2022 marks the 20th anniversary of AASCU’s landmark report, Stepping Forward as Stewards of Place. This report has been a touchstone for many AASCU members as they articulate their institution’s mission and set strategic priorities. ARRC is partnering with AASCU to update this strategic document in light of contemporary challenges and opportunities to help tell the story of AASCU institutions for the benefit of campus leaders, policymakers, and the general public. The project will result in three new reports, including applications for practice and policy.
2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' landmark report Stepping Forward as Stewards of Place (SOP). This report has been a touchstone for many AASCU members as they articulate their institution’s mission and set strategic priorities. AASCU staff and members revisited SOP in 2014 and 2015. However, a significant refresh of the original report has not been undertaken.
In light of the new era of challenges and opportunities higher education faces including (but not limited to) the imperative to promote racial and economic justice, the realities created by climate change, demographic shifts, spatial inequities experienced by rural and urban communities, the rise of mental health issues for undergraduate students, and the need to effectively manage and promote minority serving institutions (MSIs), a SOP 2.0 is needed to maintain the relevancy and utility of this strategic document for AASCU institutions, AASCU leadership, policymakers, and the general public.
The project is a collaboration with AASCU stakeholders, including senior leadership and the SOP task force, and ARRC directors to use an evidence-based approach to updating this important report. Specifically, this project will result in a written documents that will develop a comprehensive understanding of what it means to be a SOP today and in the decades to come among practitioners and leaders within AASCU institutions, researchers who study regional public universities and MSIs, and federal/state policymakers. Additionally, the project will be retrospective and will celebrate and highlight the ways in which SOP has been used by AASCU institutions over the past 20 years.