Recent events have cast a spotlight on two key initiatives helping to solidify Bloomsburg University’s future: the unveiling of our new strategic plan, Impact 2015: Building on the Past, Leading for the Future, and the extensive and intensive faculty review of the general education task force proposal.
Both initiatives are essential to building on BU’s standard of academic excellence while tackling the challenges of the changing economic landscape facing higher education. From Nov. 21 to 23, I will share the steps we’re taking at Bloomsburg with fellow university presidents and chief executive leaders at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ annual meeting in Charleston, S.C. Just as important, I will have a chance to hear how other schools are approaching these same challenges.
More than 420 public colleges and universities, ranging in size from 1,000 to 44,000 students, are members of AASCU, including Bloomsburg University. The association was established nearly 50 years ago in response to the growing impact the federal government had on higher education, particularly in relation to research grants and federal assistance programs – two avenues of financial support BU actively pursues. AASCU serves as a strong national presence representing the interests of students in public colleges and universities, especially in efforts to address higher education policy and the declining government appropriations. I am pleased to have been selected to serve on the AASCU Committee on Policies and Practices and look forward to a meeting of this committee of 15 presidents during the annual meeting.
This year’s theme, Stewardship for America’s Future, will focus on specific institutional strategies to help advance public progress in areas such as P-20 education, economic competitiveness and charting the future of our regions and communities. In addition, there will be discussions on key internal leadership challenges, such as identifying new revenue sources, setting academic priorities, budgeting strategically and leading institutional realignment and change.
There is plenty on the agenda for this three-day meeting – workshops on partnering with regional school districts to advance college success, strategies for boosting productivity and public perceptions in higher education, and the role of the regional comprehensive university in meeting the needs of community college transfer students. Seminars, presentations and workshops will cover key issues we, as university presidents, must address to position our institutions for success in this challenging environment of higher education. Working together will surely aid us in these efforts.