MSCHE 2021 Annual Conference: New Horizons for Higher Education Recap

2021 Annual Conference

Over the course of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s MSCHE 2021 Annual Conference: New Horizons for Higher Education from December 14-15, 2021, more than 1,200 registrants helped to celebrate the exceptional work of the higher education community across MSCHE membership. Check out photos from the event in the above photo gallery or view them here.

While the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues to reverberate through higher education, institutions are also on the forefront of simultaneously confronting social justice issues and growing economic uncertainty. This year’s conference program highlighted the many innovative and adaptive ideas, practices, and outcomes from member institutions that address the many critical issues facing higher education.

MSCHE was proud to welcome to its first virtual conference, three plenary speakers who are thought leaders and respected experts in higher education:

  • During the Day 1 Opening Plenary, Dr. Michelle Asha Cooper, Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs for the United States Department of Education spoke to Equity in Higher Education: Biden-Harris Administration Priorities.
  • Dr. Adrianna Kezar, Dean’s Professor of Leadership, Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education, University of Southern California, closed out Day 1 with her thoughts on how institutions are Leading Out of the Pandemic and For Racial Equity.
  • And closing the Conference was Dr. Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at the American Council on Education, who provided his insights of The Higher Education Federal Policy Landscape: Insights from Washington.

Featured sessions included a panel that highlighted examples of how institutions have leveraged policies, practices, and plans developed in alignment with Quality Matters; and another looked at how SUNY is focusing on the system’s ambitious goals to diversify the faculty ranks and transform campus cultures through multiple initiatives founded on inclusive excellence. There was also a session providing an overview and next steps related to MSCHE’s periodic review of its Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation.

Concurrent sessions from member institutions addressed issues facing higher education, including topics around assessment; governance; diversity, equity, and inclusion; navigating mergers; transformation and quality assurance during the pandemic; Pell grant expansion, and more.

In addition, the Commission provided an opportunity for attendees to engage in small group discussions of facilitated conversations on important topics in higher education such as assessment, governance, and student mental health to name a few.

Registrants can continue to access the Conference materials and replay all sessions (except the facilitated conversations) by logging into the Attendee Hub Conference platform.

Thank you Sponsors!