Forum for Presidents and Foundation Leaders

January 26-27, 2017

A Foundation for Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence

We invite presidents and foundation leaders to join us for a series of conversations about how members of the AAC&U community can advance our mission of making liberal education and inclusive excellence the foundation for institutional purpose and educational practice amidst public discourse and protests that challenge these values.

Forum ChairJames P. Collins, Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and Environment, Arizona State University, and Chair, AAC&U Board of Directors

AAC&U thanks TIAA for their generous support of the Forum for Presidents and Foundation Leaders.



Thursday, January 26, 2017

2:45–3:00 PM
Welcome and Framing Remarks

James P. Collins, Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and Environment, Arizona State University and Chair, AAC&U Board of Directors
Lynn Pasquerella, President, AAC&U

3:00–4:00 PM
Frederick LawrencePlenary Session
The Contours of Free Expression on Campus: Free Speech, Academic Freedom, and Civility

On our campuses, conflicting claims of free expression, academic freedom, civility and safety, raise complex issues in the classroom, the dormitory, the campus itself, and social media. How do we balance seemingly opposing values to enable free expression, yet foster a climate of mutual respect and sense of personal safety on our college campuses? Drawing on the expertise of a free expression and hate crime legal scholar, this session will explore the legal and social aspects of “vigorous civility” as a potential solution to the challenges of determining the proper boundaries of free expression on campuses today.
Frederick M. Lawrence, Secretary and CEO, The Phi Beta Kappa Society

4:15–5:00 PM
Roundtable Discussions
How should campus leaders balance calls for “trigger warnings,” safe spaces, and the removal of controversial memorials and mascots against alumni charges of erasing the past due to politically correct capitulation under the guise of a commitment to diversity and inclusion? Under what circumstances, if any, should an unwillingness to hear certain voices be tolerated on campuses? How should we respond to accusations that liberalism is killing liberal education and that this “snowflake generation” is undermining academic integrity? 

Facilitators:  Grant Cornwell, President, Rollins College; Rebecca Chopp, University of Denver; Sean Decatur, President, Kenyon College (INVITED); Alex Johnson, President, Cuyahoga Community College (INVITED); Elsa Nunez, President, Eastern Connecticut State University; Les Wong, President, San Francisco State University             

5:30–7:00 PM
Presidents’ Reception


Friday, January 27, 2017

7:30–8:45 AM
Presidents’ Networking Breakfast
This breakfast provides an opportunity for presidents to come together informally to discuss particular challenges, gain advice from colleagues, and exchange best practices around negotiating the complexities and pressures of leadership within the academy.

9:00–10:15 AM
Plenary Discussion Session
Shaping the Agenda for Higher Education

At the beginning of a new presidential administration, join us for a facilitated discussion of critical policy issues that are likely to impact our institutions.  What are the most urgent issues facing us in our sectors, and what key messages should be communicated by both AAC&U member presidents and the organization?
Discussion facilitators:  Katherine Bergeron, President, Connecticut College (INVITED) and Edward Ray, President, Oregon State University

10:30–11:45 AM
Plenary Discussion Session
Recapturing the Narrative around Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence

How can AAC&U and its members move the needle on the public dialogue about the value of higher education?
Discussion facilitator: José Antonio Bowen, President, Goucher College
Bowen PPT

12:00–2:00 PM
Scott JaschikPresidents’ Luncheon
Why Reporters Won't Pay Attention—Except When I Don't Want Them To

A discussion of what journalists cover and don't cover, and why—with a particular emphasis on issues important to members of AAC&U.

Speaker: Scott Jaschik, Editor, Inside Higher Ed