The first faculty forum was held on February 3, 2003. Twenty-three faculty attended and all departments were represented. The Long Range Planning Committee facilitated and began the forum with a list of questions around the two topics:
How do we increase a sense of college identity?
How do we balance doctoral education and research with the demands for teacher education and service?
Much of the initial discussion focused on the importance of a college identity given the current political climate and societal views of teacher education. Several ideas for promoting our identity with both internal (UF) audiences and external (legislators, public, school districts) audiences were discussed including:
Have a public information officer who can promote the college highlighting:
- What graduates say about their education at UF.
- The quality of the teacher education program.
- Current research related to evidenced-based practices.
- Current research in teacher education.
Promoting these highlights through:
- Issuing white papers on current “hot” topics.
- Linking the dissemination of research and practices to educational policies.
- Holding regular press conferences to speak to critical issues.
- Having an exhibit board available for events that highlights projects, grants, and outcomes.
The discussion around balancing doctoral education and research with the demands for teacher education and service was a bit less focused but some ideas did emerge.
· It’s probably too difficult to have a large undergraduate program and do the amount of high quality research expected from Research 1 institution. Several ideas were considered around this notion:
* Evaluate faculty loads especially related to supervision of practicum and intern students.
* Recruit the support of all department faculty in the discussion around teacher education.
* Reevaluate PROTEACH
¨ Have we designed a program that we can’t really do?
¨ Have we prioritized and looked at what has the most impact for kids?
¨ What roles can “clinical” faculty have in helping relieve the heavy workloads in the teacher education program?