Western Academic Leadership Forum

Forum 2012 Annual Meeting

Academic Leadership in the West: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Innovation

April 18-20, 2012 | Phoenix, AZ
Hosted by: Arizona Board of Regents and Arizona State University 


The New American University: Facing the Future Now

In the wake of the recent global economic crisis and an ongoing need in the U.S. for a better educated work force, colleges and universities need a new set of assumptions that encourage institutions to innovate and differentiate and become useful to their local communities, while seeking solutions to global challenges. According to Newsweek Magazine (August 2008), Arizona State University is “one of the most radical redesigns in higher learning”. Dr. Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, will describe his vision for and the implementation of the New American University to address these very real challenges.


Common Core State Standards – Update on Higher Education’s Role

A spokesperson for each of the two systems that are being designed to assess student progress and success with the Common Core State Standards will update us on the progress made since our last meeting. Among other topics, they will describe the role that higher education has played in their activities during the past year, discuss how cut scores will be set, including whether or how cut scores might be moved over time, and describe the hoped for relationship between cut scores and college-readiness.


Hitting the Trifecta via Shared Governance: Increasing College Completion, Enhancing Learning and Strengthening Academic Integrity

Faculty frequently views the credentialing and completion agendas as a threat to learning and academic integrity. The work of the Education Trust on closing achievement gaps suggests that there are ways to create transformational change in student success rates while simultaneously strengthening shared governance, learning, and academic integrity.


Nurturing an Exchange of Views for Identifying and Achieving Shared, Quality Outcomes

Over the last 20 years, there’s been an explosion in research on cognitive development and learning. More recently, policymakers and analysts have been exploring the possibility of establishing a shared understanding of the learning experiences and outcomes that should define different degrees. But faculty are largely uninvolved in these conversations, and off-campus analysts are often unaware of their experiences. Research on cognitive development and learning may provide a way for faculty and external stakeholders to identify a shared agenda for identifying critical educational objectives and learning outcomes.


Federal Decisions: Implications for States and Institutions

Recent federal funding decreases in Pell, GEAR UP, and TRIO programs and new regulations regarding the credit hour definition, gainful employment, and state authorization—to name a few—are having an impact on the way states and institutions operate. What effects are some of these decisions and others having now and what are their implications for the future? Are other decisions on the horizon?


What Constitutes a Quality Degree & Its Purpose: A Look at the External and Internal Forces

There is an increasing interest in college completion and what students should know when they graduate. Many universities, foundations, states and the federal government are establishing targets, performance measures, and regulations in an effort to ensure the credentials students receive are high quality and meet defined purposes. Panelists will present initiatives their agency is promoting that will require institutional considerations and possible change. Audience dialogue on the opportunities and challenges these initiatives create in strengthening academic integrity will follow.


The New Normal: Doing More With Less

The economic downturn has played havoc with higher education budgets. Most institutions are grappling with how to do much more with a lot less. Have all the good times rolled on by? What’s the outlook for higher education in the future? What are some of the new financial models and strategies that institutions will use to thrive?


Leading Faculty and Students to Real Improvements in Student Success

Research seems to show that student retention and completion vary widely even among apparently similar colleges and universities. This session will highlight key innovations that some institutions have embedded into the fabric of the university to change the faculty and student culture and result in more students achieving their learning goals.