AAC&U News, March 2021
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Events

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

Upholding These Truths: Equity, Diversity, and Democracy
March 24–26, 2021

What is the role of higher education in upholding the values of equity and diversity, and in sustaining democracy? Where are we falling short—and for whom? To explore these and related questions, the AAC&U Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success will focus on a critical examination of both the perceptions and the realities of equity and diversity, and what it means to educate for democracy in a constantly changing educational and societal landscape. Such an examination is central to the cultural and mindset shifts needed not only to identify inequities and biases within our institutions and our communities but also to operationalize the values and set the goals that will lead to institutional change and higher levels of accountability.

AAC&U Announces New Institute on Open Educational Resources

Year-Long Institute
Virtual Kick-Off Event on July 26–27, 2021

The Institute on Open Educational Resources (OER) is designed for campuses aspiring to launch or expand initiatives to develop or leverage free and affordable materials in teaching and learning contexts. Utilizing a new institute model, the Institute on OER provides a year-long, online engagement opportunity for teams from campuses or state systems seeking to actualize an ambitious strategy to broaden campus engagement with and adoption of OER. Drawing on research that suggests OER address a number of higher education concerns, including affordability, completion, attainment gaps, and learning, campus teams will develop and enact campus transformation action plans to accelerate OER engagement and adoption within their unique contexts.

Applications Open for AAC&U’s 2021 Virtual Summer Institutes

AAC&U’s Summer Institutes offer virtual opportunities for teams and individuals to develop and exchange best practices in support of advancing campus change initiatives. Five institutes will offer opportunities and guidance for campus teams to collaborate on a sustained project, while a sixth institute will provide professional development for early- and mid-career faculty leading projects to transform undergraduate STEM education.

Register Now: AAC&U’s Summer Institutes Symposium

Improving and Accelerating Quality and Equity Initiatives at Scale
June 14, 2021
Virtual Learning Experience

This one-day symposium is designed to bring together teams consisting of state-level leaders and leaders from their campuses who aspire to bring high-impact practices, general education reform, increased equity, or meaningful assessment strategies to scale within and across institutions in their state. The symposium will highlight practices and approaches from diverse state contexts. The symposium is a stand-alone event, but it can also be seen as a companion to either AAC&U’s Institute on General Education and Assessment, which precedes the symposium, or AAC&U’s Institute on High Impact Practices and Student Success, which follows it. The symposium teams will engage in planning activities to foster coordinated, cross-institutional collaboration in the service of improving and accelerating their quality and equity initiatives. Leaders and their members of broad-based consortia and associations are also welcome and encouraged to participate in this event.

Register Now for Upcoming Webinars

AAC&U webinars highlight the work being done at colleges and universities around the country to address challenges and identify best practices for enhancing the teaching and learning experience, demonstrating the value of liberal education, and preparing students to contribute to a diverse democracy and global citizenship. Join us for an array of free webinars this spring:  

Project News

Partner with AAC&U to Showcase Your Work with VALUE

VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) has been used by AAC&U members and fellow educators around the globe for over a decade now. We have collected survey data on how our rubrics have been used (A Decade of VALUE and We Have a Rubric for That), but now we want to home in on how VALUE data have been used on your campuses. We are eager to identify and showcase a range of highly effective and creative approaches to using VALUE rubric data, from data visualization and infographic storytelling to workshopping results with campus constituencies. Potential opportunities to showcase your institution's work include, but are not limited to, serving as panelists on VALUE rubric presentations, contributing to AAC&U’s blog on assessment praxis, or participating in other AAC&U professional development offerings (e.g., webinars, workshops, conference sessions). If you have a great project that you’ve done or a story to tell about how your data were effectively used to bring about change on your campus, we want to hear about it! Please fill out this brief survey and we will be in touch with you.

Registration Open for AAC&U’s 2020–21 VALUE Institute

AAC&U’s VALUE Institute enables any higher education institution, department, program, state, consortium, or provider to utilize the VALUE rubrics approach to assessment by collecting and uploading samples of student work to a digital repository and have the work scored by certified VALUE Institute faculty and other educator scorers for external validation of institutional learning assessment. If your institution, program, state system, or consortium—national or international—has an interest in participating in the VALUE Institute, please review the “Interest in VALUE Institute Participation“ page, discuss the contents with colleagues, and send an email to valueinstitute@aacu.org to schedule an initial consultation. More details can also be found here.

Application Now Open for the 2021 Delphi Award

The Pullias Center for Higher Education, in partnership with AAC&U, is accepting applications for the 2021 Delphi Award. The cash prize is awarded to two groups for their work in supporting adjunct, contingent, and non-tenure-track faculty in promoting student success. The award is designed to incentivize assistance for non-tenure-track faculty and to push institutions to support all, not just some, faculty.

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

Save the Date: CASL Twitter Chat

On Thursday, March 25, at 12 p.m. ET, join the Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL) for the second of our #HBCU CASL Twitter chats for an open conversation on “Leading from the Choir.” The CASL Twitter chats are one-hour synchronous facilitated discussions with several questions that all higher education faculty and administrators are welcome to respond to and learn from.

Apply Today: PKAL STEM Leadership Institute

Institute I: July 13-16, 2021
Institute II: July 20-23, 2021

The PKAL STEM Leadership Institute is uniquely designed for early- and mid-career STEM faculty, principal investigators, and administrators who engage in leading initiatives and interventions aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. Experiential learning is a hallmark of the PKAL STEM Leadership Institute and will remain so in its virtual form. All institute activities have been completely redesigned to offer our virtual participants the same life-changing experience, including the My Tenure Trek® simulation offered exclusively at the PKAL STEM Leadership Institute. The deadline to apply is March 16, 2021. For more information on the institute and application process, please click here.

Registration Now Open: AAC&U’s Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM Institute

Institute I: June 7–10, 2021
Institute II: June 27–30, 2021

Registration is now open for AAC&U’s Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM (TIDES) Virtual Institute. The AAC&U TIDES Institute, derived from our evidence-based professional development model, offers a unique opportunity for STEM faculty to build capacity and self-efficacy in understanding the root causes of minority group underrepresentation in STEM and their unique role in addressing them. Due to popular demand, we are excited to offer two cohorts of the TIDES Institute this year. The deadline to register is March 15, 2021. Please register early as space is limited. For more information on the institute and registration, please click here

Capital PKAL Regional Network Spring Conference

Friday, March 19, 2021
A Virtual Event hosted by University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Project Kaleidoscope and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County are pleased to announce the 2021 meeting of the Capital PKAL Regional Network“Diverse Tools for Diverse Students: Interdisciplinary STEM Education to Increase Accessibility, Inclusion, and Success.” This virtual conference will feature Dr. Viknesh (Vic) Sivanathan, Program Officer at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science Education Alliance, who will deliver the keynote, “Collaborating with Undergraduates for an Engaging Education.” The deadline to register is March 12, 2021. For more information and to register, please click here.

Other News

AAC&U Hiring New Positions in Communications, Marketing, and Project and Research Management

AAC&U is currently accepting applications for three full-time positions:

Applications for these exciting opportunities are accepted on an ongoing basis. Please contact hr@aacu.org for any questions, and additional information about these and other new opportunities are available on our website.

Thank You to Our Members

As we mark the one-year anniversary of COVID-19, we want to take a moment to thank you for your ongoing support of AAC&U! We hope your continued membership with AAC&U has been of benefit to you as you have dealt with the challenges and uncertainties on your campus during the past year. We are excited to begin planning for the new fiscal year and want to make sure that your member information is as up-to-date as possible. Please take a moment to log in and update your contact information, as well as your communication preferences. You can log-in by clicking this link. Your username is your email address. If you have forgotten your password, you can click on the “Forgot Password?” link below the sign-in button. Membership renewal information for the new fiscal year will be sent at the beginning of April. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, you can reach the membership team at memberservices@aacu.org or (202) 387-3760.

Tell Us Your Story: How Have You or Your Students Brought Racial Justice into the Classroom?

We want to hear from you! Send AAC&U a story about how you or your students brought racial justice issues into your class over the past year. What’s one way that efforts for racial justice are affecting you, your students, or your curriculum? We'll feature some of your stories in an upcoming magazine column. Send responses of less than one hundred words to Ben Dedman at dedman@aacu.org.

AAC&U Supports Creation of a US Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation

AAC&U has announced strong support for the creation of a US Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT). On February 25, Rep. Barbara Lee and Sen. Cory Booker reintroduced in the US Congress a resolution urging the establishment of this congressional commission to “properly acknowledge, memorialize, and be a catalyst for progress toward jettisoning the belief in a hierarchy of human value; embracing our common humanity; and permanently eliminating persistent racial inequities.” The resolution was originally introduced in the House of Representatives on June 4, 2020, and in the Senate on December 3. Within higher education, the TRHT effort is being led by a growing number of community-integrated, campus-based centers established in partnership with AAC&U and hosted by twenty-nine colleges and universities across the United States.

Survey on Students’ Attitudes, Perceptions, and Behaviors on Academic Misconduct

The International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) invites colleges and universities to participate in a large-scale survey of students’ current attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors surrounding academic misconduct. An increase in cheating surely creates an existential threat to the value proposition of higher education—but without data on cheating and why students cheat, choosing an effective method to combat it is nearly impossible. Institutions who participate in the survey will obtain actionable data, see comparisons to peer institutions, and set a baseline for future assessments. The complete dataset will allow scholars and policymakers to understand the academic integrity landscape in the US and around the world. The survey is open to institutions of higher education in the US and Canada in 2021–22 and is free to ICAI member institutions. 

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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