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Advisory Council Instructional Excellence
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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

April 16, 2007


826 Cathedral of Learning




A. Blair (Chair), S. Albrecht, R. Brand, P. Card, J. Johnston, McNeil, L. Yaich and D. Davis (Staff Liaison)



Approval of the Minutes (A. Blair):


Dr. Blair asked for a motion for approval of the February 14, 2007 meeting minutes, which was made, seconded, and accepted as written. However, after the meeting, it was noted by the Council Chair that the names of and references to the two committee chairs were reversed; these were subsequently corrected. The corrected minutes will be posted to the ACIE website.


Debriefing: Innovation in Education 2007 Awards Review Process (A. Blair):

Dr. Blair reported that Provost Maher approved the Advisory Council’s recommendation to fund 11 projects for 2007. The project directors have been notified, and an article describing the projects appeared in the April 9 issue of the Pitt Chronicle. Statistics on all funded projects were distributed for all years. The tables included: number of proposals submitted/funded and % funded by academic unit; number of proposal submissions/funded and total funding by year; funded project directors’ years of service by award year; and funded project directors’ tenure status by award year. These tables originally appeared in the “Innovation in Education Awards Evaluation Report,” submitted to the Provost in June 2005 and, at Council’s request, these tables are updated each year. The tables show that again proposals have been submitted from units across the entire University and that this year there was an increase in the number of proposals submitted, which could be attributed to efforts to publicize the program through various mechanisms (advertising in the University Times, and e-mails to deans, department chairs, and CIDDE liaisons). A discussion of the review process elicited the following comments: it should be made clearer that the Council views submissions as falling into two types: (1) those that are developmental projects and (2) those that are more amenable to traditional evaluation. One Council member suggested a link in the RFP to the new ACIE webpage (under the Awards Program section), “Project Outcomes by Discipline,” which is now complete, with project descriptions and summaries of the outcomes of the funded projects, some of which used traditional measurement techniques while some were developmental in nature.


Report of Best Practices Committee (P. Card):

Professor Card distributed the New Faculty Forums Report – Spring 2007, noting that the goal of the program is to invite new tenure-stream faculty to attend informal discussion sessions of various topics, with the purpose of determining “What does it take to help a new faculty member?” The Spring session discussion topic was based on an article, “The Quick Starters,” which focused on critical success factors for new faculty. Feedback on the content of the sessions, as well as to gather comments and suggestions for future sessions, was solicited from the participants. The committee concluded that the sessions have been successful in the sense that these have brought new faculty from across schools/departments together, allowing them an opportunity to share experiences with peers, and making them aware of new methods of teaching and learning. A suggestion by two Council member moderators was made to follow-up with participants after one year. Based on the participants’ feedback and the comments from moderators, the committee recommends that this initiative continue, using the single session format adopted this past year, and to inform participants about other initiatives that are being offered across the University (for example, the Summer Instructional Development Institute, Survival Skills Workshop, etc.). The committee suggested that a letter might be sent to deans and chairs summarizing the outcomes of the NFF this year, and it will provide a draft letter for this purpose. Although one session was held via distance mode, the committee does not recommend an expansion of this program to the individual Regional Campuses on-site, observing that it would be difficult to recruit facilitators/moderators.


Report of the Faculty Development Committee (S. Albrecht):

Professor Albrecht distributed the Faculty Book and Article Discussion Report (Spring 2007), noting that this is the second year of this initiative. To accommodate a number of faculty who were placed on a waiting list for the sessions, an extra session was offered. Professor Albrecht noted that participants represented schools campus-wide and that responses were positive. There was a consensus that due to time constraints, future sessions should focus on selected book chapters or articles rather than an entire book.


Report of the Staff Liaison (D. Davis):

Dr. Davis reported that the next Learning Technology Consortium meeting is scheduled for April 18-20 at the University of Delaware. The University of Pittsburgh will host the Fall 2007 meeting. Information, ideas, and current learning technology practices at member universities will be shared, and Dr. Davis will bring the collective thinking on these issues back to Council at a future meeting.





With no further business, the Advisory Council adjourned at 5:00 pm. The next regular Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15, 11:00 am, 826 CL.

2008 Advisory Council Instructional Excellence. University of Pittsburgh. All Rights Reserved.
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