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President to President

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President to President
Molly Corbett Broad's weekly email newsletter to higher education leaders.

President to President, February 6-10, 2012

Vol. 13, No. 4

  • ​President's FY 2013 Budget Expected Monday; Administration Proposes $100 Million for STEM Education
  • ACE Names Members to Advisory Commissions on Leadership, Inclusion and Lifelong Learning
  • IN BRIEF: Minnesota Supreme Court Hears Facebook Free Speech Case; Still Time to Register for ACE's Annual Meeting

President Obama is scheduled to release his budget request for FY 2013 on Monday, and we believe it will contain a number of items of interest to higher education. Among the main education provisions we expect are further details on the college cost initiatives he announced last month at the University of Michigan. Although specifics continue to slowly leak out, there is still much that is unknown. We'll be analyzing his budget proposal closely after it is released and will update you as soon as we can.

The Obama administration this week continued promoting its education agenda for the coming year, announcing several initiatives to produce an additional 1 million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates over the coming decade.

The proposals include a $100 million initiative at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve undergraduate STEM education practices, a joint NSF-Department of Education program to improve K-16 mathematics education, and an $80 million investment to help prepare effective STEM teachers. Private and philanthropic groups would be asked to invest $22 million to complement these federal efforts. These initiatives would increase by tenfold the number of graduates targeted by current administration efforts.

The White House also released a new report this week from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on how to increase the number of STEM graduates. The report, Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in STEM, calls on colleges and universities to "improve the first two years of STEM education" with "widespread adoption of empirically validated teaching practices."

On Wednesday, the White House hosted government and private sector leaders to discuss strategies for using innovative STEM efforts to promote global development. Several new public and private sector programs were announced at this event, including the new U.S. Agency for International Development initiative to fund university partnership consortia I mentioned last month that will help define and solve development challenges.

As with the president's college affordability proposals, we expect to hear more details on these STEM education plans on Monday.

My sincere thanks to those of you who have agreed to serve on ACE's three recently restructured advisory commissions on leadership, inclusion and lifelong learning and to those who continue to serve on the Commission on Internationalization and Global Engagement. These commissions will play a vital role in advising ACE on mission-related issues and guiding the Council in initiating new programs and policies.

The three restructured commissions were overhauled in 2011 to better align with internal ACE units and to permit the inclusion of other senior leaders. However, the majority of seats remain reserved for sitting ACE member presidents and chancellors.

For membership rosters and mission statements, click on the appropriate commission:

  • Commission on Leadership
  • Commission on Inclusion
  • Commission on Lifelong Learning
  • Commission on Internationalization and Global Engagement

IN BRIEF

The Minnesota Supreme Court heard arguments this week in Tatro v. the University of Minnesota (UMN), which deals with the university's right to address threats and enforce academic codes of conduct and professional ethics. ACE filed an amicus brief in support of UMN in the case, which stems from a disciplinary hearing the university convened following reports of threatening Facebook comments made by Amanda Tatro while a student in UMN's mortuary science program. Tatro claimed infringement of her right to free speech. The university was successful in the lower courts, and Tatro has now appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Minnesota. The Chronicle of Higher Education has a good overview of the Supreme Court arguments from Wednesday.

If you have not yet registered for ACE's 94th Annual Meeting, I encourage you and your leadership team to consider joining us in Los Angeles March 10-13. Among the presenters will be Jane Wellman, executive director of the National Association of System Heads. Wellman will moderate Tuesday morning's plenary session, "California—The Bellwether of American Higher Education." Joining the session will be Charles Reed, chancellor of the California State University; Jack Scott, chancellor of the California Community Colleges; Kristen Soares, president of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities; and Mark Yudof, president of the University of California. I hope to see you there!

Molly Corbett Broad
President of ACE