AASCU Spouse/Partner Program 

The Spouse/Partner Program recognizes the important role of presidential spouses/partners and provides leadership development, networking, and skill-building opportunities to those serving in these critical positions.

Learn more.
Rachel Frick Cardelle, Darlene Repollet, and Michael Mills at the 2022 Annual Conference.
Rachel Frick-Cardelle, and Darlene Repollet, and Michael Mills at 2022 Annual Conference.

Leadership through a different lens.  

The role and expectations of a presidential spouse or partner may vary by region, institution, and personal preference. But some factors are common, such as your desire to support your spouse or partner. The Spouse/Program is designed to inform and foster an understanding of what you’ll need to thrive in the university environment, the surrounding community, and in your personal life.  

Leon Roberts speaks at a 2022 roundatble.

Who should participate?

  • Presidential spouses/partners  

How will you benefit?

  • Networking opportunities
  • Professional development
  • A community of support from fellow spouses/partners


“AASCU’s Spouse & Partner Program provides support, training, and the rare chance to reflect upon the exciting challenges and opportunities that come with my role as a presidential spouse with a group of people walking a similar path. When I first joined the group two years ago, I did so because of the training and learning it provided. What I had not anticipated but have come to value as much as the professional development is the chance to relax with other partners and spouses, building friendships and a network of people to whom I can reach out to seek advice and understanding around issues both large and small that arise. The commitment of the other spouses and partners to their students and institutions truly inspires me, and this group’s fellowship has made my journey more successful and fun.”

Rachel Frick Cardelle

State University of New York at Oneonta

“AASCU’s Spouse / Partner Program is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Presidential Spouses to network and strategize about unique issues in a safe space. I became involved in the program five years ago, and during that time, I’ve called on my colleagues’ numerous times for council. We meet regularly with subject matter experts to learn about best practices and new ideas that can help our spouse partners reduce stress and hopefully become more successful in helping our students get to the finish line.”

Leon Roberts

University of Maryland Eastern Shore
program highlights

A community of support.

The AASCU Spouse/Partner Program provides networking opportunities, professional development, and guidance, all tailored to the unique needs of presidential spouses and partners.  

Program offerings include conferences, symposiums, webinars, and brown bag sessions. They are delivered in a confidential, supportive, and comfortable setting that enables presidential spouses and partners to discuss shared journeys, challenges and wins.


Spouse/Partner Group at the 2022 AASCU Annual Conference
Spouse/Partner Group at the 2022 AASCU Annual Conference


The AASCU Annual Conference includes programming designed specifically for spouses/partners. Presidential spouses/partners network with colleagues and learn how they are balancing the many and varied responsibilities of their roles.  

Sessions may focus on: 

  • The Spouse/Partner Role in Fund and Friend-raising 
  • Ideas for Campus and Community Engagement 
  • Managing Expectations 
  • The Varying Roles of Spouses/Partners 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 
  • Topical Roundtables 
  • Navigating Legislative Matters  
  • Crisis Management 
  • Brand Management and Communication Tools 
  • Time Management/Creating and Maintaining Relationships 
  • Recognizing and Handling Challenges  

The strength of this program comes from the diversity of its membership, whose knowledge, expertise, and commitment serve as great resources. A critical resource we offer is the Spouse/Partner Member Directory (login required.)

Member Directory
  • Dr. Alison Nooks, spouse of former president Kirk Nooks, Gordon State College (GA)
  • Mike Matson, spouse of president Cynthia Teniente-Matson, San Jose State University
  • Rick Gonzalez, spouse of president Timothy Mottet, Colorado State University Pueblo
  • Elizabeth Ross, spouse of former president George Ross, Central Michigan University
  • Cyndie Shepard, spouse of former chancellor Bruce Shepard, Western Washington University
  • Judy Ingle, spouse of former president Ronald Ingle (deceased) Coastal Carolina University (SC)
  • Jo Hern Curris, spouse of former president Constantine W. (Deno) Curris, Murray State University (KY), University of Northern Iowa, Clemson University (SC), and American Association of State Colleges and University (AASCU)
  • Bobbie Ostar, spouse of president emeritus, American Association of State Colleges and University (AASCU)
Upcoming events for Spouses and partners
AASCU 2024 Annual Conference for Presidents and Chancellors

Nov. 16-19, 2024

Puerto Rico


Save the date.

Questions about the Spouse/Partner program? Let us know.

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Presidential Postsecondary Value Commission Task Force

AASCU works to expand life-changing opportunities and close opportunity gaps. We know it is more important than ever to better understand and communicate the value of postsecondary education. 

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Answering the call.

AASCU and our members play a vital role in reimagining a postsecondary education system centered on ensuring equitable value and reimagining our postsecondary system as an instrument to create a stronger and more just society together.  

AASCU presidents answered the call to action issued by former AASCU Board Chair and President of the Arkansas State University System Chuck Welch to engage in a coordinated and organized effort to further the work of the 2021 Postsecondary Value Commission (PVC) report that proposed a new approach for measuring the value of education after high school. AASCU President Mildred García co-chaired the commission. 

Following the call, AASCU formed the Presidential Postsecondary Value Commission Task Force. The task force is focused on the five key areas the PVC Commission outlined:  

  • Equalize access to increase postsecondary value  
  • Remove affordability as an impediment to postsecondary value 
  • Eliminate completion gaps and strengthen post-college outcomes to ensure postsecondary value 
  • Improve data to expose and address inequitable postsecondary value 
  • Promote social justice by providing equitable postsecondary value 

Task Force Goals:

  • Engage in a coordinated and organized effort to further the work of the Postsecondary Value Commission report to place a spotlight on AASCU institutions as a collective.  
  • Share the equity work outlined in the report that our institutions are already doing via promising practices that demonstrate value added through personal enrichment, preparation for successful careers, and contributions to society.  

Share your promising practice.

To help AASCU institutions tell their story as it relates to the action agenda, we created an online portal for members to submit their promising practices.  

Share practices.

AASCU member campuses are taking charge for a better tomorrow. Read and share what your colleagues around the country are doing to make a difference.

Read stories.

Questions about the Postsecondary Value Commission? Ask Us.

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Committee on Sustainable Development    

AASCU’s Committee on Sustainable Development is responsible for exploring educational and operational practices that raise awareness and promote implementation choices for AASCU and for member campuses. 

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Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University hosts more than 1,000 solar photovoltaic panels that harness the sun’s rays to generate clean, renewable energy for the campus.

The Sustainable Development Committee was established by the AASCU Board of Directors in July 2014. It is responsible for exploring educational and operational practices that raise awareness about sustainability and sustainable development, and for promoting implementation choices for the Association and its member campuses. 

The Committee is guided by three core commitments: 

  • Economic activity is understood to serve the common good, is self-renewing, and builds local assets and self-reliance. 
  • Education communicates that people are part of nature, that nature has limits, and that communities are responsible for protecting and building natural assets. 
  • Citizenship is seen as an opportunity for equitable distribution of resources and full participation in all activities, benefits, and decision-making of a society. 

Sustainability Resources

HEASC Resource Center

Visit website


Sustainable Development Primer for Higher Education Presidents, Chancellors, Trustees and Senior Leaders

Download PDF

Learn more about the Committee on Sustainable Development.


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