• The William M. Plater Award for Leadership In Civic Engagement

    Given in recognition of exemplary leadership in advancing the civic learning of undergraduates through programs and activities that encourage greater knowledge, skills, experiences and reflection about the role of citizens in a democracy.  

    Nominations for the 2017 Plater Award are due March 31, 2107. 

    Awardee will be announced on June 8, 2017 at the ADP Organizing Meeting at the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting in Baltimore, Md.

    Plater Award Information & Nomination Process | 2017 Plater Award Nomination Cover Sheet

    About the Award

    William PlatterThe William M. Plater Award for Leadership In Civic Engagement was established in 2006 by AASCU in collaboration with Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in appreciation for the leadership of William M. Plater, who served as the chief academic officer of IUPUI from 1987 through 2006. IUPUI has generously agreed to endow the Plater Award for 15 years.

    During his term, Bill Plater oversaw the development of civic engagement as an integral part of the campus mission and as a defining characteristic of its graduates, thus helping IUPUI win recognition among peers as a national leader. Through his writing, speaking and public advocacy, Plater also helped extend universities’ understanding of their collective responsibility as “Stewards of Place,” while connecting them with the larger regional, national and global communities of which they are also a part.

    The Role of the Chief Academic Officer

    The Plater Award is designed to recognize the critical role of the chief academic officer in advancing the civic mission of the campus through curricular reform, public advocacy, accountability for institutional citizenship, faculty development and recruitment, and partnerships with community organizations.

    The award, funded through the generosity of Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis, has been created to acknowledge the critical leadership role that chief academic officers play in serving as the vital link between the academic community (principally the faculty, staff and students) and the more externally oriented leadership of presidents, chancellors and trustees in helping make an institution intentional about its role in citizenship preparation. Through their leadership, chief academic officers align the work of faculty, the learning of students, and the achievements of staff with the public mission of AASCU institutions to prepare undergraduates as informed, engaged citizens. Chief academic officers make a critical difference in the articulation of purpose, in the alignment of actions, and in the quality, scope and effectiveness of institutional performance.

    The Plater Award is the first national award established specifically to honor and recognize chief academic officers for their leadership in higher education.

    The Award

    The Plater Award is presented annually to an AASCU chief academic officer. The Award recipient will receive an engraved commemorative to acknowledge the national recognition and a check for $1,000.

    The Award recipient will be announced each year at the annual meeting of the American Democracy Project in June. At the awardee’s discretion, the Award can also be presented at a suitable occasion on the recipient’s campus, ordinarily in the fall semester following selection.


    Nominees will meet the following criteria: 

    1. Service as the chief academic officer of an AASCU member campus for at least three years.

    2. Demonstration of sustained personal leadership in one or more of the following areas with evidence that the civic learning of undergraduates has been advanced in some direct way:

      • Public advocacy for citizenship preparation, including communication to the internal academic community, scholarship and academic advocacy at the regional and national levels, and communication with the larger community.

      • Accountability for institutional performance through the establishment and use of measures of student learning outcomes, as well as new measures for faculty and staff achievement (including research, publication, and community impact).

      • Faculty and staff development and recruitment of faculty to serve the institution’s civic mission.

      • Curricular improvements, including such examples as general education reform; service learning programs; student research, internships, or study abroad with civic purpose; or integration of community engagement in the curriculum through first year experiences, core courses, major requirements, graduate studies or capstone courses.

      • Curricular and co-curricular community engagement activities through collaboration with student affairs.

      • Creation of or support for effective outreach and community partnerships.

      • External support and funding for citizenship education through fundraising, grants, or awards


    Nomination and Selection Process

    Chief academic officers may be nominated by anyone on the campus. The president or chancellor must endorse the nomination. 

    The nomination consists of the following: a complete cover sheet, a vitae or resume no longer than five (5) pages; and no more than five (5) additional pages of documentation in the form of a description of the nominee’s achievements, supporting letters, etc. Everything should be contained in a single email, even if there are separate documents.

    Previous Recipients

    Michael Vaughan
    , Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Weber State University (Utah)

    Harold Hellenbrand
    , Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, California State University, Northridge

    William A. Covino, Provost, California State University Fresno

    Emile "Mel" Netzhammer, Provost, Keene State College (N.H.)

    Vincent Magnuson, Vice Chancellor for Academic Administration, University of Minnesota, Duluth

    Gail Wells, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Northern Kentucky University

    David L. Carr, Provost and Executive Vice President, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

    Lawrence V. Gould, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Fort Hays State University (Kan.)

    Barbara G. Burch, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Western Kentucky University

    William M. Plater, Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis