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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

June 1, 2005, 826 CL




826 Cathedral of Learning




A. Blair (Chair), B. Bidanda, K. Blee, P. Card, J. Grabowski, K. Linduff, N. Schor, G. Stoehr, and D. Davis

  1. Approval of the Minutes:  A motion was made for the approval of the May 5, 2005 minutes, seconded, and approved as written. 


  1. Announcements (A. Blair):  Dr. Blair noted that this is the last meeting of Council for the 2004-05 academic year and recognized a number of colleagues whose terms of service on Council are ending:  Lillian Beeson, Jonathan Harris, Steve Husted, Helene Lawson, Paul Rogers, Kuldeep Shastri, and Susan Harris Smith.  He then thanked them for their input into the Council’s activities during their terms of service, which is very much appreciated by the Chair and the Provost.


Dr. Davis then provided Council with a follow-up to last month’s discussion on recommendations from the new faculty focus groups.  In regards to support services for Mac users, she discussed this with Ms. Jinx Walton, CSSD Director, who indicated that Mac-user support is “reasonable” and gave a description of the current support that her unit provides.  She also indicated that she is willing to provide additional information as needed.  Dr. Davis also followed up on the recommendation of obtaining class rosters with photo ID, and the issuance of early ID cards, library privileges, and computing accounts for new faculty.  She informed Council that the availability of photo rosters is still being discussed in concert with the Registrar’s Office, and Dr. Blair noted that ID cards, library privileges and computer accounts can be obtained before the term begins, but department chairs must enable these services for newly-appointed faculty by submitting appropriate appointment documentation.


3.   “Report on the Innovation in Education Awards Program” Draft (A. Blair):  The draft report, circulated previously, led to additional, constructive suggestions from Council members.  Most of these addressed the presentation of the evaluation results.  He then asked members present for their reactions and advice.  Members were unanimously pleased with the report, commenting that it “validates the importance of the [Innovation in Education Awards] Program.”  Several other suggestions were also made:  One Council member thought that it should be taken to the next level, e.g., that a paper presentation at conferences would be instrumental in getting the word out about what we are doing at our University.  A second member suggested that the report might reflect on to what the fall-off in the number of proposals submitted might be attributed.  Another member noted that the current program numbers reflect NSF trends of starting out high and dropping off after a number of years.  There was a suggestion to include the data on the number of proposals received by applicants’ length of service at Pitt.  (Dr. Blair indicated that this information is available and can be inserted easily into the report.)  A final suggestion of a requirement for funded project directors to complete a session on program evaluation was briefly discussed by Council and subsequently rejected. 


Dr. Blair thanked everyone for their input and indicated that he will work with the Instructional Grants Committee as necessary to complete and finalize the report.  In conclusion, Dr. Blair asked for Council’s approval to revise the document, add the appendices, and upon completion, to send it to the Provost.  All members present agreed.


  1. Adjournment:  With no other items for discussion and the Chair noting that the Council accomplished much over the year, the meeting adjourned at 10:10 am.





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