Institute for Improving Undergraduate Education

To the Washington Center Community,

At our winter board meeting, we came to the very difficult decision to cancel the Washington Center’s National Summer Institute. We have concluded that it is not feasible to host an annual institute as currently structured. The Washington Center will honor our commitment to the handful of teams that have applied for this summer, offering alternatives that suit their needs. 

The impact of this decision is immense for the Washington Center community.  It is a sad moment to be certain. Many of you have wonderful memories of staying in the dorms, bonding as a team, having important conversations, learning from colleagues and wondering how your action plan would ever come together, and yet it did. 

We did not come to this decision lightly, and took into account sobering social realities, economic turbulence, increased accountability and shifting expectations. We are well aware that colleges and universities in all spheres of higher education are being challenged to interrogate their historic missions and current functioning. The Washington Center is no exception to this challenge.

We will be taking a pause from summer institute planning to engage in meaningful conversations with stakeholders to envision how the Washington Center can continue to advocate for equitable futures for undergraduate students.  This news does not mean that we will be shutting our doors - nor are we ruling out future institutes. In fact, now, more than ever, we remain committed to our core mission to improve undergraduate education

As we move forward, we will continue to reimagine how we can convene higher education faculty, scholars, practitioners, and administrators for the activities that have represented our core enterprise, our collective work of improving undergraduate education and supporting students. 

Please stay tuned for updates through the Washington Center Collaborative newsletterslack space, or by joining an upcoming event.

In community,

The Washington Center National Advisory Board 

Laurette Foster, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Prairie View A&M University
Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, National Survey of Student Engagement, Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research
Emily Lardner, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Highline College
JuliA Metzker, Director for the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education
Jaime O’Connor, Assistant Director for the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education
Larry Roper, Professor Emeritus, Oregon State University 
Rachel Singer, Sr Resource Faculty for the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education 
Sonja Wiedenhaupt, Member of the Faculty, Evergreen State College 

Join the Collaborative!

Interested in getting a taste of what the summer institute might offer? Consider attending one of our Collaborative mini-workshops this year. To learn more, visit our Collaborative webpage.