FACULTY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Minutes of December 4, 2007 - 4:00 PM
The Faculty Center , East Annex
Cyrus Bina (Chair), Edith Borchardt, Jong-Min Kim, Engin Sungur (Ex-Officio) and Britney Appier (student)
||Roland Guyotte, Interim Dean & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
||taken by Linda Pederson
Bina called the meeting to order and welcomed Dean Roland Guyotte at 4:03 PM. The purpose of the invitation was (1) to discuss the desirability of coordination between the Faculty Center's activities (including designation of side-by-side websites) with those of the Office of Academic Enrichment and (2) to reiterate the longstanding demand for technical support in respect to regular updating of faculty websites across the UMM Campus.
Faculty Center/Office of Academic Enrichment
Guyotte began by saying that Sungur should contact Paula O'Loughlin to discuss the possible coordination of the Faculty Center and Office of Academic Enrichment on his own. Sungur indicated that he was hesitant in contacting O'Loughlin, and that he was waiting for O'Loughlin to contact him. Guyotte encouraged Sungur to contact O'Loughlin to discuss the coordination of the two offices; Bina recommended a neutral meeting place (perhaps with the Acting Dean present) for Sungur and O'Loughlin to meet. Guyotte, however, remained noncommittal.
Bina pointed out to the Acting Dean that this is the third year in which this committee is striving to secure technical support (from Dean's Office and Office of Computing Services) specifically for updating faculty websites on a regular basis. Bina informed the Acting Dean (as he had informed the previous Dean and present Director of Computing Services) that he had already contacted faculty and is completely aware of this urgent need. Bina also noted that an overwhelming majority of faculty on this Campus does not want to waste its time by attending the useless trainings sessions pertaining to the so-called new technology. UMM faculty are overwhelmed enough by a fairly high teaching load, in conjunction with an enormous range of multi-tasks and other distracting activities, that have nothing to do with their promotion, tenure, or, for that matter, their annual salary increase. This is one distinct area where they badly need assistance, and that does not cost much. Bina pointed out that updating faculty websites is necessary for two reasons: (1) internal, i.e., the enhancement of instruction and learning process and (2) external, i.e., the exposition of faculty capability communicating to the public Faculty expertise (by far the most important asset in academic institutions) and enhancement of UMM visibility, beyond the trickle of billboards, etc.
Guyotte informed the Committee that he had a conversation with the Director of Computing Services and the Division Chairs about faculty websites, and noted the following points:
Funds received from the Bush grant are intended for faculty training; so, one may look into those grants;
There is more demand for trained (student) assistants than currently available; it's difficult to find students who wish to be trained for such assistance;
According to the Director, the number of MSAF students in Computing Services was cut from three to one.
Guyotte then suggested that the FDC's chair may contact James Morales (he noted Morales oversaw the creation of the Discipline Templates) and/or LeAnn Dean, Roger Boleman, David, Loewi—who are jointly dealing with Campus Technology plan.
In response to Guyotte's first point, Sungur indicated that the funding from the Bush grant is for faculty training, not faculty assistance. Therefore, as it is, we cannot rely on the Bush grant. He explained that, nevertheless, the Bush Grant provides an effective, efficient support system for faculty. Sungur illustrated that, during the summer 2007, four students occupied two offices in the East Annex and provided support to faculty who were awarded the Bush grant. However, he emphasized that this was not just desk-side assistance, but indeed working directly for faculty. another point of contention was that Faculty at the UMM Campus must receive assistance similar to what is currently provided to their counterpart at the Twin-Cities Campus. Therefore, trained students could be available to update faculty websites at UMM. Sungur was adamant: “If we provide students with space and challenging work, students will work.” Guyotte responded that he will communicate this point with to LeAnn Dean and hope that it would be included into the Campus Technology plan. Guyotte reiterated that if we plan to allocate a staff person to this task, it has to be appraised within a larger plan. One member suggested that all instructional technology must be brought under one roof, under the auspices of the Faculty Center. Guyotte and Sungur will contact Leann Dean. Bina advised the Acting Dean that, in the meantime, there is an urgent need for a part-time person to assist faculty with websites. Guyotte replied that he will meet with Division Chairs on this issue on December 5, 2007. Guyotte left the meeting at 4:28 PM.
Bina distributed the announcement for a meeting scheduled for all-University FCC at Morris Campus on Friday, December 7. Bina informed the Committee that he is invited to speak with the FCC; he asked the FDC members about their concerns.
Committee Chairs Meeting with Executive Committee
Bina reported that in the past committee chairs informally met with the Executive committee, but now it appears that the latter intends to formalize such gatherings. He pointed out that the chair of another committee has already questioned the very purpose and indeed constitutionality of such a get-together. Bina thought that faculty committees are all independent vehicles that may represent their constituents, without obligation of reporting to the Executive Committee. Notwithstanding the harmless appearance and certainly innocent intention of the Executive Committee, Bina insisted that this would set a bad precedent. Therefore, he, as chair of the FDC, did not (and will not in the future) participate in the meeting called by the Executive Committee. However, he extended an invitation to the latter, so that, if it wishes, it might be our guest in the future. Sungur suggested that the question of meetings of Committee Chairs and with the Executive Committee should be added to the list of concerns to be discussed at the all-University FCC meeting on Friday.
FDC Minutes, 11/06/07
Members reviewed the minutes; given minor revisions, motion (Kim, Appier) to approve the revised minutes—unanimously approved.
Appier indicated that if the Senate approves the (student) faculty evaluation form, MCSA will bring a proposal to Campus Assembly concerning the inclusion of another question. Bina suggested that recommendation for inclusion of another question should come (separately) both from students and the FDC.
Spring 2008: given the difficulty in finding any other mutually convenient time, we shall meet on Fridays at 4:00 PM; FDC's first meeting is on Friday, February 1, 2008 at 4:00 PM at the Faculty Center.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 PM.