June 7-9, 2018

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas

A note about the UVP Network

The UVP Network is composed of faculty administrators who, while having many different titles, share a distinctive role: all-University administrative responsibility for undergraduate education. The UVP Network has come to play a central role, along with the Board and Executive Director, in identifying the topics and issues the Collaborative focuses on in distinctive periods.



There is a growing awareness that the explosion of research on learning, intellectual and personal maturation, wellbeing, and organizational change is creating unprecedented opportunities to integrate curricular and co-curricular undergraduate educational experiences in ways that can generate multidimensional learning outcomes that build systematically across time from matriculation to degree completion.  That awareness creates, in turn, a drive across many university communities to design what would be – for this time and each place – a “near-perfect” matriculation-to-completion undergraduate experience.

However, at the same time as faculty and their colleagues in student affairs wrestle with the many issues involved in designing the “near-perfect” four-year undergraduate curricular and co-curricular experience for their particular institution, they know that many first-year students will arrive from high school with enough college credits to skip many lower division pieces of that experience and that many others will arrive as transfers having had one or more years of collegiate experiences elsewhere.  That means there are, in effect, three broad pathways to the same set of degree-end learning outcomes.

The tension between a university’s desire to design a “near-perfect” matriculation-to-completion undergraduate experience while simultaneously creating alternative routes to comparable degree-end learning outcomes is the overarching theme of the meeting.  As the host institution for the meeting, UT-Austin will highlight:

  • Its first-year experience
  • Its advising and major selection process (with particular attention to students who are not initially accepted into their preferred major)
  • Its general education curriculum, which
  • Focuses on six required skills and experiences
  • Encourages programs of study to build general education into courses in the major rather than relying on standalone general-education courses
  • Is designed to connect with degree-end learning objectives

The discussion of these programs will emphasize how these educational experiences are designed to maximize students’ learning and academic success and how the university is working to design appropriate alternative pathways to comparable learning outcomes for students who have enough prior learning or transfer credit to bypass these experiences.  UVP Network members from other universities will be invited to participate in a moderated discussion that compares programs at their universities in these areas with UT-Austin’s.

The meeting will also include an expanded set of “Hot Topics” sessions and an inaugural workshop for new UVPs to meet with experienced colleagues to learn about the role and polish their craft.  The workshop – which carries the tongue-in-cheek title of UVP 101 – will take place Thursday afternoon, June 7, during the Board meeting.


Thursday, June 7 — Pre-Conference Events

Board Meeting (board members only)

UVP 101 — Workshop for those new to the UVP network and/or UVP position

Welcome Dinner hosted by the University of Texas at Austin


Friday, June 8 — UVP Network Meeting

UT Austin’s Experience with “Near-Perfect Design”

  • Moderated Discussion
    • Larry Abraham, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, UT Austin
    • Carolyn Thomas, Vice Provost & Dean for Undergraduate Education, University of California, Davis


Different University Designs for the First-Year Experience, Hollistic/Strategic Advising, and Major Selection

  • Dan Berman, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, Temple University
  • Amy Goodburn, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean of Undergraduate Education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Janet Schreck, Associate Vice Provost for Education, Johns Hopkins University


Hot Topics Discussions


Tours of Selected Innovative Undergraduate Education Programs


Different University Designs for Connecting General Education and Degree-End Learning Objectives

  • Beth Loizeaux, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, Boston University
  • Joe McCarthy, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, University of Pittsburgh


Hot Topics Discussion (II)


Saturday, June 9 — UVP Network Meeting

Closing Conversation on Hot Topics (III)