For several years, NMU and MTU CTL team members would run into each other at regional and national teaching conferences. Sometimes we would have been able to bring along some a few faculty members, and we’d talk about how we wished we could bring more. However, as all of us who live and work in the U.P. know, even “regional” conferences are usually at least a five-hour drive away, making both funding and logistics challenging. We decided that if we couldn’t bring more of our faculty to the existing conferences, we’d instead create a conference closer to our faculty . . . and the UPTLC was born.
The first UPTLC, at MTU, had about 150 attendees, mostly from MTU and NMU. Feedback from participants expressed appreciation for the opportunity to attend affordable professional development close to home, as well as for the chance to exchange ideas with colleagues from other institutions.
The second annual UPTLC, hosted by Northern Michigan University, had about 160 attendees from nine different institutions.
The third annual UPTLC, hosted by Michigan Technological University, had about 175 attendees from many different institutions.
The fourth year, Lake Superior State University was scheduled to host. However, COVID disrupted those plans. So, as with many things, the conference was cancelled. However, the LSSU team led the Virtual UPTLC Series during the 2020-2021 academic year. The conference was brought back in 2022 and was hosted by Northern Michigan University and was a big success with over 200 participants!
This year (2023) the conference will be held at Lake Superior State University and we are looking to build on previous conference successes and bring in attendees from across the river in Ontario as well as the Northern Lower Peninsula.
The 2024 UPTLC conference will be held in Escanaba at Bay College!