2023 Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Call for Proposals

AAC&U invites proposals for pre-conference extended strategy sessions, pre-conference workshops, roundtable discussions, concurrent workshops, discussion sessions, poster sessions, and lightning talks at the 2023 Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success. At the conference, attendees will also have the opportunity to propose unconference sessions.

All presenters are responsible for conference registration fees. Presentations will take place between March 9 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, and March 11 at 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time. 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 presenter. If there is more than one presenter for your proposal, please indicate who should be listed as the coordinating presenter. The coordinating presenter will receive all proposal submission correspondence. The coordinating presenter is responsible for sharing presenter-related communications with all co-presenters.
    • Session format
    • Virtual or in-person, if applicable
    • Session title (75-character limit, including spaces)
    • Anticipated participant learning outcomes (100-word limit)
    • Background and evidence of the 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 in in-person or in a virtual environment. (150-word limit)
    • Program Abstract: Brief session description to be used in the 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.)
    • Citations (if applicable)
    • Participant guidance: Is the session relevant for an in-person session, virtual session, or both?
    • 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 an exhaustive list of session topics that will be accepted.

    • Building institutional capacity to address inequities in higher education
    • Defining and translating anti-racism goals into institutional practices
    • Building campus engagement for diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging (DEIJB) efforts
    • Campus climate and institutional transformation
    • Designing, implementing, and assessing equity-focused high-impact practices
    • De-centering whiteness in educational design, data collection, and assessment
    • External and internal policies that shape DEIJB efforts
    • Data sharing, analysis, and goal setting for equity-centered transformation
    • DEIJ-centered teaching and learning strategies
    • Faculty diversity, retention, and recruitment to support DEI goals
    • Inclusive and responsive pedagogy in all settings (virtual, hybrid, and in-person)
    • Understanding who our students are and the barriers they experience
    • Institutional accountability and intentionality with DEIJB goals
    • Educator and student mental health and 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
    • Curriculum to career strategies and practices
    • Examining the uneven impacts of the pandemic
    • Technology designs that advance equity
    • Collaborating across departments and divisions to support student success
  • Pre-conference Extended Strategy Sessions (4 hours) In-person
    These four-hour sessions 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 on March 9 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time with a one-hour lunch break from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Each session will be capped at 50 participants.

    Pre-conference Workshops (2 hours) In-person or Virtual
    These two-hour sessions are designed to guide participants as they explore significant work at the level of the course, program, or institution. Presenters should provide resources and templates to help participants structure their ideas and plans. There will be opportunities for discussion and feedback. Pre-conference workshops will be held on March 9 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Each workshop will be capped at 75 participants.

    Roundtable Discussions (60 minutes; 1-2 presenters) In-person or Virtual
    Roundtable Discussions 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 Roundtable Discussions 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 at the table.

    Workshops (75 minutes) In-person or virtual
    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 research and 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.

    Discussion Sessions (60 Minutes) In-person or virtual
    These concurrent discussion sessions provide an opportunity to explore current work, recent findings, or new perspectives and allow ample time for discussion with and among audience members.

    Poster Sessions (60 minutes; 1–3 presenters) In-person
    Poster presenters share visual models of research findings; DEI courses, programs, 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.

    Lightning Talks (45 minutes) In-person or Virtual
    Attendees will be grouped by topics (four-five per group) and will have five minutes each to present an overview of emerging research, share promising strategies, and/or pose questions. Participants can bring a poster or share three-five slides. These sessions will invite feedback from the audience and will take place during the poster session.

    Unconference Sessions (30 minutes) In-person or Virtual
    Attendees will have an opportunity to gather on their own and deliver a session based on the conference theme. Sign-up sheets for unconference sessions will be offered on the first day of the conference and held on Saturday, March 11th.

  • 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. Successful proposals incorporate innovative strategies and works in progress that seek to transform cultures that are not keeping pace with current 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)
    • Where applicable, extent to which the session activities are suited for a virtual platform

Additional Information

The deadline to submit proposals is 11:59 p.m. ET on November 14, 2022.

Upon submission of a proposal, the coordinating presenter will receive an automatic message confirming receipt of the submission. If the coordinating presenter does not receive this message (and it is not in their spam or junk folder), please email [email protected]. The coordinating presenter 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.

Sessions Times

Presentation times will occur between March 9 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, and March 11 at 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time.

Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

Organizations, nonprofits, companies, publishers, and others have valuable opportunities to showcase their products and services in a variety of formats during the conference. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please email us at [email protected].

Sponsors interested in session presentations should consult the submission and review guidelines above or email us at: [email protected].