Press Release

2,000 Expected in Washington, DC, to Explore Higher Education’s Democratic Purpose and Student Success in Work and Life







For Immediate Release
Contact: Carrie Johnson, Communications Liaison; 202.516.9415

AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting will include:

  • 2,000+ presidents, administrators, faculty, and staff from over 550 institutions
  • 125+ sessions, forums, and plenaries addressing urgent and pressing issues
  • Demonstrating the value of a liberal education for all students in the face of growing mistrust and negative public perception of higher education
  • Addressing campus crises, protests, free speech, and higher education’s moral leadership
  • Campus-based strategies and practices that are advancing equity and student success
  • Introducing AAC&U’s 5-year strategic plan

EVENT:  AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting
“Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive American Dream?”
WHEN:  January 24–27, 2018
WHERE:  Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC

Washington, DC—January 4, 2018—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) will hold its Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, from January 24–27, 2018.

AAC&U’s 2018 Annual Meeting, “Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive American Dream?,” will address higher education’s role in the American Dream in the face of a public narrative that argues the two have become disconnected. Featuring a broad array of plenaries, forums, and more than 125 concurrent sessions, the conference will challenge attendees across the spectrum of higher education in addressing the most urgent and pressing issues facing our colleges and universities. The topics and themes woven through the Annual Meeting program will reinforce the alignment of higher education, life, work, and citizenship by highlighting evidence-based practices guided by clearly articulated goals for student learning—practices designed for students of all backgrounds and across all disciplines and institution types.

Media are welcome to attend all sessions, but press passes are required and must be obtained in advance.

AAC&U’s Annual Meeting is an ideal and efficient venue to learn about the latest innovations at a wide array of colleges, universities, and community colleges. AAC&U staff members are available to set up interviews with meeting speakers and/or participants.

Please contact Carrie Johnson at for press registration, questions, or interview requests.

Pre-Meeting Symposium / January 24
The Power of Civic Engagement—Across Campus, Within Communities, Beyond Borders
Presentations from Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Rutgers University–Newark; Timothy Eatman, Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community, Rutgers University–Newark; Eduardo Ochoa, President, California State University–Monterey Bay; Debra Schultz, Assistant Professor of History, Kingsborough Community College; Andrew J. Seligsohn, President, Campus Compact; Richard Guarasci, President, Wagner College; and Randy Stoecker, author of Liberating Service Learning and the Rest of Higher Education Civic Engagement

Opening Night Forum / January 24
Where Do We Go From Here? Leadership in Turbulent Times
Doris Kearns Goodwin
—Presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Opening Plenary / January 25
Identity Matters: Realizing the American Dream

Panel discussion moderated by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella, with speakers Linda Martín Alcoff, author of The Future of WhitenessNaomi M. Barry-Pérez, Director of the Civil Rights Center for the US Department of Labor; Tamara Draut, author of Sleeping Giant: How America’s New Working Class Will Transform America; and Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore 

Networking Luncheon for Faculty and Administrators of Color / January 25
When Core Values Collide: Diversity, Inclusion, and Free Speech
Pareena Lawrence
, President, Hollins University

ACAD Luncheon Keynote / January 26
Intergenerational Mobility and Higher Education in America: New Findings from Big Data
John N. Friedman
, Associate Professor of Economics and International Affairs and Public Policy at Brown University

Final Plenary / January 27
Higher Education: Crisis & Purpose
William Deresiewicz
, author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life

9th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios / January 27
ePortfolios and the American Dream: Empowering Students to Take Ownership of Their Futures


  • Campus Freedom of Speech: The Need for Coordinated Efforts from Boards, Institutional Leaders, and Faculty
  • Interfaith Cooperation in Higher Education: Increasing Curricular and Cocurricular Student Experiences
  • Community Colleges, Quality, and Student Success: The Conversations We Should be Having
  • Assessing Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity: Assuring Success for All
  • Open Educational Resources: Another High-Impact Practice?
  • Campus Controversies as Opportunities for Introspection and Transformation: The Role of Academic Affairs
  • Global Citizenship in 2018—Linking Experience, Curriculum, and Student Development
  • Advancing Racial Equity through Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers
  • A Portrait of Assessment that Supports Student Success
  • Integrating STEM Disciplines in the Liberal Arts through the Grand Challenge Scholars Program
  • The Promise and Paradox of Free Expression and Inclusion on Campus
  • Equity-Minded Explorations at Recently-Diversified Liberal Arts Colleges
  • Framing Academic Leadership for Undergraduate STEM Reform
  • Does Higher Education Promote the Common Good?
  • Signature Work, Fostering Integration Across the Curriculum

See the complete program and listing of speakers at

Keep up with the Annual Meeting events, updates, and conversation on Twitter: @AACU and #aacu18.   

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, faculty, and staff engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Through a broad range of activities, AAC&U reinforces the collective commitment to liberal education at the national, local, and global levels. Its high-quality programs, publications, research, meetings, institutes, public outreach efforts, and campus-based projects help individual institutions ensure that the quality of student learning is central to their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges. Information about AAC&U can be found at

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