Rossier News

CERPP Conference 2024: Defending Equity announces speakers and sessions

From February 20 to 22, 2024, the conference will tackle key issues in higher education and Affirmative Action.

By USC Rossier Published on
CERPP 2024

USC Rossier Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice (CERPP) announces the speaker and panel lineup for the CERPP Conference 2024: Defending Equity, which will be held Feb. 20 to 22, 2024. A leading conference in the field of higher education admissions and enrollment management, CERPP Conference 2024 will provide pathways for greater equity in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Affirmative Action and the relentless attacks on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. The conference will serve as a pivotal platform to assemble a diverse range of experts, including practitioners, scholars and policymakers, who will share their insights and recommendations on navigating these turbulent times. By providing invaluable guidance, the conference seeks to empower attendees with actionable strategies to advance equity in enrollment.

Below is a sample of the highly anticipated speakers and sessions taking place at the CERPP Conference 2024:

“Unsung Heroes? State System Responses to Equity in Enrollment”
Speaker: John B. King, Jr., State University of New York (SUNY)

Chancellor John King, formerly president of the Education Trust and the former U.S. Secretary of Education under the Obama Administration, will lead a session on how state systems like SUNY are innovating to ensure greater education equity for its students and families. SUNY is the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the U.S., and has recently embarked on simplifying its admissions with direct admissions to its community colleges offered to all graduating high school students. Attendees will learn how systems can respond to demographic changes and political scrutiny while educating large numbers of underrepresented students, including low income and students of color.

“The SCOTUS Decision: What was Prohibited, What was Left Untouched, and the Potential for Reversal”
Speaker: Art Coleman, EducationCounsel

Art Coleman will lead this session to delve into the implications of the recent Supreme Court decision and explore the possibilities of a potential reversal. Coleman is a managing partner and co-founder of Education Counsel LLC, helping provide policy, strategic and legal counseling services. He has authored amicus briefs in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), Gratz v. Bollinger (2003), and Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (2013 and 2016). Attendees will gain valuable insights into the strategic and legal aspects of affirmative action in higher education.

“Enrollment Leaders Respond to the Challenge”
Speakers: Kedra Ishop, USC; Maricela Martinez, Occidental; and Ashley Pallie, California Institute of Technology

This high-octane panel of leaders in higher education will discuss strategies for addressing the challenges presented by recent legal decisions. Kedra Ishop is the vice president of enrollment management at USC and in her previous roles, led admissions at the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin, both subject to Affirmative Action bans in admissions policy. Maricela Martinez is the vice president of enrollment at Occidental College and has initiated changes in providing more student aid and ending legacy admissions at the institution. Ashley Pallie is the executive director and chief admissions officer at the California Institute of Technology, and has worked to increase greater racial and socioeconomic diversity, including extending its test-free admissions policy and allowing substitutions for calculus, chemistry and physics. Attendees will participate in a deep conversation on how to define merit, provide student aid, and break down barriers for greater equity.

For a complete list of speakers and sessions, visit CERPP Conference 2024.

Individuals who wish to engage with higher education experts who are implementing strategies for greater educational inclusivity and success can register at CERPP Conference 2024.

For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact:

  • Emily Chung, USC CERPP, Interim Executive Director
  • Ellen Evaristo, USC Rossier, Director of Media Relations, Promotion and Publicity

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