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OPID Spring 2008 Meeting

J.F. Friedrick Center, Madison
March 7, 2008

Minutes

Present:  Terry Beck, Aaron Brower, Linda Carpenter, Lori Carrell, Theresa Castor, Bill Cerbin, Nancy Chick, Simone Conceicao, Maria Cuzzo, Jane Ewens, Rodd Freitag, Suzanne Griffith, Regan Gurung,Rich Hartel, Molly Immendorf, Doug Johnson, John Koker, Lisa Larson, George Smith, Terry Mannetter, Renee Meyers, Bonnie Peterson, Patricia Ploetz, Jim Robinson, Susie Sandrin, Kay Taube, Greg Valde, Steve Wright

Absent:  Alison Bunte, Wava Haney, Jane Henderson, Tim Sewall, Susan Wildermuth
 
Staff: Lisa Kornetsky, Director; Donna Silver, Assistant Director

Affiliate Members: Katina Lazarides

Guest:  Rebecca R. Martin, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

OPID’s Spring Meeting convened with a pithy word of welcome from John Koker, OPID Chair.  Before having members introduce themselves, John spoke of the article he had written in honor of Leap Year and the UW System’s LEAP Initiative.  (Here are links to John’s article and other’s that appeared around the state:
John Koker http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008803040352
Donna Silver   http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion/letters/274715
George Savage http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/column/opinion/274787
Scott Furlong http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008802290704)

Lisa Kornetsky, OPID Director, updated the Council on the following issues/activities:

  • OPID Programs:
    • OPID/IRE Cultural Diversity Symposium:  Lisa reported that this conference which will take place in Milwaukee on April 17-18.  Originally planned for 60 people, more than 100 are currently registered.
      • ACTION:  OPID Staff will provide an update of this event to the Council.
    • Analyzing Written and Spoken Data Workshop:  This April 11th workshop facilitated by the Leadership Site is designed for faculty/staff who are interested in learning about how the NVivo software can help them manipulate their SoTL data.
    • What OPID won’t be doing this Spring:
      • VSA: Lisa reminded Council members that OPID had been asked to do something on the VSA, however, the Provosts have decided otherwise.
        • ACTION: Lisa will send out contact information about the various VSA tests.
        •  We’ll discuss more about VSA at our Fall Meeting.
      • Department Chairs:  The L&S Deans had requested that OPID provide a chairs workshop on conflict resolutions.  Lisa has persuaded Rebecca Martin that a workshop of this nature would be more appropriate in the Fall. She added that maybe someone else in System other than OPID staff might coordinate the planning for this event.
    • OPID 08-09 Grants Update:   Lisa spoke about the reallocation of grant funds and how OPID gave back 40,000 or 10% of its grant budget for the Inclusive Excellence Grants.  She clarified that OPID’s RFP for this year is looking at existing campus projects or initiatives related to teaching and learning and using these successful models to “go system wide.”  OPID’s hope is that these grants will give institutions a leadership role within the System.  Four campuses said that they were submitting at least one grant.
    • CD Grants:  It has come to OPID’s attention that some campus budget and grant officers feel that small grants of this nature are more administrative trouble than they are worth.  Lisa implored Council members to let their campus grants administrators know how essential this grant program is in advancing instructional and professional development for faculty and staff.  She encouraged those having problems to contact the OPID office.
    • Lesson Study Grants:  Bill Cerbin gave out a handout (LS Training Grants).  Since 2006, 71 teams and 275 instructors representing every campus have participated in this program.  Lisa encouraged Council members both talk to those involved with Lesson Study on their campuses as well as their Provosts and other influential administrators about the value of this work.  She thought it would be wonderful if Lesson Study could be institutionalized, since it seems to be a very effective way to bring people together to talk about teaching and learning.
  • Budget:  Lisa noted that OPID grant programs dollars are vulnerable whenever there is uncertainty in the budget and that this as a real concern.  She reminded the Council how OPID made a case during the last budget crisis for saving the Faculty/Staff Allocations since those funds are also vulnerable. 
  • Search for OPID Director:   The job announcement is currently waiting for our human resources office approval.  Since this search is for an interim (1-2 year) position, it will be advertised only in the state.  Lisa said she hoped reps would urge people on their campuses to think about applying for the position.  One of the reasons for the interim appointment is due to the fact that System is undergoing a strategic planning exercise, which will probably lead to a reallocation of resources.  Rebecca Martin, Lisa reported, is committed to moving on with this search because she is supportive of the professional development work OPID does throughout the system.   Lisa spoke for the executive committee in saying their hope is to find someone who can fight for OPID and provide strong leadership.  The goal is to have someone in place by the end of June with a starting date in August, at the latest.

Elections:   Jane Henderson from UW-Stout was elected to the executive committee. 

Definition of Professional Development:  Linda Carpenter led the Council in this discussion. She handed out a chart which mapped out the historically evolving conceptions of Faculty Development as well as the POD website which defines Professional Development (http://www.podnetwork.org/faculty_development/definitions.htm).  She then posed the following questions:

  • What is the prevailing definition of faculty development on your campus?
  • How do you personally define it?
  • Is there a discrepancy between the answers to the first two questions and if so, how do we find convergence between them?
  • Where do we to go from here?

This proved to be a lively discussion.  Some felt the issue was that some administrators and faculty members are stuck in a more traditional model of professional development and have difficulty in accepting a model that puts student learning in the forefront.  When the discussion shifted to changing expectations from newer faculty, Lisa mentioned the following article: "Principles of Good Practice: Supporting Early-Career Faculty: Guidance for Deans, Department Chairs, and Other Academic Leaders" by Mary Dean Sorcinelli.  Here is a link:  http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_
nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED450634&ERICExtSearch_
SearchType_0=no&accno=ED450634

There was also some concern about the inherently negative connotation of “development” and how to combat that by finding a “hook” to encourage faculty/staff coming to your center.  Lisa ended the conversation by saying that we need to make clear to those in our administrations that faculty development can help with important campuses initiatives such as assessment.

Upon returning from lunch, Donna and John recognized Lisa, on behalf of the Council, for her 10 years of service as the Director of OPID.  She was presented with a plaque of appreciation, received many cards from the Council Members present and then we all enjoyed her “We will miss you” cake. 

Reports/Updates

  • Teaching Forum:  Lori Carrell launched into a discussion about the future of Teaching Forum
    • ACTION: she requested that OPID reps send her their campus reports as soon as possible.
    • OPID reps were asked to promote Teaching Forum at their institutions
    • Some reps were surprised to learn that TF accepts articles outside of the UW System
    • There were requests to broaden the review board, change the name so that it is more descriptive, and come up with marketing strategies
    • A committee was formed to discuss the future of this electronic journal
      • It is made up of Nancy Chick, Jane Ewens, Theresa Castor and Lori Carrell
      • ACTION: They will come back to the Executive Committee with their suggestions.
  • Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Program: Co-Directors, Jane Ewens and Nancy Chick, reminded the Council how this year we have continued to move towards a more integrated program; where we no longer have two distinct programs but one program with two tracks (i.e. tenured – pre-tenured tracks).
    • They alerted Council members to our new way of featuring the work of our Fellow/Scholars and how April 17th is Going Public Day.  On that day, Reps were not only encouraged to check out the SoTL work of their Fellows and Scholars on the OPID website, but to share that link with their provosts and other interested colleagues.
    •  Lisa asked Council Members what happens on their institutions when Fellows/Scholars fail to meet their commitments.
    • Council Members agreed to help the Co-Directors and OPID staff in holding Fellows and Scholars accountable for fulfilling their contractual obligations in the program.

Moving Forward:  Lisa then provided an overview of System Initiatives.  The challenge to OPID, she said, is to find ways to align our programs and on-going activities to the following bullets.  She acknowledged that we walk a fine line in doing our work and at the same time linking to these various initiatives.  She also pointed out what a pivotal role faculty/staff development plays in all these ventures.

  • VSA:  As System moves forward with the adoption of the VSA, OPID can be helpful in providing information on the three critical thinking tests and assisting campuses come up with new tools to measure student outcomes.
  • Inclusive Excellence:  Moving beyond Plan 2008, the Inclusive Excellence Strategies are meant to serve as a big umbrella for the many efforts to continue to create inclusive environments on our campuses.
  • NSSE: George Smith reported on the OPID NSSE Workshop.  He reminded Reps that every two years there is an opportunity to have our own questions included on the survey.
    • ACTION:  George, Suzanne, Lori, Jim and Theresa will meet to discuss what questions we might want to create.  They will report back to the Executive Committee.

Future of OPID: John Koker facilitated this discussion which centered about OPID’s involvement in these initiatives. 

  • Lori Carrell mentioned that a first step in connecting with faculty/staff would be to do a system-wide needs assessment of faculty top teaching challenges. Others mentioned that a survey could also show us faculty/staff satisfaction with current levels of faculty development support at the institutional and system level.
  • Dan Riordan felt it was important for us to recognize that each institution has its own initiatives and that issues need to connect to what the faculty are doing within their institution.
  • Aaron Brower stated that there is also the inherent problem of operating in silos whether it be within a single institution or from one institution to another within the System.
  • In terms of basic Faculty Development issues, Lori felt that OPID was good at helping people deal with nuts and bolts teaching and learning issues.  She said OPID’s strength is that our programs build community across the silo’s Aaron mentioned above.
  • Patricia Ploetz felt that OPID provides a necessary bridge between these System initiatives and campus concerns.  Campus Faculty Development works with Faculty and OPID works with the Campus Faculty Developers.
  • Lisa said the student learning outcomes assessment piece is a theme that OPID could help move forward.
  • In terms of developing our message for Rebecca Martin the following comments were made:
    • We need to convince UW System Administration and the Chancellors and Provosts that OPID is a valuable resource.
    • OPID can help System in terms of translating these initiatives for faculty/staff.
    • OPID can help make explicit what is already happening throughout the system and demonstrate how those activities advance these new initiatives.
    • OPID can help System be proactive in advancing Advantage Wisconsin and LEAP as both of these initiatives are looking at student learning outcomes which are the result of good teaching practices.

Rebecca Martin, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs joined us for the closing portion of our meeting.  We discussed how the UW System initiatives link with work that OPID is already doing. Rebecca wanted to know how System could tap into the OPID Council’s expertise. Many of the bulleted points mentioned above addressed her query.  In addition Lisa mentioned that OPID could facilitate a meeting of various system groups that are talking about LEAP.  Others mentioned how SoTL initiatives could help measure student learning outcomes.  The point was made that institutional change always take time.

The meeting was adjourned 3:45 p.m.

– Submitted by Donna Silver