2017 Annual Meeting

Full Program

Packet Contents


Location: Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel

8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Registration Open

9 a.m. – noon
Western Academic Leadership Academy: 2016 Cohort Convening

noon – 1 p.m.
Lunch for Academy and Executive Committee

1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Executive Committee Meeting (executive committee members only)

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Joe Garcia

2017 Forum Annual Meeting Speaker, Past WICHE president (2016-2018)

6:30 – 8:30 pm
Dinner, Welcome and Keynote – Improving Lives, Growing our Economy, and Strengthening our Democracy
We are living in challenging times, but also times of great promise. As never before, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of students from very diverse backgrounds in socio-economic class, academic preparation, interests, and abilities. We are finding new ways to more effectively serve our increasingly diverse population. In doing so, we are not only improving their lives and earning capacity, we are also building our communities and increasing our economic competitiveness. Just as importantly, we are developing engaged citizens who will chart the path for the future of our nation – from how we value one another, to the importance of education, to our responsibility in ensuring world peace and planet sustainability. As academic leaders, we could not have a more important role. Now is the time for us to press forward with renewed energy and more determination than ever before!

Introducer: Teddi Safman, Utah System of Higher Education


Teaching Big and Small: Creating Transformational Learning for Our Students​:


7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Registration Open

7:30 – 8:15 am

8:15 – 8:30 am
Welcome to Utah
David Buhler, Commission of Higher Education, USHE
Meeting Overview
Teddi Safman


James Lang

2017 Forum Annual Meeting Speaker, Assumption College (MA)

8:30 – 9:30 am
Teaching Big and Small: Creating Transformational Learning for Our Students​
Improving teaching at the college and university level requires both a vision for the future and practical strategies for implementation. If we pay close attention to new research from the learning sciences, it can help us both articulate long-range objectives and identify the pathways forward. Creating deep, transformational learning experiences for our students requires creative thinking about the role of the university in the community and new visions of the roles that students play in our courses.

Introducer: Gail Burd, University of Arizona


9:30 – 9:45 am

9:45 – 10:45 am
Making Assessment Matter to Faculty and Students: Supporting the Design and Use of Effective Assignments
National surveys of campus work on the assessment of student learning outcomes point to the need for greater faculty engagement. This challenge comes with high stakes since assessment is unlikely to make a difference for students if faculty members are not engaged. Accordingly, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) has been working with campuses to develop and use more intentionally designed assignments as a way to make assessment a more powerful engine for improvement.

Moderator: Loren Blanchard, California State University Office of the Chancellor


Pat Hutchings

2017 Forum Annual Meeting Speaker, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

Natasha Jankowski

2017 Forum Annual Meeting speaker, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

10:45 – 11:00 am

11:00 am – 12:15 pm
The Dilemma of Defining Academic Quality
​Academic quality is part of virtually every university strategic plan as well as the central focus of accreditation standards. In the past, this has often been defined by a series of input measures such as the percentage of faculty with terminal degree. Today, the call is to identify output measures – but which ones? This session will discuss how institutions and systems can define and be held accountable for academic quality in a sea of uncertainty with multiple constituents, and the role of the provost in meeting that challenge.

Moderator: Jim Moran, University of South Dakota


Linda George

2017 Forum Annual Meeting speaker, Portland State University (OR)

Norman Jones

2017 Forum Annual Meeting speaker, Utah State University


12:15 – 1:15 pm
Awards Luncheon
​The Academic Leaders Toolkit – a joint project of the Forum and the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders – will announce the winner of this year’s competition.

Presenter: Joe Cline, University of Nevada, Reno

1:15 – 1:30 pm

1:30 – 2:30 pm
The Call for Race, Equity and Inclusion
In 2016 campuses saw a call, and in some cases demands, for greater accountability for culturally relevant pedagogy, equitable classroom climate, culturally specific resources and greater faculty diversity. How do we as provosts ensure that we are attuned to implicit biases, curricular reform and hiring and retention practices?

Moderator: Sona Andrews, Portland State University (OR)


Debra Daniels

2017 Forum Annual Meeting speaker, University of Utah

Luz María Gordillo

2017 Forum Annual Meeting speaker, Washington State University Vancouver


2:30 – 3:30 pm
Soundback: Addressing Strategies and Questions Posed by Panelists
Join the table with the number corresponding to the one on the back of your badge for an opportunity to share perspectives on this important topic and to ask some questions of your colleagues about their efforts and successes in this arena.

Roundtable Hosts:
Karen Carey, University of Alaska, Southeast
Jack Crocker, Western New Mexico University
Tom DiLorenzo, University of North Dakota
Quinn Koller, Utah Valley University
Graham Oberem, California State University, San Marcos
Carl Reiber, University of Nevada Las Vegas
Randy Spaulding, Washington Student Achievement Council
Paul Turman, South Dakota Board of Regents

3:30 – 3:45 pm

3:45 – 4:45 pm
Diversifying the STEM Pipeline: A Look at Successful Approaches
​What does the minority student pipeline look like in the future for the West’s higher education institutions? What are some successful approaches to broaden participation in the STEM fields at the baccalaureate level by historically-underrepresented students (e.g. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders)? What are some effective ways to help support and transition these undergraduates to graduate STEM programs and the workforce? Our panelists will provide answers to these and other questions about ensuring minority readiness to succeed in STEM fields.

Moderator: Renny Christopher, Washington State University Vancouver


A. James Hicks

2017 Forum Annual Meeting Speaker, National Science Foundation

Alison Gammie

2017 Forum Annual Meeting Speaker, National Institutes of Health



7:30 – 8:45 am
Breakfast and Forum Membership Meeting

8:45 – 9:00 am

9:00 – 10:00 am
High Quality Learning Experience: Adaptive Learning Platforms and Collaborative Learning Spaces
Find out how an adaptive and personalized learning technology platform is making a real difference in student learning at more than 500 institutions worldwide. Then learn about The University of Arizona’s nine new Collaborative Learning Spaces, ranging in size from 24 to 264 students, which have propelled a cultural change at that institution. These spaces were created as part of its UA STEM Project – one of eight projects funded two years ago by the Association of American Universities to improve undergraduate STEM education.

Moderator: Laura Woodworth-Ney, Idaho State University


Dror Ben-Naim

2017 Forum Annual Meeting Speaker, Smart Sparrow

Jane Hunter

2017 Forum Annual Meeting Speaker, University of Arizona


10:00 – 10:15 am

10:15 – 11:00 am
Lightning Round: The Future is What You Make It!
Join the table with the number corresponding to the one on the back of your badge to share some of your exciting ideas about the future. What will your institution’s or state’s classrooms be like? How will you ensure that quality is the primary driver for achieving this vision?

Discussion Leader: Gail Burd, University of Arizona

Table Hosts:
John Cech, Montana University System
Sam Gingerich, University of Alaska Anchorage
Brian Jersky, California State University, Long Beach
Alan Lamborn, Colorado State University
Nicol Rae, Montana State University
Ruth Watkins, University of Utah

11:00 – 11:30 am
Crystallizing Quality: Reflections
We’ve heard about so many different ways that quality is being addressed in various facets of higher education. Are there some common themes we see across these efforts? What are some of the new challenges that have bubbled to the surface? What will we do differently when we leave here today?

Speaker: Joe Garcia, WICHE

11:30 – 11:45 am
Meeting Wrap-up and Adjournment

Recommended Advance Reading

Small Teaching
​by James Lang

Make it Stick
​by Peter C. Brown and Henry L. Roediger III

Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates

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Kim Nawrocki

Assistant Director, Events and Programs, WCET



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Associate Director, Operations and Program Implementation, Programs and Services