Mission Possible - Honoring the Past,
Ensuring the Future

With significant changes occurring throughout the higher education landscape, increasing external pressures to ensure student achievement, and various constituencies demanding radical transformations to institutional structures and practices, colleges and universities are finding themselves challenged to hold true to the fundamental values articulated in their missions while enabling their institutions to remain relevant - and sustainable - now and in the future. At the same time, many of these same pressures are challenging, even threatening, the mission of regional accreditation.

The 2017 Academic Resource Conference (ARC) will address these critical issues, and in doing so, calls upon WSCUC’s institutions to highlight and reflect on their missions, and to share approaches for future mission fulfillment, vitality, and alignment through the various kinds of academic programs, student experiences, scholarship and research, and community support and development they provide. This convening will also explore the tensions involved for institutions - and for WSCUC as a regional accreditor - in trying to stay true to mission while simultaneously exploring or engaging in necessary change.

The 2017 ARC will explore such urgent questions as:

  • How are institutions - and accreditors - ensuring their integrity and mission vitality while living with external pressures, such as increasing regulation and accountability; decreasing public perceptions about their relevance, value, and return on investment; and public and private divestments?
  • To what extent are - or aren’t - colleges and universities changing to address current demands and future educational needs of students and society?
  • What is the impact of increasing globalization and internationalization on WSCUC and its institutions? What can we learn from new kinds of strategic partnerships, innovative programs, and international institutions’ approaches to higher education?
  • In what ways does the mission and work of WSCUC and the mission of higher education as a public good align or conflict with institutional missions?
  • What opportunities or challenges does the changing landscape of higher education present to fulfilling the core mission of higher education and its resulting contributions to society?

Our gratitude to Thomas McNulty, Associate Director of the School of Graphic Design, and his student, logo designer Zahra Ilyas, and the Academy of Art University for designing this year’s ARC graphic.