Elevating Holistic Student Success:

Enrollment Management to World Readiness

We invite proposals that engage topics discussed in the UERU-sponsored Boyer 2030 Commission Report, The Equity/Excellence Imperative: A 2030 Blueprint for Undergraduate Education at U.S. Research Universities (available gratis at https://ueru.org/boyer2030). UERU convened the 2030 Boyer Commission to revisit the 1998 Boyer manifesto, Reinventing Undergraduate Education. This year’s conference theme challenges us to envision comprehensive systems that align with and support student learning and growth. It invites us to consider quantitative and qualitative measures of student success, and to address the entire spectrum of undergraduate education, spanning from recruitment and bridge programs to proactive advising, curriculum innovations, and world readiness. Prospective presenters might consider these questions:

  • How can we (re)envision existing and new structures, processes, practices, and identities to enable our institutions to achieve holistic student success?

  • How can we dismantle institutional barriers that inequitably impact our students? What are our success stories and what lessons have we learned from failed efforts?

  • How do we re-engage and re-imagine the possibilities for equitable teaching and learning in our research universities? For career development and world readiness?

  • How can we center student perspectives and voices in our programmatic and institutional work? Whose voices are not yet represented or foregrounded in our work? 

  • How do we effectively support faculty by providing the necessary tools and resources to ensure both their success and the success of their students?

Please note that UERU and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) will again co-locate national conferences to build multi-year collaborations across institutions as well as leverage the shared expertise and commitments of both membership organizations. 


May 9: Submissions Open

Aug 16: Proposal Deadline

Sep 16: Acceptance Notification

Check back for registration deadlines.

Suggested Session Topics

Pre-matriculation Programs

College Access and Affordability

Streamline Student Communication

Student Experience and Belonging

Student Mental Health and Well-Being

Use of Data Analytics to Prioritize/Guide Strategic Interventions

Proactive and Holistic Advising

Re-envisioning Academic Support

General Education for Today’s Learners

Faculty Engagement and Teaching Innovation

Curriculum, Planning, & Degree Completion for First Year and Transfer Students

Promoting Experiential Learning

Re-engaging and Re-imagining Culturally and Evidence-Informed Pedagogies

Freedom of Speech and Expression and Supportive Campus Cultures

Artificial Intelligence and Student Success

Strategies for Career Development and World Readiness

Re-enforcing and Re-envisioning Equitable Outcomes and Social Mobility


Jennifer King Rice

Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Jennifer King Rice began her appointment as senior vice president and provost in July 2021.

She was previously dean of the College of Education, where she focused her efforts to align educational resources with initiatives to advance excellence, equity and social justice in preschool through graduate school. Rice has served on the faculty and in college leadership roles at UMD for more than 25 years, and has been recognized as a UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher.

Before coming to Maryland, she was a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C. Rice’s research draws on the discipline of economics to study policy questions concerning excellence and equity in K-12 education systems. An expert on school finance and teacher policy, she regularly advises state and federal agencies.

A prolific scholar, she has served on the editorial boards of American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis and Education Finance and Policy. In addition to positions as a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellow and a visiting fellow at the Urban Institute, she is a past president of the Association for Education Finance and Policy.

She completed her B.S. in mathematics and English at Marquette University and earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in educational administration and social foundations from Cornell University.

Terrell Strayhorn

Plenary Session Speaker

Terrell Strayhorn is an academic at heart. Professor, center director, and principal investigator, Terrell has an unapologetic commitment to conducting, marshaling, and translating scientific research for the purposes of advancing equity, removing systemic injustices, and improving the material conditions of our most vulnerable populations in society. He is President/CEO of Do Good Work Consulting Group, leading an awesome team, working with hundreds of colleges, universities, districts, and agencies in “moving the needle” on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging outcomes for staff and students.

Terrell loves to write. He has published 12 books and over 200+ book chapters, journal articles and other scholarly publications. He believes strongly in connecting research findings to addressing broader social problems and putting research to practice, thus, he frequently writes Op-Eds, letters to editors, and blogs. He’s a contributing writer for Entrepreneur, AllBusiness, Thrive Global, and Psychology Today.

Just as much as writing, Terrell loves sharing ideas with others. He has given hundreds of invited keynotes and lectures at 2000+ universities, schools, companies, churches, and conferences across the globe. What drives this passion is the ability to connect his research and talents to address some of the world’s greatest problems, especially in education.

On a more personal note, Terrell is an accomplished musician, vegan 🌿, and runner.

Deborah A. Santiago

Plenary Session Speaker

Deborah A. Santiago is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Excelencia in Education, America's premier authority on efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education. As an innovator, thought leader, and educational visionary, she has led research and advanced evidence-based practices and strategies for more than 20 years. She has held leadership positions with education organizations around the country, including the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans and the Los Angeles Alliance for Student Achievement.

She co-founded Excelencia in Education in 2004 to inform policy, compel action, and collaborate with those ready to accelerate student success with an unapologetic Latino lens. Among her many contributions, Deborah has addressed federal legislative issues in higher education at the Congressional Research Service and informed program and policy implementation at the U.S. Department of Education. She also improved awareness and education opportunities for Latinos with federal agencies as the Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. Among Deborah’s community efforts, she has provided program design and implementation for dropout prevention and parental engagement for the ASPIRA Association and translated data for community engagement at the Los Angeles Alliance for Student Achievement.

As CEO, Deborah leads Excelencia’s programming and engagement efforts, including expanding and leveraging community-informed research in improving educational opportunities for students, working directly with education leaders, and informing campus practices as well as state and federal policies. Driven by a deep desire to advance asset based, student-centered understanding of the needs and opportunities for the Latino community, Deborah is a sought-after speaker about Hispanic Serving Institutions, college affordability, and equity in higher education. Her work has been cited in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

She serves on the Advisory Board of TheDream.US. and the technical panel for the Carnegie Classification led by the American Council on Education.

Nikos Varelas

Plenary Session Speaker

Nikos Varelas is Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Effectiveness and Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Physics. Prof. Varelas’ research field is experimental high energy particle physics.  His research interests concentrate on precision measurements of Quantum Chromodynamics, the theory that describes the strong interaction responsible for the nuclear force; searches for more fundamental building blocks of matter beyond the quarks and leptons in the Standard Model; searches for large extra spatial dimensions, quantum black holes, dark matter; and on studies of the Higgs boson.  Prof. Varelas is currently working on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland. He was a member of the team that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012.  His group's technical contributions at CMS have centered on the development and operations of the Level-1 Calorimeter and High-Level Trigger Systems.

Prof. Varelas has served as the co-spokesperson of the Coordinated Theoretical-Experimental Project on QCD (CTEQ) Collaboration, member of the Executive Committee of the American Physical Society’s Division of Particles and Fields, Chair of the Fermilab Users Executive Committee, and Senior Fellow of the LHC Physics Center at Fermilab.

Prof. Varelas is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a University of Illinois Scholar.

Proposal Info and FAQs

Proposal Submission

Submit proposals (and queries) to homeoffice@ueru.org by August 16 for full consideration.

Proposals will be reviewed by the 2025 UERU National Conference Planning Committee: Nikos Varelas, Chair (University of Illinois, Chicago); Melanie Carter (Howard); Bill Cohen (UMD-College Park); Rachel Holloway (Virginia Tech); Bob McMaster (UMN-Twin Cities); Ashley Purgason (UT-Arlington); Louie Rodriquez (UC-Riverside); Janet Schreck (Johns Hopkins); Bridget Trogden (American); Patrick Turner (New Mexico State); and UERU Home Office Staff.

All presenters must register to participate in the conference. Presenters will be notified of registration deadlines along with acceptance notifications. Presenters not registered by the communicated deadline will be removed from the final program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I submit a proposal if my institution is not currently a UERU member?

Yes, we welcome proposals from all engaged in equity/excellence work in undergraduate education at research institutions regardless of UERU membership. A higher registration rate, however, does apply.

Should I submit a proposal to UERU if I'm also submitting a proposal to the AAC&U conference?  

Yes, as proposals to UERU are reviewed by UERU separately from AAC&U review.

What type of document should my proposal be?  

Either a Word document or PDF would be preferred.

Session Formats

We seek a diverse slate of presenters representing a variety of institutions, positions, perspectives, and voices. We will prioritize proposals that include opportunity for engaged conversation with session participants, a hallmark of UERU meetings. Please limit titles to 20 words, abstracts to 150 words, proposals to no more than two pages, sent as a Word Document or PDF, and consider the following formats:

Provocation Panels 

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Provocation Panels: A panel of 3-5 presenters who will offer brief (5-8 minutes) prepared statements. Following these statements, session attendees will engage in dialogue.

Vignettes/Case Studies

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Vignettes/Case Studies: Brief narrative descriptions/stories designed to stimulate discussion around issues or situations that undergraduates or leaders/practitioners at research universities commonly face in relation to one or several of Boyer 2030’s 11 provocations. The main aim is to promote thought and discussion on various aspects of undergraduate education in light of the equity/excellence imperative. Vignettes should be flexible enough that individuals from different roles can bring their perspectives forward in discussions of solutions and actions.  

Roundtable Talks

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Roundtable Talks: Up to three individual presentations of 10-15 minutes on a common theme or topic raised in the Boyer 2030 Report followed by attendee discussion. Proposers can submit an entire roundtable or an individual talk to be combined with others. 

Hot Topics

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Hot Topics: A group of presenters identify a broadly relevant theme. The presenters facilitate conversation via discussion tables on the "hot topic" and provide time for a debriefing across tables to collect summary responses and solutions.


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Posters: Individual or collaborative presenters. Posters allow presenters to visually present ideas and facilitate dialogue among colleagues. Posters might showcase successful programs or initiatives related to the Boyer 2030 provocations, share research or evaluation related to institutional efforts, present case studies, or other forms of inquiry. Posters will be displayed over UERU’s two-day conference and highlighted at UERU’s Wednesday, January 22 luncheon. 

Student-Centered Panels

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Student-Centered Panels: Designed to center our work from the perspectives of the undergraduates we seek to serve, these panels highlight our undergraduates' experiences as they describe institutional barriers they have faced and curricular and co-co-curricular experiences that have been most valuable to their educational journeys at our institutions. 

UERU National Conference Program

In conjunction with the AAC&U Annual Meeting

(schedule subject to revision)

Revisit Past UERU Conferences

Past Conferences