AAC&U News, August 2020
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Events

Register Now: Virtual Conference on Global Learning

Lessons on Global Learning from Higher Education’s Response to a Global Crisis
October 8–10, 2020
Register by September 10 for the best rates.

The urgency of calls for global learning has been sharply increased by our collective experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. AAC&U’s Virtual Conference on Global Learning will highlight and explore practical and theoretical approaches to global learning across institutional types, disciplines, and departments. Participants will have opportunities to share examples of integrative designs for global learning assignments, programs, and assessments; models for embedding technology in meaningful ways that advance student learning; frameworks for ethical engagement, both in-person and from a distance, with community organizations of all types; and strategies to ensure that global learning is connected to broader disciplinary and interdisciplinary learning outcomes and that it can take place at home, in local communities, across the nation, and in other parts of the world.

Call for Proposals: Transforming STEM Higher Education

This Changes Everything
November 5–7, 2020
Submit proposals for preconference workshops by August 19, all other proposals by September 15.

AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope invite proposals for sessions that examine the entire range of contemporary challenges to—and opportunities for—STEM higher education reform. Participants in the conference will address these challenges and opportunities by giving voice, not just sound; demonstration, not just intent; and purpose, not just a plan, to collective efforts to understand, interpret, and accelerate STEM higher education practice, research, and policy in ways that advantage all and disadvantage none. All sessions will be delivered virtually, and presenters will be supported by a team of trained technical producers, moderators, and staff to cocreate the most engaging attendee experience possible.

Apply Now: 2021 Institute on ePortfolios

January 22–23, 2021, Seattle, WA
Apply by September 17.

The Institute on ePortfolios provides a yearlong engagement opportunity for campus and state-system teams seeking to actualize an ambitious strategy to broaden student engagement with ePortfolios. A collaboration among AAC&U; the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning; and NASPA, this new institute model directly engages participating teams throughout the 2021 calendar year via in-person and virtual interactions as participants’ ePortfolio implementation plans are put into practice. The institute will kick off at AAC&U’s 2021 Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios in Seattle, WA. However, should the current public health emergency persist, we will be prepared to pivot to a virtual kick off experience that will accommodate the events planned for the in-person meeting.

Save the Date: AAC&U’s Annual Meeting on “Revolutionizing Higher Education after Covid-19”

January 20–23, 2020, Seattle, Washington
Registration will open in September.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed persistent racial, social, and economic inequities that can no longer be ignored or easily dismissed, and the sudden pivot online has raised searching questions about both the cost and the value of college learning. In this moment of unprecedented transformation and uncertainty, and in the broader context of an urgent need to educate students for democracy, can higher education harness the resilience, creativity, and innovation that have been unleashed by the COVID-19 crisis and emerge from it strengthened? Will the inevitable restructuring and reorganization intentionally prioritize quality, equity, and inclusion? AAC&U’s 2021 Annual Meeting will explore these urgent questions now facing colleges and universities. Sharing effective educational practices and exploring new financial models, campus leaders at all levels and from institutions of all types will together begin to work out what undergraduate education will look like in a post-pandemic future. We are currently planning to hold the annual meeting in Seattle. However, should the current public health emergency persist, we will be prepared to pivot to a virtual conference that will accommodate the sessions planned for the in-person meeting.

Project News

AAC&U Releases Survey Report on Presidents’ Plans Related to COVID-19 and Racial Justice

In July, AAC&U partnered with ABC Insights to conduct a survey of AAC&U’s Presidents’ Trust members. Instead of operating in “panic mode,” most college and university presidents are maintaining their cautious optimism as they look forward to the fall. Taken together, the findings signal a resolve on the part of presidents across the higher education landscape to protect students and the core educational mission of their institutions by avoiding tuition increases and cuts to academic programs, focusing instead on reductions in operational expenses and staffing. At the same time, presidents are expecting an increase in organized student activism this fall as campuses make an array of long- and short-term plans to address racial injustice and systemic racism on their campuses.

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 and who are committed to academic innovation in the areas of equity, community engagement, and teaching and learning. Nominees must hold student status as of January 2021.

New Publication on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers

We Hold These Truths: Dismantling Racial Hierarchies, Building Equitable Communities, edited by Tia Brown McNair, describes the work of Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers at colleges and universities across the country to dismantle the tools that perpetuate oppression and entrenched racial hierarchies. By creating positive narratives about race, identifying and examining current realities of race relations in communities, pinpointing levers for change, and engaging key individuals, the narratives included in this volume illustrate the power of what can be accomplished when you have a vision for change.

Call for Papers: “International Journal of ePortfolio”

The International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP), a peer-reviewed journal, is now accepting manuscripts for consideration in its spring 2021 issue. The mission of IJeP is to encourage the study of practices and pedagogies associated with ePortfolios in educational settings. The journal’s focus includes the explanation, interpretation, application, and dissemination of researcher, practitioner, and developer experiences. AAC&U publishes IJeP twice a year, employing a rolling submission process. Those wishing to be considered for the spring 2021 issue should use December 1, 2020, as a submission deadline. The review process generally takes less than ninety days.

Other News

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 Loyola University Maryland, Kennesaw State University, Longwood University, New York University, and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Please send your submission to David Hopper at dhopper@wamc.org

AAC&U Advocates for Student Loan Support and Additional Guidance on International Students

As Congress prepares the next COVID-19 supplemental bill, AAC&U joined the American Council on Education and other higher education associations in asking the Senate to include measures to help student loan borrowers by extending and expanding loan relief provisions that were provided in the CARES Act. AAC&U has also joined the American Council on Education and other higher education associations in sending a letter to the Department of Homeland Security to follow up on the withdrawn July 6 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive. The associations asked for clarity regarding the status of incoming international students and stressed the need for flexibility for international students and institutions during the global pandemic.

Liberal Education Blog

Recent Articles Featured on AAC&U's New Blog

AAC&U has launched the Liberal Education Blog to highlight critical issues and vital work in higher education. The blog also features a new “Next-Gen Assessment” multimedia series for educators transitioning online. Join the conversation on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn, or by sending submissions to dedman@aacu.org.

Recent articles featured in the blog include:

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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