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The Arrow Payments Team was honored to attend the 2018 ACE Annual Meeting in Washington DC. This event brought together visionary leaders of higher education institutions throughout the world. It was their 100th year celebration and the energy of the attendees was palpable. Every session the Arrow Payments team attended was inspiring and educational. Here are a few of the highlights from our time at #ACE2018DC!

Freeman A. Hrabowski III, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

President Hrabowski was the recipient of the ACE Lifetime Achievement Award and his acceptance speech lit up the room with excitement as he shared his vision for the future of higher education. Hrabowski is a firm believer that higher education matters and college and university presidents have an obligation to focus on outcomes and opportunity, regardless of the student’s background, race, or home neighborhood. Additionally, higher education has the responsibility “not just to teach people how to win,” shared Hrabowski, “but to teach them to find the common ground.” As a follow up, we thoroughly enjoyed watching Hrabowski’s TedTalk 4 Pillars of College Success in Science.

Transforming Academic Culture: An Imperative for Change
Elaine P. Maimon, President, Governors State University (IL)
Moderated by Christopher Washington, Executive Vice President
and Provost, Franklin University (OH)

President Maimon led a lively and informative session that covered many topics in the new age in education. ‘You can get information anywhere” said Maimon, “[higher ed] needs to teach students how to evaluate, connect and apply that info.” Maimon challenged higher education leaders to adapt to a “new majority” of learners that consists of four groups: 1st generation to go to college, returning adult students, veterans, and community college transfer students. The completely full room of attendees nodded in agreement when Maimon shared the philosophy at Governors State University to put the best minds in the academy to teach freshman composition using a strengths-based model. She ranked it as the most important course in a student’s career. Not only does this benefit the student, it also creates a path to keep PhD’s in the academy. We are looking forward to learning more in her book Leading Academic Change: Vision, Strategy, Transformation

What Keeps Presidents Up at Night: Inside Higher Ed/Gallup Presidents Survey
Joyce C. Ester, President, Normandale Community College(MN)
Mildred Garcia, President, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Mark McCoy, President, DePauw University (IN)
Moderated by Doug Lederman, Co-Founder
and Editor, Inside Higher Ed

A summary of Inside Higher Ed’s 2018 Survey of College and University Presidents kicked off this engaging session. Mr. Lederman shared that public perception and finances are the leading causes of concern for higher education leadership. After the findings were presented, the panelists shared their thoughts on the survey results.

Mildred Garcia urged the attendees to think about who future students will be, specifically for the Latino community. Focusing on how to get these rapidly growing populations into the higher ed pipeline and being honest about where their institutions really are on race relations. Garcia also pointed out that colleges and universities must connect their students to their first job, or graduate school by showing them all of their options and investing in helping them move in that direction. “If you are really serious about student success, you need to put your resources and priorities there” shared Garcia.

Joyce Ester called on the leadership in the room to rethink the status of race relations on campus. (The survey showed that 80% of presidents think race relations on their campus was “good or excellent”, while at other campuses only 20% was “good or excellent.”) Ester asked the attendees “Are you just talking to your faculty and student senate [about race relations]? Or are you asking the student that has 3 jobs, 2 children, and a partner on disability?” “We are afraid to hear the answer on race relations on our campus” Ester added.

Mark McCoy agreed with the survey that there was a public perception problem about higher education, but he felt that there was a solution. By working together as a cohesive unit by telling the upcoming generation a better story, being transparent about what colleges and universities do, what they believe and and how they make it happen the public perception can change. He agreed with the other panelists that colleges and universities need to “focus on the outcome” and ensure that they know what students should be able to understand to go out into the world and be productive.  

We are looking forward to the 101st ACE Annual Meeting in Philadelphia next year!

Thought Leadership

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