NAC&U’s 2018 Summer Institute

Engaging Civility: Leading Dialogue In and Beyond the University
Tues, June 19 – Wed, June 20
Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

Pre-conference meetings on Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The NAC&U Summer Institute 2018 will focus on fostering skills to improve civic engagement,
with particular emphasis on the role of civil dialogue. The need for an engaged campus
community crosses disciplinary and geographic borders. This boundary crossing reflects
NAC&U’s commitment to the integration of professional studies and the liberal arts within the
context of purposeful civic engagement, and places that commitment within a frame of
purposeful civic engagement.

Three questions frame our work over the course of this Institute:

  • Which campus and community concerns require our institution’s leadership in facilitating
  • Which strategies can our institutions draw from in order to facilitate effective dialogue
    around these concerns?
  • How can dialogue at our institutions include voices and perspectives that are often missing?

2018 Boyer Award recipient, President José Antonio Bowen of Goucher College, will deliver a plenary based on concepts in his book, Teaching Naked. He will co-lead a workshop on Teaching Naked Techniques with Eddie Watson, Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives at AAC&U. Dean Lawrence Potter of the University of La Verne will also present a plenary session, and NAC&U will award its annual Student Prize for Excellence.

Concurrent sessions will focus on:
Efforts that have worked successfully at our peer institutions to promote civil dialogue and civic engagement

  • Tools/strategies/approaches that are being used for promoting engagement and dialogue,
    both on and off campus, and at the intersections of these locations.
  • Strategies to incorporate staff and faculty into leading dialogue.
  • Discussion of the risks of leading dialogue for institutional reputation, including internal issues/fractures.

The NAC&U Summer Institute, held for faculty and administrators from member colleges and universities, provides a unique opportunity for professional development, discussion of issues common to our member institutions, and networking.
Registration is open.




Tuesday, June 19

Lawrence T. Potter, Jr.
Language (and Meaning) Matters: Nurturing Civility and Inclusivity in “Uncivil” Times
Topics such as power, privilege, identity, inequality, and intersectionality have always been challenging to discuss in the classroom; and, teaching and engaging these topics has become increasingly more complex in an era of targeted biases and incivility beyond the university. This presentation will shed light on the importance of why language and meaning matters and offer strategies on how to nurture dialogues on civil discourse and inclusivity in “uncivil” times. The presentation will address understanding a need for setting ground rules, addressing difficult dialogues, and confronting bias.

About Lawrence T. Potter, Jr.
The University of La Verne appointed Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Jr. to the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in August 2015. Dr. Potter brings more than twenty years’ experience as an educator to La Verne, having served in a variety of faculty and administrative roles at private and public institutions throughout his career. He most recently held the position of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and was tenured professor of English at Jackson State University—an historically Black, urban research-intensive university—in Mississippi. Dr. Potter was responsible for 300 faculty and staff, along with approximately 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students. He led many faculty-focused initiatives such as recruitment, retention and development, while enhancing student learning outcomes and developing quality online learning opportunities. Dr. Potter previously served as associate dean of the faculty and chief diversity officer at Allegheny
College—a selective, private liberal arts college—in Meadville, Pennsylvania; and, rose through the faculty ranks as a scholar of English and African-American literature at the University of St. Thomas—a private Catholic, research university—in Minnesota and Western Michigan University—a large public, research extensive university. A champion of diversity and inclusivity initiatives, Dr. Potter developed the Center for Intercultural Advancement and Student Success, the Diversity Scholar-in-Residence, and the Council on Diversity and Equity, and supervised the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, among other programs, at Allegheny. Read more

Wednesday, June 20

José Antonio Bowen
Teaching Naked Plenary: How Moving Technology out of your College Classroom will Improve Student Learning
Technology is changing higher education, but the greatest value of a physical university will remain its face-to-face (naked) interaction between faculty and students. Technology has fundamentally changed our relationship to knowledge and this increases the value of critical thinking, but we need to redesign our courses to deliver this value.  The most important benefits to using technology occur outside of the classroom. New technology can increase student preparation and engagement between classes and create more time for the in-class dialogue that makes the campus experience worth the extra money it will always cost to deliver. Students already use online content, but need better ways to interact with material before every class.  By using online quizzes and games, rethinking our assignments and course design, we can create more class time for the activities and interactions that most spark the critical thinking and change of mental models we seek.

Teaching Naked Techniques Workshop: A Practical Workshop on Designing Better Classes
This is a practical and active workshop for all faculty that distills the latest research on how students learn into tested techniques and best practices that work. Decades of research have brought an explosion of knowledge about how human evolution has shaped the way we process, think, and remember. Technology also provides new ways for students to receive first contact with material, enhanced opportunities to connect and create community, better ways to ensure that students are prepared for class, and new options for the sequence of learning encounters and activities. Teaching is largely a design problem, and we need to design our classes for the brain in the body. This workshop will suggest lots of easy techniques to improve student learning while providing a process to guide faculty in creating better modules and courses. It follows the design process in the book, which can be purchased with a bulk discount from Wiley.

About José Antonio Bowen
José Antonio Bowen is President of Goucher College. He taught at Stanford, Georgetown and Southern Methodist University where he was Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. He has written over 100 scholarly articles and has appeared as a musician with Stan Getz, Bobby McFerrin, and others.  He has written a symphony (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), music for Hubert Laws and Jerry Garcia, and is an editor for Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology. His latest book TeachingNaked: How Moving Technology out of your College Classroom will Improve Student Learning, was the winner of the Ness Award for Best Book on Higher Education from the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Stanford honored him as a Distinguished Alumni Scholar in 2010, and he will be awarded the Boyer Award (for significant contributions to American higher education) in January 2018. See his blog at or follow him on Twitter @josebowen.

Eddie Watson
Eddie Watson will co-lead the Teaching Naked Techniques Workshop with José Antonio Bowen.

C. Edward Watson is the Chief Information Officer and the Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives.  He leads the association’s national and state-level advocacy and policy efforts to advance quality in undergraduate student learning and guides AAC&U’s agenda, grounded in the LEAP Initiative, to advance educational quality initiatives within institutions, state systems, and state-based consortia. He also serves as the leader for the LEAP States initiative. Prior to joining AAC&U, Dr. Watson was the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia (UGA) where he led university efforts associated with faculty development, TA development, student learning outcomes assessment, learning technologies, media production services, classroom support and learning spaces, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. He also taught a range of courses on College Teaching, Student Learning, and Course Design. He continues to serve as a Fellow in the Institute for Higher Education at UGA. His most recent books are Teaching Naked Techniques:  A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes (Jossey-Bass, 2017) and Playing to Learn with Reacting to the Past: Research on High Impact, Active Learning Practices(Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).



Preliminary Schedule

Tuesday, June 19 9 am – 12 pm Board Meeting
Provost Meeting
Ambassador Meeting
Student Affairs Meeting
12 – 1 pm Lunch
1-2 pm Presidents & Provosts Combined Meeting
1-2 pm Ambassadors Meeting
2-3 pm Presidents/Provosts/Ambassadors Combined Meeting
1-3 pm Student Affairs Meeting
3 – 5 pm Group roundtables to discuss general issues/challenges and campus activities
Tuesday, June 19 5:30 – 8:30 pm Welcome Dinner

Plenary: Lawrence Potter, University of La Verne

Language (and Meaning) Matters: Nurturing Civility and Inclusivity in “Uncivil” Times

Wednesday, June 20 8:30 – 9 am Breakfast
9 – 10:30 am Plenary: José Antonio Bowen, Goucher College

Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of your College Classroom will Improve Student Learning

10:45 am – 12 pm Workshop: José Antonio Bowen, Goucher College, and Eddie Watson, AAC&U

Teaching Naked Techniques Workshop: A Practical Workshop on Designing Better Classes

12 – 1:00 pm Lunch with Pacific Lutheran University MediaLab Presentation on its documentary series, “A World of Difference,” which explores issues of diversity, including gender, race, immigration and social class
1:00 – 2:00 pm Presentation of the NAC&U Award for Student Excellence
2:00 – 3:00 pm Concurrent Sessions (see below for descriptions)
3:15 – 4:15 pm Hamline University Presentation: Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center
4:15 – 5:15 pm Concurrent Sessions (see below for descriptions)
5:15 – 6:15 pm Conference wrap up and cocktail reception

Wednesday, June 20

2:00 pm

Reading Between the Lines: Finding the Hidden Meanings in Academic Policies, Decision-Making and Communication
Beverly Schneller, Belmont University, and Marguerite Weber, Higher Learning Designs, LLC

This will be an interactive workshop on collaborative decision-making approaches to promote engagement and dialog around grand challenges and difficult conversations relative to student learning and student success. Presenters will address the risks associated with faculty leading dialogs that may be perceived by leadership and external stakeholders as impacting institutional reputation and perceptions of engagement with at-risk students and bridge program students. The workshop will address three stages of engaged conversation: 1) framing critical, difficult, courageous grand dialogues about the institution’s future; (2) encouraging faculty and administrators to be in the “room where it happens” in dealing with crucial institutional surviving/thriving; and, (3) leveraging how the productive tensions between faculty and administrators can and should generate new ways of thinking. Attendees will identify a campus policy, practice or communication effort that falls under the grand challenge or difficult conversation model. They will work towards designing an institutional solution, as they are introduced to the Balanced Values Canvas (© Weber 2017); they will have the opportunity to role play communication strategies that would change the perception of the issue and the potential risks involved in raising or responding to the issue. The outcomes are to enable participants to find ways to raise difficult issues, to encourage various means of understanding how issues are perceived by a variety of stakeholders, and to provide attendees with the time to practice and critique how they would resolve or address the difficult issue, informed by the Balanced Values Canvas (© Weber 2017).

Missing Student Veteran Voices on Campus: A Model for Integrating Curriculum, Bonding, and Leadership
Stephen Kaplan, Manhattan College (with two veteran students)

Over thirty years in the classroom at Manhattan College and only a lone student veteran voice here and there has spoken up. Why have men and women who have stood up to serve our country been reluctant to speak up on this college campus and on other campuses as well? These are voices of experience—organizational experiences, international experiences, leadership experiences, technical training experiences, and combat experiences. These voices need to be heard as part of a civil civic discourse. Two student veterans and I will articulate the MC Veterans at Ease program. This program uses a required course, “The Nature and Experience of Religion” as a platform to introduce veterans to other veterans and to our traditional student population. We also utilize this course as the vehicle to offer student veterans the opportunity to participate, at no personal expense, in a four-day retreat program that offers a variety of stress reduction techniques as well as opportunities to bond with other veterans. The Veterans at Ease program, now three years old, has proved very successful, as evidenced by a tripling of our student veteran population, our successful retention rate, and the heightened participation of our student veterans in classes across the campus and in presenting academic panels such as “The Military and Peace” and “Women in the Military.” Finally, we will discuss how different institutions can utilize our program as a model that can be adjusted to other colleges and universities.

Centering on Civility: Leveraging Centers for an Engaged Campus
Jennifer Keys, Lisa Long, and Whitney Roberts, North Central College

North Central College’s Center for Social Impact, established in 2017, was forged from decades of work across disciplines and departments to engage students, faculty, and community partners in the public purposes of higher education. The work of the Center bridges Academic and Student Affairs functions and a robust partnership with the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence amplifies our capacity to serve multiple stakeholders. Our collective goal is to reach every student with Community Engaged Learning opportunities–a signature high impact learning practice that recently emerged organically as a shared faculty goal during the backward design process that lead to the creation of new General Education learning outcomes and a new curriculum, currently in development. We utilize Senge’s (1990) framework of “learning organizations” and Kuh’s (1996) concept of a “seamless learning environment” as guiding aspirations for our work. We also embrace principles of good practice for Community Engaged Learning and glean insights from the research on building and sustaining partnerships that situate Academic Affairs and Student Affairs as co-teachers and co-learners with the wider community. As we continue to learn important lessons from our mission-driven endeavor, we hope to contribute new perspectives and understandings to the literature on how centers—as easily-identifiable, carefully structured, collaborative hubs for related sets of activities—can help foster integrative civic engagement. This session will provide attendees with concrete strategies for leveraging existing culture and resources, while avoiding common pitfalls and communication barriers, to create a more vibrant and engaged campus, where students engage in deep learning, finding meaning and purpose and achieving the highest levels of success.

Wednesday, June 20

4:15 pm

Hamline University’s Summer of Justice: Community events to promote awareness and hope
Jillian Peterson and Letitia Basford, Hamline University

Presenters will discuss the impact of Hamline University’s Summer of Justice, a series of community events held during the summer of 2017. More than 1000 people from the university and neighboring community attended these monthly events where:
* Key leaders in the Twin Cities organization Black Lives Matter discussed police brutality, historical trauma, systemic racism, and the future of the movement.
* A young man recently released after 17 years in prison told his story, and 25 community leaders led group discussions on mass incarceration.
* A panel of educators and family members discussed the School to Prison Pipeline and efforts being done to prevent it.
Located blocks away from where Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer, Hamline University was in a unique position to lead challenging and necessary conversations. Drawing from the expertise of interdisciplinary faculty and utilizing voices from the community, these events strived to both educate and inspire the audience to make meaningful individual and collective change in their communities.

Presenters will discuss the strategies they used to recruit the 1000+ event attendees. They will also highlight through video feedback how these events promoted new awareness and a feeling of hope within a community wounded by recent violence. They will share their process of developing these events so that session participants will leave with concrete strategies and tools to utilize in their respective circles. Presenters will also engage participants in a discussion regarding the institutional challenges of holding large community events that focus on critical but emotionally-charged topics.

HEOP at Manhattan College: Supporting Underserved Populations
Elena Caminito and Heidi Laudien, Manhattan College

Manhattan College is committed to providing a contemporary, person-centered educational experience that prepares graduates for lives of personal development, professional success, civic engagement and service to their fellow human beings. In the spirit of the College’s mission, the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), has been in existence at Manhattan College since 1970. The aim of this state funded program is to provide a broad range of services to NY state students who, because of academic and economic circumstances, would otherwise be unable to attend a private, postsecondary educational institution. Disadvantaged students are defined as NOT exceeding yearly poverty guidelines by more than 185% with potential for successful collegiate experiences, but who have not acquired the verbal, mathematical, and other cognitive skills required to complete college-level work. Currently, the general admission criteria at Manhattan College indicates an 85-89% GPA with a super-sized combined SAT score of 1100+. However, HEOP students fall below these standards. This is only a partial picture of the deficits that a student may possess. Our program, which is reflective of our community in which low-income individuals tend to be of Hispanic, Black or Asian descent, includes a pre-freshman intensive summer session that provides students with foundational credit-bearing and noncredited coursework including College Writing, Pre-Calculus, Philosophy, Art History, and Science Highlights. In this panel, HEOP Director Elena Caminito and Dr. Heidi Laudien, Professor of English who teaches HEOP students, will present on the challenges and opportunities of the program at Manhattan College. Specifically issues of institutional eligibility, student recruitment, advocacy, peer mentorship, remedial/developmental coursework and retention rates will be discussed as well as how faculty working with diverse populations identify and implement best practices to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the students they serve.

Having a Conversation When No One Wants to Talk
Lynda Nyce, Ohio Northern University

Ohio Northern has a new campaign through its campus chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and its student-run firm, True North PR. A four-person student team is working on an ONU version of a national campaign, Innovate Against Hate. The student group began with interviews of key people and focus groups and hopes to have a process in place by this spring that will begin intentional conversations between members of campus and broader community who have very contrasting opinions about controversial issues. The hope is that these intentional conversations can allow people to recognize points of similarity as well as identify opportunities for continuing civil dialogue. This session will be an overview of this new student-led project in development, and include discussion of opportunities and risks that accompany efforts to lead this dialogue. The session would be participatory, with all attendees able to provide feedback on what is being developed at ONU as well develop ideas that could be used on other campuses.


Travel & Lodging

Getting Around
Pacific Lutheran University is approximately a 45-minute drive from Seattle-Tacoma airport. Uber is a popular way to get around the Seattle-Tacoma area. If you’d prefer to book a shuttle, PLU offers suggestions, as well as directions to campus, on this page.

On-Campus Housing
On-campus housing will be available at Pacific Lutheran University during the nights of Monday, June 18, through Wednesday, June 20 (checkout on Thursday, June 21). All rooms are singles, but the bathroom is a common hallway bathroom (traditional dormitory style). Guests will receive a linen packet (two sheets, a blanket, a towel, and washcloth) upon check-in.

On-campus housing costs $55 per night. You will have an option to register for on-campus housing in the online registration system for Summer Institute. Reservations must be received by May 31, 2018.

Off-Campus Options
There are two clusters of hotels located 10-15 minutes from Pacific Lutheran University, both to the west (in Tacoma) and to the east (in Puyallup). You can also choose to stay in downtown Tacoma on/near the waterfront which is about 20 minutes from campus. There are no hotels within walking distance of campus, but Uber is a popular option if you stay off-campus and choose not to rent a car.

NAC&U has secured room blocks at two local hotels:

Hampton Inn Tacoma
8203 South Hosmer Street
Tacoma, WA 98408
$165/night plus tax/fees
Reserve by May 28 for this rate.
Call 253-539-2288 and mention NAC&U when booking.

Best Western Premier Plaza Hotel & Conference Center
620 South Hill Park Drive
Puyallup, WA 98373
$149/night plus tax/fees
Reserve by May 18 for this rate.
Call the Front Desk at 253-848-1500 and mention The New American Colleges & Universities when booking.

For more local lodging options, please go here.



Registration is open.


Map for Pacific Lutheran University

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