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May 7

May 7, 2013

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Chairs Meeting
May 7, 2013
3:30 p.m.

Building Stronger Programs and Departments

Attendance:  Steve Boone, Richard Herman, Mick Luehrman, Don Melichar, Jack Rogers, Jim Staab, and Eric Tenbus

Action items:  Submit high impact learning endeavors to Jill Szoo so she can help advertise these projects.  Sami will organize a meeting between Jeff Imboden, Dean Nelson, Buzz Herman, Steven Moore, Mick Luehrman and Jill Szoo to discuss advertising events within the college (including high impact learning projects).  The committee will draft a procedure for implementation and report their suggestion at the next chairs meeting.  Dean Nelson will invite a couple of chairs to the EAB meeting next week.  Provide the names of faculty participating in the Critical Thinking Seminar to Dean Nelson by Friday, May 17 (may have 2 from each department).  Buzz Herman will send out his department's mentoring statement to all chairmen.

Discussion:  Dean Nelson remarked on what he sees as an incredible year for the college.  Departments underwent three accreditation visits during the year, and the performance by the music department at the Kauffman Center was a great outreach to the Kansas City area.  Many high impact learning efforts took place this year, with discussion resulting in the chairs voting to focus on high impact learning as a major initiative for the college for 2013-2014.  HALO is a creative engine whose main goal is helping orphans through the arts.  The art department, with Anthony Acock as a faculty mentor, his helping African orphans by helping with graphic design for the organization.  Modern Languages film festival brought in approximately 600 students, which was a major project in the area of high impact learning.  Students also helped with a clean up of Pertle Springs.  Dean Nelson plans to make a push for funding for more high impact learning by 1) finding resources for support, 2) finding faculty to support these efforts and 3) promoting the students' efforts through advertising.  The Muleskinner and the Star Journal should be at our events to report on what the students are doing on the campus.  Perhaps we can get a column in the paper to report these events.                

Course evaluations will be discussed early in the fall.  With so many students having the capability to use their phones for this purpose, we may need nothing more than another lab.

HLC report - we must show that all courses of the same number (online vs face-to-face) have the same objectives, so that the outcomes for all students, no matter what the delivery method, is the same.  Course names/numbers must match the catalog.  The weight given to assessments (homework) in each class must be explained as a part of the overall grade.

The EAB (Education Advisory Board) will be here next week.

AA (Academic Affairs) Reorganization - The Gateway Center only has a skeletal crew left to direct transfer students to colleges.  All other advisors have been transferred to the colleges.  We hired Tara Napoleone.  Undeclared majors are being moving to the colleges. Academic Enrichment moved to the Library.  The International Office will move to the Honors College.  We now have an institutional research office (new hire who reports to Mike Grelle).

It was suggested that the Writing Center on campus might be connected to the English department in some way.

Faculty Fellows program has been on campus for a very long time, but has faded over the years.  CTL will pay for a faculty seminar on critical thinking on August 14 and 15 (2-day, all day seminar).  There is limited space, so each college should have 5-6 representatives.  Each chair can select one faculty member to participate.  The Dean will try to accommodate two people from each department if necessary.  Since idea came from us.  2-day, all day seminar. 

Annual reports - no data packs are currently available.  Could the annual report information somehow feed into the requirements for HLC documents?  The value of the annual report is to provide a round table discussion where specific pieces are drawn out to form new initiatives.

Chairs retreat - Chairs asked for the retreat to be scheduled in June, with a day preference in the middle of the week.  Chairs may be asked to invite program coordinators to the meeting.  Current chairmen will be invited as well as new chairs to the department for 2013-2014.

The college is currently working on the 6th edition of the Renaissance magazine.  This issue will be at least as large as last year.  What else can we do with it?  Make it available online and put past editions online as well.  Perhaps we should ask for funding/donations in the magazine.  We need to make sure each department is represented.  Is it cost effective?  Dean Nelson says yes based on responses he hears plus the experience the students get out of helping put it together.  The Dean wants a larger impact for the magazine.  A suggestion was to track the number of hits for each story.  Perhaps we could send an online version to individuals under the age of fifty, a hard copy to people over fifty as well as all donors to the college.  We could target the areas that people read the most and ask for donations in those areas.  This would also show us what areas need to be worked on/emphasized until interest goes up in that area (shown through online hits for those stories), then target them for donations.  Perhaps we could have students work a phonation to help with a fund-raising drive, which would be another high impact learning project for them.

Departments need to continue mentoring new faculty.  A policy statement/process needs to be in place in every department.

Respectfully submitted,

Sami Babrakzai