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Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Council
(now OPID)
Spring Meeting Minutes

J.F. Friedrick Center, UW-Madison
April 6, 2000

1. Update on Strategic Plan: Completing the Process
(Discussion about UTIC's proposed name change)
2. Update on UTIC Activities and Programs
(Spring Conference, Faculty College, Department Chairs Workshop)
3. Elections of Executive Committee Members
4. Discussion of Newer Initiatives
(Faculty Development Day, Mid-Career Faculty Initiative)

Present: Dick Berke, Diane Bywaters, Lori Carrell, Linda Carpenter, Tony Ciccone, Julie Furst-Bowe, Jerry Greenfield, Mary Hampton, Doug Johnson, Nan Jordahl, Marty Loy, Penny Lyter, Renee Meyer, Ron Mickel, Dan Riordan, Erika Sander, Denise Scheberle, Tim Sewall, John Stone, Antonia Schleicher, Kay Taube, Greg Valde, Don Weber

Absent: Hal Bertilson, Bill Cerbin, Charles Collins, Cindy Graham, Cathy Helgeland, Sherrie Nicol, Bob Skloot, Greg Wise

Staff: Lisa Kornetsky, Donna Silver, Rebecca Karoff, Holly Loomis, Tammy Kempfert

Guest: Steve Bialek

  1. Update on Strategic Plan: Completing the Process

    Doug Johnson, UTICís Chair, called the annual Spring Meeting to order at 1:20 p.m., and led meeting participants in brief introductions.
  2. He then initiated discussion of UTICís ongoing Strategic Planning process, which will near completion with the Councilís approval of the revised Mission and Vision Statements, and of UTICís proposed name change. Steve Bialek, an Academic Planner with the Office of Academic Affairs who was invited to serve as facilitator for this discussion, asked Council members for their reaction to the revised documents. Debate immediately ensued over the two proposed new names for UTIC -- the Office of Professional and Instructional Development (OPID) and the Office of Advancement in Teaching and Learning (OATL). Elements of this discussion follow:

    Dick Berke voiced misgivings about both names, noting the absence of the word Council..

    UTIC Director Lisa Kornetsky explained that, among the many new names considered, the Executive Committee consciously opted for Office over Council. The Committee believes that Office better clarifies the function of UTIC as it has evolved and that, while the Council remains integral to its function, it is only one part of the entity.

    Rebecca Karoff, UTIC Communications Coordinator, added that the Executive Committee preferred Office to its alternatives because, with a new Vice President soon to be named to the Office of Academic Affairs, Office better positions UTIC on a par with other offices within UW System Administration.

    In light of Lisaís and Rebeccaís comments, Dan Riordan questioned the infrequent mention of the Council in the new Mission and Vision Statements. He noticed that the Council received mention only once in the document, and only in the last paragraph. Lisa responded that changing the name from Council to Office was not an attempt to elevate the status of the staff but rather to push for more visibility for UTIC. She added that she would continue to push for an autonomous budget, apart from the Office of Academic Affairs.

    Tony Ciccone called attention to two further changes in the language of the proposed names: first, he noted the elimination of the word Improvement from the title, which he described as operating from a preconceived deficit; and second, he mentioned that the proposed names no longer contained the word Undergraduate, which allows for UTIC to become more generally involved in System programs. He recognized, however, that the shift from the words Council to Office was the main concern for members in attendance.

    Erika Sander suggested that the Council actually acts like a Board (e.g., the Humane Society Board, to which she belongs), whereby the Council provides the general direction for the groupís activities, but the staff has the expertise to carry them out. She believes the name Office will enhance UTICís visibility, and that it makes sense for System and for the ways System communicates and operates with its constituents. Renee Meyer added that, politically and strategically, Office makes sense.

    Summarizing the comments made thus far, Steve observed that members wanted the Council itself to retain its visibility. He added that, conceptually, the new structure could be considered UTICís Office of Instructional and Professional Development.

    Doug noted that the Council itself could adopt a new name, and Don Weber suggested the Professional and Instructional Development Council as one option.

    Dick Berke offered the word Institute as an alternative to the word Office. However, Doug said that the Executive Committee had already considered Institute, along with a host of other descriptions. Office, he said, was chosen deliberately, to enhance UTICís influence within the Office of Academic Affairs.

    Donna Silver, UTICís Assistant Director, referred the Council to Page 6 of the revised Mission and Vision Statements, which she said offered an accurate description of how the Council has evolved and has been operating for approximately five years, primarily as a liaison between UW System and its campuses.

    Tony Ciccone then directed the Council to Page 1 of the Mission and Vision Statements. The first section, he said, conveys OPIDís "office-like" functions. But the second section, titled "OPIDís Guiding Principles," are values and assumptions implicit to the Council. He suggested revising the first sentence of the section to make more explicit the Councilís role. The Council generally agreed that sentence should read, "The Office, through its Council, operates on the following assumptions and values Ö"

    Kay Taube asked for Lisaís recommendations on moving the meeting forward. Lisa advised the Council to consider the two proposed names, so that staff could present the Mission and Vision Statements to Senior Vice President Dave Ward.

    Linda Carpenter stated that the name OPID is more reflective of what UTIC currently does, because its activities and interests are much broader than simply teaching and learning (as in OATL). Both names reflect the outcome of what we want our programs to do, which is to advance teaching and learning.

    Denise Scheberle supported either name but felt that the name OATL better suits UTICís mission to advocate for improved teaching and learning. She said that the Faculty Development Council, in place at UW-Green Bay, has confused some faculty members who might not understand what Faculty Development means.

    Antonia Schleicher observed that the word instructional (as in OPID) does in fact mean teaching and learning, and thus advocated the name OPID. Erika Sander, Mary Hampton, and Linda Carpenter also voiced support for changing UTICís name to OPID. Dan Riordan preferred OATL.

    Steve indicated that general consensus seemed to favor changing UTICís name to OPID, as well as revising the Mission Statement to make the Councilís role more explicit. Tim Sewall proposed the Council formalize the new name by putting the matter to a vote. Erika Sander moved to vote that UTIC be renamed OPID (and its Council). By show of hands, 18 members approved the change, and 1 did not. There were no abstentions.

    Before leaving the meeting, Steve stated his approval of the name change and the rewording of the Mission and Vision document, his main reservation being the workload it may generate for UTIC staff. Lisa replied that the changes will actually consolidate her duties in many ways.

2. Update on UTIC Activities and Programs

Following the vote over UTICís name change, Lisa proposed the Council take a short break. The meeting reconvened at 2:50, with Lisa initiating updates of upcoming UTIC Programs:

  • Lisa encouraged UTIC Reps to attend the Spring Conference on student learning, "Framing the Undergraduate Experience for the 21st Century," slated for April 7-8, 2000. John Gardner of Brevard College would present the keynote, as well as two other sessions.

  • Donna updated the Council on Faculty College 2000. The planning process for this yearís event is complete, with the exception of determining evening activities. The event will take place at UW-Richland for the first time.

  • Lisa announced projected changes to the Department Chairs Workshop program. Due to continued low attendance at the annual meeting, as well as other perceived problems with the program, she has been working with System officers to determine alternatives that would result in an improved use of resources (both of the UTIC staff and the Department Chairs).

    Along with System General Counsel, she will recommend to Senior Vice President David Ward that each campus play a more active role in training and supporting its Chairs. She also asked UTIC Reps to begin gathering feedback from their own campus Chairs to ascertain which issues currently concern them most. These issues would be addressed at an interactive video conference (in place of the annual retreat), with video tapes made available to each campus for those Chairs unable to attend. UTIC and General Counsel could revisit the program yearly to ensure that it evolves as Department Chairsí needs evolve; conferences would tentatively take place every other year. Lisa also plans for the development of a website devoted to System Chairsí concerns, which Chairs could visit when they have time and as need arises.
    These changes would considerably reduce the amount of money and staff resources previously allocated to the Chairs Workshop.

    At present, Lisa submitted five areas on which a video conference might focus:
        1. General legal questions (e.g. open meetings law, keeping records, etc.)
        2. Search and Screen process
        3. General Personnel issues
        4. Grievances & Complaints
        5. Tenure/Promotion procedures

    The Council collectively agreed that Lisa should continue to pursue the video conference as an alternative to the annual workshop. Rebecca told Council members to expect announcements of further plans via the UTIC Rep listserv.

3. Elections of Executive Committee Members

Three Council members had re-nominated themselves for the three open Executive Committee slots. Lisa called for additional nominations from the floor, to which no one responded. Erika Sander then moved that the Council vote for the three nominees -- Greg Valde, Tim Sewall, and Cathy Helgeland -- en masse. Antonia Schleicher seconded the nomination. The Council unanimously elected the three nominees to the Executive Committee.

Doug Johnson was the only nomination put forward to chair the Executive Committee and was also voted in by acclamation.

Rebecca then called attention to the Councilís Operating Procedures, which the vote by acclamation had just disregarded in not putting the election to ballot. Donna suggested the acclamation process be used when Committee seats are unopposed. Rebecca asked for objections, and none were raised. The Operating Procedures will be amended to include such a procedure for unopposed seats.

4. Discussion of Newer Initiatives

Faculty Development Day

Lisa informed the Council of UTICís newly established Faculty Development listserv, which was set up in response to feedback from Faculty Development Day. She encouraged all Reps who did not attend the event to subscribe to the list. She also provided a list of possible topics on which to focus for future Faculty Development Days, and announced an increase in available funds for UTICís Faculty Development Day initiative, which may allow for speaker honoraria.

Doug noted that the event emphasized the uniqueness of each campus and their different needs regarding professional development. Donna suggested the Council experiment with different formats for Faculty Development Day that would meet these differing needs.

Mid-Career Faculty Initiative

The Council took time to read a draft of the Mid-Career Faculty Initiative. A discussion of the Initiative raised the following themes for future consideration:

  • The proposed use of tracks. Some suggested choosing one theme or track per year. Others felt that a commitment to teaching was a common enough theme.
  • The selection process. In order to ensure fairness, it was suggested that the UTIC staff consider the nominations rather than the Provosts.
  • The term "Mid-Career." Many agreed that UTIC should consider a new title, as they felt "mid-career" carried negative connotations.
  • The actual needs of Mid-Career faculty. Council members voiced the importance of promoting the program as a reward rather than as remedial training. They also recognized that the program could not possibly serve all mid-career faculty, particularly those who suffer from career exhaustion or "burn-out." They acknowledged that some faculty would have lifestyle conflicts, and debated the necessity of a five day retreat.
  • The amount of the award. Variations of the projected $1000 stipend provided by System, with matches coming from each campus, were suggested: Provosts could supply expenses rather than matching funds; provosts could offer a course release; awards could be offered in conjunction with sabbaticals; teams of scholars could be sent to national conferences; or the scholars could end their experience with Faculty college.

Lisa encouraged Council members to continue sending their responses to the staff as this Initiative evolves. Tony Ciccone suggested the Reps specifically consider three themes or tracks for the Institute for the next three years.

Before concluding the meeting, Lisa reminded the Council that Dave Ward would present the final version of the Mission and Vision Statements at the next Provostsí Meeting. She expected to inaugurate the new name sometime in August.

Don Weber asked the Council to recognize Dick Berke, who will retire from System soon, for his years of service to UTIC. Lisa also suggested that Council members show their appreciation to Vice President Sharon James, also retiring this Spring, for her continued support of UTIC programs.

The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.


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The Office of Professional & Instructional Development, formerly UTIC, is a part of the Office of Academic Affairs, University of Wisconsin System.

URL: http://www.uwsa.edu/utic/minutes/apr00.htm.

Last updated: June 21, 2002 .