OPID-Sponsored Systemwide Book Club: Relationship-Rich Education (Spring 2023)

The Office of Professional and Instructional Development (OPID) is sponsoring a systemwide book club for UW instructors this spring! Together we will be reading Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College by Peter Felten (the plenary speaker for this year’s OPID spring conference) and Leo M. Lambert. All book club participants will receive a free physical copy of the book.

What single factor makes for an excellent college education? As it turns out, it's pretty simple: human relationships. Decades of research demonstrate the transformative potential and the lasting legacies of a relationship-rich college experience. Critics suggest that to build connections with peers, faculty, staff, and other mentors is expensive and only an option at elite institutions where instructors have the luxury of time with students. But in this revelatory book brimming with the voices of students, faculty, and staff from across the country, Peter Felten and Leo M. Lambert argue that relationship-rich environments can and should exist for all students at all types of institutions.

Drawing on nearly 400 interviews with students, faculty, and staff at 29 higher education institutions across the country, Relationship-Rich Education provides readers with practical advice on how they can develop and sustain powerful relationship-based learning in their own contexts. Ultimately, the book is an invitation—and a challenge—for faculty, administrators, and student life staff to move relationships from the periphery to the center of undergraduate education.


"Relationship-Rich Education" book jacket which depicts an aerial shot of people traversing across a concrete surface, connected by thin black lines

Registration is open through Friday, Feb. 10, but we encourage you to sign up early to guarantee your spot! UW-Green Bay has spots for ten participants which will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Multiple options for meeting dates and times are available and all groups will meet via Zoom during March and April for a total of three meetings. Groups are being facilitated by Teaching and Learning Center Directors from across the System, and your facilitator and group members are determined by your choice of meeting day and time, making this a great opportunity to meet instructors from different UW campuses.

Please contact CATL at CATL@uwgb.edu if you have any questions or OPID@uwsa.edu if you need an accommodation.

Call for Faculty College 2023 (Applications Due Jan. 4)

A group of instructors standing in a grassy area near a body of water; the caption reads "Faculty College 2022"

Faculty College is an annual professional development institute and retreat for faculty, instructors, and lecturers in the University of Wisconsin System led by the Office of Professional & Instructional Development (OPID). The 43rd Annual Faculty College will be held at the Osthoff Resort at Elkhart Lake (close to three of our four locations in Sheboygan County) from May 30 through June 2, 2023, and the theme this year is Teaching & Learning with a Social Justice Lens. Back by popular demand as a guest facilitator is Dr. Lisa Brock, Founding Academic Director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.

Learn More About Faculty College


Selected participants will be joined by UWGB’s OPID Advisory Council members and the 2023-24 Wisconsin Teaching Fellows & Scholars program participants. If you are interested in being one of UW-Green Bay’s instructor representatives for Faculty College 2023 (travel expenses will be paid), please send an email to CATL@uwgb.edu with:

  • Your name and department
  • Your commitment/availability to travel from May 30 to June 2, 2023
  • A brief one-paragraph explanation of why you wish to be a part of this team

Applications are due to CATL by the end of the day Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2022.


Please contact CATL if you have any questions about the application process. Programmatic inquiries may be directed to Fay Akindes, Director of Systemwide Professional and Instructional Development, UW System, fakindes@uwsa.edu, (608) 263-2684.

Call for 2023 OPID Spring Conference – The Joys of Teaching and Learning: Centering Students (Applications Due Monday, Jan. 9)

The UW System Office of Professional & Instructional Development (OPID) has announced the details for their annual spring conference on teaching and learning! The 2023 conference will be held in person in Madison and via Zoom on Apr. 20 & 21, 2023, and the theme for this year is “centering students.” OPID invites you to participate by submitting a proposal about your teaching and learning experiences, ideas, insights, questions, failures, and accomplishments. The call is open to all UW educators, and proposals are due Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.

Learn More & Apply


The Joys of Teaching & Learning: Centering Students

Description provided by the OPID 2023 Spring Conference on Teaching & Learning website.

From the classroom to department meetings and from learning management systems to addressing mental health and wellbeing, students are the focus of our professional lives. In the past few years, we have increased our attention to centering our teaching practices around the “whole student.” Re-examining assessment strategies, updating curriculum, exploring teaching methods and modalities while increasing flexibility and compassionate responses to students’ needs are just a few examples.

Centering Students is what we do as educators and is tied to our goals, challenges and the rewards of teaching and learning. As we deal with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an opportunity to explore what we have learned, and what we still need to learn, about connecting with and supporting students. How might we consider what we need in terms of self-care and care for colleagues so we can feel a sense of well-being and enable us to better care for others around us? How do we cultivate relationships and create a sense of community with our students? How do we bring student voices into our face-to-face, online, and blended learning environments? What opportunities are there to cultivate connections both within and external to our class environments? How can we meet students where they are, while advising and mentoring them to succeed beyond our learning contexts?

We invite you to contribute to the conversation about centering students by presenting at OPID’s 2023 Spring Conference. Please share your experiences, ideas, insights, questions, failures, and accomplishments so we can collaborate and learn together to explore possibilities for centering students in our teaching/learning contexts.

Read more about the theme and plenary speaker on the OPID 2023 Spring Conference on Teaching & Learning site!


Programmatic inquiries may be directed to Fay Akindes, Director of Systemwide Professional and Instructional Development, UW System, fakindes@uwsa.edu, (608) 263-2684.

Call for Proposals: OPID’s Annual Spring Conference (Due Monday, Feb. 7 2022)

FROM: The UW Office of Professional & Instructional Development (OPID)

OPID’s Annual Spring Conference

The Joys of Teaching & Learning / Cultivating community

  • Friday, April 22 & 29, 2022 (virtual, via Zoom)
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. + Fireside chats
  • Registration is free to all UW educators

Call for Proposals

Proposal submission deadline: Monday, February 7, 2022

Cultivating community is an ongoing practice in the University of Wisconsin System, with 13 universities sharing a common purpose of educating, uplifting, and mentoring our students to seek meaningful, productive, and transformative lives.

Cultivating community is one of the objectives, challenges, and joys of teaching and learning. It results from intentional and sometimes not-so-intentional practices. It may be guided by faculty and instructors, but also emerges organically among students. How do we cultivate environments and relationships that result in a sense of belonging among our students? How do we extend teaching and learning beyond four walls of a classroom? What are some innovative ways to cultivate community online? How do we cultivate community with our partners in non-profit organizations, businesses, K-12 schools, in prisons?

Although the lingering Covid-19 pandemic has strained our work, it also reveals how change can empower us to adopt and adapt new teaching and learning practices. These new practices may be more flexible, effective, and relevant for these times. How do we cultivate community and a sense of belonging among students, faculty, instructors, and colleagues and employers external to the university? What barriers or challenges have you encountered when trying to cultivate community?

We invite you to participate in The Joys of Teaching & Learning / Cultivating community by sharing your experiences, ideas, questions, failures, and accomplishments. We welcome innovative and interactive proposals that strengthen a sense of community among UW faculty, instructors, and students. We encourage proposals that cross university and disciplinary lines, and that are grounded in the scholarship of teaching and learning. We invite Wisconsin Teaching Fellows & Scholars alumni to reengage with SoTL. We challenge faculty and instructors to open up new spaces for approaching and understanding teaching and learning in the UW System. Let’s re-imagine, re-define, and re-vision new possibilities for cultivating community.

Suggested Formats:

  • Break-out sessions – 30- or 60-minute presentations, panels, or roundtables
  • Posters or papers
  • Lightning rounds – 5-7-minute talks

Suggested Focal Points:

  • Equity-minded pedagogies
  • Digital pedagogies
  • Scholarship of Teaching & Learning
  • Grading, ungrading, and alternative assessments
  • High-impact experiential teaching and learning practices: First-year seminars and experiences, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, diversity/global learning, ePortfolios, service- and community-based learning, internships, capstone courses.
  • Proposed new HIPs
  • Mental health and wellness for students and instructors
  • Mindfulness and burnout
  • Activism and resistance
  • Online STEM labs
  • Professional development for educators

We Welcome:

  • Pre-recorded and live sessions.
  • Multi-speaker presentations and panels, ideally from more than one university.
  • Multi-media and performative presentations.
  • Inclusion of student voices.

Proposal submission deadline: Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, via the online form.

Proposals will be anonymously reviewed by faculty and instructors in OPID’s Advisory Council.

Signature Programs Committee

Chair, Sylvia Tiala (UW-Stout); Members – Verda Blythe (UW-Madison), Abhimanyu Goush (UW-Stout), Veronica Justen (UW-River Falls), Bryan Kopp (UW-La Crosse), Mary-Beth Leibham (UW-Eau Claire), Heather Pelzel (UW-Whitewater), Erin Speetzen (UW-Stevens Point), Jamie White-Farnham (UW-Superior).


Contact Fay Yokomizo Akindes, Director, Systemwide Professional & Instructional Development, fakindes@uwsa.edu or 608-263-2684.

Call for Faculty College Cohorts

This year marks the 41st Faculty College and it will be nothing like the past. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Faculty College will be online with an abbreviated schedule: Monday, May 24, through Thursday, May 27.  Programming will focus on timely and relevant themes:  Equity-Minded Wellness and Pedagogy. Faculty at our 13 universities have made clear the need for professional development in equity-minded wellness and pedagogy, particularly as it enhances HIPs. Folded into this theme are effective practices in student-centered teaching and learning.

We are seeking two cohorts that will meet to discuss each theme:

  1. Equity-Minded Wellness on Monday, May 24 and Tuesday, May 25.
  2. Equity-minded Pedagogy on Wednesday, May 26 and Thursday, May 27.

Cohorts will participate in workshops from 9 a.m.–12 p.m., and then we will engage with their cohort either synchronously or asynchronously briefly in the afternoons to reflect on their learning and consider next steps.

If you are interested, please respond to this survey

Note anyone who attends Faculty College this year will still be able to apply to attend when it returns to an in-person format.