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ACE2018 Begins This Weekend

March 07, 2018



Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders will come together beginning Saturday in Washington, DC, for ACE2018, ACE’s 100th Annual Meeting, to engage in open dialogue and share approaches for tackling higher education issues.

Key meeting details, including the full schedule, speaker information, and hotel floor plans are available on the ACE2018 app, which can be downloaded here.

To join the conversation on Twitter, follow @ACEducation​ and use the hashtag #ACE2018DC. Daily coverage of the meeting also will be featured on the ACE website and ACE’s blog, Higher Education Today.

Among the highlights:

Saturday, March 10

ACE2018 officially kicks off with the International Welcome and Networking Reception and the ACE Women's Network Reception, which are open to all attendees, and an exclusive reception for presidents, chancellors, and rectors. 

At the Women’s Network Reception, the 2018 ACE State Network Leadership Award will be given to University of South Carolina’s Women’s Leadership Institute. Directly following that, the annual ACE Women’s Leadership Dinner, sponsored by TIAA, will feature a keynote address from Margee Ensign, president of Dickinson College (PA). During the dinner, Judith White, president and executive director of HERS (Higher Education Resource Services), will be honored with the 2018 Donna Shavlik Award.

Sunday, March 11

A presidents and chancellors-only breakfast begins the morning, to be followed by two caucuses for the same group. A joint luncheon for both presidents and chief academic officers will include the presentation of the ACE/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation. 

There is also a full range of sessions Sunday and throughout the week that are open to all attendees, including all concurrent sessions, Focus Zone Presentations, and a number of other receptions.  

On Sunday afternoon, Nancy L. Zimpher, chancellor emeritus of The State University of New York, will keynote this year's Robert H. Atwell Plenary, focusing in her presentation on “Solving the Completion Puzzle: Leadership Counts.” At the conclusion of the Atwell plenary, which is sponsored by Fidelity Investments, attendees can gather at the ACE Connects Opening Reception for networking, refreshments and a chance to browse the Exhibit Hall.  

Monday, March 12

Attendees will begin their morning at the first plenary session​ of the day, “Facing History,” which is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University (TX), and John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University (DC), will lead a discussion about how colleges and universities can confront legacies of injustice. 

The morning will also feature a full slate of concurrent sessions leading up to the Monday luncheon plenary, sponsored by TIAA, featuring Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Hrabowski will focus on the evolution of higher education in the United States over the past five decades and the role of colleges and universities in building American society and addressing its challenges and will also accept ACE’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Additional concurrent sessions and receptions will follow in the afternoon. 

Tuesday, March 13

First thing Tuesday morning there will be a full range of concurrent sessions as well as a public policy pop-up discussion with ACE Senior Vice President Terry W. Hartle and Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., president of Purdue University (IN), on some of the most pressing public policy issues facing higher education today. 

The meeting will close with a plenary session on campus free speech. Panelists will unpack research by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation focusing on student beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors around First Amendment rights, and talk about what it means for campuses now and in the future. 

Also during the closing plenary, Justin Darnall, a Marine veteran and aspiring aerospace engineer from Denver, and LaMarr A. Smith, a health claims representative and business student from Buffalo, NY, will be presented with ACE’s 2017 Student of the Year Award. 

Other award recipients to be announced during the meeting include the 2018 Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award, the Reginald Wilson Leadership Diversity Award, and the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education. 

International Events

A number of ACE2018 sessions will focus specifically on higher education internationalization. 

  • Redesigning International Education and the Global Micro-Campus: This session will discuss international branch campuses of U.S. universities, technological classrooms, and other solutions to the recent downturn in international student participation at U.S. institutions.
  • Student Success, Attainment, and Equity: International Lessons: Leading higher education experts from three countries will compare innovative policies and programs shown to improve rates of success and degree attainment, particularly among traditionally underserved student populations. 
  • ACE and the Global Engagement of Higher Education​: Learning from the Past to Navigate the Future: An open discussion of how we can address some of the challenges facing international education today, including public skepticism over the value of internationalization and global engagement. 

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