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Franklin Marriott Cool Springs

Location / Lodging Information

Franklin Marriott Cool Springs
700 Cool Springs Blvd.
Franklin, TN 37067

Attendees are responsible for making their own lodging reservations.  Reservations can be made online or by phone at 615-261-6100 under “TBR Diversity Conference”.  All guests will need to provide a credit card for incidentals only.  TBR and TIE Grant institution attendees rooms will be Direct Billed to TBR.  You will not receive reimbursement for reservations made outside the room block.  Non-TBR/TIE Grant institution attendees will not be reimbursed for travel and lodging.

Conference Room Rate $129

Reservations deadline is September 17, 2018.

Program Highlights

The Biennial Conference on Diversity, Equity and Completion will take place on October 1 -2, 2018 at the Marriott Cool Springs – 700 Cool Springs Blvd., Franklin, TN. The conference will focus on issues and opportunities related to increasing completion rates for all students, with emphasis on best and promising practices for eliminating equity gaps. Program highlights include:


Danette Howard

Danette Howard

Monday, October 1 - Opening Plenary Speaker

Danette Gerald Howard, Ph.D. is senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Lumina Foundation. Dr. Howard oversees several of Lumina’s key strategies to increase Americans’ attainment of high-quality postsecondary degrees and credentials, including strategic work in both state and federal policy and the Foundation’s growing national convening function. She also leads the Foundation’s efforts to mobilize and engage employers, metropolitan areas, higher education institutions, and other key actors with a stake in postsecondary attainment. Prior to joining Lumina, Dr. Howard served as Secretary of Higher Education in Maryland, leading the state’s postsecondary education coordinating agency, the Maryland Higher Education Commission. She also held positions at the Education Trust, the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Bill Haslam

Governor Bill Haslam

Tuesday, October 2 – Opening Plenary Speaker

Under Governor Bill Haslam’s leadership, Tennessee is recognized as a national leader in education reform. Since Governor Haslam took office in 2011, Tennessee students have been the fastest improving in the country in academic achievement. High school graduation rates are at an all-time high, and Tennessee is the first state in the nation to offer high school graduates and adults two years of community or technical college free of tuition and mandatory fees. In 2013, Haslam launched the Drive to 55 to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025. Following the introduction of the Tennessee Promise in 2015, first-time freshmen enrollment increased 25 percent at community colleges and 20 percent at technical colleges in one year, and the college-going rate in Tennessee increased to a high of 62.5 percent in 2015.

Estela Bensimon

Estela Bensimon

Tuesday, October 2 – Opening Plenary Speaker

Estela Mara Bensimon is a professor of higher education at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education and Director of the Center for Urban Education, which she founded in 1999. With a singular focus on increasing racial equity in higher education outcomes for students of color, she developed the Equity Scorecard—a process for using inquiry to drive changes in institutional practice and culture. Dr. Bensimon has published extensively about equity, organizational learning, practitioner inquiry, and change, and her articles have appeared in journals such as the Review of Higher Education, Journal of Higher Education, Liberal Education, and Harvard Educational Review. Dr. Bensimon was associate dean of the USC Rossier School of Education from 1996-2000 and was a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico in 2002.

The program will also feature:

  • Presentations from Lumina Foundation - Talent Innovation and Equity (TIE) Grant recipients
  • Extended sessions on cultural competency for faculty and student support personnel
  • Concurrent sessions for faculty on effective course redesign work
  • Concurrent sessions on SERS grant-funded pilot projects and programs
  • Team time for campuses to view equity gap and other data (provided)
  • Completion team time