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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

February 19, 2009


826 Cathedral of Learning




Present:A. Blair (Chair), J. Camillus, T. Derricotte, S. Engberg, J. Erlen, K. Kearns, J. McGrath, C. Singh, C. Wilcox, and J. Nicoll (Staff Liaison)



Approval of Minutes (A.Blair):

  Dr. Blair asked for a motion to approve the January 16, 2009 meeting minutes.  A motion was made and seconded, and the approved minutes will be posted to the ACIE website.

Report of the Chair (A.Blair):

  There has been a good response to the RFP this year, more than in recent years past.  The Council will meet on March 21 to review the proposals and make recommendations for funding to the Provost.  Dr. Blair thanked Council members for their good efforts in helping to promote the program.

Report of the Faculty Development Committee (K. Kearns, Chair): 


The Faculty Development Committee met on Monday, February 9.  Prof. Kearns reported that the major item for committee discussion was to approve the final details on the Summer Instructional Design Institute workshop that is scheduled for May 1.  The title this year is “Bridging the Gap between Information Gathering and Critical Thinking.”  Faculty presenters will explain their own strategies for gathering information and assessing information credibility and how to help students use the information to think critically and analytically.  A student panel with add its perspectives about challenges and opportunities to gain these important skills.  Faculty presenters from the Health Sciences and Arts and Sciences have already agreed to participate.  CIDDE staff will meet with presenters in early April to discuss the program.
Dr. Nicoll provided an update on the New Faculty Focus Groups that will be held during the week of February 24.  A protocol for the group sessions has been developed for the “Fast Track” article which has been used in previous sessions.  This will be reviewed with the facilitators (all whom are Advisory Council members) prior to the session.  Tenure-stream faculty members who are invited to attend are from schools across the University as well as from several regional campuses.  Numbers of faculty attendees to date totals 37 for the four scheduled sessions

Prof. Kearns, assisted by Dr. Nicoll, gave an update on the book and article discussions.  Four sessions were initially scheduled, but one has to be cancelled due to low enrollment, and these faculty will be scheduled for one of the other three sessions (overall, enrollment is down this term).  There will be two book and one article discussion groups.  It was suggested that the committee might look at one book and one article for the Spring term next year or to reduce the number of sessions.

Report of the Best Practices Committee (C. Singh, Chair): 

The Best Practices Committee did not meet this month due to the incompletion of the benchmarking study of CIDDE testing services.  Prof. Singh noted that it has been difficult to schedule telephone interviews with selected university representatives, but interviews with five of the ten selected AAU institutions have been completed.  Due to the scheduling difficulties, the committee considered that ten institutions may be too many, but six or seven may be enough.  The study is focusing on similarities and differences.  Several institutions’ testing services were structured like OMET.  Differences were in the area of assessment. The effort has been left open to re-contact institutions again to ask additional questions, depending on what has been learned from others, and to put together the responses from what has already been done.

Preparation for Instructional Grants Proposal Review (A. Blair): 

Dr. Blair reported that 37 proposals were submitted for the Innovation in Education Awards 2009. He explained the review process that the Advisory Council members will follow during the Saturday, March 21 session (see handout).  Council members as a group will make tentative recommendations for funded proposals at the end of the Saturday meeting.  A follow-up meeting on Tuesday, March 24 will be held to take a look at budgets in accordance with the RFP and to finalize the recommend proposals for the Provost’s consideration and approval.


With no further business, the Advisory Council adjourned at 3:05 pm.  The next regularly scheduled meetings of the Council are March 21 and 24 (proposal reviews) and Monday, April 6, 2:00 pm.

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