Deans’ Report | October 31, 2017

We move into November with a continued focus on supporting the development of cluster leadership teams and support functions needed in the near future. Each cluster has met monthly to build relationships and begin to plan team models, revise missions, and identify ways of working together. The Academic Affairs team will be working with Academic Administrative Assistants, Department Chairs, and Cluster Leadership Teams as we further develop the systems and structures needed to support clusters. Academic Admins and the team working on cluster support will join the next Council of Chairs meeting to discuss the process and outcomes. We will also hold a campus-wide listening session on Thursday, November 9th from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at Merrill Place. Bring thoughts, ideas, and concerns that you’d like to share with us.

Interim Cluster Contacts

While we recognize clusters are at different points in their development, we have reached a point where we need an initial set of contacts to help share information and facilitate decision making related to cluster support, project funding, and the various new developments that will emerge as part of our transformation. This initial group of contacts (either formal or informal leadership) would facilitate information sharing with cluster members. For developing clusters, you might consider current Department Chairs or program coordinators for this initial representation. Ultimately, we’ll ask for a list of 4-6 initial contacts for each cluster. Ross Humer and Corey Hoyt are available to attend meetings or help with the identification of contacts, if that support is needed. We are hoping to meet with each of these teams in November.

Documents and resources used by piloting clusters over the summer are available on the cluster’s website here. These may act as support tools for clusters that are in the phases of considering or designing leadership team models.

Cluster Projects Continue

Your colleagues continue to generate unique, integrated projects engaging students and external partners. As of Fall 2017, 30 projects have been approved and are either active or getting started. These projects engage over 2,600 students, 113 faculty, and 90 external participants. While there have been unanticipated delays, we continue to make progress on developing Cluster Connect, which will serve as the digital engagement tool for cluster projects and funding. For the near future, we will continue to use the cluster project process found here, with the next cluster project funding request deadline of November 15th.

Cluster Support & Skill-Based Workshops

As a follow-up to meetings held with academic administrative assistants and department chairs, we are hosting a number of skill-based workshops related to the functional areas that were identified to support clusters. As further development opportunities in these areas was recognized, these sessions are designed to build skills in communications, project management, and operations. Sessions are open to everyone; staff interested in developing in these areas are highly encouraged to attend. Session topics, dates, and locations can be found on the CFT website here; more sessions will be added as they are established. Upcoming sessions include:

  • Writing for the Web, November 3 from 12-1 p.m.
  • Project Organization, November 7 from 12-1 p.m.
  • Designing for the Web, November 8 from 12-1 p.m.
  • Supporting Cluster Projects, November 14 from 12-1 p.m.

Campus Engagement Events

The next two campus engagements to be held in Merrill Place MPR-B will be on topics related to General Education; 4-Credit Models on Monday, November 13th from 2-4 p.m. and General Education Pathways on December 8th from 2-4 p.m. The General Education Committee has reviewed General Education credit impact for programs wishing to move to four credits. The November 13th session will focus on General Education models that allow for 4-credit programs and 4-credit General Education courses without adding to the overall required General Education credits. All are encouraged to attend. See the list of upcoming campus engagements here.

New Gen Ed Faculty Task Forces

At the request of the General Education Committee, a call has been issued by the Steering Committee for a General Education Outcomes Assessment Task Force and an Integrated Connections (INCO) Task Force to conduct work this academic year.

October Board of Trustees Focus

The Board of Trustees’ Educational Excellence Committee meeting from October 19-20th went over well with a focus on emerging academic trends. We presented the current vision for the General Education student learning outcomes, which were approved at October’s faculty meeting. Overall, there was interest and excitement in the direction we are headed with student outcomes and tracking student progress as them reach signposts and climb to the summit; adoption of a habit of mind. As indicated in the President’s Report, the report from the General Education Outcomes Task Force can be found here.

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.