ACAD was established in 1945 as an independent, national, nonprofit organization for academic deans from institutions belonging to the Association of American Colleges (now AAC&U). That restriction was removed in 1968, and membership was opened to all academic officers, regardless of membership with AAC&U.
ACAD has chosen to remain a “conference” of deans—small with intimate gatherings—reflecting a continuing dedication to its founding purpose: to create both formal and informal opportunities for deans to meet, network, and offer professional support to their colleagues in their work as academic leaders. Technology has greatly increased ACAD’s effectiveness as a “conference” as members utilize member only benefits—such as the electronic discussion list—to solve problems, exchange views, and solicit advice from colleagues. Our web site further enhances this capacity by providing membership and meeting information, a member directory, a newsletter, and position announcements.
In addition to holding an annual meeting, in recent years ACAD members have published The Resource Handbook for Academic Deans, and collaborated with other higher education organizations on projects of mutual interest. ACAD events are geared toward representing its membership and offer members and others professional development unique to academic administration.