2021 Academic Affairs Winter Meeting

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Thursday, February 4, 2021 to Friday, February 5, 2021

Walking the Talk: Leading the Equity-Centered University

As we begin the third decade of the 21st century, American higher education is at a crossroads. Will it stay on a path toward greater democratization? Or will it contract and become more inaccessible? Research tell us that more low-income, first-generation, and students of color are pursuing baccalaureate degrees than ever before. How can we be sure the playing field is level? 
The challenging events of 2020 emphasized the urgency for higher education to stay on the path of democratization, following through on our commitments to equity in every aspect of the enterprise. This includes the classroom and cabinet, policies and procedures, admission to graduation, and how we treat our employees and our students.  

About the Conference

AASCU’s 2021 Academic Affairs Winter Meeting will ask timely questions about how to achieve economic and racial equity on our campuses: 

  • How do state colleges and universities, whose mission is to serve first-generation, low-income, and/or students of color, ensure that we are opening rather than closing doors?
  • How do we dismantle inequitable policies and practices and replace them with policies and practices that promote equity?
  • How do we evaluate our operations through an equity lens?
  • How do we use qualitative and quantitative evidence to evaluate equitable outcomes?
  • How do our employment practices promote equity among the ranks of faculty and staff?
  • How do we move from equity talk to equity walk, from commitment to results? 
  • What does an equity-minded leader think, say, and do?
  • What do we mean by “equity”?
  • What does it mean to “practice equity”? 

The Academic Affairs winter and summer meetings bring provosts and their teams together to focus on compelling and relevant topics that fulfill the academic mission of regional public universities. The 2021 Academic Affairs Winter Meeting will give participants a chance to connect and learn from one another and other leaders in higher education.  

Who Should Attend

The meeting has sessions targeted to the needs of these roles:

  • Provosts
  • Chief student affairs officers
  • Assistant and associate provosts
  • Assistant and associate vice presidents
  • Student success personnel
  • Directors
  • Deans
  • Assistant and associate deans
  • Department chairs
  • Program coordinators
  • Faculty leaders

Pre-Conference Workshop Information

Free pre-conference workshops on Wednesday, Feb. 3, will give attendees the opportunity to discuss timely and important topics, such as improving student outcomes and institutional equitability, and to gain actionable strategies. While completing your conference registration, please select the workshops you’d like to attend.

12–2 p.m. ET

Managing the Academic Enterprise: Harnessing Data to Ensure Program Viability, Equitable Student Success, and Financial Sustainability in the Post-Pandemic Landscape
Achieving institutional equilibrium between curricular choice and the ongoing sustainability of academic programs requires careful planning and execution. Learn from Ad Astra Information Systems experts about how to optimize academic operations, analyze and refine curricular pathways, effectively build course schedules aligned to student needs, and contain instructional costs.

Facilitators: Lisa Hunter, vice president, solutions architect, Ad Astra Information Systems 
Sarah Collins, chief strategy officer, Ad Astra Information Systems
The Transfer Playbook: Strategies to Advance Transfer Outcomes
Explore essential strategies and practices laid out in The Transfer Playbook, a research-based publication from The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and the Community College Research Center. Hear concrete examples of how colleges and universities have put these practices into place, learn more about the transfer student experience, and build actionable next steps to better prioritize transfer students.

Facilitators: Joshua Wyner, founder and executive director, College Excellence Program and vice president, The Aspen Institute 
Tania LaViolet, director, College Excellence Program, The Aspen Institute
2:30–4:30 p.m. ET

An Equity-Minded Approach for Using Data to Facilitate Discussions for Student Success
While using data to inform student success strategy is not new, being equity-minded while examining data is a challenge. In this workshop, AASCU’s student success team will share strategies for how leaders can stay grounded in equity-mindedness. The team will also facilitate conversations to identify institutional structures, policies, or practices that may be contributing to how and why students experience equity gaps.

Facilitators: Bao Le, director, data analytics and impact, AASCU
Melissa Welker, director, Frontier Set, AASCU
Sue Clery, founding partner, ASA Research
Planning a More Equitable Campus in a Post-Pandemic World
Learn what the campus might look like after COVID-19, based on research that incorporates panel discussions with more than 40 institutions, a national student survey, and individual conversations with more than 60 institutions. Receive recommendations, tools, and resources to improve assessment, planning, and communication so that campuses become more equitable.

Facilitator: Elliot Felix, founder and chief executive officer, brightspot strategy

Schedule top

Download the AAWM21 Meeting App: The app provides registrants with seamless connectivity for up-to-the-minute meeting information, speaker and sponsor profiles, networking opportunities, and real-time updates. Set yourself up for success by downloading the app immediately, so that you have time to review the schedule and familiarize yourself with the app’s features. A desktop version of the app is also available here

The meeting will use a variety of formats for the exchange of ideas and solutions:  

  1. Keynotes:  Moderated conversations with national leaders on topics that provoke and inspire.
  2. Workshops: Small workshops for campus teams to focus on approaches to challenges on their campuses.
  3. Roundtables: Opportunities to gather with colleagues across the country to discuss issues in groups.
  4. Exemplary practices: Short sessions for campuses to share effective, innovative practices with one another.
  5. Topical sessions: In-depth discussion of topics relevant to regional public universities. 

Download the Schedule at a Glance

AAWM Thumbnail Schedue at a Glance










Fees top

  By 1/15/2021   After 1/15/2021
Member Rate, Full Conference  $250   $275  
Campus Team Discount for Members (per person for a group of two or more from the same member campus)   $200   $225  
Non-Member Rate, Full Conference (no team discount)   $350   $375  
Member Day Rate (no team discount)   $150   $150  
Non-Member Day Rate    $200   $250  


Registration Information top

Click here to access our online registration system.

Please note: In order to register, you must first sign into your AASCU account. If you do not already have an AASCU account, you can create one by clicking the "create a new account" button under the sign-in box.

See the fees above for each conference category, and please make sure that you select the correct category for your attendance.

If you need assistance with the registration process, please contact Felicia Durham, AASCU's meeting registrar, at durhamf@aascu.org or (202) 478-4673.

Cancellation & Refund Policytop

To receive a full refund of the registration fee, written cancellation must be received at AASCU by 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 14, 2021. Cancellations received after January 15 will incur the following cancellation fees: 

  • AASCU Member - $100 
  • Group Registration - $65 
  • Non-Member - $150 
  • Member Day Rate - $35 
  • Non-Member Day Rate - $50 

Due to pre-program preparations, cancellations received after 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 28, 2021, are not eligible for refunds.  

Failure to reconcile Academic Affairs Winter Meeting final invoices may preclude members from registering for future meetings.

All refunds will be issued via check from the AASCU office within 45 days of the close of the meeting, unless the registration was paid by credit card online. When writing to cancel, please indicate to whom and where the refund check should be issued.




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