ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

Speeches & Testimony

For over 15 years, ACTA has provided its expert knowledge of higher education to trustees and policymakers across the country.

Preserving the Values of the West / The Decline and Fall of History

March 2017 |

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.

Reclaiming Excellence

January 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.

The Future of Free Speech: Threats in Higher Education and Beyond

November 2015 |

ACTA President Anne Neal delivers "The Future of Free Speech: Threats in Higher Education and Beyond" at the fifth annual conference of the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTA testifies before the U.S. Senate HELP Committee

June 2015 |

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 Testifies Before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

May 2015 by Anne D. Neal |

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.

Fighting for Civic Empowerment

May 2015 by Anne D. Neal |

ACTA President Anne Neal accepts the prestigious Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship from the Heritage Foundation.

The Case for American History

January 2015 |

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.

Political Correctness and the Problems for Academic Freedom

October 2014 by Anne D. Neal |

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.

Statement of Anne D. Neal before NACIQI

June 2014 by Anne D. Neal |

ACTA President Anne D. Neal delivered this statement before the National Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity prior to recusing herself from its June 2014 meeting.

Liberty and Learning

A Commencement Address
May 2014 |

ACTA president Anne D. Neal delivers the 2014 commencement address, “Liberty and Learning,” at Colorado Christian University on May 10.

Thoughts on Teaching and the Importance of Understanding History

November 2013 by Gary W. Gallagher |

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.

An Education for Career and Community

August 2013 |

ACTA vice president of policy, Michael Poliakoff addresses Bluefield College class of 2017 at convocation with "An Education for Career and Community" on August 29. 

Keeping College Within Reach: Discussing Program Quality through Accreditation

June 2013 |

ACTA president Anne Neal participates in "Keeping College Within Reach: Discussing Program Quality through Accreditation" in Washington DC on June 13, a public hearing before the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, part of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. 

Advice to Trustees on Completion, Cost Effectiveness, and Quality

November 2012 by Anne D. Neal |

ACTA president Anne Neal participates in the "Complete College Ohio Conference" in Columbus on November 13th for the Ohio Board of Regents, a conference featuring state and national experts and focusing on "practical solutions to improve college readiness and keep students on track to attain a degree in a timely way while providing incentives to increase completion."

Promoting the Liberal Arts and Sciences

November 2012 by Thomas M. Rollins |

Remarks by Thomas M. Rollins, founder of The Teaching Company, upon accepting the 2012 Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education, with tributes from Professor William Cook, State University of New York-Geneseo; Professor Daniel Robinson, Oxford University; Professor Alan Charles Kors, University of Pennsylvania; and political consultant Bob Shrum.

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