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2018 Annual Meeting Pre-conference Events

In addition to the Annual Meeting, ACCU is pleased to offer a number of pre-conference events on Friday, February 2, and Saturday, February 3. Pre-conference events provide distinct audiences within our membership with additional programming options targeted at specific issues.


Friday, February 2, 2018:

Aspiring Presidents

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Hear from experienced Catholic higher education presidents, leadership experts, and search consultants on how best to prepare for a presidency at a Catholic college or university. Whether you aspire to be a president or are still discerning, you will leave this session empowered and inspired to continue your career path toward a Catholic college or university presidency.   


In contrast to programs focused on the practicalities of becoming a university president, this seminar will strengthen your knowledge and provide tools specifically focused on Catholic mission and identity.  The program will combine larger questions of discernment and fit with a focus on the practical steps of the search process, from resume review to interview questions.


Creating Welcoming and Safe Spaces for Immigrants

10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Join us as we discuss how to create welcoming and safe spaces for immigrants at Catholic colleges and universities, provide information on how students can feel more connected, and share best practices being used by our campuses. Joining Catholic higher education specialists in this area will be staff members from CLINIC, an organization created in 1988 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to serve the legal immigration needs of the USCCB, religious orders and communities, dioceses, and Catholic Charities organizations. At this critical session, presenters will discuss ways to access quality legal support services, including Catholic legal immigration programs and non-Catholic agencies that serve the immigrant community.


Saturday, February 3: ACCU encourages mission officers, senior student affairs officers, chief academic officers, and chief financial officers to attend one of the pre-conference sessions designed especially for them on Saturday, February 3. Each meeting ends at 1:00 p.m., enabling anyone who is interested to join the new Leaders in Catholic Higher Education program, which begins at 1:30 p.m., and is open to all members of the ACCU community.

Mission Officers Conference

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
Now in its seventh year, the Mission Officers Conference will focus on understanding a college or university’s Catholicity and discovering new ways to hold in creative tension the different approaches to a Catholic worldview. Following the Annual Meeting theme, the gathering will explore ways in which the landscape of Catholic higher education is changing and how mission officers can navigate those changes effectively.

Chief Academic Officers Conference

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
This fourth annual conference will explore the theme "Challenges and Opportunities for Chief Academic Officers: Leading Change through Mission." Sessions will address inclusion and social justice in Catholic higher education, undergraduate student spirituality, and the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. And, as in years past, new CAOs will gather for breakfast and a special session at which they will discuss the distinctive concerns that academic leaders face at Catholic institutions.  For more information please visit the Chief Academic Officers page

Senior Student Affairs Officers Conference

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Senior leaders in student affairs are on the front lines of the transformed landscape of Catholic higher education. At this session, attendees will hear from distinguished speakers who will discuss current issues of inclusion, dialogue, and tensions on Catholic campuses, with opportunities for both group discussion and new learning. Be sure to reserve your seat for this focused conversation, designed to help senior student affairs officers explore pressing issues and develop tangible new skills.  For more information, please visit the Senior Student Affairs Officers page. 

Chief Financial Officers Conference

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
At this inaugural session, chief financial officers will gather to explore topics central to their position and its distinctive nature at a Catholic college or university. Among the topics: socially responsible investing, various models of partnerships and collaborations, and much more! Providing an opportunity for CFOs in Catholic higher education to network with one another, this meeting will balance large group discussions with small breakouts and time to talk one-on-one with colleagues.

Leaders in Catholic Higher Education

1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
This new ACCU program seeks to assist developing leaders as they learn about the Catholic higher education tradition and grow in the personal and spiritual dimensions necessary as a senior leader of a Catholic institution. Three learning modules will be offered.  Participants will have the opportunity to select their preference in advance of the sessions. 

    1. Engaging the World through a Time-Tested Framework:  Exploring the Catholic Intellectual Tradition  (Entry Level Module)
    Learn about our universal learning tradition and begin to see the practical implications for scholarship and administration on a Catholic campus.  How does our shared epistemology inform all we do on campus as we strive to provide educational offerings that honor “Catholic” in its root definitions as both “universal” and “integrative?” This session will present 9 key principles that articulate the richness of our Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
     Who should attend? Administrators, faculty, and staff who seek to understand the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and to apply the tradition to their work in a Catholic college or university setting. 
    2. Navigating Catholic Campus Realities around Canon Law and Religious Liberty (Mid-to-Senior Level Module)
    Join two legal experts in Canon law and United States religious liberty issues as we walk you through the "need to know" legal implications when working in a Catholic college or university setting.  Understand how a Catholic  institution relates to the local and larger Church, as well as to state and federal governing entities.  
     Who should attend?  Mid-senior level administrators and faculty who seek to learn more about how to navigate legal challenges when working in Catholic higher education today. 
    3. Applying Pope Francis's Principles to Senior Leadership Demands   (Executive Level Module)
    As presidents and senior executives, you face myriad challenges of the day.  Navigating immigration law, handling external speakers on campus, and balancing Catholic mission with enrollment realities are just a few of the "tightropes we walk". This session will explore contemporary challenges and offer attendees practical solutions based on Pope Francis's principles such as mercy, engagement, humility, and leading by example. 
    Who should attend? Current presidents, as well as vice presidents who are seriously considering a presidency in the next 3-5 years