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2012 Faculty Retreat | Concurrent Workshops


Office of the Provost
Fax: 202-885-2173
Leonard, Room Lower Level

Bass, Scott A.

Office of the Provost
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8061

Friday Concurrent Workshops (Group A)

Saturday Concurrent Workshops (Group B)

Saturday Concurrent Workshops (Group C)

Diversity & Inclusion in a Pro-Social Environment

When diversity of viewpoints and perspectives lead to challenging classroom discussions, how do our own values impact the conversation? What are the ways we can create an inclusive environment, one that makes it possible for students to engage in meaningful discourse when multiple perspectives are presented?

Offered during: Friday (Group A), Saturday (Group C).

Does Ideology Affect Tenure Decisions

Tenure is regarded as an important protection for academic freedom, but can ideological factors in tenure decisions reduce pre-tenure academic freedom? This workshop will consider different ways that ideology can influence tenure decisions, their importance in practice, and measures which might address such pressures.

Offered during: Friday (Group A), Saturday (Group B).

Enhancing Prospects for Success for Latino Students at AU

As a young and growing demographic group, people of Latin American and Caribbean origin represent the most rapidly expanding source of demand for American higher education and will remain so during the coming decades. In addition to the challenges outlined above, a disproportionate percentage of college-bound Latino youth will be the first in their families to have pursued higher education. Taken together, these factors signal the need for colleges and universities to adapt their offerings to the needs of this diverse pool of students and to develop well-designed strategies for maximizing their prospects of success.

This is a particular imperative at American University, which has witnessed nearly a three-fold increase in Latino enrollments over the past five years and is committed to serving an ever more diverse student body. What can AU do to attract and retain exceptionally promising Latino students? How can we innovate to make AU an environment that is as intellectually and socially enriching for them as possible? What measures can we take to convey convincingly that AU incorporates its Latino students (and faculty and staff) as full-fledged citizens of our community? These are among the questions to be addressed in this break-out session.

Offered during: Saturday (Group B), Saturday (Group C).

First Generation and Socio-economic Differences

First Generation students frequently struggle with balancing their academic pursuits and their families’ expectations. Students who differ socio-economically from the majority of their peers at a private institution such as ours have financial pressures especially in trying to participate in co-curricular activities and social events. How can faculty help provide the optimal academic and socialization experience for these students?

Offered during: Friday (Group A), Saturday (Group B), Saturday (Group C).

Frederick Douglas Distinguished Scholars Program and High Achieving Students of Color: The Ripple Effect

The Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program has welcomed its third cohort, and continues to attract gifted students of color to American University. This session will explore the unique challenges in recruiting and developing high-achieving students of color and how these challenges continue to inform the program's development.

Offered during: Friday (Group A).

Integrating and Including Students with Disabilities: Moving Beyond Compliance to Universal Design

Universal design for instruction aims to create an appropriate learning environment in which all students have the opportunity to demonstrate high levels of knowledge and skills. This session will explore how faculty can move beyond compliance with disability accommodation requirements toward instruction that is accessible to everyone in the classroom. Facilitators will provide examples of curricula that challenge and engage all students. By eliminating the academic, social, and physical obstacles to participation in high quality instruction, faculty can provide the opportunity to create diversity and equitable classroom communities.

Offered during: Friday (Group A).

International Students on AU Campus: Meeting the Needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Student Population

In the most recent American University Graduation survey, international students praised their experiences at AU. However, with the growing international student population, how can we better meet the students' needs while developing an integrated multicultural community on campus? This workshop discusses research and practices of working with culturally and linguistically diverse student population and provides faculty with practical suggestions and tools for engaging international students in their classes.

Offered during: Friday (Group A), Saturday (Group B), Saturday (Group C).

Invisible Diversity

Many types of diversity are not immediately apparent, such as veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, and some forms of disabilities. This workshop will address the unique challenges posed by invisible diversity, both to student experiences in the classroom and on campus and to faculty and staff interacting with these students.

Offered during: Saturday (Group C).

It Takes a Village: Students and Community: Successful Retention of All of our Students

American University has made measureable gains in establishing processes for retaining our students. However, we have a low “persistence to graduation rate” compared to our peer universities. What are effective strategies for faculty to help retain our talented sophomores, juniors, and seniors?

Offered during: Friday (Group A), Saturday (Group B), Saturday (Group C).

Laying Down Roots: Cultivating a Culture of Inclusion in Recruiting and Retaining Faculty from Under-represented Groups

This workshop focuses on AU’s successes and challenges in diversifying our faculties, from historical and institutional perspectives, and current best practices for attracting, welcoming and retaining diverse faculty colleagues including people of color, women, LGBTs, first generation, and physically challenged.

Offered during: Friday (Group A), Saturday (Group B).

Minority Graduate Education: Best Practices for Increasing Enrollment and Retention

As we work toward increasing graduate enrollment, we need to focus on retention of underrepresented groups in graduate education. What are best practices for increasing enrollments and retention of underrepresented groups?

Offered during: Saturday (Group B), Saturday (Group C).

Political Diversity in the Classroom

Political diversity present difficult challenges for the classroom. This workshop could specifically pertain to how faculty can engage students in political discussions, encourage discussions on topics that may differ from their own beliefs/values, and encourage students to share their thoughts in a diverse classroom.

Offered during: Friday (Group A), Saturday (Group B), Saturday (Group C).

The R word -- Today’s Buzzword, Tomorrow’s Lecture: How to Teach Race and Identity Issues in the Classroom

Teaching about race and identity issues brings with it a unique set of concerns: Am I qualified to speak on the experiences of racial and identity groups not my own? What materials exist to give students a contemporary, hands-on understanding of how identity and race are constructed in our various disciplines? How do I guide classroom discussion so that minority students don't feel uncomfortable, and all students can speak openly? In this break-out session, an SOC Curriculum Development Grant project to create teaching modules on diversity issues is used as a springboard for a broader discussion on how to bring race and identity issues into the classroom, and then what to do with them once they're there. Videos of actual classroom discussions about thorny race issues will be shown and discussed. Participants will be encouraged to brainstorm and share the challenges and effective techniques they've encountered in their own teaching.

Offered during: Friday (Group A), Saturday (Group B).

The Service Trap: Minority or Female Faculty in Service and Promotion

Is it true that women and minority faculty tend to do more service on committees and other service tasks? And does this interfere with their research productivity, tenure, and promotion? Is this a particular problem for tenured associate professors, hindering promotion to full professor? Is it harder for women or minority faculty to say "no" to requests for service - or are these conflicts shared by everyone? This session examines these issues and will explore possible solutions to ensure balance when considering the distribution of service among faculty members.

Offered during: Friday (Group A), Saturday (Group B).

Third Culture Students and Generation 1.5

The diversity of the student body at US institutions is increasing, as is our recognition and understanding of it. Third Culture and military kids, adult and child immigrant students all bring diverse experiences and perceptions into the classroom. This session will focus on the research on these populations of students and the implications for teaching, learning and support of these student communities.

Offered during: Friday (Group A), Saturday (Group C).