Prepared by Rod Webb

The College of Education, from the beginning 98 years ago, has been a force for excellence and innovation in public education. That was its charge in 1906, and that has been its consistent and proud mission ever since.

Together, over the last four years, we have accelerated our innovative work, increased college productivity, improved our educator-preparation programs, formed new partnerships across the state, streamlined every office that serve faculty and students, completed a dozen ambitious Norman Hall renovation projects, planned new construction projects, improved our fundraising efforts to over a $1,000,000 a year, increased our funded research, produced more articles and books, created distance education programs, sailed flawlessly through NCATE accreditation, and improved our technology infrastructure.

We installed state-of-the-art servers that will increase the capability of every COE computer, will support new software capabilities, and will maintain a new and dynamic database systems.    Those serves have allowed us to create the College’s first Fact Book, to track productivity and quality measures over time, and to our progress on those measures against the progress of other top AAU colleges of education.   We are consolidating dozens of databases in the college, and have constructed a Unit Assessment System that will meet the ever-expanding data-collection requirement of our several accrediting institutions.

Since 1999 we have

1. … increased our interdisciplinary efforts by collaborating across departments and with professional partners.

    1. In 2000 the UF Alliance and the Lastinger Center were just plans; now they serve at-risk schools across Florida. These Centers provide rich research opportunities to our faculty.
    2. We created the disability center.
    3. We are planning an interdisciplinary principalship program that will begin next summer
  1. …maintained and improved our professional preparation programs.
    1. In 2000 the Unified Teacher Education was an exciting and innovative plan. The faculty implemented that plan and created a program unlike any other in the country.
    2. We continue the tradition of studying our own innovations. (Buffy Bondy and Dorene Ross’s book on our Unified Teacher Education adventure will be out in 2005)
    3. We hosted a successful NCATE re-accreditation visit in Spring, 2003.
  1. …established a faculty governance tradition.
    1. We are learning how to make faculty governance work.
    2. When experience suggested how we might improve the Constitution, we passed the necessary amendment.
  1. …worked toward budgetary transparency, a goal built into our College Constitution.
    1. The FPC takes a collective look at where our resources are going and how we align those resources with College goals.
    2. We are learning how to do that at the college level, and now need to do a better job at the department level.
  1. …survived four very tough budget years and changes suggested by the University’s Strategic Plan.
    1. We took a tough look at our programs and decided — in our own strategic plan — to focus future resources on our strengths and on programs with the greatest growth potential.
      1. We eliminated Foreign Language programs and the Center for Economic Education
      2. We reduced our Social Foundations Programs and merged it with our social studies program in STL.
      3. We merged the Curriculum program in Educational Leadership with STL program.
      4. We merged Instructional Media with Instructional Design programs
    1. We have worked to keep vacated lines and so far we have succeeded.
    2. We have gained new lines.
  1. …significantly improved in research productivity in grants and publications. (See Fact Book data)
    1. When given the chance, faculty increased their publication output, number of grant applications, and grant awards.
    2. We have added ambitious centers to the college.
      1. Center On Personnel Studies In Special Education (COPSSE) has done wonderful work and has garnered national attention.
      2. The Center for School Improvement is being restructured to focus more
        heavily on school/university partnership initiatives.
  1. …provided more assistance to faculty doing funded scholarship
    1. Office for Evaluation, Research, and Inquiry (OERI) will be running next year
    2. We are struggling now to define its work and find the proper leadership for that office.
  1. …increased support for faculty going up for tenure and promotion
    1. Faculty Policy Council completed a study and completed a report.
    2. Departments have established mentoring programs for new faculty, and peer-reviews of college teaching.
    3. The College established a pre-tenure review program for new faculty and increased support for faculty in the tenure and promotion process.
  1. …increased support to undergraduate and graduate students.
    1. We increased pay for graduate students in 2001 and again this year.
    2. We significantly increased fellowships and scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students.
    3. We created the Holmes Scholarship program and established a mentoring mechanism to prepare those scholars to do school-improvement research
    4. We have attracted graduate students with stronger credentials.
      1. SAT and GRE score have improved.
      2. GPA scores are going up as well.
    1. We established a graduate student organization (SAGE), found space and assistance for ECC, and involve both groups more meaningfully into our community of scholarship.
    2. We are working to improve graduate students’ teaching, research, presentation, and publication opportunities, support some travel to meetings (see Crocker report).
    3. We are tracking student satisfaction via bi-annual surveys and we are using those data to improve our programs
    4. We are tracking the satisfaction of our graduates via bi-annual surveys and using those data to improve our programs
    5. We have negotiated admissions requirements for Masters students so we can better assist teachers across the state
  1. … established an urban presence in Florida.
    1. We established the UF Alliance, found Alliance partners, created a summer institute tradition, and have increased faculty involvement in Alliance schools.
    2. We established the Lastinger Center, found Lastinger partners, created a summer institute tradition, have increased faculty involvement in Lastinger schools.
    3. The energetic pursuit of those programs has increased our credibility in Tigert Hall, in Tallahassee, and among foundations with an interest in education.
  1. … worked to better define, coordinate, and support our partnership work.
    1. Nancy Dana, Buffy Bondy brought partnership faculty together, listed what they do, analyzed commonalities, and drafted the beginnings of a partnership definition.
    2. In fall, 2004, they will bring that definition to departments for further refinement and discussion.
    3. In time, that group may help the college better define the scholarship of engagement in the COE context.
  1. … undertaken a dozen renovation efforts. Norman was in terrible shape in 2000 and we needed to repair long-neglected damage and renovate well-worn areas of the building.  Since 2000 we have…
    1. Renovated all Old Norman Classrooms.
    2. Built the courtyard “in-fill” area under the south wing.
    3. Completed multiple office renovations including the Transition Center (Norman 100), the Lastinger Center, the Dean’s area (140 suite), Research Offices (Norman 124 suite), the technology office (Norman 124 Lastinger), and two server rooms (Norman 122 and 120).
    4. Provided a distance learning room in Norman G-520
    5. Renovated the 116 and 177 women’s restrooms, making them ADA compliance and increasing rest room equality in Old Norman.
    6. Renovated two science/math rooms in New Norman.
    7. Began a Multi-stepped renovation of the Old Norman Auditorium will continue next year. In 2003 we plugged a ceiling leak that had spewed water on students for over 20 years.
    8. Replaced the roof on new Norman.
    9. In every case, we found the money, planned and oversaw the work, and brought the project in on budget.
    10. At the same time planned further renovations including the International Media Union that is now on the University’s five-year plan.
  1. … improved our technology infrastructure. We added new computer equipment, new servers (though federal grants), new wireless capabilities, and new classroom Internet and projection connections.
  1. … assisted mid-career professors who, surveys show, are the University’s most stressed group.  We establishment a College Sabbatical program, set sabbatical criteria, and have provided two full-pay sabbaticals a year.
  1. … increased our contact with alumni. We hired Robin Frey and Margaret Gaylord. As a result, we have improved donations from alumni and friends to over million dollars a year.
  1. … established a significant web presence that informs students, supports accreditation efforts, and improves communication in the college.  We hired John Dolaldson as Webmaster, established a college web look, and established the NCATE/DOE accreditation site. We also hired a new director of information and publication services, Larry Lansford, who will create a new look for our College and publicize the many accomplishments of faculty, students, and staff.
  1. … better integrated the College and PKY. Best practice instruction has improved at the school.  With Fran Vandiver’s leadership the school faculty have established best-practice models and have moved them across the state.  They have increased funded scholarship and faculty research.  They created new models for COE and department collaboration.  And they replaced the condemned auditorium with a spectacular performing arts complex.
  1. … better integrated the College and Baby Gator. We are planning a new Baby Gator/Early Childhood Center facility.
  1. … successfully completed NCATE, DOE, and SACS accreditation visits and have established a Unit Assessment system that will make future accreditation visits easier.
  1. … established distance education programs, which meant finding a delivery system, creating marketing strategies, providing instructional design assistance to faculty, designing a fair compensation system with provided real incentives for faculty, finding funding, and developing a distance-education management plan for the next five years.
  1. … increased minority representations on our faculty and student. We set up the Holmes Scholarship program, found funding for other scholarships and fellowships, and completed a minority recruitment and retention plan.  Michael Bowie will complete the plan this summer and present it to the FPC this fall.
  1. We wanted to improved relations with Tigert Hall, with other colleges.
    1. President Machen addressed our graduates at the Spring commencement and, to our collective delight, read a litany of college accomplishments.
    2. Chuck Frazier recently wrote Rod Webb saying, “[Your faculty] has moved the college forward and that has been to the great benefit of UF.  I hope the faculty feels good about what they have accomplished together because it really matters and the progress they have made will last for a long time.”
    3. Dave Colburn recently wrote Rod saying,  “The faculty has done great things in the College in recent years, the differences are real and important. Keep it up it up because the College … has a real future and is taking a leadership role in the university.”