NORDP’s Midwest/Mountain Region – Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Alberta, and Saskatchewan – convened its first meeting outside of the annual conference in September. NORDP’s President, Kimberly Eck, kicked off the meeting by getting the group excited about the value of regional connections. Prior to the meeting, the region participated in an interest survey to allow members to shape regional activities. Of the 56 survey participants from 21 institutions/organizations, 39% joined NORDP less than two years ago and 23% are non-members able to explore the value of NORDP membership through regional activities. Several of our institutions are state universities and most (88%) grant PhD degrees.
Over the next year, the Midwest/Mountain region will be building our community through a series of virtual events that are related to how RD is organized/structured at our institutions. Topics will be prioritized based on level of interest expressed in the survey, including metrics (79%), services (77%), and communication strategies (68%). In breakout groups during the inaugural meeting, most of our discussion gravitated towards how our #1 area of interest was metrics. Being able to pull out the value and impact of RD has become even more important considering budget constraints and fewer resources. In post-event feedback, one participant noted that the discussion on metrics “made me feel less alone.”
What would you like to get out of regional events? For Midwest/Mountain members, a word cloud of our responses shows our top priorities are networking and making new connections; sharing ideas and knowledge; and learning from each other.
The value of these discussions will be enhanced by including a diversity of voices and improving representation across states and types of institutions, offices, experience levels, etc. The regional events are open to NORDP members and non-members, so please reach out to any of your Midwest/Mountain RD colleagues and encourage them to join us!
The next virtual Midwest/Mountain regional event in our series, which will be focused on Metrics, is on Tuesday, December 8, 12-1 pm EST. Please register for the event here.
Feel free to contact us directly with any questions.
Catherine Determan, Washington University in St. Louis, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Nanstad, University of Colorado Boulder, email@example.com
Kathy Partlow, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, firstname.lastname@example.org