2021 Annual Meeting

Proposal Submission Guidelines

In addition to the full program, the virtual meeting experience will be designed to provide opportunities for the engagement that the AAC&U community has come to expect from our annual meetings. We look forward to seeing you online in January!

PLEASE NOTE: Proposals that feature and/or promote products or services offered by a vendor or an AAC&U non-member institution and available for purchase will not be considered through the regular proposal process, but will be referred to AAC&U’s Sponsorship Program for potential inclusion in the meeting. For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact [email protected].

By submitting a proposal, you and any co-presenters agree to register for the meeting and pay registration fees, if the proposal is accepted.


The proposal process is highly competitive. Priority will be given to proposals that

  • connect the work of multiple institutions and reflect diverse perspectives, innovations, disciplines, and programmatic areas;
  • represent submissions from across campuses, consortia, and campus-community partners;
  • reflect the pluralism of campus communities and include presenters who bring diverse perspectives and life experiences;
  • demonstrate work that has be proven effective and has advanced well beyond the planning stage;
  • highlight current work, recent findings, or fresh perspectives;
  • illustrate the perspectives of various organizational roles (e.g., faculty members, department chairs, deans, provosts);
  • address the challenges and obstacles encountered—not just the successes.

Sessions should explicitly address and encourage translation or adaptation to other institutional or professional settings. “Show and tell” submissions that have little or no applicability to other institutions will not be considered. Please consider the number of panelists carefully to ensure adequate time for dialogue.

Proposals that refer to the presentation as “this paper” will not be considered. Presenters who read papers will not be accepted for future sessions. Anyone listed in the proposal as a presenter will be expected to attend and present at the meeting.


In addition to regular session proposals that focus on the use of ePortfolios, AAC&U also seeks proposals for the daylong Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios, which will take place on Saturday, January 23, 2021. You will be able to indicate on the online form if you are submitting your proposal for the Annual Meeting proper or for the ePortfolio Forum.


Sessions will be 10*, 30, 60, or 75 minutes in length.

*HEDs Up sessions are the only format with 10-minute presentations.

Seminar sessions are active-learning sessions—limited to 25 participants—that focus on topics currently being discussed and debated within higher education. Seminar leaders pose provocative questions and introduce activities that engage participants in workshop-style activities.

“HEDs UP” sessions include multiple 10-minute presentations, within a one hour session, modeled on the format of TED Talks. Each presentation should focus on an innovative project or program, compelling research, or “lessons learned.” HEDs Up presentations should be provocative, challenging, entertaining. and, above all, interesting.

Discussion sessions explore current work, recent findings, or new perspectives through discussion with or among audience members.

Research sessions present findings, works in progress, or new methodologies pertaining to the meeting themes.

Roundtable discussions provide opportunities for participants to share successful strategies and examples of effective academic and institutional leadership at all levels. For these informal discussions, participants are welcome either to rotate among several discussion topics or to focus on one.

Panel presentations follow a traditional format with presentation(s) followed by discussion among the speakers and with the audience.


Proposal Abstract (400 words)
The abstract should describe the content and significance of the session, how it relates to the theme of the meeting, and how the audience will be engaged.

Brief Description (150 words)
This description will be printed in the meeting program. Please remember that—should your proposal be accepted—a participant’s decision to attend your session will be based in large part on this description. It should be accurate and compelling.

Expected Learning Outcomes (50–75 words)
Please describe or list the anticipated “takeaways”—what audience members will gain by attending the session.


Internet access will be available during the meeting. Presenters are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to provide an interactive experience for the AAC&U audience. Please address this in your proposal. If links to online materials are available, please include the URL(s).


The deadline to submit a proposal for the 2021 Annual Meeting is now closed. Decisions regarding proposals will be sent out in late September. If you have any questions about the Annual Meeting please contact [email protected].


Proposals were due by Monday, July 20, 2020.

Proposal Notification
You will be notified via email by Monday, September 28, 2020, regarding the status of your proposal.

Registration Fees
All presenters are responsible for paying the appropriate registration fees. Please be sure all presenters submitted in your proposal have this information. Registration materials will be made available online mid-September 2020.


Monday, July 20, 2020
Deadline for submission of proposals

Monday, September 28, 2020

Acceptance (or rejection) of proposals sent to all contact persons

If You Have Questions or Need Additional Information

Please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or to call AAC&U at 202-387-3760.