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CPCSP Chairs' Letter

Dear Colleagues,

Spouses and partners of presidents or chancellors who serve at an APLU member institution are members of the Council of Presidents’ & Chancellors’ Spouses/Partners (CPCS). We encourage you to attend the APLU 2016 Annual Meeting, November 13–15 in Austin, Texas.

In a recent survey of 477 individuals in the role of spouse/partner of a university president or chancellor conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, respondents overwhelmingly listed higher education association spouse/partner groups as the number one source of support in the role.  Respondents also listed attending national meetings as their favorite activity in such groups.  Meeting with peers at the national meeting has proven invaluable for partners who are minimally involved in their role, those who are very active in their role on campus, and everyone in between. 

Participation in the Council of Presidents’ and Chancellors’ Spouses/Partners programming at the Annual Meeting is a meaningful forum for professional development in the spouse/partner role. Many universities pay the registration and travel fees for their President’s spouse/partner. If your university does not, we encourage you to request a discounted registration fee.  Please email Taylor Buehler at before you register to receive the Spouses/Partners discount registration code.

In brief, our purpose is stated in our bylaws:

The purpose of the Council of Presidents’ and Chancellors’ Spouses/Partners is to develop the professionalism and effectiveness of its members within their respective universities and communities and expand and enhance their knowledge.

At the APLU Annual Meeting, you are welcome to attend any sessions you find of interest, as well as our Council’s sessions, which are listed below.  The programming always includes an interesting keynote address on Sunday and a nationally prominent speaker at the luncheon on Monday. Additionally, the meeting will feature a small reception where you and your spouse will have the opportunity to meet others in both your roles. Austin promises to be a fun venue, so you might want to plan now to stay an extra day if your schedule allows!

Our planning committee met in early April, and we are working on the following sessions for the November meeting:

  • Learning – The Arch of the Presidency: Thriving Through All Stages
    This session will be a facilitated roundtable discussion just for spouse/partners.
  • Discovery – Clodius Forum on scholarly research – The Presidential Spouse/Partner: A Changing Role in Higher Education
    This session will be a presentation of the 2016 survey of those in our role, followed by Q&A.  The survey has yielded rich results regarding key factors leading to satisfaction in the role, the change in the role over time, feelings about the official residence, and differences in the role of women and men. This session and the panel discussion, listed next, are open to all meeting participants.
  • Engagement – Developing Best Practices for the Role of University President’s Spouse/Partner
    This session will be a moderated panel discussion with experts in the field. We plan to use data from the survey, particularly regarding satisfaction in the role and impact on the institution, to begin to develop best practices. We welcome your participation in any way you prefer — input beforehand, questions or comments during the session, or simply listening quietly to the panel.

We hope to see you in November. In the meantime, if you have questions or need any assistance, we hope you will be in touch.

Best regards,

APLU Council of Presidents’ and Chancellors’ Spouses/Partners

Karen Kaler, Executive Committee Chair
University of Minnesota

Patricia Moore-Pastides, Newcomer Chair
University of South Carolina

Laura Voisinet, Executive Committee Secretary/ Chair-Elect
Georgia State University

Alice Wiewel, Planning Committee
Portland State University

Monika Moo-Young, Recruitment Chair
Virginia Commonwealth University

Monica Rao, Planning Committee
Virginia Commonwealth University

Mary Engstrom, Mentoring Chair
University of Montana

Marcia Kelley, Past Chair

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