Mark Kinders (MPA '00) has been re-elected to a second term as chair of the Advisory Council for Communications and Public Affairs to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The purpose of the council is to advise AASCU on its communications work with Congress, the administration, and the public to promote broad public understanding of the essential role of public higher education in society. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AASCU monitors, analyzes, and develops federal public policy in such areas as student financial aid, education, international programs, economic and work force development, teacher education, and undergraduate experiences. Additionally, it coordinates the American Democracy Project, which encourages students to become involved in civic leadership through such projects as voter registration, public policy advocacy, The New York Times readings in the classroom, Constitution Week, and resources sustainability. During Kinders first term as chair, the Council conducted its inaugural national conference for senior communications professionals at comprehensive public universities. It also initiated a benchmark national survey of professional responsibilities and practices for communicators and government relations senior leaders at AASCU institutions. The Associations membership includes 430 public higher education colleges, universities and higher education systems nationwide. Its institutions, which are partially or completely state funded, enroll over three million students and represent 55 percent of all students attending public institutions nationwide. Kinders is the director of public affairs at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he is responsible for the institution's relations with the Wisconsin Legislature, Congress, service region communities, and media.
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