Meeting of the Faculty Affairs Committee
8 February 2010, 9:00am, Sci 2555
Present: Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Rebecca Dean, Athena Kildegaard, Pam Solvie, Roger Wareham, James Wojtaszek, Timna Wyckoff
Absent: Katie Barron
Guest: Hilda Ladner
We approved the minutes from 24 November, 3 December 2009, and 25 January 2010. Wyckoff will send them to Wojtaszek to post.
II. conversation with Hilda Ladner
Ladner started by explaining that most of her job is focused on the Multi-ethnic Student Program (Gateway, recruiting for research programs, cultural clubs) and the International Student Program (orientation, travel/visa logistics). She mentioned that part of the Multi-ethnic Student Program involves academic advising and that her office was working on getting an online “student inventory” program up and running that will help students and advisors make informed choices at registration. Several members expressed concern about students advised by MSP staff not having a faculty advisor in their major. This has sometimes led to scheduling problems in the past. Ladner replied that her office recommends that students also meet with a faculty advisor. Wyckoff wondered if in these cases, and in cases of students having two majors, it might make sense for students to have TWO official advisors. Wareham suggested that this would make faculty workloads more honest (to have credit for the “unofficial” advising that we do). Wyckoff will contact Brenda Boever to ask about this issue.
Ladner explained that a smaller percentage of her job involved being an Assistant to the Chancellor focused on general issues of diversity on campus. It was in this capacity that she helped organize the Fall Faculty Retreat last August and the conversation at LaFave about faculty diversity last December. As we work toward recruiting and retaining more diversity among our faculty and staff, it seems important that we focus also on faculty development/training of ALL current UMM faculty. This led to a long conversation that included the following topics:
• The conversation in December led to a list of ideas for increasing recruitment and retention of faculty of color. Ladner shared the list with us and shared that several different committees on campus are thinking about how to start making progress on this issue.
• Wareham expressed concern about how to fund faculty/staff development activities in the absence of the Faculty Center. Wyckoff will contact Becca Gerken, chair of Faculty Development, to ask if they are working on this issue and perhaps to suggest a joint meeting.
• On the topic of the requirement that all committees include a person of color, Ladner does not believe now is the time to get rid of that requirement, even if it means a higher service expectation for our faculty, staff, and students of color. Hopefully, time and training will lead to a time when that is no longer necessary, but she does not feel that we are there yet as a campus.
• Wojtaszek reminded us that we had suggested to Dean Contant that the initial meeting for each search involve some specific diversity training. Ladner said that the Twin Cities Human Resources department has training modules designed that could be used at UMM. Solvie suggested that we bring this training to UMM more generally so that people are better prepared to think about issues of diversity in all aspects of our jobs, not just the week before a search starts. Wareham hopes that such training would treat the issue of diversity more broadly than just ethnic diversity.
III. looking ahead
We will be meeting with Dean Contant on 22 February. We decided to meet next week (15 February) to discuss our conversations with the Division Chairs about replacements for leaves. We will also use that meeting to set the agenda for the 22 February meeting.
Minutes submitted by Timna Wyckoff, 12 February 2010