One way to judge a conference is to look at the plenaries, those sessions intended for attendance by all delegates. The word plenary means "complete" and "fully attended." That is the goal of NOSC 2012 five plenaries.
UA's NOSC 2012 planners were determined to have a strong plenary lineup, says Janet Griffith, co-chair of the Conference Leadership Committee. "Our plenaries are poised to be among the strongest for NOSC in recent years. We tried very hard to get a broad geographic and disciplinary representation," she said.
The opening plenary, Monday at 2 p.m., will feature new Alabama President Guy Bailey, who as president of Texas Tech was instrumental in that institution becoming a NOSC member. Also on the panel will be Dr. William Muse, Kettering Foundation, former president of Auburn University; Dr. Lee T. Todd, Jr., former president of the University of Kentucky; and Dr. David Wilson, president of Morgan State University
Following the opening plenary, beginning Monday at 3 p.m., former ambassador James Joseph, now at Duke University, will deliver the keynote address, "The Civic Engagement Imperative: Sellers Higher Education and the Public Good." This is also a plenary, the second of the conference.
The third plenary, Monday at 7:30 a.m. will feature Stephen Black, director of UA's Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility. Under Black, Alabama's service-learning and ethics leadership has become internationally prominent. Statewide eye exams and income tax filings are two highly successful programs under Black's leadership.
The fourth plenary, Wednesday at 8 a.m., is entitled "Fits and Starts: Visions for the Community Engaged University." The speakers will be Dr. Kevin Kecskes of Portland State University and Dr. Kevin Foster of the University of Texas at Austin. Both are engagement scholarship leaders on their respective campuses.
The fifth and final plenary will conclude the conference and feature announcement of the poster awards, closing remarks by Dr. Pruitt, and an invitation from the host Texas Tech to attend the 2013 conference under its new name, Engagement Scholarship Consortium, in Lubbock, Texas.
Veteran conference delegates and planners say that while plenaries are not the only measure of a successful conference, they are often what conferees remember about a conference after returning home and thus play a major role in a conference's success.