Preliminary Schedule - Last updated August 28, 2018
Wednesday, December 5
3:00 p.m. — 3:15 p.m.
3:15 p.m. — 4:15 p.m.
Building a State Agenda for Higher Education in a New Era
What are the policies,
programs, and priorities necessary for public higher education to meet state
needs today? And how can higher education government
relations professionals effectively make the case for investing in these state
assets amid legislative and executive turnover, changing public perceptions on
the value of higher education, and political polarization? Hear from a leading
state chief executive with experience as congressman and state senator about how
public higher education can work with state leaders, the private sector, and
others to build a state agenda leading to job creation, economic mobility, and
Speaker: Nathan Deal, Governor, State of Georgia
The People Have Spoken: The Significance of the 2018 Election for
American Politics—and Public Higher Education
The stakes are high for the
November 2018 elections—37 governors, 35 U.S. senators, the entire U.S. House
of Representatives, over 80% of legislative seats and many key ballot
initiatives will be determined on election day. The implications of the results
in November will have lasting ramifications, as they will not only determine
political power dynamics for the next several years but will also influence
state and federal redistricting after the 2020 census. During this session, leading political analysts will provide their take on the 2018 election, and
what it means for public policy and politics at the state and federal levels.
They will also discuss how higher education government relations professionals
can be effective in the post-2018 environment, with lobbying strategies and
messages that can resonate with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Tharon Johnson, Founder and Partner, Paramount Consulting Group, LLC (Invited)
Brian Robinson, President, Robinson Republic (Invited)
5:30 p.m.— 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 6
7:00 a.m.— 8:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m.— 9:15 a.m.
Have Americans Lost Faith in Higher Education? Understanding and Improving Public Perceptions of Higher Education.
In recent years, there have been
an array of polls exploring public perceptions of higher education. Some polls
have revealed a clear partisan divide on the value of higher education, while
others present a more nuanced picture. This session will examine recent
national polls on higher education and include a discussion from those within
and beyond higher education on public perceptions of higher education today. In
addition, panelists will discuss how campus and system government relations
professionals and others can best respond to these polls in a way that
ultimately improves higher education’s standing among the public and lawmakers.
Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Associate Director, Research, Pew Research Center
9:15 a.m.— 9:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m.— 10:45 a.m.
For advocates for public colleges and universities, 2018 has been an
active year in Washington. From implementation of tax reform to the Trump
Administration’s deregulatory agenda and changes in immigration policy, this
year has included important changes in federal policy affecting students and
institutions. As the 115th Congress concludes and the next session
begins in early 2019, the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act,
immigration reform, and an array of other issues await lawmakers on Capitol
Hill. This panel will discuss key policy and
regulatory changes that occurred in 2018 and assess how the results of the 2018
elections could affect federal higher education policy in 2019 and beyond.
Michael Zola, Vice President of Government Relations and Policy Analysis, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Jennifer Poulakidas, Vice President for Congressional and Governmental Affairs, Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities
Jim Hermes, Associate Vice President, Government Relations, American Association of Community Colleges
Brian Flahaven, Senior Director for Advocacy, Council for Advancement and Support of Education
10:45 a.m.— 11:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
Grassroots and Grasstops: Integrating Alumni,
Trustees, and Business Leaders into Advocacy Campaigns
Broadening the base of political
support for higher education and channeling diverse voices in a coherent advocacy
campaign remains a core challenge for public college and university government relations
professionals. Each constituency brings unique knowledge, perspectives and
relationships to advocacy campaigns. This session will include leading examples
of effective advocacy campaigns that have cultivated alumni, business leaders,
or trustees into champions for public higher education, and replicable best
practices for bringing these campaigns to other states.
Laura Fornash, Senior Vice President, State Government Relations, McGuireWoods Consulting
Tim McDonough, Vice President for Government and Public Affairs, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
Tom Bull, Executive Director, Portland State University Alumni Association
Meeting the Unique Challenges of Community Colleges through Policy Innovation and Effective Advocacy
college advocates at the campus, system and state level have
numerous unique challenges today, such as assessing and strengthening
relationships with private sector, aligning policies from numerous units of
government, identifying and responding to changing economic dynamics, and effectively
communicating with a wide variety of stakeholders. Yet through policy
innovation and effective advocacy, government relations professionals
representing community colleges can deliver meaningful, lasting change that
improves the lives of students and facilitates economic growth. This session
will provide two replicable best practices—in a conservative and progressive
policy environment—of how government relations professionals can provide
innovative solutions to challenges confronting community colleges and guide
those solutions through the legislative process.
Karen Zamarripa, President, Karen Zamarripa Consulting
Brian Millner, President & CEO, Missouri Community College Association
12:00 p.m. — 1:30 p.m.
State Relations Award Luncheon
1:30 p.m. — 2:45 p.m.
How Can the Student Voice Be Effectively Integrated
into Higher Education Advocacy?
Students remain at the heart of campus
advocacy efforts and can be some of the most effective champions for
investments in public higher education. Their perspectives and stories can be
persuasive in helping shape decisions affecting public colleges and universities.
Nevertheless, the student voice isn’t always fully integrated into campus
advocacy efforts. This session will provide multiple perspective on the student
voice in higher education advocacy and include a discussion on how to
effectively bring the student voice to the forefront of policy discussions
involving higher education.
Alison Griffin, Senior Vice President, Whiteboard Advisors
Amber Mariano, State Representative, State of Florida
Tristan Bernhard, former Student Body Vice President, Northern Iowa University
How Government Relations Professionals Can Lead
Effective, Coordinated Responses to Crises and Controversies
Crises and controversies are
inevitable in public higher education, from culture wars playing out on campus
to scandals and tragedies. Government relations professionals are key liaisons
to communicating with lawmakers and government officials about crises and often
play a significant role in forming and executing the institutional response.
The effectiveness of the campus response to these events can have lasting
ramifications for the strength of the relationship between state and campus
leaders. This session will feature multiple examples of crises affecting public
colleges and universities and how government relations professionals responded—with
lessons learned for the future.
Paul Wagner, Executive Director, Council on Public Higher Education in Missouri
Lawrence Salinas, Executive Director of Governmental Relations, Fresno State University
Michael DiRaimo, former Vice President for Government and Community Relations, Penn State University
2:45 p.m. — 3:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. — 4:15 p.m
State Relations: The Indispensable Activity for Public Colleges and
its 25th year, the Higher Education Government Relations
Conference (HEGRC) has been the premier venue for campus and system government relations
professionals’ professional development. Over this time, the government
relations profession has evolved to meet new demands in higher education and
adjust to changing state political trends. What’s next for individuals in these
roles? How can they deliver results for their campus and systems in political
environments marked by increased partisanship and growing competition for
increasingly scarce resources? This panel will feature a group of experienced
professionals who have been leaders in higher education government relations,
as well as those with important insight into this function through service in
state government. The panelists will discuss the state of the profession and
offer insight into how higher education government relations professionals can
be effective advocates for their campuses and systems in today’s environment.
Sue Peterson, Chief Government Relations Officer, Kansas State University
Friday, December 7
8:00 a.m.— 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m.— 10:15 a.m.
Achieving State Goals Through a Stronger
Campus-Capital Partnership: Perspectives from State Higher Education Executives
With the 2018 elections completed, higher
education leaders will now shift their focus to the 2019 state legislative sessions
and the array of new faces in statehouses throughout the country. State
attainment goals are fast approaching, and 2019 could set the tone for the
campus-capital relationship for many years ahead. How will higher education
leaders approach this opportunity to renew and strengthen this relationship? What
messages and advocacy strategies do they recommend for government relations
professionals as they seek to earn trust and find common ground with a new
class of lawmakers? What state policies do they see as promising? This panel of
experienced higher education executives will provide insight into their approach
to identifying challenges to the campus-capital relationship, cultivating
champions for public higher education, and ultimately pursuing shared
priorities that strengthen higher education's capacity to serve state
Al Bowman, Executive Director, Illinois Board of Higher Education
Madeline Pumariega, Chancellor, The Florida College System
10:15 a.m.— 11:15 a.m.
State Outlook: Summary of the 2018 Legislative and Funding Outcomes, 2019 Economic and Policy Forecast
The 2018 state legislative sessions were busy for higher education, and
2019 promises a continual focus on higher education issues in state
legislatures, along with other policy areas that affect the operations of
public colleges and universities. Further, there will be numerous new leaders
in statehouses throughout the country. This session will examine the election
results from 2018 and look ahead to the 2019 state legislative sessions. It
will also explore the economic dynamics in the country right now, and how those
economic dynamics could affect state budgets and the financial health of state
colleges and universities.
Susan Shaffer, Vice President-Senior Credit Officer, Higher Education & Not-for-Profit Team, Moody's
Thomas L. Harnisch, Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
11:15 a.m.—11:30 a.m.