December 2017As we move into the holiday season, it is good to reflect on the many accomplishments of ACAO and its members over the past year.  Your Board of Directors and its Executive Director have worked diligently to bring more benefit to its members.  Our webpage and Facebook page expanded content of interest and value to CAOs.  We encourage everyone to post articles or comments to our closed Facebook page to share with your peers.  Also, please explore the webpage for information and articles that may be valuable to issues you are addressing every day.

The Digital Learning Fellows project continues to move forward.  I was fortunate to sit in on the Fellows’ event in Philadelphia prior to the start of the Educause conference and found it very informative and with plenty of “takeaways” on how to use computer and technology enabled products to improve learning for our most vulnerable students.  Laura de Abruna and Casey Green have done an excellent job in providing leadership for this effort.  Material is available on the website that can be of assistance to CAO’s nationally. 

The recent joint webinar sponsored by ACAO and Chief Diversity Officers (NADHOE) was also very successful with over 200 participants signed up to participate to discuss the current free speech opportunities and challenges confronting colleges and universities.  Panelists from James Madison University and DePaul University among others provided sound advice for approaching this issue in an effective way.  

Most recently, ACAO held a “coffee table conversation” webinar to follow up on this discussion in an informal environment led by retired CAO Sharon Vasquez and her colleague.  We garnered several sitting CAOs participating from states as wide ranging as Ohio, Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota and California.  The plan is to continue to schedule these periodically on topics of interest.  If you have suggestions please pass these along to Sharon at

Exciting things are planned for the March 2018 ACE Conference.  First, a half-day Master class is scheduled on Saturday March 10, focused on digital learning as part of our grant project with the Gates Foundation.  This is particularly focused on CAOs however, Presidents and other campus leaders are welcome.  More information will be forthcoming.  On Sunday March 11, ACAO will host a breakfast and business meeting followed during the day with several panel sessions on topics such as responding to changing demographics, changing academic culture and developing deans and department chairs.  We sponsor a booth in the exhibit hall so come by and tells us what you would like to see in 2018!

As always, we are open to your ideas and suggestions about how to make ACAO more valuable to you and your institution. 


Best Wishes for a happy holiday season!

B.J. Reed, President



  • To A Degree Podcast: Episode 11: For this episode of To A Degree, a panel of Chief Academic Officers gathers to discuss what it means to go digital; what higher ed is doing well, what higher ed must do better, how to engage and support faculty in the effort to bring digital resources into instruction, and the working relationship between the CAO and the CIO.
  • To A Degree Podcast: Episode 10: High Impact Higher Ed: New Research reveals that some institutions have more success than others in helping students from low-income backgrounds move up the socioeconomic ladder.  We talk with researchers about these important new findings and the presidents of two colleges cited as being high impact institutions.
  • Recording Now Available!

    A conversation with EDUCAUSE president John O’Brien about the opportunities “going digital” present to enhance student learning and engagement and to improve retention and degree completion.   

  • Resources for Current Topics: Issues surrounding freedom of expression on campus.  Links and Information on current topics important to CAO's in Higher Education.
  • Recording Now Available!   ACAO/NADOHE Joint Webinar Event "Chief Diversity Officers and Chief Academic Officers in Collaboration "


Join the conversation on Facebook in our closed CAOs only, Facebook discussion forum.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!


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