Communities of Practice are groups of faculty with a common interest in a particular academic or higher education leadership issue who seek to share ideas, leverage connections and conversations and create innovative solutions. Proposals are invited for small groups of peers to form a Community of Practice.

What is a Community of Practice?

Communities of Practice (CoP) are groups of faculty and with a common interest in a particular academic or higher education leadership area who seek issue to share ideas and leverage connections and conversations. Popularized by Dr. Jean Lave and Dr. Etienne Wenger in the late 1990s, a community of practices is, “a process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in a subject or area collaborate over an extended period of time, sharing ideas and strategies, determine solutions and build innovations.” 

A CoP might build a coalition of peers from multiple colleges or departments so that faculty from different units can discuss different approaches to a common problem. Or a CoP might serve as a discussion forum for a group of faculty reading a common text, or provide a group of colleagues the opportunity for deeper discussion on a specific topic.  

Typically, a CoP will run for a limited period of time (6- to 9-months), will meet periodically (we request at least monthly meetings as a goal) and will be required to provide Faculty Affairs a final report of its summary of activities. Individuals seeking formal changes to existing OSU policies are encouraged to pursue other venues already established for such a purpose such as Faculty Senate committees or college/unit committees.

Proposal Process
Academic faculty leaders who would like to organize a community of practice may submit a proposal to the Office of Faculty Affairs. The proposal should include the following:

  • An overview of the topic of interest and purpose of the community of practice;
  • Timeline and description of meetings and/or events that will take place;
  • Proposed participants;
  • Planned work and/or university engagement by the community of practice; and
  • Requested budget

Proposals may be submitted online and will be reviewed and approved by the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs on a rolling basis. Approved communities of practice will be required to submit an annual summary report to the Senior Vice Provost.

Questions related to the Community of Practice program can be directed to Michelle Klotz.

Current and Past Communities of Practice

  • Inclusive Excellence in Marine Programs (2021) – for more information contact Kristin Milligan.
  • Research for Undergraduates Network (RUN) (AY 20-21, co-sponsored with the Center for Teaching and Learning) - for more information contact Stephanie Ramos.
  • Community for the Advancement of Antiracist Instruction (CAAI): A Learning Community Led by Instructors for Instructors (AY 20-21, co-sponsored with the Center for Teaching and Learning) - for more information contact Raven Chakerian.
    • The Community for the Advancement of Antiracist Instruction (CAAI) seeks instructors & TAs for a spring pilot, weeks 5 through 8. In this professional development opportunity, participants will explore antiracist teaching in a community of colleagues and create an antiracist teaching action plan. Apply here by March 31.

  • Strategic Diversity Leadership (AY 18-20)