Professor Albrecht reported that the Committee met on December 4, 2007 and discussed several topics (minutes of this Committee meeting were also distributed). First, was the upcoming Summer Instructional Development Institutes that will be held on May 8, 2008. The Committee has selected “Mentoring Student Research” as this year’s topic. Dr. Joanne Nicoll (CIDDE) will contact Vice Provost Beeson, as suggested by Dr. Blair earlier, for her assistance in structuring the session. Several Council members had comments relevant to the topic; in particular, one member raised the issue of availability of funds to pay students for this kind of activity. However, the main focus of the discussion was on incorporating student research as part the academic process at a comprehensive research university such as the University of Pittsburgh.
The Committee also reviewed last year’s report on the New Faculty Forums and its purpose. Dates for this academic year’s Forums are January 28, 29, 30 and 31, with the latter dates reserved for ITV sessions. All new tenure-stream faculty will be invited to attend as well as new tenure-stream faculty from last year who were unable attend. Discussion leaders are being sought in addition to Profs. Albrecht and Kearns, who have already agreed to lead a session.
Prof. Albrecht reported on the CIDDE “Learning Opportunities for Faculty” Fall workshops. She noted that attendance has increased due to new efforts at publicizing these throughout the term. A summary of the Fall Instructional Design Workshops was distributed for Council members’ information. It was also noted that individual workshops have been scheduled to assist faculty users of Blackboard in converting course content to be compatible with the newly-upgraded version, 7.3, as well as the new Content System component.
Another item on the Committee’s agenda was the Faculty Book Discussions. “Ethics within the Curriculum” is being considered as the topic. Dr. Blair reminded members that this needs to be agreed on by the next meeting in order for these sessions to be scheduled and offered during the Spring term 2008. Prof. Kearns commented that he has engaged in informal discussions on ethics with other faculty in other schools and at other universities and this is an area of great interest nationally as well.