More than 280 presidents and chancellors, their spouses and partners, and other higher education leaders gathered at AASCU’s Annual Meeting from October 27–29 in Phoenix to discuss AASCU institutions as Stewards of Place and how they can continue to promote student success and drive economic development.
"Our institutions remain central and crucial to our communities,”
said AASCU President Mildred García at the opening general session. “Our state colleges and universities are crown jewels for ensuring our nation's competitiveness and standing in the world."
Former Arizona senator Jon Kyl was the featured speaker at the opening session. He used the work of Wally Covington, professor at Northern Arizona University's School of Forestry and executive director of its Ecological Restoration Institute, to illustrate how AASCU institutions can advocate for their regions
and dramatically improve their surrounding environments. Following his session, AASCU recognized the winners of this year’s
Excellence and Innovation Awards, and later AASCU’s Hispanic Presidents Affinity Group
honored Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, the first Latino selected as The City University of New York’s chancellor.
Author and professor Michael Eric Dyson led a stirring session on how diversity, community, and race relations in the U.S. affect AASCU institutions. Often, there is a sense of “historical amnesia” in the U.S. that covers up unpleasant aspects of our history, he stated. AASCU institutions can help
present an accurate view of our nation’s history and ensure that students of all backgrounds are supported.
"The beauty of your organizations and your colleges is the ability to claim an American future that is wildly and widely inclusive,” he said.
Other noteworthy sessions included Elaine P. Maimon, president of Governors State University (Ill.), delivering the
President-to-Presidents lecture on the vision presidents and chancellors need to move their institutions forward; a session featuring entrepreneur and environmentalist Paul Hawken that outlined major causes of climate change and how higher education leaders can make a difference; and College Board CEO David Coleman exploring key themes that have emerged around the college admissions process.
Spouse/Partner Program welcomed its new co-coordinators at the meeting: Elizabeth Ross, former presidential spouse at Central Michigan University and Rick Gonzalez, presidential spouse at Colorado State University-Pueblo. The program’s members networked and discussed issues such as
Title IX, establishing a role and identity on campus, and how to successfully navigate the responsibilities of a spouse/partner.
We want to thank all our attendees for their insight and making this year’s meeting a success. We look forward to seeing everyone next year October 25–27 in Clearwater Beach, Florida!
View photos from this year’s meeting and
check out the conversation on social media.