Check back for program updates
Wednesday, December 6
3:00 p.m.— 3:15 p.m.
Being an Effective Advocate for Higher Education
in Today’s Environment
Ever-changing state political and economic environments have made advocating for public higher education more challenging than ever before. There is a growing national consensus that higher education —from certificates to professional degrees—is central to individual economic
security and state economic vitality. Conversely, polls reveal fast-fading support for institutions of higher education among many members of society. Many lawmakers have touted ambitious state educational attainment goals, only to cut funding for institutions to help them achieve those goals. How can state government
relations professionals make sense of the environment surrounding public higher education today? What advocacy strategies, messages and coalition partners will advance the higher education agenda, and which will not? Hear from a leading state higher education executive with substantial experience in state
government and advocacy on how government relations professionals can be effective advocates for their campuses and systems in today’s complex policymaking environment.
Eileen Klein, President, Arizona Board of Regents
The Growing Partisan Divide on the Value of College
5:30 p.m.— 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 7
7:15 a.m.— 8:00 a.m.
8:15 a.m.— 9:15 a.m.
The Economic Case for State Investments in
Higher Education---and How to Make the Case to Lawmakers
With tuition increases and student debt rising, more headlines have focused on the value of personal and state investments in higher education. Recent polling suggests that members of the public are increasingly questioning the value of higher education. In this
session, a nationally-known economist will outline the economic benefits of state investments in higher education, and two seasoned state relations professionals will share their government relations strategy, and how they make the economic case to lawmakers.
Philip Trostel, Professor of Economics, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, University of Maine
Constance Brooks, Vice Chancellor for Government & Community Affairs, Nevada System of Higher Education
9:15 a.m.— 10:30 a.m.
Washington Update: Briefing on Federal Legislation and Policy Issues
With the new Congress and Administration, 2017 has been an active years for federal higher education policy and 2018 promises more action on key matters affecting public colleges and universities. This panel, consisting of federal government relations staff
members from the conference’s four sponsoring associations, will provide the very latest involving federal higher education policy and funding priorities. Topics that the panel will cover include the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, immigration, possible changes to federal guidelines pertaining to campus responses to sexual assault, and the budget.
Michael Zola, Vice President of Government Relations, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
Jennifer Poulakidas, Vice President, Congressional & Governmental Affairs, Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU)
Brian Flahaven, Senior Director for Advocacy, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
Jim Hermes, Associate Vice President, Government Relations, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)
Session A (10:40-11:20)
Session B (11:20-12pm)
12 p.m.— 1:30 p.m.
State Relations Award Luncheon
1:30 p.m.— 2:30 p.m.
When the Going Gets Tough: Public Higher Education Confronts Gridlock, Polarization, and Budget Volatility
The last several
years have been marked by increasing discord over state budgets and higher
education funding, with the 2-year Illinois budget impasse providing the extreme
example of political dysfunction. With more states having protracted budget
sessions, deeper political polarization, and significant volatility in higher
education budget proposals, how can state government relations professional
rally support for higher education? What are the most effective strategies for
individuals in these roles to pursue in a budget impasse or after a budget
proposal that makes deep cuts to public higher education? How do individuals
build advocacy strategies that anticipate and account for this new era of brinksmanship?
Jennifer Creasey, Director of State Relations, University of Illinois System
2:30 p.m.— 3:30 p.m.
Connecting Policymakers to Campus Constituencies: Challenges and Opportunities
government relations professionals remain a critical link between the campus
and state and federal governments, policymakers and their staff increasingly
want to speak directly with faculty members, researchers, scientists, and
others in the campus community. Individuals in these roles provide insight and
solutions into policy challenges, highlight cutting-edge research leading to
job growth, and offer technical assistance on a wide variety of issues.
Nevertheless, effectively communicating the work done on campus can be difficult,
and cultural differences can sometimes hinder this relationship. Hear from a
panel of experienced government relations professionals and scholars on how to
integrate faculty and other key campus constituencies into government relations
programs and improve communication between thought leaders on campus and
policymakers in the capital.
Friday, December 8
7:45 a.m.— 9:00 p.m.
Affinity Group Breakfasts
9:00 a.m.— 10:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.
State Outlook: Summary of 2017 Higher Education Legislative and Funding Outcomes, and 2018 Economic and Policy Forecast
The session will
provide the latest analysis on national and state economic conditions affecting
budget revenues in the near-term, along with the outlook for budgets, state
financial aid, capital outlays and other key higher education policy issues in
the 2018 legislative session. The presenters will also outline how the upcoming
2018 elections would affect the political power dynamics of state legislatures
and governor’s offices and the ramifications for the higher education
community. Key takeaways from the 2017 legislative session will also be