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Advisory Council Instructional Excellence
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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

September 8, 2009


826 Cathedral of Learning




Present:A. Blair (Chair), J. Brodsky, P. Brusilovsky, N. Day, S. Deitrick, A. Godley, M. Gubar, P. Gupta, A. Humphrey, P. Manning, D. Marsh, C. Newhill, M. Ripoll, R. Venkataramanan, C. Golden (Staff Liaison), and Provost J. Maher



Welcome and Introduction of Members (A. Blair):


Dr. Blair welcomed new and continuing members of the Advisory Council, noting that about one-third of Council is new.  He then introduced Provost James Maher, who gave Council its charge for this academic year (2009-10).


Provost's Charge to Council (J. Maher):


Provost Maher gave a brief history of the creation of the Advisory Council, noting that its main agenda is to advise the Provost on the means to encourage instructional development and teaching excellence at the University of Pittsburgh; to oversee the Innovation in Education Awards program; and to advise the Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education (CIDDE) which sponsors programs and provides assistance to faculty to enhance teaching.  Provost Maher also noted that CIDDE has a central role in the delivery of distance education.  Two online professional Masters programs are rolling out this academic year in the schools of Education and Nursing, and proposals are being submitted for two more next year.

In his charge, Provost Maher asked Council to continue its work in developing and distributing the Innovation in Education Awards Program’s RFP to increase the number of proposals submitted.  Council should continue the New Faculty Focus Groups series which builds upon the exchanges among faculty across academic units that focus on instructional support needs of the faculty and foster awareness of the many resources available to faculty through CIDDE, its programs and workshops.  He also encouraged Council to continue to sponsor the upcoming October 21 annual Teaching Excellence Showcase and to assist in publicizing this event by encouraging colleagues to attend.  And, lastly, to become aware of teaching issues within individual schools across the campus and to look for ways to assist their faculty in enhancing instruction.

In closing, Provost Maher thanked members for their willingness to elevate the status of teaching and to promote discussions on teaching University-wide.  (Provost Maher then left the meeting.)


Approval of the Minutes (A.Blair):


Dr. Blair next asked for a motion from continuing Council members for approval of the June 1, 2009 meeting minutes, which was offered, seconded, and accepted as written.  The minutes will be posted to the ACIE website.


Report of the Chair (A. Blair):


(1)  Council Committees:  A list of the three Advisory Council committees (Faculty Development; Best Practices Implementation, and Instructional Grants) was distributed to members, along with the statement of the responsibilities of the committees.  Dr. Blair noted that there are two standing committees (Best Practices and Faculty Development) that meet regularly and then asked new members to select one of the two committees on which they would like to serve.  Dr. Blair noted that the committees report on their activities at full Council meetings and also provide agenda items for full Council discussion.

(2)  RFP 2010:  A copy of last year’s RFP was distributed for reference.  Dr. Blair noted that this year’s RFP will need to be sent out soon so that it can be available for the Teaching Excellence Showcase on October 21.  He noted that the document has been “tweaked” over the past nine years and that any changes beyond submission and award dates should not be necessary.  However, if any member has a comment or suggestion, these may be sent to him directly.

Report of the Staff Liaison (C. Golden):

Dr. Blair formally introduced Ms. Golden, who is the newly-appointed Director of CIDDE (effective August 1, 2009).  Ms. Golden began her brief report by indicating that she recognized the importance of Council to CIDDE and is looking forward to Council’s advice on CIDDE’s programs and activities.  She then distributed several handouts for upcoming events and services; the first was this year’s brochure on the Teaching Excellence Showcase that will be held on October 21 in Alumni Hall; the second was a brochure on the two new Pitt online programs; and the third was a schedule of CIDDE’s fall workshops.   She also announced that the October issue of the Teaching Times will feature the Innovation in Education projects funded for the 2009-2010 academic year.  Ms. Golden has already been reviewing the Center’s services and is working with CIDDE staff on several upcoming issues, including how to  handle a possible influx in the use of Blackboard during the G-20 Summit and an increase in absences due to the H1N1 flu.  She and the staff will be redesigning the CIDDE website to make it more “customer” oriented and will report more on this effort at an upcoming meeting.


With no further business, the Advisory Council adjourned at 11:00 am.  The next Council meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 16, 2:00 pm, 826 CL.

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