News Release from AASCU


Contact: Jennifer Walpole (202) 478-4665


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) 2015 Annual Meeting will explore how higher education can use its unique position to guide the nation to a more prosperous future. Nearly 200 presidents and chancellors from across the country will attend the meeting, which will be held from October 25-27, 2015 in Austin, Texas.

Entitled “The New American Mosaic: Opportunities for All,” the meeting will provide attendees with the opportunity to identify and learn how to overcome the challenges that public higher education institutions face in an ever-changing world. The meeting will feature a host of sessions that address topics relating to the changing social, economic and political dynamics, and how factors such as these influence student success.

In his invitation to the meeting, J. Keith Motley, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston and 2015 chair of the AASCU Board of Directors, states, “The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2042, ‘racial minority’ groups will make up the majority of the U.S. population, a trend that has profound implications for colleges and universities. Changing demographics are not limited to race, ethnicity, native language, religion and culture.” Motley continues, “How can we in public higher education use our unique position—and our valuable strengths—to take the lead on guiding our nation into a healthy and prosperous future? What new paradigms and approaches will help us to best seize this opportunity?”

The Annual Meeting begins Sunday with an opening session on inclusive excellence presented by Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. As part of the opening session, AASCU will also present its Excellence and Innovation Awards to members with successful new programs, policies and practices that have demonstrated positive outcomes.

On Monday, October 26, Ron Brownstein—political director for Atlantic Media Company, editorial director and columnist for the National Journal, and senior political and election analyst for CNN—will present as part of “ The New America Initiative” general session. Following Brownstein, the “Innovative Strategies for Student Success” general session will feature a presentation on key factors influencing student success; a panel of campus leaders will also present case illustrations of innovative student success practices. Panelists will include Ronald M. Berkman, president of Cleveland State University, and David Laude, senior vice provost for enrollment and graduation management at the University of Texas at Austin.

Monday evening is dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Higher Education Act. This special program, held on the Texas State University campus in San Marcos, Texas, will include a panel of former secretaries of education and will be moderated by journalist Mark Updegrove.

Tuesday’s programming begins with a general session hosted by The Honorable Joseph Garcia, lieutenant governor of Colorado, who will explore the needs of a changing student population; the role public higher education can play in satisfying shifting workforce requirements; and ways higher education leaders can use their unique position to guide the nation to a prosperous future.

Later that day, Peter Blair Henry will present during the “Turnaround—Third World Lessons for First World Growth” general session. As dean of New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Henry will discuss discipline as the secret to success and the implications of his work for colleges and universities.  

Other meeting highlights include the President-to-President’s Lecture Luncheon, with guest lecturer Donald Betz, president of the University of Central Oklahoma, and the presentation of AASCU’s 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award to The Seattle Times editor and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Kathy Best. 


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.