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Advisory Council Instructional Excellence

Minutes  <<Back to List

Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

Friday, September 8, 2000
11:00-12:00 Noon
Room 826 CL
A. Blair (Chair), R. Andrews, D. Bartholomae, K. Brown, D. Beratan, C. Fuhrman, J. Manfredi, S. Mazumdar, T. Metzger, D. Moser, B. Piraino, G. Stoehr, K. Van Lehn, D. Davis, and J. Maher (Provost)
RFP for Innovations in Education 2000; Teaching Times, July 2000
Introduction of New Members:

Dr. Blair welcomed both new and returning members of Council and initiated self-introductions for all members present. He subsequently welcomed Provost James Maher, who gave the Advisory Council its charge for the current academic year.


Provost’s Charge to the Advisory Council:

Provost Maher indicated that the Council has been quite active over the past year and that the University and the Advisory Council are succeeding in offering worthwhile programs to help faculty members to think more about a commitment to effective teaching, to provide support for developing instructional skills, and to learn more about what the opportunities are for the rapidly-changing learning environment that modern instructional technology affords. Specifically, the Advisory Council has imple-mented, for the first time, an instructional grants program, modeled after the University’s small grants program for research. That program is moniitored carefully in terms of following recipients with regard to success rates for the receipt of federal funding and/or increased publications. Similarly, the Advisory Council should determine how to monitor and assess the outcomes of its own grants program. Although the evaluation criteria will be different, Provost Maher indicated that it is essential to determine the grant program’s impact. He also encouraged the Council to distribute the RFP for next year’s grants program as early as possible this term and to advertise the program widely.

In touching upon the Summer Institute and the faculty development workshops offered during the academic year by the Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education (CIDDE), Provost Maher asked the Council members to focus on the impact of the web-based course management system known as CourseInfo on faculty teaching, as well as on the University’s computer network system (in light of the recent campus-wide computer problems). Although already-established faculty committees (Committee on Academic Computing and the Information Technology Steering Committee) will be looking at the bandwith issue to make sure that the network is functioning smoothly, the Provost would be interested in Council’s advice on the impact of CourseInfo, specifically.

Provost Maher then noted the Council’s past success in assisting in the development of CIDDE as a support system for faculty and their teaching. He called the Council’s attention to a report prepared two years ago by the Council’s Faculty Development Subcommittee, chaired by Professor Alan Lesgold, that presented the results of a thorough review of CIDDE staffing and identified important issues. He also noted that CIDDE Director Diane Davis had visited all the deans to discuss specific instructional support services needed by the schools. Provost Maher asked the Council to revisit these two initiatives in line with a recent CIDDE request for additional resources. He is seeking Council’s advice and recommendations on how a possible increase in CIDDE’s budget could best be utilized.

In conclusion, Provost Maher indicated a willingness to meet with Council later in the year and to hear about how its deliberations are going. He thanked the Advisory Council members for their willingness to serve.


Report of the Chair:

Dr. Blair drew Council members’ attention to the new schedule of full Advisory Council meetings for the year. He then went through the ACIE subcommittee structure, the issues that each are responsible for, and the need for replacement members, owing to the expiration of the terms of some members, on each of the three groups: Faculty Development, Instructional Grants, and Instructional Development Programs. Dr. Blair referred to the Lesgold report on CIDDE staffing issues which was a product of the Faculty Development subcommittee and noted that the Provost has requested a reexamination of that issue. In addition, this subcommittee looks at other faculty development strategies and benchmarking activities. With the resignation of Professor Lesgold from Council, a new chair is needed.

The Instructional Development Program subcommittee was chaired last year by Professor Harry Flechtner, and this year Professor David Bartholomae will resume the chairmanship. Dr. Blair noted that this subcommittee has oversight responsibility for all instructional development components and looks at the Summer Institutes and the continuing workshops and programs CIDDE offers during the year.

Professor Eric Beckman is chair of the Instructional Grants subcommittee, which is responsible for the Innovation in Education awards program.

Dr. Blair concluded his report by emphasizing that the full Council will be thoroughly informed of the subcommittees’ work and that decisions and recommendations will be made collectively. Among the agenda items the subcommittees should address this year, as charged by the Provost, are: (a) to review CIDDE staffing, (b) to assess the current array of faculty development programs, and (c) to implement this year’s instructional grants program and begin to formulate an evaluation framework.

Instructional Awards Program RFP Process for 2001:

In the absence of Professor Beckman, Dr. Diane Davis discussed the suggestions compiled from Council members following last year’s “decision meeting” and their incorporation into this year’s RFP. She was particularly interested in getting Council’s input and subsequent approval of the suggested timeline. Some of the suggestions include: the distribution of the RFP should be moved to earlier in the academic year, the addition of an “intent to submit” letter, the scheduling of an information session for grantwriters, and a “poster session” for award winners. Several members offered additional suggestions and/or expanded on previous recommendations, which will be taken into consideration at the next Instructional Grants subcommittee meeting, after which the final copy of the RFP will be produced.


Approval of Minutes:

Dr. Blair sought Council members’ approval of the minutes from the June 16, 2000 meeting, which subsequently were approved as written.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 noon.



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