For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-888-0811 (office)

AAC&U Launches New Strategic Plan and Appoints New Officers and Members to Board of Directors

Dr. Mildred García, President of California State University, Fullerton, Assumes Position as Chair of the Board, taking over from Dr. Bobby Fong, President of Ursinus College

Feb 13, 2013

Washington, DC—February 13, 2013—At its recent annual meeting in Atlanta, GA, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) formally launched a new strategic plan, Big Questions, Urgent Challenges: Liberal Education and Americans’ Global Future,” to guide its work on behalf of its members through 2017. In connection with its new strategic plan, AAC&U also recently announced a change to its mission statement.

AAC&U’s mission is now “to make liberal education and inclusive excellence the foundation for institutional purpose and educational practice in higher education.”

AAC&U’s new strategic plan includes four big goals for the association. They are:

1. LEAP: Liberal Education as a Global Necessity
AAC&U will build shared commitment to provide ALL college students with the high-quality learning they need to succeed and thrive in an era of global interconnection and rapid societal and economic change.

2. Quality: 21st-Century Markers for the Value of US Degrees
AAC&U will promote a clear, contemporary, and capacious framework for high-quality learning and students’ demonstrated achievement, providing an educationally meaningful compass to guide students’ pathways to degrees.

3. Equity: Innovation, Inclusive Excellence, and Student Success
AAC&U will accelerate broad-scale systemic innovation to advance educational practices that engage diversity and challenge inequities in order to make excellence inclusive.

4. Social Responsibility: Integrative Liberal Learning for the Global Commons
AAC&U will advance “big questions/global commons” inquiry and innovation across the liberal arts and sciences and through cornerstone-to-capstone designs for general education that foster civic learning, ethical reasoning, and engagement with US and global diversity.

New Officers and Board of Directors’ Members

At its 2013 annual meeting, AAC&U also named five new directors and elected a slate of new officers as leaders of the association. Dr. Mildred García, President of California State University, Fullerton, became the chair of the board, taking over from Dr. Bobby Fong, President of Ursinus College. Dr. García became the president of California State University, Fullerton in 2012, after serving for six years as the President of California State University–Dominguez Hills. Fong will continue to serve on the AAC&U’s Board Executive Committee as Past Chair.

“Being selected as chair of the board of directors is an honor, and a truly exciting way to continue my work with AAC&U. I’m so proud to be a part of an organization that is at the forefront of advancing liberal education and inclusive excellence in higher education,” said Dr. Mildred García, president of California State University, Fullerton. “There are few national goals more important than AAC&U’s work in promoting student achievement, particularly through educational practices that honor diversity and address issues of equity. I look forward to furthering our renewed goals for this year, which focus on civic learning, ethical reasoning, and student engagement.”

In addition to the appointment of Dr. Mildred García, AAC&U appointed Dr. Kenneth Ruscio, President of Washington and Lee University, as Vice Chair of the board. Two other newly appointed members to the Executive Committee of the board include: Dr. Dianne Harrison, president of California State University-Northridge and Dr. Alex Johnson, President of the Community College of Allegheny County.

New Directors appointed to AAC&U’s board include five educational leaders from a wide array of institutions around the country. They include:

  • Johnnella Butler, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Spelman College
  • Ricardo Fernández, President, City University of New York – Herbert H. Lehman College
  • Richard Guarasci, President, Wagner College
  • Lucille Jordan, President, Nashua Community College
  • Robert L. Niehoff, President, John Carroll University

*Marc Roy, Provost of Goucher College, will begin in 2013 a two-year term as Chair of the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) and ex officio member of the AAC&U Board of Directors

The following individuals currently serve on AAC&U’s board of directors and were reappointed for a second two-year term:

  • James P. Collins, Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and Environment, Arizona State University
  • Dianne Harrison, President, California State University-Northridge
  • Alex Johnson, President, Community College of Allegheny County
  • Edward Ray, President, Oregon State University
  • Sidney Ribeau, President, Howard University
  • Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University

“The presidents, scholars, academic leaders, and public members who serve on AAC&U’s board are strongly committed to ensuring a liberal and liberating education for all college students, not just some students,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.“The association is fortunate to be led by such a talented and dedicated group of directors.”