The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Keynotes, Connections and Concurrents: A Winning Combination for This Year’s Annual Conference

Institutions from all 50 U.S. states and nine countries were represented at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2013 in Las Vegas, as more than 1,400 people came together to discuss some of the toughest and most pressing topics affecting the higher ed HR community.

Here are some of our favorite snapshots and other highlights from the conference:

Dave Ulrich, HR Expert and Keynote Presenter

Dave’s keynote presentation on HR transformation created a lot of chatter on Twitter. Here are some of the more memorable quotes:


His talk focused on the seven trends in HR, which he summarizes in this video. For more insight into the questions surrounding HR transformation in higher education, check out this blog post, HR as Integrator, Architect and Coach? 6 Questions to Launch the Transformation, by CUPA-HR Honorary Life Member Barb Butterfield.

Workshops and Concurrent Sessions

IMG_1245Attendees took part in workshops and concurrent sessions that were selected for the conference based on CUPA-HR’s Learning Framework, which outlines competencies critical to HR in higher education. More than 130 higher ed HR and industry professionals shared their ideas and facilitated conversations on topics such as diversity, employee engagement, faculty, the ACA and others.

These blog posts offer highlights from some of the most popular workshops and sessions:

Legal Update

CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard quizzed attendees on their HR legal knowledge while sharing the facts and outcomes of some of the top cases of 2013. To catch up on what you might have missed, check out this blog post.


Between Sessions

Attendees had many opportunities to connect and relax during events such as the Conference Onboarding, Affinity Group Lunch, Helping Hour and other receptions.


During the Affinity Group Lunch on Monday, attendees sat at tables by HR specialty to discuss common issues specific to their work.


Attendees put together puzzles, created things with Play-Doh, colored drawings and watched funny videos at Brain Break Activity Stations throughout the conference space. These activities were intended to help attendees use their brains in a different way and, by doing so, retain more information.


In the Expo, attendees visited with corporate partners to learn about new products and services, used scratch-off cards to the play the Expo Game and helped inspire children to read through participation in the Helping Hour.

Looking Forward to 2014!

We’re still reading through the attendee evaluations, but one thing is clear in the comments we’ve seen so far: The CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo offers an unparalleled opportunity to meet, learn from and collaborate with HR professionals from colleges and universities. Be sure to mark your calendar for the 2014 conference in San Antonio, Texas, September 28-30.