Higher Education Government Relations Conference

2012 HEGRC banner

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 to Friday, November 30, 2012
EPIC Hotel Miami • Miami, Florida

Partnering for Student Success and State Prosperity
Join your government relations and public affairs colleagues from throughout higher education as they meet in Miami, Florida for the 19th annual Higher Education Government Relations Conference. Participants will take part in programming designed to showcase institutional practices and state policies that foster student success, as well as advocacy mechanisms that link state higher education support to regional economic development. Conference programming will feature effective partnerships and constituency mobilization in order to boost institutional, state and national degree completion and educational attainment goals. Through compelling programming and ample networking opportunities, the conference will lend insight on how higher education legislative relations and public affairs professionals can facilitate effective government relations at a time when the linkage between state support for public higher education, student success, and state prosperity must be strongly reinforced.

About the Conference

Now in its 19th year, the Higher Education Government Relations Conference is an educational forum for professionals whose responsibility it is to foster successful governmental and community relations on behalf of public colleges and universities, and state systems of higher education. The conference reflects a unique partnership among four national higher education associations: the American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Government relations staff from these associations, in partnership with the Task Force on Higher Education Government Relations, comprised of state government affairs professional representing the entire spectrum of American public postsecondary education, help coordinate the conference.



The 2012 Higher Education Government Relations Conference serves as an exceptional venue for generating product/service visibility and professional networking.

About the Webinar top

Wednesday, November 28

3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. — Programming
Includes opening reception  

Thursday, November 29 

7:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. — Programming
Dinner on your own      

Friday, November 30

7:45 a.m. - 11 a.m. — Programming and conference conclusion


Schedule top

*** This schedule will be updated as speakers  

are added ***  


Conference Agenda 

Wednesday, November 28

 (Conference Program PDF)

3:00-3:15 p.m.
Conference Opening   

Brian Jammer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations, University of Texas System
Chair, Task Force on Higher Education Government Relations 

3:15-4:15 p.m.
Institutional Leadership and Collaboration in Driving Regional Economic Development 

Mark B. Rosenberg, President, Florida International University 
Rolando Montoya, Provost, Miami Dade College 

Rosenberg-Montoya Presentation (View)

Colleges and universities are widely recognized as engines of economic development. But how these institutions foster regional economic stewardship is as critical as the activity itself. A collaborative approach involving stakeholders from all sectors and one that brings to bear the full slate of an institution’s physical, fiscal and knowledge resources can make a transformational economic and quality of life impact. This opening session will feature a discussion of the coordinated, concerted and successful approach to regional advancement utilized by Miami’s two most prominent public postsecondary institutions.  

 Moderated by Janet Owen, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, University of North Florida 


4:15-5:00 p.m. 
The College Advantage: The Real Story  

Tamara Jayasundera, Research Professor and Senior Economist, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

Jayasundera Presentation (View)

Recession-induced labor market turbulence, escalating tuition prices and growing student debt levels have elevated the dialogue regarding the value of obtaining a college degree or other postsecondary credential. Questions in the public domain include: Do we really need more citizens with college degrees? Is obtaining a college degree or postsecondary credential really worth it? In this session, learn the latest data from one of the nation’s most respected centers on labor market economics and join in a discussion on how to convey an informed narrative to policymakers and the public regarding the individual and collective economic advantages of postsecondary education.  

Moderated by Brian Jammer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations, University of Texas System 

5:00-6:15 p.m.

Advocacy Showcase and Opening Reception 

Sponsored by the The College Board 

Join your government relations and public affairs colleagues in this exceptional networking and information-sharing venue. Learn about advocacy-oriented programs and practices that can be used to advance higher education as a state priority through one-on-one discussion with college and university state relations officers.

State Legislator Report Card
California State University (CSU)
An assessment of state lawmakers' votes on CSU legislative priorities in the 2012 legislative session. 

The Oregon Idea
A coalition of small business owners, CEOS, community leaders and alumni of Oregon's colleges and universities aimed at boosting higher education policy and funding as a state priority.    

Public Higher Education Legislative Advocacy Professionals
A volunteer organization of advocacy professionals dedicated to advancing the understanding and support of legislative advocacy within public higher education realm and to promoting the professional development of its' members and the advocacy profession.  

International Town and Gown Association 
 ITGA Certificate Program in Town-Gown Relations  

A comprehensive six-week online program designed to help college and municipal officials better understand and address complex challenges and processes associated with city and university relationships. 


(Institutional and system representatives interested in participating in this showcase may contact Dan Hurley at hurleyd@aascu.org

Thursday, November 29

 7:15-8:00 a.m. 
Continental Breakfast 

8:00-9:15 a.m.
Turbulence in the U.S. Higher Education Marketplace: New Models, New Players and New Implications for Public Postsecondary State Relations Officers  

George L. Mehaffy, Vice President, Academic Leadership and Change, American Association of State Colleges and Universities 

Mehaffy Presentation (View)

It’s not just the state of public funding that is challenging public colleges’ and universities’ capacity to fully deliver on their missions.  Rapidly developing technology and edupreneurial zeal are combining to challenge every aspect of the traditional model of higher education:organization, structure, and delivery. The disruption in today’s higher education marketplace is impacting student-consumer behavior, policymakers’ perceptions, the perceived value of a liberal education, and even the “public purpose” missions of these institutions. This session will synthesize these changing dynamics and will help generate considerations for guiding the efforts of public affairs professionals to accurately describe and frame their institutions in an era of dynamic and dramatic change.

Moderated by Mark Kinders, Vice President for Governmental Relations, University of Central Oklahoma 

9:15-10:30 a.m.
Partnering with Business to Advance Higher Education as a State Priority  

Steve Halverson, Chief Executive Officer, Haskell Company and Chair, Florida Council of 100 
Michael Boulus, Executive Director, Presidents Council of the State Universities of Michigan
Bridget Burns, Chief of Staff, Oregon University System

The united voice of higher education and business and industry is essential to conveying to policymakers and the public the need for sufficient state support of colleges and universities. Hear commentary from officials from both sectors on collaborative public affairs and legislative relations strategies that can be harnessed to elevate higher education as a state policy priority

Moderated by Regina Biddings-Muro, Interim Vice Chancellor for Advancement, Purdue University Calumet 


10:45 a.m-12:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions (two) 

Session 1:  

The Credential Differential: The Public Return to Increasing Postsecondary Credential Attainment 

Vickie Choitz, Senior Policy Analyst, Workforce Development, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Patrick Kelly, Senior Associate, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)

Kelly Presentation (View)

In an era of strained competition for state resources, college and university officials need to utilize meaningful, high-impact data to educate lawmakers on the financial return of public investment in boosting degree production and educational attainment rates. Learn about the Return on Investment Dashboard , a free and interactive tool developed by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) that uses key data sources to project the short- and long-term fiscal effects of increasing the number of credentialed adults in your state’s economy. 

Moderated by Janelle Toman, Director of Communications, South Dakota Board of Regents 

Session 2:  

Accounting for and Conveying Student and Institutional Success  

Christine Keller, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and Executive Director, Voluntary System of Accountability
Robert Moran, Director of Federal Relations and Policy, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Jim Hermes, Associate Vice President for Government Relations, American Association of Community Colleges

Keller Presentation (View)
Hermes Presentation (View)

To help public institutions better demonstrate and communicate key outcomes, the national presidential associations representing public colleges and universities have implemented consumer-friendly tools for conveying critical measures of student and institutional success. Learn the latest advancements involving the Voluntary System of Accountability, available to public four-year universities, and the Voluntary Framework of Accountability, specially built for the nation’s community colleges. And hear about a multi-association effort to devise a new measure of student success that more accurately reflects institutional performance. Finally, learn how state government relations officers utilize their institution’s involvement in these national accountability systems in their public advocacy efforts. 

Moderated by Claire Rosacco, Vice President of Government Relations and Community Outreach, Cuyahoga Community College 

12:00-1:30 p.m.
Higher Education State Government Relations Awards Program – Honoring Achievement, Leadership and Innovation in State Relations 
Edwin Crawford Award for Innovation
Marvin D. “Swede” Johnson Achievement Award

Teves Video (View)
Peterson Video (View)

Presider: Lisbet Sunshine, Director, Government Relations and Community Relations & Executive Director, Willie L. Brown, Jr. Leadership Center, San Francisco State University and Chair, State Relations Awards Committee 

1:40-2:50 p.m. 
Affinity Group Sessions

Participate in this networking and information-sharing gathering among colleagues and association representatives from your sector. Learn about key initiatives, resources and opportunities for stakeholders, and discuss legislative and policy issues that can be collaboratively acted upon. 

Community Colleges

Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s FutureA Report from the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges        

Jim Hermes, Associate Vice President for Government Relations, AACC

The Democracy CommitmentAn American Community College Initiative

Bernie Ronan, Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, Maricopa Community Colleges, and Co-Founder, The Democracy Commitment  

Moderated by Nick Kallieris, Director of Resource Development and Legislative Affairs, College of Lake County and Justin Lonon, Vice Chancellor, Public and Governmental Affairs, Dallas County Community College District   

State Colleges/Regional Universities  

The College Readiness Partnership: An AASCU-CCSSO-SHEEO Initiative  

Robert Moran, Director of Federal Relations and Policy, AASCU

State Government Relations Strategies Utilized by U.S. Regional State Colleges and Universities: A Forthcoming National Study Involving Institutional State Relations Officers    

Thomas Harnisch, Assistant Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis, AASCU

Moderated by Mark Kinders, Vice President for Governmental Relations, University of Central Oklahoma and Robin Walton, Director of Community and Government Affairs, Thomas Edison State College  

Research and Land-grant Universities  

Research Universities and the Future of America: A Report from the National Research Council 

University of Wisconsin Data Sheet 1 (View)
University of Wisconsin Data Sheet 2 (View)

Jennifer Poulakidas, Vice President, Congressional and Governmental Affairs, APLU 
Kari McCarron, Assistant Director, Congressional and Governmental Affairs, APLU 

Moderated by Danny Jensen, Vice President for Governmental Affairs, University of North Texas Health Science Center and Don Nelson, Director of State Relations, University of Wisconsin-Madison  

System Offices, Boards, and Policy Organizations        

Update on State Authorization and Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education  

Report Release: Strong Foundations—The State of State Postsecondary Data Systems (2012 Update on Data Sharing with K-12 and Labor)  

Hans P. L'Orange, Vice President for Research and Information Resources, State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO)  

L'Orange Presentation (View)

Moderated by Brian K. Jammer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations, University of Texas System and Janelle Toman, Director of Communications, South Dakota Board of Regents   


3:00-4:15 p.m 
Shaping the State and National Conversation on Higher Education: Reform, Reason and Public Purpose 

William L. “Bill” Proctor, Florida State Representative, and Chancellor, Flagler College
William A. Sederburg, Retired Commissioner, Utah System of Higher Education, and AASCU Senior Scholar 

Sederburg Presentation (View)

The issue of college affordability has led to a growing drumbeat for colleges and universities to dramatically change and to reform current policies and practices that are often at odds with the values inherent to the academy. Lawmakers’ calls for institutions to achieve efficiencies in the unending quest for fiscal discipline and to focus on academic programs strictly designed for a capitalistic economy often contrast sharply with the aims of a liberal arts education and the broader public good provided by public postsecondary institutions. Hear from two distinguished political veterans and college leaders who will share perspective on how higher education public affairs and government relations professionals can harness the voice of reason in advancing public higher education as a state and national public good.  

Moderated by Kathleen Daly, Assistant Vice President for Governmental Relations, Florida State University  

Friday, November 30

7:15-8:00 a.m. 
Continental Breakfast

8:00-9:00 a.m.
Incentive-based Strategies for Driving the College Completion Agenda 
Nate Johnson, Senior Consultant, HCM Strategists
David Wright, Chief Policy Officer, Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Michael Mumper, Senior Vice President, Enrollment Management and Program Development, Adams State College (CO) 

Johnson Presentation (View)
Wright Presentation (View)
Mumper Presentation (View)
The issues of increasing college degree completion and reducing time-to-degree have been gaining prominence on the American higher education agenda. One specific college completion strategy is to embed incentives into the distribution of financial aid and scholarship monies, and through tuition policies, especially at the state and institutional level. Whereas performance-based funding systems seek to improve institutional performance, these policies are designed to incentivize student performance. This panel will discuss the national landscape as it involves the college completion agenda, and will provide a sampling of state and institutional student incentive policies and practices. The session will also include commentary on how government relations professionals can effectively communicate the value of degree completion as a complementary alternative to the traditional graduation rate metric. 

Session Sponsor:  College Productivity Strategy Labs 

Moderated by Robin Walton, Director of Community and Government Affairs, Thomas Edison State College  

9:00-10:00 a.m.
Washington Update: Briefing on Federal Legislation and Policy Issues 

Robert Moran, Director, Federal Relations & Policy Analysis, AASCU
Jennifer Poulakidas, Vice President of Congressional Relations, APLU
Jim Hermes, Associate Vice President for Government Relations  AACC
Brian Flahaven, Director of Government Relations, CASE
Moderated by Danny Jensen, Vice President for Governmental Affairs, University of North Texas Health Science Center   
10:00-10:45 a.m.
State Elections Summary, Higher Education State Funding, Policy Review and Forecast
Daniel Hurley, Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis, AASCU
Thomas Harnisch, Asst. Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis, AASCU
Harnisch-Hurley Powerpoint (View)
Dan Hurley USA Today Editorial (View)
Governors and 2012 Election (View
AASCU Policy Matters on the 2012 Election (View)
Moderated by Mica Stark, Special Assistant to the President for Government Relations, University of New Hampshire

Fees top

Early Registration (through November 16) - $475
Late Registration (after November 16) - $500


Registration Information top

How to Register
Please select among the two options below:

Accommodations top


***SOLD OUT***EPIC Hotel Miami
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, Florida 33131
(866) 760-3742 (Use this link to reserve a room at the discounted rate)
Other hotels within walking distance

The Hyatt Regency Miami - 400 South East Second Avenue, Miami, Florida, 33131-2197, Tel: (305) 358 1234  
    Fax: +1 305 358 0529, http://miamiregency.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels-miamiregency  

The InterContinental - 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami FL 33131, Tel: (305) 577-1000 / Fax: +1(305) 577-0384      http://www.icmiamihotel.com  

The Viceroy -485 Brickell Avenue, Miami, Florida 33131, Phone: (305) 503 4400, Fax: +1 786 329 5739  http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/miami 

The JW Marriott Marquis- 1109 Brickell Avenue · Miami, Florida 33131, Phone: 1-305-329-3500  
 Fax: (305) 371-8820http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/MIAJW-JW-Marriott-Hotel-Miami  


Room Rates

  • Special room rates: $189 Single/Double, plus 13% occupancy and sales tax
  • As you make your travel plans, please note that rooms are available at the EPIC Hotel at the conference rate for the nights of Tuesday, November 27 through Friday, November 30. The room block does not include room nights pre- and post-meeting dates.

Hotel Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellations will be accepted (2) days prior to arrival to avoid penalty. Any cancellation that occurs within (2) days will be charged one (1) night’s room and tax. Early departures will be charged a $75 fee. Cancellation fees may be waived if changes were the result of a family emergency or abnormal circumstance.


  • Major domestic airlines serve the Miami International Airport, a 15-20 minute drive from the hotel.

Transportation from Airport(s) to Hotel

  • Most major car rental firms operate at the airport, as well as an airport shuttle service, taxis and limousines. There are also plenty of taxis waiting at the Hotel's cabstand to drive guests. Additionally, the concierge staff is very efficient in arranging private ground transport with the most professional livery services in the region.

Car Rental

  • Hertz is offering discounted rates guaranteed from November 25 through December 2, subject to car availability, from Miami International Airport.
  • Rentals may have airport fees, surcharges, and motor vehicle fees related to car rental, which are separate charges from tax. Call the Hertz Meeting Sales Desk at 800.654.2240 and mention the code Hertz CV# 011B0075 (All “0” are zeros). Hertz will provide the best rates available. Standard rental conditions and qualifications apply. Advanced reservations recommended.
    Reserve online here 


  • Daily high temperatures in Miami in late November typically reach the mid to upper 70’s, with nightly lows in the mid to upper 60’s. 


Optional Activities top


Cancellation & Refund Policytop

  • Cancel in writing by Nov. 16 to receive full refund.
  • Cancellations received after Nov. 16 will be charged a $150 administration fee that will be used to pay for meals and services already guaranteed at the hotel.
  • Cancellations received after Nov. 28 will not be refunded.



Service Awards in State Government Relationsspacer

Platinum Level

College Board Advocacy and Policy logo

Gold Level

Maricopa Community Colleges SupportsThe Democratic Commitment logo

Thomas Edison State College logo

The University of Texas seal

Silver Level

San Francisco State University logo

University of Central Oklahoma

UNT Health Science Center logo

Awards Program

Capitol Impact logo