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President's Message Spring 2017
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                                                                                                                                                  April 2017

Dear Colleagues,


Spring has come to Boston and commencements are just around the corner, marking the close of another academic cycle.  We were excited to see that several of our members received recognition in the Chronicle of Higher Education; if you haven’t read the articles you can find links on the ACL home page. 


At the ACL Board meeting in Chicago in March we focused on ways to solidify the operational management of the organization.  As part of that process we are creating a Finance/Membership Committee, to focus on revenue and membership recruitment, chaired by Neal Abraham of Five Colleges Consortium and current treasurer of ACL,  and formalizing the role and function of the New Members Support Committee, chaired by Irene Burgess of PCLA.   In addition, Kiernan Matthews from COACHE was appointed Professional Development Chair, replacing Beth Moy from SEPCHE who was voted to the position of Secretary on the Executive Committee. If you have interested in being involved with any of these committees please let me know via the ACL email at or directly at


By now you have heard from the ACL Virtual Professional Development Committee about the programs planned for 2017.  The series of webinars was developed in response to the feedback received from the recent member survey.  I hope you will participate in these discussions that are always enriched by the broad perspectives each of you bring.





From Satisfaction to Impact: Trying on an Assessment Framework

Are you new to measuring the impact of your consortium’s efforts? Or have you been looking for a new way to organize and understand the difference you are—or hope you are—making?

The ACL Virtual Professional Development Committee invites you to join a new conversation:

Thursday, April 27

12:00 p.m. Eastern / 9:00 a.m. Pacific

Cost: Free for ACL Members / $25 for non-members

Format: WebEx

Register Here:

To kick off this year’s “Measuring Impact” series, Kiernan Mathews (COACHE) and Irene Burgess (PCLA) will lead this rather informal "show and tell" session about applying assessment frameworks to measure the success of consortial activities. Kiernan will introduce the four-level Kirkpatrick model and ask the audience to consider where it works and where it falls short for measuring consortium impact. Irene will apply this framework to an upcoming PCLA Department Chair Training Workshop through discussion with Kiernan.


Once you register, you will receive information (including a handout) and a login link for the webinar. (That link again:


Thanks to the Virtual Professional Development Committee for their work on this and other upcoming events! If you'd like to join the committee, let me know via e-mail.

·      Diane R. Dimitroff, Committee Chair, Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC)

·      Irene Burgess, Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA)

·      Kiernan Mathews, The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE)

·      Victoria A. McGillin, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

·      Beth Moy, Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE)

·      Tim Newcomb, Big Ten Academic Alliance

·      Jeff Oberg, Big Ten Academic Alliance


For additional events, visit:



2017 Summer Institute for Consortium and Collaboration Leaders

June 25-28, 2017, Claremont, California

A few spaces remain – registrations accepted through May 12, 2017.


Claremont University Consortium will host ACL’s 2017 Summer Institute from June 25 -28, 2017 in beautiful Claremont, California.  The Institute is now in its seventh year. We have a few remaining spaces should you want to attend or send someone from your organization. For questions, email:


Going forward we will move to an every other year format for the institute; we will next hold the summer institute in 2019, so should you want to attend or send someone, now is the time!


    ACL member fee $2250 (includes 3 hotel nights)
    ACL non-member fee $2650 (includes 3 hotel nights)



Through the generosity of a grant from the Teagle Foundation, ACL awarded six scholarships for this summer’s ACL Institute.  Organizations receiving scholarships include:

·      Adventist Education Alliance

·      Boston Civic Media

·      Northern California HERC

·      University Innovation Alliance

·      University of Maine Fort Kent and University of Maine Presque Isle Collaboration Initiative


2017 Annual Conference Planning Underway

Mark your calendars!

October 18-20, 2017, Albany, New York, Desmond Hotel and Conference Center

The ACL Annual Conference this year is hosted by NELLCO, New York 6 (NY6) and the Western New York Consortium of Higher Education (WNY). Registration will open on May 15, 2017. Look for a preconference workshop on grant writing on October 18.


Planning Committee members include:

Theresa McCue, NELLCO
Tracy Thompson, NELLCO

Amy Cronin, New York 6

Nell Bartkowiak, New York 6

Steve Harvey, Western New Your Consortium for Higher Education

Cristin Toutsi Grigos, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (2018 host)

Neal Abraham, Five Colleges Consortium (2016 host)

Dana Yurgosky, Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges

Robert Diggs, Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts

Beth Moy, Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium of Higher Education
Leslie Mason, Virginia Tidewater Consortium (2018 host)

Larry Dotolo, Virginia Tidewater Consortium (2018 host)


ACL Celebrates 50th Anniversary in 2018


Looking ahead – ACL will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018.  Plans are already underway for the Fall Conference and Anniversary Celebration to be held in Norfolk, Virginia, hosted by the Virginia Tidewater Consortium.   Stay tuned for more information.  If you would like to work on the 2018 conference planning committee, please let us know.




It is board nomination season again. This year, due to a number of retirements and job changes, we are looking to fill several seats on the board. Typically, new board members serve a one-year initial term and then are eligible for three-year renewable terms. The official call for nominations will go out on May 1, with nominations due May 19. Anyone whose organization is a member in good standing may nominate themselves or someone from their organization to serve, though Board members are typically the senior officers from the orgranization. See the list of current members here, and if you have any questions, e-mail


The board election will take place from June 5 until June 16; the designated voting member of the ACL member organization will be sent the link to the ballot. Typically, this is the executive director.


New board members will begin their new term at the autumn board meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, October 17 – Wednesday, October 18, preceding the Annual Conference in Albany, New York.  The date of the winter/spring board meeting is determined at that time. 



 The ACL Salary Survey should be available in May. Stay tuned!




This summer we will be seeing many changes in some of the key leaders of our member consortia. I want to personally recognize several ACL board members who are moving in new directions personally and professionally.  They have contributed significant amounts of time to ACL as an organization and been equally generous with sharing their expertise and experience with colleagues. It seems appropriate to take a few lines to let you know their next moves and offer my deepest thanks for their collegiality and support of ACL.


·      Barbara Allen, Executive Director of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, is retiring after 23 years with the BTAA, and 17 years at the helm. She will be moving from Illinois to Iowa this summer.

·      Tom Horgan, Executive Director of the New Hampshire College and University Council, is retiring after leading that organization since 1993,  though he is staying in New Hampshire for the foreseeable future and will spend some time orienting the new director.

·      Chris Welna, Executive Director of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, is retiring after 11 years in the role.

·      Tracy Thompson, Executive Director of NELLCO since 2002, is moving from New York to New Orleans where she will assume the role of Executive Director of the Louisiana Judicial College.

·      Phil DiChiara, Managing Director of The Boston Consortium since 1998, is stepping down after 19 years and will be writing about collaboration.





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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