Provost update for April 2018

04/09/2018

Provost Update
April 5, 2018


As a follow up to a suggestion by the University Council Communication Committee, here is another update so that all faculty, chairs/directors and deans have the same information on matters of importance to our academic mission. If anyone has other areas that might be addressed in future communications, please email them to provost@uakron.edu for consideration. View previous Provost Updates here.  

New Faculty Learning Community

For the 2018-2019 academic year we are introducing the New Faculty Learning Community.  The goal is to orient newly hired faculty to our campus and our students, and provide support as they establish themselves as teachers.  Faculty will meet once a month for the academic year (8 times), and be mentored by current faculty.  Contact ITL with any questions.

Community Colleges’ Applications for Applied Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Chancellor Carey has approved five bachelor’s degree programs at community colleges and deferred four.  UA submitted written objections to all of these programs for various reasons, which can be found here.

Approved

INSTITUTION

PROGRAM TITLE

Cincinnati State Technical & Community College

Bachelor of Science in Land Surveying

Cincinnati State Technical & Community College

Bachelor of Science in Culinary and Food Science

Lorain County Community College

Bachelor of Applied Science in Microelectronic Manufacturing

Sinclair Community College

Bachelor of Applied Science in Aviation Technology/Professional Pilot

Sinclair Community College

Bachelor of Applied Science in Unmanned Aerial Systems

Deferred

INSTITUTION

PROGRAM TITLE

Clark State Community College

Bachelor of Applied Science in Manufacturing Technology Management

Cuyahoga Community College

Bachelor of Applied Science in Data Integration/Database Administration

North Central State College

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology

Sinclair Community College

Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Automation

RTP External Reviewer Anonymity

Please remember that per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 13, Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion, Section 4. External Review Letters, Item B # 11:

The identity of the external reviewers and the review letters shall be deemed by the University and the candidate as confidential to the extent permitted by law. No letters of recommendation submitted by University personnel as part of the candidate’s RTP process shall identify the names or affiliations of the external reviewers. In addition, any quotations from external review letters used in any University recommendation letter shall be carefully chosen or redacted so as to not identify the names or affiliations of the external reviewers.

Unfortunately, this was not followed by some units this RTP season.

Civility Clause

Please take a moment to review the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 5, Working Environment, Section 4. Civility Clause which states the professional atmosphere that is expected.

As colleagues, bargaining unit faculty and academic administrators have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars.  Members of the bargaining unit and academic administrators (“colleagues”) shall not discriminate against or harass colleagues.  Therefore, behavior that contributes to a hostile or humiliating environment, including, but not limited to, abusive language, intimidation or retaliation will not be tolerated.  Colleagues shall respect and defend the free inquiry of associates.  In the exchange of criticism and ideas, colleagues shall show due respect for the opinions of others.  Both bargaining unit faculty and academic administrators shall strive to be objective in their professional judgment of their colleagues. 

Alleged violations of this section shall be discussed between representatives of both the Administration and the Chapter at the regular labor management meeting for resolution.  However, alleged violations of this section shall not be grounds for a grievance or be arbitrable under Article 12.

RTP and Merit Guidelines

Each academic unit needs to review, and revise if necessary, its RTP and Merit guidelines, by May 1, 2018.  A template has been distributed to speed up the process, and can be found here.

VRIP

March 20th was the deadline for Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program applications.  The forms are being processed by Talent Development and Human Resources.  I will be meeting with the Deans to develop a faculty hiring plan taking into consideration recent faculty departures and APR.  Each academic unit should propose to its chair/director/dean what faculty positions it needs to maintain operations of programs considered viable, and positions it wants in order to grow or add strength to strategic areas.

Professional Development Leaves for 2018-19

At the February 14, 2018, Board meeting, the following faculty were approved for PDL/FIPL for the coming academic year.

Last Name First Name Rank College Department Term
Luettmer-Strathmann Jutta Professor BCAS Physics AY 18/19
Matney Tim Professor BCAS Anthropology AY 18/19
Choi Jae-won Associate Professor Engineering Mechanical Engineering AY 18/19
Barnes Kristen Associate Professor Law Law- Instruction AY 18/19
Sahai Nita Professor CPSPE Polymer Science AY 18/19
Joy Abraham Associate Professor CPSPE Polymer Science AY 18/19
Vogl Markus Associate Professor BCAS Art Fall 2018
Bean Janet Associate Professor BCAS English Fall 2018
Schulze Pamela Professor BCAS Child & Family Development Fall 2018
Dey Asoke Associate Professor CBA Management Fall 2018
Renna Francesco Associate Professor CBA Economics Fall 2018
Koskey Kristin Associate Professor Education Educational Foundations & Leadership Fall 2018
Elliott Richard Professor Engineering Chemical/Biomolecular Engineering Fall 2018
Schuldiner Michael Professor BCAS English Spring 2019
Graham Michael Professor BCAS History Spring 2019
Tran Huu Nghi Associate Professor Engineering Electrical & Computer Engineering Spring 2019
Chuang Stephen Professor CPSPE Polymer Science Spring 2019

Please join me in congratulating our colleagues on their successful proposals, and wish them well as they complete their projects.

Wayne College and Higher Learning Commission Accreditation

We have submitted a request to the Higher Learning Commission to change the status of Wayne College from being separately accredited to being accredited under the umbrella of The University of Akron.  The process may take some time, possibly a year, and we will keep both campuses up to date as to our progress.  This change will bring us in line with other universities and their branch campuses, and open doors for increased interactions between our faculty at both locations. 

Ad Astra’s Platinum Analytics

Platinum Analytics, part of the new software coming online, will use historical enrollment, enrollment trends, student degree progress, and student course demand to provide colleges, schools, and departments with business intelligence for the creation of student-friendly and efficient schedules of classes. We expect to see an acceleration in time-to-completion, improvements in space and human resource utilization, and better alignment between student needs and course offerings.  Campuses similar to UA have experienced increases in degrees awarded, student retention, and student satisfaction with the schedule of classes using this approach.

More on this topic will be shared as we move forward.

Affordable Learning

Affordable Learning is a series of initiatives to lower the cost of college by reducing or eliminating the additional financial burden of course materials for students. Students who delay or forego purchasing required materials in a course are placing themselves at risk for lower class performance. Students have reported dropping courses, avoiding specific sections of a course, or taking fewer courses based on the cost of required textbooks.

The University Libraries, in collaboration with the Institute for Teaching and Learning, the University Council’s Textbook Committee, and the University Bookstore, have been working to consolidate efforts around textbook and course material affordability and open education resource adoption. These efforts are directly tied to the success of our students.

A new Affordable Learning @ UA website highlights current affordable learning projects at UA which have already saved students over $111,000. This site serves as our hub for communicating strategies for saving students money such as the use of open educational resources, library resources, inclusive access models, and faculty curation and creation of course materials.

For more information on these initiatives, or to submit information for the website, please contact:

Steve Kaufman
Senior Instructional Designer
OhioLINK Affordable Learning Ambassador
skaufman@uakron.edu

Sean Kennedy
Collections and Content Strategies Librarian
skennedy@uakron.edu

Office of Academic Affairs Reports to the Board of Trustees (BOT)
Here are the reports that will be presented to the Academic Issues and Student Success Committee of the Board on April 18, 2018:

Curriculum Board Report April 2018

Office of Admissions Board Report April 2018

Research & Scholarly Activities Board Report April 2018

Student Affairs Board Report April 2018

IT Board Report April 2018