Higher Learning Commission

Keynotes and Featured Speakers

Geoffrey Stone (Sunday Keynote: Academic Freedom in a Changing World)

Jeffrey Selingo (Monday Keynote: Higher Education in a 21st-Century Economy)

Terry Hartle (Is the Federal Agenda for Higher Education Transforming?)

Terrell Strayhorn (Belonging 2.0: Looking Across Campus)

Elena Quintana (Campuses as Self-Healing Communities)

Monday Panel (Panel Discussion: What Matters Most in the Undergraduate Experience)

Wendy Paszkiewicz (Student Voices on Academic Success)

Closing Session (Stress and Strategies for Mental Health in Academia)

Sunday Keynote: Academic Freedom in a Changing World

Geoffrey Stone

Geoffrey Stone

Professor, University of Chicago Law School; First Amendment scholar

Geoffrey R. Stone is the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. A member of the faculty of the University of Chicago since 1973, Mr. Stone has served as Dean of the Law School and as Provost of the University of Chicago, and he currently serves as director of the university’s Frank N. Stanton Program on Academic Freedom.

Stone is the author or co-author of many books on constitutional law, including, among others, “Sex and the Constitution” (2017); “Speaking Out: Reflections of Law, Liberty and Justice” (2015); and “Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime” (2004). In his address, Stone will discuss the new and difficult challenges that American colleges and universities today face in their efforts to reconcile their long-standing commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression with the changing makeup, attitudes and needs of a new generation of students.

Monday Keynote: Higher Education in a 21st-Century Economy

Jeff Selingo

Jeffrey Selingo

Washington Post contributor; Author, “There Is Life After College”

Jeffrey J. Selingo is a best-selling author and award-winning columnist who helps parents and higher education leaders imagine the college and university of the future. His latest book, “There Is Life After College,” explores how today’s young adults need to navigate school for the job market of tomorrow.

Selingo is also a regular contributor to The Washington Post and author of the books “College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students” and “MOOC U: Who Is Getting the Most Out of Online Education and Why.” He is a senior advisor and professor of practice at Arizona State University and a visiting scholar at Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities. Selingo is the former top editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. In his address, Selingo will focus on the changes underway in today’s workforce and how higher education institutions will need to respond in the decade ahead even as they manage a changing student body, financial pressures and new technology.

Is the Federal Agenda for Higher Education Transforming?


Terry W. Hartle

Senior Vice President, American Council on Education (ACE)

Terry W. Hartle is a leading advocate for higher education in the United States. At ACE, where he has served for more than 20 years, he directs comprehensive efforts to engage federal policymakers on a broad range of issues including student aid, government regulation, scientific research and tax policy. In his presentation, Hartle will share his views on the federal agenda for higher education and accreditation.

Belonging 2.0: Looking Across Campus


Terrell L. Strayhorn

Director, Center for Higher Education Enterprise, The Ohio State University

Terrell Lamont Strayhorn is Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise at The Ohio State University. His research agenda focuses on major policy issues in education, including student access and achievement, equity and diversity, the impact of college on students, and student learning and development. Building upon his presentation at the 2016 HLC Annual Conference, Strayhorn returns to explore the implications of belonging theory across campus. His central message will be that belonging is key to educational success.

Campuses as Self-Healing Communities

Elena Quintana

Elena Quintana

Executive Director of the Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice, Adler University

Elena Quintana is a clinical and community psychologist focused on research and programming that aims to reclaim human potential and promote socially just solutions to address public safety concerns. Her areas of focus include designing and evaluating community violence prevention efforts, addressing trauma, and creating and evaluating alternatives to incarceration. Her presentation will discuss how creating an understanding of the global effects of trauma, the power of positive human connectivity, and opportunities for healing transforms campuses in unexpected ways.

Panel Discussion: What Matters Most in the Undergraduate Experience

In their book “The Undergraduate Experience,” these authors identified six core themes that matter most for student success: learning, relationships, expectations, alignment, improvement and leadership. In this discussion the authors will explore why these themes are critically important for institutions and for students, and will illustrate how they are being put into action in a range of institutions.

Peter Felten

Peter Felten

Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning, Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning, and Professor of History, Elon University

John Gardner

John N. Gardner

President, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education; Senior Fellow and Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina

Charles Schroeder

Charles C. Schroeder

Past President, ACPA—College Student Educators International; Former Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, University of Missouri

Leo Lambert

Leo M. Lambert

President, Elon University

Betsy Barefoot

Betsy O. Barefoot

Co-founder and Senior Scholar, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education; Co-editor, “New Directions for Higher Education”

Student Voices on Academic Success

Wendy PaszkiewiczWendy Paszkiewicz

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Adler University

Wendy Paszkiewicz is a licensed clinical psychologist. Her primary area of interest is the integration of socially responsible practice in the education and training of mental health professionals. Paszkiewicz serves as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and for the American Psychological Association. In this presentation, delivered in a fishbowl format, Paszkiewicz will moderate a discussion among students from HLC member institutions about self-care and wellness as they pertain to student persistence and success.

Closing Session: Stress and Strategies for Mental Health in Academia

Academia is in a stressful time, with budget cuts, mass violence events, political polarization and increasing student mental health needs. Taken together, these stressors are decreasing the health and wellness of educators and administrators alike. Participants in this interactive workshop will learn (1) what burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma are; (2) strategies for early detection in self and others; (3) strategies for early intervention with self and others; and (4) institutional steps to increase awareness and resources.

Grady Osten Garner

Grady Osten-Garner

Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Emphasis in Military Clinical Psychology, Adler University

Grady Osten-Garner is a social justice–informed educator and research scientist. He provides self-care consultation to agency and academic institution staff members who work with consumers suffering from extreme environmental and personal distress.

Kevin Osten Garner

Kevin Osten-Garner

Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Adler University

Kevin Osten-Garner is a licensed clinical psychologist and provides thought leadership on socially responsible community engagement and evidence-based clinical practices and training in the era of health care reform.


Assurance Lab


Audience 2



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