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Contact:  Kirsten Nelson
(804) 225-2627
For Immediate Release

February 9, 2004

SCHEV Joins the Association of American Colleges and Universities
—Participation in national association enhances coordination role—

RICHMOND —The Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has approved the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) for membership at their recent annual meeting. AAC&U is the leading national association devoted to advancing and strengthening liberal learning for all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Since its founding in 1915, the membership has grown to more than 900 accredited public and private colleges and universities of every type and size.

As the coordinating body for Virginia's system of public higher education, SCHEV is proud to be a member of the AAC&U. "The AAC&U provides leadership for many exciting initiatives in higher education, and the SCHEV staff is committed to working with other member institutions to shape the quality of liberal education in the Commonwealth," said SCHEV Acting Executive Director, Nancy Cooley. "I am particularly pleased that the Council members and our entire staff will benefit from this membership. We look forward to participating in future meetings and exploring opportunities and common agendas."

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education at both the national and local level and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

AAC&U's strategic plan includes the following priorities:

  • Mobilizing collaborative leadership--for educational and institutional effectiveness;
  • Building faculty capacity--in the context of institutional renewal;

  • Strengthening curricula--to serve student and societal needs;

  • Establishing diversity--as an educational and civic priority;

  • Fostering global engagement--in a diverse but connected world.

Focusing on these priorities, AAC&U runs national initiatives, sponsors meetings and summer institutes, and produces resources all designed to assist its member institutions in meeting the challenge of providing a high quality education to today's students.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) promotes the development and operation of an educationally and economically sound, vigorous, progressive, and coordinated system of higher education. Virginia's system of 15 public 4-year colleges & universities; 23 public community colleges on 39 campuses; a public two-year college; 40 private, not-for-profit colleges and universities; and more than 50 for-profit or out-of-state institutions is the 11th largest system of higher education in the U.S. Over 400,000 students are served by a diverse array of institutions with a worldwide reputation for excellence.

Other Virginia members of AAC&U include:

  • Blue Ridge Community College
  • Bridgewater College

  • Christopher Newport University

  • College of William and Mary

  • George Mason University

  • Hampden-Sydney College

  • Hampton University

  • Hollins University

  • James Madison University

  • Longwood University

  • Lynchburg College

  • Mary Baldwin College

  • Mary Washington College

  • Norfolk State University

  • Old Dominion University

  • Radford University

  • Randolph-Macon College

  • Randolph-Macon Woman's College

  • Roanoke College

  • Shenandoah University

  • Sweet Briar College

  • University of Richmond

  • University of Virginia

  • University of Virginia's College at Wise

  • Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Virginia Military Institute

  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

  • Virginia State University

  • Washington and Lee University

SCHEV is the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for Virginia’s system of higher education. The agency provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly, and is a resource for information on Virginia colleges and universities on higher education issues. Agenda materials for the SCHEV meeting are available at

For more information, contact Kirsten Nelson, Director of Government Relations and Communications, at or (804)225-2627.