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Faculty Development Committee

Minutes for October 29, 2002
4 PM Faculty Center
East Annex



Present:   Gordon McIntosh (Chair), Bert Ahern, Greg Thorson, and Michael Benson

Absent:    Joel Eisinger, Carol Marxen, and Nick Peterson


The meeting began at 4:05 PM. McIntosh asked for comments on the FDC minutes dated 10/8/02. McIntosh called for a motion to approve the minutes. Motion: Benson/Thorson, the minutes were unanimously approved.

McIntosh has communicated with Karla Klinger about ideas for the Fall Faculty Retreat in regards to Academic Advising. Klinger will be consulting with Paula O'Loughlin, and they will present a proposal to the FDC at a late November or early December meeting.

The agenda includes a discussion of the letter received from the Dean requesting the FDC to review how each Division considers faculty for promotion and tenure, and also the issues that the committee would like to address this year.

Thorson feels that it is important to engage faculty in issues and research on campus, and he would like to see either more energy pushed into Conversations on Teaching or changing the format. He suggested providing forums to talk about teaching, what is happening, to discuss developments on a wider scale, and to share teaching strategies. Thorson said three or four people could be solicited to present on a featured theme. After the presentation of the theme, faculty could break off into smaller groups for additional discussion. Ahern suggested a sub-committee be formed, including additional faculty. Ahern discussed the Conversations on Teaching with the committee, and said the expectation is that alot of sharing will occur. McIntosh requested Thorson and Ahern to write a proposal, which would discuss the format of Conversations on Teaching as it exists now and how it could be expanded. The proposal will be presented at the November meeting.

McIntosh asked committee members if there are issues that the FDC should address, and if people are willing to work on them. Members discussed the issues of Civic Engagement and International Studies. The committee discussed the Dean's request concerning new scholarships and pedagogy. It was noted that each Division has printed criteria for evaluation, and this information should be solicited from the Division chairs. McIntosh said this information could be reviewed to see if the requirements are consistent. The review would be scheduled into the agenda for the FDC meetings next semester. McIntosh will solicit this information from the Division Chairs. Ahern suggested that a Faculty Affairs Committee should be developed on this campus to work on issues to improve faculty life. This committee should be separate from the Faculty Development Committee. Thorson asked if it was more desirable institutionally to keep it separate from the FDC or if it should be on the FDC agenda this year to form a Faculty Affairs Committee? McIntosh said a letter could be drafted to the Dean stating that the issues would be more appropriately addressed by a Faculty Affairs Committee, but due to the absence of such a committee the FDC will devote time to this issue. The FDC may propose to develop a Faculty Affairs Committee. Ahern said he would draft this letter, and will ask for committee reaction. Benson would like to look into other issues that exists on campus, such as faculty workload, tenure faculty track, and minority concerns. Thorson said another concern is the mentorship program, asking if everyone is being served or are there cracks in the system. Are the new faculty being oriented on campus? Ahern replied that the Faculty Center supports mentoring in various ways. Thorson suggested a program that would pair a new faculty in their second month with a faculty member of their choice to discuss issues, noting that this would not require an application, but would assure everyone to receive mentoring. Ahern said that he does receive mid-year reports from the mentoring teams, and that he will summarize the reports for the committee. The committee briefly discussed the Tenure Track Seminar and Quality of Life Survey. Ahern said that the Faculty Center needs an external evaluator at least every 5 years to review the Faculty Center and the programs offered. He said if the committee agrees to an external review, feedback about the programs from faculty would be solicited.

Thorson said the FDC committee should find areas that we can make meaningful changes, address a few a year, and do it well. Ahern said his ongoing concern is that each year a new group has a new agenda. Thorson said there is some concern with the structural problem (term limits) of committees. Thorson said that the big issue is to improve dialogue on campus, gather and review information, and make recommendations. Thorson said the FDC should play an active role in improving quality of life on campus.

Ahern said that last spring the Faculty Center supported Teaching Partners. He said a faculty volunteered to partner with someone out of their division, and that "hot teaching issues" were identified. He received an enthusiastic response from those who participated in this program. Ahern noted that Teaching Partners would occur again this year at a lower budget.

McIntosh summarized the five issues of concern:

  1. Teaching and Learning in the Classroom
  2. Addressing the Dean's request - Incorporating Academic Affairs Issues
  3. Diversity Issues - Collaboration Conference Nov. 15-16
  4. Review of  Faculty Center - incorporating various activities
  5. Fall Faculty Retreat

The FDC will meet twice more this semester, November 12 and November 26 McIntosh asked Thorson and Ahern to draft a letter proposing a Faculty Affair Committee for the November 12 meeting, and said that Klinger and O'Loughlin would be invited to present a proposal for Academic Advising as a possible topic for the Fall Retreat at the November 26th meeting.

Thorson noted that the Faculty Affairs Committee is a big issue, and that it would require alot of input from faculty. McIntosh agreed that it would need alot of discussion far beyond the FDC.

The FDC will meet on November 12 at 4:00 PM in the Faculty Center, East Annex. The agenda items will include:

  1. Workshop idea - Teaching and Learning in the Classroom (Thorson/Ahern)
  2. Discuss Dean's letter - Solicit criteria and ideas from each Division (McIntosh)
  3. Discuss draft letter to the Dean proposing a Faculty Affairs Committee (Thorson/Ahern)

The FDC will meet November 26 at 4:00 PM in the Faculty Center. The agenda will include:

  1. Academic Advising Proposal for Fall Faculty Retreat (K.Klinger/P. O'Loughlin)
  2. Further discussion of retreat topics

Ahern discussed with the committee options for the Fall Retreat next year. The Arrowwood is booked for August 2003, but has been reserved for August 2004. The cost will be considerably higher. A decision has to be made in the next week whether or not to hold the space. Other options for the August 2003 Retreat would be holding it at the Holiday Inn, or traveling a longer distance. It was agreed to book Peters Sunset Beach Resort for the Fall Faculty Retreat in August 2003.

Meeting Adjourned at 5:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Pederson