Office of the Provost

ACC Academic Leaders Network holds its first 2024 meeting at Clemson


The Clemson University Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost recently hosted the first of three conferences in 2024 supporting the ACC-ALN (Academic Leaders Network). The ACC-ALN facilitates networking across member institutions and fosters collaboration among academic leaders.

Nearly 90 individuals – comprised of cohorts of four leaders and a liaison from each ACC university – visited Clemson from March 20 through March 22. 

It was an honor and a pleasure to organize the agenda and programming that provided this time and space for so much talent and passion for higher education and service to society through research, teaching, higher education policy, extension and community engagement.”

Amy Lawton-Rauh, Clemson liaison for the program and senior associate provost

Lawton-Rauh also recognized Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Learning – and 2023 ACC-ALN cohort member – Sean Brittain, Director of Faculty Awards and Honorifics Tom Kealy, Director of Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation Taimi Olsen, and Office of the Provost staff members, including Kim Banks, Wei Chen, Julie Pickett and Lacy Randles, who helped organize and support this event.

The conference focused on “Leading as an Individual” through facilitated discussions, talks and panels from campus, senior and executive leaders and reflective activities, including tours and visits across campus.

Two more ACC Academic Leader Network conferences will occur later this year at the University of Louisville and North Carolina State University.


“It was a privilege to be part of the ALN cohort that showcased Clemson facilities to academic leaders across the ACC. I found the focus on future challenges in higher education the most impactful, emphasizing the need for agile leaders. Connections across institutions were established, and we are all looking forward to the rest of the year’s programming.” – Kyle S. Brinkman, professor and department chair, CECAS

“Bringing together other leaders in various roles from different institutions helps me expand my network, learn from others and develop new ideas and approaches to challenges we face. In this first session, I especially enjoyed hearing the perspectives of senior leadership and participating in a cross-institutional community of practice.” – Michelle Cook, professor and senior associate dean, College of Education

“It was inspiring to meet colleagues from across the ACC doing the work of higher education, seeing the similarities and differences in how we approach issues. I was struck by the passion everyone brought to their work and am looking forward to working with this group over the coming year to refine my leadership skills and contribute my perspectives.” – Stephen Creager, professor and associate dean, College of Science

‘My biggest takeaway came from an exercise we did to envision the challenges and opportunities our institutions will likely face in the next decade-plus. As a group, we were tasked to define the leadership skills necessary to navigate effectively in the future. My community of practice within the ACC-ALN focuses on future leadership development, so this exercise gave us a perfect segway into our work and discussions for the year. I’m excited to learn more from other universities and how we can cultivate leadership for tomorrow.” Jennifer Ogle, professor and department chair, CECAS

“I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the ACC Academic Leaders Network and am looking forward to engaging in the year-long program.” – Katy Weisensee, professor and department chair, CBSHS


The ALN debuted in 2018 after ACC leaders decided to create a program that would leverage innovation and ideas among the ACC’s many top-tier research universities. Each ACC school selects four faculty leaders—deans, department heads, associate provosts and other academic administrators—to join a year-long cohort focused on leadership development, collaboration and understanding of trends and challenges in higher education.