CAS President Ralph Johnson, Ph.D. shares his monthly update with CAS membership.
It is almost difficult to believe that this is my penultimate message to you as the sitting CAS President. Over the last few months, I have delighted in sharing with you the most current CAS goings on as we have prepared for and finally released the 11th version of our standards. Indeed, many of you have already purchased these resources and have begun to plan and implement your program reviews and assessment strategies with great care. As you interact with the bells and whistles of this new approach to the CAS review, we'd like to hear how you are experiencing the CAS resources and to what extent we have delivered on our commitment to offer a more current process.
This newsletter has also afforded me the opportunity to share my concerns and perspectives relative to some of the more pressing issues we are facing in the higher education community across this country. Last month I lamented about the on-going attack on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts in our society and its negative impact on our advancements should these diversity efforts be thwarted or worse yet, dismantled. Moreover, I shared my concerns about the lack of leadership from the higher education community when we should be raising our collective voices to oppose the social and political encroachment on the academic sphere, where the creation of a marketplace of free ideas and the championing of social justice and inclusion for all has been its hallmark. I was quickly reminded by many colleagues that the stakes are high and many are silenced as the threats of being fired and fiscal disenfranchisement from state legislatures and other governing bodies loom large.
The recent rulings from the Supreme Court that have sent affirmative action flying backwards and have dampened the hope of millions seeking financial reprieve from the yoke of student loan debt, have only exacerbated the challenges we must address as a higher education community. Indeed, it begs the question, how can we salvage all of the work in higher education that has gone into righting the historical wrongs of America when it comes to realizing that ideal of all being equal and guaranteed certain inalienable rights? All of the work within the DEI sphere that we have embraced as CAS and other members of the consortium is worth fighting for.
As higher education prepares to pivot yet again and strategically navigate around these apparent political icebergs, let us remain resolved that, though it may look different, the work of advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, access and all forms of social justice ARE worth fighting for and must remain our priority. In as much as these concepts reflect our shared values and are infused in our thoughts, philosophy and our standards, we must find ways to carry on our work with an uncompromising commitment.
Ralph Johnson, Ph.D.
Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.