Annual Meeting and Retreat for Administrators Sessions and Events

A schedule of Annual Meeting and Retreat for Administrators sessions and events for each day is provided below.

An advance copy of the program of all sessions and events with meeting room locations will be available here immediately prior to the Annual Meeting and Retreat for Administrators. The program will be provided to attendees as requested at the time of registration, either in hardcopy or by use of the NAST Annual Meeting and Retreat for Administrators App.

Registration is required for the Annual Meeting and Retreat for Administrators.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.


9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

(Commission members only)

9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

(Separate fee and advance registration required; click here for full workshop description)

This workshop has been designed to address several of the most important areas of concern for new and aspiring administrators. Each segment will involve a basic briefing on a designated topic, followed by ample opportunity for interaction and discussion. The content will focus on principles and approaches applicable to all types of institutions.

Participants are invited to attend the Reception for Pre-Meeting Workshop Attendees to be held from 5:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m.

9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

(Separate fee and advance registration required; click here for full workshop description)

The responsibilities of the theatre administrator are diverse and multifaceted. Each day brings new challenges and opportunities. Over time, the roles and responsibilities of an administrator often expand, change, and evolve. This pre-meeting workshop, especially designed for seasoned administrators, will include both short presentations and discussions related to various issues affecting the work of theatre administrators. Topics will be established by the workshop leaders and will include, but not be limited to: working with faculty, students, and other administrators within and across disciplines; communicating with upper administrators; issues of promotion and tenure; financial management of the theatre unit; marketing the theatre unit to prospective students and the public; strategies for dealing with difficult situations; and succession planning. Topics of interest to attendees may be considered as well. Attendees from all types of institutions and from all levels of administration are welcome.

Participants are invited to attend the Reception for Pre-Meeting Workshop Attendees to be held from 5:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m.

4:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.


This session will provide an orientation to the resources and operations of NAST, with special attention to the benefits and responsibilities of accredited institutional Membership. Discussion will emphasize ways the Association and its work can assist administrators to fulfill the many and varied aspects of their local responsibilities. At the end of the session, attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and engage in discussion.

5:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m

(Cash bar)

All pre-meeting workshop attendees, presenters, and facilitators are invited to this informal reception, which will provide an opportunity to meet, greet, establish mentor/mentee connections, and cultivate valuable professional relationships with other theatre administrators. Attendees are also welcome and encouraged to continue the conversations begun during the day’s workshops.

5:45 p.m.–6:00 p.m.

(Board of Directors members only)

6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

(Board of Directors members only)

Thursday, March 24, 2022

7:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.


8:00 a.m.–12:00 noon

(Please note: A box lunch will be provided. Attendees are asked to register in advance.)

This workshop will provide information and guidance pertaining to the NAST comprehensive review process including discussion of the self-study and visitation processes for members whose institutions are to be visited in the next two years, institutions planning to begin the NAST evaluation process, and those formally engaged in the process. A step-by-step walk-through of the accreditation process will be provided, including confirmation of timelines and deadlines, and information regarding accreditation procedures, Self-Study formats, on-site reviews, the Visitors’ Report, the Optional Response, and Commission action. Questions will be addressed during this nuts-and-bolts session. This session will be particularly helpful to those administrators conducting accreditation reviews during the 2022–2023 and 2023–2024 academic years. However, all interested individuals are welcome.

8:00 a.m.–12:00 noon

(Please note: This workshop is by invitation only. Individuals interested in becoming NAST evaluators are encouraged to contact the National Office staff for consideration for training in 2023.)

This Workshop will provide training to theatre administrators interested in becoming visiting evaluators for NAST. Fundamentals of the accreditation process will be described in detail. Participants will discuss expectations with regard to the NAST peer review initiative, including the invitation process, how to schedule a visit, how to prepare for and conduct an effective visit, the important role the self-study plays in the evaluative process, how to craft of a Visitors’ Report, and good practices as they pertain to the activities and responsibilities of evaluative team members. A detailed overview of the Handbook and its constituent parts will be presented, including a discussion of standards and guidelines and their application to applicant institutions.

9:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m.

(Please note: This workshop is by invitation only. Individuals interested in becoming NAST evaluators are encouraged to contact the National Office staff for consideration for training in 2023.)

This workshop will provide training to theatre administrators who have previously been trained as evaluators and who have served as members of visitation teams. Expectations regarding the review of Self-Studies, the on-site visit, and the Visitors’ Report will be reviewed. Responsibilities specific to the chair of visiting teams will be presented.

11:15 a.m.–12:00 noon


This briefing, conducted by NAST staff, will offer instructions, expectations, and helpful hints to individuals who have been asked and have agreed to serve as Annual Meeting and Retreat for Administrators session moderators and recorders. All facilitators, moderators, and recorders should plan to attend this briefing. An opportunity for questions will be provided.

12:30 p.m.–1:45 p.m.


(Please Note: Voting representatives of member institutions are asked to sit behind their institution’s place card. Non-voting representatives and guests may be seated in unmarked rows.)

Call to Order
Determination of a Quorum
Welcome to Members and Guests
Report of the Committee on Ethics
Report of the Commission on Accreditation
Introduction of New Accredited Institutional Members
Report of the Treasurer
Report of the Executive Director
Action on Proposed Handbook Revisions
Report of the President
New Business

2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.


3:15 p.m.–4:30 p.m.


Although the past two years have caused to arise an abundance of challenges which have consumed the time and energy, and tested the fortitude and patience of theatre administrators, these challenges have resulted in conditions which have created opportunities for institutions to consider alternatives, and in doing so, to review their effectiveness in fulfilling the roles and responsibilities each holds to educate at the highest possible level students interested in entering the field of theatre. Throughout this period, theatre administrators have faced the need not only to study, understand, and manage current and daily realities, but also to consider the possibility of, anticipate, and react to unknowns in the higher education landscape – a daunting task given the availability of consistent and accurate information. In these ensuing months, informed by global events, it has not been uncommon for theatre administrators to find themselves needing to lead efforts to revisit, rethink, redefine, and/or reaffirm ‘tried and true’ approaches that have been in place for decades. As well, it has not been uncommon to reach a conclusion one day only to find the need to change course the next. Rarely in recent times have theatre administrators been so tested; rarely in recent times has the fate of the academy and therefore the future of discipline-specific study in theatre been held in such a precarious balance. The individual and collective resiliency of those working to advance the artform remains a critical component of our ongoing success, as does the relevance and level of rigor expected of students enrolled in curricular programs designed to establish competency and expertise in areas of theatre study. In today’s session, panelists will explore conditions necessary to build and maintain resiliency and ensure curricular relevance. Presenters will: 1) provide an outline of the current landscape of theatre study in higher education, as the development of broad and clear understandings pertaining to current realities must be in hand if administrators are to consider issues fully, plan effectively, and initiate actions that may lead to positive results; 2) guide attendees in their exploration of ways in which institutions can establish cultures, centered in the mission of the theatre unit and the institution, which result in a cohesiveness that enables the unit to be poised to collectively and successfully address issues and challenges faced, anticipated, and unexpected; 3) explore how an understanding of current realities and an openness to dialogue, and possibly change, may/should impact curricular offerings — offerings that are designed to advance the level of knowledge and expertise of enrolled students, assist students to move seamlessly from the academy to the workforce, attend to needs of society, and promote theatre as an artform in and of itself; and 4) provide an assessment of possible challenges faced by theatre administrators, including difficult situations which call for theatre administrators to take on the roles of problem solvers, mediators, and public faces, to: address concerns held by the faculty and students; mediate conflicts and/or respond to pushback; balance enrollment in curricular programs based on departmental changes and initiatives; seek and secure funds to support new initiatives and the needs of the theatre unit; and ensure the personal well-being of all involved.

Subsequent to the sharing of their thoughts and ideas, panelists, as guided by the moderator, will entertain questions, opening a dialogue among attendees intended to advance the exploration of each of the four perspectives described above.

4:45 p.m.–5:45 p.m.


These focused roundtable discussions serve as a forum for individuals to discuss concepts and issues raised and explored during the preceding session addressing building resilience within institutions, as well as the keynote address. Attendees are asked during the roundtable discussions to advance in further detail the conversations begun during the previous sessions. Attendees are encouraged to share examples of good practices as well as unsuccessful outcomes, and to engage in dialogue that expands thinking and promotes ideas.

5:45 p.m.–6:45 p.m.

(Cash bar)

This reception offers an opportunity for attendees to establish connections with individuals new to theatre administration and rekindle friendships. The President of the Association will offer a greeting and will introduce the members of the NAST Board of Directors.

6:45 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

(Board of Directors members only)

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Friday, March 25, 2022

7:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.


7:30 a.m.–8:45 a.m.


9:00 a.m.–10:15 a.m.


A theatre unit’s work can be a priceless asset to the community which exists just beyond institutional walls. As discussed in remarks offered at both the 2019 Annual Meeting and Retreat for Administrators and through virtual means in 2020 and 2021, theatre can be utilized to unite communities, create connection, improve understanding and empathy toward others, raise consciousness, and inspire conversation across demographic lines. Administrators within the academy may benefit from envisioning new and/or more effective ways to serve their local, statewide, or regional communities through partnerships that have the potential to become symbiotic, mutually supportive relationships. These partnerships can serve as conduits that enhance the theatre unit’s cultural relevance and creative development, as well as lead to innovative projects that provide enriching opportunities for theatre students and faculty and community members alike. How might our vision of collegiate theatre study be broadened to include, embrace, serve, and support the communities in which our institutions reside? What steps might theatre administrators take to create and establish initiatives, and engage faculty members and students in such initiatives? What steps must be taken to ensure that institutional structures are built that encourage, support, and promote community partnerships? Beyond playing a role in civic engagement, how might theatre units benefit from such partnerships? Guided by the presenters, attendees will consider how community connections can be conceptualized, realized, and nurtured in the long term. Time for questions will be provided.

9:00 a.m.–10:15 a.m.


The need to reframe, refine, and reconfirm the ways in which theatre administrators articulate the value of and need for theatre study and practice in higher education, and theatre in the life of any academic community, remains critically important today. Failing to accept our responsibility to articulate the importance of our discipline, and to educate those who may hold less-informed views, particularly when they wield decision-making power that is directly related to the allocation of resources needed to sustain and advance theatre education and training, can place the artform at risk. Examples of such risks include fewer opportunities for students and audiences, reductions in the availability of funding and resources, and a devaluation of, or worse yet, loss of the important place theatre holds in the local creative economy. Should theatre administrators fail to accept the duty to discuss, promote, and defend the value of theatre study, or relinquish discussion of it to those who lack knowledge of or expertise in theatre, they do so at their own peril and to that of the field. What then should, must, and can we do? To start, it may be helpful for theatre administrators to define the constituencies and roles each can play in its support of the work of the theatre unit––peers, members of other collegiate units, upper administrators, members of local communities, city and state officials, representatives of foundations and external entities, and the like. With the intent to broaden the tools in our advocacy toolbox, attendees will consider the following questions: How is a successful advocacy campaign designed? How visionary must such a campaign be? How should “the pitch” be crafted, tailored, and delivered to different audiences? Approaches, both successful and less than successful, to promote theatre and theatre education will be discussed. Time for questions and conversation will follow.

9:00 a.m.–10:15 a.m.


Extending a student’s experience beyond the classroom can be beneficial in terms of widening the student’s perspectives, preparing the student for the field beyond the academy, and assisting the student to develop relationships and inroads which may facilitate entry into the profession. Today, students arrive on campus with various expectations, hoping that institutions will provide opportunities for connections which will ensure seamless transitions out of the academy and into the workforce. These may include, but are not limited to, internships; engagement with practicing actors, directors, producers, designers, scholars, and technicians; relationships with guest artists and companies hosted in residence; opportunities to observe professional productions that elevate students’ awareness of theatre’s potential; participation in showcases, and support for and access to conferences. These expectations place on institutions pressures to establish, build, and maintain connections and relationships which provide opportunities to enhance the student experience. Unfortunately, these relationships are not built overnight. Often, they are a result of years of careful planning and considerations.

This session will consider options available, ways in which relationships may be established and nurtured, and the benefits derived from such relationships which include not only assistance provided to students but as well, possible economies of scale that may result for the institution and external entity. Attendees will explore questions such as:  In what ways should existing curricular offerings guide the consideration of potential relationships? Should there be an alignment between a student’s course of study and the experience? Once the purpose of the relationship has been defined, how might theatre administrators advance initiatives which enable them to pursue innovative ways to connect students with the profession? Who should be involved in this process, and what is the nature of this involvement? Should local, regional, or national professional opportunities be sought? What role should the institution play in shaping the experience to foster student growth as they progress through their courses of study? How might institutions prepare students for these opportunities, assisting them to hone interaction strategies and communication skills as they prepare to work with individuals beyond the academy who may be able to provide connections and/or on-the-job training? Attendees will explore these issues as well as how established relationships may be integrated into the collegiate experience. Time for questions and discussion will be provided.

10:30 a.m.–11:45 a.m.


“Managing Up” is a well-established business principle. Applied in the academic setting, it is an invaluable skill to possess. Managing up in productive ways can build trust, lasting relationships, and connections that can result in mutually beneficial outcomes for not only the theatre unit and the upper administration, but also for the institution as a whole and its students. Characteristics that mark successful alliances include shared acceptance of understandings and collective and genuine support for expressed missions, goals, objectives, and outcomes; the offering of factual and helpful information in advance and on an ongoing basis; a desire to collaborate and connect; mutual respect for schedules and existing time commitments; and high levels of accomplishment and proficiency, particularly as they relate to the education and training of students. Relationships can be enhanced further by the perceived and real value that the work of the theatre unit brings to the institution. Attendees will give thought and consideration to these issues and the following questions: How can effective rapport with upper administrators be established? What short- and long-term steps can/should be taken by the theatre executive to ensure that strong rapport will not only be developed, but maintained? With whom should connections be established? Attendees may wish to share good practices that have resulted in positive outcomes.

10:30 a.m.–11:45 a.m.


Developing a healthy working relationship among actors is often the key to ensuring a successful onstage experience. The rapport and comfort which develops during the rehearsal process can be cultivated to enhance storytelling and offer a structure for individuals to explore their creative potential during performance. Although it is inevitable that collegial relationships form organically within a cast during the course of staging a production, there will always exist a degree of risk when bringing together differing personalities, some more dominant than others. For example, power dynamics may be inherent with the assigning of certain roles – dynamics that are difficult to shed after a rehearsal, performance, or wrap. In some cases, actors receive little or no guidance which addresses topics related to onstage depictions of sexual relationships, trauma, or violence, let alone how to separate actions taken on stage from those taken offstage in their personal lives. Without proper tools, students can be ill-equipped to handle the challenges that arise from boundaries that have been crossed or power that has been abused. Therefore, developing understandings of appropriate boundaries that are known and embraced in advance during an actor’s training is paramount to ensuring the success of a production and the health and safety of those involved in a production. Actors need to know not only the appropriate boundaries that must remain in place to keep those in a production safe, but they also must have confidence that established boundaries will be maintained by scene partners, others in the cast, the director, and members of the technical crew. Thus, to create good working conditions, theatre administrators, faculty members, directors, and/or students must consider together how issues, when they arise, will be brought to the attention of appropriate personnel. Guidelines addressing how issues will be addressed and resolved must be established, discussed, and implemented. How might theatre faculty and/or directors best open a conversation focusing on the topic of onstage boundaries? What steps must be taken to create, set, and communicate boundaries? How does theatrical intimacy factor into these themes? What structures can be put in place to ensure that students are equipped and trained to ethically and efficiently stage scenes of intimacy or trauma? How might theatre faculty and/or directors assist actors to apply these boundaries on and carry them beyond the stage? What must be in place to ensure that all those involved work as a team to maintain healthy relationships and working structures? How might concerns held by actors be proactively sought, considered, and used to inform boundaries? At what point should administrators intervene when it is clear that an individual has disregarded defined structures that that have been implemented to protect themselves and others? Are there steps that can/should be taken to ensure that those with the least amount of power are protected, in hopes of ensuring productivity for all? What nuts-and-bolts practices can be applied that enable and support effective lines of communication and decrease the possibility for retaliation or blowback? Today’s presenter will explore these issues. Time for questions and discussion will be provided.

12:00 noon–1:30 p.m.


1:45 p.m.–3:30 p.m.


Exacerbated by events which have been unrelenting during the past two years, we are witnessing a substantial uptick in the number of students who face and struggle with psychological challenges. The roots of anxiety typically are varied, can be far reaching, and result from a multitude of social, emotional, and behavioral conditions which students now face with alarming regularity. Psychological challenges arise in various forms and arrive with varying intensities. They can be fed by original conditions, a deepening of these conditions, and/or a compounding of conditions. Regardless of their origins, such conditions can have a profound effect on students and their ability to remain successfully engaged in collegiate study. As examples, failure to land a role can undermine confidence; an inability to disengage from the storyline can create false realities; participation in the portrayal of real-life atrocities can result in trauma; incidents of campus violence can breed fear; consideration of future remuneration can lead to worries about long-term financial stability. As theatre administrators, we may be ill-equipped to address such issues, much less recognize when help or intervention may be necessary.

Beyond the needs of the students, those working in the theatre unit may grapple with a wide range of challenges and pressures as well. In recent months, faculty members have faced the need to create and modify various forms of content delivery while maintaining existing approaches to theatre practice, pedagogy, and scholarship. Faculty responsibilities have expanded as multiple delivery systems must be maintained simultaneously and successfully. The responsibilities of administrators have become more complex, as there exists the need to not only understand the breadth and depth of each challenge, but how each challenge may change given unfolding events. These new and expanding issues can distract administrators from traditional responsibilities that have long since been established as crucial to an institution’s ongoing success. Attendees will consider issues such as: how administrators can assist faculty and staff members approaching the edge of their capacities; sources of assistance administrators can turn to for help or solace when burnout prevails, stakes continue to rise higher, and answers are elusive.

The problems faced by students, faculty and staff members, and administrators suggest that institution-wide initiatives focusing on the development of specific approaches which assist in the maintenance and care of one’s mental health are of vital importance. Consideration will be given to the following: What are the signs of a brewing problem? What can/must be done to assist a student in need? What must be done when need is evident but not directly disclosed? Where can a student, faculty/staff member, administrator turn for help? Today’s presenter will address these questions, and in doing so, strive to deepen awareness among theatre administrators, and bring to light some of the issues that are prevalent on campuses today. Time for discussion will be provided.

3:45 p.m.–5:00 p.m.


An issue of primary importance to administrators is the necessity to develop an understanding of what the landscape of higher education will look like in the next five, ten, or twenty years, particularly with regard to enrollment. Projections prior to the pandemic show that due to the decline in birthrate attributed to the effects of the 2008 financial crisis, anticipated enrollment levels at postsecondary institutions are expected to decline precipitously between the years 2025 and 2029. The effects these trends, exacerbated by the pandemic, could have on institutions of higher education could result in the need for substantial institutional changes, such as a reduction in the breadth, depth, and number of curricular programs and the concomitant need to downsize the faculty; changes in levels and structures of financial support; the need to develop new recruitment pipelines and rethink marketing strategies; and the necessity to create and nurture community partnerships; to name only a few.

Given the extent of possible effects, theatre administrators must be prepared to proactively consider, study, plan for, and address appropriately anticipated changes. Administrators must also be ready to manage the changing landscape in ways that can result in positive institutional outcomes. Attendees will explore these issues, considering questions such as: What is the likely impact the predictions pertaining to enrollment and funding will have on an institution given its geographic location? Will some areas of the country be affected differently than others? Will change happen for all institutions equally? If not, should institution type be considered, or should other demographic factors be considered? What, specifically, is expected within the next five years, ten years? What initial steps can/must theatre units take to ensure the continuation of its program(s)? If enrollments decrease, what will be the impact on teaching, learning, curricular programs, and public perception? The presenter will offer a briefing regarding the aforementioned trends and projections, including their possible impact on institutions of higher education. Given such information and data – including from NAST’s Higher Education Arts Data Services (HEADS) surveys – administrators will work together to consider various strategies that may assist them to manage the coming tide and contemplate initiatives that can be employed to ensure the ongoing vitality of postsecondary theatre education and training. Time for questions and discussion will be provided.

5:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m.


These focused roundtable discussions serve as a forum for individuals from institutions of similar size and type the opportunity to examine and reflect upon issues of shared interest and concern. Attendees are asked to consider and frame the issues prior to arrival in Baltimore, coming prepared to share with colleagues thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Participants will be asked to think deeply about and discuss in detail the issues and ideas presented. Rather than discussing in brief a multitude of issues, attendees may wish to explore extensively several of the most salient topics.

6:15 p.m.–7:15 p.m.


6:15 p.m.–7:15 p.m.


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Saturday, March 26, 2022

7:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.


7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m.

(Board of Directors members only) 

8:30 a.m.–9:45 a.m.


This session is designed to provide a forum where ideas and concerns of particular relevance to historically Black institutions may be discussed. Attendance is open to all interested individuals. Participants may wish to give consideration to topics of interest in advance.

8:30 a.m.–9:45 a.m.


This session will provide attendees with an opportunity to pose specific issues and questions for consideration by the entire group. Topics may be determined in advance or raised during the roundtable. This roundtable is open to all attendees.

8:30 a.m.–9:45 a.m.


This session will provide attendees with an opportunity to pose specific issues and questions for consideration by the entire group. Topics may be determined in advance or raised during the roundtable. This roundtable is open to all attendees.

8:30 a.m.–9:45 a.m.


This session will provide attendees with an opportunity to pose specific issues and questions for consideration by the entire group. Topics may be determined in advance or raised during the roundtable. This roundtable is open to all attendees.

10:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m.


NAST has a number of resources available for institutions to assist in the formulation of local proposals and policies. This session will enumerate and explain the purposes of several sets of information. Areas of discussion will include faculty work, promotion, and tenure; the duties of administrators; planning and futures analysis; assessment; and communicating with others, explaining the principles, aspirations, and suggested considerations for the development of effective programs in theatre. The information described above is available on the NAST website, as is detailed and extensive information helpful to the general public, students, administrators, theatre administrators new to NAST, and those embarking upon accreditation and reaccreditation applications. A brief look at the website, highlighting its resources and use, will be offered.

10:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m.


Whether developing and preparing comprehensive applications for accreditation and reaccreditation, Responses, Progress Reports, or applications for Plan Approval, Final Approval for Listing, or Substantive Change, clear and cogent material, which articulates activities at the institution while at the same time addresses standards issues, is necessary in order to conduct a successful conversation with the Commission on Accreditation. This session will offer an overview of the Handbook and the use of its contents in preparing Commission correspondence. Helpful ideas and suggestions will be provided for attendees in the process of, or planning to, develop materials for Commission review.

10:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m.


From time to time, and for a variety of reasons, theatre units may decide to undertake the complex task of designing new undergraduate degree programs. There are many issues that must be considered, such as the existing mission of the institution and theatre unit, how the degree will dovetail with and support these missions, the students to be served, the coursework necessary to develop desired competencies, the availability of applicable faculty expertise, and the market into which students will enter. As well, resources must be considered, and consensus must be built. Only with these understandings in hand can the architecture of a degree begin to take shape.

This session will focus on the structure of undergraduate degree programs. Differences between liberal arts and professional baccalaureate degrees will be addressed, as will differences between majors, minors, and areas of emphasis. Issues that arise regarding title and content consistency will be discussed. As well, the effective use of the standards to promote and embrace creative and innovative curricular programming will be explored. A review of the NAST Handbook and discussion of the Council of Arts Accrediting Associations’ (CAAA) Achievement and Quality resources available on the NAST website will be offered.

10:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m.


Under the law, the federal government does not control higher education. However, the federal government does play a major role in developing conditions for the work of higher education, primarily through laws and regulations defining conditions for institutional participation in grant and student loan programs, and tax policies that influence economic conditions affecting education and the arts. Following a brief introduction to the higher education and policy landscapes, this session will address the current political climate; various pressures on institutions; and current and prospective federal policies, laws, and regulations affecting higher education and the arts. This briefing will take a non-partisan policy analysis approach, looking at the ramifications and costs of various options and probabilities. Time for questions and discussion will be provided.

11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.


A great deal of discussion today is focused on the necessity of institutions to innovate, in particular, to offer “innovative” curricular programs. Unfortunately, and much like other terms that have entered the higher education lexicon over the years, the definition of innovation as it applies to curricular programs is broad, and therefore, vague. What makes a curricular program innovative––new subject-matter content, new approaches, a new discipline; the replacement of existing content; the retooling of an existing program? Can a time-honored traditional program be considered innovative? What about existing content delivered through new or various modes of delivery? A case could be made to describe each as innovative. Attendees will consider innovation in terms of relevance, taking into account the desires and needs of students entering the academy who are drawn by programs that pique their curiosity and interest, the pressures from parents who are interested in the perceived earning power and employability of their children, and demands of the marketplace that will dictate to students entering the profession the skills and knowledge required.

11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

(Please note: This session is by invitation only.)

This annual briefing is offered for individuals currently trained and serving as NAST visiting evaluators. It will provide an opportunity for evaluators to refresh their knowledge of NAST procedures, protocols, and standards, with particular focus on the Procedures and the Handbook. Helpful reminders regarding the format, preparation, and required content of Visitors’ Reports will be provided. The potential impact of the activities of external constituencies, such as the federal government, states, and other review bodies––which may affect the accreditation process––will be discussed. Documentation required of institutions and evaluators will be highlighted, as well as sources and uses of helpful and informative publications aimed to assist institutions in the preparation of Self-Studies and evaluators in the preparation of Visitors’ Reports.

11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.


(Please note: Individuals who attend the Thursday morning session entitled “Workshop: Preparing for NAST Evaluation” may find this Open Forum helpful.)

This forum will provide an opportunity for discussion of NAST requirements and procedures with regard to applications for accreditation/reaccreditation, Plan Approval/Final Approval for Listing, and Substantive Change; as well as use of the Handbook and application of standards. It will be guided by the questions posed by participants, which may be prepared in advance and focus on general, rather than specific institutional issues. All meeting attendees are welcome.

11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.


Member institutions are required to submit information to NAST on an annual basis. This session will address specific reporting requirements, timelines, deadlines, and helpful suggestions aimed to ensure complete and accurate submission of the Accreditation Audit, Affirmation Statement, Supplemental Annual Report, and the HEADS Data Survey.

The predominant focus of this session will be an in-depth review of procedures for online submission of the HEADS Data Survey for degree-granting institutions. A section-by-section overview of the Survey will explain in detail the Survey submission process, types of data collected, collection mechanisms, and presentation of calculated data.

Information regarding statistics available from the HEADS Data (the data compiled annually from HEADS Data Surveys), the HEADS Data navigation tools, and potential uses for HEADS data in local policy discussions and administrative planning, will also be provided.

12:45 p.m.


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