HEDS Annual Conference
June 26–29, 2016
Asheville, North Carolina

The 32nd HEDS Annual Conference will take place at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. 

The annual conference brings together people from small colleges and universities in an informal setting to present on and discuss topics related to assessment, institutional research, and institutional effectiveness. We welcome participants from all colleges and universities—you do not have to be from a HEDS institution or an institutional researcher to attend this conference.

We realize that people may have concerns about attending a conference in North Carolina due to the recent passage of HB2. Read our statement about why we decided to keep the conference in Asheville and what we're doing to ensure that the conference is welcoming for everyone. The Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau has also created a website with various resources to convey the community's values of openness and inclusiveness, including a welcome letter for people who attend conferences in the city.

HEDS conferences are designed to facilitate good conversations and networking opportunities. There are few concurrent sessions so that participants have the opportunity to attend sessions together. The registration fee covers meals during the conference in order to encourage good conversations that start before and between sessions to continue through mealtime. There are also diverse opportunities for group dinners and outings.

Conference Highlights

Keynote Speakers

  • Keston H. Fulcher, Executive Director of the Center for Assessment and Research Studies and Associate Professor of Graduate Psychology, James Madison University
    A Simple Model for Learning Improvement: Weigh Pig, Feed Pig, Weigh Pig
  • Will Miller, Executive Director of Institutional Analytics, Effectiveness, and Planning, Flagler College
    Knowing Where to Hit: From Research to Insights in Small Colleges
  • Charlene Senn, Professor in the Applied Social Psychology Graduate Program, University of Windsor
    Evidence-Based Best Practices to Reduce Sexual Violence on Our Campuses

Sample of Conference Presentations

  • Diversity Matters! The Role of IR and Data in Diversity and Inclusion
    Kristin McKinley (Lawrence University), Ellen Peters (University of Puget Sound), Jim Fergerson and Carol Trosset (both from Carleton College), Randy Stiles (Grinnell College), Jason Rivera (Dickinson College)
  • Developing Student Led Focus Groups to Improve Institutional Learning
    Austin Beiermann and Dave Veazey (both from Pacific Lutheran University), Elaina Seyfang and Will Miller (both from Flagler College)
  • Articulating the Function of Institutional Research: An Interactive Conversation
    Gina Johnson (University of Denver)

Sunday Preconference Workshops

There will be three concurrent workshops on Sunday afternoon, June 26. The cost to attend any one of the following workshops is $100:

  • Sharing Your NSSE and FSSE Results with Faculty – Tools, Tips, and Examples of Good Practice
    Robert M. Gonyea (Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research)
  • Data Governance: Assessing and Improving Your Processes and Policies
    Katherine Ann McGuire (Oxford College of Emory University)
  • The Design and Use of an Effective Student Ratings of Instruction (SRI) System
    Ken Ryalls and Steve Benton (both from IDEA)

Combined Poster Session and Reception

On Tuesday evening, June 28, we will hold a combined poster session and reception. Conference participants can visit poster presenters' displays, converse with them to find out more about their work, and exchange ideas with one another.


The cost of registration for the entire conference is $500. This fee includes a reception on Sunday and Tuesday; breakfast on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; lunch on Monday and Tuesday; and coffee, beverages, and snacks throughout the conference. The registration fee for a single day on Monday or Tuesday is $250 and includes lunch and break services. Undergraduate students who attend the conference to co-present do not have to pay the registration fee. More>>

Optional Events, Outings, Group Dinners

On Sunday, June 26, we will host a newcomers session for people new to HEDS and an evening welcome reception for all conference participants and their friends and family. You may also want to attend a group dinner at Pack's Tavern on Sunday, and on Monday, June 27, you have the opportunity to sign up for a walking tour of Asheville with beer tasting or a tour of the Biltmore House. In addition, we will facilitate groups to go out for dinner each night.