Wednesday, December 4
1:15 p.m. — 2:30 p.m.
Conference Opening Session—Making the Case for Higher Education in Today's Political Environment
While most state economies are
improving, higher education government relations professionals must compete for
limited new funds alongside calls to strengthen K-12 education, upgrade state
infrastructure, stabilize state pension systems, and expand access to health
care. Their efforts to make the case for higher education takes place in political
settings that are increasingly polarized, partisan, and usually controlled by a
single party. The advocacy challenge is compounded by contrasting public
perceptions of higher education, rapid demographic changes, and renewed
concerns about higher education’s value proposition.
How can champions for public higher education be effective in this environment?
What advocacy strategies and messages should they prioritize? The keynote
address of the 2019 conference will feature University of Maine System
Chancellor Dannel Malloy, who is leading a state university system in a period
of remarkable transformation and change. As the 88th Governor of
Connecticut (2011-2019), Malloy modernized and invested in the state’s network of
public colleges and universities. A leader who has executive experience in
higher education and government in two states, Malloy's remarks will focus on how
higher education government relations professionals can be most impactful in
today’s state policymaking environments.
Dannel P. Malloy, Chancellor University of Maine System and 88th Governor of Connecticut (2011-2019)
2:30 p.m. — 3:45 p.m.
General Session—Building the Bridge from Education to Employment
One of the most asked questions by
governors and legislators today is how public institutions of higher education
are preparing students for the workforce, particularly their first job out of
college. Some policymakers have argued that “traditional” institutions of
higher education have done a poor job preparing students for employment
opportunities, a perspective that has hindered advocacy campaigns. University
leaders counter this perspective, citing low unemployment numbers and higher
wages of college graduates.
So how well are public colleges and universities helping students transition to
the workforce? How can public institutions of higher education—from community
colleges to research universities—do a better job facilitating the transition? This
session will feature the author of the book A
New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College on what government relations
professionals at public colleges and universities need to know about the challenges
of connecting education and the workforce today and how public colleges and
universities can strengthen the case for higher education through better
Ryan Craig, Managing Director, University Ventures
3:45 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m.
Affinity Group Sessions
Regional State Universities
5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 5
7:00 a.m. — 8:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m. — 9:15 a.m.
General Session—Presidential Perspectives: How Can Higher Education Be More Competitive in State Capitals?
College presidents and state system
leaders are often the most influential voices for public colleges and
universities, with the ability to share a compelling vision of the institutions
and their role in helping regions grow and states succeed. What do these leaders
see as successful advocacy strategies? How can government relations
professionals work more closely with their presidents? This panel of
experienced college presidents will discuss their strategies for elevating
higher education as a state budget priority and provide insights into how government
relations professionals can work in concert with their presidents to achieve
the best results for their institutions and systems of higher education.
F. King Alexander, President, Louisiana State University
Joseph I. Castro, President, California State University, Fresno
Para M. Jones, President, Stark State College (Ohio)
9:15 a.m. — 9:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m. — 10:45 a.m.
General Session—Washington Update: What's Ahead in Federal Higher Education Policy?
This year has been busy for higher education advocates in Washington. The 116th Congress and the Trump Administration have continue to discuss the future of the Higher Education Act, immigration policy, and a wide array of key regulatory matters affecting students and institutions throughout the country. This panel will discuss key policy changes that took place in 2019, survey the higher education policy landscape in the 2020 election cycle, and look ahead to issues that could arise in Washington and their importance for public colleges and universities.
Luis Maldonado, Vice President for Government Relations and Policy Analysis, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
Craig Lindwarm, Vice President for Congressional and Governmental Affairs, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
Brian Flahaven, Senior Director for Advocacy, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
David Baime, Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Policy Analysis, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)
10:45 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.
Concurrent Session #1
Delivering Results Through Advocacy Coalitions
Coalition development remains at the
heart of effective higher education government relations, including partnership
with businesses, nonprofits, and other institutions of higher education. These
coalitions can strengthen the case for higher education by building a broader
base of support and having third parties advocate on behalf of higher
education. But how do these coalitions develop? How are they maintained? What
are the keys to success? Hear from higher education advocates in a diverse
array of states on how coalitions helped them achieve their policy goals.
Emma Kallaway, Government Relations Manager, Portland Community College (Ore.)
Brett Rowlett, Director of Public Affairs, Lane Community College (Ore.)
John Wykoff, Deputy Director, Oregon Community College Association
Dick Carter, President, The Carter Group
Concurrent Session #2
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Higher Education Government Relations
Program evaluation remains a critical,
if overlooked, part of improving the effectiveness of government relations and demonstrating
accountability to campus leaders. Evaluating governmental relations can include assessing
its performance toward stated goals, measuring its capacity, and reviewing
legislative outcomes in the context of the state legislative session. This
session will explore ways to provide meaningful evaluation of state-level
higher education government relations to strengthen its ability to elevate
higher education as a state budgetary and policy priority and ensure continued
support from college, university, and system leaders.
Peter J. McDonough, Jr., Senior Vice President for External Affairs, Rutgers University (N.J.)
Anthony Haynes, Vice President for Government Relations and Advocacy, The University of Tennessee
12:00 p.m. — 1:30 p.m.
State Relations Award Luncheon
1:30 p.m. — 2:30 p.m.
General Session—Advocacy Showcase: Best Practices in Higher Education Government Relations
Where have government relations
professionals delivered results? How did they do it? This session will explore
examples of creative, replicable best practices in state higher education
advocacy and government relations. It will consist of several five to seven-minute
presentations from representatives of institutions, state systems of higher education,
and others in higher education that have elevated higher education as a policy
and funding priority through effective advocacy and government relations
#1 University of Louisiana System: University Advocacy: The Shift from Defense to Offense
Speaker: Jim Henderson, President, University of Louisiana System
#2 College Forward (Tex.): Citing Neighboring Louisiana Success, Advocates Secure Mandatory FAFSA
Speaker: Austin Buchan, Chief Executive Officer, College Forward
#3 University of Northern Iowa: Educating Iowans for Iowa: UNI's Approach to Advocacy
Speakers: Mary Braun, State Relations Officer, and Andrew Morse, Assistant to the President for Board & Governmental Relations, University of Northern Iowa
#4 Missouri State University: Making a Big Appropriations Play
Speaker: Ryan T. DeBoef, Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President for Governmental Relations, Missouri State University
#5 University of Illinois System Advocacy: Cultivating Stakeholders and Changing the Conversation
Speakers: Jennifer Creasey, Senior Director of State Relations, University of Illinois System, and Marissa Brewer, Associate Director for Advocacy, University of Illinois System
2:30 p.m. — 3:30 p.m.
General Session—Polling the Profession: How Do Government Relations Professionals View Their Roles Today?
What is the state of higher education
government relations today? This interactive session will feature the results
of a fall 2019 poll of government relations professionals at public colleges
and universities, including questions related to institutional capacity for
government relations, their views on lawmaker perceptions of higher education, and
effectiveness in advocacy. The polling results will be followed by a response
from a panel of experienced leaders in the profession, as well as allow for
audience participation to prompt discussion on key issues confronting higher education
government relations professionals as they make the case for higher education.
Frances Teves, Assistant Vice President, Government and Community Relations, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Kelly Whitten, Director of State Relations, The University of Kansas
Clayton Jones, Assistant to the President, Government and Community Relations, Monroe Community College (N.Y.)
3:30 p.m. — 3:45 p.m.
3:45 p.m. — 4:45 p.m.
General Session—The Equity Imperative: Moving the Dial on Educational Attainment Through Equity-Focused Leadership
Closing educational attainment gaps for
historically underrepresented populations remains a critical priority for state
policymakers. Without closing these gaps, most states will fall far short in
meeting ambitious educational attainment goals over the next decade. This panel
of state education leaders will discuss how their states are starting conversations
on addressing equity gaps in higher education, their approaches to closing
equity gaps through changes in institutional practices and state policies, and
how government relations professionals can aid their efforts in advancing the
Wil Del Pilar, Vice President of Higher Education Policy and Practice, The Education Trust
F. Javier Cevallos, President, Framingham State University (Mass.)
Denise Pearson, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Equity Initiatives, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO)
Friday, December 6
7:00 a.m. — 8:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m. — 9:00 a.m.
General Session—Effective Advocacy for Higher Education Amid Crisis, Controversy and Change
Higher education government relations professionals must often navigate an unexpected array of crises, controversies, and transitions in their role, from campus protests to deep budget cuts and new political administrations. Campus government relations professionals can play an outsized role in shaping the response and communicating with key constituencies during these challenging periods. What are the keys to success? This session will include a panel of government relations professionals that have been through crises and controversies in their state and include a discussion of their response to these situations and lessons learned for the future.
Miles Baker, Associate Vice President of Government Relations, University of Alaska
Dustin Bryant, Director of Federal Relations, University of Alaska
Jeff Buhrandt, Senior Director, State Relations, University of Wisconsin System
9:00 a.m.— 10:00 a.m.
General Session—Statehouse Perspectives: What Do Legislators and Governors Want from Public Higher Ed?
The 2019 state legislative sessions
included a sweeping set of higher education policy measures, including
ambitious free or reduced college tuition plans, expansive new investments in
public-private partnerships, and a renewed commitment to student success. Such
a diverse array of policies begs the question: What do legislators and
governors want from higher education today? And how can government relations
professionals best position their institutions and systems to meet these needs?
Hear from a diverse panel of state leaders on their priorities and higher
education’s role in helping their state succeed, along with practical ideas for
government relations professionals to effectively match higher education’s
resources with state needs.
Chris Broadwater, Vice President for Workforce Policy, Louisiana Community & Technical College System and former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives (2011-2018)
Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education, Office of California Gov. Gavin Newsom
Rep. Mike McKell, Utah State Representative and Chair, House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee
10:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.
General Session—State Outlook: What Happened in the 2019 State Legislative Sessions? What's Ahead in 2020? And What Is the Financial Outlook for Public Higher Ed?
The 2019 state legislative sessions
included ambitious changes to higher education policy throughout the country,
including new free college frameworks, numerous measures aimed at combating
sexual assault on campus, and overhauls to university governance structures. With
2020 elections on the horizon, the next legislative session promises continued
focus on higher education policy issues. Many higher education policy
proposals, however, will depend on the availability of state resources. This
session will start with an in-depth discussion of the financial dynamics
affecting state colleges and universities and a national economic outlook and
then review the 2019 state higher education legislative landscape, 2020 state legislative sessions, and pivotal fall elections.
Thomas Harnisch, Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
Susan Shaffer, Vice President & Senior Credit Officer, Moody's