Conference News

POD Network News
Fall 2010

The 2010 Conference Team warmly invites you to join us in St. Louis, November 3-7 for the 35th Annual POD Conference.

The 2010 conference theme asks POD attendees to take a fresh look at our past, present and future as we consider new directions for our profession and our organization.  A few highlights from the program include our plenary sessions with Drs. Sylvia Hurtado (UCLA) and Kristen Renn (Michigan State University), special POD-Sponsored sessions from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Faculty Development Network (HBCU), and a Sunday Anchor Session presented by POD’s Professional Development Committee.

Dr. Hurtado will draw from current research in introductory science classrooms to illustrate points regarding assessment of students’ skills. She will present evidence from national data on undergraduate teaching faculty administered by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute indicating a relationship between faculty pedagogy, their own values and characteristics, and institutional support.

Dr. Renn will address how the presence of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgendered can provide opportunities for exploring the intersections of identity, teaching, and learning.  She will address questions like, “How can faculty in any discipline create learning environments that capitalize on engagement with LGBT issues?” while challenging the audience to consider other ways that identities intersect with teaching and learning in higher education.

Dr. Ashley Finley, Director of Assessment for the AAC&U, will present data from a national survey of faculty from twenty colleges and universities regarding faculty practice and perspectives on pedagogical innovation, institutional and disciplinary cultures of teaching and learning, and the junction of high impact pedagogies with regard to promotion and tenure processes.  Additionally, the study addresses the relationship between institutional reward structures and cultures of support with dimensions of job satisfaction, commitment, and mental well-being.

Dr. Henry Findley, and other members of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Faculty Development Network, will describe the origins and distinctive nature of the Network and its role in developing the faculty teaching workforce at HBCUs.  They will also share “nuts and bolts” information about how to establish and maintain such an organization. POD is pleased to announce that it will co-host the POD 2011 Conference in Atlanta with the HBCU Faculty Development Network.

POD’s Professional Development Committee will present the Sunday Anchor Session, Beyond Our Gates: Preparing for Emerging Trends in Higher Education.  Margaret Cohen and colleagues will overview emerging initiatives, including LEAP, High Impact Practices, Access to Success, VSA, Bologna, NSSE, ADP, e-portfolios, and VALUE rubrics. Using case studies, participants will clarify the trends and examine productive and nonproductive patterns of practice so that developers ask strategic questions early, align new initiatives with institutional priorities, and garner instrumental faculty support.

As in previous years, the program includes a vast array of highly interactive sessions, engaging discussions in roundtable format, and a stimulating poster session.  Other conference mainstays include the job fair, resource fair, Topical Interest Groups, and vendor exhibits. Volunteers will be available in a hospitality area to guide attendees in getting the most out of the many opportunities the conference offers. Newcomers will undoubtedly feel the POD spirit, and long-time attendees will once again experience the unique collegiality of the organization’s members.

The conference team has made a number of changes to this year’s program; one of the biggest is the meal line-up. To promote collegiality and ongoing conversations, we will have three breakfasts (Friday-Sunday), two dinners (Thursday and Friday) and a lunch (Saturday). Lunch-on-your-own has been scheduled on Friday this year to allow attendees to take advantage of downtown restaurants that might not be open on the weekend. Saturday’s conference lunch offers you the opportunity to network informally with colleagues, avoiding overlap with the plenary addresses. Long-time attendees to the POD Conference will also notice changes to the traditional evening schedule.  This year, the POD Awards Banquet will be held on Friday night.  The Banquet highlights the POD spirit and community, and we hope all attendees will join us.  Immediately afterwards, POD Karaoke will make its triumphant return!  For those who want to take a break from singing tributes to musical idols, you can enjoy the smooth live music of jazz guitarist Dan Rubright.  Dinner-on-your-own moves to Saturday night and offers POD attendees the chance to catch up with new and old friends, take advantage of the local cuisine, and/or join others at the St. Louis Symphony or the Repertory Theater of St. Louis.

We are truly excited about the conference and look forward to seeing you there!

Shaun Longstreet, Conference Co-Chair
Suzanne Tapp, Conference Co-Chair
Michael Palmer, Program Co-Chair
Martin Springborg, Program Co-Chair