• President to Presidents Lecture, October 2011

    The AASCU Edge
    Jolene Koester
    President, California State University Northridge


    Jolene KoesterThank you for giving me this incredible honor to address you, this audience of my colleagues with
    their spouses and partners—this audience of friends—during AASCU’s 50th anniversary celebration.

    My title for this lecture, “The AASCU Edge,” signals what you can expect to hear from me. I present today an argument for AASCU’s “edge” in all of that word’s meanings—edge as advantage, edge as precision, and yes, edge as an increasingly precarious pathway to higher education for our students. The Annual Meeting theme sets the tone and the content for this lecture. We begin with celebration, then challenge, third leadership—present and future—and close with celebration again.

    I begin by asking, what are we celebrating, and why? This meeting is our formal vehicle to acknowledge and commemorate AASCU’s 50 years of consequential service to U.S. public higher education. In celebrating AASCU, we celebrate each of our colleges and universities. What is the unique but also shared vision that underlies our institutions? What are the values that differentiate us from other higher education institutions, public and private? Who are our students and what voices do they represent? The answers to these questions provide the rationale for our celebration.


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