Meeting: Increasing Communication Between Undergraduate Research Directors

A PKAL Faculty for the 21st Century Project

Hi PKAL Folks who run Centers for Undergraduate Research (CUR)

This past June at the annual Council of Undergraduate Research national meeting, many of us running "Undergraduate Research Centers" on individual campuses met for lunch and discovered that many of us are not only entering un-chartered waters but are also re-inventing the wheel. As Dwight Dimaculangan (at Winthrop) and I (Mary Crowe, left the national CUR meeting this past June, we talked about putting into action what we all informally discussed at the meeting: increasing communication between undergraduate research directors, with some help of mentor(s). We drafted a proposal for PKAL's Leadership Initiative program ( to see if we could get some support for a "forum" for us to meet where we could share best practices with respect to organization, funding and assessment of our respective centers. PKAL said yes and gave us some $$ for the following two activities: travel funds (airfare, hotel and meals) for a December workshop for some** CUR directors and a some support for a meal/reception for all interested at the NCUR meeting in April.

NOTE: A meeting for us is on the schedule for Saturday afternoon at the October's National Assembly as well!!!!!

We would like to have as many of you participate as possible; ** the number of people who actually attend the December workshop will be determined by how many can travel w/in our budget. If you don’t go in December we encourage you to join Mary at the PKAL meeting in October and to join all of us next spring at the NCUR meeting.

In a nutshell here is the plan:

A group of CUR directors will arrive Charlotte, NC between 9-11 am Saturday December 4th. Since Charlotte is a major airline hub, we thought many could find flights into here and Winthrop (Dwight’s institution) is a very short drive from the airport. Dwight will pick us up from the airport and take us to Winthrop’s campus where, from noon Saturday to noon on Sunday we can develop a "plan" of how we will try to make it easier for CUR directors to: find funding for our centers, identify good methods of assessment, organize a campus-wide scholarly celebration, encourage faculty members in humanities and creative arts as well as other topics that emerge as pressing issues. We have contacted a potential mentor who has tentatively agreed to help shepard us :-) Participants will then fly out of Charlotte between 3-5 pm on Sunday, December 5th. January-April each of the attendees will work on assembling information on their topic, disseminating and receiving feedback from all other CUR directors (probably via list serve). Then, at the April at NCUR, we will have a dinner meeting one night open to anyone who wants to attend where we can disseminate information and engage in further discussion and planning. (NOTE: I haven’t talked to the NCUR folks yet about this plan. I was just elected to the NCUR board and will bring this up at the September planning meeting).

  1. Are you interested in attending the December meeting, knowing that your attendance means that you have committed yourself to being the "point" person on a given CUR topic that you must gather information, summarize and disseminate to the greater CUR director group Jan-April?

  2. Does your institution have any funds to offset your travel costs? If so, how much? Are you willing to share a room with someone (of the same sex of course!)? This will help us optimize/offset the budget from PKAL grant.

Please send me ( an email NO LATER than Friday September 10th.

NOTE: for you directors at R1 institutions: The Reinvention Center is planning a program for CUR directors at its meeting this coming November. I will be attending this meeting as well, even though I am at a PUI so that I can keep connections between the two groups, those CUR directors at PUIs and those at R1.

If you would like more information please contact either one of us at:

Mary Crowe
Director, Center for Undergraduate Research
Xavier University of Louisiana
(504) 520-5747

Dwight Dimaculangan
Director of Undergraduate Research
Winthrop University
803-323-2111, ext. 6443