For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-884-0812 (office)

2,000 Higher Education Leaders and Educators to Convene in San Francisco to Explore How to Build Public Trust in the Promise of Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence

Jan 4, 2017

At AAC&U’s 2017 Annual Meeting, topics will include:

  • How liberal education serves the cause of equity in American society—educating students from all backgrounds and ensuring that graduates are equipped to lead and contribute to our diverse democracy
  • Responding to calls for racial and social justice on campus through faculty engagement
  • Effective approaches to deepening the impact of liberal learning and demonstrating its value to skeptics
  • How ePortfolios can be used to enhance student learning and success

Event: 2017 AAC&U Annual Meeting: Building Public Trust in the Promise of Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence
When: January 25–28, 2017
Where: Hyatt Regency San Francisco

San Francisco, CA—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) will hold its Annual Meeting in San Francisco from January 25–28, 2017.

AAC&U’s 2017 Annual Meeting, “Building Public Trust in the Promise of Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence,” will respond to the urgent need—expressed by educators from campuses across the country—for more effective approaches to restoring public trust in higher education and improving public understanding of how liberal education and inclusive excellence are valuable “public” and “private” goods. Rebuilding the public’s trust in higher and liberal education requires educators and leaders from across sectors to paint a more compelling and vivid picture of how colleges and universities are improving student learning and reinventing liberal education to serve today’s students and to solve today’s challenges.

Media are welcome to attend all sessions, but press passes are required and must be obtained in advance. Please contact Ross Berry at to receive a press pass to the meeting.

Conference Highlights

Pre-Meeting Symposium on January 25
Student Activism and Liberal Education: Faculty Engagement in Turbulent Times
With speakers Lynn Pasquerella, AAC&U; Gail C. Christopher, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Christopher Tinson and Jonathan Lash—both of Hampshire College

Opening Night Forum on January 25
Predict the Future by Inventing It: Accelerating the Pace of Change in Academia

Leticia Britos Cavagnaro and Humera Fasihuddin, Co-Directors of the University Innovation Fellows Program at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the “”)

Opening Plenary
Always on the Fringe: Closed Futures and the Promise of Liberal Education

Moderated by Lynn Pasquerella, President, AAC&U, and featuring Sara Goldrick-Rab, Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology, Temple University, and author of Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream; Michael Roth, President, Wesleyan University, and author of Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters; Jeff Selingo, Professor of Practice, Arizona State University, and author of There is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow; Beverly Daniel Tatum, former President, Spelman College, and author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and Other Conversations About Race.

Closing Plenary
The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today

Jelani Cobb, Professor of Journalism, Columbia University, and Staff Writer for The New Yorker

ACAD Keynote Luncheon
Iteration and Innovation in Education

Jamie Casap, Education Evangelist, Google, Inc.

Networking Breakfast for Women Faculty and Administrators
Glass Cliffs, Queen Bees, and the Snow Woman Effect: Persistent Barriers to Women’s Leadership in the Academy

Lynn Pasquerella, President, AAC&U

Networking Luncheon for Faculty and Administrators of Color
Building and Sustaining Allies for Turbulent Times

Michelle Asha Cooper, President, Institute for Higher Education Policy

Presidents’ Forum—Opening Plenary
The Contours of Free Expression on Campus: Free Speech, Academic Freedom, and Civility

Frederick M. Lawrence, Secretary and Chief Executive Office, Phi Beta Kappa

Presidents’ Forum Luncheon
Why Reporters Won’t Pay Attention—Except When I Don’t Want Them To

Scott Jaschik, Editor, Inside Higher Ed

8th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios on January 28
ePortfolio as the Eleventh Meta High-Impact Practice for Student Signature Work

Keynote presented by Laura Gambino, Associate Dean for Assessment & Technology, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, and Bret Eynon, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York

Selected sessions—from more than 125 sessions to be presented—include:

  • “Why Are All the Black Kids Still Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and Other Campus Conversations about Race
  • Every Campus a Refuge—A High-Impact Community of Practice
  • What is the Value of a College Degree?
  • “Now What?” Capitalizing the on Presidential Election Cycle to Invigorate Community Engagement through Curricular and Cocurricular Pathways
  • Reimagining Higher Education for the New Majority
  • Perilous Times: Preparing Students Across Sectors for Civic, Ethical, Moral Learning
  • Reinvigorating California’s Master Plan for Higher Education
  • “Someone Who Looks like Me”: Promoting the Success of Students of Color by Promoting the Success of Faculty of Color
  • Practicing Global Learning in the 21st Century: Four Distinct Views from Across the US
  • Are You Smart Enough? How Colleges’ Obsession with Smartness Shortchanges Students

See the complete program and listing of speakers at, and follow us on Twitter @AACU and #aacu17.

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.

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. 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 nearly 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, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

Featured Sponsor for AAC&U's 2017 Annual Meeting:

Taskstream advances effective assessment to improve student learning and institutional quality with proven, reliable, and user-friendly technology and supporting services. Since 2000, we have been promoting outcomes-based teaching and assessment to help institutions ensure their students have the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a global society. We are proud to partner with AAC&U, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) and the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC) in the effort to create a scalable alternative for outcomes assessment based on faculty scoring of authentic student work using the VALUE rubrics.