2019 Forum Annual Meeting | Program

Who Really Matters in the Changing Landscape
of Higher Education?

April 22-24, 2020, Juneau, AK




Location: St Julien Hotel, Boulder, CO

8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Registration Open

9:00 am - noon

Closing Seminar--2018 Academy Cohort (cohort and faculty only)

Noon - 1:00 pm

Lunch - 2018 Academy Cohort and Executive Committee

1:00 - 4:30 pm

Executive Committee Meeting (executive committee members only)

1:15 - 5:00 pm

Pre-Meeting Tour: Transformation through Innovation - Metropolitan State University of Denver
Join the Shannon, Campbell, Director of Graduate Studies, on a tour highlighting some of Metropolitan State University of Denver’s key assets including….

  • Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building
  • Jordan Student Success Building
  • Marriott Hotel & MSU Denver Hospitality Learning Center
  • Auraria Library
  • And, one more surprise visit before heading back to the hotel!

Click here for more details.

5:30 - 6:30 pm

Welcome Reception

6:30 - 8:30 pm

Opening Dinner and Keynote – Mattering and Sense of Belonging: A Focus on First-Generation and Ethnic Minority Students
This talk will focus on the conceptual differences between mattering and sense of belonging. Research findings that disentangle these constructs, while also then proposing that students’ sense of belonging and the extent to which students feel like they matter are related will be presented. Cole will share the direct and indirect effects of ethnic minority and first-generation student experiences on students’ sense of belonging and mattering and offer recommendations for research and practice.

Introducer: Vicki Golich, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Speaker: Darnell Cole, University of Southern California 


7:00 am - 5:00 pm

Registration Open

7:30 - 8:15 am


8:15 - 8:30 am

Good Morning and Meeting Overview

Vicki Golich, Metropolitan State University of Denver

8:30 - 9:30 am

Changing Student Demographics: Adapting Our Institutional Practices to Move Toward Greater Equity
In light of changing student demographics, including the increasing number of students of color and non-traditional students, and the predictions of declining numbers of high school graduates in the near future, how can institutions look at these demographic trends through an equity lens? How can that lens guide them toward making changes that will enable them to thrive as institutions while creating the conditions in which students of the future will thrive? What do we need to know and consider as academic leaders about these demographic trends that will prepare us to lead our institutions’ academic missions effectively?

Introducer: Renny Christopher, Washington State University Vancouver

Speaker: Joel Pérez, Whittier College (CA)

9:30 - 9:45 am


9:45 - 11:00 am

Great Ideas for Inclusive Practices in Higher Education 
We claim that all are welcome in higher education, but how does this play out in the lived experiences of our students, faculty, staff, and community members? How do we streamline some of our processes to be more efficient?  In this quick-paced session, presenters will share best practices for making higher education an inclusive, welcoming and efficient place for all. Come enjoy these exciting five-minute explorations of challenge, action, and success in implementing these tools.  

Emcee: Joelle Lien, Northern State University (SD)

Great Ideas:

  • American Indian Circle Program – Layton Cooper, Northern State University
  • Bengal Meal Share – Laura Woodworth-Ney, Idaho State University
  • Career Path Internship Program – Emily Jahsman, Idaho State University
  • Cloud-Based Faculty Productivity Reporting – Daniel Campbell, University of Idaho
  • Friendship Family Program – Leigh Neys, Northern State University
  • myNextSteps – Hans VanDerSchaaf, Portland State University
  • The Rundown with President Davidson video series – Vicki Golich, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Veterans Education and Transition Services – Gail Burd, University of Arizona 

11:00 - 11:15 am


11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Native American Student Access, Experience, and Success in Higher Education
The underrepresentation of Native American students is due, in part, to the discord between indigenous cultural identity and the culture of higher education. What effective strategies have been deployed to ensure Native American college students’ sense of belonging in higher education? What lessons can we learn from tribal college practice and culture? Join us for an informative panel as we discuss ways to improve the retention of our Native American student population by creating a more intentionally inclusive and welcoming culture.

Moderator: Debbie Storrs, University of North Dakota

Speakers: Twyla Baker-Demaray, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (ND); Staci Emm, University of Nevada, Reno; Yvette Tuell, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (ID); Jason Younker, University of Oregon

12:15 - 12:30 pm


12:30 - 1:30 pm

Showcase a Great Idea from Your Institution for the Colleagues' Choice Award!

Download the Submission Form

Colleagues’ Choice Award 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. Make sure your institution is in the running by submitting a tool at http://alt.wiche.edu/ by March 1.

Announcer: Karen Carey, University of Alaska Southeast

1:30 - 1:45 pm


1:45 - 2:45 pm

The Effects of Microaggressions on Faculty of Color 
As leaders of institutions, we must fully grasp the impact microaggressions have upon faculty and staff of color, and upon our institutions more broadly. Microaggressions greatly impact not only the academic pathway to the doctorate and thus our hiring pools, but of great significance, the retention of our faculty. Our knowledge and understandings will be insufficient without a goal of determining paths of action to educate about such communication and behavior and how to bring about change, as well as take steps to ameliorate the effects on individuals and their personal and professional lives. This session will briefly outline some of the research, terminology, examples and suggested action steps and will also present personal narratives, including that of a tenured faculty of color co-facilitator.

Introducer: Veronica Dujon,  State of Oregon: Higher Education Coordinating Commission

Speakers: Myron Anderson, Metropolitan State University of Denver; Carmen Suarez

2:45 - 3:45 pm

Workshop: Contingent Faculty and Belonging in Our Institutions
In this extended session, expert panelists from the Center for the Study of Academic Labor will provide an overview of “the characteristics and working conditions of contingent faculty, the academic labor market, university budgets, academic employment policies and the future of the tenure system.” Then they will guide us through some exercises in small groups to share our experiences and learn from one another about some of the more pressing issues we face with contingent faculty and ways we can help ensure that ALL faculty belong at our institutions. 

Introducer: Vicki Golich, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Speakers: Sue Doe and Steven Shulman, Center for the Study of Academic Labor, Colorado State University; Maria Maisto, New Faculty Majority (OH)

3:45 - 4:00 pm


4:00 - 5:00 pm

Workshop, Continued

5:45 - 7:45 pm

Pearson Reception
Before dinner on your own, join us for a complimentary reception to network and mingle with peers, exchange ideas, and learn how your colleagues are integrating digital solutions. Learn more and register now!

Dinner on your own


7:30 - 8:15 am

Breakfast and Membership Meeting

8:15 - 8:30 am


8:30 - 10:45 am

Words Matter
A sense of belonging begins with the way we interact among colleagues, peers, and students. Today, on campus, we face an evolving cultural climate where managing dialogue about controversial issues is essential to providing a welcoming climate. How do we do this well in this era of political and ideological polarization where campuses are facing challenges not only internally, but from outside interests as well, drawing upon a range of tactics including social media?  This session will explore these topics based upon the research and lessons learned by the speakers and provide you with ideas and tools for proactive approaches to share with your campus.

Moderator: Greg Fant, New Mexico State University

Speakers: Jean Bannon, German • Burnette and Associates (NM); Abby Ferber, University of Colorado Colorado Springs

10:45 - 11:00 am


11:00 - 11:45 am

Committee Breakouts
In July 2018, the Forum’s leadership established several committees to explore opportunities for collaboration at the regional level. Join one of the committees to find out about its progress and how you can take advantage of its work or help shape it.


  • Accelerated Learning/Dual Enrollment – Veronica Dujon, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission
    This committee plans to discuss the results of its survey of members on the topic of accelerated learning and dual enrollment. The survey was divided into two parts. Part I asked questions about academic rigor and best practices to ensure quality. Part II asked questions about key elements of concern for higher education policy.
  • Library Subscription Fees – Joelle Lien, Northern State University (SD)
    This committee is evaluating the need and viability of the Forum forming a consortium for joint purchasing of library subscriptions. It will share its findings on the impact of the Freedom of Information Act in regard to sharing contracts between public institutions and publishers. In addition, the members will discuss what they are learning from California’s recent negotiations with publishers that might be useful in the Forum’s effort.
  • Open Educational Resources Repository – Karen Carey, University of Alaska Southeast
    This committee is in the process of identifying higher education OER repositories in the WICHE region and posting links to them on a web page for access by Alliance and Forum members. Next steps will be to identify some best practices around their use.
  • Pragmatic Policies to Promote Course-Based Experiential Learning - David Shintani, University of Nevada, Reno
    This committee may discuss findings from a pending survey about existing policies and agreements in place at members’ institutions related to internships and apprenticeships. The goal would be to determine some good practices and evaluate the need for and viability for developing a common set of guidelines and sample boiler plate language for agreements with partners.
  • Wellness– Selena Grace, Idaho State University
    The WICHE Behavioral Health Program (WICHE BHP) and YOU at College student wellbeing team will discuss with committee members best practices for collaborating with services around campus to improve student behavioral health and wellness. The WICHE BHP will highlight services they have available to campuses, including a 365° wraparound campus sexual violence prevention assessment with specific recommendations, technical assistance and follow up. The YOU at College team will present a case study of their comprehensive digital well-being platform implemented at over 25 campuses across the country, connecting users to the right resources, at the right time.
  • Diversifying the Faculty Initiative – Renny Christopher, Washington State University Vancouver
    This committee is evaluating the need and viability of the Forum convening a consortium for joint purchasing of library publications. It will share its findings on the impact of the Freedom of Information Act in regard to sharing contracts between public institutions and publishers. In addition, the members will discuss what they are learning from California’s recent negotiations with publishers that might be useful in the Forum’s effort.

11:45 - noon

Meeting Wrap-up and Adjournment