A National Forum on Innovation and Collaboration

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Full Program

Wednesday | Thursday | Friday  || PDF Version of Schedule

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Wednesday, December 3rd

5 pm Opening Reception and Dinner
6 pm Opening Plenary 1: Setting the Stage

This session will lay out the vision for the conference by summarizing why it is important to think collaboratively and outside the box about pursuing diversity and inclusion in higher education. The Presidents of Columbia and Rutgers, two of the institutions sponsoring the conference, will highlight the uncertain legal and political environment which requires rethinking conventional strategies for addressing racial/ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic under-participation in postsecondary education. They will also discuss the barriers to achieving inclusion and diversity, including the differential opportunity networks and the growing significance of collaboration among public and private institutions and across the education spectrum, including K-12, community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and research universities.

7 pm Plenary 2: Meeting the Challenges: The Role of Leadership

This panel will be a facilitated discussion with innovative and thoughtful university and college presidents who have themselves taken innovative approaches to transforming their own institutions. They will speak about the crucial role of university leadership as catalysts and sustainers of institutional change. The discussion will focus on concrete strategies and programs that have proven effective in advancing inclusion, with a particular emphasis on sustaining and institutionalizing change.

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Thursday, December 4th

8 am Breakfast

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9 am -
10:30 am
Plenary 3: Navigating Innovation and Change in the Current Legal and Political Environment

This session will identify creative strategies for navigating change in an environment of legal uncertainty. This session will explore how lawyers can enable innovation and facilitate effective and lawful institutional change in the face of legal risk. It will focus on effective responses and programs, how to develop an effective collaboration between lawyers and the institutions they represent, and how to play this role under the current Supreme Court case law and in the environment of ballot initiatives that seek to prohibit any consideration of race, ethnicity and gender in the policies and decisions of public institutions.

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10:30 am -
10:45 am
Break

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10:45 am -
12:30 pm
Plenary 4: Reconnecting Merit and the Mission of Higher Education: Innovative Frameworks and Strategies

This session will explore emerging frameworks and strategies that seek to enhance mobility and reconnect admissions and selection to higher education’s public mission. It will explore alternatives to traditional admission criteria such as test scores and grades, as well as the current over-reliance on commercial rankings to evaluate an institution’s worth or success. The session will first lay out a vision to guide higher education admissions, building on ideas such as democratic merit and institutional citizenship. It will then offer concrete examples of admissions and selection approaches that have been successful in identifying people and communities with potential, and building effective opportunity networks that will enable previously marginalized groups to succeed. It will highlight selection criteria and practices that can identify potential that is not reflected in performance on high stakes tests, involve broader and more inclusive groups in the selection process, reduce the impact of cognitive bias in selection practices, and incorporate public service into the qualities valued.

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12:30 pm -
2 pm
Lunch and Facilitated Conversations

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2 pm -
3:30 pm
Concurrent Sessions

5A: Changing Classroom and Curriculum to Engage a Diverse Student Body
This session will focus on work that connects whom we educate with the question of educational content and environment. It will examine how changes in the curriculum, classroom, culture, and educational experience can transform the institution so that groups that were marginalized in the past can succeed and participate fully in the life of the institution.

5B: Building Effective Relationships between K-12, Higher Education, and the Community
This session will present the key features of effective bridge, pipeline and community partnership programs, identified through the experience of their leadership and researchers who have tracked their progress. It will examine the challenges to sustaining effective collaborations between higher education institutions and the schools and communities that must prepare students to succeed. The session will explore how to widen the range of institutions feeding into research universities, build institutional capacity to identify and nurture talent, equip students for successful admission to and participation in college, and develop long-term, reciprocal relationships among institutions with different strengths and needs. This session will include initiatives that enhance diversity and inclusion by building ongoing relationships between higher education institutions and the communities they are supposed to serve, with particular attention to communities of color and low-income communities.

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3:30 pm -
3:45 pm
Break

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3:45 pm -
5:15 pm
Concurrent Sessions

6A: Networks, Collaboration, and Partnerships as Strategic Approaches to Diversity
This session will focus on creating effective institutional relationships moving through the various transition points affecting access and participation, from high school through college into graduate school and onto faculties. Pipeline and bridge programs have developed to increase access and participation at each of these transition points. Networks and consortia have developed to share information and collaborate in pool development and pipeline programs. Many of these programs are using similar methodologies, and face barriers rooted in organizational culture and policy. Yet, they often operate in silos and do not yet have adequate frameworks or strategies for learning or linking their efforts to address common institutional barriers. This session will present research and examples of cutting-edge initiatives that have built institutional change and collaboration into the design of bridge and pipeline development programs.

6B: The Diversity Imperative in Higher Education: The Academic Library as a Tool for Campus Advancement
Recruiting, developing and retaining a diverse work force in higher education, and nurturing a climate of diversity require creative strategies and sustained investments across the institution. This session will focus on the academic library as an agent of change and improvement, and as model of both local and national efforts to address the diversity challenges in the curriculum, in staffing and leadership development, and in campus culture.

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5:15 pm -
6:15 pm

Reception

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6:15 pm -
9 pm

Dinner and evening program

Featuring an overview and celebration of Doing Diversity in Higher Education: Faculty Leaders Share Challenges and Strategies (Rutgers University Press, Winnifred Brown-Glaude (ed.)) and entertainment by The Duke’s Men of Yale.


Friday, December 5th

8 am -
9 am
Breakfast and Facilitated Conversations
9 am -
10:30 am
Concurrent Sessions

7A - Faculty as Agents for Institutional Collaboration and Transformation
This session will highlight the work of faculty change agents who have found innovative ways to diversify their institutions. The session will focus on the strategies and conditions that enable faculty leaders to function as “organizational catalysts” who use information to mobilize effective change and enlist other faculty leaders in everyday leadership needed to achieve diverse faculties.

7B - The University, the Media and Public Discourse
This session will explore the role of media and public discourse in reframing the policies and strategies for advancing opportunity and diversity in higher education. It will look at examples of effective and constructive public communication about these issues and emerging forums for promoting public knowledge and constructive dialogue about inclusion and diversity in higher education.

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10:30 am -
10:45 am
Break

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10:45am -
12:15pm
Concurrent Sessions

8A - Connecting Diversity and Globalization: Immigration and Access
One of the most pressing issues for diversity work involves how the globalizing imperative meshes with the domestic diversity initiatives that have a much longer history and remain unfinished. This session will offer creative strategies for identifying and addressing the tensions and challenges posed by the convergence of diversity and globalization. It will examine how demographic changes, immigration, and globalization are making this convergence a pressing issue. It will identify the institutional choices facing university communities, and creative ways to engage the community in addressing those choices. This work will require defining what diversity means in the twenty-first century. This session will feature people who are grappling in exciting ways with these issues.

8B - Corporate Collaboration in Advancing Diversity in Higher Education
Corporations, law firms and other private sector entities have begun working in creative ways with educational institutions to develop the pipeline for higher education and beyond in fields such as business, law, medicine, and engineering (among others). This session will explore interesting and promising examples of these kinds of collaborations between the private sector and the higher education community.

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12:30 pm -
2:30 pm
Lunch and Closing Plenary 9 - Looking Toward the Future: Building the Architecture to Sustain Change

This closing session will explore how institutions and policy makers are taking steps to sustain and institutionalize innovation, collaboration, and ongoing change. It will draw lessons from the work of successful diversity and inclusion initiatives, particularly those that have taken steps toward institutional transformation. It will place the examples of innovation in a larger institutional and demographic landscape, and focus on issues of institutionalization and sustainability: what are the crucial roles, indicators, strategies and policies for supporting sustainable change?

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Save the Date:   December 3-5, 2008

  For more information, please contact us at: cisc@law.columbia.edu

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