What's New

AAC&U Remembers Alison Bernstein

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 08:30

AAC&U mourns the loss of Alison R. Bernstein, a longtime leader in higher education and philanthropy who passed away on June 30, 2016. Bernstein was an especially gifted scholar and liberal educator, a tireless promoter of diversity and inclusion, an early champion of the field of women’s studies, and a strong supporter of this association. AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella noted that “Alison had a profound impact on higher education. Her lifelong commitment to liberal education, equity, and social justice resulted in enhanced access to higher education for those at the lowest socioeconomic rungs and to new models for ensuring that the contributions of women and people of color are not consigned to the lower shelves of history. Her legacy will continue to shape the next generation of global women leaders, and we are so grateful to have been beneficiaries of her wit, wisdom, and passion.” Read AAC&U’s full statement here.

Webinar and Research Briefing Offer Guidance in Wake of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin Decision

Friday, July 8, 2016 - 10:15

An upcoming free webinar, “Unpacking Fisher II and Its Possible Implications for Institutions,” will be held on Thursday, July 14 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. Sponsored by the College Board’s Access and Diversity Collaborative, the webinar will include discussion of the elements of the US Supreme Court decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which upheld the University of Texas’s race-conscious admissions program. To learn more about the case, read the 2014 briefing document, “The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal's Second Ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas: The Decision and Its Implications,” prepared by the College Board and Education Counsel LLC on behalf of the Access and Diversity Collaborative (of which AAC&U is a sponsoring organization). See also AAC&U President Emerita Carol Geary Schneider’s statement on the case, issued on June 23 in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision.

2017 Annual Meeting Symposium To Provide Forum for Dialogue on Student Activism, Racial Justice, and Educational Responsibility

Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 15:00

Over the past year, college students have joined communities across our nation to protest systemic racial and social injustices. As our campuses respond to the voices of students seeking to speak truth to power, all educators within our colleges and universities must play leadership roles in promoting racial and social justice and educating today’s students to be informed and inspired to help build more just and equitable communities. The 2017 AAC&U Annual Meeting and Pre-Meeting Symposium will provide a space to explore our educational responsibilities around these challenging issues. See resources and campus tools designed to help in this work, including a recent interview done by AAC&U’s President Lynn Pasquerella regarding today’s movements on and off campus to address racial and social injustice.



Lynn Pasquerella Begins Term as AAC&U's 14th President

Lynn Pasquerella Begins Term as AAC&U's 14th President

Friday, July 1, 2016 - 00:00

Launching her tenure as AAC&U’s 14th President, Pasquerella issued a message to AAC&U members noting that our community “must enlarge the national conversation about access [to higher education and] … embrace the many ways in which liberal learning and inclusive excellence enrich us all.” She notes further how much the diversity of AAC&U’s membership strengthens the association and that “what unites us across this diversity is our shared commitment to AAC&U’s mission of making liberal education and inclusive excellence the foundation for institutional purpose and educational practice.” Read the full message to members and more information about President Lynn Pasquerella.

Carol Geary Schneider Becomes President Emerita, Issues Message to AAC&U Community

Carol Geary Schneider Becomes President Emerita, Issues Message to AAC&U Community

Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 00:00

After eighteen years as president of AAC&U, Carol Geary Schneider becomes president emerita on July 1. In a message to the AAC&U community, she extends thanks to colleagues across AAC&U’s member institutions, reflects on the last two decades of work, and calls for continued shared commitment to ensuring that a high-quality liberal education is available to every student. Schneider writes, “It will take an educational community—supported by a vigorous, smart, and creative AAC&U—to help overcome the reality that deep inequities stand in the way of underserved students’ successfully gaining access to the most empowering forms of college learning.” Click here to read the full message. 

AAC&U Research Analyst Rebecca Dolinsky Writes about LGBTQ Student Success in Diverse

AAC&U Research Analyst Rebecca Dolinsky Writes about LGBTQ Student Success in Diverse

Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 10:15

In a recent article for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, AAC&U Research Analyst and Program Manager Rebecca Dolinsky writes about the need for “campus cultures built on safety and support” for LGBTQ students in the wake of the recent tragedy at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Reflecting on the current context for LGBTQ rights in the United States, where “rhetoric and legislation … have been both inclusive and exclusive of LGBTQ people,” she calls campuses to “engage diverse student groups at the intellectual and emotional levels” by attending to inclusion in their public messaging, in the curriculum, and in the cocurriculum. Read the full article here, and visit AAC&U’s website to read President Carol Geary Schneider’s statement on the Orlando tragedy.

US Supreme Court

AAC&U Affirms Commitment to Equity and Engagement with Diversity in Wake of Supreme Court Decision

Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 12:00

In covering the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, the Christian Science Monitor quoted AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider, "Creating a diverse campus is a first step... Preparing students to work productively across difference … is the next critical frontier in higher education’s long-term efforts to make excellence inclusive." Her comment was made in the context of a strongly worded statement issued on June 23 in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. In her statement, she affirmed AAC&U’s strong commitment “to helping our members succeed in the long-term work of educating and graduating students—from all backgrounds—who will be both prepared and inspired to work for a more just and equitable democracy in the United States and for the expansion of human dignity and opportunity around the world.” In a news release announcing the statement, AAC&U’s President-Elect Lynn Pasquerella also noted that “our nation’s historic commitment to educating for democracy cannot truly be fulfilled until racial equality is achieved around access to excellence in higher education. The Supreme Court’s decision highlights the significance of AAC&U’s commitment to championing equity and inclusion in liberal education.” In covering the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, the Christian Science Monitor quoted AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider, "Creating a diverse campus is a first step... Preparing students to work productively across difference … is the next critical frontier in higher education’s long-term efforts to make excellence inclusive." See the full statement and news release.

President-Elect Lynn Pasquerella To Begin at AAC&U July 1

Monday, May 23, 2016 - 14:15

AAC&U’s President-Elect Lynn Pasquerella will be completing her tenure at AAC&U member institution Mount Holyoke College in mid-June and taking the helm of AAC&U July 1st.  On June 1st, she co-led the LEAP Presidents’ Trust annual spring convening.  This was the first of many planned dialogues the new president will be having with AAC&U’s membership.  Pasquerella will also get a chance to meet and discuss membership priorities with campus teams attending several of AAC&U’s summer institutes in June and July.  Under her leadership, Mount Holyoke College became a pace-setter for integrative liberal learning—including designs to help all students connect their college studies with purposeful pathways to long-term professional success. See: http://www.aacu.org/campus-model/mapping-path-curriculum-career-lynk-initiative-mount-holyoke-college.

AAC&U Features Perspectives on the Future of Accreditation as NACIQI Meets in Washington

AAC&U Features Perspectives on the Future of Accreditation as NACIQI Meets in Washington

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 09:45

In a recent issue of Liberal Education, AAC&U senior leaders shared their perspectives on the future of accreditation. AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider noted that, “unless faculty and other campus leaders want to hand accreditation over to ROI calculators, we—the higher education community—must move to persuade our accreditors that we can no longer keep our goals for quality learning hidden from view.” In addition, AAC&U Senior Vice President for Academic Planning and Public Engagement Debra Humphreys joined with co-author Paul Gaston noting that, “If policymakers take this issue seriously, avoiding hackneyed sound bites (“accreditation ignores student learning”; “accreditation inhibits innovation”) in favor of serious analysis, it may be possible to develop a more productive approach to quality assurance and a better system of accrediting institutions of higher education as guarantors of quality and vehicles for student learning and empowerment.” See also President Schneider’s presentation at the Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference Presidents’ Program titled “Liberal Education and the New Frontiers of Quality Assurance.”

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider Advocates for Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence During Campus Presentations

Monday, June 13, 2016 - 01:00

Prior to her retirement on June 30, 2016, AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider traveled extensively, working with faculty and academic leaders from many institutions on how to advance inclusive excellence and help diverse students successfully achieve the essential learning aims and outcomes of a liberal education. On April 8-9, Schneider gave a speech at the Inaugural Symposium introducing Grant Cornwell as the new President of Rollins College. On April 13, Schneider traveled to DePaul University, where her presentation focused on “LEAP: A Twenty-First-Century-Strategy for Quality Learning, Demonstrated Achievement, and Long-Term Student Success.” On April 16, Schneider addressed the 2016 Higher Learning Commission on “Liberal Education and the New Frontiers for Quality Assurance.” On May 4, she attended a meeting with the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions, addressing “The Quality Learning Imperative: Preparing Students for Work, Civil Society, and Life.” On May 18, Schneider traveled to the University of Michigan for “The Future of Diversity Research—A Diversity Scholars Network Conference.” Her presentation in Michigan focused on making excellence inclusive and preparing students to create solutions for the future. On June 4, she delivered the plenary address at AAC&U’s Institute on General Education and Assessment in Boston. On June 6, Schneider traveled to New Haven, Connecticut to speak at an international symposium, held by Yale-NUS College, on globalizing the liberal arts. On June 10, Schneider addressed liberal learning and democracy at MetroCITI’s Conference on Liberal Education in Urban Universities, held in New York City. On June 23, Schneider will travel to the Stella and Charles Guttman Community College in New York City to deliver remarks at the institution’s commencement and receive their Presidential Medal. See these and other presentations and writings from Schneider at www.aacu.org/about/cgs_perspectives.

Faculty and Administrative Teams from 119 Institutions, 34 States, and 4 Countries to Attend AAC&U 2016 Summer Institutes

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 08:15

AAC&U recently announced the colleges, universities, and state systems sending teams to its 2016 summer institutes. Teams of five or more participants from a total of 119 institutions will attend the Institute on General Education and Assessment at Boston University (June 4–8, 2016); the Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success at the University of California, Los Angeles (June 21–25, 2016); and the Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments at Loyola University Chicago (July 12–15, 2016). These institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work on a project of importance to their campus. Watch for announcements later this summer about the 2016 Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institutes for STEM Faculty. The PKAL Institutes are designed to guide early- and mid-career STEM faculty in an introspective exploration of the theories, practice, and art of leadership that is required to effectively manage the politics of institutional change and contribute to national undergraduate STEM reform.

Grieving with and for Our Neighbors and Our Democracy

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 15:15

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider released a statement mourning “this weekend’s murderous attack on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people at Pulse in Orlando.” She notes that the AAC&U community “grieve[s] for the tragic loss of so many lives and extend[s] our sympathy to all who are suffering from this act of carnage.” Noting that “we all are harmed by this horrific act of violence against LGBT individuals and their humanity, by this retreat to a culture of gun violence against members of our communities, and by this damaging assault on the core principles of a just and sustainable democracy,” she called on the community and our nation’s leaders to “respond to this sobering moment by recommitting to those core principles, for our nation and for the world.” See the full statement.   

AAC&U to Form and Lead New Commission on Inclusive Excellence in STEM in Partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

AAC&U to Form and Lead New Commission on Inclusive Excellence in STEM in Partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Monday, May 23, 2016 - 14:45

AAC&U and The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced today the formation of a new Inclusive Excellence Commission chaired by AAC&U Vice President and Project Kaleidoscope Executive Director Kelly Mack.  The Commission is being formed as part of HHMI’s new Inclusive Excellence Initiative. The Commission will include nationally and internationally recognized experts on undergraduate STEM reform, broadening participation, leadership development, educational equity, and organizational change.  Over the next four years, the IE Commission will advance an evaluation of the strategic interventions being supported by HHMI through its new Inclusive Excellence grant program and develop a conceptual realist model for inclusive excellence in STEM.  For more information about the Inclusive Excellence Commission, see: www.aacu.org/commission. For information about the HHMI Inclusive Excellence initiative, see www.hhmi.org/InclusiveExcellence.

Assessment Webinar in June Cosponsored by AAC&U

Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 10:15

AAC&U, SHEEO, and Taskstream are cosponsoring a webinar in June as part of the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC)/VALUE Initiative Webinar Series. On Thursday, June 16, the webinar topic is “Data Analysis and Use,” and individuals from participating MSC campuses will share insights on how to use data to inform changes to assignment design. Registration for this webinar can be found on Tasksteam’s website. Learn more about the Multi-State Collaborative and VALUE.

AAC&U President on the Importance of a "Big-Picture Education"

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 08:30

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider was interviewed by The Chronicle of Higher Education’s On Leadership video series on the value of college and her  long tenure as president of AAC&U. Schneider noted that, “It's never been more important that students have a big-picture education that prepares them to deal with complexity, and prepares them to take ethical responsibility and civic responsibility for what they're learning …People want today's new students to succeed in higher education. And they're trying everything they can to really help students get the benefit of a good education. So I take energy and confidence from all the commitment I see, across broad-access institutions and selective institutions as well, to try and make our programs work better for students.” See more perspectives from President Schneider at: www.aacu.org/about/cgs_perspectives.