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    Communication is vital to the mission and success of the AASCU Spouse/Partner Program and ensures an open and transparent member driven program. In addition to program staff being easily and readily accessible, a variety of electronic mechanisms are utilized to convey timely, relevant and important information.

    What's New

    Spouse/Partner Program at the 2013 Summer Council of Presidents 
     2013 Summer Council of Presidents
    From July 13-16, join AASCU spouses and partners for a stimulating program that will explore topics related to spouse/partner engagement with the theme of “Harnessing the Winds of Change.” Read More(Posted: April 2013) 


     Summer Council of Presidents Spouse/Partner Workshops 
    Experienced Spouse/Partner Workshop • Saturday, July 13 • 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Straight Talk: Lessons Learned in Our Roles as Spouses and Partners
    Join us to share, listen, learn and, possibly, laugh.

    This year’s Summer Council theme, “Harnessing the Winds of Change,” provides a focus for conversation among experienced (in the role for at least two years) spouses and partners of university presidents and chancellors. This pre-conference workshop concentrates on practical questions and issues and motivates us not only to share our experiences with colleagues but learn from their experiences. We may gain deeper understanding of our own situations through open discussion and analysis.

    Facilitator: Mort Maimon, Presidential Spouse, Governors State University, (Ill.),

    Suggested topics:
    • Identify a strategy that has worked well for you in your role as spouse/partner.
    • What is the biggest miscalculation (consider that a euphemism for “mistake”) that you have made in your role?
    • Identify a major lesson you have learned as a spouse/partner. Alternatively, what unexpected revelation have you had?
    • What issue continues to gnaw at you?
    • What practical involvement at the university has worked well for you and quite possibly your spouse?

    New Spouse/Partner Workshop • Saturday, July 13 • 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Walking the Tightrope of Being a Presidential Spouse/Partner: It’s All about Balance
    Spouses/Partners of Presidents/Chancellors Appointed Since July 2011 

    JUST FOR YOU—You have recently moved into the fishbowl that is the life of the spouse/partner of a newly appointed university president/chancellor. Do you have a few questions? Need some advice? Realize there’s a learning curve you hadn’t anticipated? This session is for you!

    With experienced spouses/partners serving as facilitators, you will explore topics such as role/identity, communication, privacy and relationships to better understand and acclimate to the demands of university life.

    This is your chance to ask, listen, learn, interact and share. Come prepared to enjoy a morning filled with laughter and ideas.


    • Denise Jasinski, Presidential Spouse, Northwest Missouri State University (Mo.)
    • Aundra Shields, Presidential Spouse, University of Wisconsin-Platteville (Wis.)
    • Allyn Uniacke, Presidential Spouse, Metropolitan State University (Minn.)
    • Sandra Weisenstein, Presidential Spouse, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
    (Posted: April 2013) 

    Male Spouse/Partner Program 
    On Monday, July 15, as a part of the Summer Council, male spouses and partners are encouraged to join Raymond D. Cotton, Esquire, for a stimulating session around issues specific to male spouses and partners.

    Role and Recognition: Implications of Being a Male Spouse/Partner 

    Speaker: Raymond D. Cotton, Partner, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C and Vice President of Higher Education for ML Strategies LLC.

    Facilitator: Mickey Howard, Liaison to the Spouse/Partner Program, AASCU

    Ray Cotton, a long-time friend and partner of AASCU will engage and speak to male spouses/partners regarding their unique roles on campus. In an effort to help male spouses/partners better understand the elements of presidential contracts and compensation, Ray will address a variety of issues. He will provide an overview of the expectations in a president’s contract that relate to a spouse; help them maneuver the landscape when representing their institutions as well as respond to questions. Ray will share evidence and data on issues related to both the opportunities and challenges male spouses/partners face on a daily basis, on and off campus.

    Spouses/partners will have the opportunity to hear from an expert in presidential contracts and learn how they might change or fine tune their thinking with regard to being a male spouse/partner on campus.
    Raymond D. Cotton, Esq.Raymond D. Cotton is a partner in the Mintz Levin law firm and vice president of higher education for ML Strategies LLC. He primarily represents college and university presidents and boards of trustees in matters of contracts and compensation. He has represented over 350 college executives and university boards of trustees during his more than 25 years in practice.

    Cotton is a frequent speaker at the Association of Governing Board’s National Conference on University Trusteeship and on the programs of other higher education associations. He has also contributed articles to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Trusteeship (AGB) and The Presidency (ACE). His legal work and compensation analyses have gotten him recognition in many other national publications, including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Earlier in his career Cotton served in the public sector as special assistant, office of the secretary, U.S. Department of Health.

    In 2013, Cotton was named to the list of Best Lawyers in America for Education Law. He received his BA with highest honors from Monmouth University, where he graduated first in his class. He is the first person in the history of Harvard University to have earned degrees from both its Law School (JD) and its graduate School of Public Health (M.Sc.). (Posted: April 2013)   

    Western Washington University 
    Cyndie Shepard, director of the Compass 2 Campus mentoring program at Western Washington University, has been given a Daily Point of Light Award, which was founded by former President George H.W. Bush and honors individuals and groups creating meaningful change in communities across America. Read the full article here(Posted: March 2013)  
    Whether you missed the 2012 Annual Meeting, or you were there and want to review, we've posted two Spouse/Partner presentations for you to view:

    Developing an Effective Public Persona
    Presenter: Dacia Charlesworth, Presidential Spouse, Valdosta State University (Ga.)
    Download (ppt)
    Download (docx) 

    Fundraising: What is the Role of the Spouse/Partner?
    Presenter: Pam Lowe, Presidential Spouse, Indiana University Northwest, and Spouse/Partner Planning Committee
    Download (docx). (Posted: March 2013)  


    • Cynthia Shepard
      Spouse/Partner Planning and Outreach Coordinator
      (360) 303-5164