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Expanding Higher Education Collaborations

The Association for Collaborative Leadership is the only membership organization designed to be a resource for collaboration in higher education. The mission of ACL is to serve as an educational, research and professional organization dedicated to developing leadership capabilities and advancing higher education collaboration. 

Our members include the leaders and staff of more than fifty higher education consortia. We work collectively to promote and support higher education partnerships through professional development, institutes, conferences, collective brainstorming, and resource sharing.


The Power of ACL Membership

Membership in this highly cooperative organization helps catapult higher education collaborations into the future. Whether you are starting a new collaborative initiative or organization, or you are a part of an established consortium or multi-institutional cooperative, ACL is the place for you.

Join and you will find a welcoming network of colleagues, a wealth of experience and resources, and a desire to learn from you.


  • News from the President

    The Association for Collaborative Leadership (ACL) serves as a resource to drive innovation and efficiency in Higher Education. Since its founding, the diverse membership shares best practices, lessons learned and other insights that enable colleges and universities to collaborate. At our core, we are a professional development organization. We provide programming and other resources to build the capacity of those who wish to explore collaboration. Our members, while primarily consortia, are extremely diverse in their size, scope and the types of institutions they serve. We often joke that “if you have seen one consortium you have seen one consortium.” This diversity allows us to illustrate the many ways institutions can be successful. Whether the goal is to reduce costs, increase efficiencies or provide a new offering, ACL can share an example of a successful initiative. And likely one that failed and the reasons why. The need and interest in the work we do is significantly increasing. Financial challenges within Higher Education and the overall desire to do more with the same or less, has led many institutions to seek partnerships of these types as an alternative to simply cost cutting within their individual institutions. On behalf of Board of Directors and members of ACL, we welcome you to explore the opportunities we can provide to you. We offer a robust professional development program, both online and in person, and our membership strives to make its insights available to others through shared resource library and direct conversations. We look forward to engaging you in this important work. Stig Lanesskog, ACL President

  • What is the VPDC, Anyway?

    As a member of ACL, you have undoubtedly received numerous emails informing you about webinars or coffee chats or book reads organized by the VPD Committee. The Virtual Professional Development Committee (VPD for short) is responsible for developing professional development experiences for our members throughout the year.  All of our events are held virtually (Zoom), whether as a formal webinar, a hands-on workshop or an informal chat.  We develop our topics based on ideas that come from YOU, the members of ACL (whether drawn from a survey, lively discussions at the annual conference, or ideas suggested to our members).  We are always open to new ideas/topics and we urge you to let us know about topics that you feel are missing and/or that you might be willing to present.   Use this Google form to share your ideas!   What happens when you suggest a topic? We reach out to you to gather additional information on the topic and to see if you might be willing (or know of someone who might be willing) to become involved with the presentation. The topic is brought to the VPD Committee for discussion at one of our monthly meetings.  If the Committee members are excited by this idea (and we are very excited by member ideas), one member of the Committee will agree to follow up with you or your proposed presenter to develop out the idea into a program. We will work with you to determine what type of program (coffee chat, workshop, webinar, community read)* would best fit the topic as format and identify times, learning outcomes and presenters. Your VPD contact will work with you throughout the program all the way through to presentation and outcomes assessment. *See our webpage for a full description of each format.   What types of programs do we develop? We are open to any topic that would (1) advance the professional development of our member organizations' staffs or (2) advance the work of our member organizations' institutions (members' members). Recent topics include: A webinar on managing board relations A coffee chat on how consortia can lead in DEI A webinar on enhancing faculty research collaboration across members schools A coffee chat on how you can create policies to “sunset” consortial programs We urge you to share your ideas and your talent.  We are always looking for ideas that are directed towards members NEW to consortia as well as to program directors and senior consortial leaders.   Vicki McGillin, Chair VPD