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Advisory Council Instructional Excellence
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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

September 3, 2004




826 Cathedral of Learning




A. Blair (Chair), E. Cohn, J. Harris, S. Husted, H. Lawson, N. Schor, K. Shastri, P. Siska, R. Wasserman, and D. Davis (Staff Liaison)


Welcome and Introduction (A. Blair):


Dr. Blair opened the meeting by welcoming new and continuing Council members and introduction of Provost Maher and members present followed.


Provost’s Charge to Council:


Provost Maher presented a brief background on the formation of the Advisory Council and the selection criteria for appointing Council members, noting that members are known for being very effective teachers and successful researchers and are cognizant of what is involved in doing both of these well. In general, the Council advises the Provost on the means to encourage instructional development and teaching excellence University-wide, and its advice is taken seriously, as evidenced by the faculty’s participation in the high quality programs offered by CIDDE that support both the University’s and individual units’ teaching agenda. The Council is structured as a full committee with subcommittees that focus on specific areas, with every Council member serving on one of three subcommittees. The Provost also recapped notable Council achievements over the past year.

In his charge for this academic year, Provost Maher requested the following activities for Council’s attention: (a) develop and distribute an RFP for the Innovation in Education Awards Program, evaluate the proposals as has been done over the past five years, and make recommendations to him for those proposals that merit funding; (b) complete the evaluation of the impact of the awards program; (c) publicize the upcoming Teaching Excellence Fair (October 27) through various mechanisms available through the Office of the Provost and CIDDE; (d) continue to work with CIDDE and to provide advice on improving its faculty development programs. Provost Maher thanked Council members for their participation on this important committee.


Approval of the Minutes:


A motion was made for the approval of the June 7, 2004 minutes, seconded, and accepted without change by the continuing members present. These minutes will be posted on the ACIE website accordingly.


Council Committees and Membership (A. Blair):


Dr. Blair distributed a list of the current committees with continuing members, and he further explained the activities assigned to each: (a) Best Practices Committee focuses on the outcomes of the Best Practices Survey and Report (conducted by CIDDE in 2002-03) and makes recommendations to Council activities/programs for possible adoption at the University of Pittsburgh; (b) Faculty Development Committee provides advice to CIDDE on its Summer Institutes offerings and specific programs that support and enhance the professional development programs faculty have available within their own departments/schools; and (c) Instructional Grants Committee oversees the grants program in general and specifically is responsible for completing the evaluation effort this year. Dr. Blair then asked new Council members to select or indicate a preference for the committee on which they would like to serve.

5. Innovation in Education Award 2004 RFP (A. Blair):
  Dr. Blair briefly explained how the RFP is distributed and the review process. He asked Council to review last year’s document and to submit suggestions for improvement. It is expected that the RFP will be ready for distribution to University faculty next month, coinciding with the Teaching Excellence Fair on October 27. The RFP 2005 will be a discussion item for the October Council meeting.

6. Teaching Excellence Fair (D. Davis):
  Dr. Davis and her CIDDE colleagues have begun to organize the Teaching Excellence Fair which, this year, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 27, 9:00am-1:00pm. She noted that this is a change in the day from Friday to Wednesday, as recommended by Council last year. This event was initiated specifically to highlight the projects funded under the Innovation in Education Awards program and to share the results with colleagues and other faculty. In addition to the project presentations, the Fair also includes other activities, such as discussion groups focusing on teaching and demonstrations of instructional technologies. There will also be a table staffed by Advisory Council members, who will be available to answer questions about submitting proposals for funding in May 2005 and to distribute copies of the RFP 2005.

7. Faculty Development Services (J. Grabowski):
  Dr. Grabowski, as a continuing member of the Faculty Development Committee, reported on a new CIDDE brochure that was developed in response to a recommendation of the Faculty Development Committee. He described the brochure as the best way to publicize the opportunities and resources that CIDDE offers to faculty. All of this information is available on the CIDDE website as well. Dr. Grabowski also noted that CIDDE personnel are available to individual school and department faculty members to determine specific needs and to offer assistance with faculty development issues.

8. ACIE Webpage: Photos of New Members (A. Blair):
  Dr. Blair called members’ attention to the Advisory Council’s website, in particular to the “Members” section. He noted that arrangements have been made for new members to have digital photographs taken by CIDDE’s Photographic Services, which will be posted on this site. Instructions were distributed, and members were encouraged to do this as soon as possible.

9. Other Business:
  Dr. Davis distributed a brief summary of the Summer Instruction Development Institutes 2004 that included a description of each course, participant feedback, and outcomes from the initiatives pursued during these sessions.

10. Adjournment:
  With no other business for discussion, the meeting adjourned at 9:50 am.




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