AAC&U News, October 2017
News & Events

Meetings, Projects, and Publications

Meetings and Institutes

AAC&U Annual Meeting: Registration Now Open

“Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive American Dream?”
January 24–27, Washington, DC
Register by November 17 for Best Rates

AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting will be held January 24–27 in Washington, DC. The meeting will open with Doris Kearns Goodwin presenting the inaugural Carol Geary Schneider Lecture on Liberal Education and Inclusive Excellence titled “Where Do We Go From Here? Leadership in Turbulent Times.” The opening plenary, “Identity Matters: Realizing the American Dream,” will be an open discussion moderated by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella with speakers Linda Martín Alcoff of Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center and author of The Future of Whiteness; Naomi M. Barry-Pérez, director of the Civil Rights Center at the US Department of Labor; Tamara Draut of Demos and author of Sleeping Giant: How America’s New Working Class Will Transform America; and Wes Moore, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation and author of The Other Wes Moore. The final plenary, “Higher Education: Crisis & Purpose,” will be delivered by William Deresiewicz, author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. The Annual Meeting will also feature a Pre-Meeting Symposium on Wednesday, January 24, “The Power of Civic Engagement—Across Campus, Within Communities, Beyond Borders,” and the Ninth Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios on Saturday, January 27. Hotel and registration information is available online. 

Register Now: Global Engagement and Social Responsibility Conference

“Higher Education's Role in Addressing Global Crises”
A Network for Academic Renewal Conference
October 12–14, New Orleans, Louisiana

AAC&U invites you to join our first conference of the academic year, which begins with an Opening Keynote by Wajahat Ali—journalist, writer, lawyer, award-winning playwright, and TV host—on “Millennial Swagger: Promoting Social Entrepreneurship through Storytelling and Social Media.” A panel including Kassie Freeman, African Diaspora Consortium; Yolanda Moses, University of California–Riverside; and David Ware, Ware Immigration, will describe existing and evolving national immigration policies and executive orders and discuss their legal implications for educators and students through the country and beyond. The conference includes more than fifty sessions, workshops, and facilitated discussions led by nearly 150 speakers representing eighty national and international institutions. Read the full final program and register now.

Register Now: 2017 Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference

“Discovery, Innovation, and the Value of Evidence”
A Network for Academic Renewal Conference
November 2–4, San Francisco, California
Register by October 11 for Discount Rates

Increasingly, our college and university graduates are called upon to address multiple interconnected challenges—including preserving cybersecurity, mitigating climate change, eliminating health disparities, and guarding the integrity of using proven theories as a precondition for decision-making. The conference, “Discovery, Innovation, and the Value of Evidence,” will address the importance of STEM proficiency for STEM majors and nonmajors alike, as well as the importance of empowering the faculty on whom we rely to increase the number of competitively trained and liberally educated graduates. Plenary sessions include an opening vision for transforming STEM education by Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University; “Transforming a University into a Learning Laboratory” by Timothy McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics, Astronomy, and Education and director of the Digital Innovation Greenhouse at the University of Michigan; and “New Contexts for STEM Education: Examining National Policy, Considering Collaboration Opportunities” by Kumar Garg, senior fellow at the Society for Science and the Public and former assistant director for learning and innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Read the full preliminary program and register now.

PKAL–Undergraduate STEM Education News

Join AAC&U and PKAL in Celebrating Active Learning Week

AAC&U and Project Kaleidoscope invite STEM faculty to join us in celebrating Active Learning Week from October 23–27 by integrating culturally responsive, active learning strategies in your classroom. Last year, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy introduced Active Learning Day as part of a nationwide effort to improve STEM higher education. Today, AAC&U’s Project Kaleidoscope and their STEM higher education partners are proud to extend the value and impact of this important work. Active Learning Week is an opportunity for STEM faculty and administrators to join in a collective effort to raise STEM faculty awareness of active learning strategies, expand institutional capacity for STEM diversity and inclusion, and improve the undergraduate experience of all students in STEM. In addition, Active Learning Week will offer a program of webinars and hosted discussions that will serve to integrate and promote our collective work as change agents at the forefront of STEM higher education reform. To join us, click here to take the pledge.

Project News

Webinar Recording: "Global Learning—Beyond Study Abroad"

The recording is available for the “Global Learning—Beyond Study Abroad” webinar, offering frameworks, practical techniques, and proven strategies for institutions to integrate global learning across the curriculum—amid financial challenges and a contested political climate—to create robust curricular and cocurricular global learning experiences. Dawn Michele Whitehead, AAC&U’s senior director for global learning and curricular change, moderated a panel that included Stephanie Doscher of Florida International University, Anne Ogilvie of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Amir Reza of Babson College. The webinar also featured highlights from Models of Global Learning, a forthcoming AAC&U publication that documents how institutions have sustained their global learning programs, practices, and structures over time. The webinar recording is free for AAC&U members and costs $100 for nonmembers.  

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Action Network News

Learn How Colleges and Universities Help Anchor Community and Economic Development

Registration is still open for the Anchor Institutions Task Force 2017 Annual Conference to be held October 26–27 in New York City. The conference will be an “opportunity to exchange ideas about how anchor institutions, community organizations, government agencies, and other partners can work together to address some of the pressing issues of our times in their neighborhoods, municipalities, and regions.”

Narratives Highlighting Religious Diversity and Public Scholarship on Campuses

Imagining America has welcomed their newest cohort of graduate students into the Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) fellows program. Dedicated to “advancing critical inquiry into social movements, cultural production and issues of social and political agency using storytelling, public scholarship and engaged pedagogy,” these students have explored the themes of intersectionality and public scholarship in the 2017 PAGE Blog Salon.

The Interfaith Youth Core website has a new design, and with it comes INTER, the “digital magazine of ideas and art from a new generation navigating unprecedented religious diversity in America.” IFYC wants to share stories of “religious identity and diversity, ideas for how colleges can do better to model pluralism, as well as relevant breaking news from campuses.” 

The Anchor Institutions Task Force, Imagining America, and the Interfaith Youth Core are members of the CLDE Action Network, an alliance of twelve leading civic learning organizations convened by AAC&U. Responding to the ambitious goals set forth in A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future, the CLDE Action Network coordinates, constructs, and advances efforts to prepare college students for informed and responsible citizenship and make civic inquiry and engagement expected rather than elective in college. See the CLDE events calendar for upcoming civic conferences and webinars.

BTtoP News

New Resources Now Available from BTtoP’s National Conference

This past May, Bringing Theory to Practice hosted its national conference, “The Whole Student: Intersectionality and Well-Being.” With over three hundred participants, and by far the largest and most complex event in BTtoP’s fifteen years, the conference focused on the connections among students’ intersectional identities and their learning, well-being, civic development and engagement, and preparation for making meaningful life choices. Panel topics included mental health among diverse college students; cross-cultural mentorship; educational resources for transgender students; the intersections of adult learners; using art to build connections between classroom and community; navigating campus microaggressions; and many more. Building on the positive and generative energy of the conference, BTtoP is excited to share the resources now available on their conference webpage, including livestreamed sessions, filmed interviews with conference participants, session presentations and resources, and participant insights and takeaways. Please share with your networks of interested colleagues and friends. BTtoP is currently exploring additional ways to capture and continue the energy and conversations created by the conference, including an upcoming partnered issue of AAC&U’s Diversity & Democracy and a special fall issue of the BTtoP newsletter.

Upcoming BTtoP-Sponsored Gathering: Building Faculty Capacity to Support New Majority and Underserved Students

BTtoP looks forward to cosponsoring two working group seminars of scholars and colleagues—the first will take place at Berea College this November and the second at the University of Michigan in spring 2018. Scholars and colleagues will come together to explore how to better shape higher education for the flourishing of new majority students (including first-generation students, adult learners, and students of color), particularly in examining strategies to better prepare faculty through culturally responsive pedagogies, identity mindfulness, empathy enrichment, new curricula, and reward structures.

Meeting the LEAP Challenge

Emerging Employer Research Agenda

In September, AAC&U hosted a one-day Research Symposium on College Learning, Employability, and Engagement, which was designed to inform the next stages of the association's employability research agenda. The symposium included participants from several colleges and universities, research and policy centers, the US Department of Labor, and other organizations concerned with the intersections of postsecondary education and employment. AAC&U looks forward to engaging with its member community around this research agenda and sharing results and analysis from the next employer survey, which will be conducted this fall.

Other News

AAC&U, AAUP, and AFT Release Statement on Faculty Harassment

AAC&U, the American Association of University Professors, and the American Federation of Teachers have called on campus leaders and governing boards to take a stand against the harassment of faculty that threatens free speech and academic freedom. "At a variety of institutions—public and private, large and small—individual members of the faculty have been singled out for campaigns of harassment in response to remarks they have made, or are alleged to have made, in public speeches, on social media, or in the classroom. . . . The threats are often accompanied by calls for college and university administrators to summarily dismiss or otherwise discipline the offending faculty member," the statement said. "We therefore call on college and university leaders and members of governing boards to reject outside pressures to remove or discipline faculty members whose ideas or commentary may be provocative or controversial and to denounce in forceful terms these campaigns of harassment." 

TG Research Survey on Student Financial Well-Being and Success

AAC&U is partnering with TG to publicize their Student Financial Wellness Survey (SFWS), a self-reported, online survey of postsecondary students across the nation that seeks to document their financial well-being and success outcomes. The survey is free for institutions to use, and TG is currently recruiting institutions to participate in the spring 2018 survey to be administered on February 12, 2018. A school-level report is free to participating institutions. Institutions can see results for their own campus and an overview report summarized by school sector as defined by Carnegie classification. The SFWS has the potential to (1) inform college success and financial support programming; (2) provide institutional reports on the financial wellness of the student body; (3) use institutional data to provide context to student responses and inform campus policy; and (4) create a nationally recognized data set around student finances that aligns with the needs of post-secondary institutions, state and federal governments, and nonprofit entities. 

Lisa Wills Joins AAC&U as Senior Director for Undergraduate STEM Education

AAC&U is pleased to welcome Dr. Lisa Wills as Senior Director for Undergraduate STEM Education. She comes to AAC&U with a unique ability to direct the qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research and evaluation efforts related to the work of PKAL and the Office of Undergraduate STEM Education. She will also use her extensive experience in developing and managing assessment planning and data utilization to drive improvements across AAC&U’s portfolio of undergraduate STEM reform activities. Before joining AAC&U, she was the acting manager for strategic performance assessment, evaluation, and data collection with the Office of Education at NASA headquarters. Prior to working in that role, she served as the senior education research associate and education research manager for the NASA Office of Education. She was also a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of North Florida, where she taught microbiology and English literature and composition. 

New Book on Teaching the Whole Student

Published by Stylus Publishing in partnership with AAC&U, Teaching the Whole Student: Engaged Learning with Heart, Mind, and Spirit “is a compendium of engaged teaching approaches by faculty across disciplines. These inspiring authors offer models for instructors who care deeply about their students, respect and recognize students’ social identities and lived experiences, and are interested in creating community and environments of openness and trust to foster deep learning, academic success, and meaning-making. The authors in this volume stretch the boundaries of academic learning and the classroom experience by seeking to identify the space between subject matter and a student's core values and prior knowledge. They work to find the interconnectedness of knowledge, understanding, meaning, inquiry, and truth. They appreciate that students bring their full lives and experiences—their heart and spirit—into the classroom, just as they bring their minds and intellectual inquiry.” AAC&U members receive 25 percent off the cost of the book by using the code AACU25.

About AAC&U News

AAC&U News is written and edited by Ben Dedman. If you have questions or comments about the newsletter's contents, please e-mail dedman@aacu.org.

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