ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.
Remarks by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fellow of the Future of Democracy Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and founder of the AHA Foundation, and Niall Ferguson, senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, upon accepting the 2016 Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education. The award was presented on October 28, 2016.
Remarks by The Honorable Hank Brown—former U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and president emeritus of the University of Colorado—upon accepting the 2015 Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education. The award was presented on October 16, 2015 at ACTA's 20th Anniversary celebration.
ACTA President Anne D. Neal provided testimony to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions at their June 17 hearing on higher education accreditation, chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander. Her testimony emphasized the shocking failure of the current system of accreditation to ensure academic quality. She demonstrated the need for a new system—far less intrusive and expensive than the one we now have—that will provide consumer protection and clear information to guide students in the process of selecting a college. President Neal’s testimony, along with ACTA’s publications on accreditation, will form an important part of Congressional deliberations later this year on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. View video of the Senate hearing here.
ACTA has repeatedly documented that the system of higher education accreditation is a barrier to innovation, improvement, and accountability at colleges and universities. On May 29, ACTA President Anne D. Neal demonstrated to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that the inadequacy of accreditation is particularly harmful to socio-economically disadvantaged students. Joining Anne Neal on the panel were Neal McCluskey from the Cato Institute, Ronald Haskins from the Brookings Institution, and Michele Siqueiros representing the Campaign for College Opportunity. Click here to view video of the hearing.
Remarks by Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, upon accepting the 2014 Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education, with tributes from Roger Hertog, businessman and philanthropist; historian and biographer, Robert Caro; and Benno C. Schmidt, chairman of the City University of New York Board of Trustees and 2010 Merrill Award recipient. The 2014 presentation marked the Merrill Award's tenth anniversary.
ACTA President Anne Neal delivers a talk to the City Club of Cleveland on the threat political correctness poses to the principle of academic freedom.
Remarks by Dr. Gary W. Gallagher, the John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia, upon accepting the 2013 Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education, with tributes from John L. Nau III, president and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors; Professor Melvyn P. Leffler, University of Virginia; Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts and professor of political science, Pennsylvania State University; and Thomas M. Rollins, founder of The Teaching Company and 2013 Merrill Award recipient.