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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
April 16, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Keynote Speaker

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***Keynote Address- Click for presentation slides***

Change Whisperer to Change Broker:
Positioning Centers/Units of Development for Involvement in Institutional Change

Significant change is called for at our institutions. Many institutional initiatives intersect with the curriculum, departments and faculties, individual faculty, and the work of educational development. Much work is to be done beyond the individual course level and individual instructor or instructional development, as we may have defined as the parameter of role. Department chairs, faculties, Schools and Colleges increasingly are overwhelmed with an array of initiatives related to teaching and learning. Whose job is it to be involved in institutional change and improvement? What is the role of educational developers or Centers of Teaching and Learning in broader organizational change? What are the key initiatives and what are the tables at which we should or could be seated? Can this role involve a continuum of involvement from change whisperer to change broker or leader? How do we discern between “mission creep” and mission appropriate involvement? How do Centers and developers reposition themselves for multi-level involvement in order to cross new boundaries with intentionality, congruency and visibility? Center missions, staffing, strategic planning, advisory boards, committee involvement and partnerships are several of the key factors that emerged from research on current educational developers performing the role of change agent and will be explored in this hands on session. Based on research from, Coming in from the Margins: Faculty Development’s Emerging Organizational Development Role in Institutional Change (2010) we will analyze factors and strategies to position the work of educational developers and Centers in institutional initiatives and begin constructing a plan for crossing our own boundaries.

Closing Activity

Change Whisperer to Change Broker: Developing Individual Capacity for Involvement in Institutional Change

Educational developers must develop their own capacity for a much different role than the knowledge and skills commonly used to fulfill instructional development roles. What skills and key areas of expertise have educational developer identified as critical for this role? What change processes happen at the tables we have been seated at more and more? What can we learn from the case studies and models of educational developers who built their capacity to lead, initiate, influence, inform, connect, collaborate, and partner in ways that may seem outside of traditional educational developers’ borders? How can you gather this expertise?  What is your intentional growth and professional development plan and for those on your staff?  Clearly, departments, schools, colleges, chairs, and individual faculty have the capacity to impact change and are asked to lead change initiatives. Many chairs are overwhelmed with all that lands on their “to do lists.” How can educational developers help build the capacity of these leaders and individual faculty change agents within the faculties and departments?

schroeder.pngConnie Schroeder
Associate Director, Center for Instructional Development
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee


Dr. Connie M. Schroeder is the Associate Director for Programming and Instruction at the Center for Instructional Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has been involved in higher education and teaching since 1984 at both research universities and liberal arts colleges. Dr. Schroeder’s recent book, Coming in from the Margins: Faculty Development’s Emerging Organizational Development Role in Institutional Change (2010) highlights an investigation of Centers of Teaching and Learning in the U.S. and Canada. Her results highlight the role of centers of teaching and learning in institutional initiatives and how to reposition centers as institutional change agents. 

Dr. Schroeder’s research centers on change in higher education at institutional and department levels, in addition to published work on SoTL. Her recent international and national presentations and consulting focus on clarifying and defining the organizational development role of centers of teaching and learning. Past investigation has identified the role of departments in cultivating faculty leadership and involvement in departmental change. She has published on the impact of SoTL on individual and institutional level change.

As an Associate Dean at Beloit College for nearly a decade, Dr. Schroeder worked closely with Student Affairs, developing a first-year seminar program and partnerships with Academic Affairs.

Dr. Schroeder has served on committees and the governing board for the Professional and Organizational Development Network (POD), and received several research grants from the POD organization. In 2002 and 2007 Dr. Schroeder was awarded the Robert J. Menges Research and Presentation Award. 

Dr. Schroeder has a PhD in Educational Leadership–Higher Education and a minor focused on organizational behaviour from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


As part of your registration package, you will receive a copy of Dr. Schroeder's book Coming in from the Margins: Faculty Development’s Emerging Organizational Development Role in Institutional Change. Click on the book image for more information about this publication.