2022 Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Call for Proposals

The Call for Proposals is closed

The deadline to submit a proposal was Friday, November 12, 2021.

A notification letter indicating the decision on the proposal was sent to the primary session contact on or around January 14, 2022. Please be sure to check your spam or junk folder as well. If the message was not received, please email [email protected].

Call for Proposals

AAC&U invites proposals for pre-conference strategy sessions, dialogues for learning, innovation and ideation sessions, workshops, and posters at the 2022 Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, More Than Just Words.

All presenters are responsible for conference registration fees. Presentations will take place between 5:00 pm CT on Thursday, March 17, and 12:00pm CT on Saturday, March 19. Presenters should plan to be available at the time their session is assigned in the conference program.

Submission Guidelines

  • The online proposal form includes the following fields:

    • Name, title, discipline, institution name, (and Carnegie Classification) and email address of each facilitator. If there is more than one presenter for your proposal, please indicate who should be listed as the corresponding presenter. The corresponding presenter will receive all proposal submission correspondence. The corresponding presenter is responsible for sharing presenter-related communications with all co-presenters.
    • Session format
    • Session title (75-character limit, including spaces)
    • Anticipated participant learning outcomes (100-word limit)
    • Background and evidence of effectiveness of work being presented (250-word limit)
    • Plan for engaging conference participants/attendees: Provide a detailed plan for how attendees will be engaged in hands-on session activities for in-person or a virtual environment. (150-word limit)
    • Program Abstract: Brief session description to be used in conference program if accepted (2-4 sentences for a total of 75–150 words. Descriptions should summarize the above fields and highlight what is distinctive and transferrable about the work you are presenting.)
    • Citation (if applicable)
    • Participant guidance, for both categories more than one response may be selected:
      • Level of expertise: Is the session designed for beginner, intermediate, or advanced participants?
      • Campus roles: Is the session most relevant for students, faculty, administrators, student affairs professionals, policymakers, researchers, or diversity officers?
  • Please note that this is not a exhaustive list of session topics that will be accepted.

    • Building institutional capacity to address inequities in higher education
    • Translating anti-racism goals into institutional practices
    • Addressing resistance to DEI efforts
    • Designing, implementing, and assessing equity-focused high-impact practices
    • Student activism as a high-impact practice
    • De-centering whiteness in educational design, data collection, and assessment
    • Faculty diversity, retention, and recruitment to support DEI goals
    • Inclusive and responsive pedagogy in all settings (virtual, hybrid, and in-person)
    • Understanding the barriers students experience
    • Institutional accountability and intentionality with DEI goals
    • Educator and student well-being
    • Supporting students who are experiencing basic needs insecurities
    • Social responsibility and community engagement
    • Supporting non-tenured faculty
    • Campus safety
    • Racial healing and transformation
    • Role of institutional leaders in DEI and student success efforts
    • Civil discourse and campus free speech
    • Technology designs that advance equity
    • Collaborating across departments and divisions to support student success
  • *Pre-conference Strategy Sessions

    (120 minutes)

    These are designed to guide participants as they develop plans of action for significant work at the level of the course, program, or institution. Presenters should provide resources and templates to help participants structure their planning. There will be opportunities for discussion and feedback. Strategy Sessions will be held as virtual, pre-conference workshops on Monday, March 14th, 2022 and Tuesday, March 15, 2022 and each session will be capped at 50 participants.

    Dialogues for Learning

    (60 minutes; 1-4 presenters)

    Dialogue for Learning sessions provide time for colleagues to examine timely and potentially provocative topics of similar interest through the iterative sharing of expertise and experiences. They provide an opportunity to work through issues, ideas, and challenges from multiple perspectives, engage in problem solving, and engage in new ideas. The facilitators’ job is to kickstart small group conversations that then feed into a collective discussion of the question at hand.

    Proposals for Dialogue for Learning sessions should briefly set the context for the conversation related to one of the conference themes and should clearly articulate the intended audience in terms of institutional type, position, or particular area of practice. Facilitators assist the group in examining new ways of thinking about the topic and strategies for moving forward given the professional reality and expertise of each individual in the room.

    Innovation and Ideation Sessions

    (30 minutes)

    These feature innovative practices that have emerged as diversity, equity, and student success efforts have been reframed in response to the disruption of the global pandemic and/or institutional efforts to make higher education practices more equitable and just. Each session consists of two presentations of equal length, with time for questions and feedback. Two presentations will take place in a 1-hour time block.


    (60 minutes)

    These concurrent workshops provide an interactive environment for conference attendees to bridge theory and practice and to deeply examine, explore, and/or experience relevant theories and implementation strategies that can contribute to transformation in higher education that can be achieved and sustained. Workshops are expected to engage conference attendees in reflection and discussion about work related to, but not limited to strategic reform to address DEI efforts and inequities in higher education as well as the privileges, the biases, and the false belief in a hierarchy of human value that are embedded in our systems.

    Proposals for workshops must provide details about the scholarship that will inform the workshop topic and its approach to conference attendee engagement. Proposed sessions that are designed to promote engagement, such as small-group collaboration and experiential learning, will be given priority for presentation.

    **Poster Sessions

    (60 minutes; 1–3 presenters)

    Poster presenters share visual models of research findings; DEI courses, program, and curricular or cocurricular designs; concept maps; diversity and equity assessment rubrics and feedback loops; faculty development, support, and reward programs and policies; frameworks for design thinking and strategic planning; and high-impact practices. The poster session provides an opportunity for presenters to talk with attendees about how to apply findings to their own work.

    *These will be virtual presentations on Monday, March 14th and Tuesday, March 15th, as a component of the DESS Conference’s hybrid model.

    **Presenters must be available to be in-person on Thursday, March 17th for the beginning of the DESS Conference.

  • AAC&U strives to offer a balanced, informative, and thought-provoking conference focused on frameworks that advance quality and equity as the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education.

    The proposal selection committee will include experienced academic professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds and areas of expertise. Successful proposals will represent evidence-based theory-to-practice models that interrogate the effectiveness of existing campus cultures and structures in the context of today’s student demographics; local, national, and global communities; and our nation’s reliance on an educated and engaged citizenry. It invites innovative strategies and work in progress to transform cultures that are not keeping pace with these realities. The following elements serve as proposal selection criteria:

    • Potential for the proposed session/presentation to advance expansive and inclusive strategies for teaching and learning; to foster and sustain collaborations across divisions and programs;
    • Inclusion of evidence-based, theory-to-practice models that connect research and scholarship with effective approaches to develop courses, curricula, pedagogies, assessment practices, and campus cultures that engage all students in high-quality learning experiences and that ensure all members of the community feel valued and respected;
    • Extent to which the session or presentation offers creative, novel, and transformative mechanisms for designing and facilitating critical dialogues to advance understanding across differences and promote idea sharing for institutional transformation;
    • Extent to which the proposed session or presentation provides evidence of effectiveness, lessons learned, challenges overcome, and applicability across a range of institutional types;
    • Explicit plans for involving participants in reflection, discussion, exercises, and other activities that will help them understand and apply the material;
    • Extent to which proposals reflect diverse perspectives, innovations, disciplines, and strategies for change (student voices and perspectives are encouraged); and
    • Where applicable (Pre-Conference Workshops), extent to which the session activities are suited for a virtual platform.
  • The deadline to submit proposals was Friday, November 12, 2021.
    Upon submission of a proposal, the primary session contact will receive an automatic message confirming receipt of the submission. If the contact does not receive this message (and it is not in their spam or junk folder), please email [email protected]. The primary contact is responsible for sharing presenter-related communications with all co-presenters.

    Expenses and Fees

    All session presenters are responsible for conference registration fees, travel expenses, etc. Please ensure that all individuals listed in the proposal have this information and will be available at the appropriate time during the event.

    Session Times

    Presentation times will occur between the evening of Thursday, March 17th, 2022, and the morning of Saturday, March 19th, 2022. Pre-conference workshops will take place virtually on Monday, March 14th and Tuesday, March 15th, 2022 from 3:00-5:00pm EST.

    Sponsorship Opportunities

    AAC&U provides opportunities for sponsors to showcase their products and services and to engage with attendees during the conference. For more information, please visit AAC&U Sponsorships or contact AAC&U’s Office of Outreach and Member Engagement at 202-387-3760 or [email protected].

    Sponsors interested in session presentations should consult the submission and review guidelines above and submit a proposal. Proposals for conference sessions or presentations that promote products or services available for purchase will not be considered through the review process outlined above.