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McQueen among team of experts to advance innovative Carnegie Foundation national classification model

Kim Chaudoin | 

Lipscomb President Candice McQueen in Bison Square

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the American Council on Education (ACE) has announced that Lipscomb University President Candice McQueen has been invited to serve on the Carnegie Classifications Institutional Roundtable. The Institutional Roundtable will offer expert perspective as part of updates to the Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education, which will include a new classification system based on how institutions support students' social and economic mobility. 

For nearly 50 years, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, or as it is more commonly known, the Carnegie Classification, is a framework for categorizing all accredited, degree-granting institutions in the United States. The effort to update the Carnegie Classifications will be the most significant update in its history.

“It is an honor to be invited to participate in this important process. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues from across the country and providing input that reflect our experience at Lipscomb University and throughout higher education,” said President McQueen. “These classifications provide an important framework for students and their families to evaluate colleges and universities during the decision-making process. It is important to continually evaluate and refine the system to ensure it provides the best informational resources possible.”

McQueen is one of 18 ​college and university presidents across the nation, representing a diverse range of institutional types, invited to be a part of the Carnegie Classifications Institutional Roundtable. Joining McQueen on the Roundtable are leaders from American University, Georgetown University, the University of Minnesota, California State University-Dominguez Hills, East Carolina University and Brigham Young University among others. View a complete list of Roundtable members here

With more than 20 years of experience in education spanning classroom teaching, higher education leadership, state government and nonprofit sectors, McQueen is a highly sought after voice in statewide and national discussions about education. Prior to her appointment as Lipscomb University’s president last year, she served as CEO of the National Institute of Excellence in Teaching, a national nonprofit founded by the Milken Education Foundation to encourage and incentivize teaching excellence in undergraduate and higher education classrooms using federal and state grants and philanthropic gifts to support its programs. From January 2015 - January 2019, McQueen served as Tennessee Commissioner of Education under former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. In this role, McQueen collaborated with 147 school districts, hundreds of non-public and charter schools to serve the one million students in the state of Tennessee. Before becoming the state’s top education official, McQueen served Lipscomb University as dean of its College of Education and as senior vice president, which included oversight of Lipscomb Academy, the institution’s 1,300-student preK2-12th grade college preparatory school. She joined Lipscomb’s education faculty in August 2001, serving as chair of the undergraduate education department before her appointment as dean of the College of Education in 2008. Under her leadership, McQueen led the college through tremendous growth and to state and national recognition for excellence in teacher preparation and teaching outcomes. 

The Institutional Roundtable will examine the incentive structures underlying classification systems and how the current iteration of the Basic Classification has impacted decision-making on campuses. It will also explore how a new social and economic mobility classification might be formulated to better capture the range of diverse missions in higher education and support constructive use of the Carnegie classifications to better promote institutional learning and advance economic mobility. It will commence its work in November. 

Work on this initiative began in August with the formation of the Carnegie Classifications Technical Review Panel, which is composed of leading data experts from colleges and universities as well as research organizations. This panel is examining the methodology and data that will form the foundation of new versions of the classifications to ensure they best reflect the public purpose, mission, focus, and impact of higher education. Click here to see the members of the panel.

Both groups will be working over the next 12 to 18 months in preparation for the release of the new classifications in 2024.

ACE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced earlier this year that they are collaborating on a new version of the Carnegie classifications. Most notably, this next release will include a new social and economic mobility classification, which will reflect an institution's commitment to and success in achieving those goals while effectively serving a diverse, inclusive student populace, with a framework of the new classification expected to be unveiled in late 2023.

Learn more about the work on the new Carnegie classifications here