AAC&U News, September 2019
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

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

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

AAC&U invites proposals to its 2020 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 see the conference overview and call for proposals for detailed instructions.

Speakers Announced for AAC&U’s 2020 Annual Meeting

Shaping the Future of Higher Education: An Invitation to Lead
January 22–25, 2020, Washington, DC
Registration opens September 16

AAC&U’s 2020 Annual Meeting will open Wednesday evening, January 22, with the Carol Geary Schneider Lecture on Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence, presented by Shaun R. Harper, founder and executive director of the Race and Equity Center at the University of Southern California. The opening plenary, moderated by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella, will feature speakers Andrew Delbanco, president of The Teagle Foundation; Mary Dana Hinton, president of the College of Saint Benedict; and Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed. Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University, will deliver the final plenary. The annual meeting will feature two all-day events on Wednesday, January 22: a pre-meeting symposium, “Learning to Thrive: The Invisible Skills That Foster Student Success,” and a forum presented by the Lingnan Foundation on “Global Economic Development and Higher Education.” The 11th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios, “ePortfolios and the Future of Higher Education: Fostering Leadership among Faculty, Staff, Administrators, and Students,” will be offered January 25.

Register Now: Global Citizenship for Campus, Community, and Careers Conference

Crossing Borders and Boundaries
October 17–19, 2019, San Antonio, Texas
Register by September 17 for best rates

Preparing students for life, work, and citizenship requires moving beyond mere mentions of global learning in mission statements to embrace a model that fully integrates global learning into the educational experiences of all students at all types of institutions. The Global Citizenship for Campus, Community, and Careers conference will explore practical and theoretical approaches to global learning at the course, departmental, and institutional levels. Margee Ensign, president of Dickinson College, will deliver the keynote address, “The National Security Threat We Are Ignoring—The Failure of American Education to Prepare Students for the Future.” David Hernández, associate professor of Latina/o/x studies at Mount Holyoke College, will deliver the closing plenary, “The Global Next Door: Local Engagement, Accompaniment, and New Forms of Diversity.”

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

The Power of Collective Action
March 19–21, 2020, New Orleans, Louisiana
Proposals due October 1

AAC&U invites students, educators, policy makers, and administrators from all campus sectors to participate in this conference. “Diversity, Equity, and Student Success: The Power of Collective Action” will prioritize collective and shared responsibility for change and highlight the use of reflective and action-oriented dialogue, which recognizes and values everyone’s potential to contribute to the institutional change needed to help transform our society. Please see the conference overview and call for proposals for detailed instructions.

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.

Register Now: Transforming STEM Higher Education

November 7–9, 2019, Chicago, Illinois
Register by October 7 for best rates 

This conference calls upon STEM disciplinary faculty and education researchers to join us in charting a daring path for STEM higher education reform that is paved with social consciousness, critical reflection, introspection, and disciplinary boundary crossing. Transforming STEM Higher Education will question and examine the entire range of contemporary challenges to—and opportunities for—STEM higher education reform. The conference will explore contemporary approaches to teaching, broadening participation, interrogating research studies, and verifying assessment tools for determining effectiveness. In keeping with our commitment to STEM faculty, we will also explore novel approaches to professional and leadership development. Conference attendees will be invited to unveil and abate disciplinary biases, confront fixations on “fix the student” reform models, and question theories about what counts as evidence of effectiveness.

Upcoming AAC&U Webinars

AAC&U is pleased to share news about our fall webinars:

  • “Global Learning Matters: Curricula, Careers, and New Perspectives from Global Health”
  • “The Confounding Promise of Community: Why It Matters More Than Ever 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”
  • “Fostering Civic Consciousness through Creativity-Based Pedagogy”
  • “STEM Matters: The Formula for Driving Innovation”

More information on AAC&U webinars can be found here.

Project News

New Issue of “Peer Review”

This issue of Peer Review, “At the Soul of Leadership: Authentic Perspectives on STEM Reform from HBCUs,” features research articles by Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL) fellows on proven HBCU leadership approaches that have broadened the participation of historically underrepresented groups in STEM.

Five AAC&U Members Earn Excellence in Assessment Designation

Five AAC&U member institutions—Bucknell University, Auburn University, Finger Lakes Community College, Missouri State University, and the University of Northern Iowa—have earned the Excellence in Assessment designation for their commitment to the comprehensive assessment of student learning outcomes as a means to drive internal improvement and advance student success at the institution level. The designation is cosponsored by the Voluntary System of Accountability, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, and AAC&U.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

2019 Bonner Student Leadership Congress

Each fall, the Bonner Foundation organizes 125–150 student leaders from Bonner Network campuses to engage in training, discussion, networking, and planning on key initiatives that can strengthen their Bonner programs, campus-wide engagement, and impact. Centre College will host this year’s congress from October 4 to 6.

Starter Grants for Recent Graduates to Use Interfaith Skills

Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) will support recent graduates with mentoring and grants of up to $500 to help them bring the interfaith leadership skills they developed during their undergraduate education into the world beyond their campuses. With an application deadline of September 15, the Interfaith Starter Grants support projects in a variety of contexts: in partnerships with community organizations, at the intersections of graduate/professional study and interfaith, and in individual hands-on experiences.

Research on Bridging Differences

Through a Cummings Foundation grant, the Institute for Democracy in Higher Education (IDHE) will launch the Bridging Differences Initiative this year to research best practices in mediating conflicts and promoting student learning and the free exchange of ideas. IDHE will also provide resources for institutions seeking to find ways to engage with others across divides.

Imagining America Receives Grant to Enhance Public Scholarship in Humanities, the Arts, and Design

Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (IA) will launch a three-year IA Leading and Learning Initiative with “two primary outcomes: it will increase awareness of the value of research and creative practice that engage diverse communities in addressing pressing public issues; at the same time, it will build the institutional capacity needed to support and enable such work.” This grant allows IA to “convene a national cohort of campus and associational leaders and graduate fellows to guide action-oriented research, host organizing institutes, and deploy a multimedia communications campaign to share powerful examples of public scholarship from across the country.”

The Bonner Foundation, IFYC, the Institute for Democracy in Higher Education, and Imagining America 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

Special Offer: Free BTtoP Publications

Due to success with its recent RFPs and biweekly “Bringing It“ messages, BTtoP wants to thank its community as it prepares for future offerings. For a limited time, BTtoP is making its six books, designed for use by educators, administrators, and higher education professionals, available for free through its partners at AAC&U—you pay shipping costs only. This offer includes bulk orders for those who would like to order multiple copies for distribution to committees, faculty members, and/or community members. To learn more and to order, please click here

BTtoP Welcomes Kate Griffin, PLACE Collaboratory Project Coordinator

BTtoP is thrilled to welcome Kate Griffin to the team as the new Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators (PLACE) project coordinator. She brings multiple years of experience as a leader, connector, teacher, and facilitator in spheres of social impact, arts and humanities, equity and advocacy, and mental wellness for college students. Kate will use her experience to manage the PLACE Collaboratory, a two-year Mellon-funded initiative that brings together a network of academic-community partnerships, involving eleven colleges and universities from diverse sectors and regions, to conduct civic-engagement and public-humanities work. The project coordinator serves a crucial role in managing relationships among the participating institutions and community partnerships, sustaining ongoing communications among participants and organizing twice-yearly network convenings, and building a community of practice based on inclusive relationships and shared agenda-setting among diverse stakeholders. Please join us in welcoming Kate as she helps lead the PLACE Collaboratory during what we hope is a generative two-year journey.

Other News

AAC&U Appoints New Senior Director for Membership

Stephenie Brooks-Maynard will join the AAC&U Office of Advancement and Member Engagement as senior director for membership, effective September 9. An experienced leader for membership and marketing in the education community, Brooks-Maynard currently serves as director of membership at the American Dental Education Association. She has served previously as associate director of marketing operations at Post University and as director of membership and marketing for the Airports Council International–North America.

AAC&U Endorses Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act

Recognizing it as a step forward in addressing the student debt crisis, AAC&U endorsed The Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act of 2019, a bipartisan bill intended to help borrowers understand the financial commitment of taking out student loans by requiring the full disclosure of the loan terms, as well as the financial risks associated with not finishing their education.

AAC&U Signs Joint Statement on FBI Urging Universities to Monitor Chinese Students and Scholars

AAC&U and twenty-one other organizations have signed a PEN America statement responding to reports that the federal government has advised US universities to develop protocols for monitoring students and scholars from Chinese state-affiliated research institutions. The statement raises concerns related to academic freedom, institutional independence, the principle of due process, and the privacy rights of students and faculty. 

AAC&U Signs Letter in Support of the College Student Hunger Act

​AAC&U joined the American Council on Education (ACE) and thirty-two other higher education groups in sending a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alfred Lawson Jr. in support of the College Student Hunger Act, which would expand SNAP eligibility to students who qualify for Pell Grants and those with an expected family contribution of $0.

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.

Westfield State Focuses on Relevant, Lifelong Learning
By Ramon S. Torrecilha, president, Westfield State University
August 29, 2019
The Republican

Scott D. Miller: A ‘Climate’ Change Taking Place on U.S. Campuses
By Scott D. Miller, president, Virginia Wesleyan University
August 18, 2019
The Virginian-Pilot

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.


Please contact memberservices@aacu.org for membership questions.