2016 AAC&U Annual Meeting: BTtoP Sessions

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 2:15pm to Friday, January 22, 2016 - 11:45am

Thank you to all those that participated in our sessions at the AAC&U Annual Meeting—we always enjoy learning from our colleagues at these events and getting the chance to interact face-to-face. We look forward to seeing you again next year at the 2017 Annual Meeting in San Francisco!

Wednesday, January 20th (AAC&U Symposium)                         

Documenting Well-Being as a Core Outcome of Students’ Engaged Learning and Inquiry-Centered Work

This session highlights national and campus-based research aimed at connecting student well-being, particularly flourishing, as an essential outcome of students’ engaged learning and inquiry. A multi-campus research study will draw connections between students’ experiences, campus climates that support personal and social responsibility, and effects on student flourishing. Additionally, insights and approaches to studying well-being on campus will be provided by leaders on two campuses that have received funding from the national Bringing Theory to Practice project. Session participants will have an opportunity to engage panelists in a dialogue about how to make institutional commitments to whole student development and well-being more central within the curriculum (and co-curriculum), more assessable, and more inclusive of faculty and staff.

Moderator: Ashley Finley (National Evaluator, Bringing Theory to Practice; Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs & Dean of the Dominican Experience, Dominican University of California)

Panelists: Robert Reason (Professor and Associate Director of Research and Administration, Iowa State University), Connie Flanagan (Vaughan Bascom Professor of Women, Family, and Community  and Associate Dean, School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Alisa Stanton ( Health Promotion Specialist, Simon Fraser University), and Lee Knefelkamp (Professor of Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; Senior Scholar, AAC&U)

Resources: Full Session Powerpoint Presentation, including mini-presentations by Robert Reason, Connie Flanagan, and Alisa Stanton


Thursday, January 21st   

Is Well-Being One of the "Greater Purposes" of Liberal Education? Can its Attainment be Confirmed?

Panelists are authors in forthcoming new volume: Well-Being and Higher Education: A Strategy for Change and the Realization of Education’s Greater Purposes.  The session emphasizes the meaning and analysis of well-being—exploring implications from both a social scientific orientation by understanding how to measure happiness (hedonic analysis) to consideration of well-being with a more holistic, humanistic and communitarian (eudaemonic) analysis.

Moderator:  Don Harward (Director, Bringing Theory to Practice; President Emeritus, Bates College)

Panelists:  Carol Ryff (Hilldale Professor, Department of Psychology, and Director, Institute of Aging, University of Wisconsin Madison; author of The Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being) and John Bronsteen (Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago; author of Happiness and the Law)


What Should Be the Greater Purposes of Higher Education in the 21st Century, and What Actions Are Necessary to Achieve those Purposes?

Among the presenters are authors in the forthcoming volume: Well-Being and Higher Education: A Strategy for Change and the Realization of Education’s Greater Purposes. Perspectives regarding the challenge, and the need and strategies for meaningful change, include those from an analogous “culture” to higher education, a leader in higher education policy and support, and an “inside” perspective from a distinguished teacher-scholar.

Moderator: Don Harward (Director, Bringing Theory to Practice; President Emeritus, Bates College)

Panelists: Eric Lister, MD (Hospital Boards and Medical Services and Education Board Consultant, Ki Associates),  Neil Grabois (Chair, Project Pericles;  President Emeritus, Colgate University; former Vice President, Carnegie Corporation of NY), and Judith Shapiro (President Emeritus, Barnard; President, Teagle Foundation)

Resources: Greater Purposes Handout 1, Greater Purposes Handout 2 (with outcomes)


Friday, January 22nd

Academic Courses for the Well-Being of First-Generation, Low-Income, and Minority Students of Color

What are some ways that colleges and universities can engage underserved students in educational programs to contribute to their well-being?  At a time when first-generation, low-income, students of color, and other underserved populations are increasingly enrolling in higher education, some institutions are establishing “student services” such as financial aid or counseling services in an effort support them. While well-meaning, these programs often originate in student affairs offices rather than in academically-based educational initiatives led by faculty members who are—or should be— strategically placed at the heart of their educational experience.  This session will focus on the latter to illuminate how faculty can help to engage their underserved students in flourishing.

Moderator: Barry Checkoway (Professor of Social Work & Urban Planning, University of Michigan; Senior Consultant, Bringing Theory to Practice)

Panelists:  Thia Wolf (First-Year Experience Director and Professor of English Studies, California State University-Chico) and George Sanchez (Vice Dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives and Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity and History, University of Southern California)

Resources: "History in a Box" Video (presentation by George Sanchez)


Faculty Well-Being:  What is it, Can it Survive, and Why Does it Matter?

At a time when the fundamental identity of a faculty member is threatened by institutional practices and public attitudes, we expect more of their time, less of their expertise, and provide scant recognition of those activities that most often brought the faculty person into the academy and sustains our commitment, effort and purpose.  Ironically, just as colleges and universities are beginning to focus on, measure, and understand the role of student well-being and its connection to achieving the central mission of higher education, little attention is being paid to those tasked with advancing these students’ well-being, the very people to whom the students look for role models, mentors and teachers.

Moderator: Jill Reich (Professor of Psychology, Bates College; Project Scholar, Bringing Theory to Practice)

Panelists: Ann E. Austin (Program Director, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation), Barry Schwartz (Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action, Swarthmore College), and Daniel Kleinman (Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology and Associate Dean in the Graduate School, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Resources: Powerpoint presentation by Ann Austin