News Release from AASCU


Contact: Jennifer Walpole (202) 478-4665


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) 2016 Annual Meeting will study how higher education can use its distinctive position to lead the nation to a more constructive and prosperous future. Nearly 200 presidents and chancellors from across the country will attend the meeting, which will be held October 30 - November 1, 2016 in Miami, Fla. 

The meeting’s theme—“A New Leadership Landscape: Competitive, Innovative, Adaptive”— will serve as a backdrop to programming that addresses the challenges that public higher education institutions face in an ever-changing world. Today’s state college and university leaders are presented with competitive challenges and fluctuating variables that are briskly altering the environment in which they must lead.

“The fate of state colleges and universities rests on how effectively presidents and chancellors can anticipate trends, adapt to change, define innovative strategies and demonstrate purposeful leadership. Success will increasingly be defined by new thinking, guided by new opportunities and executed using new practices,” says Stephen M. Jordan, president of Metropolitan State University of Denver and chair of AASCU’s 2016 Board of Directors. “AASCU’s Annual Meeting will provide participants the opportunity to engage with topical experts and colleagues in exploring how to be effective in the new leadership landscape.”

The meeting will begin on Sunday with the opening general session, “The Collaborative Impact Model: Achieving Large-Scale Change Through Collaboration.” This will be followed by the presentation of AASCU’s Excellence and Innovation awards, which recognize and honor AASCU institutions demonstrating excellence and innovation in their approach to achieving student success and college completion; regional and economic development; international education; teacher education; leadership development and diversity; and sustainability and sustainable development. 

On Monday morning, two sessions will address critical issues in higher education. During the first, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” presenter Robert Putnam, Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, will share evidence of a growing opportunity gap and its implications for public higher education and public policy. The following session, “Diversity in Public Higher Education: Engagement on Uncommon Ground: Learning at the Intersections,” will explore how to create more inclusive and equitable campuses, and how presidents can foster a climate of engagement, listening and learning across uncommon differences before, during and after a crisis occurs.

Also on Monday, the American Academic Leadership Institute Luncheon will be held, and Lt. General Steven L. Kwast, commander and president of Air University, will host “Developing the Next Generation of Leaders.” The day concludes with a general session on best practices in university partnership and entrepreneurship.

Tuesday’s programming includes Vijay Govindarajan’s session on “The Three Box Solution,” a framework for balancing the imperatives of the present with the demands of the future; the presentation of the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at Texas Heart Institute; and the President-to-Presidents lecture luncheon, delivered by Bowie State University (Md.) President Mickey L. Burnim. The final sessions of the conference include programming on Title IX and sexual violence, and a presentation by historian and political commenter Michael Bechloss.

For additional information about the meeting, please visit


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. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise of Opportunities for All.