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Faculty Development Committee

Minutes of September 20, 2005 Meeting
Faculty Center, East Annex

Present: Cyrus Bina (Chair), Edith Borchardt, Gordon McIntosh, and Pam Solvie, Engin Sungur (ex officio).
Absent: none.

The Faculty Development Committee (FDC) meeting began at 4:00 PM in the Faculty Center . Pederson noted she has not been yet notified of the two students who will be serving on the FDC. Bina welcomed the members and indicated that for further effectiveness of the committee, if necessary, we may want to get together informally and brainstorm over a comprehensive agenda for the entire year.

Bina pointed out that the faculty's input is necessary for effectiveness of FDC. Bina asked each committee member for input. The points noted include:

  • FDC accomplished good things last year; now it seems that we need to delineate the responsibilities of FDC and those of the newly formed Faculty Affairs Committee.
  • It is critical that the faculty would recognize its governance via FDC and the Faculty Affairs Committee. FCLT Director's proposal (distributed to the members beforehand) is to put the faculty on the forefront of governance by learning their needs and wants. FCLT is directly responsible to FDC. This was a pledge by FCLT's new Director.
  • We need to find the best way to support faculty. This includes the size of campus-wide budget for faculty development and whether it can be spent more effectively, given faculty's consensus.
  • Faculty should have the choice of having laptop or desktop computer for office. Some members of the faculty prefer laptop over desktop due to traveling and working on the projects. Therefore, funding for this purpose should be available.
  • Support for Faculty Website updates. Faculty Center and FDC should create an efficient system to update the faculty websites on a regular basis. FCLT should make an effort to provide websites for all UMM faculty.

Sungur presented FCLT's proposal to the Committee and then discussed it in detail, point by point.

After discussion, Bina remarked that it appears the Committee has consensus over many issues pertaining to governance and the needs of the faculty. He asked the Committee to brainstorm informally and come up with the agenda for the next meeting. Bina encouraged the members to contact the faculty at large and inquire about their concerns and their faculty development priorities.

Dean's Research Proposal
Members discussed the Dean's Research Proposal ($500 for a book, $100 for an article published) and the various concerns. There was a consensus that the proposal should have been discussed with FDC before being launched as a (research) development item to the faculty at large. There were a number of questions on the lack of criteria for judgment, the source of funding, the durability of the practice, and the ad hoc and after-the-fact nature of such proposals. There was also a concern for (faculty) support for engagement in such scholarly activities in the view of faculty's heavy burden of frequent interruption due to multi-task activities. Finally, one member thought that this proposal might be divisive.

On behalf of FDC, Bina will draft a letter to the Dean concerning the above proposal.

Faculty Load
Discussed faculty workload:

  • Faculty are feeling overwhelmed
  • Faculty Room - discussed creation of a central place in which faculty can meet informally
  • Fall Retreat planning tried to organize groups that would focus on workload issues
  • Should have a written workload policy

Updating Faculty Websites
Members discussed proposal to hire students to update Faculty websites. Faculty would create their own website, but students would be available to update the website on a rotational basis. Discussion included hiring two students under FCLT's Director. Sungur reported that, over the summer, some students-employed through the Bush Grant (Innovative Teaching Group)-worked with the faculty; this arrangement will certainly continue this year, and so we'll be able to utilize them for such occasions. The committee also discussed the web templates; the consensus was that the faculty should be in charge of the design of one's own website.

Faculty Center Proposal (Sungur)
Members received a copy of the Faculty Center Proposal and the FCLT budget. Sungur discussed the organizational chart, mission statement, and the major goals of the FCLT. Other items discussed:

  • Social Events (Fall Faculty Retreat as the main social event for faculty)
  • Additional funds for supporting conference travel
  • Writing of more grants
  • Extend proposal to include the position of faculty social events coordinator
  • Quality of Life survey should be done on a regular basis
  • FCLT should offer confidential consulting to Faculty
  • Regular interaction concerning the faculty issues
  • History of FCLT should be put on web

FDC Minutes 05/06/05
Bina asked for corrections or approval of FDC Minutes dated 05/06/05. Motion (Solvie/McIntosh) to approve the minutes.

The next FDC meeting scheduled for October 4, 2005 will include discussion on proposed name change for the Faculty Center .

Meeting adjourned at 5:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Linda Pederson