Informed Decision-Making: The Importance of Distillation and Synthesis


Dance administrators face many issues. Daily, issues in considerable number and breadth appear and require attention, reflection, analysis, and action. Local parameters, professional expectations for dance teaching and learning, and community-wide educational cultures and procedures are springboards as dance executives employ their skills to gather information, shepherd conversations, assemble consensus, and develop courses of action. When successful, such efforts not only produce positive results, they also increase trust in decision-making elements and processes. Confidence is built from such successes and other components as well; for example, operational fealty to a clearly articulated and shared vision; factual, true, and genuine information analyzed and applied carefully; and considered conclusions and stable mechanisms that inform and assist individual and small group operations, work, and evaluation. Clearly, trust is a critical common element and must be built in many dimensions and on many levels.

Accuracy and quality of information are major ingredients in building and maintaining trust. Whether facing the effects of a critical situation or anticipating what will come next, good and real information is key, as is honesty about the true status of information based on estimates: the ways and the extent to which estimates may be accurate at any given, but not necessarily in the next, moment. But there is more. It would appear that a characteristic shared by the most successful dance administrators is a desire to seek virtuosity in understanding detail by studying, evaluating, distilling, synthesizing, and formulating information-based conclusions for others to review, to use in their own efforts, or to employ while cooperating with others. These information-based results are usually institution-specific. Most often, they do not spring forth from raw information itself, but rather from a process that includes reviewing specific issues in light of multiple contexts, starting with core purposes and functions and moving on to current local, regional, and at times, national conditions and climates. These administrators also master the art of leading, of making changes when new information indicates that a previous decision should be altered. Such careful considerations are oriented more to making institution-specific choices than to discovering and following what is being said, thought, or done elsewhere. The conversation and considerations in such environments are almost always pure in nature and intent and therefore typically focused on actions that are designed to serve the greater good.

Of course, time is an issue. Most dancers seek efficient use of time because there is always so much to be done. Usually, it takes time to be thorough and discerning. Many issues are complex, many problems do not have single answers. At times, it takes time to define a problem clearly in terms of one’s specific situation. Simple, singular, and quick answers may be appropriate when such approaches fit the nature of the problem. Most likely, however, hastily made decisions as they pertain to complex matters create difficulties down the line and postpone the formulation of ways forward that address both the short- and long-term aspects of an issue in relationship with other issues and goals. Virtuoso administrators are careful about setting precedents, or ending with solutions that work in one sector, but do damage in others, or being insufficiently aware of the local context or the full set of real costs and risks associated with a specific course of action. They are willing to be patient, to take the time necessary to be thorough, to look at options in light of the full range of operational and resource issues and in consideration of prospective conditions in areas critical to the continuing success of their students and colleagues in the field of dance now and in the immediate future.

It is of utmost importance for dance administrators to review and remain abreast of current and newly released information as it applies to ongoing institutional considerations. Using the principles outlined above as a reference for context, specific sources of information are listed below as they pertain to (a) development of arts advocacy campaigns which underline the value of arts education, (b) responsibilities of NASD-accredited institutional members, (c) the coronavirus – its effects as they relate to arts study and consideration of possible mitigation options, (d) the role of strategic thinking and planning and their impact on the decision-making process, and (e) federal law and regulation governing the flow of federal monies available to support institutions of higher education and the students they serve. The information is pertinent to the long-term health and well-being of dance as a field of study – a concern which remains in our sights even though at times our daily attentions are diverted elsewhere. Some of the information provided is pertinent to what our country and therefore we face from day to day. Some may be pertinent to current realities in play at your institution; some less so. Different institutions have different missions and face different sets of realities, and therefore it is important to study and consider the information, determining its applicability carefully, particularly as it may apply to your local situation. The value of verified information cannot be underestimated. However, it is important to remember that the real work begins when the information collected and adjudged for its applicability is used to nurture informed decision-making. Informed decision-making will not occur from the mere collection of information but rather from thorough analysis which confirms the applicability of the information to the issues at hand, and its potential to inform decision-making which takes into consideration local realities, responsibilities, and resources. Should further information or analysis be required regarding the topics highlighted in this text or on other topics, seek specific guidance and wisdom from those with the expertise to assist you. Then, having developed confidence in your research and study, you will be in a good place to make broadly conceived decisions that will move initiatives on behalf of the work of your institution or department forward. It helps to remember that decision-making is not a one-time event; it is an unfolding and ongoing process, in part because conditions are always changing. Each decision is merely a piece of a puzzle that must be solved for a time. Normally, the more volatile and unstable the conditions, the more difficult the daily and the long-term puzzles, and the more choices of answers are available.

NASD Resources

Publications

NASD maintains an extensive library of information, the holdings of which serve as a source of support and assistance to dance administrators. Highlighted below is information intended to assist you to prepare for conversations that may arise which question the value of arts study, particularly during times when resources available to the institution have been reduced, and the allocation of remaining resources is in question. Please note: A full list of NASD published texts may be found in the Publications section of the NASD website.

Advocacy

Information available in the texts listed below may be of assistance to dance administrators in need of creating talking points which clearly outline the value and importance of art study.

National Standards

The NASD standards, in place and in force for nearly a century, approved and amended by the NASD membership upon achievement of consensus, confirm and attest to the level of rigor required of dance study in the United States, and the achievements expected of students enrolled in dance study.

  • Characteristics of NASD Standards. A broad overview of the characteristics of the national standards found in the NASD Handbook.
  • NASD 2019-2020 Handbook. Includes the Constitution, Bylaws, Code of Ethics, Rules of Practice and Procedure, and Standards for Accreditation.

NASD Notices Pertaining to COVID-19

Professional Development Opportunities

Attending to the provisions of its aims and objectives, in addition to the service of accreditation provided by NASD and its Policy Studies and Institutional Research initiatives, NASD offers various Professional Development opportunities. Listed below are topic- and accreditation-focused sessions and presentations to be conducted via various electronic means.

Topic-Focused Sessions

Topic-focused sessions are available to representatives of accredited institutions of NASD, members of ICFAD, and those interested in the topic area. Registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions

THE INDISPENSABLE ROLE OF A WELL-CONCEIVED AND SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED VISION

There is no question that the cultivation of an artistic and institutional vision is an integral aspect of the ongoing success of a dance unit. Designing an approach which includes consideration of conditions, realities, and possibilities; which seeks and achieves consensus and buy-in; and which aligns with desired mission, goals, and aspirations can result in a plan which can become an invaluable aspect of a dance unit’s long-term viability.

This session will be facilitated by seasoned veteran administrators. Guided by their wisdom and practical knowledge, attendees will explore the indispensable role that vision plays in the long-term stability, relevance, and viability of a dance unit, including consideration of issues such as the following: Is the creation of a unit’s vision the sole purview of the dance administrator? If so, what steps must be taken to ensure buy-in? If not, who should be involved in the process––within the unit, within the institution, within the community––and what roles should they undertake? When formalizing a vision, should consideration be given to the past, in what regard? Once formalized, how should a defined vision be implemented, how should it be used to inform and guide the work of the dance unit today, in the years to come? Should there be a relationship between a unit’s vision and the institution’s strategic plan? Should they mesh; should they be complementary? If constructive opposition exists, what steps can be taken to channel feedback to inform the development of consensus? What is the importance of vision consistency and continuity? Should a vision change? If so, under what circumstances? What level of importance does legacy planning assume in the implementation of the unit’s vision? How can the success of a vision and its implementation be assessed? When does a vision become visionary? At the conclusion of the presentation, time will be offered to address questions and consider ideas.

Presenters: Daniel Lewis, New World School of the Arts/Limón Institute
Mary Margaret Holt, University of Oklahoma
Sharon L. Vasquez, University of Hartford
Moderator: Jan Erkert, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Date: September 21, 2021
Time: 3:30-4:45 p.m. ET
Click here to register

BIOGRAPHIES

Mary Margaret Holt is Dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma. Holt earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance and Master of Fine Arts degree in drama with dance emphasis, studying under prima ballerina Yvonne Chouteau and principal dancer Miguel Terekhov, who together established the dance program at OU. As Director of the School of Dance, Holt initiated the Saturday Youth Program, SummerWind Youth Ballet, performances in the public schools, the Dance Partners support group, and more. The recipient of many awards, including the Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award, she has choreographed over 40 ballets. Her choreography is in the repertoire of over a dozen companies in the United States, and it has also been seen in Great Britain, Europe, and South America. She has also served as a guest artist, choreographer, consultant, and teacher with more than 30 ballet and opera companies across the United States.

Daniel Lewis joined New World School of the Arts as the founding Dean of Dance in 1987. An internationally recognized performer, teacher, choreographer, and author, he graduated from The Julliard School in 1967, served on its faculty from 1967-87, and was the Assistant Director of the Dance Department from 1984-87. He danced with the Limón Dance Company for 12 years, originating leading roles and staging works on companies worldwide. Mr. Lewis’ book, The Illustrated Dance Technique of José Limón, has been translated into German, Spanish, and Japanese. In the first year following the death of Mr. Limón, Mr. Lewis became the company’s Artistic Director; a year later he formed Daniel Lewis Dance, a repertory dance company. His biography Daniel Lewis, A Life in Choreography and the Art of Dance was released in May of 2020. He has received five Lifetime achievement awards, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Florida.

Named Provost Emerita upon her retirement from the University of Hartford in July 2016, Sharon L. Vasquez was recognized for transformational leadership during a time of enrollment challenges and fiscal stress. At Hartford she successfully launched and managed major planning initiatives, including a new Strategic Plan, the comprehensive review and prioritization of academic programs, a faculty compensation plan and retirement incentive, and a physical plant project to create the 21st-century library. Prior to this, she served as the Dean of the College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts at Wayne State University, and Dean of the School of Arts and Performance at SUNY-Brockport. Provost Vasquez currently provides independent consulting services and peer coaching to higher education leaders, especially in within the arts. Special areas of expertise include: strategic leadership; strategic planning; academic program review and prioritization; team building and succession planning; and professional career mapping.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: ENHANCING THE CONVERSATION

There have been many formidable accomplishments in dance over the decades. This is due in no small part to the willingness of dance educators and administrators to keep dance at the forefront of all facets of the field in debate and decision-making, and their commitment to expressing shared opinions and working together to ensure that the artform remains culturally vibrant. At the same time, important initiatives have been difficult to achieve given current conditions and realities. There is no question that the challenges faced today require attention, consideration, and action on the part dance administrators and at times, their institutional communities. It is clear that to retain our creative momentum, continue to advance the cause of dance, and enhance and further the education and training of our students, the skills that led to our accomplishments must be preserved, honed, and developed; simultaneously, efforts that may have faced difficulties or complications must be defined and analyzed.

One thing is certain: an unwavering interest in communication has been rooted in our success to date––a desire to address critical issues; a willingness to listen to those who desire to engage in dialogue; a shared understanding that all voices are intent to act in the best interests of the art form and its future. Maintaining open and diverse lines of communication among students, faculty, staff, and community members is essential in ensuring that all are cognizant of their abilities to participate in ongoing conversations. Our successes are often distinguished by shared and profound acceptance of and respect for those participating in the discussion. An infusion of diverse thought, experience, and involvement, as well as a welcoming of ideas and consideration of various possibilities remain necessary components if we are to continue to broaden our horizons, expand ideas which speak to possibilities as they pertain to dance education, advance our conversations, extend the effectiveness of our plans, and enrich our efforts to secure the ongoing effectiveness of dance units and their initiatives.

How can administrators best analyze the effectiveness of their communication practices? Are certain communication styles better than others? How has communication within institutions changed in the past ten years, the past year, the past month? Is it expected to change in the future? If so, in what ways? Can furthering our understanding of diverse identities, cultures, and thoughts better aid us in addressing issues? How might a deepening of our cultural literacy and global awareness expand our opportunities to enhance communication, cooperation, and collaboration?

In this session, leaders experienced in developing effective communication frameworks intended to bring communities together to develop and advance shared goals and visions will share their views on how communication can be employed to strengthen the purposefulness of connection, a necessary aspect of the responsibility we share to promote and advance our work. Time for questions will be provided.

Presenters: Lisa Beckley-Roberts, Jackson State University
Crystal Sellers Battle, Juniata College
Moderator: Ann Dils, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Date: September 28, 2021
Time: 1:00-2:15 p.m. ET
Click here to register

PROMOTING MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN THE DANCE UNIT

Challenges faced by dance students today extend far beyond the physical and can include social, emotional, and behavioral obstacles as well, all arising in various forms and leading to results of varying intensities. For example, competitiveness can breed anxiety; poor body image can result in a debilitating lack of confidence; bullying in person or on social media can lead to suicidal ideation; a fear of failure can cause a lack of educational and artistic engagement; worry and anxiety can be a precursor to self-doubt; lack of connection or a sense of belonging can lead to isolation. The effects of the pandemic, as well as social conditions brought about by national events, have increased the responsibilities and pressures faced by students. Students whose parents struggle to make ends meet may experience guilt brought about by their inability to assist at home while attending school. Students trying to balance academic and family responsibilities may have difficulty maintaining the focus necessary to learn, engage, advance their abilities to develop critical thinking skills, etc. What can/must be done to assist a student in need? What must be done when need is evident but not directly disclosed? Where can a student turn for help?

Simultaneously, dance faculty and administrators face their own realities that can also be tied to mental health, such as issues related to workload, in particular balancing in person and online teaching responsibilities and maintaining an appropriate workload-to-life balance; lack of support and opportunities for and acceptance of artistic/creative work and endeavors; and power dynamics which can dissolve necessary professional boundaries and lead to burnout, frustration, detachment. The careful tending to problems and the nurturing of individuals and the environment in which they operate can result in positive outcomes which benefit institutions and the individuals that work within them. From an organizational perspective, how can faculty and administrators effectively deal with difficult situations that pertain to, for example, evaluation and assessment processes, mentorship of students, and situations where varying and divergent views may be held? How can administrators enable participants to remain cognizant of the overall effectiveness of group dynamics, which can enhance the wellness and productivity of the entire dance unit? How can administrators promote an environment of open and welcomed communication, and awareness of the various and differing personality types in ways that not only allow but ensure that all who wish to contribute positively will have opportunities to be heard?

This session is designed to provide an overview of mental health-related issues affecting students, faculty, and administrators alike. Time for questions will be provided.

Presenter: Nadine J. Kaslow, Emory University
Moderator: Megan Slayter, Western Michigan University

Date: October 1, 2021
Time: 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
Click here to register

Past Sessions

ROBERT BATTLE: ADDRESS TO THE MEMBERSHIP

Robert Battle, Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will join NASD to address the membership, offering remarks and sharing perspectives as they pertain to legacy, leadership, and the important role the dance administrator plays in the advancement of dance as an artform. Moderated by NASD President Sharon Story, time for questions and answers will be provided at the conclusion of the presentation.

Presenter: Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Moderator: Sharon Story, Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education

Date: September 17, 2021
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

BIOGRAPHY

Robert Battle has served as the Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 2011 after being personally selected by Judith Jamison. He has a long-standing association with the Ailey organization, and is only the third person to head the Company since its founding. A frequent choreographer and artist in residence at Ailey since 1999, he has aided in the expansion of the Ailey repertory with works by diverse artists, in addition to instituting the New Directions Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers.

Originally from Miami, Florida, Mr. Battle studied at the New World School of the Arts and the Juilliard School. He danced with The Parsons Dance Company from 1994 to 2001, and set his choreography on that company starting in 1998. Mr. Battle then founded his own Battleworks Dance Company, which made its debut in 2002 in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the U.S. representative to the World Dance Alliance’s Global Assembly.

Mr. Battle was honored as one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography” by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005, and he received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA in 2007. He has honorary doctorates from The University of the Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, and Fordham University.

BIOAEROSOL EMISSIONS IN THE PERFORMING ARTS – REDUCING EMISSIONS AND EXPOSURES: A MULTI-PART SERIES (PART ONE)

The novel coronavirus is unquestionably serious and deadly, as of this writing, with more than 14 million cases reported worldwide and over 600,000 deaths. The spread of SARS-CoV-2 appears to occur through the emission of large and small droplets that are deposited on surfaces and released into the air, the latter of which (defined as aerosols) can hang and circulate in the air for hours while remaining infectious. Aerosols are emitted from the human respiratory tract through normal breathing, forced-air breathing (as during exercise or the playing of wind instruments), speaking, singing, coughing, and sneezing. It would appear that the smallest aerosols may be inhaled into the lungs and could lead to more serious disease, such as pneumonia, respiratory distress syndrome, and sepsis. Unfortunately, infected individuals are not always symptomatic and could pose a risk to others in artistic settings.

Within the performing arts, it has been reported that COVID-19 has spread during choral rehearsals, resulting in a majority of participants being infected; several of these cases even led to death. Due to the surmounting unknowns and the continued spread of the virus, collegiate arts programs are facing challenges as they are called upon to adapt and resume operations. Given the methods of transmission of COVID-19, it is appropriate to ask what risks instructors, students, and administrators in the arts disciplines are likely to face. For example, how should choral and wind-music settings be managed, noting that these two activities require deep breathing and result in the subsequent dispersion of bioaerosols? Are theatre students endangering their surrounding colleagues if they are required to vocalize often and/or loudly? Are dance studios large enough to dissipate bioaerosols during rehearsals? Are music practice rooms safe for more than one individual? How many individuals can be accommodated safely in a particular studio setting? How can accommodations be made for those involved, especially individuals who, if infected, may be at a higher risk for health complications?

This series will follow several current and ongoing scientific studies. As we begin, the sessions are anticipated to be offered during a six-month period beginning in August of 2020 and will align with the availability of salient findings from the studies. Individuals conducting the studies with expertise in bioaerosol emissions and related fields will lead the sessions. The presenters will seek to provide information addressing questions such as: What is the rate (and size) of bioaerosol emitted by performers of varying age and gender when engaging in arts activities, and why is this important to know? How effective are active and passive control measures at reducing bioaerosol emissions and exposures, measures such as isolation and distancing, room ventilation and filtration, respirator and mask use, and use of personal protective equipment. Can the risks of co-exposure be reduced to levels which allow operations to continue using these active and passive controls?

Additionally, presenters will explore ways in which arts administrators might approach, consider, and determine the amount, completeness, and accuracy of information being disseminated at the present time, and ensure the possession of credible information that will have a reasonable shelf life and assist to provide guidance to an institution crafting an ongoing plan of action.

Time for questions will be provided.

Facilitators/Presenters: Shelly Miller, University of Colorado Boulder
Donald Milton, University of Maryland
John Volckens, Colorado State University
Moderator: Daniel Goble, Colorado State University

Date: August 21, 2020
Time: 3:30-5:00 p.m. ET
Click here to view Donald Milton’s slides from this session
Click here to view John Volckens’s slides from this session
Click here to view Shelly Miller’s slides from this session

BIOGRAPHIES

Shelly L. Miller is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and a faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Engineering program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her current research projects include designing engineering controls for improving indoor environmental quality, association of coarse particles with health effects in urban and rural areas, characterization of indoor environmental quality, characterizing ultrafine particles that penetrate into mechanically ventilated buildings, understanding the microbiology of the built environment, and studying how HVAC systems play a role in infectious disease transmission. Dr. Miller received a Ph.D. degree and Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College.

Donald Milton is a Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Maryland (UMD) School of Public Health, with a secondary appointment in the UMD School of Medicine. He is board certified in Internal and Occupational and Environmental Medicine, which includes more than twenty years of experience in environmental and occupational medicine referral practice. His research interests and projects include the interrelated areas of infectious bioaerosols, exhaled breath analysis, and development and application of innovative methods for respiratory epidemiology. He has served on editorial boards for the publications Applied Environmental Microbiology, Indoor Air, and BMC Public Health; additionally, he served as a chair for the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists’ Bioaerosols Committee. Dr. Milton received a Ph.D. degree and a Master of Health degree in Environmental Health from Harvard University, a Doctor of Medicine degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County.

John Volckens is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University (CSU), where he also directs the Center for Energy Development and Health. His research interests involve combustion science, aerosol technology, and air pollution-related disease. He is a co-founder of the CSU Partnership for Air Quality, Climate, and Health, as well as Access Sensor Technologies. He has published over 100 manuscripts related to exposure science, aerosol technology, and air pollution-related disease. In March 2020, the CSU lab began serving as the respirator performance testing center for the Colorado COVID-19 Response Task Force. Dr. Volckens earned a Ph.D. degree and a Master of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont.

Please note: The information provided in this session is not intended to (a) suggest, provide, or impose definitive solutions to specific challenges faced by schools, rather it is provided to expand understandings as school representatives consider options associated with current school realities and anticipated possibilities, or (b) represent required accreditation standards, guidelines, or procedures.

BIOAEROSOL EMISSIONS IN THE PERFORMING ARTS – REDUCING EMISSIONS AND EXPOSURES: A MULTI-PART SERIES (PART TWO)

With more than 52 million cases of the novel coronavirus reported worldwide and over 1 million deaths to date, there is no question but that this virus remains of grave concern. As we discussed during the last session, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 appears to occur through the emission of large and small droplets that are deposited on surfaces and released into the air, the latter of which (defined as aerosols) can remain suspended and circulate in the air for hours while remaining infectious. Aerosols are emitted from the human respiratory tract through normal and forced-air breathing (such as during exercise or the playing of wind instruments), speaking, singing, coughing, and sneezing. It would appear that the smallest aerosols may be inhaled into the lungs and can lead to more serious disease, such as pneumonia, respiratory distress syndrome, and sepsis. Unfortunately, infected individuals are not always symptomatic and therefore can pose risks to others.

We have learned a great deal about this virus. At the same time, there remain unknowns. What we know for sure at this time is that this virus continues to spread, and therefore, collegiate fine and performing arts programs face day-in and day-out challenges as they are called upon to resume operations, or to adapt in ways that enable the continuation of operations, which may take various shapes and forms. Given the methods of transmission of COVID-19, it remains appropriate to ask what additional risks instructors, students, and administrators in the arts disciplines may face. For example, how should choral and wind-music settings be managed, noting that these two activities require deep breathing and the subsequent dispersion of bioaerosols? Are theatre students endangering their surrounding colleagues if they are required to vocalize often and/or loudly? Are dance studios large enough to allow for the dissipation of bioaerosols during rehearsals? Are music practice rooms safe for more than one individual? How many individuals can be accommodated safely in a particular studio art or design setting? How can accommodations be made for those involved, especially individuals who, if infected, may be at a higher risk for health complications?

This series will follow several current and ongoing scientific studies. These sessions, which began in August of 2020, will align with the availability of salient findings from the studies. This second session in the series will be led by Professor John Volckens of Colorado State University. Professor Volckens will provide an update on the progress of his ongoing study focused specifically on bioaerosol emissions, including current factual information which this study has brought to clear light, and how an understanding of this information may, should, and will affect our work in the fine and performing arts fields.

Additionally, Professor Volckens will provide an update on his ongoing work to understand the efficacy of masks and face-coverings, which are now thought to be a primary means to control the spread of the virus from individuals in close contact.

Given the substantial amount of information available today, Professor Volckens will discuss ways in which arts administrators might approach, consider, and determine the completeness and accuracy of information in circulation and that being released at the present time – this to assist arts administrators to ensure that they possess and are working with credible information that not only can be expected to have a reasonable shelf life, but also, assist to provide guidance to administrators crafting short- and long-term plans of action.

The opportunity to pose questions will be provided.

Presenter: John Volckens, Colorado State University
Moderator: Daniel Goble, Colorado State University

Date: December 2, 2020
Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET
Click here to view slides from this session

BIOGRAPHY

John Volckens is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University (CSU), where he also directs the Center for Energy Development and Health. His research interests involve combustion science, aerosol technology, and air pollution-related disease. He is a co-founder of the CSU Partnership for Air Quality, Climate, and Health, as well as Access Sensor Technologies. He has published over 100 manuscripts related to exposure science, aerosol technology, and air pollution-related disease. In March 2020, the CSU lab began serving as the respirator performance testing center for the Colorado COVID-19 Response Task Force. Dr. Volckens earned a Ph.D. degree and a Master of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont.

BIOAEROSOL EMISSIONS IN THE PERFORMING ARTS – REDUCING EMISSIONS AND EXPOSURES: A MULTI-PART SERIES (PART THREE)

With more than 141 million cases of the novel coronavirus reported worldwide and over 3 million deaths to date, there is no question but that this virus remains of grave concern. As we discussed during the last session, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 appears to occur through the emission of large and small droplets that are deposited on surfaces and released into the air, the latter of which (defined as aerosols) can remain suspended and circulate in the air for hours while remaining potentially infectious. The human respiratory tract emits both droplets (liquid particles larger than 100 μm) and aerosols (those smaller than 100 μm) through activities such as normal and forced-air breathing (such as during exercise or the playing of wind instruments), speaking, singing, coughing, and sneezing. Large droplets can be projected into the body at close range, while aerosols may be inhaled deep into the lungs. Unfortunately, infected individuals are not always symptomatic and therefore can pose risks to others in close proximity.

We have learned a great deal about this virus. At the same time, there remain unknowns that cloud our decision making. What we know for sure at this time is that this virus continues to spread, and therefore, collegiate fine and performing arts programs face day-in and day-out challenges as they are called upon to resume operations, or to adapt in ways that enable the continuation of operations, which may take various shapes and forms. Given the methods of transmission of COVID-19, questions linger about what additional risks we may face as instructors, students, and administrators in the arts disciplines. For example, how should choral and wind-music settings be managed, noting that these two activities require deep breathing and the subsequent dispersion of bioaerosols? Are theatre students endangering their surrounding colleagues if they are required to vocalize often and/or loudly? Are dance studios large enough to allow for the dissipation of bioaerosols during rehearsals? Are music practice rooms safe for more than one individual? How many individuals can be accommodated safely in a particular studio art or design setting? How can accommodations be made for those involved, especially individuals who, if infected, may be at a higher risk for health complications?

This series will follow several current and ongoing scientific studies. These sessions, which began in August of 2020, will align with the availability of salient findings from the studies. This third session in the series will be led by Professor John Volckens of Colorado State University. Professor Volckens will provide an update on the progress of his ongoing study focused specifically on bioaerosol emissions in the performing arts, including current factual information that this study has brought to clear light, and how an understanding of this information may, should, and will affect our work in the fine and performing arts fields.

Additionally, Professor Volckens will provide an update on ongoing work to understand the efficacy of masks and face-coverings, which are now thought to be a primary means to control the spread of the virus from individuals in close contact.

Given the substantial amount of information available today, Professor Volckens will discuss ways in which arts administrators might approach, consider, and determine the completeness and accuracy of information in circulation and that being released at the present time – this to assist arts administrators to ensure that they possess and are working with credible information that not only can be expected to have a reasonable shelf life, but also, assist to provide guidance to administrators crafting short- and long-term plans of action.

The opportunity to pose questions will be provided.

Presenter: John Volckens, Colorado State University
Moderator: Daniel Goble, Colorado State University

Date: May 20, 2021
Time: 2:00-3:15 p.m. ET
Click here to view slides from this session

BIOGRAPHY

John Volckens is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University (CSU), where he also directs the Center for Energy Development and Health. His research interests involve combustion science, aerosol technology, and air pollution-related disease. He is a co-founder of the CSU Partnership for Air Quality, Climate, and Health, as well as Access Sensor Technologies. He has published over 100 manuscripts related to exposure science, aerosol technology, and air pollution-related disease. In March 2020, the CSU lab began serving as the respirator performance testing center for the Colorado COVID-19 Response Task Force. Dr. Volckens earned a Ph.D. degree and a Master of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont.

FACING THE FALLOUT OF NATIONAL EVENTS: THE EFFECTS ON MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

With alarming regularity, we are witnessing an uptick in the number of students, faculty, and staff who are facing and struggling with psychological challenges. Current events have led to the disruption of normal processes and therefore have taken a toll on all individuals involved in arts programs. The roots of anxiety are far reaching and can result from social, emotional, and behavioral conditions. These psychological challenges can arise in various forms and arrive with varying intensities. A student’s failure at an audition, jury, or job opportunity can undermine confidence. Dwelling on social conditions brought about by national events can result in trauma. Incidents of campus violence can breed fear. Consideration of future remuneration can lead to worries about long-term financial stability.

Simultaneously, arts faculty and administrators face their own realities that can also be tied to mental health and well-being. Issues related to workload-to-life balance, lack of support for and acceptance of artistic/creative work and endeavors can lead increasingly to burnout, apathy, and detachment. How can faculty and administrators effectively deal with difficult situations that pertain to, for example, a lack of optimism, evaluation and assessment processes, mentorship of students and junior faculty, conversations that present varying opinions held? Since the nurturing of individuals and the environment in which they operate can result in positive outcomes, how can administrators enable participants to remain cognizant of the overall effectiveness of group dynamics, which can enhance the wellness of the entire arts unit?

Exacerbated by the events of the last year and future unknowns, the list of psychological challenges offered above is only partially reflective of today’s realities. The duration of pandemic as well as the many questions left to be answered, may be suggested to be causing weariness, frustration, and despondence. While arts administrators may be ill-equipped to address such issues, much less recognize when help or intervention may be necessary, administrators must not only manage the challenges, but also the aftermath, particularly as it relates to the health and well-being of individuals involved in the work of the unit. Administrators must help to buffer faculty, staff, and students so that the work of the arts unit can continue. In terms of mental health and well-being during this time, what can/must be done to assist students, faculty, and staff in need? What must be done when need is evident but not directly disclosed? Where can individuals within the arts unit turn for help? Where does the administrator turn for assistance and support? Today’s presenter will address these questions, and in doing so, strive to deepen awareness among arts administrators and bring to light some of the issues that are prevalent on campuses today. Time for questions will be provided.

Presenter: Nadine Kaslow, Emory University
Moderator: Michael Wilder, Wheaton College

Date: April 16, 2021
Time: 2:00-3:45 p.m. ET
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Click here to view Excellence vs. Perfection handout from this session

BIOGRAPHY

Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPP is a Professor and Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Emory University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Chief Psychologist and Director of the Grady Nia Project, Grady Health System; Director of the Atlanta Trauma Alliance; and Director of the Postdoctoral Residency Program in Health Service Psychology, Emory University School of Medicine. In 2012, she received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Pepperdine University. She has held numerous fellowships throughout the United States and, in 2014, served as President of the American Psychological Association (APA) and Editor of the Journal of Family Psychology. Dr. Kaslow has also received numerous awards, including the 2004 Distinguished Contributions for Education and Training Award from the APA, the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Center’s Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Training, Emory University’s Thomas Jefferson Award for service to the community, and the Emory School of Medicine Lifetime Leadership and Service Award. Her primary areas of research include the culturally-informed assessment and treatment of family violence (intimate partner violence, child maltreatment) and suicide in youth and adults, post-traumatic stress disorder and its treatment, couples and family therapy, women’s mental health, integrated healthcare and a competency-based approach to psychology education and supervision. A member of Rosalynn Carter’s Mental Health Advisory Board, Dr. Kaslow is the psychologist for the Atlanta Ballet and a frequent media guest.

INFORMED BY SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS: PLANNING FOR TOMORROW

The pandemic has made teaching in the fine and performing arts more difficult, in some respects, nearly impossible. Now more than ever, administrators may encounter situations and therefore decisions which must be made as they pertain to issues such as course offerings and the various ways content is delivered, the necessity to modify facilities to ensure their safe use, management of already-scarce resources, among others. Scientific findings can be invaluable in informing decision-making processes. Assuming that information is verified and can be applied with some certainty, how might scientific findings inform or change teaching and learning in the fine and performing arts? Given the technical nature of recent scientific studies and findings, how is an administrator to know how to interpret certain conclusions, let alone know what is reliable information and what is not? How can such findings be used to enhance and guide planning today and in the coming year(s)?

Presenter: Adam Schwalje, University of Iowa
Moderator: Thomas Webster, East Texas Baptist University

Date: April 8, 2021
Time: 2:00-3:15 p.m. ET
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BIOGRAPHY

Adam Schwalje is a resident physician and National Institutes of Health T32 research fellow in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. A bassoonist, Dr. Schwalje was a band teacher and music educator before receiving a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is currently the medical liaison for the International Double Reed Society. Dr. Schwalje completed his medical training at the University of California, San Francisco.

MITIGATING INHERENT RISK: FORMULATING STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS TO ADDRESS THE EFFECTS OF THE CORONAVIRUS

Now more than ever, administrators encounter a number of scenarios rife with risk. If left unresolved, these scenarios can result in undesirable and/or dire consequences. At the local level they may pertain to student and faculty wellness or resource management; at the institutional level, administrative support; at the state level, funding; at the national level, communicable disease; and at the federal level, the imposition of law, guidelines, and regulation. Administrators by fiat have become managers of realities, and therefore, of threats, liabilities, and risks.

Before considering options or making decisions , it is important to recognize several key factors, such as a) factual and scientifically-verified information is a critical aspect in the decision-making process, b) solutions and action plans must be tailored to individual institutions, and c) based on the pressures placed on arts administrators to come to swift and effective resolution, risk is inherent. Thus, to successfully mitigate for risk, there must be a consideration of local conditions and realities, since what works for an institution in one region may not be the best solution for an institution in another. A review of all options available and a willingness to stack these options as necessary to find a combination that addresses institutional challenges is also key to risk mitigation. Familiarity with laws, regulations, guidelines, and legal vernacular can also often help administrators avoid problematic situations that can put individuals or an institution as a whole at risk. In addition, once a well-conceived action plan––one that has considered the risks inherent in each of the moving parts––has been adopted, it may be important to consider developing plans that address how information will be documented and disseminated to students, faculty, staff, parents, and the public.

Attendees will consider the anticipated fallout from known and projected events related to the novel coronavirus. They will explore options that may be beneficial to consider in the short and long term. Participants will explore ways in which administrators can prepare for tomorrow, build portfolios of viable options that are informed by reliable information and local conditions, and become more deeply aware of how to actively watch for, consider, and manage the ongoing challenge of risk mitigation and management. Time for questions will be provided.

Presenters: Kevin Case, Case Arts Law LLC
Peter Chin-Hong, University of California, San Francisco
Adam Schwalje, University of Iowa
Moderator: Thomas Webster, East Texas Baptist University

Date: August 17, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
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BIOGRAPHIES

Kevin Case is the founder and Principal of Case Arts Law LLC, a legal firm that represents musicians and artists nationwide in labor and employment matters, including the drafting and negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and individual employment contracts on behalf of symphony and opera musicians. Since 2015, he has served as General Counsel to the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM). A seasoned litigator, Mr. Case has broad-based experience advising clients in cases involving employment discrimination, employee discipline and discharge, non-competition and other restrictive covenants, and personal injury. Mr. Case, a violinist, symphonic musician and graduate of the Eastman School of Music, has held orchestral positions across the United States. Mr. Case graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he served as Executive Articles Editor for the Chicago-Kent Law Review.

Peter Chin-Hong is a Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Regional Campuses at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he directs the immunocompromised host infectious diseases program. He specializes in treating infectious diseases, particularly infections that develop in patients who have suppressed immune systems and donor-derived infections in transplant recipients. A medical educator, he was the inaugural holder of the Academy of Medical Educators Endowed Chair for Innovation in Teaching. Dr. Chin-Hong earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University before completing an internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship at UCSF.

Adam Schwalje is a resident physician and National Institutes of Health T32 research fellow in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. A bassoonist, Dr. Schwalje was a band teacher and music educator before receiving a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is currently the medical liaison for the International Double Reed Society. Dr. Schwalje completed his medical training at the University of California, San Francisco.

A REVIEW OF THE CURRENT FINAL RULE ADDRESSING NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF SEX IN EDUCATION PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES RECEIVING FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS

Institutions of higher learning receiving federal financial assistance are bound to adhere to the provisions of Title IX, a law first introduced in 1972 as an amendment to the Higher Education Act which states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial aid.” The provisions of this law and its application have been under scrutiny for the last several years. In September of 2017, the Department of Education (a) rolled back Title IX guidance, specifically provisions included in the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter and the 2014 Question and Answer set, (b) issued interim guidance pertaining to Title IX, and (c) published notice of its intent to renegotiate current regulations through the process known as Negotiated Rulemaking. Before the comment-period deadline in early 2019, the Department of Education received over 100,000 comments; subsequently, the Department issued a final rule in May 2020, the provisions of which go into effect August 14, 2020.

Such actions and activities affect institutions directly, and therefore raise questions such as: What should institutions be doing to prepare for what lies ahead? What training, staffing, and policy initiatives must be enacted during this period of change? What impact will new regulations have on various campus practices? What are the implications of the final rule on institutional reporting responsibilities, and on how institutions must address student issues and needs? In an effort to advance awareness of Title IX and its provisions, the session presenter will address key factors and delve deeply into the results of the recent negotiations and rulemaking. Additionally, a portion of time will be devoted to the review of case studies intended to assist participants to develop an expanded understanding of current revisions and interpretations of the guidance in force at this time. Time for questions and discussion will be provided.

Presenter: Deborah L. Brake, University of Pittsburgh
Moderator: Michael Wilder, Wheaton College

Date: October 2, 2020
Time: 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET
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BIOGRAPHY

Deborah L. Brake is Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, John E. Murray Faculty Scholar, and Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination, and Gender and the Law. She is a nationally recognized scholar on gender equality and the law, with expertise in Title IX and athletics, sexual harassment and sexual violence, employment discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and retaliation. She is a co-author of the 8th edition of Gender and Law: Theory, Doctrine, Commentary, as well as the author of Getting in the Game: Title IX and the Women’s Sports Revolution. Her articles have been published in journals such as the Georgetown Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, William and Mary Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, and the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. Her scholarly work has twice been cited in U.S. Supreme Court opinions and she has testified before Congress in both the House and the Senate. Before going into academia, she was senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center. Ms. Brake received a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Stanford University.

STRATEGIC THINKING - AN INTELLECTUAL ENDEAVOR: DEVELOPING AN ABIDING APPROACH

Administrators today are responsible for an expanding number of issues, events, and activities, all of which require the need to develop and possess a level of expertise in areas that range from curricular design to building operation to fundraising and advocacy, to name only a few. As expected, these growing responsibilities result in not only an increase in the number of issues that arrive on an administrator’s desk, but in a broadening of their variety, intensity, and level of difficulty. The start of a successful strategic plan, therefore, often rests on the ability to define and diagnose the type of problems faced, which includes: a thoughtful consideration of social, emotional, and political conditions; a search for valid, salient information; the use of data; a depth of understanding of the inner workings of complex systems; and an acknowledgement of the individuals and constituencies that may be affected. Thus, strategic thinking that can deepen understandings and result in carefully considered and effective decision-making processes is of vital importance in establishing and maintaining the viability of any administrative unit.

While the time spent developing and implementing a strategic plan may seem ambitious and time consuming, it is likely that a framed approach may become embedded quickly in the day-to-day activities and decision-making taking place––a way of thinking that organically takes hold and results in broader consideration of the realities faced by the academy today. Crafting an approach that is guided by artistically centered, intellectual thinking tested against serious and informed considerations in light of current facts, realities, reasonable possibilities, and long-standing practices, may be well-worth the journey. Even such, the making of a decision does not ensure that its application will always apply. The world is in flux, and decision-making is an ongoing process that may need to produce ever-changing outcomes. Certain decisions may need to be made that ensure future decision-making considerations, thereby building strategic thinking into the process as a whole.

What roles do uncertainty, exploration, and the wisdom of others play in any decision-making process? How can processes include a thorough enough consideration of options, probabilities, and pay offs? How can local conditions impact issue-specific decisions? How can administrators develop their strategic thinking methods in ways that move the unit’s and the institution’s initiatives forward in complementary fashions? What are the possible pitfalls and distractions which may be encountered? How can barriers be circumvented, and who can assist in this endeavor? What does it mean for a strategic plan to be well-conceived? How might the implementation of a plan help to engage those who are immediately impacted? How can upper administrators serve as mentors to their colleagues, thus ensuring that strategic thinking, understanding of complexity, and context-driven decision making remains an important tenet of the arts unit during times of transition or changes in leadership? What are methods of conceptualizing the relationship between the decisions of upper administration, state governments, and the federal government? If no action is taken, what is likely to prevail?

This session will serve to assist attendees to expand the tools in their strategic thinking toolkit and aims to leave administrators with a set of ideas, concepts, and action steps needed to implement a well-conceived plan.

Time for questions will be provided.

Presenter: Scott E. Page, University of Michigan
Moderator: David Gier, University of Michigan

Date: August 18, 2020
Time: 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
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BIOGRAPHY

Scott E. Page is the John Seely Brown Distinguished University Professor of Complexity, Social Science, and Management at the University of Michigan. His research, accounted for in five books, focuses on the myriad roles that diversity plays in complex systems, the application of models to makes sense of complexity, and complexity theory. Additionally, he has published papers in a variety of disciplines including economics, political science, computer science, management, physics, public health, geography, urban planning, engineering, and history. In 2011, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Page received a Ph.D. degree in Managerial Economics and Decisions Sciences and a Master of Science degree in Business from Northwestern University, a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from the University of Michigan.

Accreditation-Focused Sessions

Accreditation-focused sessions are available only to representatives of accredited institutional members of NASD. Registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions

SPECIFIC PROCEDURES FOR NASD EVALUATION

This session will provide information and guidance concerning the self-study and visitation processes for individuals whose institutions are (a) scheduled to be visited in the next two years, (b) planning to begin the NASD evaluation process, (c) formally engaged in the process, or (d) contemplating the submission of original applications for accreditation. A step-by-step walk-through of the nuts-and-bolts of the accreditation process will be provided, including confirmation of timelines and deadlines, and information regarding accreditation procedures, Self-Study formats, on-site reviews, the Visitors’ Report, the Optional Response, and Commission action. All three Self-Study formats (A, B, and C) will be discussed. Participants are encouraged to have in hand a copy of the current NASD Handbook.

Presenter: Nora R. Hamme, NASD National Office

Date: October 25, 2021
Time: 12:00-4:00 p.m. ET
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HEADS PART I: COMPLETING AND SUBMITTING THE HEADS DATA SURVEY

This session will provide an in-depth review of procedures for online submission of the HEADS Data Survey for degree-granting institutions. A section-by-section overview of the Survey will explain in detail the Survey submission process, types of data collected, and suggested collection mechanisms.

Presenter: Nora R. Hamme, NASD National Office

Date: December 7, 2021
Time: 12:00-2:00 p.m. ET
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Past Sessions

BRIEFING: AN OVERVIEW OF CURRENT FEDERAL ISSUES AND INITIATIVES

Under the law, the federal government does not control higher education. However, the federal government does play a major role in developing conditions for the work of higher education, primarily through laws and regulations defining conditions for institutional participation in grant and student loan programs, and tax policies that influence economic conditions affecting education and the arts. Following a brief introduction to the higher education and policy landscapes, this session will address the current political climate; various pressures on institutions; and current and prospective federal policies, laws, and regulations affecting higher education and the arts. This briefing will take a non-partisan policy analysis approach, looking at the ramifications and costs of various options and probabilities.

Presenter: Paul Florek, NASD National Office

Date: May 11, 2021
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Click here to view slides from this session

BRIEFING: AN UPDATE FOR INDIVIDUALS CURRENTLY SERVING AS NASD EVALUATORS AND CONSULTANTS

This briefing is offered for individuals currently trained and serving as NASD visiting evaluators and consultants. It provides an opportunity for evaluators and consultants to refresh their knowledge of NASD procedures, protocols, and standards, with particular focus on the Procedures and the Handbook. Helpful reminders regarding the format, preparation, and required content of Visitors’ Reports will be provided. The potential impact of the activities of external constituencies, such as the federal government, states, and other review bodies, which may affect the accreditation process, will be discussed. Documentation required of institutions and evaluators will be highlighted, as well as sources and uses of helpful and informative publications aimed to assist institutions in the preparation of Self-Studies and evaluators and consultants in the preparation of Reports. (Please note: Individuals interested in becoming NASD evaluators are encouraged to contact the National Office staff for consideration for training in 2021.)

Presenter: Karen P. Moynahan, NASD National Office

Date: October 6, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:15 p.m. ET

HEADS PART I: COMPLETING AND SUBMITTING THE HEADS DATA SURVEY

This session will provide an in-depth review of procedures for online submission of the HEADS Data Survey for degree-granting institutions. A section-by-section overview of the Survey will explain in detail the Survey submission process, types of data collected, and suggested collection mechanisms.

Presenter: Nora R. Hamme, NASD National Office

Date: January 12, 2021
Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
Click here to view slides from this session

HEADS PART II: USING STATISTICAL DATA FOR INSTITUTIONAL PLANNING AND PROJECTIONS

The institutional research data gathered and compiled by the Higher Education Arts Data Services project constitute a unique and valuable resource for dance executives at degree-granting institutions. This session will highlight many of the ways the data can be used to assist, support, and possibly guide local planning, conversations, and decision-making. The session will offer a detailed overview of statistics contained in the HEADS Data Summaries (the aggregate reports compiled annually from HEADS Data Surveys), and the use of HEADS Data Summaries and Special Reports for comparison among specific peer institutions. In addition, participants will also learn how to create longitudinal reports, and consider together how such reports can be used to capture, analyze, and present available data in ways which may convincingly support dance unit initiatives.

Presenter: Nora R. Hamme, NASD National Office

Date: April 27, 2021
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Click here to view slides from this session

SPECIFIC PROCEDURES FOR NASD EVALUATION

This session will provide information and guidance concerning the self-study and visitation processes for individuals whose institutions are (a) scheduled to be visited in the next two years, (b) planning to begin the NASD evaluation process, (c) formally engaged in the process, or (d) contemplating the submission of original applications for accreditation. A step-by-step walk-through of the nuts-and-bolts of the accreditation process will be provided, including confirmation of timelines and deadlines, and information regarding accreditation procedures, Self-Study formats, on-site reviews, the Visitors’ Report, the Optional Response, and Commission action. All three Self-Study formats (A, B, and C) will be discussed. Participants are encouraged to have in hand a copy of the current NASD Handbook.

Presenter: Nora R. Hamme, NASD National Office

Date: April 12, 2021
Time: 12:00-4:00 p.m. ET
Click here to view slides from this session

WORKSHOP FOR VISITING EVALUATORS

This annual workshop will provide training to theatre administrators interested in becoming visiting evaluators for NASD. Fundamentals of the accreditation process, and the roles and responsibilities of visiting evaluators will be discussed in detail. Significant time will be spent discussing NASD expectations with regard to Self-Study submissions and Self-Study documentation. An overview of the Handbook and its constituent parts will be provided. Standards and guidelines and their application to applicant institutions will receive considerable attention as potential evaluators are guided through the process of on-site review. Further specific attention will be devoted to guidelines that speak to the preparation of Visitors’ Reports.

(Please note: This workshop is by invitation only. Individuals interested in becoming NASD evaluators are encouraged to contact Kathryn Omune in the National Office for consideration for training in 2022.)

Presenters: Janet Lilly, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Susan Van Pelt Petry, Ohio State University
Staff Resource: Paul Florek, NAST National Office

Date: May 6-7, 2021
Time: 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Accreditation-Focused Presentations

Accreditation-focused presentations are available for viewing on the NASD website at the addresses noted below.

Accreditation Audit and Affirmation Statement Questionnaire Instructions Presentation (Accreditation Audit, Affirmation Statement Questionnaire)

This presentation will outline the annual reporting responsibilities of accredited institutional members of NASD. An overview of the purpose of each reporting requirement will be provided as will step-by-step instructions and information pertaining to submission timelines for two of the four reporting requirements – the Accreditation Audit and the Affirmation Statement Questionnaire.

Other Resources of Note

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Federal Government

Department of Education (ED)

  • Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE): Guidance for Interruptions of Study Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (March 13, 2020, April 3, 2020, May 15, 2020). For those institutions participating in federal financial aid programs, these three documents offer guidelines which address issues such as the movement from on ground to online learning platforms, federal work-study programs, modifications to the length of an academic year, changes in student enrollment status, the stewardship of Title IV funds, and institutional reporting responsibilities. Institutions designating NASD as their gatekeeper for the purpose of participation in federal aid programs should note that distance education is included in NASD’s scope of recognition as approved and listed by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
  • Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE): Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting-Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students (May 6). Outlines reporting requirements noted in Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) as related to funds available for distribution to students as provided for in the CARES Act.
  • Student Private Policy Office (SPPO): FERPA and Virtual Learning Related Resources (March 2020). SPPO has identified resources that discuss virtual learning, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). These resources include toolkits, letters, and Q&As on information security best practices, the use of the school official exception under FERPA, classroom observations, and the use of emails, videos, and other virtual learning tools. SPPO has also issued a FERPA and COVID-19 FAQ on the health or safety emergency exception under FERPA at https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/resources/ferpa-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19. For additional resources on FERPA, please review SPPO’s website at https://studentprivacy.ed.gov.

Department of Labor (DOL)

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released on March 9, 2020 a document entitled, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, which provides assistance to employers as they plan for and respond to workplace risks.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Information of Interest