Press Release

1,800 Expected in Atlanta to Explore Ways of Elevating the Public Narrative about the Value of Higher Education

EVENT: AAC&U’s 2019 Annual Meeting
“Raising Our Voices: Reclaiming the Narrative on the
Value of Higher Education”

WHEN: January 23–26, 2019
WHERE: Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) will hold its Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, from January 23–26, 2019.

AAC&U’s 2019 Annual Meeting, “Raising Our Voices: Reclaiming the Narrative on the Value of Higher Education,” will highlight the innovations of member institutions that have implemented proven practices and programs that demonstrate why higher education is essential for students’ future employability and for democratic vitality. Featuring a broad array of plenaries, forums, and more than 125 concurrent sessions, the conference will challenge attendees across the spectrum of higher education in addressing the most urgent and pressing issues facing our colleges and universities. The topics and themes woven through the Annual Meeting program will reinforce the alignment of higher education, life, work, and citizenship by highlighting evidence-based practices guided by clearly articulated goals for student learning—practices designed for students of all backgrounds and across all disciplines and institution types.

Media are welcome to attend all sessions, but press passes are required and must be obtained in advance.

AAC&U’s Annual Meeting is an ideal and efficient venue to learn about the latest innovations at a wide array of colleges, universities, and community colleges. AAC&U staff members are available to set up interviews with meeting speakers and/or participants.

Please contact Carrie Johnson at [email protected] for press registration, questions, or interview requests.


Pre-Meeting Symposium: January 23
Is There a Rubric for That?
A Decade of VALUE and the Future of Higher Education

Since their introduction in 2009 as an alternative to standardized tests, the VALUE rubrics have moved from the periphery of student outcomes assessment to the center of conversations about the quality of student learning. The Symposium will celebrate “VALUE at 10” by revisiting its roots, examining the current trajectory of assessing for learning and quality, and engaging participants in shaping its future. Speakers include Trudy W. Banta, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis; Johnnella Butler, Spelman College; George D. Kuh, NILOA; Lynn Pasquerella, AAC&U; Carol Geary Schneider, Lumina Foundation; and Jamienne S. Studley, WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Opening Night Forum: January 23
The Honor Code in America Today
Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York University, author of The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity, and writer of "The Ethicist" column for the New York Times.

Opening Plenary: January 24
Code Switching:
Making the Case for Liberal Education Amidst Critics, Skeptics, and Trolls

An open discussion moderated by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella with Brandon Busteed, Kaplan University Partners; Mary Schmidt Campbell, Spelman College; Kirk Carapezza, WGBH Boston; Gail O. Mellow, LaGuardia Community College–CUNY; and Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Core

2019 Ness Book Award Lecture: January 24
Revolutionizing Higher Education
Cathy N. Davidson, author of The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux; Distinguished Professor of English and Founding Director of the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center, CUNY

The Boyer Award Presentation: January 24
To Whom Does the University Belong? The Complex Foundations of Higher Education Institutions
Frederick M. Lawrence, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Phi Beta Kappa

Closing Plenary: January 26
The Role of Journalism in Undermining, Preserving, and Reclaiming the Narrative of American Society
Linda Greenhouse,
Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law and Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence, Yale Law School, and author of Just a Journalist: Reflections on the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between

Women's Leadership Breakfast: January 24
Farah Pandith, former diplomat, foreign policy strategist, and first Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the US Department of State

Networking Luncheon for Faculty and Administrators of Color: January 24
Lily D. McNair, President, Tuskegee University

ACAD Keynote Luncheon: January 25
Thriving in the Dysfunction: Building a Culture of Collaboration
Rick Castallo, Professor of Educational Administration, California State University–Northridge, and author of Dealing with Dysfunction: A Book for University Leaders

Forum for Presidents and Foundation Leaders: January 25
The Future of Liberal Education in a Post-Truth Era

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Threats to General Education and the Liberal Arts
Scott Jaschik, Editor, Inside Higher Ed

12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Why the Job Market Needs Humanists
George Anders, Editor at Large, LinkedIn, and author ofYou Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a "Useless" Liberal Arts Education

Presidents' Trust Seminar: January 25
Seminar for Members of the Presidents’ Trust
Friday, January 25, 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Lynn Pasquerella, AAC&U President, and Grant Cornwell, President of Rollins College and Chair of the Presidents’ Trust, are pleased to announce a special seminar at AAC&U's 2019 Annual Meeting for members of the Presidents’ Trust—"The Coddling of the American Mind.”

Jonathan Haidt (New York University), co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure and co-founder of Heterodox Academy, and Debra Mashek (Harvey Mudd College), Executive Director of Heterodox Academy, will facilitate the discussion.

All Trust members who attend the seminar will receive a complimentary copy of TheCoddling of the American Mind. We hope you will join us for this timely discussion.

10th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios: January 26
ePortfolios and the Value of Higher Education:
Celebrating 10 Years of AAC&U’s ePortfolio Forum


  • The Fierce Urgency of the Adult Student
  • America or Our World First? Communicating the Value of Universal Global Learning in an Age of Rising Nationalism
  • Bridging the 21st-Century Skills Gap: New Educational Development Models for Teaching and Curriculum
  • Institutional Relationships with Oppression: Southern Colleges Collaborate to Confront the Past and Construct a More Equitable Future
  • Conflict to Conversation: Promoting Higher Education Values in Response to Campus Incidents
  • Shakespeare on the Shop Floor: Practicing the Humanities in the Workplace
  • Community Engaged Learning and the Future of Higher Education: Rust-Belt Responses
  • Interrupting Our Own Practices: Redesigning Faculty Development for these Chaotic Times
  • Designing Professional Development to Engage Adjunct Faculty in the Student Success Movement
  • From "At Least" to "At Last": Strategies for Connecting Athletics and Academics
  • Internationalization on Small Innovative Campuses

See the complete program and listing of speakers at Keep up with the Annual Meeting events, updates, and conversation on Twitter: @AACU and #aacu19.

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, faculty, and staff engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Through a broad range of activities, AAC&U reinforces the collective commitment to liberal education at the national, local, and global levels. Its high-quality programs, publications, research, meetings, institutes, public outreach efforts, and campus-based projects help individual institutions ensure that the quality of student learning is central to their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.