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Faculty Development Committee

Minutes for April 30, 2002
4 PM Faculty Center
Humanities Annex

Present: Harold Hinds (Chair), Bert Ahern, Gordon McIntosh, and Stacey Parker Aronson

Absent: Doug Reese, Mike Rea, and Cyrus Pansch

Hinds called the meeting to order at 4:07 PM. Hinds said that because this is the final meeting of the year, the last two sets of the FDC minutes will be sent by e-mail, asking for approval. Hinds called for a motion for approval of the FDC Minutes 3/26/02. McIntosh made a motion to approve the FDC Minutes 3/26/02, seconded by Aronson, the minutes were unanimously approved.

Committee members discussed the Faculty Enrichment Program revised application. Hinds said that the he felt that the revised applications further elaborated on their plans, and asked for a motion to approve the two revised applications. McIntosh made a motion to approve the application, seconded by Aronson; the applications were unanimously approved.

The committee discussed two applications for UMM Instructional Technology Mentorship pro-gram. Of the two applications, one raises concerns of conflict of Interest and also the other applicant would be participating for one semester only. Hinds said that they are both unusual in that sense, but noted that we are short in people for applications. Hinds said that he is hoping that more will come forward, but feels there is no conflict of interest, other members agreed. The applications for the Instructional Technology Mentorship program were accepted.

Ahern noted two items:

  1. Faculty Center budget - budget worksheet must go to Gary Strei.
  2. Focus on Faculty Newsletter will be published during the finals week, noting that the lead story is the Fall Faculty Retreat which will be held at Peters Sunset Beach, August 19 & 20.

Fall Faculty Retreat
Ahern said that the Fall Faculty Retreat is scheduled for August 19 & 20, and that both Larry Poston and Richard Zeller are available. He noted that the Dean's office had asked if the dates could be scheduled for August 15 & 16, but accommodations were not available for these dates. The committee discussed issues and concerns. Hinds sited that the real issue is academic freedom/academic orthodoxy, noting that the committee is represented by diverse viewpoints. Hinds said that the duty of the FDC committee is to select a topic for the Fall Faculty Retreat and a speaker, and that the Director duties are to negotiate and finalize the details for the Retreat. Hinds said that the topic and the speaker had been determined by unanimous vote of the committee, and said that the Director should not change the speaker without the approval of the committee. Hinds noted that he had contacted Zeller and discussed with him his concerns and revisions of his proposal.

Despite already having selected a topic and speaker, Hinds said we should discuss both and render a final decision. Ahern said that the Director had the responsibility to present the committee with alternative speaker possibilities even though the topic and speaker had been determined. While Zeller had some clear strengths, the central role of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) made it a natural place to consult for a resource person. Ahern noted that Larry Poston brings years of experience as a member of AAUP'S Committee A, the role of which is to investigate complaints about threats to academic freedom, resolve them or censure the offending institution. Thus Poston has extensive experience with the nature of academic freedom issues. Hinds said that Zeller comes from a different experience, has a well-thought out proposal, and is a consummate professional. Hinds feels that he will give a fine workshop, reporting that Zeller has several years of experience conducting focus groups. McIntosh commented that sometimes people feel pressure to stay silent concerning certain issues. McIntosh believes that Zeller would be more effective in addressing these issues, encouraging people to overcome these limitations and constraints. Aronson agreed, adding that the topic would not keep her away from attending the workshop, and that it could be looked at from either point of view. Aronson also stated that after reading the two proposals, she thought Poston is not interested in facilitating, and that the proposal seemed biased, labeling UMM as liberal. Hinds said that the reason he had contacted Zeller was to find out if he'd be flexible, he noted that Zeller said that this was no problem. Ahern said that his concern with Zeller was that his self presentation in the materials he forwarded was un-necessarily polarizing. He agreed that in conversation Zeller acknowledged this possibility and wished to avoid it. Aronson said that she felt Poston also had an agenda, and that maybe in itself might polarize people. Also, Ahern would draft the description of Zeller and would seek to do so in a way that encouraged wide participation.

Thus after the strengths and weakness of both speakers had been discussed, Ahern stated that it sounds clear that the committee want Richard Zeller as the speaker for the retreat. Hinds called for a move to approve the topic "Academic Freedom/Academic Orthodoxy" and Richard Zeller as the choice for the Fall Faculty Retreat. McIntosh made a motion to approve "Academic Freedom/Academic Orthodoxy" as the topic, and Richard Zeller as the speaker for the Fall Faculty Retreat, seconded by Aronson, unanimously approved. Ahern will carry on discussion with Zeller and finalize the details of the workshop. Ahern will write the draft of the article for the Retreat, and will send it via e-mail to Zeller and the committee members for review.

Gordon McIntosh will be the chair of the FDC committee next year.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Pederson