AAC&U News, March 2018
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

Register Now: 2018 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy Conference

The Inconvenient Truths
Network for Academic Renewal Conference
March 22–24, 2018, San Diego, California
Teams of three or more save $50 per person.

It’s not too late to register for AAC&U’s 2018 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy Conference. The conference will feature more than seventy-five concurrent sessions, workshops, plenaries, and poster presentations. Jeff Chang, executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, will critique the state of diversity, equity, race, and resegregation in higher education and provide context for campus practitioners, students, and stakeholders to advance the democratic ideals necessary to serve today’s nontraditional, technologically advanced, and equity-focused student population. Conference sessions will address topics such as institutionalizing diversity, equity, and student success; questioning assumptions; real versus ideal campuses; addressing biases; high-impact practices and evidence-based strategies; faculty development; politics, policies, and resources; and structural hierarchies and institutional transformation. Register today to lend your expertise and voice to these critical conversations. For more information, call (202) 387-3760, or write to Karen Kalla at network@aacu.org. We look forward to seeing you in San Diego!

Inaugural Institute on Teaching and Learning for Campus-Wide Interfaith Excellence

July 17–20, 2018, Boston, Massachusetts
Applications due April 30, 2018.

The institute, a new partnership between the Interfaith Youth Core and AAC&U, is an opportunity for campus teams of administrators, faculty, and staff who are leading change to deepen, strengthen, and expand campus-wide engagement with religious diversity and interfaith cooperation. Each campus is asked to bring a team of five people, including at least one senior academic officer and one faculty member. Teams are also encouraged to include additional individuals from faculty development, student affairs, or assessment offices. The institute will be held in tandem with AAC&U’s Institute on Integrative Learning and Signature Work.

Webinar: “Strategies for Communicating the Importance of Liberal Education”

March 29, 2018, 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Free for AAC&U members; $100 for nonmembers.

AAC&U is pleased to announce “Strategies for Communicating the Importance of Liberal Education,” the latest webinar in a series that highlights 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 and for demonstrating the value of liberal education for work, life, and global citizenship. The webinar will help participants think through negative perspectives on higher education and craft messages that articulate the strengths and promises of liberal education. The webinar’s goal is to help participants identify the most important audiences for their campuses and then develop strategies for reaching out to those audiences. The webinar will feature a presentation from Doug Ward, associate director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and associate professor of journalism at the University of Kansas. Ward is a former editor at the New York Times and a cultural historian who blogs about higher education at cteblog.ku.edu.

Webinar: “Redesigning Majors: Disciplinary Knowledge, Civic Learning, and Public Responsibility”

Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Free for AAC&U members; $100 for nonmembers

Please join our upcoming webinar, “Redesigning Majors: Disciplinary Knowledge, Civic Learning, and Public Responsibility.” This webinar, designed for faculty and departmental chairs and funded by the Endeavor Foundation, will focus on how departments can structure the design, expectations, and experiences for all their majors to expand students’ civic capacities while also deepening students’ learning in the discipline. Guided by practitioners who have already implemented such departmental designs, participants can learn how departments adapted their curricula by developing civic-centered learning goals, mapping out levels of learning over time, and creating opportunities for applying disciplinary knowledge to address large public challenges. The webinar will feature a panel discussion moderated by AAC&U’s Caryn McTighe Musil with experts from the University of Maine at Machias, Bates College, and California State University–Monterey Bay.

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

PKAL Regional Network Meetings in Southern California, Washington DC Area, Ohio, and Massachusetts

PKAL STEM Leadership Institute

Institute I: July 10–15, 2018
Institute II: July 17–22, 2018
The Claggett Center, Adamstown, Maryland

The PKAL STEM Leadership Institute—grounded in the theories of leadership studies, adult learning, and social psychology—is designed to offer early- and mid-career STEM faculty a five-day intensive leadership development experience that strategically blends deep reflection and introspection with didactic and experiential learning. The institute has proven effective in promoting leadership self-efficacy among its participants, with more than 65 percent of its alumni noting a significant increase in their ability to (1) facilitate change, (2) effectively respond to problems, and (3) fully consider the effects of diverse cultures on institutional transformation. Application deadline is March 14, 2018.

Project News

Kate McConnell Articulates the Value of Assessment in Inside Higher Ed

Kate McConnell, AAC&U’s senior director for research and assessment, contributed an article to Inside Higher Ed, “What Assessment Is Really About,” on March 1, 2018. Responding to a recent New York Times op-ed by Molly Worthen, McConnell argues that assessment should not be a rote exercise, but should be faculty-led and focused on enhancing the effects of teaching on student learning. McConnell calls for “those of us with responsibility for measuring and then sharing what we know about student learning on our campuses . . . to belie the easy stereotype of the bureaucratic bean counter, and to avail ourselves of every opportunity to center our work within the teaching enterprise.” 

AAC&U VALUE Rubric Calibration Training Now Open

AAC&U is seeking volunteers to participate in the 2018 VALUE Rubric Calibration Training, which will be held from February through June. This represents a wonderful faculty development opportunity, as individuals who complete the training and meet our calibration standards will be certified as VALUE Rubric Scorers and may be invited to score student work submitted during the inaugural year of the VALUE Institute. The number of certified scorers selected for each learning rubric depends on the number of student artifacts submitted and the number of scorers available. Every certified scorer who completes scoring of artifacts for the VALUE Institute will receive a stipend for the work. This year, participants will be trained on one of the following VALUE rubrics: critical thinking, written communication, quantitative literacy, civic engagement, intercultural knowledge and competence, ethical reasoning, and global learning. If you would like to have your name added to the list for participation in AAC&U’s 2018 VALUE Rubric Calibration Training, or need additional information, please email Wende Garrison, director of VALUE Institute training, at garrison@aacu.org. Inclusion in the training will be organized on a first come, first served basis, with preference given to individuals from institutions that have registered to participate in the VALUE Institute.

AAC&U Researcher Selected to Attend 2018 NCES Data Institute

Erin Horan, postdoctoral research analyst in AAC&U’s Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment, is one of forty applicants accepted to participate in the 2018 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Data Institute: Using Federal Datasets to Support Research on Postsecondary Education. The institute, which will be held online and in-person from March to June 2018, will help researchers explore and gain expertise with the array of datasets available through NCES. Horan has been assigned to the research group focused on socioeconomic status in the postsecondary space, and this opportunity will help her connect NCES data with AAC&U’s work on quality and equity in higher education.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

IDHE Invites Campus Participation in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement

It's time for campuses to reauthorize their participation in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE). Submit your authorization renewal forms for the next five-year cycle (2018–23) on the IDHE website. Every campus must complete this reauthorization process to remain in NSLVE beyond 2018. You can search for your campus here to see if you have already renewed, and you can access the reauthorization form here

Public, Imagining America’s Journal, Explores “Digital Engagements”

This issue of Public, “Digital Engagements; Or, the Virtual Gets Real,” explores how the pedagogies of virtual spaces and physical community settings, with their commitment to publicly engaged knowledge-making, inform and mutually transform efforts to educate for the public good.

Curriculum Development Grants from the Interfaith Youth Core

There is still time to apply for grants of up to $1,000 from the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) “to fund the development of undergraduate courses that engage interfaith themes. IFYC’s intention is to support and work directly with scholars across a variety of disciplines who seek to engage the emerging field of interfaith studies.” Applications are due March 30, 2018.

The Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE), Imagining America, and Interfaith Youth Core 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-Sponsored Gathering at the University of Michigan: Building Faculty Capacity to Support New Majority and Underserved Students

In April 2018, Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) will cosponsor the second of two working group seminars at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor under the guidance of BTtoP Senior Scholar Barry Checkoway and Chad Berry, academic vice president and dean of the faculty at Berea College. Scholars and colleagues will explore how to better shape higher education for the flourishing of new majority students (including first-generation students, adult learners, and students of color), particularly by examining strategies to better prepare faculty through culturally responsive pedagogies, identity mindfulness, empathy enrichment, new curricula, and reward structures.

BTtoP Well-Being Grantee Research Collaborative in Washington, DC

Ashley Finley, BTtoP’s national evaluator, and L. Lee Knefelkamp, BTtoP senior scholar, will lead the Well-Being Research Collaborative, a convening of BTtoP’s 2015–17 Well-Being Research Grantees, to bring together researchers and project leaders from fifteen campus projects to discuss the connection between educational practices that facilitate social and emotional learning and the related effects on well-being and success outcomes for students who have been traditionally underserved within higher education. Beginning with two webinars, the collaborative will culminate in an in-person gathering in Washington, DC, in May 2018. The goal of the Well-Being Research Collaborative is to examine effective campus-based models in relationship to empirical findings to identify the most transferable models for linking well-being with underserved student success and campus commitments to equity.

Two Major BTtoP Grant Cohorts to Conclude Projects This Winter

From 2015–17, eighteen campuses received a total of over $400,000 of grant funding (including institutional matching) to implement and assess two-year campus-based research projects on student well-being, particularly among underserved populations. While the grant concluded on December 31, 2017, a research collaborative will be held in May 2018 in Washington, DC. Principal investigators from each campus will come together and discuss best practices for deepening and sustaining higher education’s commitment to whole-person development. BTtoP’s Campus Dialogue Grants, supported by an additional $400,000 (including institutional matching), also conclude this winter. Thirty-eight campuses conducted dialogues among a diverse array of campus constituents to explore the greater purposes of higher education: learning and discovery, well-being, civic engagement, and preparation for a meaningful life. To learn more about BTtoP’s awarded grants, visit https://www.bttop.org/grants-funding/awarded-grants

Other News

Resources from AAC&U's 2018 Annual Meeting Now Available

AAC&U has posted PowerPoint presentations and handouts from the 2018 Annual Meeting, as well as links to additional information about projects, programs, and publications. Also available is a video of José Antonio Bowen presenting the 8th Annual Boyer Award Lecture, sponsored by the New American Colleges and Universities, on “Nudges, the Learning Economy, and a New 3Rs: Redesigning for Student Relationships, Resilience, and Reflection.” AAC&U thanks everyone who participated in the 2018 Annual Meeting. For those who could not attend, we hope these materials will provide some of the information you might have missed. AAC&U’s 2019 Annual Meeting will be January 23–26 in Atlanta, Georgia.

New Publication, A Vision for Equity, Coming Late March

Presenting findings from a three-year project on Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence, led by AAC&U in partnership with the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California, A Vision for Equity shares lessons learned about addressing equity gaps at thirteen participating campuses. The book details evidence-based interventions focused on improving student success and includes practical examples, models, and resources for identifying and addressing disparities in student outcomes. The project and publication were funded by Strada Education Network and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates.

Submit a Nomination for AAC&U’s Board of Directors

AAC&U invites nominations of individuals from member institutions to serve on our board of directors. To nominate an institutional president, provost, or other leader, send a brief letter to Bethany Zecher Sutton, chief of staff and secretary to the board.

Nominations Open for 2019 Ness Book Award

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Ness Book Award for books published between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018. The principal theme of the book should contribute to the analysis and/or advancement of liberal education in any setting, and should focus on (1) liberal education as an evolving tradition; (2) the role and value of liberal education in a particular context; or (3) an issue or topic in secondary or postsecondary education discussed substantially in relation to liberal education. We invite you to nominate books that meet the criteria by sending a letter to the Frederic W. Ness Book Award Committee, 1818 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, or by emailing your nomination to Halim Rizk. Nominations must be received no later than May 1, 2018. Read about the Ness Book Award for more information about submission criteria and past winners.

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 faculty 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 Whitworth University, Cornell College, Lafayette College, and Purdue University (upcoming). Please send your submission to David Hopper at dhopper@wamc.org

Apply Now for the Delphi Award for Faculty Models that Support Student Success

Submissions are now being accepted for the Delphi Award, a partnership between The Delphi Project and AAC&U that recognizes exemplary campus practices, policies, programs, or services that enable faculty (especially those who are contingent and non-tenure track) to nurture student success. Each winning institution will receive a cash award in the amount of $15,000. Any two- or four-year institution, or department, unit, or college within such an institution, can apply, and one two-year and one four-year institution will be chosen to receive awards each year. Applications are due June 1, 2018.

AAC&U President Featured in Connecticut Public Television Broadcast

AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella is featured in College Bound: A Look into Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, a fifty-six-minute documentary broadcast on Connecticut Public Television in which “students, counselors, professors, and alumni discuss their real-life experiences and share their insights.” In the video, Pasquerella reflects on her experience attending Quinebaug Valley Community College in Connecticut at a time when community colleges “were considered radical, subversive places.” Now, she says, “community colleges are seen as an opportunity for exploration at a time when education seems to be too difficult to access, it’s too expensive for many, and so it’s a remarkable pathway for students.”

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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