Faculty Governance Updates, November 2013

By Deidre Holmes DuBoisfaculty-insight-news-id

Governance Town Hall Meetings

I hope you have taken the opportunity to attend one of the scheduled Governance Town Hall meetings to review the draft governance design model and provide your feedback. If not, you have two more chances:

  • Lake Nona Campus, December 4, 2013, 2 – 4 p.m., Room 1-148
  • Winter Park Campus, December 12, 2013, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., Room TBA

If you can’t make one of the town halls, a recording of the East Campus Town Hall meeting is available at valenciacollege.edu/live.

The Faculty Council has already begun discussing the changes that will need to be made to the collegewide Faculty Association constitution. We hope to have a draft ready for comment and vote in the early spring after Dr. Shugart concludes our mutual work on the new governance model. Because a majority of the members of the association must vote to approve changes to the constitution, I’m giving you this heads-up to encourage you to discuss this work with your Faculty Council representatives, and so you can keep your eyes peeled for the call to vote in the spring.

Coming Soon: New Tool for Tenured Faculty Evaluations

As you may recall, for the past two years various faculty groups have been working on the design of our post-tenure review process, including revamping the annual evaluation procedure and tools. This fall, a group of faculty and deans has been working with human resources to design the tenured faculty evaluation tool in Cornerstone, a software program that will allow the College to move to electronic evaluations. In the spring, we will have volunteers test the system to identify any issues to correct, and then we’ll be looking for some tenured faculty to volunteer for a pilot of the tool for their annual evaluations. Again, keep your eyes peeled for more information.

Update on Instructional Materials Policy Implementation

Over the last few weeks, many of you have been involved in instructional materials selection for the spring using the procedures of the College’s new Instructional Materials (IM) policy. Although change can sometimes be challenging, I have heard many stories of faculty working together to ensure that our students have access to the highest quality materials at the lowest price. However, I have heard of a few instances of overzealous interpretation of the new procedures. Note, for example, that full-time faculty who opt out of using a textbook must provide information about the materials they will use to achieve course outcomes, but they should not be expected to present lesson plans for each class meeting. The procedure, in fact, encourages faculty to consider no-cost alternatives to traditional textbooks, so let’s encourage our colleagues’ efforts to reduce cost while maintaining quality.

Two new forms have been developed to help guide you and your colleagues through the IM selection process. They are now available as fillable PDFs in Valencia Forms on Atlas. Each form’s title begins with the letters “IM” for “instructional materials.” Please feel free to send your campus representatives or me your suggestions for improving the forms as we move forward.

Reminder: Changes to Student Feedback on Instruction Process

The Office of Institutional Assessment has been receiving inquiries about the changes to the Student Feedback on Instruction (SFI) (formerly the Student Assessment of Instruction). The following is a sampling of questions along with the answers.

Q: Why were these changes made?

A: The Faculty Council tasked a Student Assessment of Instruction Committee with this work in 2012. The Faculty Council voted to implement the changes beginning this fall. The Office of Institutional Assessment is faculty’s partner in this work, but it did not authorize the changes: faculty did.

Q: Why does the survey open so early?

A: The intent of opening the SFI before the withdrawal deadline was to capture feedback from students who may plan to withdraw, as well as to separate it from final exams and the end of the semester.

Q: Can someone delete some of my students from the list of those who receive invitations to take the SFI? I have some students who aren’t passing and may to withdraw.

A: No, students’ names cannot be removed from the invitation emails. Students who may not be passing or whom you surmise may withdraw do not lose their opportunity to provide feedback.

Q: Who will be looking at the results of the pilot to determine if additional tweaks need to be made?

A: The Faculty Council has created a new charge for the SFI Committee, which comprises faculty, deans, a representative from institutional assessment and a representative from faculty development. As part of its charge, the committee will be reviewing data, including response rates, from the fall semester to advise the Faculty Council about any changes that should be made.

I sent an email to all faculty (full-time and part-time) back on September 9 regarding the changes to the SFI, and I’d be happy to send it to you again if you’d like to review the information.

Reminder About the College’s Email Systems

As you may know, Valencia College uses two email systems: Atlas, which is mainly for student communication, and Outlook, which is the official email system for employees. In 2012, the College simplified communications for those employees who do not wish to use both accounts by implementing an automated process that automatically forwards your Atlas email to your Outlook account.

If you would like to change your email routing, you can do so manually by clicking here.

Note: All official College employee communications will be sent to your Outlook email account (name@valenciacollege.edu).

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