Association for Collaborative Leadership

The resource for collaboration in higher education.

President's Update - January 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020 1:07 PM | Deleted user

              ACL President's Update              

January 2020

Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe that it’s 2020 – especially when I can so clearly remember all the hoopla that swirled around Y2K as we entered the year 2000. It’s this time of year when I so appreciate the rhythm of higher education and the quiet reflective time that the first few days of the new year offer. 

Those of you who attended the ACL Annual Conference know that the ACL Board has been reflecting on the vision and goals for our organization with a clear focus on how to best serve our members. We appreciate the feedback we heard and welcome input at any point. We enter the new year committed to continuing our focus on: Expanding Our Professional Community; Building our Members Capacity for Collaborative Work; and Creating a Stronger Voice for Collaboration in Higher Education. 

Is there a person or organization you know who would benefit from the colleagueship and professional development opportunities that ACL offers? Send us a note and we will reach out to them – or better yet, invite them to participate in a webinar or join the email discussion list.

Are you looking to build your own network? Join one the ACL committees. I have learned so much from listening to what others are doing within their organizations both in terms of specific programs and approaches to working across member institutions. And I can honestly say that the leadership of our members finds value in the information we share about what other higher education consortia are doing.

And just in case you were wondering, 2020 is the Year of the Mouse or Rat - according to “it ranks first on the Chinese zodiac signs. It has characteristics of an animal with spirit, wit, alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality;" all good things for collaborators!

Best Regards,

Claire Ramsbottom

Executive Director, Colleges of the Fenway

President, Association for Collaborative Leadership

2019 ACL Annual Conference in Photos



Here's what our 2019 ACL Annual Conference attendees had to say about their experience:

"The opening collaborative exercise was a great way to get to know people, the other consortia, and see what the field in general is grappling with."

"Provocative. Got me to think outside my usual ruts.”

"This was one of the best professional development and networking opportunities I've attended." 

"Loved the setting, and really appreciate all the extra work the staff needed to do to make it work.”

2020 ACL Professional Development/Webinar Update

The Virtual Professional Development is at work on the Spring schedule of webinars and other virtual professional development opportunities. We have several topics currently under development and will have a list ready to announce by mid-January.
We want to remind all ACL members of the recorded 2019 webinars, available on the ACL VPD Archive website, which can be accessed by logging in, selecting “Members Only” and accessing the Archive). If you missed a webinar, semester breaks are a great time to catch up on these highly rated conversations, including:

  • Leading an Equity-minded Consortium
  • Surviving Presidential Turnover: President-Proofing Your Consortium
  • Managing Change to Sustain Collaboration

Welcome to our Newest ACL Members!

The Annapolis Group of Liberal Arts Colleges, Inc.

Independent College Enterprise

The Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) 

ACL Member Spotlight: 

Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE)

Dr. Paul Hennigan, President, Point Park University, Dr. Chris Howard, President, Robert Morris University, Ken Gormley, President, Duquesne University, Dr. Candace Introcaso, President, La Roche University, Dr. Quintin Bullock, President, Community College of Allegheny County, Mrs. Colleen Hennigan, Karina Chavez, Executive Director, PCHE.

The Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE) is a voluntary, multi-purpose consortium of the ten accredited colleges and universities in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1966, the membership includes Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Community College of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, La Roche University, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Point Park University, Robert Morris University, and the University of Pittsburgh. The main purposes of PCHE is to share resources, insights and information among participating member institutions, engage in joint or cooperative activities and projects, and to offer a common voice on matters that affect all member institutions. PCHE’s latest Economic Impact Report reflecting 2017 highlighted the $9.05 overall regional economic impact and the 61,000+ jobs supported in the City of Pittsburgh. During the academic year of 2016 – 2017, PCHE schools awarded 22,401 degrees, driving innovation, sector growth and the revitalization efforts of Pittsburgh.

PCHE’s highlighted activities, programs and initiatives include:

  • A collaborative focus on all Title IX areas including regional training for investigators, first responders, Green Dot Bystander Intervention facilitators, joint response teams and a coordinated policy and process effort with the District Attorney’s Office, City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and our community survivor advocacy services.
  • An annual Faculty Development Symposium aimed at engaging, professionally developing and supporting all faculty via innovative and participatory workshops and networking. This event is in its third year, attracting over 250 faculty to last year’s event.
  • An annual Collegiate Basic Needs Dialogue event, focusing on housing and food insecurity needs, best practices and initiatives. Eden Hall Foundation funded a PCHE study focusing on students who are or who are at risk of homelessness.
  • A robust cross-registration program, allowing students from any PCHE school to enroll in one class per semester as approved by their advisor. The PCHE student pays the tuition of the home campus regardless of the tuition rate. This is particularly helpful for our community college students who are preparing to transfer into four year programs.
  • Establishing a Pittsburgh Fulbright Scholar Chapter for scholars and friends of scholars.
  • Launching a University Talent Alliance initiative, focusing on the intentional recruitment, training and hiring of local underrepresented candidates.

Get Involved in ACL!

The ACL Board continues to work to improve the organization.  We would love to have you involved in helping to strengthen the value we bring to our members! Shoot us an email at and we'll help you get connected. 

ACL Members-Only Portal

Members, make sure you login and check out the members-only portal for exclusive access to the Online Webinar Learning Archive! This portal contains helpful resources for those who work in consortia, including guides, salary surveys, event highlights, and more. 

And, please take the time to fill out the directory information about the programs and initiatives in which your organization is engaged.  We are working on a searchable directory so members can find others who are working in similar areas!

Has your membership lapsed? No problem! Login to your account to renew.

The ACL Board of Directors

Claire Ramsbottom, ACL President, Colleges of the Fenway
Beth Moy, ACL Vice President, Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium of Higher Education
Cristin Toutsi Grigos, ACL Secretary, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
Diane Dimitroff, Treasurer, Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges
Kiernan Mathews, Professional Development Committee Chair, The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education 
Amy Doonan Cronin, New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium
Larry Dotolo, Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education   
Stig Lanesskog, Claremont University Consortium
Martha Malinski, Association of Colleges of the Sisters of St. Joseph
Keith Marshall, Big Ten Academic Alliance

Michael McDonald, Great Lakes Colleges Association

Sarah Pfatteicher, Five College Consortium

Sarah Stone, Five Colleges of Ohio
Jeanine Went, Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts

Cole Woodcox, Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges

Association for Collaborative Leadership is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

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