Institute for Teaching and Learning (ITL)


The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) will hold its 40th annual conference in San Francisco November 4-8, 2015.

The theme is "Back to the Future: Critical Reflection and Effective Practice."

John Dewey observed that "we do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience." By selecting critical reflection as the theme of the 40th annual conference, POD emphasizes that those who teach also learn through critical reflection. Faced with increasing demands, fewer resources, and limited time, we can easily postpone reflection as a luxury. Yet critical reflection is necessary for deep learning at all levels of the academy, not only in the classroom. This year POD invites us to reflect on ideas that have emerged in higher education over the last forty years. Some have been discarded; others reinvented. Some have stood the test of time. At this year’s conference, faculty and organizational developers will reflect on ideas – old and emerging – while looking to the future of higher education.

This year’s plenary exemplifies innovation: "Can We Talk About Race? A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum" will be flipped. Dr. Tatum, who served as president of Spelman College for 13 years and received the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award in 2013, is widely recognized for research on racial identity development and the role of race in education. POD invites members to review her work before the conference and submit questions and topics to be addressed during the plenary.

San Francisco is a great place, and 2015 is a great year, for CSU faculty to join these conversations.

To learn more about the conference, to register, and to participate in the flipped plenary, visit

CSU faculty, administrators and staff who join POD or renew membership ( between now and September 10, 2016 may do so at the institutional rate of $95. Select “institutional” on the membership menu.

Recent Events

The 18th Annual CSU Symposium on University Teaching was held March 13 & 14, 2015, at Cal State L.A.

The theme was GRIT: Exploring Perseverance, Mindset and Character in the Classroom.

Keynote speakers were Dr. Rachel Beattie, Director of Productive Persistence at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Stanford, California, and Dr. Mary-Ann Winkelmes, Coordinator of Instructional Development and Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. They were invited because so much compelling research is being conducted that gets to the heart of how students learn best and stay in school. Both speakers shared proven approaches to increasing student engagement and rates of persistence at a practical, hands-on symposium.

The CSU Symposium on University Teaching is organized each year by the CSU Faculty Development Council with support from The Institute for Teaching and Learning. Each year the symposium enables faculty from across the CSU to engage with nationally-recognized leaders in higher education and share innovative practices with one another. Faculty from 18 of the 23 campuses in the system submitted proposals to present at the 18th annual symposium at Cal State LA in 2015.

Information about the 2016 symposium will be posted on this site as soon as it is available.

Suggestions for other events or areas of faculty development that you believe ITL should consider supporting can be sent to the director.

Last Updated: September 30, 2015