Featured Presentations

Plenary Speakers

April 22, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Access to Success in America: Critical Roles for Higher Education

Kati Haycock

Kati Haycock is the President of The Education Trust. Established in 1996, the Trust works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-kindergarten through college. The organization’s goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign too many low-income students and students of color to lives on the margins of the American mainstream. Before coming to The Education Trust, Haycock served as Executive Vice President of the Children's Defense Fund, the nation's largest child advocacy organization.  A native Californian, Haycock founded and served as President of The Achievement Council, a statewide organization that provided assistance to teachers and principals in predominantly minority schools in improving student achievement. She also served as Director of Outreach and Student Affirmative Action programs for the nine-campus University of California system. Kati Haycock has received numerous awards for her service in behalf of our nation’s youth, and serves as a director on several education-related boards, including the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, The New Teacher Project, and the Hunt Institute.


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April 23, 9:15 am – 10:15 am

Ready Students? Or Student-Ready? A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success

Tia Brown McNair

Dr. Tia Brown McNair is the Senior Director for Student Success in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at AAC&U. She collaborates with all AAC&U program offices and takes a leading role in advancing AAC&U projects and meetings on student success and making excellence inclusive. She is a co-PI on a newly funded LEAP Project “Advancing Underserved Student Success Through Faculty Intentionality in Problem-Centered Learning.” McNair also directs AAC&U’s “Developing a Community College Student Roadmap Project” and is a co-author of Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices. McNair chairs AAC&U’s Equity Working Group, part of the General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs) project that represents a large-scale, systematic effort to provide design principles for 21st-century learning and long-term student success.  She is a co-PI on a collaborative project with Excelencia in Education to advance Latino student success through the implementation and scaling of high-impact practices to improve student learning.  Prior to joining AAC&U, McNair served as the Assistant Director of the National College Access Network (NCAN) in Washington, DC.

CLICK HERE to post your questions on Backchan.nl for Tia Brown McNair

April 24, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Changing Ecology Of Postsecondary Education; Implications For Policymakers

Michael Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University. He has been on the Stanford faculty since 1969. In 2011, Kirst became the President of the California State Board Of Education for the second time. Professor Kirst was a member of the California State Board of Education (1975/1982) and its president from 1977 to 1981. Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published in 2004, and Political Dynamics Of American Education in 2009. His newest book, Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education with Mitchell Stevens, was published in January 2015.

CLICK HERE to post your questions on Backchan.nl for Michael Kirst


Film Festival

April 23, 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

First Generation

Directed by Adam and Jaye Fenderson and narrated by Blair Underwood, First Generation follows the journeys of four California high school students - an inner city athlete, a small town waitress, a Samoan warrior dancer, and the daughter of migrant field workers - who set out to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to their families and communities by pursuing a college education. Shot over the course of three years, this film explores the problem of college access faced by first generation and low-income students and how their success has major implications for the future of our nation.

Movie-goers will be joined by directors Adam and Jaye Fenderson after the film for a discussion about the implications of the film’s key ideas on higher education.

CLICK HERE to post your questions on Backchan.nl about First Generation

April 23, 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Inequality For All

Inequality For All Poster

Featuring Robert Reich (Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration) and directed by Jacob Kornbluth, the documentary Inequality for All explores the challenges of widening income inequality in the United States. Reich explores the effects that the increasing gap in income equality has had on the U.S. economy and also on American democracy. The film explores this fundamental question: What is a good society and what role does the widening income gap play in the deterioration of the nation's economic health?

CLICK HERE to post your questions on Backchan.nl about Inequality For All

April 23, 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Ivory Tower

Ivory TowerDirected by Andrew Rossi and featuring Andrew Delbanco (Director of American Studies at Columbia University), Ivory Tower explores two key questions: Is college worth the cost? And what price will society pay if higher education cannot revolutionize college as we know it and evolve a sustainable economic model?  Profiling Arizona State, Cooper Union, and San Jose State —among several others—Ivory Tower discusses how colleges in the United States have come to embrace a business model that often promotes expansion over quality learning. But along the way, the film also identifies unique programs, from Stanford, to Deep Springs, to Spelman, where the potential for life-changing college experiences endure.

Movie-goers will be joined by Andrew Rossi after the film for a discussion about the implications of the film’s key ideas on higher education.

CLICK HERE to post your questions on Backchan.nl about Ivory Tower