Deans’ Report | December 5, 2017

With just a few short weeks before the holiday break, we recognize how challenging it is to fit everything in. We appreciate your quick responses to all of the requests for information and your level of engagement in cluster development and the many initiatives going on at PSU.

Thank you for attending the Town Hall meeting on November 29th. The University Reinvention Initiative (URI) website contains the process documentation describing the process along with templates for submitting reports. Data to inform program reinvention and steps forward will be added to the site as it becomes available. To answer financial and cluster-specific questions, we have scheduled a time in December for Finance and one of the Academic Deans to meet with each cluster to review program financial data and further discuss the process.

In the next few weeks, the URI website will be updated with market research data, 2016 financial data by program, and information by program on low-enrolled upper-level courses. The market research data and financial data by program will include narrations of highlights and key points to provide further clarity on this important information.

On Friday, December 8th from 2-4 p.m. in Merrill Place, the next Campus Forum will take place regarding themed General Education pathways. This session will be led by the General Education Committee to explore ideas for making general education more meaningful through themed pathways. A brainstorm of how to theme Gen Ed using existing courses will be discussed along with how to make connections between courses more visible to students.

Academic Affairs Updates

General Education Coordinator: Cathie LeBlanc will be stepping into the role of General Education Coordinator. Cathie shared, “I am honored to take on the new role of General Education Coordinator. I attribute my personal success to my strong undergraduate Gen Ed program and look forward to working with faculty to provide meaningful Gen Ed experiences to our students. I am teaching a First Year Seminar this semester that is focused on trying to impact the wicked problem of fake news and am seeing first-hand how engaged students become when the work they’re doing touches the world outside the University in some way. I am excited to explore other ways that we can increase student engagement in their Gen Ed classes.”

Director of Academic Assessment & Accreditation: Cheryl Baker has joined the office of Academic Affairs as the Director of Academic Assessment and Accreditation. Dr. Baker will be leading the implementation of the Taskstream assessment system and providing program support for program reviews and external accreditation. Cheryl brings 30 years of educational experience to the position and is looking forward to the opportunity to work across clusters and programs to implement a robust academic assessment system.

Holmes Center Director: Mary Earick joins PSU to serve as the incoming Director of the Holmes Center for School Partnerships & Educator Preparation. Dr. Earick’s career has been dedicated to innovation and equity connecting IHEs with state and federal public schooling agencies to support effective educators. Dr. Earick developed and directed NG2: Personalized Inclusive Educational Pathways supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Previously, she served as an Administrator for the NH DOE, Associate Professor at Plymouth State University, an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, and is the author of Racially Equitable Teaching. She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, M.S. in Urban Elementary Education and Ph.D. in Language Literacy and Socio-Cultural Studies from the University of New Mexico. She was a public-school teacher for 16 years and her teaching is featured in the documentary and book, Starting Small: Teaching Tolerance in the Early Years, produced by Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Provost/VP of Academic Affairs: As a reminder, the Provost search is moving along and campus visit dates have been identified for February 8th, 12th, and 15th. A more detailed agenda will be shared in late January, but please do save these dates.

USNH Academic Technology Steering Committee: Earlier this fall, we requested nominations for PSU faculty representation on the USNH Academic Technology Steering Committee. We’re happy to announce that Emma Wright and Christin Wixson will serve as the PSU faculty representatives. The charge of this system wide committee is to find ways to support faculty in adopting educational technologies and web-based resources into their courses with the specific goal of improving the teaching and learning. The focus over the past 2 years has related to open educational resources and open pedagogy.

January Jamboree: January 17-18, 2018

January Jamboree 2018 is the next big opportunity to come together as a community to share and learn from one another. This year’s Jamboree will take place on January 17-18, 2018, and will be themed around the book “The Undergraduate Experience.” The Center for Transformation is requesting proposals for related sessions. Faculty and staff are invited to submit a proposal for a 1-hour presentation, workshop, or roundtable discussion that addresses one or more of six key areas: learning, relationships, expectations, alignment, improvement, or leadership. As a reminder, please download the Proposal Form Here and submit your proposal via email to Joshua Perks jp1222@plymouth.edu by Friday, December 8, 2017.

Alternative Scheduling Model Survey

Announced last week, a survey regarding alternative scheduling model needs, wants, and goals was distributed and can be found here. Your response will be most helpful if it is received by Monday, December 11, 2017. Listening Sessions will be held on Wednesday, December 20th from 2-3 p.m. and Thursday, December 21st from 9-10 a.m. in HUB 109 to review the collected information and discuss our campus goals and priorities relative to scheduling revisions. Once we have discussed needs and wants and agreed on campus priorities, we will look to create a viable alternative scheduling model built upon the information gathered and identified priorities.

Finally, your colleagues have been busy with some exciting and productive accomplishments. Please take a moment to look at what all of your colleagues have been doing, now located here.