In response to the recent news that the departments of Justice and Education have retracted Obama-era Affirmative Action guidelines, our colleagues at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) as well as many other campus leaders have spoken out.

The Bringing Theory to Practice project (BTtoP) asserts that the mission and purpose of higher education goes beyond workplace and career preparation - that learning should be transformational and contextual, and incorporate civic thinking at both the local and global levels; that students should be taught to value the public good, to embrace difference, and become social changemakers; and that educational spaces should be designed for the well-being and personal development of students of all intersectional backgrounds - including adult learners. 

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Over the last year, as a result of a new policy established by top officials in the Trump administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has separated at least hundreds—and possibly thousands—of families at the border with Mexico who are seeking asylum in the United States.

In fall 2017, Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) announced that after fifteen years of service, Donald W. Harward, director and cofounder of the project, would be stepping down in summer 2018. Following a successful search, we are honored to announce that commencing July 1, 2018, David M. Scobey will join BTtoP as the new project director.

Made possible with the support of a BTtoP grant and matched by funding from the University of Michigan, the first of three, "Preparing Professors for New-Majority Students in Higher Educaton," retreats was held on May 19-20, 2016. This and subsequent retreats centered the conversation on underserved students (e.g. low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color) by featuring student voices, including, current University of Michigan junior, Lauren Schandevel, who provided insight as an incoming new-majority student.

This issue of Diversity & Democracy, produced in partnership with Bringing Theory to Practice and funded in part by Bringing Theory to Practice and the Endeavor Foundation, examines how higher education institutions can take an intersectional approach to fostering individual, community, and institutional well-being. 

"Educating students to be responsible, informed, and engaged citizens in their workplaces and the larger community should be an expected goal for every major." 

Tricia Seifert, Associate Professor of Adult and Higher Education at Montana State University, and author in BTtoP's recent volume Well-Being and Higher Education, addresses the drawbacks of a linear approach to student success in her featured interview with The Academic Minute.

Below are the remarks presented by BTtoP Director, Don W. Harward, at AAC&U's Global Engagement and Social Responsibility Conference held October 12-14, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This speech was co-presented by Lynn Pasquerella, the President of AAC&U. For more information on the conference, please see the following link: 

Donald W. Harward, who has served as Bringing Theory to Practice’s only director since cofounding the project in 2002 with Sally Engelhard Pingree, has announced that he will retire from his official position as active director in July 2018. For the last fifteen years, as visionary leader of the project and in his previous work as a college president and philosopher, Harward has advocated for and advanced the greater purposes of higher education: engaged learning, well-being, civic development, and preparation for a meaningful life.