• 1961-2011 Celebrating 50 Years

    Download pdf version of AASCU's 50th Anniversary Timeline



    1961     AASCU was founded.  
    1962     AASCU acquired its first offices and Walter Hager agreed to serve as part-time executive secretary.  
    1963     President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Lyndon Johnson becomes president and pushes for passage of numerous educational and civil-rights bills. 
    1964   
    • “Challenge to Change,” the first large study of AASCU member institutions, was conducted.

    • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 becomes law, barring discrimination in educational activities and employment. 
    • Student rebellion over free speech at the University of California, Berkeley.

    • Allan W. Ostar selected as first full-time executive director; title later changed to “president.”  
    • The board of directors met on Captiva Island and developed nine proposals that shaped AASCU’s projects and mission for decades. 
    • AASCU established the Office of Federal Programs (now the Grants Resource Center).

    • The Higher Education Act is signed at Southwest Texas State College, expanding federal aid to higher education and creating several student-aid programs, as well as a National Teachers Corps.  
    • The first Vietnam teach-in is held at the University of Michigan. 
    1967     The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 passed. 
    1970     Four students are killed by Ohio National Guard troops during an anti-war protest at Kent State University in Ohio. 
    1971     The “Morse Commission,” led by Wayne L. Morse, former senator from Oregon, addressed strengthening America’s emerging state colleges and universities. 
    1972   
    • AASCU’s first international mission—to Mexico—led to the establishment of a Center in Pueblo; dozens of missions in subsequent years. 
    • AASCU presented first Distinguished Alumnus Award to President Lyndon B. Johnson, graduate of Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University-San Marcos).  
    • Partnering with the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges (AACJC), AASCU initiated the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC).
       
    • The Education Amendments of 1972 are passed, significantly expanding student assistance and civil-rights protections, including creating Title IX barring sex bias in education. 
    • Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1972 is passed, expanding benefits for Vietnam-era veterans. 
    1973    
    • The United States withdraws from Vietnam.  
    • Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1973 are passed, requiring accessibility for persons with disabilities. 
    1974     Richard Nixon resigns. 
    1975     AASCU was the first U.S. higher education association invited to the Peoples Republic of China, leading to the establishment of the Chinese Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) in 1981. 
    1977     Apple introduces the first personal computer. 
    1978     Supreme Court decides Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, upholding use of affirmative action for purposes of diversity in education. 
    1979   
    • AASCU began program for spouses of presidents and chancellors.

    • President Jimmy Carter establishes the United States Department of Education. 
    1980     Ronald Reagan is elected president. 
    1983     In response to A Nation at Risk, the Department of Education’s study of America’s schools, AASCU established the Task Force on Excellence in Education to help AASCU institutions strengthen teacher preparation and improve teacher competence. 
    1985    
    • AASCU published Minorities in Higher Education a study that was regularly quoted in the media and referenced by policy makers in the years that followed. 
    • Task Force on Economic Development established to help AASCU institutions in initiating their involvement in economic development activities.  
    1986     AASCU established the National Commission on the Role and Future of State Colleges and Universities, chaired by former U.S. Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell. 
    1987     Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education award established. 
    1988     George H.W. Bush elected President. 
    1989   
    • AASCU presidents voted to give system executives full membership privileges, including the right to vote and hold office in the association.

    • The University of Phoenix becomes the first institution to offer online bachelor’s and master’s degrees.  
    • The Berlin Wall is dismantled.  
    1990    
    • AASCU established the New Presidents’ Academy.  
    • Americans with Disabilities Act passed expanding protections for students and employees. 
    1991    
    • James B. Appleberry became AASCU’s second president.  
    • AASCU undertakes first strategic planning initiative. 
    1992   
    • AASCU began a national retention project to assist states in improving academic success for underrepresented undergraduate students.

    • Bill Clinton elected President.  
    1997     AASCU spearheaded the effort to save funding for Title X, the Urban Community Service Grant Program. 
    1998   
    • AASCU moved its offices to 1307 New York Avenue, NW, partnering with three other associations to purchase the former Washington Star building.

    • The Higher Education Act is reauthorized and amended, requiring institutions and states to produce “report cards” about teacher education. 
    1999    
    • Constantine W. “Deno” Curris became AASCU’s third president.  
    • AASCU announced the establishment of the Office of Teacher Education.  
    • AASCU launched the Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI).  
    2000   
    • AASCU created the Task Force on Public Engagement, which focused on the institutionalization of public engagement throughout universities.  
    • The 1+2+1 Program is launched as an association-wide exchange program with China.
       
    • George W. Bush elected President. 
    2001     The 9/11 terror attacks occur. 
    2002     AASCU partnered with the Chinese Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) to establish the Leadership Training Project for university administrators. 
    2003   
    • In partnership with The New York Times, AASCU began the American Democracy Project (ADP)

    • Supreme Court again upholds affirmative action to achieve diversity, but not strict numerically based admissions decisions, in a pair of University of Michigan cases. 
    2004     AASCU launched the Making Place Matter pilot project, aimed at cultivating state colleges and universities as stewards of their regions. 
    2005   
    • AASCU launched its magazine, Public Purpose.

    • Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast and many college students in New Orleans are accepted as temporary transfer students by colleges throughout the country. 
    2007   AASCU’s trip to Liberia marked the renewal of the association’s work in the country.
    2008    
    • Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 is signed into law, establishing new spending programs along with new reporting and record-keeping requirements. 
    • Barack Obama elected the first African American President.  
    • Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act passed, significantly expanding college assistance to veterans serving since September 2001. 
    2009   
    • Muriel A. Howard became AASCU’s fourth president

    • Massive economic-stimulus package (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) signed into law that includes billions to stabilize funding for educational institutions. 
    2010   
    • AASCU’s begins Red Balloon project, a national initiative to re-imagine and redesign undergraduate education.

    • Student Aid and Financial Reconciliation Act passed authorizing expanded Pell Grants but phrasing out commercial lender-based student loans in favor of direct federal lending.