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Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work

2017 Annual Conference: Doctoral Education in a Changing Landscape

April 5–7, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN

Hosted by the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work, Twin Cities

About GADE
The Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE) in Social Work is an organization made up of over 90 social work doctoral program directors worldwide who represent their member Universities. Founded in the late 1970s, GADE’s mission to promote rigor in doctoral education in social work, focusing on preparing scholars, researchers, and educators who function as stewards of the discipline.

School of Social Work at University of Minnesota
Celebrating its 100th year in 2017, the School of Social Work has been preparing scholars, social workers, community leaders, faculty, and more through advanced scholarship and knowledge-building, as well as its tradition of commitment to leading and working for social justice.
The University of Minnesota is one of the nation’s largest research institutions and provides students with the opportunity to work with faculty in virtually every field—including medicine, law, agriculture, business, public affairs, child development, education, and technology. The land-grant mission of the University focuses on the responsibilities of community engagement, which fits well with our interest in community-engaged research.

Preliminary Conference Schedule

The theme of the 2017 conference is Social Work Doctoral Education in a Changing Landscape.

Wednesday, April 5
  • 12:00 – 5:00 Registration
  • 2:00 – 3:00 GADE Advisory Board Meeting
  • 3:00 – 5:00 GADE Board Meeting (Board members only)
  • 3:00 – 5:00 Orientation for New Directors
  • 5:00 – 6:00 Reception (McNamara Alumni Center)
  • 6:00 Dinner and Opening Session (McNamara Alumni Center)
    Welcome: Dr. Liz Lightfoot, President and Conference Host, University of Minnesota; Dr. Jean Quam, Dean, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota; Dr. James Reinardy, Director, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota; Linnea Anderson, Archivist, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota
Thursday, April 6

  • 7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast (Commons Hotel)
  • 8:30 – 10:30 Keynote Presentation
    “Educating Doctoral Students for Social Justice Research”
    Dr. Michael Reisch, Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice, University of Maryland School of Social Work
  • 10:30 – 10:45 Coffee Break
  • 10:45 – 12:00 Plenary Session
    “Program Reviews and Program Assessment in Doctoral Education”
  • 12:15 – 2:00 Lunch and Business Meeting
  • 2:00 – 2:15 Break
  • 2:15 – 3:15 Breakout Groups
    • Recruiting and admitting students
    • Career development for doctoral students (e.g. publishing, presentations)
    • Mentoring international students for success in the job market
    • Helping Students Articulate a Research Agenda
    • Helping students facing challenges
  • 3:15 – 3:30 Refreshment Break
  • 3:30 – 4:30 Breakout Groups
    • Recruiting and admitting students
    • Career development for doctoral students (e.g. publishing, presentations)
    • Comprehensive/Preliminary exams
    • Preparing students for future research training (e.g. post-doctoral fellowships)
    • DSW Issues
  • 4:30 – 5:45 Break
  • 6:00 – 8:00 Director’s Reception, Guthrie Theatre Endless Bridge
    Hosted and sponsored by the University of Minnesota School of Social Work
Friday, April 7
  • 8:00 – 8:45 Breakfast (Commons Hotel)
  • 9:00 – 10:15 Keynote Presentation
    “Preying on the poor: Social work in an era of profitable poverty governance”
    Dr. Joe Soss, Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
  • 10:15 – 10:30 Coffee Break
  • 10:30 – 11:45 Facilitated Large Group Discussion
    “The chilling effect of neoliberalism in higher education on social work doctoral education”
    Facilitated by: Liz Lightfoot
  • 11:45 – 12:00 Close and Evaluations
  • Lunch Boxes to Go
Friday afternoon optional activities

(Sign-up at conference check-in)


Register at our Eventbrite site.


The Commons Hotel
615 Washington Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

A block of rooms has been reserved for GADE attendees at the the Commons Hotel, located in the heart of the University’s Minneapolis campus. Conference room rates will be available until March 17, 2017, or until the group block is sold out, so you will want to make your reservations soon. Reserve your hotel room.

You may also call 800-822-6757 or 612-379-8888 and ask for the GADE Group rate.

Check in time: 3:00 p.m. on April 5
Check out time: 12:00 p.m. on April 7


There are several transportation options from the Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) to the conference hotel. For more information, please see the Commons Hotel website.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Planning for GADE's Annual Conference 2017 is well-underway. The theme is "Social Work Doctoral Education in a Changing Landscape."

Sponsorships are needed for some of the conference events, and, as in the past, we rely on members and supporters to help defray costs that the registration fee does not cover. Each sponsor will have their affiliation name and logo displayed in the conference program, on signage at the event, and on this web page; in addition, their support will be recognized at GADE events and announcements at SSWR and APM, and in a written acknowledgement in the Chair's annual Letter to Deans and Directors.

Thanks to Our Current Sponsors

logos of GADE sponsors

This is the second year of GADE "going green" and forgoing promotional giveaways; instead, all sponsorships will directly benefit activities related to and during the annual conference.

Please check the event(s) below that you would like to sponsor. You can choose to sponsor an event in its entirety (select all options under the event), or share sponsorship with another organization (select one option under the event).