Correspondence to Dennis Showers, School of Education, South 222C, firstname.lastname@example.org, 245-5264
Note: Page numbers indicate pages as per the paper copy of the Bulletins.
January 30, 2007Agenda for Senate Meeting on December 5, 2006
Reports of the Standing Committees of the Senate
Undergraduate Curricula Meg StoleeUndergraduate Policies Ed Wallace
Graduate Academic Affairs Susan Salmon
New Program – Second ReadingMaster of Science in Education: Teaching in Multicultural Education (Grades 1-6)
Revised Courses – Second Reading
EDUC 501: Foundations of Education: Philosophical and Psychological Assumptions about the Nature of Learning
EDUC 503: Foundations of Education: School and Society
CURR 530: Language Arts Methods for the Elementary School
CURR 531: Multicultural Social Studies Methods for the Elementary SchoolCURR 532: Mathematics, Science, and Technology Methods in the Elementary School I
EDUC 560: Theory and Practice of Multicultural Education: subtitle
EDUC 401: Philosophy of Multicultural EducationEDUC 479: Creating a Multicultural Classroom
Minutes of the Faculty Affairs Committee meeting
Attendance: I. Bosch, A. Gu, D. Levy, J. Lovett, R. McKnight, J. McLean, J. Morse (Chair), J. Olodart, A. Stanley, D. Youhess, Y. Zhang, J. Zook.
Guests: C. Renner, K. Conway-Turner
J. Morse called the meeting to order at 4:00.
Minutes from 7 November 2006 meeting were approved unanimously.
(a) Ongoing online administration of SOFIs
•C. Renner reported that she had met with every department but SOTA and Philosophy (each opted out of meeting with her) earlier in the semester to discuss the transition to the online administration. In addition, there have been e-mails addressing the pilot and the new online administration of SOFIs. Things have been going smoothly. As of today, 24% of the evaluations have been completed; although they do anticipate a slow down over the course of the administration, there is hope that there will be an overall good response rate.
•K. Conway-Turner has met with students (incl. AAC); they assured her that students would complete these online—it is a familiar format for them. D. Youhess, a student member of FAC, reported that he finds the online system to be convenient; he also finds valuable having as much time as he wishes to complete the forms.
•They do anticipate some problems: e.g., how to deal with individual lessons in music (something they did not anticipate). This semester’s administration of the SOFIs will be reviewed at the end of the semester to identify such problems and to address how to solve them.
•This semester’s SOFI results will be available on January 16; in the future, results can be available significantly earlier (within 48 hours of the close of final exams), but this semester, the College has requested some special reports about the overall administration, and these take some time to generate.
• The online system will provide instructors with additional options for kinds of summary feedback that were not available with the old paper-and-pencil administration (e.g., summary results by gender, or by class year). There is still space for written responses regarding each statement. Once students hit the “submit” button, they can make no changes; cannot save “drafts.” No student identifier linked to each particular online form, in order to ensure anonymity.
•Various members of FAC expressed some worries about the online administration of the SOFIs. Some wondered if the pilot held last spring was enough to assure that such a shift was appropriate. Others worried that the external vendor’s encouragement of “enticements” to complete the evaluations are problematic. In addition, there were worries about the possibility of students who have withdrawn from classes completing evaluations (the system does not allow this), about “cost shifts” for printing completed evaluations, and about burdening personnel committees with too many comments if students in fact use the time available to them to write more than they now do. Finally, some worried about the stated objective of maintaining high overall response rates; there are other factors to consider.
•K. Conway-Turner responded to each of these worries. The pilot last spring went quite well; moreover, our vendor has an outstanding reputation of working with clients to address specific needs. She does not suggest doing anything to “entice” students to complete the evaluations other than verbally encouraging them to do so; some students she had met with wanted her to mandate that they complete them by, e.g., holding grades if they don’t, but she sees no need to do this as long as overall response rates remain high. She has considered the possibility of electronic submission of SOFIs during review processes for renewal, continuing appointment, and promotion; this would avoid the “cost shift.” Moreover, downloading and storing completed SOFIs is a good idea. Finally, J. Zook commented that, from a personnel committee perspective, the new format actually makes it easier because it is possible to generate collated comments.
(b) IDEA short form pilot/trial
•K. Conway-Turner reported that she has been thinking about how to implement this recommendation (that passed College Senate during Spring 2006). She wants to wait for the new online administration to “settle,” so as not to confuse with too many different things. She is considering a pilot in which people volunteer, not to include people coming up for review in the next few years (to avoid problems arising out of different instruments), but that would involve people from different disciplines. There is already anxiety among faculty as some think that the online administration has already been a change of instrument.
•J. Morse reminded that we could use the “old” SOFI questions as the optional questions (that we could require this at the start) on the IDEA short form; she also suggested that we could use both forms, unless that is too much to ask of students.
•In general, K. Conway-Turner is receptive to changing the form (although she does have problems with the IDEA form—not that she has ever seen a perfect form!); she does believe that the selection of the form is a faculty decision, but that the selection of the form would have to be the result of careful deliberation. Specifically, she worries that IDEA seems to score differently for different disciplines.
•I. Bosch wondered if we could “phase in” any new form. K. Conway-Turner responded that this would be hard.
•J. Morse asked if we should consider taking advantage of the “question bank” provided by our current online vendor, as a way of developing our own form, but in a way that would be superior to the current SOFI. K. Conway-Turner replied that this is a possibility.
(c) Per-Form recommendation from the Task Force Report
•The President has asked that K. Conway-Turner look at this; she has given it to Department Chairs and an additional subcommittee. Chairs are concerned about what to do with “service” and how to embed it in the two categories on the proposed form. There are also concerns about what to do with service that isn’t related to teaching. In some ways, she sees the concept of the Per-Form as a step forward, but it does introduce concerns that would be problematic. We might take some things from the Per and add back in service as a separate category. She would like feedback from FAC on the issue.
•J. Zook asked if advisement should be still an additional category. K. Conway-Turner replied that advisement falls under teaching. J. Morse asked if there should be a way to document advisement activities. K. Conway-Turner has asked the Advisement Task Force to address this kind of issue. J. Morse noted that FAC should thus avoid duplicating this work.
At this point, our guests left the meeting. We briefly took up two additional items of old business.
(d) A. Gu presented a draft statement concerning the limited investment opportunities available to faculty. Since this issue is better handled by the Union, it was proposed that his statement be forwarded to M. Stolee as a negotiation issue; however, it was decided that even the act of forwarding the statement should not “officially” come from FAC, as this issue seems to be outside the purview of FAC. (Report from J. Morse on this issue: shortly after the meeting, I forwarded the statement to M. Stolee as a possible issue for negotiations.)
(e) J. Morse updated the Committee on the Policy/Procedures for Classroom Evaluations. She reported that K. Conway-Turner requested a copy of the Policy and Procedures earlier in the day, while at the meeting of the Executive Committee, and stated that she would distribute it at the next Chair’s meeting.
New Business: we will continue to mine the Task Force report for work; specifically, we might consider developing a rubric for Contributions to the Discipline. We can also discuss the Per-Form to give feedback to the Provost (per her request). There might be still other things within the report to operationalize. We will resume in January; we will continue to hold meetings the Tuesday of the week before Senate meetings.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 5:14.