2021 Annual Meeting


In response to the initial outbreak of COVID-19, colleges and universities took extraordinary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of their students, their faculty and staff, and their communities. The crisis gave fresh urgency to conversations about equity and student success and about best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment. It reset assumptions about what faculty and students can achieve and about the pace of change. And, perhaps most consequential, it sparked a reimagining of what high-quality learning can look like—augmented by technology, situated within global issues, attentive to students’ well-being, flexible. Yet the pandemic also revealed persistent racial, social, and economic inequities that can no longer be ignored or easily dismissed, and the sudden pivot online raised searching questions about both the cost and the value of college learning.

The question now, in this moment of unprecedented transformation and uncertainty, and in the broader context of an urgent need to educate students democracy, is whether higher education can harness the resilience, creativity, and innovation that have been unleashed by the crisis and emerge from it strengthened. Will the inevitable restructuring and reorganization intentionally prioritize quality, equity, and inclusion?

The 2021 annual meeting will bring together campus leaders at all levels and from institutions of all types to explore the most pressing questions now facing higher education, to share effective educational practices and new financial models, and to work out together what undergraduate education will look like in a post-pandemic future.



Teaching and Learning

  • Teaching and learning practices that engage all students in deep learning, prepare them for unscripted problems and complex challenges, and promote student success
  • Strategies to prepare faculty of all types for innovative teaching and learning in virtual and face-to-face environments
  • Professional development practices that support digital learning, online instruction, and the use of affordable and open educational resources

General Education and Assessment

  • Authentic forms of student learning assessment at the institutional, programmatic, and course levels
  • Innovative models of general education that connect student learning to diverse disciplines and career pathways
  • Strategies for promoting and assessing integration across disciplines and between experiential and academic learning

Global and Civic Learning

  • Ways to promote and sustain hands-on, high-touch, community-based, and global learning in times of limited mobility for students, faculty, and staff
  • Authentic forms of engagement with local and/or global communities that address current challenges
  • Strategies for integrating global and civic learning across diverse disciplines and connecting these experiences to careers

Equity and Student Success

  • Strategies for creating and sustaining a sense belonging in virtual and campus-based settings and holistic approaches to promoting students’ personal and social development
  • Strategies for retaining diverse faculty and for equitable advancement to senior-level administrative positions
  • Designs for high-impact practices and other high-quality learning experiences that build on student assets and lived experiences in remote and face-to-face environments

Undergraduate STEM Reform

  • Building the capacity of STEM faculty and administrators through professional/leadership development
  • Strategies for transforming STEM disciplinary, departmental, and institutional cultures
  • Broadening student and faculty participation in STEM

The Value of Liberal Education

  • Strengthening connections between career readiness and the cumulative learning outcomes of curricular and cocurricular experiences
  • Strategies for communicating the value of liberal education, especially in times of economic uncertainty
  • New and emerging business models that address affordability challenges, maximize financial flexibility, and support educational quality and innovation

Confronting Racism

  • Strategies for engaging students, faculty, staff, and community members in truth-telling conversations about the existence and persistence of racism on our campuses and in our communities
  • Innovative institutional models for overcoming intentional or unintentional racialized practices that marginalize students, faculty, and staff of color
  • Professional development practices that address structural and systemic racism and prepare faculty and staff to engage students with that work in curricular and cocurricular settings.