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President's Message Sept. 2015
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Sept. 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

The air turned a little colder here in Boston today, just a reminder that fall is on its way.  A new academic year has started!  (Though with the increasing number of on-line classes and year round programs, I wonder when we will stop using the start of the fall semester to mark how we think of the year.) 

ACL was busy over the summer hosting the fifth ACL Summer Institute, planning for our annual conference in Atlanta November 4 – 6,  hosting and planning webinars and moving the ACL website and management to a new structure and home.    

ACL Annual Conference

Our Annual Conference, Purposeful, Strategic and Inclusive Partnerships is taking place November 4 through 6 in Atlanta. Sherry Turner and her staff at the Atlanta University Consortium are serving as hosts and working with the conference committee to put together a strong program.  Highlights will include a panel discussion with the Atlanta University Consortium Presidents, a session with Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College and Wayne Anderson, President Emeritus of the Associated Colleges of the South about the Role of Consortia in the Future of Higher Education,  and conversation with with Belle Wheelan, President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges on Accreditation and Collaboration.  There are also many opportunities to learn from colleagues across ACL through “life hacks”, professional development sessions, and exchanges.  You can register now, the early bird deadline for members ends tonight (Friday, September 18):

Successful 5th Summer Institute

We were very excited to host the fifth ACL Summer Institute in Boston at the end of June.  With 19 participants from across the country, the program continues to stretch and grow as new groups add their wisdom.  While we spent long days thinking about the work of collaboration and how we facilitate the process of our colleges coming together, we also found time to network over great meals and a Duckboat  tour of Boston.    For the faculty who donate their time to offer the program the learning’s we take away are part of the reward.  The feedback from participants continues to indicate that we should push forward to offer this again next year with an overall “value of institute” rating of 4.58 on a scale of 1-5.

“The Institute, itself, was a great leadership development opportunity and I left with a lot of ideas on how to strengthen my consortium's work.”     “Collaboration is difficult everywhere, not just on my home campus. I also have a new appreciation for the role of trust building and that makes me see my job differently.”  “I walked away knowing that I am, and my work requires me, to be a strategist; not just a leader, but a strategic thinker and leader. I felt like I received a better framework within which to leverage and contextualize my work.”

Planning is underway for ACL Summer Institute 2016 in Chicago, June 26-29.   If you know someone who would benefit from this experience, send along their contact information and we will send them an invitation. 

ACL Management Transition

ACL has moved its central “office” to Albany and is piloting the use of Your Membership as our content management system.   We are working on developing our new website and welcome your feedback about how we can make the site a more useful tool for members.  Please make sure you have taken the time to renew your registration and updated your organizations information on the site:

Partnerships in China

As you know, we have been working for the past two years to help our colleagues in China as they build consortia and explore ways to create partnerships with consortia in the US.   Our next Webinar on Monday, September 21 will offer the opportunity to learn about the DuShu Lake Consortium and provide a model of how one US consortium is partnering with them.   Given the time difference between Shanghai and the US, this webinar is being held in the evening at 8:30 p.m. eastern.  We hope you can join us.  Register now in order to get the WebEx link before the session:

ACL Elections

Thank you to all the member representatives who voted in our board elections.  Sherry Turner from the Atlanta University Consortium and Irene Burgess from Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts were each elected for one-year terms and will join the board at our meeting in Atlanta.   If you are interested in standing for election for the board or serving on one of the ACL committees, just say the word.  We are getting ready to revise the membership committee, will be looking for members for next year’s conference committee and welcome new members for the webinar committee. Committees will have an opportunity to meet face to face during the November conference.


As always I love the inquiries that come across the listserve and so appreciate the feedback I have received when I post a question.  It’s an invaluable tool and does help avoid reinventing the wheel.  All members are added the listserve as they register and all staff of member organizations can participate.

I look forward to seeing everyone in Atlanta.  

Claire Ramsbottom

President, ACL 

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