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Message for All NCDDers in Higher Ed    

Nancy Thomas, Executive Director of The Democracy Imperative, recently surveyed all NCDD members affiliated with colleges and universities to see what level of involvement in NCDD they have, and whether they have interest in additional services and opportunities from NCDD and from The Democracy Imperative. Here are the results of the survey and Nancy’s recommendations for next steps…

Dear NCDD-Higher Education Group Members:

Fifty of you (out of 140) filled out the survey on communications and next steps of NCDD. Thank you! That’s a good response. This is what you told us:

  • 50% of you are not planning to attend NCDD’s annual meeting, the rest are going or thinking about it.
  • 38% of you read NCDD’s messages regularly, and about 60% of you “sometimes.”
  • Only 8% of you go to the website and read new announcements.
  • Only 2% of you post comments regularly on the NCDD website; 24% sometimes.
  • Most of you (74%) have not visited the groups in NCDD’s member network (although most of you plan to!).
  • Only 4% of you participate in NCDD blogs.
  • Despite these responses, 61% of want to increase your involvement with NCDD and/or TDI.
  • Generally, you (84% “yes” or “sometimes”) do not want to increase your communications from NCDD, but you (77% “yes” or “sometimes”) would like to receive more communications that are specific to higher education.
  • Many expressed interest in the activities supported by TDI: coauthoring papers (70% “yes” or “sometimes”), joining a community of practice (82% yes or sometimes), joining a research team or working on a teaching question (75% yes or sometimes), or offering workshops (62% yes or sometimes). About half of you are willing (yes or sometimes) to start up a community of practice.
  • And nearly all of you (95% yes or sometimes) say that you plan to use NCDD’s higher education group in the members network.

What I took away from these responses is that you want more communication that is specifically about D&D in higher education, and you want opportunities to work collaboratively with others to do research, form communities of practice, design and offer workshops, share ideas and interests, etc.


If you want to change the level and nature of communications and your involvement, you must take some initiative.

- NCDD is thinking about creating a one-way announcement list for all its members at colleges and universities so you’ll receive announcements, news, job opportunities, etc. that are specific to higher ed (probably about one email/week). NCDD is interested in knowing if you would be interested in this kind of service. If NCDD goes ahead with this, there will be an opt-out feature at the bottom of messages, as there is on all NCDD communications.

- You can sign up on TDI’s web site, and then you will receive updates specific to higher ed. Right now, we send out a monthly (or so) newsletter, but we also send out special alerts if something important is going on. We tell you about conferences, books you might want to read, and projects that might interest you. Remember, TDI membership is free, but we won’t automatically sign you up. You have to do it yourself at

- Please mark your calendars and attend NCDD’s national conference October 3-5 in Austin, TX. TDI will be organizing a pre-conference workshop on October 2 on democracy “across the curriculum” and democratic leadership/governance in higher education. We will also take some time to talk more about these issues and how best to mobilize in higher education through these networks.

- And please use the comment field below to let us know what you think about all/any of this!

Nancy L. Thomas, JD, EdD
Acting Director, The Democracy Imperative
Senior Associate, Study Circles Resource Center
(860) 657-9907 (cell)
(860) 659-0222 (fax)

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