About the Meeting
Today’s economic uncertainties challenge all of us to be creative in meeting our commitments to students.
These uncertainties also make even more urgent the need for us to prepare all students to thrive in a turbulent and fluid world.
Now, more than ever, AAC&U members are championing the value of a liberal education for individual students as well as for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality. Colleges, universities, state systems and other partners are engaging the public and the academy with core questions about what really matters in college, using new clarity about essential learning outcomes to organize their efforts to pursue educational excellence, assess learning, and align school with college and goals with practices.
Efforts to sustain creative innovation and address the future of liberal learning in a context of dramatic change are evident within all sectors of the higher education community. We invite you to share your best efforts to translate educational vision into concrete practices.
Together, Annual Meeting participants will frankly assess the progress we have made and define the challenges that remain as we imagine—and shape—our possible futures.
We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC.
The Wit Wit is the flower of the imagination. ~Livy
What Do We Know?
Collectively, we know a great deal about advancing liberal education outcomes – what works, what does not, and why. Robust educational innovations exist in pockets on all of our campuses. In a time of financial uncertainty, we must not allow the progress we have made fall victim to austerity. Instead, now is the time to gather our wits and focus with calm and purpose on the aims of education in our time.
What do we know about creating and supporting campus innovation?
What are the implications of these innovations and what is their potential to transform institutions and practices within them?
Are we assessing our own innovations?
The Will Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. ~Goethe
What Do We Do? We need practical and replicable strategies for institutionalizing our best practices—our most visionary and transformational work. We need models for sustaining innovation and for learning from both successes and failures.
How are we connecting and integrating the pockets of excellence and innovation that currently operate as laboratories for transformative practice?
What are the sources for your campus innovation? How do we create and nurture them?
How do we move from ideas to practices? What obstacles stand in our way? Where do we lack the will?
The Wallet You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. ~Tagore
What Can We Do?
Financial uncertainty characterizes the day, but for higher education, issues of the wallet are perennial.What are the implications of this period of financial uncertainty for student learning and for liberal education?
How do questions of affordability and cuts in public funding affect mission and democratic promise?
Are faculty—the majority of whom are contingent—stretched to breaking?
Does a corporatized higher education need restructuring?
How are our educational priorities shifting in the face of economic uncertainty?
How are colleges and universities enmeshed in a new world of finance and investment? What are the costs and benefits of new financial models for learning and institutional support?