AAC&U News, March 2020
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

Register Now: Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

The Power of Collective Action
March 1921, 2020, New Orleans, Louisiana

Join AAC&U for a conference focused on action-oriented and practical strategies to create more just and equitable campuses. Sessions will focus on how educators are breaking down barriers and building coalitions to advance effective practices, identifying solutions to enduring challenges, and leading change for the common good. Plenary speakers include Lori Patton Davis (Ohio State University) on “Framing Possibilities for Collective Action in Higher Education: The Role of Intersectionality,” Estela Mara Bensimon (University of Southern California Rossier School of Education) on “Educating First-Generation Equity Practitioners to Be Race-Conscious,” and Timothy K. Eatman (Rutgers University–Newark) on “Full Participation in Twenty-First-Century Academe: Beware the Shrinking Imagination.” The full program includes sessions designed by and for participants from across campus roles, including student-led sessions. Program information is available here.

AAC&U Launches Institute on ePortfolios

The yearlong institute will kick-off July 20–23, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Applications due April 7, 2020

AAC&U, in collaboration with the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) and NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, is launching a yearlong Institute on ePortfolios. Working in-person and online, teams from campuses and state systems will collaborate to actualize ambitious strategies to broaden student engagement with ePortfolios on their campuses. The institute will kick off alongside the 2020 AAEEBL Annual Meeting.

Webinar on “Realizing the Full Potential of ePortfolios”

Realizing the Full Potential of ePortfolios: Expanding Beyond a Single Department
March 17, 2020, 2:00–3:00 p.m. (ET) 

How can ePortfolios be used to enhance student learning and persistence? The evidence clearly shows they can, especially when paired with other high-impact practices or adopted campus-wide; however, realizing the full potential of ePortfolios requires effective implementation and integration. Through two campus case studies, this webinar will present proven strategies for expanding the use of ePortfolios beyond a single department. It will also provide an introduction to the Institute on ePortfolios, a collaboration among AAC&U, AAEEBL, and NASPA. This new institute is specifically designed to support colleges and universities that seek to expand their use of ePortfolios and to realize their full potential as a high-impact practice.

Webinar on “Supporting Non-Tenure Track Faculty”

Campus Innovations in Supporting Non-Tenure Track Faculty
March 31, 2020, 2:003:00 p.m. (ET)
Registration for this webinar will open soon. Stay tuned for updates.

How can an institutional commitment to non-tenure-track faculty be translated into sustainable practices that promote their professional development and campus engagement, both inside and outside the classroom? Representatives of Santa Monica College and the Pennsylvania State University, both recipients of the 2019 Delphi Award, will present innovative models for supporting non-tenure-track faculty at these two very different institutions. Given annually to recognize institutional innovation in support of non-tenure-track faculty, the Delphi Award is a partnership between AAC&U and the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education.

Project News

Become a Certified VALUE Scorer

AAC&U is seeking volunteers to participate in the VALUE Institute 2020 Calibration Training and Scoring. This represents a wonderful faculty development opportunity, as individuals who complete the training and meet our calibration standards will be certified as VALUE Institute scorers and may be invited to score student work over the summer. In 2020, there is no charge to participate in training, which begins in late spring and is done completely online. It takes about eight hours to complete. Scoring begins in summer 2020, and scorers are hired to score between ten and fifty student artifacts online in thirty days. All scorers are compensated for their work and receive a VALUE Institute certificate. If you would like to participate in the 2020 VALUE Institute training, please indicate your interest here. If you have questions, please send an email to valueinstitute@aacu.org.

New Issue of “Peer Review” on Transfer Pathways in General Education

This issue of Peer Review explores the General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs) Pathways project, which brought together two- and four-year institutional transfer partners to create pathways focused on general education, preparation for participation in signature work, improvements to the transfer process, and ways to increase degree completion. 

Applications Open for 2020 Delphi Award Recognizing Support for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

The annual Delphi Award presents $15,000 awards to two institutions or organizations that have demonstrated effective strategies to support non-tenure-track, contingent, or adjunct faculty in pursuing strategic priorities such as student learning and community engagement. The award is an initiative of the Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success, an initiative of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California in partnership with AAC&U.

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

Apply Now: 2020 PKAL STEM Leadership Institute®

Institute I: July 8–13, 2020
Institute II: July 15–20, 2020
Applications due March 16, 2020

For over twenty years, the PKAL STEM Leadership Institute® has cultivated leaders of undergraduate STEM reform for both positional and nonpositional leadership roles. With more than two decades of experience in leadership development for STEM faculty and 100 percent of our institute mentors trained in evidence-based coaching, this institute fosters leadership through a highly intensive, hands-on training experience designed to impart immediate efficacy in directing campus-wide or national undergraduate STEM reform initiatives. Click here to register or for more information.

PKAL Regional Network Meetings in the Washington, DC, Region; North Carolina; and Southern California

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

Campus Compact, AASCU, and NASPA Organize Major Conferences to Strengthen Democracy

Campus Compact will host “Compact20: The Promise of Full Participation: Democracy, Opportunity, Voice” from March 29 to April 1 in Seattle. The conference will focus on the role of higher education in building democracy and healthy communities and will provide professional development and networking opportunities for community leaders and partners. AASCU’s American Democracy Project is partnering again with NASPA to host the 2020 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting, June 3–6 in Minneapolis. The conference will draw faculty, student affairs professionals, senior campus administrators, students, and community partners to collectively prepare graduates to be informed, engaged citizens that communities and democracies need.

Bonner Foundation Network Schools Receive Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement

The Carnegie Foundation has announced the 119 US colleges and universities to receive the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in 2020. Fourteen of those schools are members of the Bonner Foundation Network and join thirty-three other active Bonner Network schools with this distinction. This designation indicates commitment to community engagement on an institutional level among these smaller schools.

Youth in and out of College Have Power to Influence Elections

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) adds county-by-county analysis of youth vote in Iowa Caucus to initial research and pre-caucus surveys. Young people made up 24 percent of caucus-goers, and young voters prove pivotal in the Sanders and Buttigieg campaigns. Meanwhile, research from the Interfaith Diversity Experience and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS), created in a partnership between Interfaith Youth Core and the Ohio State University, found that college students from over one hundred colleges and “across all major faiths grew more highly appreciative of political liberals during college, and the highest degrees of growth were among evangelical students (22 percent growth) and LDS students (24 percent growth).”

The Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Bonner Foundation, Campus Compact, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, Interfaith Youth Core, and NASPA 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 to Hold Second PLACE Collaboratory Convening in Baltimore

BTtoP will hold its second PLACE (Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators) Collaboratory Convening from June 9 to 11 in Baltimore. Around thirty-five PLACE participants from across the country—academic, community, and student partners—will discuss local projects and set goals for the collaboratory as a whole, as well as learn about Baltimore’s history and current community work. In addition to this in-person meeting, the PLACE network will hold a series of “cross-pollination” webinars in March and April on topics central to the project’s work in the public humanities. 

Other News

AAC&U Announces New Directors and Officers for Board of Directors

At the recent AAC&U Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, AAC&U members elected three new directors and selected new officers to serve on the board of directors. William J. Craft (Concordia College) will serve as chair of the board, Carol Leary (Bay Path University) will serve as past chair, Lenore Rodicio (Miami Dade College) will serve as vice chair, and Alex Johnson (Cuyahoga Community College) will serve as treasurer. The new directors are Jonathan R. Alger (James Madison University), Brandon Busteed (Kaplan University Partners), and Nancy J. Cable (University of North Carolina at Asheville).

Tia Brown McNair Named One of Thirty-Five Outstanding Women in Higher Education

In honor of Women’s History Month, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education will highlight AAC&U’s Tia Brown McNair in a March 19 edition featuring thirty-five outstanding women who have tackled some of higher education’s toughest challenges, exhibited extraordinary leadership skills, and made a positive difference in their communities.

Dawn Michele Whitehead Featured on “Making Global Learning Universal” Podcast

AAC&U Vice President Dawn Michele Whitehead joined the Making Global Learning Universal podcast to discuss how campuses can tailor global learning to their own contexts and enable all faculty and students to engage in unique ways with their campuses, communities, and careers. Faculty, staff, and students interested in these themes can join AAC&U for the Conference on Global Learning October 8–10 in Miami.

AAC&U Joins Higher Ed Associations in Letter on Campus Free Speech

AAC&U joined the American Council on Education and other higher education organizations in sending a letter to US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos raising concerns about a proposed rule on campus free speech. While the department’s goal of protecting robust debate and a diversity of ideas on campus is admirable, the rule is likely to curtail or limit free speech, particularly at private institutions.

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.

February 6, 2020
Education Dive

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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