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President's Message Nov. 2017
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                                                                                                                                             November 2017

Dear Colleagues,

What a great conference! It is hard to believe that it has been nearly a month since we came together in Albany, New York for the 2017 annual conference. We had more than 75 people from 45 different consortia, higher education associations, colleges and universities, and companies that serve higher education in attendance. If you missed it, we missed you! If you attended, you know that the conference provided insightful presentations and meaningful opportunities to connect with one another. I always value this opportunity to meet with other leaders who understand intimately the work we do. I hope you all are planning to attend next year’s conference where we will celebrate 50 years of ACL’s support of collaboration in higher education.

Participants should have received an evaluation link; please provide your feedback by Friday, November 17. I want to take an extra moment to thank our conference sponsors – If you have a moment, tweet your thanks to:

Rene Yang and Kevin Gish, indiCO @goindiCO
Robert Relph and Tom Burgess, Relph Benefit Advisors @relphbenefits
Verna Lynch, Sentinel Benefits and Financial Group @SentinelBenefit
Kelly Jones, Sibson Consulting @SibsonConsult

Thanks also to the hard work of the conference committee:

Amy Cronin, Executive Director, New York Six Consortium, 2017 conference host
Tracy Thompson, former Executive Director, NELLCO and 2017 conference host
Neal Abraham and Nancy Goff, Five Colleges Consortium, 2016 host
Robert Diggs, Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts

Larry Dotolo and Leslie Mason, Virginia Tidewater Consortium, 2018 Hosts
Steven Harvey, Western New York Consortium for Higher Education
Kiernan Mathews, The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) and ACL Professional Development Committee Chair

Beth Moy, Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education
Cristin Toutsi, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, 2018 Host Committee
Dana Yurgosky, Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges

You can see the presentations, highlights, and photos here:

John B. Noftsinger Award for Service and Leadership
The Association for Collaborative Leadership bestows the John B. Noftsinger, Jr. Award for Service and Leadership upon an individual who has contributed significantly over the years to support and strengthen cooperation among institutions of higher education and between those institutions and their partners in the community and in the corporate and foundation worlds. In doing so, we recognize the many years of service the individual has devoted to the collaborative enterprise to help higher education be responsive, innovative, and caring.

At this year's annual conference, the following long-serving ACL members where honored:


Neal B. Abraham, President & CEO, Five Colleges, Inc.

Barbara McFadden Allen, former Executive Director, Big Ten Academic Alliance

Thomas R. Horgan, President Emeritus, New Hampshire College & University Council

Neal Abraham, Barbara McFadden Allen, and Tom Horgan were selected for the John B. Noftsinger Award because of their enduring contributions promoting collaboration in higher education and their lasting impact on the work of the Association for Collaborative Leadership. Their leadership as executive officers of the Board of Directors has advanced the reputation, reach and strength of the Association.

Barb and Tom couldn't attend the conference but we hope to fete them as we celebrate ACL's 50th anniversary at ACL's 2018 Annual Conference.

The ACL Board election took place in June; new members attended their first board meeting in October immediately before the conference.

We welcome the following new members to the board:
Diane Dimitroff, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges
Lindsey Interlante, Executive Director, Colonial Academic Alliance
Martha Malinski, Executive Director, Association of Colleges of the Sisters of Saint Joseph
Jeanine Went, Executive Director, Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts

The following slate of officers was elected for the 2017 – 2018 board term:

Claire Ramsbottom, Colleges of the Fenway, president
Beth Moy, Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education, vice president
Cristin Toutsi Grigos, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, secretary
Neal Abraham, Five Colleges Consortium, treasurer

In addition, the board voted to add the chair of professional development to the executive committee of the board. Kiernan Mathews, The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), is the current chair of professional development and as such serves in a liaison capacity on the webinar, conference and summer institute committees to ensure synergy amongst all of ACL’s professional development offerings.

• At the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the board approved the creation of the Membership Renewal and Recruitment sub-committee.
• FY18 and FY19 budgets approved with a 4% increase in membership dues approved for FY19. ACL membership dues have remained level for the past three years.
• The question of whether the ACL listserv should be reserved for members continues to be raised; currently there are many listserv participants who are not members of ACL and therefore not contributing to the support of the organization. Look for updates as the membership and member services committees develop a plan for addressing this issue.
• With leadership from Stig Lanesskog, Claremont University Consortium, the board began identifying the key questions members will be addressing in a strategic planning exercise at the March, 2018 board meeting.




Summer Leadership Institute
ACL held its seventh Summer Leadership Institute in June at Claremont University Consortium in Claremont, CA. Nineteen participants spent three days together considering tools, techniques and questions related to leading successful consortia. 100% of those who completed the program evaluation (15) said they would recommend the institute to a colleague. During the institute each participant worked on a project of relevance to their organization with the benefit of feedback from the faculty and their peers. We look forward to hearing more about the work of the following participants:

Ken Shaw, Southwestern Adventist University (Adventist Academic Alliance)
Vinita Suader, Union College (Adventist Academic Alliance)
Steve Gammon, U. Maine Fort Kent (Presque Isle/Fort Kent)
Sarah Kahrl, Five Colleges of Ohio
Keith Marshall, BigTen Academic Alliance
Cole Woodcox, COPLAC
Jeff Gima, AMICAL
Jessica Wise, NorCalHERC
Katherine Galvin, BigTen Academic Alliance
Sue Dickman, Five Colleges, Inc.
Kelsey Tate, 4VA
Christopher Bass, CUC
Jeremy Whaley, CUC
Jasmin Mejia, University Innovation Alliance
Martina Ebert, Pomona College
Shana Levin, Claremont McKenna College
Tricia Morgan, Pitzer College
Gabe Mugar, Emerson College, Boston Civic Media
Patricia Newcombe, NELLCO, Incoming Board Chair, Western New England

Be on the look-out for additional information once we have finalized a location for the Summer 2018 Leadership Institute.

Learn more about the institute here and check out the 2017 Institute on the photo gallery.

Webinar: Quantifying Economic Impact: Examples of Goals, Metrics and Measures as a Basis for Measuring Value

Thanks to the Virtual Professional Development Committee for putting together this offering featuring:

Kristen McGuire, Baltimore Collegetown Network

The Baltimore Collegetown Network brings 13 area colleges and universities together with government, business and community leaders to develop and market Baltimore as a vibrant place to live and learn. They have developed a report about their economic impact on the community. Kristin McGuire will discuss how this report was developed and share how the results were used for local and state advocacy about the importance of higher education as an industry.

Jason Owen-Smith, the Institute for Research on Innovation & Science
The Institute for Research on Innovation & Science (IRIS) is a major national source for data to support fundamental research on the results of public and private investments in discovery, innovation, and education. Jason Owen-Smith will show how it provides credible data and rigorous findings about the productivity and public value of the research enterprise to inform effective policy-making, support outreach, aid in research management, and expand the state of knowledge.


The ACL Salary Survey for 2017 is now available! All those who participated in the survey should have already received the link. This important service provides insight and data on salaries across the consortium landscape, and includes data on the CEO and top staff.
Find highlights and a link to the survey here (survey is for members only unless you contributed data).


ACL China
Building on the relationships developed through two institute presentations in Shanghai, ACL China was launched as an affiliate of ACL, working to support collaboration among higher education institutions in China and between higher education and other sectors. ACL China hosted its annual conference and workshop with exhibits held on August 16-18, 2017 at Expo Science Innovation Park in Shanghai. The conference has a general assembly area that is open to public to view poster sections. More than 30,000 visitors visited the public exhibits.

The conference was focused on international collaboration with participants from US, EU and UK
United States Silicon Valley Technology Achievement Transfer section was a major highlight of this exhibition, attracting a large number of visitors. Among them, the "China International Summit on Scientific and Technological Innovation and Financial Services", which was organized by the ACL China, the technology transfer part of the agreement amounts to investment around11.09 billion yuan (1.65 billion USD).

This conference benefited both universities around the world as well as industries. The next ACL event will be held in Beijing on November 18 sponsored by Ministry of Education and Ministry of Commerce to explore collaboration opportunities between universities and top 100 Chinese businesses.

Check out their photos!

SEMESP, Brazil
In September, Neal Abraham (Five Colleges, Inc.) and Claire Ramsbottom (Colleges of the Fenway) had the opportunity to travel to Brazil to meet with leaders of the new Cooperation Networks developing under the leadership of Semesp. The Networks are an effort to build collaborations among private higher education institutions in the Sao Paulo region of Brazil. Neal and Claire, addressing “The Challenge of Sustaining Collaborations” joined higher education leaders from Brazil, Denmark, Finland and Chile in presenting at the National Forum on Higher Education hosted by SEMESP. Three weeks later Fábio Reis, Director of Innovation and Cooperation Networks at Semesp and Professor at Unisal and João Otávio B. Junqueira, Director of Institutional Relations at Semesp and Rector of Unifeob traveled to the US to join us for the ACL Conference in Albany and wrote about their experience with key recommendations for the Semesp Cooperation Networks.


One of the highlights of the fall conference was the Poster Session. All of the organizations present had the opportunity to share a poster about their organization. It was a great time to learn about the unique and interesting initiatives that being managed as collaborative endeavors in higher education. Do you have an interesting new program, event or joint venture? I am sure there are others who would be interested in learning about what you are doing. Take a moment to send a note and we can highlight your work in an update, at a future conference, or perhaps on the website. We can always learn from each other!

If you know of others who would benefit from learning about ACL, please let me know.





Claire Ramsbottom


Association for Collaborative Leadership

Executive Director, Colleges of the Fenway

more Calendar

6/16/2019 » 6/19/2019
ACL 2019 Summer Institute

10/16/2019 » 10/18/2019
ACL Annual Conference 2019

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