• Highlights from the 2018 Academic Resource Conference

    May 14, 2018 - WSCUC

The 2018 Academic Resource Conference (ARC) brought together institutional leaders and stakeholders from across the WSCUC region to discuss strategies and practices to support quality assurance, student success, and institutional improvement.

The ARC explored how, in the midst of growing public scrutiny, higher education’s mission and value can be strengthened by embracing a renewed focus on results, dedication to access and equity, and innovative programming and policies.

Click the links below to see a few of the highlights from the #2018ARC and stay tuned for announcements about the 2019 ARC.


Hope and Higher Education

American Council on Education (ACE) president and former Under Secretary of the United States of Department of Education Ted Mitchell opened ARC2018. Ted discussed the public’s erosion of trust in postsecondary education, lamenting the “vanishing understanding of higher education as a social public good.”


“[The] steady assault on evidence, expertise, and research is a narrative that strikes at the very heart of who we are and what we do… We need to get better about telling the stories that shift those headlines. We need to tell the stories of the lives that are transformed at your institutions each and every day. Show people that it’s worth it to individuals, to communities, and to society as a whole. You know you transform lives every day and contribute to your local economies in incredibly meaningful ways. You know the research that’s done on your campuses has a transformative effect…. But knowing it isn’t enough. It’s time to tell our stories.”

—Ted Mitchell


Fostering Change in Higher Education

Inside Higher Ed co-editor and cofounder Doug Lederman moderated a panel on “Fostering Change in Higher Education” with former U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee chairmen John Kline (R-MN) and George Miller (D-CA), Gates Foundation senior program officer Max Espinoza, and former Obama administration special assistant for higher education policy Ajita Talwalker Menon.


“Today’s students have changed – they are older, have families, work – this means institutions have to change as well, and public policy must allow and encourage that change.”

—John Kline

“Accreditation can’t just be about inputs or outcomes, must also focus on what’s happening within the institutions to allow high-quality innovation and student progress.”

—George Miller

To watch a video of the full panel discussion, click here.


Harnessing Accreditation’s Superpowers

Jamienne S. Studley, who assumed the role of WSCUC president in January, spoke on “Harnessing Accreditation’s Superpowers.” Studley previously served as Deputy Under Secretary of the United States Department of Education and president of Skidmore College. She posed serious questions about the role of accreditation in promoting affordability, student choice among postsecondary options, and expanded measures of graduates’ success.


“Leadership, appreciation for institutional diversity, profound commitment to improvement and standards, along with judgement, wisdom, and a willingness to speak out – these are accreditation’s superpowers… Now it’s time to use our skills and credibility to do even better and to change faster, always with student outcomes foremost in our minds.

In ‘the fierce urgency of now,’ students whose moment is now need us to act. The moment is also now to restore appreciation for the contributions and value of higher, before that erosion sweeps with it the promise of opportunity, the respect for our research and cultural activities, and yes, the financial investment, that higher education count on.”

—Jamienne S. Studley

To watch a video of Jamie’s remarks, click here


Higher Education’s Public Purpose: Defending Colleges and Universities as Forces for Good

Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, delivered the closing plenary on “Higher Education’s Public Purpose: Defending Colleges and Universities as Forces for Good.”  Pasquerella said institutions must find more compelling ways to demonstrate that they are teaching students 21st century skills and preparing them to solve the world’s most pressing problems.


“A hallmark of our higher education system is the diversity of institutions and diversity of students we serve – but institutions cannot thrive alone today; we must partner with one another to ensure everyone has access to the kinds of educational experiences that we know will lead to success and contribute to the public good.”

—Lynn Pasquerella

Click here to read Lynn’s remarks as prepared for the 2018 ARC.

Notes from the ARC: Blogs and Stories from ARC Presenters

Several ARC participants and presenters contributed blogs on topics relevant to the 2018 ARC. Click through the links below to read the Notes from the ARC series.