Institutional Representatives Forum

The 2017 UPCEA Institutional Representatives Forum, hosted at the 102nd Annual Conference, provides an opportunity for senior leaders in professional, continuing, and online education (PCO) to connect with peers, to discuss together the changing landscape of higher education, and to consider ways in which to craft their own strategies and leadership pathways. This two-part series will begin with an all-IR forum, addressing the most pressing challenges in higher education today such as organizational structure, strategic planning, authentic leadership, advocacy/policy, and entrepreneurial approaches. Hosted via a lively panel discussion this series will be introduced by some of the most respected, experienced leaders in our field. Following this opening plenary session, IRs are invited to select one of three, facilitated breakout sessions repeated throughout the conference to allow small groups of senior leaders to dive deeply into the opening panel discussion topics.

Institutional Representatives Forum: Opening Session
Wednesday, March 22
1:45-2:45 PM


  • Sandi Pershing, University of Utah
  • Bea Gonz├ílez, Syracuse University
  • Wayne Smutz, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Moderator: Bob Hansen, UPCEA


Institutional Representatives Forum: Breakout Session A (RSVP for only one, please)
Thursday, March 23
8:00-9:00 AM

  • Kelly Otter, Georgetown University
  • Sandi Pershing, University of Utah
  • Debbie Cavalier, Berklee College of Music
  • Moderator: Rich Novak, Rutgers University

Institutional Representatives Forum: Breakout Session B (
RSVP for only one, please)
Thursday, March 23
1:45-2:45 PM

  • Mary Niemiec, University of Nebraska
  • Tom Gibbons, Northwestern University
  • David Schejbal, University of Wisconsin-Extension
  • Moderator: Alice Warren, North Carolina State University


Institutional Representatives Forum: Breakout Session C (RSVP for only one, please)
Thursday, March 23
4:30-5:30 PM

  • Stacy Snow, University of Missouri
  • Vickie Cook, University of Illinois Springfield
  • John LaBrie, Northeastern University Toronto
  • Moderator: Rovy Branon, University of Washington


Potential framework (and facilitators) for breakout sessions:

  • Authentic Leadership
    • Discussion of various leadership/career pathways for senior leaders
  • Strategic Planning
    • What are strategic must-have conversations within our institutions?
    • How do we align our mission, audiences, communities?
  • Entrepreneurial Approaches
    • What are the steps to ensure high-quality programs? Note: use Hallmarks?
    • How best can we develop and nurture internal and external partnerships?
  • Organizational Structure
    • How do we organize to align with market data and external demand?
    • What are effective organizational structures that can reflect strategic plans?


RSVP for a breakout session here.


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