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The purpose of the Council on Access, Diversity and Excellence (CADE) is to develop and maintain a comprehensive agenda for APLU regarding public higher education and the compelling issues of broadening access and opportunity, improving the quality of the undergraduate experience, achieving excellence, enhancing diversity within student and faculty populations, and creating partnerships between public universities and their communities to bring about beneficial social change.

To accomplish its purpose CADE draws on the experience and expertise of a broad cross-section of the higher education community.  Furthermore, the Council fosters and maintains strong lines of communication within and without APLU to provide supportive links between the social and economic needs of the nation and proposals for a greater national investment in higher education.