New Colleagues and Old Problems

This time of year can be challenging for all of us—but especially for new faculty. The balance of scholarship, teaching, service, and life outside campus can be difficult to maintain even if you have been at it for a long time, but take a minute to recall the time when it was all new. In Faculty Development we have a formal mentoring program run by Susan Wiesinger that provides assigned mentors for new tenure-track faculty and a specialized workshop series for lecturer faculty. However, we acknowledge that the most important mentoring work is almost always informal and local. I want to highlight a few realities of these relationships that I hope you will keep in mind as this semester closes and we look toward Fall 2017.

  • Lecturer faculty need mentoring too. Lecturers have a dramatic impact on student success as they are often the people called on to teach first-year students and serve in other critical roles. Prioritizing student success means equipping lecturers with research, resources, and drawing on their expertise. It also means engaging them in conversation on effective teaching, research opportunities, and helping them navigate the university. This is a job for all us, regardless of classification. Talk to new lecturer colleagues about professional development like the CELT conference and how to access resources for travel.
  • Minority faculty face unique challenges, but you do not have to share the same life experience to be helpful. A recent Chronicle article highlighted key strategies for mentoring new minority scholars. I encourage you to read the whole article, but I want to highlight the first piece of advice “Practice cultural humility” and in doing so “demonstrate empathy for the professor’s experience as a faculty member of color in the institution.” In institutions like ours with strong organization culture we are often too quick to bring newcomers up to speed with “how things are done here” without being attentive to other strategies or experiences. Mentoring is mainly learning and listening.
  • Make a plan and get out there. Writing “be a good mentor” on a post-it note may be a reminder for you, but it is not a plan. Talk with your colleagues and your department/college leadership about what is being done and what is possible, but get started. Make a point to drop by a new colleagues office to ask how things are going, make a trip to a different floor or building to talk to a new lecturer that you have not met, but take the first step in outreaching to your new colleagues.

I am advising this now in hopes of helping our colleagues at the end of the term, but also to compel you to think about how next year could be even better with new faces, new ideas, and new mentoring relationships.

The call for the 23rd annual CELT conference is live! Submit an abstract today to change the world tomorrow—or maybe in October.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I are joined by student guest Martin Morales to discuss housing and food insecurity at CSU, Chico. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

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Last call for Summer/Spring programming

I do not want to clutter your email inboxes with additional items this week so this week’s tip is your final reminder that applications are due on 3/31 for the Spring/Summer offerings including our pilot one-week AeL program and several other funded opportunities.

Faculty Development Spring/Summer 2017 Program Offerings

header

Feel free to apply for multiple offerings. General questions can be directed to Zach Justus
zjustus@csuchico.edu. All applications due on 3/31/2017.

Academy e-Learning 9.1: Teaching with Help

Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: June 1-2, 5-7 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.1, launching with the first of this summer’s one-week institutes –Teaching with Help. During this intensive institute, we will explore highly effective strategies for mentoring and working with TAs/mentors so you can realize their full potential and value in your course(s). Your work during this institute will focus on incorporating assistants, in all their forms, into your courses in meaningful ways.

Full RFP Link
Application

Academy e-Learning 9.2: Best Practices for Working with Student Writing

Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: August 3-4, 7-9 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.2, the second of this summer’s one-week institutes. In recognition of the campus’ on-going interest in high impact educational practices, this institute is focused on supporting students’ writing.

Full RFP Link
Application

 Writing Boot Camp

Leadership: Chris Fosen
Compensation: $500 (taxable income)
Workload: May 23-26 8am-4pm
Brief Description: You are invited to take part in a one-week writing boot camp. Applicants are expected to be physically present and participate all day.  Since our goal is substantive writing, it is most suitable for projects that are already well under way.

Full RFP Link
Application

Learning Enhancement Grants

Brief Description: The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is offering faculty awards of up to $5,515 to improve quality and productivity in learning and teaching in a course or program. Projects that strongly enhance student learning and have a demonstrable impact receive priority consideration. Proposals should address relevance to the University Strategic Plan. Funds awarded in spring of 2017 must be expended between July 1, 2017 and May 30, 2018. Proposals are due by Friday, March 31, 2017 at 5pm.

Full RFP Link
Application

Just in time Professional Development

Brief Description: The Faculty Development Program is offering faculty awards of up to $1,000 in Professional Development Funds to support faculty who need to attend a conference or support a project. The funds must be expended by 5/30/2017.

Full RFP Link
Application

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, special guest Rebecca Berner, and I discuss Gender and Sexuality with GSEC staff member Seve Christian. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

 

Together We Will

In her inaugural address President Hutchinson provided us with perspective on our history and our future that moved and inspired. Towards the end of her remarks she gave us this promise:

Together, we will work as one University; breaking down silos, removing institutional barriers, and encouraging innovations so that we serve our students better and promote their success through applied instruction and engaged learning, community service and civic engagement, and global and multicultural education. And, we will improve upon and make sustainable the means by which we provide support for students’ personal well-being.”

I left the address with those words stuck on repeat in my head. I was thinking about the ways we rise to meet those challenges and how we try, fall short, and get up to try again. Mainly I thought about the phrasing. This is not a directive or a question, it is a promise, which led me to think about who we are making this promise to and how we will make sure we keep it.

Faculty Development relies on an empowerment model rather than on expertise. If you were looking to us for answers, the best tool we have to offer is a mirror. Today I want to point you to the currently active options for enrichment offered through our office and encourage you to think about them as opportunities to learn and teach. More than anything, think of them as ways to keep our promise not that we can, or that we will try, but rather that we will.

Faculty Development Spring 2017 Program Offerings

Feel free to apply for multiple offerings. General questions can be directed to Zach Justus
zjustus@csuchico.edu. All applications due on 3/31/2017.

Academy e-Learning 9.1: Teaching with Help

Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: June 1-2, 5-7 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.1, launching with the first of this summer’s one-week institutes –Teaching with Help. During this intensive institute, we will explore highly effective strategies for mentoring and working with TAs/mentors so you can realize their full potential and value in your course(s). Your work during this institute will focus on incorporating assistants, in all their forms, into your courses in meaningful ways.

Full RFP Link
Application

Academy e-Learning 9.2: Best Practices for Working with Student Writing

Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: August 3-4, 7-9 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.2, the second of this summer’s one-week institutes. In recognition of the campus’ on-going interest in high impact educational practices, this institute is focused on supporting students’ writing.

Full RFP Link
Application

 Writing Boot Camp

Leadership: Chris Fosen
Compensation: $500 (taxable income)
Workload: May 23-26 8am-4pm
Brief Description: You are invited to take part in a one-week writing boot camp. Applicants are expected to be physically present and participate all day.  Since our goal is substantive writing, it is most suitable for projects that are already well under way.

Full RFP Link
Application

Learning Enhancement Grants

Brief Description: The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is offering faculty awards of up to $5,515 to improve quality and productivity in learning and teaching in a course or program. Projects that strongly enhance student learning and have a demonstrable impact receive priority consideration. Proposals should address relevance to the University Strategic Plan. Funds awarded in spring of 2017 must be expended between July 1, 2017 and May 30, 2018. Proposals are due by Friday, March 31, 2017 at 5pm.

Full RFP Link
Application

Just in time Professional Development

Brief Description: The Faculty Development Program is offering faculty awards of up to $1,000 in Professional Development Funds to support faculty who need to attend a conference or support a project. The funds must be expended by 5/30/2017.

Full RFP Link
Application

Faculty Development is searching for the next director!

Got feedback on this tip? Got an idea for a tip? Send it along. Check out our new and improved wordpress site here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I discuss the past, present, and future of alcohol at CSU, Chico with CADEC staff member Morgan Rosen. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

Faculty Development Spring/Summer Offerings

headerIn lieu of a traditional Tuesday Teaching Tip, we want to direct your attention to the late Spring-Summer offerings from Faculty Development. We look forward to seeing your applications!

Faculty Development Spring 2017 Program Offerings
Feel free to apply for multiple offerings. General questions can be directed to Zach Justus
zjustus@csuchico.edu. All applications due on 3/31/2017.

Academy e-Learning 9.1: Teaching with Help
Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: June 1-2, 5-7 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.1, launching with the first of this summer’s one-week institutes –Teaching with Help. During this intensive institute, we will explore highly effective strategies for mentoring and working with TAs/mentors so you can realize their full potential and value in your course(s). Your work during this institute will focus on incorporating assistants, in all their forms, into your courses in meaningful ways.

Full RFP Link
Application

Academy e-Learning 9.2: Best Practices for Working with Student Writing
Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: August 3-4, 7-9 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.2, the second of this summer’s one-week institutes. In recognition of the campus’ on-going interest in high impact educational practices, this institute is focused on supporting students’ writing.

Full RFP Link
Application

Writing Bootcamp
Leadership: Chris Fosen
Compensation: $500 (taxable income)
Workload: May 23-26 8am-4pm
Brief Description: You are invited to take part in a one-week writing bootcamp. Applicants are expected to be physically present and participate all day.  Since our goal is substantive writing, it is most suitable for projects that are already well under way.

Full RFP Link
Application

Learning Enhancement Grants
Brief Description: The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is offering faculty awards of up to $5,515 to improve quality and productivity in learning and teaching in a course or program. Projects that strongly enhance student learning and have a demonstrable impact receive priority consideration. Proposals should address relevance to the University Strategic Plan. Funds awarded in spring of 2017 must be expended between July 1, 2017 and May 30, 2018. Proposals are due by Friday, March 31, 2017 at 5pm.

Full RFP Link
Application

Just in time Professional Development
Brief Description: The Faculty Development Program is offering faculty awards of up to $1,000 in Professional Development Funds to support faculty who need to attend a conference or support a project. The funds must be expended by 5/30/2017.

Full RFP Link
Application
Faculty Development is searching for the next director!

We held a popular workshop on Dossier Prep for Lecturers earlier this semester. Find the video archive and handouts here.
Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section of the CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.
Got feedback on this tip? Got an idea for a tip? Send it along. Check out our new and improved wordpress site here.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I discuss what it means to be an alum with Aaron Skaggs of the Alumni Association. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

Immigration Comes Home

The Executive Order on Immigration has already inspired protest, sparked confusion, praise, and been struck down in the courts. Now there is the real possibility of a second Executive Order along similar lines, which makes it hard to fully understand the implications these policies might have for students and professors.

immigrationorder

Universities have played a central role in this debate. The arguments about impacts on students and scholars were some of most persuasive ones used in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Students and colleagues come from all over the world will experience changes in immigration policy in ways that are often invisible to citizens. Last week Faculty Development, in partnership with Faculty Affairs and the Global Faculty Initiative, brought a local immigration attorney to campus for presentation and questions about general topics. Today (Tuesday) we welcome Chris Fowler, general counsel for Chico, to campus to discuss implications for campus. Chris is in a better position to answer questions about faculty searches, hiring, and concerns about students. Please join us in Selvester’s at 3:30 for more.

Some reminders for you:
The Academy e-Learning application is live!
Faculty Development is searching for the next director!
We held a popular workshop on Dossier Prep for Lecturers earlier this semester. Find the video archive and handouts here.

Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section of the CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.

Got feedback on this tip? Got an idea for a tip? Send it along. Check out our new and improved wordpress site here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I discuss what it means to be an alum with Aaron Skaggs of the Alumni Association. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

L.E.A.R.N.

Welcome Back!

This week you will have a flyer entitled L.E.A.R.N. in your mailboxes from the Campus Incident Response Team. The flyer is a quick-start guide for managing contentious classroom discussions. It is designed for you to keep in a notebook, post it outside your office, or clip it to the board in a classroom. As a companion the team has also produced an extended guide which you can find on the new “Our Democracy” page off the University main page. To save you a click, we are also posting it here as today’s teaching tip. Good luck out there!

Contentious classroom discussions can be difficult for everyone involved. As an instructor you are often balancing the roles of teacher, peacemaker, and arbiter. This is the extended version of the L.E.A.R.N. quick-start guide distributed to campus.

Listen to what your students are saying. Listening can be hard, especially if someone is saying something with which you strongly disagree. However, it is a precondition to everything that should come next. Listening allows us to understand, find meaning and agreement, and opens the possibility of reaching a better solution.  In the same way that you want your students to listen to you, be open to being challenged by your students.  If you make a mistake, apologize.  Learn from it.  Unsure how to get started? Watch this short informative video about active listening.

Empathize with their position, especially when it is difficult. In the contemporary political environment this is often the missing piece. In the moment of a contentious classroom discussion it can be difficult to fully grasp why students feel the way they do, but making an effort is important. Try to consider why people feel the way they do rather than just focusing on what was said, but do so without casting judgment.  Assume the best of others.  If a student says something alarming or seemingly out of place, ask about it.  Listen for the subtext; sometimes the most important thing is under what is said.  Or, offer a tentative interpretation about the student’s feelings and intentions.  Question in a manner that requests more information or attempts to clear up confusions.  This part of the process can also be taken off-line with an email expressing empathy or a follow-up office hour visit. Empathy is a powerful teaching tool. This recent podcast is a great primer on why teaching with empathy is so effective.

Assess what to do. Take a minute compose yourself. We have been conditioned to respond immediately and avoid silence, but you need to fight the impulse to act immediately. If things get heated, take a time out.  Spend five minutes writing about what you feel.  Then resume the conversation. This can be awkward, but it is okay to tell your class everyone should take a moment to process what was said and consider how to move forward. This tactic will be helpful for them and it gives you a minute to compose yourself. Your solution does not have to be perfect, but taking a minute will make it better.

Respond directly, redirect the conversation, or end it. There is no one path forward from a difficult classroom conversation. Instead of having a go-to tactic, try being aware of the options at your disposal in a contentious classroom. You can respond directly and engage the topic at hand. This is a great option if you feel well equipped for the conversation and you feel the conversation can be productive for the class. You can redirect the flow of the classroom, frequently toward the usual classroom content. This is a good tactic if you feel a conversation is headed in an unproductive direction and it does not shut you off from following up later with a Blackboard or in person announcement to start the next class. The last resort in a contentious class period is to end class early. This should only be reserved for situations where the rest of class will be unproductive and/or people in the class feel like they might be at risk. This tactic re-centers your control in the classroom. If you end class, you should follow up with any student who may feel isolated, with an explanation to the class, and consult with your department chair.

Negotiate how to move forward. You have so many options as you consider what should happen next. You can seek advice from your chair or from colleagues. You can communicate through Blackboard or in person to start the next class period. You can follow up with individuals or groups from the class. In some situations you may want to contact Student Judicial Affairs to get a better understanding of your options. Writing down what happened for your own purposes is a useful exercise regardless as you can make a note of details you may not remember later. The most important thing you can do is seek advice. You may be shaken up following a contentious classroom incident and getting guidance from someone with a clear head and a different perspective is the best thing you can do for yourself and your students.

Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section ofthe CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our fourth episode of the Fall is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I discuss the election with Juni Banerjee-Stevens and Mike Pence (not really, just checking to see if you were still reading). Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

 

You can always listen

I have really struggled with what to write this week. Coming up with the thing to say after the election is something a lot of us are struggling with. Then I realized I was asking the wrong question. As faculty we often default to the perspective that we have wisdom the world needs. What I, and I think all of us should be asking is, what do other people have to say?

Listen to your students who have been harassed on and off campus with an open mind. Listen to your students in class as they complain that everyone is talking about the election, when they want to learn about what they came here to study. Listen to your students who were thrilled at the election results, but are afraid about voicing their enthusiasm on campus. These may be office hour conversations, they may occupy class time, they may be email exchanges or comments as you walk across campus. The form of the conversation is not particularly important and do not worry about how you will respond or not having the right answer, just start with listening. You will find yourself listening to things you disagree with and do not understand. You will find yourself surprised at the things your students and colleagues think and experience. You may find your own views on expression changing, but it has to start with listening, even if it takes us outside our comfort zones. Sometimes listening is what helps us make a change, sometimes listening is all that is required. My background is in communication and one fascinating truth from that field of study is that we hear all the time, but listening is an active choice requiring work. If you want to take this a step further toward discussion you should read about what Villanova is doing after the election.

No one ever looks back on a decision and says to themselves “I wish I would have understood people less before proceeding.” So ask students how they are doing, let them know your office hours are open to them, and listen.

Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section of the CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our third episode of the Fall is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I explore athletics at Chico and beyond. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

 

Take the long view

This is not the time in the semester when we usually think about planning ahead. We are usually pushing through those last few portfolios, finalizing our cumulative exam, or wondering how much coffee the human body can consume during 24 hours and still function normally. I want to encourage you to take 15 minutes to take a longer view of your work at Chico.

I want you to think about teaching and learning in relation to three events/deadlines this week and invest in yourself by taking advantage of them.

  1. How many great student ideas find their final destination on your desk or in gradebook and never see the light of day? One solution that helps showcase student ideas while also helping us with assessment and content management are ePortfolios. The ePortfolio assessment team is bringing vendors to campus on Wednesday and there will be examples of current ePortfolio work on campus. These platforms can be powerful in promoting teaching and learning, they can also help students transition to the workforce. Find out more about the event here. If you are unable to attend, but want more information visit http://www.csuchico.edu/eportfolios/.
  1. One of our most popular programs in Faculty Development is the article in 12 weeks faculty learning community. Chris Fosen leads interdisciplinary groups through encouragement and mutual accountability toward publication. This program is popular because it works. The participants in the past three semesters have almost all met their goals and some have utilized the lessons learned to publish multiple articles. The deadline for Fall 2016 participation is this Friday (5/13).The application process is straight forward and brief. Writing can be a real challenge during the semester, take advantage of this proven program to get the work done.
  2. The CELT conference submission deadline has been extended to 5/13 at 5pm. The conference is a great opportunity to share your own innovations and learn from others. There is no cost to participants and the audience numbers (we averaged 14 per session in 2015) are solid. We welcome submissions from faculty, students, and staff. Take a few minutes to submit an abstract or coordinate with colleagues on a topic, it will be worth your time.

One last reminder, the Faculty Grading Oasis will be available to you again this semester. We will have fresh coffee, snacks, and our student staff will be available to you to help with grading as long as schedules and FERPA guidelines permit. Come see us in MLIB 458 next week and get some help!

Got feedback on this tip? Leave a comment or email it to us. Got an idea for a tip? Send it along.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! The newest episode is on the strike that wasn’t. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

 

Low Stress, High Success

SStress-Metertress seems everywhere this time of the semester. The academic year is close to an end which means student concerns about grades and graduation, too many meetings crammed into the day, celebrations that sometimes feel like obligations, and this year we are all making sense of the strike and what it might mean for ourselves and our students. Speaking of students, the stress of the end of the year can be even greater for them as they deal with a host of transitions many of us moved on from years ago.

I once worked with a graduate student whose motto was “low stress-high success” and while I have never been able to live the slogan quite how he did, the merits of limiting stress in our lives are well documented and substantial.

This week’s tips for reducing stress are brought to you by the School of Nursing. They authored the attached sheet and want to encourage you to stop by their table outside Butte Station this week to pick up a stress kit. Please encourage your students to stop by as well.

 

Why Would I Ever Need to Know This?

Today’s tip is brought to you by Patti Horsley and Ellie Ertle from the Office of Civic Engagement.

StudeWhy-Picnts often struggle to connect course content outside the classroom. This can lead to uncomfortable classroom moments with questions like “why would I ever need to know this?” and “who cares about this?” CSU, Chico is a national leader at answering this question with civic engagement, our newest strategic priority.

Simply put, civic engagement is helping students engage with real problems and opportunities in the community and world in which they live. Chico State faculty have a rich history of civic engagement – whether it is working with community leaders to research and address local issues, teaching lessons in schools, or engaging students in service learning projects. In doing so, we create space for students to learn more about themselves as well as about how they can use their unique talents, and academic expertise to impact the world for the better.

Civic Engagement provides a host of benefits for students and faculty members. It fosters student growth by enhancing academic engagement and performance, increases the likelihood of graduation and positively impacts understanding of civic involvement, community roles, democracy and public life. With the new strategic priority, faculty can now connect their civic engagement work specifically to the service section of RTP.

Chico State values civic engagement and education for the public good. It may seem intimidating, but there are resources on campus to facilitate these opportunities for your courses. The Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) can help you incorporate civic engagement into your curriculum in a way that works for you, your class and your students. For more information, visit OCE’s website or email us at oce@csuchico.edu.

Check out these upcoming civic engagement opportunities:

  1. Civic Engagement Forum: Join us May 2nd, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm in Colusa 100 and dialogue with Chico State students as they showcase their civic engagement projects! This is a great opportunity to get ideas for your future civic engagement work!
  2. Know someone doing great work? Nominate them for the 2016 Civic Engagement Recognitions! OCE is proud to celebrate civic engagement achievements at Chico State by recognizing excellence in civic engagement among Chico State faculty, academic departments/ centers/programs, student organizations and community partners. For more information or to submit a nomination, please visit our website at www.csuchico.edu/civic/

Got feedback on this tip? Leave a comment or email it to us. Got an idea for a tip? Send it along.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! The newest episode is on our new President. Link to it on itunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.