Call for Proposals

Presenting at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference provides an opportunity to build your professional network and experience lifelong learning with lifelong friends. Presenting a content-rich session individually or as part of a team is a wonderful way to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas. The conference's community-generated program will showcase future directions, best practices, stories of successful collaborations, lessons learned, and solutions to community-wide issues within various program tracks.

Program Tracks

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation and Change

Institutions are under pressure to innovate to address the wicked problems facing higher education: rising costs, demographic shifts, and the need to increase student success and measure outcomes. And yet, institutions, steeped in tradition and complex governance structures, often struggle to build change-ready cultures willing to take risks and experiment. What values and strategies inspire innovation at all levels of an institution? What skills, competencies, and frameworks enable organizations to successfully navigate and implement change? What innovative projects, pilots, and initiatives are moving your organization forward? How do IT units balance researching emerging technologies with keeping the lights on? Sessions in this track can include leadership and management strategies and efforts to cultivate innovation, processes and practices that support change efforts, and emerging projects and pilots that explore how innovation can support student success.

Delivering Trusted Insights and Innovation Through Data

Data is everywhere. It's being produced by everything and being used to make many different kinds of meaning. Whether we are using data to inform decision-making or to identify what decisions we might want to make, we are challenged to collect, define, analyze, and present data that is larger and more diverse than ever before. How might we imagine solutions that involve connecting people and systems to trusted data and data processes in useful, accessible, and understandable formats? How might we create and share clear and compelling reports and data visualizations that demonstrate data's value to all our constituents, organization wide? This track will explore data's potential. We invite you to share what works for you. Topics include, but are not limited to, the people (organization, leadership, grassroots, literacy), processes (policy, governance, assessment, strategic planning, collaboration), and technologies (infrastructure, analytics, visualization, collaboration/sharing) that can help us find answers to these inquiries and more. Delivering trusted insights requires an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach spanning IT, research, and academic units—what should we know?

Enabling Research Discovery

Cyberinfrastructure, both physical and human, is increasingly required across disciplines to enable groundbreaking research and scholarship in the digital age. Whether it's high-performance and high-throughput computing, massive storage capacity, hybrid and federated cloud resources, software-defined networks, rich media analysis, AR/VR/XR, or electronic lab notebooks, IT is a key partner in researcher success. Topics will include strategies for developing and sustaining robust research infrastructure, research computing facilitation and support, multi-institutional research infrastructure collaborations, IT and library research support collaborations, research data management, funding models, and creating research-enabling systems that foster best practices and reduce administrative burden.

Exploring New Boundaries in Teaching and Learning

How do institutional IT processes and practices enable and empower the core academic mission of teaching, learning, research, and scholarship? Additionally, what must we improve to see teaching and learning projects thrive with interdisciplinary, collaborative projects, products, and initiatives? This track invites presentations from a range of topics including instructional design, digital learning, learning space design, research computing, online and blended learning, accessibility and universal design, and mobile learning, as well as support for libraries, pedagogical research, and scholarship.

Organizational Excellence, Leadership, and Partnerships

The relevancy of information technology depends on meeting emerging needs and innovations. Silos are being dismantled, and hybrid and matrixed teams are being formed to proactively solve problems and innovate. As higher education institutions morph to handle a changing world, IT can lead the way by leveraging people, process, and technology. IT leadership must ensure that the technology organization's resources and efforts are strategically aligned with the institution's vision and goals and that the institution is fully leveraging technology and talent to achieve its goals. This track focuses on how IT organizations socialize transformations that enable IT to lead innovation in the institution and on the critical role that IT plays in serving the needs of the entire institution—administrative, teaching and learning, and research. Topics include creating a modern workforce; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); performance effectiveness; cost control; mergers, closures, and consortiums; collaborative initiatives related to strategic institutional, vendor, and research partnerships; process transformations; culture change; making IT more effective; measuring the journey to excellence; remote campus relationships; and community engagement partnerships.

Redefining the Enterprise for the Modern Age

The practices of IT service delivery and digital transformation—increasingly important to realizing institutional strategy—rely on the successful convergence of information systems, cloud computing infrastructure, and a support-and-skills model that makes it all work across the breadth of a higher education institution (not just central IT). Modernizing infrastructures can increase agility and flexibility, bolster data protection, and encourage innovation. Topics in this track include infrastructure services and enterprise architecture/systems, as well as frameworks and strategies for effective, efficient IT service management including agile, DevOps, and ITIL.

Security, Privacy, and Ethics

Security, privacy, and ethics continue to be top-of-mind initiatives at each of our organizations. With the pace of change continuing to pick up speed and the focus on privacy and security at the start rather than as an afterthought, we are seeking proposals focused on strategic themes as well as highly technical and tactical talks. Proactive initiatives to protect against increasingly sophisticated attacks, breach response events, and more are all welcomed. This track also includes topics related to external partnerships, accessibility, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Transforming the Student Experience

Technology has the potential to reduce friction for students, whether it's by nudging them to register for classes, pointing them to available parking spots, or making Wi-Fi access ubiquitous across campus. The digital student experience affects learners across the life cycle with the institution, shaping how they are recruited, educated, retained, and engaged. What are the design principles and approaches that should inform the digital student experience? How is technology reshaping the student experience to reduce friction and remove barriers? What emerging technologies have the potential to improve the student experience, and what are the risks and tradeoffs? This track will explore the ways in which higher education has successfully responded to the changing expectations of learners, families, and alumni.

Help Me Decide

Not sure which track to pick? Choose Help Me Decide. The Program Committee will help you select the best track for your session submission.


Delivery Choices

Please note that your proposal will be carefully evaluated and may be accepted for any of the following formats below, depending on the scope of content and engagement strategies proposed. If you have questions, please contact Sarah Reynolds, speaker liaison ([email protected]), or visit our Speaker Concierge resource page for presentation ideas and resources.

New in 2020! Digital Transformation Exemplar Showcase

Are you already on a Dx path? Do you have an exemplar project you want to share with others? We invite you to participate in the Dx Exemplar Showcase. To be considered, pick any proposal type and complete the Digital Transformation section.

Preconference Workshop

(Full day = 7 hours; half day = 3.5 hours)
Offered as full- or half-day options, preconference workshops provide participants with a deeper examination of various topics, facilitated by leaders with extensive experience in those areas. Workshops are highly interactive and give participants the chance to discuss in-depth approaches to challenges they are facing on campus, share solutions, and learn strategies. These workshops are considered part of EDUCAUSE professional learning and career development offerings and, as such, require learning outcomes. Maximum of four instructors.

Facilitated Community Discussion

(Typically 45 minutes)
Discussion sessions are opportunities for members of the EDUCAUSE community to share campus challenges and solutions through conversational exchange. By actively engaging audience participants in dialogue about hot topics or broad issues, presenters of these sessions will rely on the collective community experience among session attendees. There is no room for "sage on the stage" in a facilitated discussion session; this is a chance to have organic, topically relevant, peer-to-peer learning experiences at the conference. Maximum of two facilitators.

Moderated Debate/Panel Session

(Typically 45 minutes)
This format is intended to showcase multiple perspectives and distributed insights about a specific topic. A panel could be two opposing viewpoints or an active group discussion. The best panels have diversity in perspectives as well as diversity of panelists—organizationally and demographically speaking. The moderator is responsible for choreographing panelists' contributions in a manner that will help attendees apply lessons learned in the session back on their campuses. Maximum of four presenters, including the moderator.

Interactive Presentation

(Typically 45 minutes)
These sessions are opportunities to share topics of interest, lesson learned, foresight, or evidence of impact related to a conference tracks. Presenters, whether one person or a group, should include ways to actively engage the audience in the session, either digitally or in person. Sessions should cover a project, idea, or experience that is important to the higher education community. Innovative, thought-provoking, and engaging topics will be prioritized in the selection process. Maximum of four presenters.

Lightning Round

(Approximately 6 minutes, plus poster session)
Lightning talks are small but mighty program components designed for presenters to communicate an insightful message in under seven minutes. This short form challenges presenters to connect with an audience and convey key information in a succinct way. We may employ a short form methodology like slides automatically advancing every 20 seconds. Complimentary training/coaching will be offered to all lightning talk presenters. Lightning talk presenters will be assigned a poster session slot to (a) extend the reach of the message and (b) have the opportunity to engage in conversations with attendees about their topic. Maximum of two presenters.

Poster Session

(two 60-minute sessions, Tuesday or Wednesday)
Posters give participants and presenters the opportunity to share and examine problems, issues, and solutions in a casual, personal environment. These sessions are typically informal and interactive. As attendees visit this informal setting, presenters can discuss and share their work on a one-to-one basis. Presenters will use a poster display (and laptop and print materials if they wish) to demonstrate the features and functionality of the tool or program, as well as to provide a visual overview of the project. Presenters should also prepare a few introductory remarks to engage listeners in the subject. Maximum of two presenters.

Help Me Decide

Not sure which format to pick? Choose Help Me Decide. The Program Committee will help you select the best format for your session submission.

Important Reminders


All accepted presenters are responsible for registering for the conference by the early-bird date, paying the conference registration fee, and securing and paying for travel and lodging. Please plan and budget accordingly before submitting your proposal. (Exceptions include accepted full- and half-day preconference workshop presenters, who may receive modest compensation in the form of an honorarium and a complimentary conference registration. EDUCAUSE will not cover any additional costs such as travel and lodging expenses, online tools, assessments, books, or other presentation materials.)

Sharing Resources

Presenters will be asked to upload related resources (documents or links) prior to their presentation. These resources provide support for the presentation and then become a part of the conference proceedings so that valuable information is accessible beyond the session. If your proposal is selected, you will be provided with instructions on uploading your presentation materials.

Selection Process

Proposals are selected to ensure the conference offers a comprehensive, nonpromotional, objective, and diverse program. Attention will be given to diversity of institutions/organizations, presenters, and geographic location. Note: You may be invited to present in formats other than the one you selected or those noted in the proposal submission form.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Annual Conference Program Committee and proposal reviewers using the following criteria:

  • Relevance of topic: Is the topic of relevance, importance, value, and/or interest to higher education?
  • Proposed topic coverage: Does the proposal adequately cover content related to the proposers' learning objectives or key stated outcomes?
  • Presenter knowledge: Do the presenters have sufficient knowledge, expertise, and authority to address this topic based on evidence provided in the proposal and/or prior experience with or knowledge of the presenter?
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Does the proposal reflect or address diversity, equity, and inclusion, including subject matter, individuals of all identities, and demographic characteristics?
  • Engagement strategies: The proposal explains the methods used to actively engage participants and is informed by principles of universal design.