Message from the Dean

2006 is off to a great start, with the countdown to our first Centennial Celebration event under way. Because so much is happening this year, a College calendar of events […]


November 20, 2006



2006 is off to a great start, with the countdown to our first Centennial Celebration event under way. Because so much is happening this year, a College calendar of events will be sent out on e-mail and posted on the Web. This calendar will be updated biweekly; if you want your event posted, send details to include contact information to News and Publications at

In this column, I want to update everyone on the activities associated with our Strategic Task Forces. Associate Dean Paul Sindelar is doing an excellent job of keeping everyone informed of the latest news from the Office of Research and other activities tied to the ideas and suggestions gained from two research retreats this past fall. Although the primary focus this year is on enhancing the research culture, the other task forces are busy with related activities that either link to this objective or to enhancing the overall College climate. Below, I report on two groups, outreach scholarship, and faculty/student recruitment, retention and professional development. Next month, I will discuss initiatives related to the task force on Curriculum and Program Development. A full report of all groups’ activities will be presented at the Spring Faculty meeting in April.

Don Pemberton and Nancy Dana co-chair the task force on outreach scholarship. Along with Bernie Oliver, they have begun meeting to discuss ways to link the work within their three centers (Alliance, Center for School Improvement, Lastinger Center for Learning) to a shared framework that embodies the principles of outreach scholarship. These discussions are in the preliminary stage, and anyone who is interested in providing input should contact them.

A second objective for this task force is to begin articulating criteria that will help inform discussions of tenure and promotion. This far more complex task has not yet begun since the FPC Faculty and Budgetary Affairs Committee needs to be involved as well, and their plate is already full this year. It is on the radar screen as a discussion that I hope will get under way early next year.

Barbara Pace and Michael Bowie co-chair the faculty/student task force, and I have asked them to organize a faculty diversity workshop based on a similar presentation by Joanne Moody to the entire campus last fall. My office will pay for all the materials for that workshop, and the topic is very timely since it focuses on supporting and mentoring junior faculty. The information is important not just for faculty, but for graduate students who are planning a career in higher education. Barbara and Michael will be contacting members of their group soon, and anyone else who has a particular interest in this topic should get in touch with them. The tentative date for this workshop is sometime in March, after spring break.

With such a large college, and with so many activities, initiatives and events under way, it is difficult to keep everyone informed and make people feel they can be part of the process. This newsletter is just one of the communication channels the Dean’s Office uses to let everyone know what’s going on, and how they can be involved if they so choose. Other channels include reading the FPC minutes and the Chairs’ meeting minutes, obtaining feedback from FPC and Faculty Senate representatives, and visiting the College Intranet and public Web site.

Stay tuned, and fasten your seat belts, because it’s going to be an exciting, fast-paced year!

– Catherine Emihovich, Dean