For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
Carrie Johnson
Associate Director, Marketing and Media Relations
202.387.3760, ext. 811

More than 2,000 Expected in DC to Celebrate 100 Years of AAC&U Leadership and Action for Liberal Education

Jan 9, 2015

At Centennial Annual Meeting, AAC&U Will:

  • Release Findings from National Employer and Student Surveys on Whether Students are Well-Prepared for Careers and Global Engagement
  • Issue Far-Reaching “LEAP Challenge” to the Higher Education Community
  • Launch Year of Dialogue on Quality, Equity, and America’s Future

Event: 2015 AAC&U Annual Meeting—Liberal Education, Global Flourishing, and The Equity Imperative

When: January 21–24, 2015

Where: Marriott Marquis Hotel, Washington, DC

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities will mark 100 years of leadership for liberal education at its Annual Meeting in Washington, DC to be held from January 21–24. 

At a time when the higher education debate has become intensely instrumental and focused on wages and debt loads of college graduates, AAC&U is taking a bold stand that all students need both liberal and applied learning and that higher education needs to raise its game in preparing students for the jobs of the future.

How can this goal be accomplished?  AAC&U’s “LEAP Challenge” will speak directly to this question.

In addition to The LEAP Challenge, AAC&U will release two reports at its Centennial Annual Meeting that explore the quality and equity shortfall in higher education and two additional reports on far-reaching reforms intended to provide students with a broad and empowering education across the different sectors of postsecondary education.

New Reports To Be Released Include:

  • The LEAP Challenge: Education for a World of Unscripted Problems
  • Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success
  • America’s Unmet Promise: The Imperative for Equity in Higher Education
  • General Education Maps and Markers: Designing Meaningful Pathways to Student Achievement
  • The VALUE Breakthrough: Getting the Assessment of Student Learning in College Right

The LEAP Challenge:  Marking 10 years of progress in its groundbreaking national initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise, AAC&U will launch the next phase of work in that initiative with a bold national challenge to higher education and a portfolio of new LEAP projects all designed to improve the quality of undergraduate education and extend the benefits of an engaged, public-spirited liberal education to all college students, especially those historically underserved in U.S. education.

AAC&U also will premiere a special Centennial Video shining a spotlight on the kinds of liberal learning that best prepare students for an innovation-driven economy and a globally interconnected world.

The meeting will be preceded by a special Centennial Symposium on the topic of America’s Global Future: Are College Students Prepared?

The first in a series of several Centennial forums planned for 2015, this day-long symposium will bring together college, civic, and business leaders, including many coming in leadership teams of presidents, provosts, deans, and trustees.   Responding directly to the widespread hope that higher learning will fuel individual career success, societal creativity, and economic innovation, the Centennial Symposium will explore the kinds of learning that best prepare graduates for a complex and globally engaged society—and the leadership and action needed to ensure that all students benefit in the most empowering forms of college learning. 

Selected Symposium Speakers Include:

Brandon Busteed, Executive Director, Gallup Education; Director of the Gallup-Purdue Index
Kavita Ramdas, Representative—India, Nepal, and Sir Lanka, The Ford Foundation, and former President and CEO, The Global Fund for Women
Michael S. Roth, President, Wesleyan University, and author, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters
Eduardo J. Padrón, President, Miami Dade College
Timothy P. White, Chancellor, The California State University
Andrew Delbanco, Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities and Director of American Studies, Columbia University, and author of College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be
Dan Greenstein, Director of Postsecondary Success Strategy, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Jamie P. Merisotis, President, Lumina Foundation

Other Highlights:

Opening Night Forum on January 21

Reaching Wider: A Dialogue Across BoundariesA discussion with Frank Bruni, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times; Azar Nafisi, Director of Cultural Conversations, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Brian Murphy, President, DeAnza College; and Kavita Ramdas, Representative—India, Nepal, and Sir Lanka, The Ford Foundation, former President and CEO, The Global Fund for Women. The discussion will be moderated by Jeffrey Brown, Co-Anchor and Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour.

Community College Leadership Summit on January 23

The Community College Leadership Summit will bring together more than 100 leaders from community colleges, as well as national and regional organizations dedicated to community college student success. Participating leaders will share their promising strategies and identify opportunities for collaboration in order to scale the many effective practices and policies for community college student success in a national, systemic, and sustainable way.  The Summit is supported by a special gift from The Kresge Foundation.

Forum on Digital Learning and E-Portfolios on January 24

Global Digital Positioning Systems: E-Portfolios in a Digital AgeAAC&U—in partnership with the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) and the International Journal of ePortfolio—is pleased to offer an all-day Forum focused on new research and lessons learned on e-portfolios and digital liberal learning.

Other Annual Meeting Plenary and Featured Speakers Include:

Eric Liu, Founder and CEO, Citizen University
Carol Geary Schneider, President, AAC&U
Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
Mildred García, President, California State University, Fullerton

See the complete program and listing of speakers at Learn more about what’s happening at the Annual Meeting on the AAC&U blog, Follow us on Twitter,, #aacu15.

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.

Media are welcome to attend all sessions, but press passes are required and must be obtained in advance. Please contact Carrie Johnson at by Friday, January 16, to receive press passes to the meeting.

TaskstreamTaskstream, based in New York, is the featured sponsor of AAC&U’s Annual Meeting. Taskstream provides cloud-based software and supporting services to efficiently plan and manage assessment processes and demonstrate both student learning achievement and institutional effectiveness for continuous improvement and accreditation.

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 more than 1,300 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.