JANUARY 18th, 2005
The Provost began this "chat" (having about 60 people present) at 12 PM by noting the times for these "chats" would be rotated during the remainder of the year. He briefly mentioned: faculty contracts will begin for the Fall 2005 semester on August 16th [this date was chosen after discussion with Mike De Salle]; the changed academic calendar and its implications for all and the 5-6 week gap between semesters (Fall 2005 term will end December 17th and Spring 2006 term will begin January 24th) and J-term. He said that faculty would not be expected to be on campus during these weeks and he would prefer for faculty to use this time for professional development. In addition, he encourages department and committee chairs to not schedule "activities" during this period. A question was asked if J-term classes could count as part of the teaching load of faculty during a year. The Provost said that this would be decided in the college's departments. The deadline for submission of J-term course proposals will be later in this upcoming spring semester than the originally proposed March deadline.
The faculty teaching load reduction has been given a provisional "OK" by the President. Further discussion will occur on this. The graduate school re-organization was also signed off on by the President. The Strategic Plan is moving along and implementation teams are working to make the plan a reality. These implementation teams are looking more so at team-taught interdisciplinary courses; grants may be available from the college for these ventures (as noted by the Provost). A research center for the arts is being developed by the implementation "teams".
The agenda for the 2005 faculty retreat was announced [there will be an effort to limit reports by VP's at this event]. There will again be a faculty convocation in March or early April (similar to what occurred last spring). Leadership workshops for faculty and staff [hosted by the Provost's office] will be facilitated by outsiders and will have the first group of fifteen "meeting" in early February with a second group "meeting" in the fall.
This upcoming summer will see an even larger high school institute and the furthering of a relationship developed by Leonard Lehrer between Columbia College and the College Board. This work on Leonard's part will have 125-250 high school art teachers here at the college this summer. Faculty, in the visual arts and perhaps music, here at Columbia will be encouraged to be facilitators for this AP program.
Jayne Saks will head up the Women and Gender Center at the college. She comes to Columbia from UIC where she was director of development for the Art and Architecture School.
Space issues are being addressed through Alicia Berg's office and through the Space Planning Committee and "concerns" that are brought up will be dealt with as soon as is possible.
The PFAC contract expires in May 2006. In the spirit of co-operation, negotiations will begin this summer on a new contract.
Orientation/ Registration sessions will be limited [hopefully] to half-day sessions this summer.
Class cancellations decisions were asked to be made a week sooner so that faculty can know if they are teaching or not; another view was that more time should be allocated to fill classes before classes are cancelled. The Provost regrets our current unfortunate time frame on cancellations and mentioned that he will look into correcting this "difficulty". Uniform scheduling was again noted as a concern and the desire to make our Friday and Saturday classes more of interest to our ever-growing numbers of students living on "campus" was stated.
The Provost noted that it might be in the best interest of full-time faculty to not teach during the summer; he noted that this is the time for faculty to work on their scholarship or creative endeavors. He also stressed the need for more mentoring of part-time and full-time faculty. In response to a question raised by Brian Read, the possibility of distance learning was noted as an area being looked at by the Associate Provost.
The possibility of an honors program for incoming students to the college was raised. Though the Provost noted he was in favor of such a program, he indicated that there is significant disagreement about this, specifically amongst the Deans.
The Provost concluded by noting that our students need more than just arts education; few employers, according to him, are looking at students educated only in the arts. He feels that our students must have a balanced education.
Notes submitted by