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Advisory Council Instructional Excellence
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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

Wednesday, December 3, 2003


3:00-4:00 pm, 826 C.L.


Room 826 Cathedral of learning




A. Blair (Chair), B. Bidanda, E. Cohn, S. Drescher, K. Etzel, J. Grabowski, M. Greenberg, S. Husted, K. Shastri, S. Smith, D. Wilkins, P. Wright and D. Davis (Staff Liaison)


ACIE Teaching Excellence Fair 2003 Report

1. Approval of the Minutes:

A motion was made to accept the minutes of the November 12, 2003 meeting, seconded, and unanimously approved without changes; the minutes will be published as written.

2. Report of the Chair:

Dr. Blair commented that this year’s Teaching Excellence Fair was very well organized and reasonably well attended (over 100), but does not draw the number of attendees that it deserves. Comments received from those who did attend were favorable. He noted also that the recent issue of University Times covered this event. He also drew members’ attention to another UT article on the Senate’s Plenary Session at which shared governance was the topic and Provost Maher participated as a panelist, mentioning the Advisory Council as one of the groups he has convened that helps to advise on teaching and curriculum policies.

3. Report of the CIDDE Staff Liaison:

Dr. Davis distributed a summary report on the TE Fair, which summarizes the positive reactions of attendees, as well as additional areas for Council’s consideration. The first one, changing the day of the Fair from a Friday to Wednesday and extending the time by one hour, was subsequently discussed by members present who agreed that this was doable. Further Council discussion generated additional suggestions, such as (a) target specific populations (such as TAs/GSAs) and incentives to increase attendance (e.g., continuing education credits for graduating students). Dr. Cohn suggested that more people could be involved in the planning, as was the case with Freshman Studies. Dr. Blair noted that these were good suggestions that would make an excellent agenda item for Council’s future discussion.

Dr. Davis’ report continued with the announcement that the next Provost’s Diversity Seminar will be held in May 2004. She briefly described the Seminar and noted that information on applying will be sent to Deans, Department Chairs, and prior participants asking them to identify appropriate people for this year’s Seminar. Dr. Davis also reminded members that Cathedral classrooms are being closed for renovation during the next three terms and alternate rooms are being assigned by the Registrar. This project will also impact CIDDE’s media service; consequently, she asked members to encourage affected faculty colleagues to make early arrangements for needed services/equipment.


Report of the Committee Chairs:


Dr. David Wilkins (Chair) followed up last month’s Council discussion on cohort groups with the Best Practices Committee. The Committee decided to focus on groups that were already in place, e.g., A&S’s Writing and Speaking Across the Curriculum group, with whom the Committee might meet next term to exchange information. He also suggested that the Diversity Seminar participants could be considered, as well as a possible survey of New Faculty Orientation participants to determine what topics are useful to new faculty and what topics/areas they would like to see followed up, possibly in the second term, and taking advantage of using the new portal technology for this endeavor. Professor Cohn suggested that information literacy and the extent to which students are engaged in this initiative might be considered for cohort group discussion.

Dr. Ken Etzel, Chair of the Faculty Development Committee, reported that his committee met and their first discussion item was to determine the purpose of their committee. It was agreed that their focus would be to increase the visibility of CIDDE programs by looking at what is already in place and to encourage faculty participation in the programs, possibly by developing a brochure featuring the available faculty development programs and targeting new faculty. The committee also discussed the usefulness of delivering these programs to individual schools/departments/programs. Several members commented that some of this is already being done in their unit, such as Chemistry’s formation of teaching circles that meet to discuss current issues and to share ideas, and other units have scheduled these types of discussions with other departments as well. The Committee also discussed the idea of forming a “speaker’s bureau” by identifying faculty (such as the ACIE grant awardees) who would be willing to make presentations on faculty development and other topics to faculty groups on request. Dr. Blair stated that University-wide workshops had in the past not worked as well as expected, and a school-wide focus on projects showed promise of working more effectively. Other Committee suggestions for consideration were: schedule the TE Fair earlier in the term; distribute TEF evaluations directly to attendees—do not put in packets—to generate more responses; less emphasis on technology in advertising the TEF; and more systematically engage part-time faculty in these efforts.

Dr. Steve Husted, on behalf of Dr. Peter Siska, Chair of the Instructional Grants Committee, informed Council that the Committee discussed the status of the evaluation of the awards program by going over the materials that were collected last year. Dr. Blair noted that last year’s effort concentrated primarily on the collection of data, but there are other issues to consider, e.g., the audience, impact and cost/benefit analyses. The Committee is considering a web-based questionnaire that would be sent to award winners for easy completion online. At the Committee’s next meeting, additional ideas for this effort will be sought for building on the data already collected and how to use the results of the focus groups meetings conducted last Spring.

5. Adjournment:

With no other business to conduct, the meeting adjourned at 4:09 pm.



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