Week 15 - our final week of classes and about to head into a fury of test giving and grading before the holiday break. I wanted to pass on some of my reflections from this semester and provide a tentative road map for the New Year.
In addition to the good work you do in the classroom, we have continued to make great progress in a number of areas: student retention planning and efforts are going exceedingly well, we continue to have important conversations about our curriculum and new course offerings, 15 faculty were involved in pilot classroom observation groups to discuss and improve their teaching pedagogy, faculty continue to accomplish great things with their scholarly endeavors (as we have seen from our weekly newsletter, faculty colloquia, and sabbatical talks), we are moving ahead with the next stage of planning for renovations to the Mund Center, and we begin to think about our self-study for the 10-year Middle States review process.
Looking ahead to the spring semester, we will be continuing and completing faculty searches for the departments of Art and Art History, Biology, Business Administration, English, Math, Physical Therapy, Spanish as well as the position of associate dean in academic affairs. The Education Department has completed a search started last spring, and the library has just completed a search for a new access librarian. You will learn more about these two new colleagues when they start their work with us this January. We will continue the important work on the Faculty Policy Manual through FSPC and larger faculty discussions, and with the assistance of Shannon Brandt, will begin developing a more comprehensive student advising system. The Middle States Self-Evaluation process will include the structuring of a steering committee and working groups, the completion of a self-study design, and a visit from our Middle States liaison sometime in March or early April. Lots to do, but I look forward to working with you on these and other initiatives in the upcoming semester.
In closing, let me reiterate that your work as teachers, scholars, and service to the college is valued and very much appreciated. I continue to learn a lot in this new position and thank all of you for your assistance with that process.
Enjoy the remainder of the fall semester.
VPAA/Dean of the Faculty