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OPID Spring 2009 Meeting

Pyle Center, Madison
February 27, 2009


Present:  Aaron Brower, Bob Eierman, Lori Carrell, Bill Cerbin, Nancy Chick, Simone Conceicao, Jane Ewens, Rich Hartel, Rex Hieser, Peggy James, Doug Johnson, John Koker, Renee Meyers, Bonnie Peterson, Patricia Ploetz, Dan Riordan, Jim Robinson, George Smith, Wendy Stankovich, Joanne Wilson, Steve Wright, Greg Valde

Absent: Maria Stalzer Wyant Cuzzo, Gary Don, Heidi Fencl, Suzanne Griffith, Regan Gurung, Jane Henderson, Molly Immendorf, Terry Mannetter, Betsy Morgan, Kay Taube, Susan Wildermuth

Staff: La Vonne Cornell-Swanson, Interim Director; Donna Silver, Assistant Director

Guests: Stephen Kolison, UW System; Lorna Wong, UW System

OPID’s Spring meeting convened at 10:00 a.m. with a word of welcome from
La Vonne, OPID’s Interim Director.  Council members introduced themselves to Stephen Kolison, Associate Vice President for Academic and Faculty Programs.

Stephen spoke of his support of professional development and how he views OPID as a central advocate for faculty/staff development within the UW System. He challenged Council members to look at OPID’s entire portfolio to identify existing signature programs, as well as new programs that would contribute to OPID’s state and national reputation as a leader in System-wide faculty/staff development programs. 

Questions from Council members focused on the budget.  Stephen felt that we should continue looking forward so that we would be ready to act on new programs when the opportunity arises in the future.  He called on the Council to document the successes of OPID, especially in the role it plays as developing the future academic leaders within the UW System.  A request was made from the Council, for Stephen to advocate for the support of Faculty Development in general and the role that Teaching and Learning Centers play on individual campuses when he meets with the provosts.

Lorna Wong, Interim Director of Learning Technology Development, was our next guest.  She explained how she and La Vonne were charged with looking for ways that these two offices can work together in the broad realm of professional development.  Our common ground is the focus on improving student learning.  Given the current budget it is timely to explore collaborative projects.

Lorna’s presentation was followed by a “Next Steps” for OPID exercise.

The questions Council members were asked to consider were the following:

  1. How do we bring the results of the WTFS project full circle? (writing and publishing)
  2. How do we tap what we know about teaching and learning generated through SoTL research that is available? (reflection on teaching and informed teaching practice)
  3. How do we improve professional development in the use of technologies for advancing teaching and learning? (better engage teaching and learning technology resources on our campuses)
  4. Is/should SoTL be a relatively large or relatively small part of Faculty Development (efforts to improve teaching and learning) or a small or large subset thereof.

In terms of the first question:  discussion ranged from exploring the possibility of extending the WTFS program to 2 years, where the second year would be devoted to writing up SoTL work, to supporting regional workshops to disseminate projects, either thematically or discipline based.

Questions 2 and 4 merged together in a discussion that ended up looking at how broadly or narrowly we define SoTL work.

Regarding question three, the consensus was that the focus in professional development should be on technology in the classroom that is most easily used by faculty/staff to promote teaching and learning.

After lunch John Koker, chair of the Executive Committee, explained that there will be 4 out of the 5 Executive Committee slots opened when we hold our elections in the Spring. The current members of the Executive Committee proposed to the Council that Nancy Chick remain on the committee for one more year in order to re-establish a balance of terms.

    • ACTION: Rex moved that Nancy continue for one more year, Simone seconded the motion and the Council affirmed by acclamation.

John went on to explain that the elections will be held electronically. In March a call will go out for nominees and then the elections will follow.  Once the Executive Committee for 2009-10 is identified, another electronic election will take place to select a chair for the committee.  John encouraged, as did other Executive Committee members present, Council members to nominate themselves for the 3 open slots.


  • CLA in The Classroom.  La Vonne, passed out flyers announcing the remaining two of these regional faculty/staff development opportunities and encouraged reps to identify participants
  • Spring Conference.  La Vonne, again encouraged reps to support this event by working with their Provosts in identifying participants.
  • Faculty CollegeDonna Silver, directed reps to the Faculty College brochure in their meeting packets.  She will send out a link to the pdf version for reps to distribute.
    • ACTION: Reps that would like actual paper brochures should contact Donna and she’ll send them out.
  • Budget Report.  La Vonne reiterated Stephen’s support of OPID and said that she was currently involved in an exercise to prioritize our programs in the event we are asked to give up some of our funding.
  • Faculty Developers Project.  Patricia reported that a sub-group of the Council, Directors of teaching and learning centers, has met twice since our Fall meeting.  Once via conference call and once face-to-face earlier today. One concern of the group is finding ways to support and sustain their centers during the current budget biennium.  There was some discussion of whether this group should become its own entity or become a standing committee.  The concern is to have a group that has some clout on a system level in arguing for the importance of local teaching and learning centers.  This discussion was tabled for the sub-group to discuss further, since the proposed changes would mean re-writing OPID’s operating procedures.
  • Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Program.  Jane and Nancy informed the Council that the 2009-10 class of WTFS is made up of 18 Fellows and 13 Scholars, from 15 different disciplines.  The co-directors are currently working on a detailed syllabus for the year.  They reported that the current group of WTFS is in the process of peer review telephone conferences and will be presenting their posters at the Spring Conference.
  • Leadership Site.  Renee updated the Council on the activities of the Leadership Site.  Last week they had a full workshop on analyzing data.  She suggested that reps might want to contact those who attended the workshop from their campuses to see if they would be willing to share the information with their colleagues.  Renee also said that she’ll be doing a Threshold Concepts workshop at the OPID Spring Conference which would be followed by a year-long initiative on Threshold Concepts.  She encouraged reps to check out the Leadership website which is currently being updated for additional programs and resources.
  • Lesson Study. Bill reported that 18 teams received small grants last year and that the reports are currently coming in.  He mentioned that currently 4 campuses (UW-Whitewater, Colleges, UW-Stout and UW-Green Bay) are undertaking additional Lesson Study Projects
  • NSSE Update. George Smith provided Council members with an update on his work with NSSE to create a set of issues for the next NSSE Survey. Since our last meeting the UW System has decided that this survey will be given every third year, as opposed to alternating years.  This will allow for the same set of students to be surveyed as first year students and then again in their last year. 

The Council adjourned its Spring Meeting at 3:00 p.m. 

– Submitted by Donna Silver