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KSUnite Weekly

April 15, 2019

Call for papers: Michael Tilford Conference on Diversity and Multiculturalism

Submitted by Bryan Samuel, chief diversity and inclusion officer

The Kansas Board of Regents Michael Tilford Conference on Diversity and Multiculturalism Program Committee is seeking submissions for the annual Tilford Conference, Oct. 3-4, at the University of Kansas.

This year, the conference is centering attention on the practice of equity and inclusion, with the understanding that these elements are the foundation of growing and maintaining a diverse learning and work environment in higher education. 

Diversity and equity have long been stated goals of higher education. Yet, most institutions have struggled to build and maintain a student body, faculty, or staff representative of the multiple social identities that make up the nation and our global society. Part of this challenge lies in that while goals of diversity and equity are expressed, campuses do not have the resources, protocols, nor policies in place to facilitate goal attainment in these areas. Further, institutions may inaccurately believe that faculty, staff, and students understand social differences and are consciously prepared to engage, work, and learn in a diverse environment. This knowledge gap can lead to campus environments that are unwelcoming, unsafe, and inequitable. 

The goal of the Tilford Conference is to move beyond talk of equity and toward an understanding and application of its practice in educational settings. Specifically, conference sessions will enhance participants’ abilities to gain greater knowledge of social differences and identities and develop skills to better engage with the diversity of others who populate our campuses. The Conference will have strong research and professional development components and provide participants with tools that can be immediately applied to their educational living, learning, and work spaces. 

The Tilford Conference is a regional conference soliciting submissions and expertise across state boundaries. The core of our collective ability to accomplish all of the above must 1) be founded on the willingness of faculty, staff, and students to reflect upon and understand their roles and responsibilities of agents of improvement and change, and 2) rests upon a collaborative vision of justice, one wherein the diversity of populations has access to, and are served well by higher education. At the same time, higher education produces graduates that meet the demands of employers that are increasingly seeking workers, leaders, and researchers prepared for 21st century global citizenry. 

The Kansas Board of Regents Tilford Conference is the primary vehicle for this necessary work and we invite faculty, staff, and students to submit panel, paper, poster, roundtable and workshop submissions focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion that fall into one or more of the following: 

1. Professional Development: Professional development for faculty, staff, and administrators engaged in working with our potential and undergraduate and graduate populations that can be applied to home institution recruitment, learning and living spaces; 

2. Research: Theoretical, empirical, and applied research in higher education subject areas with particular emphasis on the Kansas, Midwest, and the US experience; 

3. Recruitment, Retention and Advancement: Professional development and organizational strategies on the recruitment, retention and advancement of a diverse workforce in higher education, including tangible strategies and initiatives that can be applied to campus environments; 

4. K-12 Development: Programs in Kansas k-12, especially connections to higher education; 

5. Policy and Assessment: Information, models, and recommendations for campus policies and assessment. 

The Michael Tilford Conference is guided by the Kansas Board of Regents’ Council of Chief Diversity Officers. The Council of Chief Diversity Officers was established in 2018 to facilitate greater diversity and equity within and across Kansas higher education institutions; identify and foster the implementation of shared professional standards of equity and inclusion in higher education work and learning spaces; and establishing metrics that maintain accountability within and across institutions. 

View the PDF call for papers for submission instructions. Deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26.