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APLU Summer Meeting Roundup

APLU Councils and Commissions convened at their summer meetings to share best practices, innovative strategies, and discuss challenges and opportunities facing public universities today.

CSC Meeting in DenverCouncil on Governmental Affairs (CGA) Summer Meeting (August 5-8, Albuquerque)
More than 85 members attended this year’s Council on Congressional and Governmental Affairs (CGA) Summer Meeting. Participants attended sessions and engaged in strategy discussions on best practices, collaboration across institutions, and international cooperation at multiple sites, including the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories. A wide range of speakers offered insight into issues impacting APLU CGA member institutions, such as how generational differences can impact work relationships, coordination between research universities and national laboratories, and improving outcomes when working with the Department of Homeland Security.

Members also engaged in valuable professional networking while experiencing the local culture and people of New Mexico at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.

The 2015 CGA Summer Meeting was a great success, and we look forward to sharing details about next year’s sessions in Morgantown, West Virginia in the coming months.

National Access, Diversity & Excellence Summit (CADE) Summer Meeting (July 30-31, Miami)
APLU’s Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence hosted the National Access, Diversity and Excellence (NADE) Summit on the campus of Florida International University (FIU). The two-day summit brought over 50 university presidents, provosts, chief diversity officers, and student affairs professionals together to develop and share campus-based strategies to improve student access and campus diversity.

The NADE Summit featured interactive concurrent sessions and dynamic plenary session discussions covering student recruitment and degree completion, institutional accountability, advancement and fundraising strategies, Hispanic student success, recruiting and retaining faculty of color, and graduation and inclusion initiatives.

The NADE Summit featured Fred A. Bonner II (Prairie View A&M University), Alberto M. Carvalho (Miami-Dade County Public Schools), Nicole McDonald (Lumina Foundation), and Damon A. Williams (Boys & Girls Clubs of America) as invited keynote speakers.

Council on Strategic Communications (CSC) Summer Meeting (July 20-21, Denver)
The meeting offered compelling sessions on: the decline of the press release and rise of creative storytelling; messaging around budget cuts and controversial state policies; managing communications on the issue of sexual assault; reputational risk management; breathing new life into admissions and advancement marketing campaigns; and much more.

The conference also included a trip to Colorado State University in Fort Collins for a session on what lessons universities can learn from local craft brewing industry leaders that are using non-traditional tactics, social media, and content marketing expertise to take market share from household name brewers. The trip culminated with a visit to Sports Authority Field at Mile High to learn how universities can partner with key community leaders and businesses in their region as CSU has done with the Denver Broncos Institute of Sports Management at Colorado State University.A meeting recap, with presenters’ slides, is on the CSC Summer Meeting webpage.

Commission on Information, Measurement, and Analysis (CIMA) Summer Meeting (July 12-13, Niagara Falls, Ontario)
The inaugural summer forum for the Commission on Information, Measurement, and Analysis (CIMA) was held in scenic Niagara Falls, Ontario in conjunction with the Council on Student Affairs (CSA) and the Council on Academic Affairs (CAA). Representing a range of different campus offices and roles, the 60 forum participants gathered to learn, to discuss, and to share ideas and practices on how to more effectively harness and use data to guide campus decision making.

The forum sessions focused on improving the institutional research function, creating a culture that utilizes data and evidence, and financial models for more effectively allocating revenues and expenditures. National research partners offered a range of methods for tracking the employment outcomes of students. While speakers from health care, business, and climate science provided examples of how they are taking advantage of big data and analytics to reach their organizational goals. CIMA attendees also joined with CSA and CAA attendees to learn how campuses are facilitating student success through proactive advising approaches and technology and to better understand common priorities around data use. In addition to the session, attendees had a chance for more informal discussions and networking during a rooftop dinner overlooking the Falls. (Presentation materials from the CIMA sessions can be found on the CIMA Summer Forum webpage.)

Moving forward, CIMA will host several sessions at the APLU annual meeting in November, offer quarterly webinars in 2016, and will gather again in the summer of 2016 to continue conversations on how to improve data infrastructure and strategic analytics on APLU campuses. To learn more about CIMA, visit the CIMA webpage or contact Christine Keller.

Council on Student Affairs (CSA) Summer Meeting (July 10-12, Niagara Falls, Ontario)
The Council on Student Affairs met in beautiful Niagara Falls, Ontario on July 10-12 for their summer forum in conjunction with the Council on Academic Affairs (CAA) and the Commission on Information, Measurement and Analysis. The senior student affairs officers engaged in discussions around important and timely topics such as alcohol and drug prevention and the role of Greek organizations on campus. Strategies to increase student success were offered through institutional case studies focusing readiness and resiliency and a combined session with CAA and CIMA on the application of proactive advising approaches and technology. Kevin Krugar, president of the national student affairs organization NASPA, was a keynote speaker, and reflected on potential shifts in role of student affairs in an era of new educational delivery models, changing student demographics, and a focus on cutting college costs.

The keynote address set the stage for a joint CSA and CAA session that identified and discussed challenges that cut across student affairs and academic affairs and required shared actions and responsibilities. A subsequent CSA-CAA session offered specific examples of how to build effective campus partnerships in key areas such as enrollment management, the funding of institutional operations through student fees, and students success. According to the meeting evaluation, the CSA members overwhelmingly found the Summer Forum to be “worthwhile” and would “encourage colleagues at other APLU institution to attend.” (Presentation materials from the CSA sessions can be found on the CSA Summer Forum webpage.) CSA will host several sessions at the APLU annual meeting in November and will gather again in summer of 2016. To learn more about CSA, visit the CSA webpage or contact Christine Keller.

Council on Academic Affairs (CAA) Summer Meeting (July 10-13, Niagara Falls, Ontario)
The Council on Academic Affairs convened last month in Niagara Falls, Ontario for our 2015 Summer Meeting from July 10-13. The Provosts met to discuss wide-ranging issues affecting academic affairs offices today, including intellectual property management and copyright issues for educational materials. The CAA was pleased to welcome as guest speaker University at Buffalo Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Chair Kemper Lewis, who discussed work at Buffalo bridging boundaries to form multi-disciplinary initiatives. Many, such as the one he heads on 3-D printing, are aimed at revitalized manufacturing in the Buffalo area.

The provosts found particularly engaging the “lightening round” session wherein ten provosts took turns giving five-minute presentations on topics of interest. A number of sessions were co-hosted by either CSA, or CIMA, or both, as was the case for our lively tripartite luncheon featuring proactive advising. Another especially valuable collaborative session with the CSA paired provosts and student affairs vice presidents from the same institution to give presentations regarding issues they have handled together through close coordination

The Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) Summer Meeting (Providence, RI)
The Board on Agriculture Assembly held a three-day meeting of its joint leadership in Providence, Rhode Island. Approximately 85 people attended the primary sessions. Key speakers included Laura Kalambokidis, State Economist of Minnesota, and Extension economist at the University of Minnesota; Cathie Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics at USDA; and Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture at USDA. The focus of the meeting was on developing a process to craft a public value message for university-based agricultural programs. In addition to leaders from the deans, Extension, research, and academic sections, individuals from USDA NIFA and from APLU’s Board on Human Sciences and Board on Natural Resources were also in attendance. The International Agriculture Section was polled for their input on the process at the summer meeting of the Commission on International Initiatives.

The group held facilitated sessions to define a process by which the BAA can craft the public value message over the next year. The sessions included creating a list of stakeholders who should be involved, the components necessary for the process to be considered fair, and gathering input about what the different sections of the BAA do and why they do it. The notes from the session will be used to design a draft process and timeline for crafting the public value message.

Coalition on Urban Serving Universities (USU) Summer Meeting (June 22-23, Washington, D.C.)
Cleveland State University hosted the USU Summer Meeting, which focused on deep collaboration between urban universities and their communities. Highlights included presidents from our Transformational Planning Grants project sharing insights on what it takes to lead change on campus, to university representatives pitching ideas for university community partnerships, to a panel of community judges for feedback to a reception at renovated bank turned urban grocery store. We even had a graphic recorder on sight, creating exciting and thought-provoking visuals of lessons imparted from our speakers.

In addition to the sessions, our health, student performance, community and sustainability working groups met to advance their common initiatives. The USU health strand heard the results of several efforts related to the Urban Universities for HEALTH initiative, including studies on holistic review and faculty cluster hiring, as well as strategies for learning and collaboration among universities. The group discussed applicability of these findings for other disciplines in the biomedical sciences, and identified gaps in evidence that could be addressed through future studies.”

For more details and more pictures from the meeting, you can read about it on USU’s blog.

Commission on the Science and Mathematics Teaching Imperative (SMTI) Summer Meeting (June 3-4, New Orleans)
The SMTI 2015 National Conference featured Susan Singer, Division Director for Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation, as the keynote speaker. She gave a wonderful overview of STEM education initiatives and how to accelerate improvements in STEM education. The theme of the conference was STEM education centers, building on recent work funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. APLU’s pilot work, demonstrated the breadth of centers, interest in the formation of national network, and potential for such a network as catalyzing agent and research venue (Riordan, 2014). To date we have engaged 124 centers at 108 institutions and have identified 200+ centers at 163 institutions. Sixty-nine centers have completed extensive profiles.

At the conference, we had plenary sessions, roundtables, and poster sessions with STEM education centers whose focus is on undergraduate STEM education reform. You can read more about the STEM education efforts occurring nationally here.

In addition, APLU organized and led:

HBCU Student Success Summit (Council of 1890s) Summer Meeting (June 24-27, Atlanta)
APLU’s Council of 1890 Universities hosted the 2015 HBCU Student Success Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on June 24-27. More than 100 HBCU senior administrators, faculty, staff, and students participated in this year’s summit and shared best practices to improve student success at HBCUs.

The HBCU Student Success Summit featured four pre-conference workshops and a presidents and chancellors luncheon covering financial aid, student recruitment, enrollment management, and fundraising. Institution leaders and personnel discussed and shared effective strategies in the areas of recruitment, retention, academic support, graduation, remediation, technology, undergraduate research, financial aid, and K-12 partnerships. The HBCU Student Success Summit also showcased speakers and companies dedicated to improving student success with an onsite exhibition hall section displaying products and services appealing to higher education leaders and personnel.

  • Commission on Access, Diversity, & Excellence
  • Commission on Information, Measurement, & Analysis
  • Council of 1890 Universities
  • Council on Governmental Affairs
  • Council on Student Affairs

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