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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 Undocumented Students

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

This session will animate the challenges and opportunities of serving undocumented students on campus, casting a close eye on the principle and practice of sacred hospitality that is essential in creating welcoming, supportive, and safe spaces for undocumented students at Catholic colleges and universities. Attendees will hear information on how students can feel more connected and learn about best practices being used by Catholic 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 various Catholic organizations. Presenters will discuss ways to access high-quality legal support services, including Catholic legal immigration programs and non-Catholic agencies that serve the undocumented 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. 

Alliances, Collaborations, Mergers and Socially Responsible Investing

Please note this event is taking place at the Hyatt Place DC/Georgetown a few doors down from the Ritz Carlton. 

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Register now to attend this conference for presidents and chief financial officers on Saturday, February 3, 2018, just before the start of the 2018 ACCU Annual Meeting.  At this inaugural session, presidents and chief financial officers will gather to explore topics related to partnerships and collaborations. From consortia and academic alliances to institutional mergers, this gathering will cover an array of partnerships that help Catholic higher education thrive. Providing an intimate opportunity for presidents and 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 and explore new partnership possibilities.


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 units 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 unit)
    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 unit)
    Join two legal experts in Canon law and U.S. religious liberty issues as we walk you through the "need to know" legal implications for Catholic college and university settings. 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- to senior-level administrators and faculty who seek to learn more about how to navigate legal challenges encountered in Catholic higher education today. 
    3. Applying Servant Leadership Principles to Senior Leadership Demands (executive-level unit)

    As a member of the senior cabinet, you face many contemporary challenges. Navigating immigration law, handling external speakers on campus, and balancing Catholic mission with enrollment realities are just a few of the tightropes to walk. This session will explore contemporary challenges and offer attendees practical solutions based on servant leadership principles. This unit will also explore Pope Francis's manifestation of servant leadership as leading by example and factoring in everyday challenges while reaching out to those on the margins.

    Who should attend?  Any senior executive, especially vice presidents and those seriously considering a senior cabinet position or presidency in the next 5 years. Presidents are encouraged to attend to strengthen their servant leadership skills but also to help mentor the next generation of leaders by sharing practical examples they have encountered.