Minutes for October 8, 2002
4 PM Faculty Center
Present: Gordon McIntosh (Chair, Bert Ahern, Joel Eisinger, Carol Marxen, Greg Thorson, Michael Benson, and Nick Peterson
The meeting began at 4:05 PM. with McIntosh welcoming Michael Benson and Nick Peterson, as (student representatives) to the committee, introductions followed.
McIntosh asked for comments or approval for the FDC Minutes 9/17/02. Ahern requested that the phrase "concerning attention to Diversity" be added to the section Committee Charge/FCLT Services. Amendment was noted and the correction will be made. McIntosh asked for a motion to approve the minutes with the noted amendment. Motion: Thorson/Marxen, the minutes were unanimously approved.
McIntosh said that the committee had three issues to discuss which include the Fall Faculty Retreat, Instructional Technology Program and the Diversity issue, he asked Ahern to lead the discussion.
Fall Faculty Retreat
Ahern began by saying that the Fall Faculty Retreat is held at the beginning of each year. The retreat offers a topic of interest to the campus community, and is an opportunity for faculty to get re-acquainted and to welcome new faculty. Ahern said that, according to the overall rating scale, this year's retreat was not as well received as previous years. He said that the retreat had 55 participants, with about half returning for the second day. While the drop-off of attendance was discouraging, that 25 participants returned the evaluation of the Retreat indicated strong feelings. Evaluations reveal that the faculty liked the topic, but did not like the facilitator.
Peterson said that from the comments on the evaluation, he got the impression that the faculty didn't like 2 days. Ahern identified two issues: location because of issues of inaccessibility and size, and whether the retreat should be a one-day or remain a two-day retreat. Thorson said that because of accessibility, it should not be at Peters Sunset Beach, unless changes are made. Ahern noted that Peters Sunset Beach has good food and location, but the meeting room space is small. Thorson said that he would like the retreat to remain two-days, otherwise it is just a workshop. Discussion of possible locations for the retreat followed. McIntosh said that the Faculty Center should explore possible locations for the retreat and make a recommendation to the committee. Thorson noted that the Arrowwood is an outstanding facility, and it may be an incentive for faculty to stay.
Ahern noted that the FDC identifies the topic to be addressed at the Fall Faculty Retreat. He said that the topic, Academic Advising was suggested last year. He reported that both Paula O'Loughlin and Karla Klinger mentioned that this would be a good topic and would be willing to attend a FDC meeting to discuss it. Marxen questioned if it would take two days to present Advising, and said that she would like to hear how Academic Advising would be presented. Ahern said that the topic for the Fall Faculty Retreat should be identified before the end of the fall semester. Other topics suggested: Experiential learning, challenge of Tuesday/Thursday schedule, a topic that was very classroom-oriented. McIntosh said that the standard structure of the retreat is to have an outside speaker to facilitate the retreat, and that this person should be identified in the next 4-6 weeks. Ahern said that the Collaboration has a list of workshops that they do, are experienced, and do workshops successfully. Committee members could look at the list for possible topics. The web site is www.collab.org. McIntosh asked for the support of the committee to invite O'Loughlin and Klinger to a November or early December meeting to discuss Academic Advising as a possible topic for the retreat. Ahern said that it is important to have a topic that is relevant to most people. Marxen suggested making a preliminary inquiry with colleagues of topics they would like to have at the retreat.
Instructional Technology Program
Ahern invited comments on the First Year Report on the IT Project, which he had circulated to the committee, noting that it was more a summary of activities than an evaluation. He said that the Instructional Technology Program is part of an all University project, and that an external evaluator was hired for the overall project. In order to gain a more timely and thorough formative evaluation of the Morris project, however, he is in the process of contracting an independent evaluator. There was not a formal evaluation for the first year. Ahern said that the Center for Small Towns, IT Gang of Five, and the committee are in the process of reviewing an evaluation proposal from Michelle Page.
The committee discussed technology issues, and its potential for use in classes. Ahern briefly discussed the work of the IT Gang of Five and the Mid Career Seminar. Thorson raised a concern that the project seemed to be driven by technologies rather than by teaching questions.
Ahern referred to the e-mail from the Chancellor concerning the diversity issue. Ahern noted that the Collaboration Conference on November 15-16 is on Diversity, with UM-TC faculty members Carol Miller and Toni McNaron serving as keynote speakers, and questioned if the committee should identify 4-5 faculty to attend the conference. The discussion of the diversity issue included a concern for the scope of the problem. Was it that individual faculty were perceived by students as engaged in discrimination and, if so, was this not more a matter of individual review than faculty development. What were other dimensions of the issue? In summarizing the discussion, Ahern suggested that the faculty diversity issues could include at least: 1) individual problems 2) curricular development, 3) instructional design. He reported that he would approach the Chancellor for the financial support necessary for a few faculty members to attend the Collaboration Conference.
The FDC will meet in three weeks, October 29th at 4:00 PM in the Faculty Center.
Meeting adjourned at 5:05 PM.