Presidents’ Council

At a 1999 White House Conference, 21 college presidents founded Imagining America and created its Presidents’ Council as a brain trust on increasing the value of publicly engaged scholarship that draws on arts, design, and humanities. Today, the Council is comprised of presidents of IA’s 100-member consortium of colleges and universities, as well as former presidents, leading scholars and artists, and directors of peer organizations and foundations.

Council Co-Chairs:

  • Nancy Cantor (President, Rutgers University–Newark)
  • Brian Murphy (President, De Anza College and Co-Founder, the Democracy Commitment)

Forum Planning Team:

  • Peter Englot (Senior Vice Chancellor, Rutgers University–Newark)
  • Richard Guarasci (President, Wagner College)
  • Don Harward (Director, Bringing Theory to Practice, President Emeritus, Bates College, and Senior Scholar, AAC&U)
  • Freeman Hrabowski, (President, UMBC)
  • Devorah Lieberman (President, University of La Verne)
  • Patrice McDermott (Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, UMBC)
  • Mark Mone (President, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee)
  • Earl Potter (President, St. Cloud University)
  • Judith Ramaley (President Emerita, Winona State University, Distinguished Professor of Public Service, Portland State University)
  • Rob Smith (Associate Vice Chancellor, Global Inclusion and Engagement, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee)
  • Bob Weisbuch (Former President, Drew University).

 


The Council’s annual Forum, which typically takes place in conjunction with IA’s National Conference, and the Council’s intervening virtual exchanges provide opportunities for higher education leaders to engage in critical discourse about their individual efforts and to devise collective strategies.

In difficult economic times, with so many fundamental issues of equity and justice looming, when our political system seems unequal to the gravity and scale of the challenges we face, how can we take public scholarship to the next level?

Hosted by UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, the 2015 Forum centered around the questions: Considering media coverage’s narrow scope, how can the arts, humanities, and design provide a more realistic and nuanced portrayal of our communities and current issues? In difficult economic times, with so many fundamental issues of equity and justice looming, when our political system seems unequal to the gravity and scale of the challenges we face, how can we take public scholarship to the next level? What “theories of change” do higher education leaders draw upon for creating the conditions on their campuses – the culture – for public scholarship to flourish?

2015 Presidents’ Forum Report

In a recent article in Diversity & Democracy, Robert Weisbuch showcased the Council’s focus on those questions and other critical issues, including the importance of partnerships across the public and private sectors in supporting publicly engaged scholarship.

Contact IA Assistant Director Jamie Haft for more information.