News Release from AASCU


Contact: Jennifer Herrera (202) 478-4665


AASCU Presidents, Chancellors Will Explore Leadership Challenges of Globalization

Washington, DC – In an effort to respond to the challenges of shifting economic realities and an ever-changing global atmosphere, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) announced today the formation of the AASCU Commission on Presidential Leadership and Global Competitiveness. 

Composed of 12 AASCU presidents and chancellors, the Commission will work to assess and project the impact of global economic, political and technological changes on America’s public universities.  The commission, chaired by Bruce Shepard, former University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor and President-designate of Western Washington University, will recommend to presidents and chancellors initiatives that will strengthen the success of their institutions in insuring graduates are globally competitive.

“Global competition affects our nation’s economic, political, social and environmental landscape. And the reality is we are just beginning to understand the significant challenge this presents for America,” said Constantine W. Curris, president of AASCU. 

Economic realities born of the free flow of capital and labor across national borders, the pre-eminence of multinational corporations, and the rapid expansion of international trade have created a new, and at times difficult, environment for American business, labor and higher education.  Recurrent data suggest that at most educational levels, the performance of American students no longer matches or exceeds other advanced nations.

“The Commission’s objective is to answer the question ‘how should public colleges and universities respond to global competitiveness to ensure that both our students and our country can meet the challenges as well as seize the opportunities presented by globalization,’” Curris said.

The Commission’s members are President Susan C. Aldridge, University of Maryland University College; President Donald Betz, Northeastern State University (Okla.); President Robert A. Corrigan, San Francisco State University (Calif.); President Helen Giles-Gee, Keene State College (N.H.); Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., Troy University (Ala.); President Robert W. Kustra, Boise State University (Idaho); President Dorothy Leland, Georgia College & State University; President Michael T. Nietzel, Missouri State University; President P. Kay Norton, University of Northern Colorado; President Denise M. Trauth, Texas State University-San Marcos; Chancellor Jorge Ivan Velez-Arocho, University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez; and President Leslie E. Wong, Northern Michigan University.

The Commission on Presidential Leadership and Global Competitiveness will convene their first meeting at AASCU’s Summer Council of Presidents on July 19.


AASCU is the leadership association of 430 public colleges and universities Delivering America’s Promise through their common commitments to access, affordability and educational opportunity. Enrolling more than 3 million students, these institutions fulfill the expectations of a public university by working for the public good through education, stewardship and engagement, thereby improving the lives of people in their community, their region and their state.