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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Library Services Professor Bobby Bothmann Selected as Open Education Leadership Fellow

Bothmann is one of 27 fellows in program's 2019-2020 cohort.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Library Services Announcement, 8-14-2019

Professor Bobby Bothmann from Library Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato has been selected as a fellow in the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) sponsors that intensive professional development program to empower library professionals with the knowledge, skills and community connections to lead successful open education initiatives that benefit students.

The two-semester program blends online, peer-to-peer, and project-based learning to build a comprehensive understanding of the open education space coupled with practical know-how to take action on campus and beyond. Bothmann is one of 27 fellows selected from a competitive application pool for the program’s 2019-2020 cohort.

“The Library Services faculty and staff are deeply committed to supporting open education on campus,” said Chris Corley, interim dean of library and learning at Minnesota State Mankato. “We are proud that Professor Bothmann has been selected for this program. His work builds upon key initiatives for our faculty and staff, and we know that his work will benefit faculty and students at the University for years to come.”

The SPARC Open Education Leadership Program spans two semesters, beginning with an intensive online course in the fall to build open education subject matter expertise. In the spring, Bothmann will work with a mentor to implement a capstone project that will help advance open education at Minnesota State Mankato and contribute back to the broader open education community as a whole. Bothmann will join the rest of the cohort in attending the 16th annual Open Education Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, in late October. 

Professor Bothmann says, “I see the program helping to provide me with the tools and knowledge to speak authoritatively to my campus community, and to enable me to provide leadership and guidance in our campus’ collaborative efforts to implement OER (open educational resources) in the classroom. I’m particularly interested in how the library can facilitate tools for faculty in the creation and selection of OER to support the curricula, and hope to explore this topic in my capstone project.”

The faculty and staff in Library Services have demonstrated longstanding efforts to improve textbook access and affordability, and expand the adoption of open educational resources. Library Services faculty have partnered with the Minnesota State Student Association and Barnes and Noble Bookstore to offer the Maverick Textbook Reserve Program, which enables students to use expensive textbooks in Memorial Library for a couple of hours a day.

In collaboration with Metropolitan State University, Southwest Minnesota State University, and St. Cloud State University, Minnesota State University, Mankato was recently awarded an $80,000 grant from the Minnesota State system to foster the development of open educational resources on campuses. The grant will allow for the development of OER teams at each of the partner campuses that will focus on supporting faculty cohorts with the development of OER resources to be used in their courses. The libraries at each of these campuses are taking the lead on this grant. Professor Daardi Mixon, Library Services, and Instructional Designer Carrie Miller, Academic Technology Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato, are the grant co-leaders.

“Academic libraries sit at the intersection of faculty, students, and high-quality resources, and therefore are essential partners in advancing open education on campus,” said Nicole Allen, director of open education for SPARC. “A large part of what makes our program successful is the unique and valuable perspective each participant brings to it, and a vibrant community of practice develops amongst the cohort. We are proud to have Professor Bothmann among our 2019-2020 class.”

Library Services at Minnesota State Mankato is a member of SPARC, which is a global coalition dedicated to making open educational resources the default in research and education. For more information about the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, visit

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