Annual Meeting Sessions and Events


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

A program of all sessions and events with meeting room locations will be posted online in March and will be provided to attendees in their registration packets.

Registration is required for the Annual Meeting.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

REGISTRATION

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION
(Commission members only)

9:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

PRE-MEETING WORKSHOP FOR NEW AND ASPIRING THEATRE ADMINISTRATORS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
(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 theatre leaders in the early years of their administrative careers. Faculty members with an interest in administration, and those aspiring to take on administrative roles in the future, are also welcome to attend. Each segment will involve a basic briefing on a topic, followed by ample opportunity for interaction and discussion. The content will focus on principles and approaches applicable to all types of institutions.

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

PRE-MEETING WORKSHOP FOR SEASONED THEATRE ADMINISTRATORS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
(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. Seasoned administrators from all types of institutions and from all levels of administration are welcome.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

ORIENTATION FOR NEWCOMERS TO NAST

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 discuss answers.

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m

RECEPTION FOR PRE-MEETING ATTENDEES                 
(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. All registrants are welcome to attend.

5:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS NEW MEMBER BRIEFING
(Board of Directors members only)

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS DINNER AND BUSINESS MEETING
(Board of Directors members only)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

REGISTRATION

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

WORKSHOP: PREPARING FOR NAST EVALUATION

This session will provide information and guidance pertaining to the NAST comprehensive evaluation 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 taken during this nuts-and-bolts session. This session will be particularly helpful to those administrators mounting accreditation reviews during the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years. However, all interested individuals are welcome. (Please note: a box lunch will be provided. Attendees are asked to register in advance.)

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

WORKSHOP FOR VISITING EVALUATORS

This annual workshop will provide training to theatre administrators interested in becoming visiting evaluators for NAST. Fundamentals of the accreditation process, and the roles and responsibilities of visiting evaluators will be discussed in detail. Significant time will be spent discussing NAST expectations with regard to Self-Study submissions and Self-Study documentation. An overview of the Handbook and its constituent parts will be provided. Standards and guidelines and their application to applicant institutions will receive considerable attention as potential evaluators are guided through the process of on-site review and Visitors’ Report preparation. Particular attention will be devoted to guidelines that speak to the preparation of Visitors’ Reports. (Please note: This session is by invitation only. Individuals interested in becoming NAST evaluators are encouraged to contact the National Office staff for consideration for training in 2019.)

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon

BRIEFING FOR MODERATORS AND RECORDERS

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 session moderators and recorders. All moderators and recorders should plan to attend this briefing. An opportunity for questions and answers will be provided.

12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

GENERAL SESSION: PLENARY BUSINESS MEETING

Call to Order
Determination of Quorum
Welcome to Members and Guests
Minutes
Agenda
Report of the Commission on Accreditation
Introduction of New Accredited Institutional Members
Report of the Committee on Ethics
Report of the Treasurer
Report of the Executive Director
Action on Handbook Changes
Election
Report of the President
Appreciation
New Business
Adjournment

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

ADVOCACY: FRAMING THE CONVERSATION

This session will consider ways that theatre administrators can frame the local advocacy conversation, with particular focus on articulating the value of theatre in higher education and the role it can play in enriching the local creative economy and shaping the community’s cultural landscape. Attendees will consider the potential benefits associated with establishing lasting links and connections between the theatre unit and the community; how theatre can serve to inform and shape the larger culture beyond the walls of the academy; how theatre administrators can work to frame and articulate the advocacy conversation in their interactions not only with key institutional decision makers, but also with potential community partners, donors, audience members, and prospective students; and how theatre administrators can ensure that the theatre unit remains not only an active and contributing, but an indispensable member of the community.

Ideas, best practices, and successful and failed attempts to promote theatre and theatre education will be discussed as the presenter shares expertise and lessons learned over time. Attention will be devoted to designing advocacy strategies, developing advocacy-related talking points, mounting effective messaging campaigns, and the use of data to support and document significant institutional advocacy initiatives – particularly those that place emphasis on the positive economic and cultural impacts of theatre on the local community. Time for questions and open discussion will follow the presentations.

4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

ROUNDTABLES BY TYPE OF INSTITUTION AND ENROLLMENT

These roundtables serve as a forum for individuals to discuss issues pertaining to the advocacy efforts of theatre units. Attendees will be challenged to share ideas and experiences as they work to develop their own personal advocacy “tool kits” with their own sets of approaches and talking points. Roundtables also may address topics of general concern and/or propose topics of particular local interest for discussion by and advice from the entire group. Discussion comments and issues noted by session recorders will be considered by the NAST Board of Directors in the future work of the Association.

Private Institutions (Enrollments 1-100) 

Private Institutions (Enrollments 101+)  

Public Institutions (Enrollments 1-60)    

Public Institutions (Enrollments 61-100) 

Public Institutions (Enrollments 101-160) 

Public Institutions (Enrollments 161+) 

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

PRESIDENT’S RECEPTION FOR THE ASSOCIATION
(Cash bar)

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS DINNER AND SEMINAR MEETING
(Board of Directors members only)

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Friday, March 30, 2018

7:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST FOR THE ASSOCIATION
Hosted by: Music Theatre International

8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

REGISTRATION

8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Speaker: Chris Coleman, Artistic Director, Portland Center Stage

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

THE ART OF LEADERSHIP

The responsibilities of today’s theatre administrator include guiding the work of the theatre unit, facilitating strategic planning, managing resources and facilities, tending to personnel issues, designing curricula, developing and nurturing connections with the community, fundraising, planning a theatre season, overseeing theatrical work, and promoting productions. In the face of these many and disparate responsibilities, the administrator must also work to maintain a positive attitude aimed at motivating and unifying all those associated with the education and training of theatre students. In addressing such varied and complex responsibilities, it is important to keep in mind that there is no single leadership style, approach, or set of defined characteristics that will ensure success. Each administrator must endeavor to develop his or her own authentic voice in relation to an individual theatre unit’s particular set of circumstances, established culture, and future plans.

During this session, the presenter will discuss the art of leadership – the assimilation of knowledge, skills, attributes, sensibilities, and curiosities that results in an approach that enables long-term continuity and success. Examples of the hallmarks of good leadership and some of the tried-and-true approaches employed by effective leaders will be offered. Attendees will be challenged to consider what qualities, approaches, and best practices they bring or hope to bring to their own work at their home institutions.

Attendees will consider and discuss a variety of questions including: What does it mean to “lead by example?” How do effective leaders communicate? How do they approach and address difficult situations? How can leaders develop and maintain an internal culture that encourages honesty, open communication, and teamwork? How can they work to instill a shared sense of pride and ownership among all members of the theatre unit? How can leaders work to promote and reward mentorship, collaboration, and innovation? How can they seek to ensure the theatre unit’s financial viability and react appropriately to economic pressures? How can leaders most effectively advocate for resources, whether monetary or other? How can they engage with the institution as a whole and with the community? How can leaders evaluate when change is needed and then work to encourage buy-in from all parties within the theatre unit and from the institution as a whole? How can they best approach and support individuals who may be afraid of or resistant to change? How can they cultivate a nimbleness that serves them during times of unexpected change? In all matters, and especially in the face of difficulties and challenges, how can theatre administrators ensure that the needs of the theatre unit are always held in the forefront? And of noted importance, how can leaders best articulate and celebrate the good work that is being done by the theatre unit and its various members? Time for questions and discussion will be provided.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

THE ART OF LEADERSHIP – BREAKOUT DISCUSSION GROUPS

These breakout sessions will serve as a forum for individuals to discuss issues raised during the preceding session on the art of leadership. Attendees in each group are asked to consider and discuss various leadership issues in depth and detail. These roundtables are intended to provide an opportunity to consider scenarios and strategies. Discussion comments and issues noted by session recorders that have the potential to inform the future work of NAST will be provided to and considered by the NAST Board of Directors. Discussion groups will be organized as follows:

(Please attend the roundtable discussion group assigned based on the first letter of your first name.)

Breakout Group #1: Attendee First Names A-C
Breakout Group #2: Attendee First Names D-G
Breakout Group #3: Attendee First Names H-J
Breakout Group #4: Attendee First Names K-M
Breakout Group #5: Attendee First Names N-R
Breakout Group #6: Attendee First Names S-Z

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

LUNCHEON FOR THE ASSOCIATION

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN THE LIFE OF THE THEATRE UNIT

Theatre units exist and operate not only within institutional communities, but also within artistic and civic communities. Creating ties with each of these communities is paramount to the theatre unit’s long-term success. Such ties can contribute significantly to the cultural life of the theatre unit, enriching experiences of students, and to the cultural depth of the communities. In many places, opportunities exist both for going into the community and inviting the community into the academy and into the artistic work of the theatre unit. Communities can provide students with internships, mentorships, and valuable on-the-job theatre training. Theatre units may bring in members of the artistic community to serve as guest artists and lecturers. They may devise theatre together. Such devised collaborations not only have the ability to bring in new audiences; they can also spur important dialogues about the nature of community, energize programs, increase the visibility of the theatre unit, attract new faculty and prospective students, and provide positive publicity for the institution as a whole. In some instances, community engagement may even inform season selection and influence curricular change.

This session, which will feature a set of panelists, will address the ways in which theatre units can engage and create lasting relationships with the communities in which they exist. How can such relationships be created? How should they be nurtured once established? How can theatre units enable students and faculty to actively engage in the work of the community and support their ongoing engagement? How can the communities be drawn into the programs and events of the theatre unit? Time for questions and discussion will be provided.

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

CURRICULUM DESIGN: THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE

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’ Achievement and Quality resources available on the NAST website will be offered.

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

ROUNDTABLE FOR NON-DEGREE-GRANTING AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIO SCHOOLS

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.

4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

OPEN HEARING: NAST STANDARDS FOR NON-DEGREE-GRANTING PROGRAMS

NAST began a multiyear review of its accreditation standards in 2015. This hearing will take comments on the present text concerning non-degree-granting programs. An electronic copy of the hearing text will be sent to all Annual Meeting attendees in advance of the meeting. Participants are encouraged to bring a marked copy to the hearing.

4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

OPEN FORUM: NAST ACCREDITATION PROCESSES – PROCEDURES, STANDARDS, GUIDELINES, AND PRACTICES

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

4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

ROUNDTABLE FOR COMMUNITY AND TWO-YEAR COLLEGES

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.

5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

RECEPTION FOR ATTENDEES AT ARTISTS REPERTORY THEATRE
(Cash bar)

Attendees are invited to gather at 1515 SW Morrison Street, the home of Artists Repertory Theatre, a short 10-minute walk from the Hilton Portland Downtown. The location is also easily accessible via Max Light Rail.

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

URTA MEETING

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

7:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

REGISTRATION

7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS BREAKFAST AND SEMINAR MEETING
(Board of Directors members only) 

8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

UNDERSTANDING COPYRIGHT LAW IN THE CLASSROOM AND THEATRE

The topic of intellectual property is especially important in higher education and can leave one bewitched, bothered, and bewildered. A clear understanding of United States copyright law is essential for the success and protection of playwrights, directors, designers, technicians, actors, devisers, and members of the theatre unit. This session will focus primarily on intellectual property and copyright as they pertain to individual content creation, solo work, devised work, and the integration of various electronic media into theatrical productions.

How are copyright issues incorporated into the theatre curriculum, and what effect do copyright laws and regulations have on creativity? How can institutions ensure that students graduate with a sufficient and functional understanding of this complex issue? How can they encourage faculty to incorporate lessons about copyright and intellectual property into their teaching and to lead by example? Participants will be encouraged to consider and share their own institutional policies, practices, and modes of instruction related to the topics of copyright and intellectual property. Time for questions and open discussion will be provided.

8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

ANNUAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: ACCREDITATION AUDIT, AFFIRMATION STATEMENT,
SUPPLEMENTAL ANNUAL REPORT, HEADS DATA SURVEY

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 contained in the HEADS Data Summaries (the aggregate reports compiled annually from HEADS Data Surveys), the use of HEADS Data Summaries and Special Reports for comparison among specific peer institutions, and potential uses for HEADS data in local policy discussions and administrative planning, will also be provided.

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

CREATING COGENT COMMISSION COMMUNICATIONS

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.

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

BRIEFING FOR NAST EVALUATORS

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 for Institutions, 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 impact 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. (Please note: This session is by invitation only.)

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

BRIEFING: FEDERAL ISSUES FOR THEATRE ADMINISTRATORS

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.

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

NAST ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT RESOURCES

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. 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.

11:45 a.m.

ADJOURNMENT OF THE 53rd NAST ANNUAL MEETING

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