What's New

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

LEAP National Leadership Council Member and UMBC President Speaks Out on Advancing Racial Progress

Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 11:45

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County and a member of the LEAP National Leadership Council, wrote in his op-ed in The Washington Post that, “The challenge now is to reflect on how we can extend the gains of the past 50 years to even more Americans. We have asked hard questions like this before. That alone should give us hope as we move forward in an effort to bring the benefits of our nation’s prosperity to all. We now have the opportunity—indeed, the responsibility—to look again at public policies in such areas as education and job training, housing and transportation, drug enforcement, and incarceration.” See other commentary on race and educational opportunity by NLC members Eric Liu and Michelle Cooper and learn more about AAC&U’s resources on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence.

2016 Annual Meeting Call for Proposals

Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 11:30

The deadline for submitting a proposal for the 2016 Annual Meeting has been extended through Wednesday, July 22.  The meeting, “How Higher Education Can Lead—On Equity, Inclusive Excellence, and Democratic Renewal,” will be held January 20-23, 2016, in Washington, DC.  AAC&U’s Annual Meeting will explore higher education’s most pressing educational challenges—those centered on the intersections of equity and quality and on the relationship between students’ learning from college and our society’s commitment to a more inclusive conception of democracy. More information about the Call is available here.

STEM Leaders from 76 Campuses Chosen to Participate in Project Kaleidoscope 2015 Summer Leadership Institutes

Monday, July 6, 2015 - 07:30

AAC&U announced the 100 STEM faculty leaders from 76 institutions of higher education who have been selected to participate in the 2015 PKAL Summer Leadership Institutes. This marks the seventeenth year that PKAL has sponsored summer institutes. The institutes will be held July 14-19 and July 21-26 at The Claggett Center in Adamstown, Maryland, and July 25-30 at The Baca Campus of Colorado College in Crestone, Colorado.

Volunteers for Civic Learning Rubric Development Team Needed

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 07:30

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, in collaboration with AAC&U, is putting together a team of interdisciplinary faculty and academic professionals to develop a national Civic Learning rubric to complement the Civic Engagement VALUE rubric.  If you would like to volunteer to be on the rubric development team please send an email to Wende Garrison at wendebmg@gmail.com before July 3, 2015, to get more information. 

President Carol Geary Schneider Releases Statement on Department of Education Ratings Plan

President Carol Geary Schneider Releases Statement on Department of Education Ratings Plan

Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 16:45

In a statement released June 25, AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider welcomed the news that “the U.S. Department of Education will shift its focus on what had been the proposed framework for “rating” higher education institutions.”  Schneider notes that “AAC&U supports any effort to increase access to quality information and data that will help students and their families make crucial decisions about pursuing postsecondary degrees” and pledged to work “with the department and with the higher education community on ways to provide a fuller picture of how we are serving our students and our society, with new attention to the quality, intentionality, and effectiveness of our core educational programs.” See the full statement.

Marriage Equality Decision

Statement by AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider on Marriage Equality Decision as Historic Breakthrough in the Quest for Full Equality

Friday, June 26, 2015 - 11:30

Today the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. AAC&U celebrates this historic breakthrough in the provision of equal rights and equal justice for gays and lesbians. The struggles for full inclusion in our society continue, as the recent racially motivated hate crime in Charleston makes clear. But today’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges shows that our democracy can and does make dramatic progress to overcome the legacies of past discrimination and to recommit itself to full equality under the law and to the increase of happiness for all its citizens. We congratulate those who have organized for many decades to achieve this milestone Supreme Court decision. Please take a moment to read and reflect on Justice Kennedy’s moving words about the meaning of marriage.

See also recent commentary about the continuing struggles toward racial equity and justice by LEAP National Leadership Council members Eric Liu and Michele Cooper.

LEAP Leadership Council Members Speak Out on Racism and Higher Education's Responsibilities

LEAP Leadership Council Members Speak Out on Racism and Higher Education's Responsibilities

Friday, June 19, 2015 - 16:00

In light of the horrific hate-crime killings in Charleston, South Carolina, LEAP National Leadership Council members, Eric Liu  and Michelle Cooper have both published powerful articles reminding all of us of our responsibilities as educators to tackle the tough issues at the heart of racism, equity, and injustice in our society.  In a heartfelt article in Inside Higher Ed, “Ending Racism is Still a Civil Rights Issue,” Cooper calls for even more intense work to create inclusive learning environments, but also reminds that we need more explicit dialogues and action around issues of racism in our society and our institutions.  She notes that, “Honest, race-centric conversations are hard, but nowhere near as hard as facing decades of oppression, discrimination and unequal access to educational opportunity.”  In his CNN article, “Race Hatred is a Deep Sickness in American Society,” Liu argues that America must grapple with a “deep sickness—race hatred—which is ‘weaponized’ by…easy access to guns. […] [and] a deeper sickness still: the American penchant for avoiding the past and its meaning.”  He reminds readers how “the Charleston shooting, rooted in a deep tradition of anti-black violence, is also part of an inescapable history,” and urges all of us—including in higher education—to “open conversations, public and private, about the real history of anti-black racialism as well as racism in our institutions—our churches, our colleges, our companies, our town squares and public buildings.”  Liu addressed several of these same themes in his address to AAC&U’s Centennial annual meeting in January.  See also tools AAC&U has created to assist campuses in advancing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusive excellence in higher education.

AAC&U Board Issues Statement Affirming Principles of Academic Freedom and Tenure

AAC&U Board Issues Statement Affirming Principles of Academic Freedom and Tenure

Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 12:30

In light of recent legislative proposals in Wisconsin, AAC&U’s Board of Directors issued a statement affirming long-standing principles related to academic freedom and tenure.  In the statement, the board endorses the statement recently released by nearly two dozen scholarly associations and affirms the continued importance of principles of academic freedom and shared governance to fulfilling the core mission of higher education.  They note that these principles are essential to the “continued improvement of student learning, sustained faculty vitality, and the ongoing connections between the capacities developed through liberal education and the quality and strength of our democracy.”  See the full statement issued June 22, 2015, AAC&U’s earlier 2006 board statement, “Academic Freedom and Educational Responsibility.”  See also related articles, including the recent Washington Post op-ed by Kathryn Lynch, dean of faculty affairs at AAC&U member institution, Wellesley College and the Inside Higher Ed article, “Ignoring the Founders,” by AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider and David Townsend, director of Wye Seminars on Citizenship in the American and Global Polity.

Tia Brown McNair

AAC&U's Tia Brown McNair Promoted to Associate Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 13:15

AAC&U has announced that Tia Brown McNair, AAC&U’s Senior Director for Student Success, is being promoted as of July 1st to Associate Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success.  Tia has led several major AAC&U initiatives addressing student success in community colleges and minority serving institutions and has been a leader in AAC&U’s ongoing work on equity, including the project that produced the national report, America’s Unmet Promise: The Imperative for Equity in Higher Education, and the Centennial Year equity focus, including the release of Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence, and Step Up and Lead for Equity.  In this new capacity, Tia will continue to develop and lead project focused on engaged learning, inclusive excellence, and the widespread use of high-quality, high-impact practices.

Register by June 19 for Best Rates for AAEEBL Conference on E-Portfolios and Technology

Register by June 19 for Best Rates for AAEEBL Conference on E-Portfolios and Technology

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 13:15

AAC&U is pleased to share information from our partner, The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL). AAEEBL's Annual Conference, "Moving Beyond 'One-Size-Fits-All,'" will be held in Boston from July 27-30, 2015. Registration is now open for this conference. We encourage you to register by Friday, June 19 for the best conference rate. AAEEBL member discounts continue until July 26. AAEEBL began because of a shared vision among the international e-portfolio community that this particular technology had a huge range of uses for learners and educators, many of which could potentially improve learning both in and out of school or college or university. More information about the conference is available online. AAC&U's Vice President for Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment Terrel Rhodes serves on the advisory board of AAEEBL.

 Daniel F. Sullivan

LEAP Presidents' Trust Chair Daniel F. Sullivan on "The Sustainable College"

Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 11:30

Daniel F. Sullivan’s newest article, “The Sustainable College: Thriving and Serving the Nation in the 21st-Century,” appears in the May/June issue of the Association of Governing Board’s Trusteeship magazine.  In it, Sullivan notes that, “To be sustainable, all colleges and universities, including two-year colleges, must give a much higher priority to the liberal-learning outcomes essential to a 21st-century education,” and offers advice on leading universities in light of new demands for accountability, pressures on affordability, and the emergence of new research on engaged learning and effective approaches to assessing student learning.  In addition to his role as Chair of AAC&U’s LEAP Presidents’ Trust, Daniel F. Sullivan is also President Emeritus of St. Lawrence University, and was Chair of AAC&U’s Board of Trustees in 2008. Sullivan was an AAC&U Board Member from 2004 to 2009.

Dr. Kathy J. Wolfe

AAC&U Announces Appointment of Dr. Kathy J. Wolfe as Vice President for Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 07:15

AAC&U announces 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 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. Dr. Wolfe wrote this article about curriculum revision and adaptive leadership for Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning.

Faculty and Administrative Teams from 109 Institutions and 37 States to Attend AAC&U 2015 Summer Institutes

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 07:15

AAC&U recently announced the colleges, universities, and state systems sending teams to its 2015 summer institutes. Teams of five or more participants from 109 institutions will attend these summer institutes: the Institute on General Education and Assessment at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, OK (June 2-6, 2015); the Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI (June 9-13, 2015); and the Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE (July 14-18, 2015). These three AAC&U institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work on a project of importance to their campus; for a list of participating institutions, see this press release. AAC&U also will announce soon the faculty members participating in the Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institutes for STEM Faculty. The PKAL Institutes are designed to prepare early and mid-career STEM faculty for roles as effective agents of change in transforming undergraduate STEM education at the departmental, institutional, and national levels.

Japan Association for College and University Education Signs Partnership Agreement with AAC&U

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 07:15

AAC&U and the Japan Association for College and University Education (JACUE) have announced that JACUE has become an AAC&U partner organization. A partnership memorandum of understanding, signed at AAC&U's 2015 Annual Meeting, details JACUE's participation in AAC&U's work for college learning in the twenty-first century and interest in the LEAP initiative. As part of the partnership, the two organizations will work with their member institutions to exchange information about the state of liberal and general education in both countries.


AAC&U President Schneider Delivers Mt. Holyoke Commencement, Receives Honorary Degree

Monday, May 18, 2015 - 10:30

AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree this weekend at Mount Holyoke College, of which she is an alumna. Schneider’s address, “Connecting the Liberal Arts with the World's Important Questions,” praised Mount Holyoke’s Lynk program, which provides support for all students to complete at least one applied learning experience and guides students in connecting those experiences with the college’s liberal arts curriculum.  Schneider also noted that our shared future depends on graduates who have both broad and applied learning—and that employers greatly value this kind of education. “What’s happening at Mount Holyoke right now really is empowering and world-expanding,” Schneider told the graduating students. “Mount Holyoke … has prepared you to take responsibility for our democracy and for that long-term project of creating a more just and sustainable world.” The full text of her address is available online. See also Mount Holyoke’s news story on President Schneider’s address. More information about Mount Holyoke’s 2015 Commencement is online.