by Carol Coman (California Lutheran University) & Tricia Bertram Gallant (UC San Diego)
The purpose of this toolkit is to provide ICAI members with guidance on starting an ICAI Regional Consortium in their geographic area. Any questions or requests for guidance can be directed at Carol () or Tricia ().


A: Determining the Region
The point of the Regional consortium is to give people (members or non-members) a local home of the ICAI so that they feel locally supported in their academic integrity work and able to consistently contribute to the support of others in their work. While the internet provides us with connectivity across great distances, people still respond and interact better and enjoy face-to-face meetings.
So, to that end, the region should be:

  1. Manageable in geographic size.
    For geography, we suggest no more than 5 hour commute from end to end of region, but holding major meetings in the center to make day trips possible. So, for example, the SoCal Region spans north-south from Santa Barbara to San Diego and east to the San Bernadino Mountains, but we often hold our biggest meetings in Los Angeles so that all attending would have about a 2 hour drive.
  2. Focused in Scope.
    This could be determined partly by your geographic area. For example, if your region does not have many 4 year institutions, then you might expand your scope from elementary schools through to four year universities. In SoCal, we decided to keep the membership to high schools, community colleges, four year universities, public or private. This is a large scope, especially in SoCal! But, this was a purposeful choice because we want to increase memberships/friends of ICAI in southern California.
  3. Accessible
    Be thoughtful of travel budgets and time to travel. So, regions may be partly determined by the availability of accessible public transportation. You might even use your local public transit maps to draw your region!

B: Finding Regional Contacts
Unless you want to do this all yourself, you should find like-minded interested people to join you in spear-heading the establishment of your regional consortium. And don’t be afraid to ask – if you don’t ask, the answer is always “no!”

  1. Identify ICAI-member institutions within the region.
    SoCal started by asking ICAI for a list of member institutions in the region (based on the scope you’ve determined). You can also use the international conference as an opportunity to connect with people from your region. You can always ask ICAI ahead of time for the names of others attending from your region.
  2. Once you know the number of other ICAI members in your region, you can decide how to proceed.
    1. Idea #1 – start just with other ICAI member institutions
    2. Idea #2 – start just with institutions like yours (e.g., if you work in a 4 year college/university, only invite other 4 year colleges/universities)
    3. Idea #3 – start with ICAI member institutions and then expand from there
      SoCal started with Idea #3. When we were starting SoCal, there were only 8 ICAI member institutions in our defined region. We decided to email those 8 institutions with the consortium proposal and to ask for a volunteer to host an initial exploratory meeting in a central geographic area.

      Once we secured a meeting location, we then invited other schools and campuses to join the inaugural meeting. We included high schools right from the beginning because Windward School (an LA private school) volunteered to host our initial meeting!
  3. Identify the point person at your targeted institutions. We did this by own knowledge as well as good ol’ fashion web searches. For the most part, you can find the point people by searching on their websites with the key terms “academic integrity” or “student conduct”.

C. Planning an exploratory meeting
It is critical to hold your first meeting in the middle of region to encourage greater attendance. So, if you’re in the middle of the region, you can host! If not, you’ll have to first get a volunteer to host.

1. Compose an email to send to your targeted group to announce the formation of the region and ask for a volunteer to host the first meeting. In SoCal, we targeted this email only to ICAI members in Los Angeles (“center” of the region). See example.

Dear Ms. Proctor –
I am contacting you because Windward School is an institutional member of the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) and you are indicated as a primary member. I am the former chair of ICAI’s Advisory Council and am spearheading many of ICAI’s 20th Anniversary Projects this year.

One of those projects is the establishment of regional consortiums. The purpose of a consortium is to provide a local support network for individuals who are working on academic integrity on their individual campuses. And, at the recent ICAI conference, Carol Coman (from California Lutheran University) and I decided that we would like to establish a SoCal regional consortium. We are envisioning, but are in no way set on, this consortium including: semi-regular (3 times/year?) face-to-face meetings, a listerv (for consultation/advice/sharing) and hopefully future collaborative projects.

We also decided that we would like to begin this fall with our first meeting in the LA area on Wednesday November 30th, likely between 10 am – 3 pm. Hence why I am emailing you. Not only do we hope that Windward will join the SoCal Consortium, but we would like to ask if Windward might be willing to host the meeting on your campus on November 30th.

Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you!


As you can see from the example, we chose a date first and then asked for a host. It worked for us, but you could try finding a host first and let them choose the date. Up to you!

SoCal also moved fast. We sent these emails on November 2nd and you’ll notice the meeting was scheduled for 28 days later! Again, this worked out for us. Sometimes when you give people too much notice, the project gets put on the back burner.

The ICAI Southwest Regional Consortium did things a bit differently. They formed the Consortium much more clearly before contacting potential members (see Appendix A for their Consortium proposal). So, by the time they contacted potential members, their letter was much more detailed. See next box for the Southwest Regional Consortium introductory letter.

ICAI Texas Letter 1

Once you get the location and date and time of inaugural meeting confirmed, you can invite other regional institutions. See the next box for this example.
Good afternoon,

This message is a follow up on an invitation letter, mailed from my office at California Lutheran University, last week.

In an effort to build an International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) Southern California consortium of schools, colleges and universities, Tricia Bertram Gallant and I have invited you (or your representative) to join us in an information and start up meeting. The meeting will be held at Windward School:
Wednesday, November 30th, 9:30-2:30 (a.m. coffee/tea and lunch provided) Winward School, 11350 Palms Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90066

Parking is available on the school campus.

Please let us know if you (or a representative) are able to attend this initial meeting. We will need a fairly accurate head count for lunch, provided by our host school.

Thank you. We look forward to meeting you and having the opportunity to share ideas, concerns and strategies for building high levels of academic integrity at our various institutions.

Carol Coman

5. Planning the inaugural/organizational meeting

a. Make it as easy as possible for the attendees. Consider parking/transportation, meals/refreshments.
b. Confirm day, time, location
c. Distribute brief agenda, travel directions and contact information of host individuals. See example in the box on the next page.
d. Request RSVP’s
e. Close to the meeting date, send out reminders and any added information that has become available