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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting
Date: Friday, May 6, 2003
Time: 2:30-3:30 pm
Location: Room 826 Cathedral of learning
Present: A. Blair (Chair), F. Beatrous, E. Cohn, K. Etzel, J. Harris, E. Rasmussen, P. Rogers, P. Siska, R. Wasserman, P. Wright and D. Davis (Staff Resource)

1. Approval of the Minutes:

The minutes of the April 24, 2003 meeting were distributed prior to the meeting. A motion to accept these minutes was made, seconded, and Council members subsequently approved the minutes as written.

2. Report of the Chair:

Dr. Blair reported that the Best Practices report is close to being ready for transmittal to the Provost. A cover memorandum will be prepared indicating the areas that have been selected for Council discussion during its meetings next year. Council members will also receive a copy of the report with the letter to the Provost. As a second item of his report, Dr. Blair suggested that Council discuss next year’s Innovation in Education Awards RFP in its June meeting, with the objective of having it available for promotional purposes at the New Faculty Orientation in late August, as well as for early placement on the ACIE website. The formal roll-out of the RFP will be in the Fall, prior to the Teaching Excellence Fair. He also noted that the focus groups did not indicate any problems with the RFP process itself, but did suggest a later deadline (closer to the end of January).

3. Update on Classroom Management Team (Dr. S. Conte, Chair):

Dr. Blair introduced Dr. Sam Conte, Chair of the Classroom Management Team (CMT) and University Registrar. Dr. Conte noted that he had previously met with the Planning and Benchmarking Committee last year and was pleased to provide an update on his group’s activities over the past. He informed Council that this group is responsible for all Pittsburgh campus classroom renovations, including technology upgrades (regional campuses have separate funding). Decisions to upgrade classrooms are currently guided by the 10-year plan, with priority given to undergraduate and heavily-used classrooms. Some renovations are self-financed by schools. Noting that the CMT works within several parameters, Dr. Conte briefly described the some of the recently completed campus projects.

Several Council members made comments or asked specific questions related to future room renovations that might include adaptability to other configurations to foster group and/or small group discussion, coordination of efforts with other campus groups, such as ACIE, and consideration of standard classroom practices. Dr. Conte indicated that he would be willing to talk with other committees to discuss these general suggestions, and Dr. Blair offered to identify Council members who would be willing to work with the Classroom Management Team. Dr. Conte reported that the CMT had conducted a faculty survey in the Spring term 2001that included numerous open-ended questions, to which 40.8% of those contacted responded, which shows that faculty consider classrooms to be of importance. Results of this survey are currently being tabulated and reviewed, and Dr. Conte offered to share these with Council when available. With no more comments or questions, Dr. Blair thanked Dr. Conte for updating Council on University classrooms.

4. Faculty Diversity Seminar 2003:

Dr. Blair noted that the seminar is sponsored by the Office of the Provost. Dr. Davis briefed Council on the upcoming two-week Seminar scheduled for this month, highlighting the sessions that the selected faculty Diversity Fellows would be attending.




With no other business to conduct, the meeting adjourned at 3:40 pm.




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