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LVAIC Hosts Higher Education Consortia for Annual Meeting

October 25, 2019, @ 10:07 AM
The LVAIC staff gathers at the completion of the ACL Annual Conference, October 16-18, 2019 at Moravian College with ACL Board Member Elizabeth Moy, SEPCHE, and Carol Traupman-Carr, Moravian College.
The LVAIC staff gathers at the completion of the ACL Annual Conference, October 16-18, 2019 at Moravian College with ACL Board Member Elizabeth Moy, SEPCHE, and Carol Traupman-Carr, Moravian College.

The Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) is a member of the Association for Collaborative Leadership (ACL), which is an educational, research and professional organization dedicated to developing leadership capabilities and advancing higher education collaboration. ACL held its 2019 annual conference on October 16-18 at Moravian College, hosted by LVAIC. The theme of this year’s conference was Communication, Collaboration, and Community: Looking Toward the Future. Nearly 80 higher education professionals gathered in Bethlehem, PA for this 3-day conference.

The conference schedule itself included speakers from diverse consortia and member colleges and universities addressing a full range of collaborative efforts.  Starting with a pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, October 16 around change management offered by Matt Trainum of Credo, participants learned about and engaged with the surviving, thriving, and diving model for higher education institutions. This session was immediately proceeded by a Collaboration Showcase Reception offered at Moravian College’s Foy Hall and Payne Art Gallery. This showcase offered attendees the opportunity to view posters created by the different consortia, organizations, and committees across ACL while enjoying a networking reception.

After a welcome on behalf of Moravian College’s President Bryon Grigsby on Thursday, October 17, participants engaged in a Collaboration Hot Topics workshop. This plenary session offered attendees the chance to meet, network, brainstorm, and share current best practices around a number of challenges within the higher education community. From there, the conference moved into concurrent sessions on a number of higher education collaborative topics including:

  • Consortia of Opportunity and Communities of Practice: Building Time-Limited Collaborations for Change
  • Better Together: Taking the Shock Out of Health Care Costs
  • A Win-Win: Leveraging the Strengths of Two Consortia
  • Communicating the Value of Higher Education Collaboration to the Community
  • The Business of Collaboration
  • Lessons Learned from Collaborations That Have Reached the End of Their Lifecycle
  • Creating and Sustaining Shared Academic Programs
  • Managing Cyber Risk
  • Communities of Practice as Value-Added: An Option for Fostering Communication, Collaboration, and Community
  • Tactics and Strategies for Scaling and Sustaining Initiatives

Throughout these sessions, members of the LVAIC staff and of the LVAIC community offered their own expertise and presented on a number of topics. These individuals included:

  • Charlene Bergstresser, LVAIC Program Director
  • Diane Dimitroff, LVAIC Executive Director
  • Tom Dowd, Executive Director of Career Development, Muhlenberg College
  • Kathy Harring, President, Muhlenberg College
  • Jennifer Jensen, Deputy Provost, Lehigh University
  • John Meier, Provost, Lafayette College
  • Leah Naso, Title IX Coordinator, Moravian College
  • Katy Thomas, LVAIC Strategic Partnership Director
  • Carol Traupman-Carr, Vice Provost, Moravian College
  • Daniel Wisniewski, Provost, DeSales University
  • Dana Yurgosky, LVAIC Marketing and Communications Manager

The conference concluded on Friday, October 18 with a presentation offered by the leadership of LVAIC’s consortium on behalf of the Chief Academic Officers of 4 member campuses. This panel discussion focused on collaborating without competing when higher education institutions face a shrinking target audience and heightened stakes. Immediately following this presentation, leadership of ACL offered an overview of the strategy map and strategic plan for the association. This presentation paired with a showcase of ACL’s summer institute wherein graduates of the program presented their capstone projects to the attendees. The end of this session offered a chance for committees across the association to gather, network, and recruit new members. Committees complete all the work of the consortium while allowing higher education consortia members to practice collaborating with their own peers.

Next year’s conference will be hosted by the Big Ten Academic Alliance in Chicago, IL from November 4-6, 2020. More information is available on the ACL website here.

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