Higher Ed’s Higher Purpose:
Serving the Public Good

The 2016 WSCUC Academic Resource Conference (April 6-8, 2016) focuses on highlighting higher education’s contributions to the public good so that we can better understand all that “serving the public good” entails. How do institutions address broad societal needs while also promoting individual student success? Join us at the western region’s pre-eminent meeting for collectively exploring these kinds of critical questions, sharing our practices, and planning for the future of our students, our institutions, and society as a whole.

2016 ARC Call for Proposals

Submission Deadline: Thursday October 15, 2015

There exists a widespread understanding that higher education in the United States represents both a private benefit and a public good. Increasingly, as the value of higher education has come under intense scrutiny, there is heightened interest in higher ed’s contributions to society. The 2016 WASC Senior College & University Commissions’ Academic Resource Conference (the ARC) calls upon WSCUC’s institutions to share, highlight, and reflect on their contributions to the public good – to make them visible, to reveal their social impact, and to appraise the effect higher education has on society as a whole through various kinds of academic programs, student experiences, scholarship and research, and community support and development. Join us for this important conversation about the value of higher education to society.

The 2016 ARC will explore such urgent questions as:

  • What are the different ways institutions contribute to the public good?
  • How is the public good served by the diversity of institutional types and missions?
  • How have the roles of and expectations for higher education on the part of the public changed in the past several years? What are the implications of such changes on our institutions?
  • How can the value of higher education above and beyond its private benefits be assessed and communicated to an increasingly concerned public?
  • What opportunities or challenges does the changing ecology of higher education present to higher education’s contributions to the public good and to the development of a democratic society?

WSCUC invites you, as a member of the higher education community, to contribute to the program of the 2016 ARC. Share the variety of ways that your institution is serving the public good. Present about how you are improving student learning, raising retention and completion rates, supporting new populations of students, and lowering costs. Inform others about your findings, showcase your approaches and solutions, and tell your stories. Highlight the ways in which your institution is communicating about your contributions to the public good, and discuss the various ways that WASC Senior College and University Commission can support institutional efforts. Help us all to better understand all that “serving the public good” entails.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday October 15, 2015.

Presenters will be responsible for registering in advance for the conference, paying the conference registration fee, and covering their own travel and lodging expenses.

Our gratitude to student Hugo Salvadore and The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising for designing this year's ARC graphic.