AAC&U News, September 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

The urgency of calls for global learning has sharply increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. AAC&U’s Virtual Conference on Global Learning will highlight practical and theoretical approaches to global learning across institutional types, disciplines, and departments. The conference will feature a keynote address, “The Time is Now: Unleashing Student Voice and Power in an Unjust World,” from Sam Vaghar of the Millennium Campus Network. The program features sixty concurrent sessions designed to share practical and theoretical approaches to global learning across institutional types, disciplines, and departments.

Register Now: Virtual Conference on Transforming STEM Higher Education

This Changes Everything
November 5–7, 2020

This conference from AAC&U and its Project Kaleidoscope will examine the entire range of contemporary challenges to—and opportunities for—STEM higher education reform. The conference will convene STEM faculty, national experts, and thought leaders; share effective STEM teaching and learning strategies; reveal the latest in STEM education research; and deeply engage in topics that are critical to the reform of STEM higher education.

Register Now: AAC&U’s Virtual Annual Meeting

Revolutionizing Higher Education after Covid-19
January 20–23, 2021

The 2021 AAC&U Annual Meeting will be an entirely virtual event to ensure the health and safety of meeting participants, our staff, and the public. In addition to the full program, the virtual meeting experience will be designed to provide opportunities for the engagement and interaction that the AAC&U community has come to expect from our annual meetings. 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? The 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.

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

PKAL Celebrates Ten Years with AAC&U at the Virtual Conference on Transforming STEM Higher Education

Project Kaleidoscope is excited to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of its partnership with AAC&U at the 2020 AAC&U Virtual Conference on Transforming STEM Higher Education this November. For over a decade, Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) of the Association of American Colleges and Universities has used its national regional network infrastructure to enhance the self-efficacy of STEM faculty in implementing advanced pedagogies, particularly those that are culturally responsive to an increasingly diverse undergraduate student population. For more information and to register for this year’s virtual conference please click here.

Project News

AAC&U Launches New Voter Participation Resources Page

While every election is an opportunity to highlight AAC&U’s longstanding commitment to democratic and civic engagement as a vital component of a liberal education, that commitment means more than ever at this time of national reckoning with racial injustice. In the words of Bernard Lafayette, veteran civil rights leader and advisor to AAC&U’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers initiative, “You can’t deal with all of the problems at once. Right now, I would urge a focus on voter registration and voter participation. This is an opportunity that we might not have again in our immediate the future.” In that spirit, AAC&U is offering a collection of webinars, online resources, and a video from Bernard Lafayette on voter and civic engagement.

Tennessee Becomes the 14th Partner State in the LEAP States Initiative

AAC&U and the College System of Tennessee have announced that Tennessee is now a state partner in the AAC&U LEAP States initiative. Through the LEAP States Initiative, educators from institutions, consortia, and systems within and across fourteen states collaborate in support of transformational change and educational alignment intended to raise the quality of college learning.

New Issue of “Diversity & Democracy”

As our deeply divided nation confronts the devastating effects of a global pandemic and accompanying economic crisis, along with the continuing destructive legacy of racial injustice, the need to build a civic-minded culture comes clearly into focus. This issue of Diversity & Democracy explores how colleges and universities provide excellent environments for constructing civic-minded cultures that cultivate graduates who bring civic values and practices into the wider society. Whether in person or online, colleges and universities bring together people with different life experiences, empowering them to care for each other and work together for positive change.

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.

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.

Joint Statement on COVID-19 and the Key Role of the Humanities and Social Sciences

AAC&U has joined the American Council of Learned Societies and other higher education associations in releasing a joint statement that calls “on all leaders of institutions of higher education to uphold the central importance of the humanities and the social sciences as you make important decisions that will shape the institutions under your stewardship for years and perhaps generations to come.”

Other News

Lorenzo Esters Joins AAC&U as Vice President for Advancement and Member Engagement

With over fifteen years of experience in higher education administration, higher education philanthropy, and nonprofit leadership, Esters has previously served as executive director for higher education partnerships with ETS and vice president for philanthropy with Strada Education Network.

Winners of the 2020 Delphi Award

Teams from Louisiana State University and Northcentral University received the 2020 Delphi Award, which includes $15,000 to continue their innovative work supporting adjunct, contingent, and non-tenure-track faculty in promoting student success. Since 2012, AAC&U and the USC Pullias Center have partnered on the Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success to develop reports and resources, collect models, and conduct research and advocacy. Finalists from Bay Path University and the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) were also acknowledged for their successful work towards supporting non-tenure-track faculty.

Seven AAC&U Members Earn Excellence in Assessment Designation

Seven AAC&U member institutions—Miami Dade College, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, Florida A&M University, Messiah University, University of Florida, University of Texas at Arlington, and Wayne State University—are among the twelve institutions that 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.

Tell Us Your Story: How Do You Stay Positive?

We want to hear from you! Send AAC&U a story about how you, as an educator, stay positive during bleak world situations. And how do you help your students do so as well? What tips do you have for staying positive? We'll feature some responses in an upcoming magazine column. Send responses of less than one hundred words to Ben Dedman at dedman@aacu.org.

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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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