–92019, Chicago
Proposals due August 6

AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) invite proposal submissions for "late-breaking" developments in STEM higher education reform for the 2019 Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference. A late-breaking proposal contains data, results, or outcomes that were not yet known, or fully available, for the original proposal deadline. For more information, view the full call for proposals here

Call for Proposals: General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment Conference

Reflection and Meaning-Making in Turbulent Times
February 20–22, 2020, Jacksonville, FL
Proposals due September 10

AAC&U invites proposals to the 2020 Network for Academic Renewal General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment Conference. Colleagues from all areas of the higher education landscape are invited to share their efforts to create intentional and integrated general education programs, to assess current practices, and to generate evidence of high-quality learning for all students. Please review the full call for proposals for detailed instructions. For more information, call (202) 387-3760 or write to network@aacu.org

2020 Annual Meeting Focuses on Affordability Challenge

Shaping the Future of Higher Education: An Invitation to Lead
January 22–25, 2020, Washington, DC

Several negative fiscal trends now affecting higher education institutions are exacerbating their affordability challenges and threatening their financial sustainability. On campuses across the country, administrators, faculty, staff, and students are rising to meet these challenges—redoubling their commitment to equity and inclusion and refusing to accept the notion that high quality must come at a high cost. AAC&U’s 2020 Annual Meeting will showcase equitable, innovative, and cost-effective models for providing today’s students with a strong, relevant, and inclusive liberal education. Sessions will reflect the development and implementation of high-impact educational practices, inclusive pedagogies, authentic forms of assessment, and pathways to student success that are transforming student learning at two- and four-year institutions, across disciplines and majors, and across institutional types—and shaping the future of higher education. The meeting will feature a Pre-Meeting Symposium, “Learning to Thrive: The Invisible Skills that Foster Student Success,” on Wednesday, January 22, and the 11th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios on Saturday, January 25. Registration opens September 16.

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 2020, and award recipients will attend and present at AAC&U’s 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. A list of previous recipients is available here.

Upcoming AAC&U Webinars

AAC&U is pleased to announce the webinar topics for this fall: “Global Learning Matters: Curricula, Careers, and New Perspectives from Global Health”; The Promise of Community in Confounding Times and Why It Matters for Student Success”; “Adding VALUE: How AAC&U’s Signature Approach to Assessment Can Improve Teaching, Learning, and Student Success”; “Strategies for Supporting Faculty Planning to Advance Curricular Coherence: Four Case Studies”; “The Emerging Landscape of Learning: A Review of Five Years of AAC&U’s VALUE Initiative (2014–2019)”; “Fostering Civic Consciousness through Creativity-Based Pedagogy”; and “STEM Matters: The Formula for Driving Innovation.” More information on these and other AAC&U webinars will soon be available at https://www.aacu.org/events/webinar.

Project News

New Issue of “Liberal Education”

The Confounding Promise of Community: Why It Matters More Than Ever for Student Success

Community engagement can be confounding. The insights, confrontations, and sobering realities students encounter as part of a community can create experiential highs and lows. Yet student engagement with communities produces real opportunities for applying and integrating learning, for developing a sense of flourishing and self-efficacy, and for fostering a range of civic outcomes. This issue of Liberal Education tackles the complexity of community: Who or what defines it? Who is included? And why does thinking equitably about student success need to be at the heart of it all?

New Issue of “Diversity & Democracy”

Students as Agents of Change on Campus

Today’s students are taking the lead to create change at their colleges and universities—in the curriculum and cocurriculum, policies and practices, facilities and student services, and campus climate and institutional priorities. Some of these efforts are entirely student-led, while others involve partnerships among students, faculty, staff, and administrators working toward shared goals, including increased support for equity, inclusion, global citizenship, environmental sustainability, campus safety, and all forms of diversity.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

AAC&U Receives Grant from The Endeavor Foundation to Host “Civic Learning in the Major” Faculty Institutes

To expand the impact of an ongoing AAC&U initiative on civic learning and social responsibility in the major, no matter what the discipline is, The Endeavor Foundation has awarded AAC&U a second grant, Civic Prompts in the Major: Designs in Social Responsibility and the Public Good. During the 2019–20 academic year, AAC&U will host daylong institutes on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and on the West Coast for departmental teams to create designs for embedding civic learning into the structure, concepts, and pedagogies of students’ majors. Please stay tuned for upcoming announcements for departmental applications and locations, or feel free to contact Caryn McTighe Musil at musil@aacu.org.

Anchor Institutions Task Force Releases Second Volume of the “Journal of Anchor Institutions and Communities”

The Journal of Anchor Institutions and Communities reflects the key themes from recent Anchor Institutions Task Force (AITF) conferences “capturing some of the evolving trends in the role of anchor institutions in their local communities.” The “Partnerships for Education” section of this volume “features the education collaborative strategies of Lehman College in the Bronx, New York, the University of San Diego, and Rutgers University–Camden.” The AITF is celebrating a milestone this year with its Tenth Anniversary Annual Conference to be held October 24–25 in New York. Conference registration is now open.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 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 Receives Grant to Launch Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators

BTtoP is thrilled to announce the launch of a new project, the PLACE (Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators) Collaboratory, generously supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The PLACE Collaboratory brings together a network of academic and community partnerships, involving eleven colleges and universities from diverse sectors and regions, to do civic engagement and public humanities work. The goal of each local project will be to develop action plans grounded in community voice and enabled by academic and community partnerships. The goal of the larger collaboratory will be to distill best practices for academic-community engagement, to model the role of the humanities in sustaining it, and to use networked collaboration to disseminate model practices across higher education. Read more about the PLACE Collaboratory here.

BTtoP Releases RFP for AMP Grants

In mid-February, BTtoP launched a new grant opportunity: Amplifying, Disseminating, and Increasing the Public Reach of Research and Practice (AMP) Grants. Intended for both public and nonprofit universities, colleges, and consortia that are former grantees of BTtoP, AMP Grants offered between $500 and $3,000 to increase the public reach of work previously supported by BTtoP. These grants were available to support a range of activities, including campus-to-campus consulting visits, multicampus convenings, public writing, and the release of digital and media products. This spring, we supported five projects, with grants to Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts, Brown University, College of the Canyons, Hostos Community College, and Eastern Michigan University. We hope to continue supporting this important dissemination work with a new round of AMP Grants in the coming academic year.

Other News

Job Openings at AAC&U: Director of Digital Communications and Strategy, IT Web Specialist, and Manager for Database Services

AAC&U seeks talented, self-motivated, productive, and creative individuals for the positions of Director of Digital Communications and Strategy, IT Web Specialist, and Manager for Database Services. The Director of Digital Communications and Strategy is responsible for the development and implementation of the association’s digital communications strategy, which includes oversight of the association’s website and social media accounts. The IT Web Specialist will serve as the primary administrator and strategic authority for AAC&U’s growing web and digital needs, which includes designing, building, and maintaining websites, web applications, and custom integrations that meet the needs of AAC&U. The Manager for Database Services oversees the association’s iMIS database and performs activities that support the membership, finance, communications, development, and program offices. Visit our employment opportunities page for more information about the positions and how to apply.

Austin Community College Seeks New Director for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center

Austin Community College, the site of one of ten Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers across the country, seeks a new director for the campus center. The TRHT Campus Center Director will play a major role in shaping the direction of the center and continuing the college’s collaborations around racial equity work. The director will deliver project management, strategic planning, and implementation leadership for the TRHT Campus Center, part of a comprehensive national and community-based initiative led by AAC&U to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. This posting will be open through August 9, 2019. For more information and to apply, see the full posting here.

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.

He Got It Half Right
By Elwood L. Robinson, chancellor, Winston-Salem State University
July 17, 2019
Inside Higher Ed

We Need to Blend Liberal Arts, Workplace Experience
By Ramon S. Torrecilha, president, Westfield State University
July 6, 2019
CommonWealth Magazine

Commentary: Universities Need to Better Serve Military Students and Veterans
By Kent Syverud, president and chancellor, Syracuse University
June 21, 2019
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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