Public Purpose Magazine, Summer 2007
Public Purpose Cover Summer 2007

The Long Road Back:Liberia Turns to AASCU for Help in Rebuilding Their Higher Education SystemBy Cheryl Fields
In a visible demonstration of AASCU members’ increasing commitment to international education and engagement, a team of AASCU leaders recently returned from a visit to Liberia, where they assessed the West African nation’s challenges as it tries to reconstruct a functioning higher education system and plan for the future after 14 years of civil war.
The details of future cooperative agreements and programs have yet to be decided. Participants said they viewed the mission as an opportunity not only to help Liberia, but also
for their own campuses to gain opportunities for their faculty and students to become more internationally aware and globally competent. Further, they said, they were heartened at the importance being given to the role of education in helping that nation get back on its feet.
“It is true that there are enormous needs,” said George Mehaffy, vice president for academic leadership and change at AASCU, but “we were all struck by the amazing optimism and hope for the future expressed by Liberians.” The government officials AASCU leaders met with
before and during the weeklong trip to Liberia are committed to using education to achieve economic stability and produce a new civil society, Mehaffy said.

Millennium Leadership Initiative:Removing the Mystique from the PresidencyBy Carole Shelley Yates
AASCU’s Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) removes the myth and mystique surrounding how to become an effective senior level administrator. By doing so, the program endeavors to increase the number of qualified candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups.
“It’s not just out of the casual goodness of our hearts that AASCU started and supports this initiative,” states Frank Pogue, steering committee chair and president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. “It is essential to create a pool of individuals who are capable of leading and addressing the changing needs of people who reflect the diverse populations our institutions will serve.”
While MLI was created in 1997 to address the lack of senior level administrators, especially African- Americans and women, in higher education, Pogue stresses that the initiative represents all AASCU institutions and participants from all groups, including Hispanic and Latin, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander. “What they have in common is a need to continue to grow the pool of up-and- coming leaders in a formal, structured way,” he says.