Initial Publication Date: November 4, 2021

Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs): A scalable model for supporting departmental change efforts

Thursday, February 24, 2022

1:00pm PT | 2:00m MT | 3:00 pm CT | 4:00pm ET

Presenters: Joel C. Corbo, University of Colorado Boulder and David A. Craig, Oregon State University

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How can individual departments gain expertise in leading change locally? We are piloting Departmental Action Leadership Institutes (DALIs), which provide intensive support for departments in implementing changes to their undergraduate programs. DALIs are designed to scale this intensive support to the national level; the same model could be used to support multiple departments and programs at a single institution as they engage in change efforts. To accomplish this scaling, two change leaders from each of five departments join the DALI. These change leaders are charged with leading cross-constituency teams in their departments to engage in a change effort, following the Departmental Action Team (DAT) model. Two cohorts of five departments each are currently participating in a DALI, the first of which launched in January 2021. Each DALI begins with a virtual kickoff workshop followed by twice monthly meetings and the opportunity for individual consultations with the DALI facilitators. These activities are designed to help the DALI participants engage in a change effort, support a high-functioning team, interface with external stakeholders, and develop change agency. In this presentation, we will describe the goals and structure of the pilot DALI, present some initial feedback from our participants, and provide opportunities for the audience to reflect on how this model might be useful at their institutions.

The DALI effort is part of the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) initiative, a project of the professional societies in physics: The American Physical Society (APS) and American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). The EP3 Initiative aims to help physics programs respond to challenges with a collection of knowledge, experience, and proven good practice derived from the physics community and disseminated via the EP3 Guide.


This webinar is designed for STEM department chairs, program leaders, and other faculty and educational/organizational development professionals interested in how to create and sustain systemic change in their departments and institutions.


By the end of this webinar, participants will:

  • Learn about and reflect on the DALI model for supporting multiple departments engage in significant change efforts
  • Discuss how to apply the DALI model in their own contexts


Registration deadline: Tuesday, February 22

Time - 1:00pm PT | 2:00m MT | 3:00 pm CT | 4:00pm ET
Duration - 60 minutes
Format - Online web presentation via Zoom web meeting software with questions and discussion. Go to the webinar technology page for more information on using Zoom. Detailed instructions for joining the webinar will be emailed to registered participants one day prior to the webinar.
Preparation - There is no advance preparation required for this webinar.

Please email Mitchell Bender-Awalt (mawalt at if you have any technical questions about this event.


Joel Corbo
University of Colorado at Boulder
Joel Corbo, Senior Research Associate, University of Colorado Boulder

Joel C. Corbo is a senior research associate in the Center for STEM Learning at the University of Colorado Boulder. His work focuses on implementing and studying institutional change mechanisms to improve undergraduate education in university departments and on supporting student-centered efforts to make physics culture more equitable and inclusive. As a graduate student, he co-founded and co-led the Berkeley Compass Project, a student-run organization dedicated to supporting underrepresented students in physics through building community and engaging in authentic science. He co-leads the Access Network, a national network of student-centered equity programs inspired by Compass.


David Craig
Oregon State University
David A. Craig, Associate Department Head of Physics, Oregon State University

David Craig is Associate Head of the Department of Physics at Oregon State University. His research interests are in the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum gravity, and quantum cosmology. Dr. Craig received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, before becoming a National Research Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics.  Craig conducted research and taught at the University of Minnesota, Morris, Hamilton College, and the State University of New York prior to joining the faculty at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, where he was chair of the department of physics and director of engineering programs for twelve years. Dr. Craig served as a member of the APS Committee on Education and as a consultant to APS on the work which led to the formation of the EP3 Project before moving to Oregon State University.