AAC&U Announces Appointment of Dr. Kathy J. Wolfe as Vice President for Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons
Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the appointment of Dr. Kathy J. Wolfe as the new Vice President for Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons. Wolfe will begin this position on August 3, 2015, transitioning from her role as an AAC&U Senior Fellow. Dr. Wolfe has come to AAC&U from Nebraska Wesleyan University, where she served for four years as the Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Wolfe joined AAC&U’s leadership team during the association’s Centennial Year. In her new role as Vice President, she will work with colleagues to advance The LEAP Challenge, which calls on higher education to prepare students to integrate and apply their learning to complex questions organized as Signature Work. Wolfe also will lead a related effort, General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs), which is advancing a portable and proficiency-based framework for general education that helps all students, and especially those who have been traditionally underserved by higher education, learn most effectively and demonstrate and apply their learning outside the classroom.
The Office of Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons, which Dr. Wolfe will lead, also is the home of AAC&U’s Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments, the recently-launched Capstones and Signature Work project, the initiative on Shared Futures: Global Learning and Social Responsibility, and the STIRS project—Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills.
“I am very pleased to welcome Kathy Wolfe as the new Vice President for Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “Kathy is well acquainted with—and has contributed to—AAC&U’s thinking about the next generation of LEAP work to advance new designs for general education and signature work for students as the focal point of the undergraduate experience.”
Currently Professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Dr. Wolfe also served as Assistant Professor of English at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado for five years. She was also an Instructor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, where she earned her Ph.D. in English. Dr. Wolfe’s primary areas of scholarship are comparative rhetoric and composition studies. She has led and participated in integrative global general education redesigns, including developing and assessing learning outcomes, at public and private institutions.
"As someone from a member institution that has benefited so much from AAC&U’s resources and campus networks, it’s an honor to add my efforts to our collective mission of promoting liberal education and inclusive excellence. I’m especially excited to collaborate with a team devoted to supporting purposeful, integrative learning that addresses global problem-solving," said Kathy Wolfe, Vice President for Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons.
Dr. Wolfe will succeed Dr. David Paris, who has led the Office of Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons since 2013. Dr. Paris, who will be married in August, is moving to Pittsburgh, where his fiancé is the president of Seton Hill College. Although he is transitioning to a Senior Fellow position, Dr. Paris will continue to be actively involved with AAC&U’s work on GEMs and the LEAP Challenge. “We are deeply grateful to David Paris for the leadership he has provided at AAC&U and delighted that he will continue to have an important role in the agenda that he has helped to shape around designs for general education and signature work that integrate students’ learning experiences from cornerstone to capstone,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “David Paris’s leadership on general education renewal through the GEMs initiative is a critical foundation for AAC&U’s continuing work and for students’ preparation to succeed in doing Signature Work.”
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.
Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at www.aacu.org.