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2020 APLU Virtual Annual Meeting Recap

More than 1,600 public university leaders gathered virtually for the 2020 APLU Annual Meeting. The theme of the 2020 APLU Annual Meeting was Resilience & Equity. During the meeting, APLU hosted five keynotes, nearly 20 interactive concurrent sessions, named a new board of directors, and announced winners of its four institutional awards.

Those who registered for the 2020 APLU Annual Meeting can log into the AttendeeHub platform to view recordings of every session.


Building Resilience & Equity at Public Universities
The APLU Virtual Annual Meeting kicked off with a discussion among three university presidents on how to build Resilience and Equity at public universities. The panel dove into issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion; what the future holds for public universities; and how to create institutions that cannot just weather external threats and pressures, but help all members of society thrive under constant stresses and increasing demands.

Speakers: Joseph Castro, Chancellor-Designate, California State University System; Joan Gabel, President, University of Minnesota; Gregory Washington, President, George Mason University.

Michele Norris on the Race Card Project
Michele Norris, an award-winning journalist and one of the most recognized voices in radio, engaged in a candid discussion about race, culture, and communication in America. In the keynote, Norris explained her work through the Race Card Project and discussed the role public research universities can play in fostering a constructive dialogue around race.

Higher Education Policy in 2021 and Beyond
The election reshaped the higher education policy landscape, both in terms of immediate emergency relief for colleges and universities as well as long-term changes brought about by Higher Education Act reauthorization and federal regulations. During this session, leading experts on federal higher education policy discussed the 2020 election’s potential impact on the higher education agenda in 2021 and beyond.

Speakers: Beth Akers, Senior Fellow, The Manhattan Institute; Antoinette Flores, Director for Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress; Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Reporter, The Washington Post (moderator).

What’s Next for Congress? Bipartisan, Bicameral Reactions
In this session, U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro (D- TX), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and a member of the House Education and Labor Committee as well as U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and a strong champion of HBCUs and South Carolina’s public research universities, discussed the higher education policy landscape. Congressman Castro and Senator Scott provide perspective on higher education priorities, how public research universities fit into the equation, and the path ahead in the next Congress.

Understanding the 2020 Election
This session explored how the race for the White House and Congress unfolded and the impact the results will have on the nation. Featuring prominent national journalists on presidential and congressional politics, the session provided a discussion on the race for the White House as well as House and Senate races.

Speakers: Phil Rucker, Reporter and White House Bureau Chief, Washington Post; Ayesha Rascoe, White House Reporter, National Public Radio; Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Congressional Editor, The New York Times; Ray Trapp, Director of External Affairs, North Carolina A&T State University (moderator).

  • Council of Presidents

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