Forum for Presidents and Foundation Leaders

Ensuring the Future of High-Quality Degrees: 
Leadership and Governance Challenges for Presidents, Boards, and Faculty

Hyatt Regency Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia
Thursday, January 24 – Friday, January 25, 2013

Forum Chair:  Bobby Fong, President, Ursinus College and Chair, AAC&U Board of Directors

AAC&U thanks LiveText for its support of the 2013 Presidents' Forum


2:45-3:00 pm       Welcome and Introductory Remarks

From Where We Sit:  The Leadership and Governance Challenges Presidents Now Face

Bobby Fong, Chair, AAC&U Board of Directors

3:00-4:15 pm      Plenary Session

Toward a Global Vision for the Quality of U.S. Degrees: Navigating the Economic, Political, and Efficiency Challenges

This session will provide a dynamic dialogue on education and the economy, touching on issues of global competitiveness, the value of U.S. degrees, and the economic implications of the quality conversation.  Goucher College President Sanford Ungar, a former NPR host, will lead a vigorous give and take with Lumina President Jamie Merisotis and AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider about their respective efforts to advance contemporary visions for high quality college learning.

Session Moderator:
Sanford Ungar, President, Goucher College        

Jamie Merisotis, President, Lumina Foundation
Carol Geary Schneider, President, AAC&

4:30-5:15 pm     Discussion Session – For Presidents and Foundation
Officers Only

Presidents’ Roles in Educational Policy and Consensus Building

This session will include a set of roundtable discussions on mobilizing leadership support for shared institutional work on quality, including discussions on:

  • Bringing Boards on Board:  The Innovation-Efficiency-Quality Connections
  • Engaging Employers as Advocates for Quality
  • Advancing the Civic and Global Meanings of Quality
  • Inclusive Excellence as the Next Frontier
  • If the Business Model is Broken:  What Next? 
    (public/private sector tables)

Led by Mildred García, President, California State University-Fullerton; Richard Guarasci, President, Wagner College; Dianne Harrison, President, California State University-Northridge; Leo Lambert, President, Elon University; Elaine P. Maimon, President, Governors State University; Brian Murphy, President, De Anza College; Elsa Nunez, President, Eastern Connecticut State University; and Daniel Sullivan, President Emeritus, St. Lawrence University.

5:45-6:45 pm       Annual Meeting Special Plenary Session

A New Employer-Educator Compact for the (Liberal) Learning Students Need Now

Employers continue to seek college graduates with broad knowledge and high-level intellectual and practical skills that will help companies and organizations thrive in an increasingly global competitive environment.  This session will focus on the importance of educating college graduates with the critical thinking, creative problem solving, technological, and communication skills needed to fuel productivity and growth.  The plenary also will include commentary from members of the LEAP Presidents’ Trust on a new AAC&U initiative, the “LEAP Employer-Educator Compact.”

Norman R. Augustine, former Chairman and CEO of the Lockheed Martin Corporation, former Under Secretary of the Army; and member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Advisory Council

7:00-8:30 pm       Invitational Reception

For Presidents, Foundation Leaders, and other Special Guests



7:00-8:45 am       Breakfast Discussion

Quality, Reform, and the View from Asia

Liberal education—or what is often called “whole-person” learning—is gaining new currency in Asia even as the liberal arts continue to come under fire in the U.S.   With invited guests involved in curriculum change in Asia, we will explore ways to enlarge public and policy commitment to the multiple goals of a high-quality 21st-century education.

Session Chair:  Bobby Fong, President, Ursinus College

Panelists:  Nancy Chapman, President, United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia; Boyung Lee, Associate Professor of Educational Ministries, Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union

9:00-10:30 am     Plenary Panel and Discussion Session

The Digital Revolution and the “Year of the MOOC”:  Toward Online Innovations That Strengthen Quality and Completion

We are surrounded by broad-scale digital innovations.  How can institutional leaders navigate this particular moment when everyone is simultaneously anxious and highly energized?  How can presidents advance choices that will—so to speak—take high impact forms of learning to scale?  How can we challenge “innovations” that place that proverbial “sage” on an ever wider—but still low impact—“stage?”

Chair:  Carol Geary Schneider, President, AAC&U

Panelists:  Diana Oblinger, President and CEO, EDUCAUSE; andJack Wilson, President Emeritus, the University of Massachusetts, and Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies, and Innovation, the University of Massachusetts Lowell

10:45-12:00 pm  Roundtable Discussion Session – For Presidents and Foundation Officers Only

Quality, Needed Change, and the Faculty Governance Challenge

The “new normal” calls for nimble responsiveness and creativity on a myriad fronts: costs, educational programs, the digital revolution, productivity, and public communications. But, traditionally and today, faculty governance processes are less than nimble. In this session, presidents will share—in discussions organized by institutional type—practical strategies for helping faculty embrace, advance, and achieve needed educational and fiscal changes.

Session Chair:  Bobby Fong, President, Ursinus College

Catalysts:  Tori Haring-Smith, President, Washington and Jefferson College; and Edward Ray, President, Oregon State University

12:15-1:00 pm     Presidents’ Luncheon

1:00-2:00 pm       Luncheon Address & Discussion

A New America Takes Shape:  The Civic and Political Realities 
Revealed in our Recent Election

Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University

Note:  Presidents are warmly encouraged to invite key members of their boards of trustees to join them for the Forum for Presidents and Foundation Leaders.