"Graduate Education in a Changing Landscape"
60th Annual WAGS Meeting
March 18–21, 2018
Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada

Conference Theme

Last year, our 2017 WAGS conference in Seattle thematically focused on “Expanding the Reach of Graduate Education.” This is really at the heart of what we do in graduate education: we work to expand access, to cultivate and inspire talent, to support innovative research, scholarship and creative activities, and, as advocates, to educate others about the wide-ranging and positive impacts of graduate education.

This year we will continue to expand the conversations that we as deans, directors, and graduate school staff engage in around common issues, opportunities, and challenges at our 2018 WAGS conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our theme will be “Graduate Education in a Changing Landscape” and our workshops, panels, roundtables, and plenaries will celebrate 60 years of WAGS by considering the evolving landscape of graduate education. We will look at various obvious and subtle challenges facing graduate education, and consider how our evolving educational, scientific, political, economic, cultural, social, and global contexts impact us, our faculty, our students, and our communities. We’ll also focus on innovations that provide opportunities to (re)imagine the future of graduate education together.

Our thematic focus on Graduate Education in a Changing Landscape speaks to the unique issues, challenges, and opportunities that leaders in graduate education are facing today, and poses provocative questions about our role in promoting graduate education as an ever-more-relevant arena of human development and innovation that will shape our common future and the future of knowledge itself. Conference topics may include:

  • Funding and budgeting in an era of declining government investment and concerns about student debt
  • Exploring new graduate credentialing opportunities
  • Considering internationalization of graduate education, including joint and dual degrees, international certificates, global educational experiences, and language training
  • Exploring student, faculty, and postdoc pipelines for cultivating excellence and diversity
  • Innovative program design and professional development to align graduate degrees and career pathways
  • Building graduate faculty and student community on campus
  • Partnering with industry and government for economic development and alt-ac career preparation for graduates
  • Student issues and legal best practices in graduate education
  • Assessing excellence amidst new forms of knowledge production and dissemination
  • Best practices in recruitment and admissions to maximize retention, progression and completion
  • Harnessing the power of technological innovation in graduate education
  • Fostering innovation hubs, interdisciplinary, and collaboration
  • Data opportunities & challenges
  • Benchmarking graduate student experiences
  • Marketing, branding, and communication strategies for 21st century graduate education
  • Situating the value and impact of graduate education in the context of contemporary issues like: student migration, the globalization of higher education, and the national and international role that graduate education plays in ensuring a brighter common future

A Networking & Professional Development Opportunity for Attendees

This conference will have prominent guest speakers, panel sessions, topical plenaries, roundtables, and unique networking opportunities that will be professionally interesting and relevant to faculty and staff from colleges and universities significantly engaged in graduate education. This includes, but is not limited to, the following types of graduate professionals:

  • Graduate deans and their teams
  • Graduate college/school directors and their teams
  • Associate deans and their teams
  • Assistant deans and their teams
  • Recruitment and admissions teams
  • Other Graduate School/College staff
  • Provosts and teams
  • Graduate program coordinators
  • Graduate faculty leaders

Please Join Us!

On behalf of the entire WAGS Board, 2017–2018, we all really look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas for this very special conference. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions: wagsofficer@gmail.com.