The 99th Annual Meeting of American Council on Education

Posted by Ronald | March 22, 2017  |  No Comment

Recently, the American Council on Education (ACE) held its 99th Annual Meeting. The meeting plenaries and sessions were attended by higher education leaders throughout the nation to learn about ideas, issues and best practices of today. Dr. Teresa A. Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, was the keynote speaker for the first plenary session.

In addition to the plenaries, conference participants were afforded a plethora of sessions that featured noted authors, scholars, analysts, newsmakers and thought leaders. Participants were encouraged to connect with these colleagues and broaden their professional network, noted Molly Corbett Broad, president of ACE.

The following provides information about some of ACE’s meeting sessions and names of presenters.

ACE will celebrate its 100th anniversary in Washington on March 10 – 13, 2018. For further information, contact the American Council on Education at:


Focus Zone – Delivering Online Student Support Services for Gen Z

The session provided insight on a new student-to-student online orientation or support services for Generation Z. The presenters were Denise Swett, vice president of Student Services, Foothill College; and Jessica Wilson, instructional designer, Innovative Educators.

Credential Engine: How Can We Better Communicate the Meaning of Degrees, Certificates, and Badges We Reward?

The session explored the benefits of credentials. The presenters were Stuart Dorsey, president, Texas Lutheran University; Michael V. Reilly, executive director, American Association of Colleges Registrars and Admissions Officers; Joellen Everham Shendy, associate vice provost and registrar, University of Maryland University College; and Ralph Wolff, president, The Quality Assurance Commons for Higher and Postsecondary Education. The moderator was Louis Soares, vice president, Strategy, Research, and Advancement for ACE.

Taking Charge: Fundraising for Academic Leaders

The session explored effective fundraising strategies for chief academic officers. The presenter was Michael Sinkus, senior consultant and principal; director, consultant and client engagement, Marts and Lundy. The moderator was Paul Starkey, vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost, Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Leaders’ Perspective: Using Data to Drive Student Success

The session addressed the types of data colleges and universities are using to drive student success at their respective institutions. The presenters were MJ Bishop, director, William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland; Janet Dillon, associate director, Penn State World Campus; and David Lassner, president, University of Hawai’ I System. The moderator was Stephen Smith, president and chief product officer, Hobsons.

The Robert H. Atwell Plenary: When the Middle Ground is the High Ground: Free Speech and the University

The keynote speaker was Teresa Sullivan, president, University of Virginia.


Higher Education in the Balance: What Does Society Want from Colleges and Universities?

The session addressed the debate regarding economic and non-economic purposes of higher education. The panel members were Sandy Baum, senior fellow at the Urban Institute and Anthony Carnevale, research professor and director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workplace. The moderator was John Degiola, president of Georgetown University.

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future?

The session focus was to challenge participants to rethink their approach on how higher education institutions are led, managed and deliver education. The keynote speaker was Joichi “Joi” Ito, director of MIT’s Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Deep Economic Development: Partnerships That Are Reshaping Universities and Their Communities

The session addressed effective practices that are reshaping institutions and their communities. The presenters were Jim P. Clements, president, Clemson University; Gail Mellow, president, LaGuardia Community College of The City University of New York; and James Woodell vice president for economic development and community engagement, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The moderator was Louis Sorares.

Finding Common Ground: Campus Inclusion and Free Speech

The session provided a discussion on the dual tension of free expression and inclusion on university campuses. The presenters were Storm Ervin, master of public policy candidate, Edward Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Suzanne Nossel, executive director, Pen America; Cameron Okeke, master of Bioethics candidate, Bloomberg School of Public Health, John Hopkins University; and Catherine Ross, professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School. The moderator was Lorelle Espinosa, assistant vice president, Center for Policy Research and Strategy for ACE

Improving the Student Experience with Behavioral Analytics

The session focused on the effectiveness of an application called Behavioral Analytics to improve the student experience at institutions. The presenters were Blaine Johnson, vice president of Enrollment Services, Wiley Education Services; and Molly Joyce, Change Management Manager, Wiley Education Services.


Evolving Gender Equality in Higher Education: University Champion and the United Nations HeForShe Movement

The session provided a dialogue on how universities can benefit from the HeForShe movement. The presenters were Elizabeth Nyamayaro, senior advisor to the Under Secretary-General and, Executive Director, UN Women; and Samuel Stanley L, president, State University of New York at Stony Brook.

What Skills Make for a High-Performing College President?

The session provided dialogue on the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for a high-performing president. The presenters were Lynn Gangone, vice president, ACE Leadership; Jeff Selingo, contributor and author, The Washington Post; an Josh Wyner, executive director, The Aspen Institute. The moderator was Jonathan Gagliardi, associate director, Policy Research and Strategy for ACE.

Campus Leaders Creating Healthy Campus Climates

The session provided discussion on how leading with the head and heart can help build authentic relationships through empathy and understanding. The presenters were Kathy Johnson, executive vice Chancellor and chief academic officer, Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis; Denis Maybank, vice president for Student Affairs and Services, Michigan State University; and Kim Schatzel, president, Towson University.


Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of 15 books and publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper.  Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator, test developer and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]




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