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From Our President: Summer 2015



​It was wonderful to see so many of you at ACE’s 97th Annual Meeting—we had more participants this year than ever. That speaks volumes, both about the growing national demand for higher education and about the dedication of all of you who make our institutions such vibrant engines of learning and knowledge creation.

Among the many issues explored by our impressive array of nationally noted speakers, panelists, and attendees, one resonated more strongly than ever: the financial pressure that colleges and universities across the spectrum continue to feel. As grim news of state disinvestment and endangered campuses weighs on the minds of our higher education leaders, ACE has created this special issue about money and the creative adaptations that so many of you have made to maintain your campuses’ vital commitment to students and research:

  • Our main feature delves into both the financial uncertainty faced by institutions of all types—two-year and four-year, public and private, large and small—and the best practices they are creating to put their futures on firmer ground.

  • Richard Ekman, president of ACE member the Council of Independent Colleges, explores both the challenges and indispensability of small private colleges as they navigate the turbulent financial conditions of today and plan a secure path into the decades to come.

  • Patricia B. House, a former official at ACE member institutions who now consults with colleges and universities on advancement for Graham-Pelton Consulting, Inc., answers real-world questions about how to engage younger alumni.

  • ACE Senior Vice President for Government and Public Affairs Terry W. Hartle outlines the complications inherent in federal attempts to simplify the FAFSA.

  • ACE Vice President and Chief of Staff Philip G. Rogers details the applicability of adaptive leadership to the field of higher education during times of economic turbulence.

  • ACE Interim General Counsel Peter McDonough discusses one fundraising question that all presidents and chancellors must be able to answer with an unequivocal yes.

Colleges and universities are uniquely mission-driven organizations, committed to advancing human knowledge and educating the leaders, innovators, and knowledge workers of the future—the very people who will spark and grow whole new industries to keep the nation’s economy thriving.

As such, ACE continues to press forward on behalf of its members, ensuring that policymakers are always reminded of the necessity of sustaining investments in colleges and universities.

As we look ahead to meeting continuing challenges with new solutions, we also look forward to seeing you in San Francisco at ACE’s 98th Annual Meeting, March 12–15, 2016. Be sure to save the dates on your calendar, and please join us in strengthening our collective commitment to the essential work of higher education.


Molly Corbett Broad
American Council on Education

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