UTIC September Retreat

Wisconsin Center, September 6-7, 1996


Present: Richard Berke, Amy Bechtum, Joan Bischoff, David Blankinship, William Cerbin, Theresa Chinnery, Anthony Ciccone, Esther Fahm, Rex Fuller, Rene Gratz, Suzanne Griffith, Shelly Haag, Catherine Helgeland, Douglas Johnson, Nan Jordahl, Lisa Kornetsky, Charles Matter, Ronald Mickel, Judy Paul, Erika Sander, Hal Schlais, Tim Sewall, Alan Shucard, Robert Skloot, Jerry Stark, Kay Taube, Donald Weber, David Zierath

Absent: Linda Carpenter, Dewitt Clinton, Terry Gibson, Janet Malone, David Staszak, James Taylor

Staff: Susan Kahn, Director; Donna Silver, Program Coordinator; Rebecca Karoff, Communications Coordinator; Tammy Kempfert, Program Assistant

Friday Guests: Sally A. Standiford and Mary-Alice Muraski, UW-River Falls


The September Retreat began with an orientation session for new members, led by the UTIC Staff, the Executive Committee, and the Council Committee chairs. The purpose of this orientation was to familiarize new members with the history, mission, structure, budget and staffing of the Council, as well as to introduce members to UTIC programs and initiatives.


The September Retreat convened at 1:10 p.m. William Cerbin of UW-La Crosse, Chair of the Council, welcomed UTIC members to the first meeting of the academic year 1996-97. After members introduced themselves, Bill provided an overview of the retreat agenda.

For the first faculty development component of the Retreat, the Council broke into three groups to discuss the article, “Making a Place for the New American Scholar,” by Eugene Rice, Scholar-in-Residence and Director, AAHE Forum on Faculty Roles and Rewards. Each group was given a list of discussion questions and told to focus at least some of their discussion on what UTIC might or should be doing to facilitate the kind of place for the “New American Scholar” articulated by Rice.

After a short break, Nan Jordahl, Sally A. Standiford, and Mary-Alice Muraski from the UW-River Falls reported to the group about a Professional Development Conference on Teaching, Learning, and Technology, which was held on their campus August 28-29, and was in part sponsored by a UTIC Conference Follow-up Grant. The conference offered several hands-on demonstrations of available instructional technologies, as well as a roundtable session with members of the campus community to determine institutional needs, fears, and concerns with IT. Professors Standiford and Muraski also reported on their design of a course, funded by an Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Grant and offered this fall, entitled “Teaching and Learning Through Information Technology.” The ultimate goal of the course is to prepare students to mentor faculty in infusing discipline-appropriate technology into courses they are teaching.

Before the meeting adjourned for the day, Doug Johnson and Susan Kahn discussed institutional strategies for strengthening UTIG proposals. Ron Mickel was asked to describe the grant review process developed by his campus, UW-Eau Claire, as a model others on the Council might consider promoting at their campuses. At UW-EC, grants are screened by members of the NET (Network for Excellence in Teaching). Proposers are often encouraged to go through several re-writes before the proposals are approved to be sent on to the UTIG program. Ron noted that this was a more proactive method of intervening in the whole process. In the discussion that followed, Council members suggested that posting abstracts of recently funded proposals on UTIC’s homepage would give interested faculty an idea of what UTIG funds. One member suggested compressed video as a medium by which campus reviewers could discuss with the UTIC staff whatever problems and questions arise from the process.

The meeting at the Wisconsin Center adjourned at 4:45. David J. Ward, UW System Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, then hosted a reception for UTIC reps on the 19th floor of Van Hise Hall. The evening ended with members dividing into smaller groups and going out to dinner.


The meeting reconvened at 9:10 a.m..

After a brief word from Chairman Bill, the Council broke up to meet in committees.

At 11:00, the group reconvened to hear committee reports and discuss business pertinent to the entire Council.

Susan urged members to volunteer to serve on the UTIG System Review Committee and the Conference Development Grant Committee. She also asked for people to volunteer to be observers for Faculty College 1997, to be held at UW Center-Marinette, May 29-June 1.

Committee Reports:

Professional Development

The committee began by discussing the selection process for the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows program, which led to a broader discussion of what information would help UTIC reps do their jobs back on their own campuses. The committee then identified one specific task to accomplish for this academic year: to create a handbook that would provide UTIC reps with strategies for disseminating information about UTIC programs on their own campuses.

After a brief review of UTIC’s programs for the year (e.g., Faculty College, the Department Chairs Workshop, the Faculty Roles and Rewards Conference in April), the committee discussed a draft document which outlines the roles and responsibilities of UTIC representatives. A revised draft should be ready for the entire Council’s approval at either the November or the March meeting.

Before closing, the committee began to touch briefly upon the possibilities for UTIC in responding to the ORB on Aging Faculty.

Faculty Roles and Rewards

Lisa Kornetsky reported that the committee had a free-ranging conversation on the Faculty Roles and Rewards Initiative. The committee reviewed the history of the initiative and then discussed the upcoming UTIC FRR conference to be held April 11-12 in Madison. Suggestions for the planning committee to consider were: 1) make sure the conference has plenty of clear institutional examples/models of what is working; 2) work in some way to strengthen campus teams so that the national conversation begins to take place on individual campuses; and 3) have an important UW System person speak at the conference to give a clear picture of the issues surrounding the role of the system in this initiative.

The committee also suggested that the faculty development activity at the November meeting focus on the AAHE-sponsored UW-Madison Peer Review Project, and that we ask James Taylor, the Madison UTIC rep. involved in the project, to facilitate that discussion. There was also some interest, sparked by the United Council’s UTIC rep., Amy Bechtum, in having the Council address advising issues, possibly by finding examples of how faculty are rewarded for their advising efforts.


Doug Johnson enumerated the ideas this committee considered for strengthening the UTIG program: 1) get more information back to the campuses; in particular, make available the abstracts from successful, i.e., funded grant proposals; 2) send lists of past UTIG System Review Committee members to the campuses and encourage the appointment of those people to the internal campus review teams; 3) look into the possibility of restructuring the grants to include multi-year proposals; 4) consider the difficulty in administering the budgets of collaborative projects, perhaps as a major reason for the decline in the number (and quality?) of proposals received in recent years.

The possibility of moving more funds from UTIG into the Conference Development Grant Program was discussed, given that the latter program provides a “big bang for the buck.” Doug and others responded that the funds for UTIG are small enough as it is; to take away more from the program could really weaken it. On the other hand, the committee was pleased with the $20,000 set aside for follow-up grants to the UTIC technology conference. This funding situation is an ongoing dilemma.


Suzanne Griffith reported that after listening to updates on System budget plans, and on Hal Schlais’s endeavors, the committee developed a list of future activities and recommendations for the Council. They are as follows: 1) UTIC should consider sponsoring a one-day-long Best Practices Conference; 2) UTIC should consider doing another round of follow-up grants focused on technology; 3) the committee should survey campus teams to see what they are doing and to poll them on what they would like UTIC to be doing; 4) the committee should explore creating a unique UW System model of networking focused on technology, teaching and learning, instead of just adopting some version of the AAHE Roundtable model; and 5) the committee encouraged UTIC to have one of the seminars at Faculty College explore the use of technology in the service of teaching and learning. The committee also hoped to activate its listserv: it already exists but nobody except Kay and Rebecca are subscribed!

Chuck Matter also wanted the committee and the Council to consider the issues of instructional technology and faculty development. With changes happening almost on a daily basis, the need for support increases exponentially, thereby making long-range, strategic planning in this area a necessity.

New Business

Dick Berke was concerned that the Council not lose track of its mission to focus on teaching improvement. He requested that the Executive Committee look into the possibility of creating another standing Council committee that would deal with Student Learning, and hoped that the outcome of such a new committee would be a conference on that topic.

Other business items included an exhortation from Susan to UTIC reps. to come to our UTIC programs--e.g, conferences, Faculty College--even if it means taking the place of a campus team member. Come and don’t feel guilty about it! It’s important for our reps to be knowledgeable about these programs in order to be effective advocates/facilitators of their campuses’ participation.

Also, Beecham Robinson’s retirement as co-director of the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows Program means that UTIC will be conducting a search for his replacement this fall. UTIC reps are encouraged to apply and/or encourage qualified colleagues to consider applying.

Without further ado, the meeting was adjourned at 12:02.

The Office of Professional & Instructional Development, formerly the Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Council is part of the Office of Academic Affairs, University of Wisconsin System.

This page can be reached at: http://www.uwsa.edu/utic/minutes/fall96.htm.

Last updated: June 21, 2002 .