What's New

More than 500 Gather in Chicago to Explore Diversity, Learning, and Student Success

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 09:45

AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal Conference on Diversity, Learning, and Student Success welcomes more than 500 attendees March 27-29 in Chicago, Illinois. Program highlights include an opening address, “The Wind Beneath Their Wings,” by Economist and Author Julianne Malveaux; a panel discussion on “Improving and Measuring Student Success: Perspectives on Policy and Practice,” with Steve Gunderson, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities; Debra Humphreys, AAC&U; José Moreno, California State University, Long Beach; and Christi Pedra, Cardinal Health; and sessions on “Technology-Enabled Education: Opportunities and Pitfalls,” with Candace Thille, Stanford University and Sylvia Manning, Higher Learning Commission; and “Intentional and Strategic Connections of Diversity, Learning, and Student Success,” with Lon Kaufman, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Celebrating Women's History Month

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 09:45

In honor of National Women’s History Month, which focuses this year on the theme Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment, AAC&U recognizes two extraordinary women who for over four decades led AAC&U’s efforts to offer resources for women in higher education: Bernice “Bunny” Sandler, founding director of AAC&U’s Program on the Status and Education of Women and recent inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and Caryn McTighe Musil, AAC&U Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives and longtime advocate for gender equity in higher education. AAC&U continues their legacy of supporting women in higher education through publications such as Liberal Education (which recently featured Musil’s article “Gender Equity: Who Needs It?”) and initiatives like the NSF-funded Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future project supporting women of color STEM faculty at HBCUs.

AAC&U Board Member Charlene Dukes Receives 2014 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award

Monday, March 17, 2014 - 09:45

Charlene M. Dukes, president of Prince George's Community College and an AAC&U Board Member, is the 2014 recipient of the Reginald Wilson Diversity in Leadership Award from the American Council on Education (ACE). The award was presented at ACE's 96th Annual Meeting. "It is a privilege to present the 2014 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award to Charlene Dukes, whose bold leadership at Prince George's Community College and elsewhere demonstrates an unwavering dedication to the cause of expanding higher education diversity and access," said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. "She is a pioneer who is intent on helping to forge new opportunities for countless other higher education leaders and students."

LEAP Presidents' Trust Member, Elaine Maimon, Receives ACE Award for Advancing Women in Education

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 09:45

Elaine Maimon, president of Governors State University and a member of the LEAP Presidents’ Trust, received the 2014 Donna Shavlik Award at the annual meeting of the American Council on Education (ACE). The award, named for the former director of ACE's Office of Women in Higher Education, honors an individual who demonstrates a sustained commitment to advancing women in higher education, through leadership and career development, campus climate, and mentoring. Maimon has worked with ACE on several different initiatives to promote women’s advancement, and her work has done much to “expand access to higher education overall and advance the cause of women in higher education leadership in particular,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. AAC&U Senior Scholar Caryn McTighe Musil also received this award in 2005.

More Commentary on Salary Data as a Measure of Value of Higher Education Institutions

Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 09:45

As the US Department of Education works on a very quick timeline to develop a new system for "rating" colleges and universities that receive federal student aid, education leaders continue to seriously question the inclusion of salary data as part of any ratings system. AAC&U is on record strongly opposing the use of salary data in any rating or ranking system of colleges and universities, noting that, far beyond the data so far proposed for inclusion, "The United States needs a far more searching exploration of 'value' than the administration has proposed." AAC&U has also noted that, "Using salary data in the proposed ratings system is bound to be misleading to students and, because of its complexity, a distraction from more basic questions of whether students are successfully completing college, transferring to other institutions, and managing the net costs of their enrollment." See a useful summary of responses provided by The Chronicle of Higher Education, AAC&U’s statements on the proposed ratings system, and this helpful article by AAC&U board member and Oregon State University President Ed Ray asking “Is College for Getting a Job or Finding One’s Passion?” See additional responses from a panel of experts, including AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider, in the Wall Street Journal. op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the value of the humanities. See also AAC&U’s recent report on How Liberal Arts Majors Fare in Employment.

900 Education Leaders Gather in Portland for Conference on General Education and Assessment

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 09:45

AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal Conference on General Education and Assessment welcomes 900 attendees February 27–March 1 in Portland, Oregon. Program highlights include Thursday’s keynote address, “From Disruption to Design: A General Education for 2030?” by Randall Bass, Georgetown University; and Sybril Bennett, Belmont University; the Friday morning plenary, “Examining Leadership Paradoxes: New Students and Faculty on Campus,” by Adrianna Kezar University of Southern California; and Robert T. Teranish, University of California–Los Angeles; and the Friday afternoon plenary, “Evolving Identities of E-Portfolios,” by Bret Eynon, La Guardia Community College/City University of New York.

GEMs Project Launched at Washington, DC Meeting: Working Groups Convene to Map Next Generation General Education Pathways

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 10:00

Three working groups and a newly formed Quality Assurance Group began charting a twenty-first century course for general education and its assessment at a meeting in Washington, DC on February 10-11, 2014. The Working and Quality Assurance Groups appointed by AAC&U are collaborating as part of an initiative called GEMs (General Education Maps and Markers) launched with initial funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. GEMs Working Groups include leading researchers and educators who will lay the groundwork for a cornerstone to capstone “remapping” of general education. In addition, a new Quality Assurance Group will provide guidance both to the GEMs initiative and to AAC&U’s ongoing VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) family of projects. See the news release about the launch meeting for GEMs.

Nominations Now Open for Examples of Excelencia

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 10:00

AAC&U is pleased to announce that Excelencia in Education is now accepting nominations for its Examples of Excelencia initiative. Launched in 2005, the Examples of Excelencia initiative is designed to identify and honor programs and departments at the forefront of increasing academic opportunities and improving achievement for Latino students at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. The initiative is focused on results and disseminating promising practices to others interested in serving Latino students. Nominations for the 2014 awards must be submitted by April 25; selected programs will be recognized at the Celebración de Excelencia on September 30 in Washington, DC. AAC&U has partnered with Excelencia in Education as part of our Making Excellence Inclusive initiative within Liberal Education and America's Promise. Learn more at http://www.edexcelencia.org/examples-of-excelencia/2014

Screening of Documentary, "Inequality for All" on February 20

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 10:00

AAC&U, AASCU’s American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, Campus Compact, NASPA, Project Pericles, and the US Students Association invite your campus to host a screening of the Sundance Award-Winning Documentary “Inequality for All” on February 20 at 5 p.m. (EST). The documentary, from Robert Reich, Former US Secretary of Labor, is an exposé on the nation’s widening economic gap. Following the film, at 6:30 p.m. (EST), Robert Reich will present a live interactive webcast. The cost to participate in this screening is $250. This fee covers the purchase of film and public performance rights, as well as a license to allow your institution to show the film anytime, anywhere on campus. For information about hosting a screening, e-mail Wendy Cohen at wendy@picturemotion.com.

AAC&U Selects Thirteen Scholars to Guide Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills Initiative

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 10:00

AAC&U has chosen thirteen STIRS Scholars to provide leadership for the Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills (STIRS) initiative. STIRS was launched in 2012 to develop the tools to improve the capacity of undergraduate students to use evidence to solve problems and make decisions. The new STIRS Scholars, chosen through a competitive process, will develop STIRS case studies and draw national attention to evidence-based reasoning and decision making as critical, multifaceted, cross-cutting capacities to be practiced by all undergraduate students in all degree programs. The scholars will meet together at AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal Conference on General Education and Assessment in Portland, Oregon, in late February/early March, 2014.

AAC&U and a Host of Others Warn Department of Education That Proposed Ratings System Will Be Almost Impossible to Do Well

Friday, February 7, 2014 - 10:00

In November, AAC&U issued a cautionary statement about the ratings system urging that it not be described as metrics for “value” or “worth”; and specifically warning that including salary data as an indicator of “quality” would punish institutions whose graduates flock to public service and teaching. (For more on the salary issues, click here.) Subsequently, AAC&U also signed a community letter, framed by ACE, which outlined in considerable detail the likely insurmountable practical and technical problems any one-size-fits-all ratings system will encounter. While the Department of Education has underscored that, given the president’s directive, “there will be a new ratings system,” AAC&U will continue to encourage the department to present its system as “selected indicators,” rather than as an evaluation of institutional worth or value.

LEAP Texas Becomes Tenth Official LEAP Partner State

Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 10:00

AAC&U and LEAP Texas announced that Texas has become a consortial partner in AAC&U’s signature national initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP). LEAP Texas is a collation of more than sixty institutions spanning different state offices and systems, united by common issues and shared purpose. Moving forward, LEAP Texas has three main goals: leveraging the newly redesigned State Core Curriculum (largely informed by the Essential Learning Outcomes) to improve undergraduate education; creating a capacity for large-scale, inter-institutional collaboration on assessment; and embedding high-impact practices throughout the undergraduate curriculum.

More Than 2,000 Education Leaders Gather in Washington to Address Educational Innovations and America's Global Future

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 10:00

More than 2,000 participants have gathered in Washington for AAC&U’s 2014 Annual Meeting (Jan 22-25). Participants are discussing three urgent and intersecting issues: the continuing challenge to define and demonstrate what we mean by quality liberal education; attempts to imagine and plan for how technology is changing all aspects of higher education; and the inequality that results when educational opportunity is too closely linked to first-job skills. Meeting highlights include a Pre-Meeting Symposium on the future of the arts and sciences; an opening plenary featuring EJ Dionne, Jr., columnist for the Washington Post; a special plenary address by Walter Isaacson on “Liberal Education and the Future of Innovation”; and the final plenary by Frank Levy (MIT) on “Technology and the Future of Work and Learning.” At the meeting, eight graduate students are being honored with the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award and AAC&U presented the 2014 Ness Book Award to José Antonio Bowen for Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning.

Graduate Students Honored with K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 10:00

Eight graduate students will be honored as 2014 recipients of the annual K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, a distinction given to graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education, who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and in others, and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. The award is named in honor of K. Patricia Cross, professor of higher education, emerita, at the University of California, Berkeley. For more details about the 2014 recipients, see the list of Cross Award winners online. The 2014 Cross Scholars will be introduced to the AAC&U community at its 2014 Annual Meeting, "Quality, E-Quality, and Opportunity: How Educational Innovations Will Make--or Break--America's Global Future," to be held in Washington, DC, from January 22-25, 2014. The 2014 Cross Scholars will be honored at the Opening Plenary. They will also be presenters in the session, "Faculty of the Future: Voices from the Next Generation." The Cross awardees will participate in other sessions and meetings throughout the conference.

New Report Documents Professional Success of Liberal Arts Graduates

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 10:00

A new report written by Debra Humphreys and Patrick Kelly and published jointly by AAC&U and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) tracks the long-term earnings and employment rates of liberal arts graduates and counters stereotypes about the value of liberal education. In addition to providing data on long-term employment outcomes for four-year college graduates with an array of undergraduate majors, the report details how humanities and social science majors, in particular, are flocking to a family of educational and social service professions. In releasing the report, NCHEMS President Dennis Jones notes that “This report makes a strong case that liberal arts degrees really do prepare their holders for successful careers…[and] reminds us that these degrees also are the primary pathways to careers that society critically needs, but has been unwilling to compensate as well as others.” See the news release on the report, purchase a print or electronic copy, and download a brochure with select findings about the value of the liberal arts.