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Faculty Development Committee

Minutes of October 4, 2005 Meeting
4:00 PM, Faculty Center
East Annex

Cyrus Bina (Chair), Edith Borchardt, Gordon McIntosh, Pam Solvie, Alicia Canfield, and Engin Sungur (ex officio).
Absent: See Thao

The meeting began at 4:00 PM in the Faculty Center. The Chair welcomed Alicia Canfield (student representative) to the Committee.

FDC Minutes 9/20/05
Bina asked for corrections and/or approval of the FDC Minutes dated 9/20/05. Solvie noted a minor correction to the minutes. Motion (Solvie/Borchardt) to approve the minutes, as amended, was carried.

Quality of Life Survey
(Documents distributed: Faculty Quality of Life Survey, Faculty Opinion on Administration Survey, UMM TEL Support Survey, Faculty Minute Paper, and The 1995 Quality of Life Survey). Sungur distributed copies of the newly created Quality of Life Survey to the FDC; noting this survey is essentially different from the one initiated in 1995. Sungur said the 1995 survey emphasized on retirement issues, age factor in teaching (i.e., the changing pattern), and spousal employment, which has been administered twice. Sungur pointed out that the design of The Quality of Life survey tends to emphasize on what is important in the day-to-day life of the faculty while on the job, and perhaps should be conducted annually. He indicated our objective is to create a database, which all the functioning academic units of the Campus (and the University) will be able to put it in good use. Sungur cautioned that The Quality of Life Survey will be a powerful tool if it would be set up and managed properly. He stated that the efforts toward this end will be made through the Faculty Center; the information gathered will be centralized at FCLT, before being channeled, through the FDC, to the Administrative units for action. Sungur discussed each of the survey forms as follows:

1. Faculty Minute Paper
The sample Faculty Minute Paper was discussed. Sungur suggested that this can be set up with three questions (past, present, future), which would help define the problem areas quickly and aid in correcting them. For instance, the Faculty Minute Paper might be initiated in conjunction with the TAFS, which is a regular and periodic opportunity for conversation and reflection; and/or could be confidentially reflected on the FCLT website.

2. UMM TEL Support Survey
This one page survey is aimed directly to the instructional technology area.

3. Faculty Evaluation of Administration Survey
The survey is simple to complete, rating from good to poor, with possible comments at the end. The survey can be conducted for 2-3 years in order to measure the scope of the deficiencies and improvements. Sungur recommended using the 1-7 scale, similar to the Student Opinion of Faculty Survey.

4. Quality of Life Survey
Sungur: we would start with our objective before designing the survey. Discussion followed, suggestions were to include a section on culture, work environment, and the specific questions about appreciation of the faculty, giving the faculty a sense of being valued, a sense by the faculty of being overwhelmed and overworked.

The FDC discussed the timeline for the surveys. Sungur reported that the discussion on the surveys will continue during fall semester; Sungur's goal is to make the surveys ready and available by Spring semester. He acknowledged that the timing is important, although not all surveys are ready for implementation. He confidently maintained that the Faculty Blog and Minute Paper can be arranged immediately. After a round of discussion by the members, Bina concluded that the Committee's consensus points heavily toward the immediacy of the Quality of Life Survey, Faculty Opinion on Administration Survey, and the Minute Papers (in conjunction with TAFS). He noted the Minute Papers might actually help with the design of the Quality of Life Survey. It was unanimously agreed that the Quality of Life Faculty Survey and Faculty Opinion on Administration Survey must be the primary goal for further examination at the next FDC meeting. One member noted the Faculty Affairs Committee must be informed that we will be implementing a Faculty Opinion on Administration survey. Bina responded that he will be in communication with the newly formed Faculty Affairs Committee, and wish to assure them of the FDC's full support. On behalf of the FDC, Bina thanked Sungur for his presentation and his effort in designing the surveys. Bina asked the committee members to get input from the faculty at large in respect to their campus-wide concerns and priorities, including these surveys, and report at the next FDC meeting.

Dean's Reward for Research and Scholarship
Bina reported the letter was sent by both campus mail and e-mail. However, he has not yet received a reply from the Dean. A copy of the Committee's letter to the Dean was distributed to the FDC for further discussion.

Faculty Place Vision
Faculty Place: Solvie pointed out that most colleagues prefer the Faculty Place be located in the Student Center-if not in the LaFave House. The FDC discussed a desire for procuring a centrally-located place for Faculty to congregate. The importance of this reflects the prior conversation and the overall concern of the faculty to have a campus-wide place for rest and reflections that are not necessary relate to their daily formal activities. Bina observed that in this central place faculty may have their own amenities, such as the daily coffee, tea, etc.-along with daily newspapers and the items of academic interest similar to decent, spacious lounges adjoining to the traditional Faculty Clubs.

Web-page Updating
Members discussed updating Faculty WebPages. Bina reminded that the Faculty Center has agreed to hire two students to update existing faculty WebPages on a permanent and continued basis. Sungur pointed out that approval of additional funding would be needed, and urged the Committee to request in writing from the Computing Service, the Faculty Center, and the Dean for hiring two students for updating Faculty Webpage's. Proposal to ask the Computing Service, Faculty Center, and the Dean for additional funding to hire two students for updating Faculty WebPages on a permanent and continued basis was passed unanimously. Solvie agreed to draft the letter.

Old Business:

New Business:
Letter concerning Faculty Webpage Updating (Solvie)

Next Meeting:
Scheduled for October 26, 2005 at 4:00 PM

Meeting adjourned at 5:25 PM.

Submitted by:
Linda Pederson