Nov. 16-19, 2024
Puerto Rico

AASCU 2024 Annual Conference for Presidents and Chancellors

Engage with colleagues and subject matter experts for community, resources, and hope in the face of the challenges facing higher education.

Register today.

Join us this November in Puerto Rico.

Building Bridges:
Uplifting Communities Through Collaboration

Construyendo Puentes:
Levantando Comunidades a través de la Colaboración

Presidents and chancellors of regional public colleges and universities face unique challenges as you lead change and transformation on your campuses. AASCU’s annual conference is a place to come together for hope, community, and solutions.

Presidents confer during a plenary breakout during Annual Conference 2023.
Presidents and chancellors confer at a plenary breakout during Annual Conference 2023.

Who should attend?

  • Presidents & Chancellors
  • Presidential Spouse/Partners

Benefits of participation:

  • Small- and large group community building and networking via affinity group meetings, roundtable discussions, open committee meetings, and receptions and meals
  • Discussion-based, solutions-oriented workshops and concurrent sessions for participants to reflect, strategize, learn, and share promising practices and gain national perspective from thought leaders
  • Informative and inspiring plenary sessions meant to empower and equip future-focused leaders
  • Rich and relevant programming for spouses and partners

Register today to join us in Puerto Rico.

Program highlights
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Chancellor James T. Minor raises a question for the group.
South Carolina State University’s Alexander Conyers, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s James T. Minor, and University of Washington Tacoma’s Sheila Edwards Lange attend the African American Presidents and Chancellors Affinity Group.

Our conference is designed to support learning, networking, and reflecting.

  • Inspiring plenary sessions focused on the unique value proposition of regional public institutions and how we tell the story of our collective impact, as well as trends impacting higher education, social justice and equity, updates from the Hill, and more
  • Engaging workshops for participants to reflect, network, share promising practices and connect with thought leaders
  • Networking and connecting opportunities during meals, receptions, committee meetings, and affinity group gatherings

Live Boricua. The Land of Enchantment. Visit the Continent of Puerto Rico. No Passport, No Problem. The current or previous Puerto Rico Tourism Company campaign slogans are but a brief description of what makes this island in the Carribean an exceptional place. Whether it’s its cobblestone roads, historical forts, natural wonders, or the colorful buildings, Puerto Rico has a lot to offer everyone. The island has been part of the United States for over a century and represents in total over five hundred years of history and culture since the arrival of the Spanish in 1493. It combines the soul of its native population with Spanish, African, and American influences that continuously shape the food, art, customs, music and language of the island today. Whether you prefer to take it fast or “despacito”, AASCU’s 2025 Annual Conference will be a unique experience.

The University of Puerto Rico is recognized worldwide for its educational excellence and scientific productivity. It is also an engine of socioeconomic development in Puerto Rico through the training of entrepreneurs and the construction of the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem with the greatest impact on the island and the Caribbean region. The UPR System office and University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras are currently AASCU members and look forward to welcoming our membership to their island and sharing their rich history and culture with the AASCU community.

  • Global Climate Leadership: An Immersive Experience in El Yunque National Forest   
  • More time for connecting with one another  
  • Later starts each day so you can focus on wellness and reflections 
  • Daily, optional wellness activities 
  • No in-person Solutions Hub. Instead, support our thought partners by participating in their sessions, visiting their resources in the meeting app, and connecting with them in person at meals and during other networking breaks. 
  • Welcome reception Saturday evening celebrating the 25th anniversary of AASCU’s Millennium Leadership Initiative 
  • Outdoor meals and receptions 

Learn about research and educational partnerships in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and opportunities for collaboration and global climate leadership on-site at El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. national forest system.  

Transportation to/from El Portal visitor Center in El Yunque will be provided. Participants should be prepared for a short, easy walk through the rainforest. More details to come as the program is finalized. 

This experience is sponsored by AASCU’s committee on sustainable development. There is no additional fee to participate, however, pre-registration is required and space is limited. Register early to save your spot! 

To fit the location, we’ve set the dress code as “resort casual.” Leave your suit in your office and pack your linen, khakis, polos, or sundresses instead. Plan for mild temperatures outside and air-conditioned conference spaces indoors.  

The average temperature in Puerto Rico in November is 81 degrees F. 

No, the AASCU Annual Conference will be offered in-person only. Attendees will have access to virtual materials in the meeting app that they are encouraged to share with their cabinet members. 

Schedule at a Glance

Preliminary schedule subject to change.

Saturday, November 16
8–10 a.m. Executive Committee of the Board of Directors
9 a.m.–1 p.m. New Presidents Academy
1–4 p.m. AASCU Board of Directors Meeting
1–5 p.m. Global Climate Leadership: An Immersive Experience in El Yunque National Forest
4–5 p.m. Council of State Representatives
5:30–6:30 p.m. Welcome Reception: Celebrating MLI’s 25th Anniversary
Sunday, November 17
8:45–10:45 a.m. Spouse/Partner Welcome and Networking Session: Embracing Wellbeing and Community
8:45–11:30 a.m. Women Presidents and Chancellors Program (Breakfast)
11 a.m.–12 p.m. Spouse/Partner Planning Committee
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Affinity Group Meetings (Lunch)
12–1 p.m. Thought Partner and AASCU President Meet and Greet
12–4:30 p.m. TIAA Private Consultations
1:15–2:45 p.m. Opening Plenary
Building Bridges: Uplifting Communities Through Collaboration

  • Mildred García, Chancellor, California State University
  • John B. King, Chancellor, State University of New York System
  • Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Chancellor, City University of New York
3–3:50 p.m. Concurrent Sessions/Workshops
4–4:50 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
5–6 p.m. Opening Reception
6–9 p.m. Dinner
Monday, November 18
7:30-8:30 a.m. Wellness Activity
8-9 a.m. Postsecondary Value Commission Task Force
8-9:30 a.m. Spouse/Partner Program
9-10 a.m. Breakfast Roundtables
Committee and Affinity Group Meetings (Breakfast)
9:45-11 a.m. Plenary Session
Building Bridges in a Polarized World
Excellence & Innovation Award Presentations

  • Sustainability and Sustainable Development (Comprehensive)
  • Sustainability and Sustainable Development (Innovative)
11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
Spouse/Partner Program
12:30-2 p.m. President-to-Presidents Lecture

  • Brian O. Hemphill, President, Old Dominion University (VA)
Distinguished Alumnus Award

  • Abigail Echo-Hawk, Executive Vice President, Seattle Indian Health Board
    University of Washington Bothell, 2007 and 2009
Excellence & Innovation Award Presentations

  • Leadership Development and Diversity
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership
  • International Education
2:15–3:05 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
3:30-5 p.m. Interactive Plenary Session
Building Bridges to the Future
Excellence & Innovation Award Presentations

  • Stewards of Place
  • Student Success and College Completion
5-6:30 p.m. Evening Reception
Tuesday, November 19
7:30-9:30 a.m. Breakfast
Millennium Leadership Initiative Executive Steering Committee
Wellness Activity
8-9 a.m. Postsecondary Value Commission Task Force
9-9:45 a.m. Breakfast Roundtables & Focus Groups
9:45-10:45 a.m. Spouse/Partner Roundtables
10-11:15 a.m. Business Meeting and Hill Update
Building Bridges Across Political Divides

  • Luis Maldonado, Vice President, Government Relations and Policy Analysis, AASCU
  • Dennis A. Ross, Former Representative (R-FL, 2011-2019), U.S. House of Representatives
  • Loretta Sanchez, Former Representative (D-CA, 1997-2017), U.S. House of Representatives
11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Roundtables and Workshops
12:30–1:30 p.m. Lunch
Committee Meetings (Lunch)
1:45-2:45 p.m. Closing Plenary
Building Bridges to Healthy Communities

  • Ryan D. Leaf, President/CEO, RAM Consultant, Inc.

Transfer of the Gavel

  • Ronald S. Rochon, President, University of Southern Indiana
  • Charles L. Welch, President and CEO, AASCU
  • Alisa White, President, Sam Houston State University (TX)
Sunday, November 17
8:45–10:45 a.m. Spouse/Partner Welcome and Networking Session: Embracing Wellbeing and Community
11 a.m.–12 p.m. Spouse/Partner Planning Committee
Monday, November 18
8–9:30 a.m. Spouse/Partner Program
11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m. Spouse/Partner Program
Tuesday, November 19
9:45-10:45 a.m. Spouse/Partner Roundtables

2023 annual conference highlights:


Rating for relevance of topics and issues covered.


Rating for the quality of speakers.


Percent of attendees that felt more connected to their colleagues after attending.

Registration Information
Attendee Type By July 1    After July 1  
Member President/Chancellor $1150  $1250 
Non-Member President/Chancellor   $2150  $2250 
Former President/Chancellor, AASCU Consultants $900  $1000 
Spouse/Partner (including spouses/partners of former presidents/chancellors) $775 $875


If you need assistance with the registration process, please contact or call Felicia Durham, Senior Meetings and Membership Associate, at (202) 478-4673. 

Participants who cannot attend are eligible for partial refunds as follows:

  • Cancellation requests received until Friday, Sept. 16, 2024 (5pm ET) will be charged a $250 administrative fee.
  • Cancellations received between Sept. 16 and Oct. 18, 2024, 5 p.m. (ET) will incur a $500 cancellation fee.
  • Cancellations received after 5 p.m. (ET) on Oct. 18, 2024, and no-shows are not eligible for refunds.

All refunds will be issued within 30 days of receipt of the refund request. When writing to cancel or submit a refund request, please email


Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Rainforest Beach and Golf Resort
6000 Rio Mar Blvd.
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 00745
Phone: (787) 888-6000

Reserve by October 25.


Room rate: Rooms in the AASCU Room Block are $249 (plus taxes and fees).

Meeting attendees must confirm their reservation by Friday, October 25, 2024. The hotel may accept reservation requests after October 25 as space is available and at market rates.

We encourage guests to book early as we anticipate high demand/interest in guests wishing to arrive early or extend their stay.

All rooms are subject to taxes, which is currently 11% government tax plus a flat daily resort fee of $30 per room per night. Taxes and assessments are subject to change.

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar

Check-In / Checkout

Guest accommodation will be available at 4 p.m. on arrival day and reserved until 11 a.m. on departure day.

Note: All requests for early check-in are REQUESTS.

Group Rates

Group rates may be honored three days before group arrival and three days after group departure based on availability. Book early.

Note: We cannot provide or honor the group rate for reservations made outside the block or via third parties (Expedia, Tripadvisor, Kayak, etc.).

Sleeping room options are available at the group rate of $249 for single and double occupancy. There is a maximum occupancy of four people per room, per territory law. Third or fourth adult rate is $30 per person per night. Rollaway beds are available upon request and available at a rate of $25 each day.

Early Departure Fee

If a guest checks out before the reserved checkout date, the Hotel will add an early checkout fee to the guest’s account. Guests wishing to avoid an early checkout fee should advise the Hotel one business day before arrival.

Cancellation Policy

Should you need to cancel your reservation, please notify the hotel at least 72 hours before your arrival date to avoid a one-night deposit fee.

The Resort offers guests a pristine location with a two-mile stretch of golden beach, situated next to the Marmeyes River and within a 600-acre private estate. Guests can explore the natural beauty of the mangroves, bask in the sun on the pristine beach, and enjoy direct access to the Atlantic Ocean.

Travel Information

San Juan International Airport, also known as Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, is forty-one miles from the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Rainforest Beach and Golf Resort.

Car rentals, taxis and rideshare options are available at the airport.

Other transportation options: |

AASCU is committed to the health, safety and well-being of all attendees at our gatherings. We follow all local rules and CDC guidance and closely monitor conditions related to COVID-19 and other public health emergencies. Attendees at all AASCU events agree to adhere to the following health and safety protocols.

Before leaving home

  • AASCU strongly encourages all participants to be fully vaccinated. The CDC Vaccines website provides definitions of “Fully Vaccinated” and “Up To Date”.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell or have any COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. We recommend attendees wear masks while traveling to and from the event and follow COVID-19 safety practices in the days leading up to the event.
  • We strongly encourage attendees to take a rapid antigen COVID-19 test before traveling and before arriving to AASCU convenings.

Onsite during the event

  • Masks are recommended and will be available at the registration desk.
  • If you are experiencing cold or COVID-19 symptoms please be respectful and wear a mask.
  • Self-administered COVID-19 rapid antigen tests will be available at the registration desk. We encourage participants test themselves upon arrival before joining the conference.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • If you feel unwell, develop symptoms of COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19 at any time during the convening, seek medical care and do not attend the meals or gatherings.
  • If you test positive during the conference, please notify AASCU staff by emailing

AASCU reserves the right to modify these policies and procedures at any time given the rapidly changing nature of any current and ongoing public health emergencies.

AASCU is committed to making our convenings inclusive and accessible to all individuals. If you need auxiliary aids or services, please email us ( at the time you register.    

By participating in an AASCU conference, you are automatically authorizing AASCU to use your name, photograph, voice, or another likeness for purposes related to the mission of AASCU, including but not limited to publicity, marketing, websites, social media vehicles, and any other AASCU-related electronic forms or media for the promotion of AASCU and its various programs.

Please complete the form at the bottom of this page to inquire about partnership opportunities for this event.

2024 Annual Meeting Partners

Complete the form below if you are interested in being a partner in our event.

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