17 September, 2002 Dean’s Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

Members present:  Dr. Vivian Correa, Dr. Harry Daniels, Dr. Kathy Gratto (for Dr. James Doud), Ms. Mary Driscoll, Ms. Kay Hughes, Dr. John Kranzler, Dr. James McLeskey, Dr. David Miller, Dr. Mickie Miller, Dr. Dorene Ross, Dr. Theresa Vernetson, Dr. Nancy Waldron, Dr. Rodman Webb, Dr. Sandra Witt

Information Items

Committee members reviewed the revised August 20, 2002 meeting minutes and the September 3, 2002 meeting minutes. Dr. Ross made a motion to accept the minutes, and the committee members agreed unanimously on their acceptance.

Dean Emihovich circulated a packet of information that she received from the University of Illinois at Chicago for review by committee members. The packet contains descriptions of academic programs, centers, and information about urban school partnerships. She suggested that the college consider creating a similar packet to showcase college programs. She also circulated an announcement about a conference for the European Council of International Schools that will take place in Berlin on November 21-24.

She requested nominations from department chairpersons for faculty representatives for the following two committees:

  1. College Technology Committee (at least one representative from each department); and
  2. Developmental Advisory Board (faculty members who have an interest in fund raising).

Dr. Correa reminded committee members that the Dean’s Advisory Committee meeting minutes would be posted on the Faculty Policy Council Web site.

Dean Emihovich met with College of Education alumni on September 14. The alumni expressed interest in the University of Florida Strategic Plan and its possible implications for the college. They expressed strong support for the faculty, students, teacher preparation programs, and the College of Education.

Ms. Hughes provided an update about the ongoing faculty lunches with Dean Emihovich.

Ms. Driscoll announced that faculty representation would be appreciated at a reception that will take place at the Sarasota Yacht Club on October 2 from 4-6 p.m.

Discussion Items

Dr. Donald Pemberton, Director of the Lastinger Center for Learning, has requested faculty input about his proposed strategies for accomplishing the center’s objectives, as outlined in the Lastinger Center Concept Paper (August 19, 2002 revision) and the Lastinger Center Portfolio of Programs. These documents were provided to the committee members prior to the meeting for review.

Dr. Pemberton reiterated his commitment to align the work of the Lastinger Center with the mission of the college, the mission of the University of Florida, and the research interests of faculty members as the center continues its partnerships with the Florida Department of Education, school systems throughout the state, and the business, educational and civic leadership of the state to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Florida’s schools. He indicated that center resources must be focused to ensure their maximum effect. His first step in engaging faculty is to respond to their research interests. He hopes to identify a core group of University of Florida faculty and persons from around the state who will lead initiatives.

He has met with faculty members from the School of Teaching and Learning and will meet with faculty from the other departments in the next few weeks. He plans to meet frequently with faculty to provide information about initiatives and collaborative opportunities.

He elicited input from committee members to assist him with focusing and prioritizing the Lastinger Center initiatives. Dr. McLeskey praised the “Invest in Schools” initiative, whereby resources are mobilized to create a network of high poverty, high performance schools that will be supported by teams of civic, corporate, university, and public leaders.

The Lastinger Center’s vision and mission statements were discussed. Associate Dean Webb discussed the importance of replicating national scholarly work in Florida. Dr. Vernetson suggested that Dr. Pemberton might wish to discuss readiness initiatives when he consults with DOE representatives in Tallahassee. Dr. Correa discussed expanding the definition of marginalized children, with increased emphasis on linguistic diversity. She and Dr. Daniels emphasized the importance of including families in the decision making process. He discussed the importance of actively reaching out to those who are at the periphery of the educational process. Dr. McLeskey discussed the need for a coherent focus on improving schools for students who are not achieving adequately.

Dean Emihovich inquired about how best to advance from the objectives listed in the Concept Paper to effect meaningful school improvement. The need for the development of a sustainable model with which the center can move forward was discussed. She asked about the possibility of expanding the college’s current partner school programs (Prairie View and Duval Elementary Schools) to other schools in the area, perhaps Williams Elementary School, identifying a model school, and beginning focused initiatives in the feeder schools to the Alliance Schools. Three issues that must be addressed in order to move forward with this process are tenure and promotion criteria, merit, and program resources.

The relationship of the Lastinger Center Concept Paper to the issues of research and the scholarship of engagement was discussed. The role of research in relationship to engaging the involvement of faculty and graduate students in the various center activities was discussed. Dr. David Miller stated that an increased emphasis on research would possibly increase faculty involvement with Lastinger Center initiatives. Various research models were discussed, including the school-based research of Carl Glickman, formerly of the University of Georgia and now at the SW Texas State University. Glickman’s advocacy for the creation of structures that promote democratic processes in schools has led to an increased appreciation of action research by the schools. Other school improvement models and processes were discussed, including the Coalition for Essential Schools. It was agreed that it would be beneficial for leaders in the school improvement field to be invited to present information about their initiatives to the faculty. While Dean Emihovich does not necessarily view the Lastinger Center as a “research and development” center, it can provide an important link for faculty research agendas.

What advantages are there for faculty members to work through the Lastinger Center? Associate Dean Webb noted that the following issues must be addressed to encourage active faculty involvement:

  1. The Center must be seen as an invitational activity;
  2. Such activity must be done with a vision for improving schools;
  3. There must be sensitivity for faculty members’ need for relevant research; and
  4. There must be a realization that the Lastinger Center has multiple audiences.

Dean Emihovich discussed the complexities involved in educational research, including the multiple audiences that it must also serve. Part of the work that the Lastinger Center will accomplish will be to disseminate information about the College’s productive faculty, which will in turn make their research accomplishments more visible to multiple audiences.

Dr. Pemberton will continue his conversations with the faculty (and other audiences served by the Lastinger Center) in order to bring its important initiatives to the next level.

Future Agenda Items

Dean Emihovich announced that the main agenda item for the next meeting would be the NCATE accreditation review process, led by Associate Dean Rod Webb.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.