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In 2015, the University of North Dakota (UND) had no institutional program to promote adoption, creation, or utilization of Open Educational Resources (OERs). That September, UND’s new Dean of Library & Information Resources was given a mandate to advocate for OERs. Initial campus climate was resistant; a respected senior faculty member gave a speech in opposition to OERs at the University Senate, claiming OERs infringed on academic freedom. In 2 years, we’ve achieved a major cultural shift. UND has become a state leader in OERs. We are on our 4th round of funding for faculty stipends, workshops, and support for OERs. We’ve established a program of OER workshops, and created a support team of instructional designers, subject librarians, and others to assist faculty. We established the UND OER Working Group, which meets regularly to discuss promotion, support, funding, events, workshops, and policy matters such as the role of OERs in tenure and promotion. We’ve hosted major events featuring national experts; one event drew 100+ attendees from universities, schools, and government. We secured state funding for 2 rounds of support; after we reported saving students nearly $3 million, Student Government voted to provide $75,000 of funding. The Provost matched this with $25,000. We now have stable funding and a strong support structure. We created a grant program providing a $3000 faculty stipend per course. All faculty receiving stipends must take a 4-day workshop series we’ve developed on issues ranging from finding resources to providing support for students with disabilities to dealing with copyright questions and more.

We have changed the culture surrounding OERs at UND entirely. Events are well attended; calls for proposals generate strong responses. Faculty from every academic college have developed OERs or adapted their courses to use OERs. There are pedagogical changes: some faculty are using more interactive materials. Faculty have become our best ambassadors. The outspoken faculty member who opposed OERs is now a regular speaker at our events, and testified before the ND Legislature, extolling the virtues of OERs.

This presentation will trace the evolution of the program and the components leading to our success, including advocacy, outreach, marketing, coalition-building, creating a support program, workshop development, establishment of liaison relationships, seeking broad funding, and more. I believe this program is scalable and adaptable for any library.

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Library and Information Science


Presented at the 2018 SUNYLA Midwinter Virtual Conference: Practical OER: Transitioning from Theory to Implementation, on February 2, 2018.

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Culture Shift: Facilitating Institutional Culture Change to Boost the Adoption, Use, and Sharing of OERs