Regular news/updates from chair of Curriculum & Instruction department


(in reverse chronological order)

8/2/06

Fall & Spring schedules
Registrations are low in a number of courses. This will lead to some sections being cancelled. If any of core faculty's sections are below 6 students, it is in your interest to let me know what other sections (currently unassigned or assigned to a part-timer, http://candi.wikispaces.com/Schedule) that you would prefer to teach. Lack of response leaves you vulnerable to an assignment you do not like at all.
The time table for this is that corrections have just been submitted, then we'll drop unneeded sections fo multi-section courses, then we'll alert faculty with low-enrolled courses and see if there's extenuating circumstances (e.g., known students will register, course is needed for graduation..) before cancellations start (around 8/15).

Requests for spring '07 assignments are still welcome! (http://candi.wikispaces.com/Schedule#Spring07)

Core GenEd and SpEd faculty should note that, if you don't want to be assigned a section of supervision, you had better prepare a case to present when your program debates the proposed rule that all core faculty in those programs teach one supervision section per year. (I don't see the rule as set in stone, but I also do not think this issue should be subject to ad hoc decisions by the chair for or against individual faculty members' appeals.)

Graduate assistants
Last call for requests for a research assistant for the fall. If you don't have a project formulated now for which you need assistance, you can let me kow early in the fall to put dibs in for the spring.
Next week (8/8) I'll inform successful applicants.

Space changes
The switch of mail room and Aralisa's office will happen soon, but there'll be room for input about the arrangement of the main office after the switch is done.
The possible move of downstairs staff back up to 2nd floor depends on things, such as, checkup on possible environmental problems with carpet downstairs.

Responses to emails
I am working through backlogged email when I can, but give me a nudge if you think I have lost track of a request or query.

Federalism
The constitutional changes for the department clarified the "federalist" structure of the department. In my evolving (and yet-to-be-realized) interpretation of the chair's role within this structure,
programs take responsibility a) to run their own programs and b) to coordinate when matters affect more than one program or c) need the chair to make proposals to the higher ups.
Even when this is working smoothly the chair should d) keep informed about developments, e) nudge when things have been overlooked/forgotten, and f) try to achieve equity in resources.
The one non-federalist issue would be that the chair has g) final authority over staffing & funding of courses.

In the meantime, you can bring any issue to me and I'll let you know if there's a better person to take it to.

7/17/06


Space -- volunteers needed for committee
Opinions are strongly in favor of making the current mail/copier room Aralisa's office, moving the equipment and mailboxes back into the larger room, and then adding furniture, coffee pot, noticeboard, etc. to make the larger office a congenial place people might stop and talk for a few minutes in. Opinions are also in favor of the Advising & Licensure Offices moving back upstairs, but the Dean will make final decision about this. I'd like a few volunteers to form an adhoc c'tee to consult with each other about the resulting arrangements for both switches.

Meeting day -- August 31st. Pencil in that there'll probably be an all-college meeting (agenda to be determined) from 10-1, followed by a departmental meeting, then individual program meetings. Although some of you may be away still on vacation (or wishing to have one more day to work on summer projects), having these meetings then will avoid the juggling of day and time that would come with meetings once semester starts.

Graduate Assistantships -- Reminder: Please spread the word to curent & incoming students in all programs. Each position is 5 hours/week for $1625/ semester (plus tuition waiver & 1/4 fee waiver)
Candidates should provide a one paragraph statement of general goals and qualifications to peter.taylor@umb.edu by 7/31/05.
I would appreciate volunteers for a selection committee (and matchmaking with faculty needs) for period probably 8/1-8/7. Please email me, peter.taylor@umb.edu.

Mario Rodas update (6/28) from Hannah
Thank you to all who contributed to supporting Mario Rodas by calling or writing letters to Senators Kerry and Kennedy and Representative Capuano. It made a difference! Everyone's calls and letters also contributed to there being a New York Times article that came out last week:
<http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/washington/politics-life-deportation.html?ex=1151726400&en=cebf11dab154d9d8&ei=5070&emc=eta1>http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/washington/politics-life-deportation.html?ex=1151726400&en=cebf11dab154d9d8&ei=5070&emc=eta1
Also, after the call-in day, when lines were reported jammed at all three Congressional offices, both Kennedy and Capuano said they would call the Dept of Homeland Security on Mario's behalf, but they would not file a private bill.
Mario's deportation hearing was scheduled for yesterday morning. The good news is that his case was delayed - continued for 6 months. Here is more info from the person at MIRA who is continuing to coordinate the effort to keep Mario home.

Email contact & phone conferences: I won't be on campus this week or next, and email replies may be slow, but please email to sign up for times on Mondays for a phone conference if something arises, http://candi.wikispaces.com/PTOfficehours.

7/10/06


Space I
I've been getting input from faculty about the C&I office space and would like to float the idea that we make the current mail/copier room Aralisa's office, move the equipment and mailboxes back into the larger room, and then add furniture, coffee pot, noticeboard, etc. to make the larger office a congenial place people might stop and talk for a few minutes in.* Given that space changes were done this last year without input from department members, I'd like to get reactions before implementing such an idea.
I'd also like a few volunteers to form an adhoc c'tee to consult with each other about the resulting arrangement if we do go ahead with the switch.

  • P.S. Steve Ribisi (and someone to be determined) will probably organize a weekly lunch time meeting where people talk about some aspect of their work. That could be in my office if it's only 10 people of out in the larger office if more come. I want to make my office available for meetings of committees (and I'll take my laptop and work elsewhere during these times).

Space II
The Dean is soliciting input about possibly moving NERCHE downstairs and moving the Advising & Licensure Offices upstairs. Please send reactions to me to forward to him.

Annual report
A copy of the annual report I compiled from program coordinators's reports and submitted to the Dean can be viewed at http://candi.wikispaces.com/AnnualReport0506. Comments welcome.

Graduate Assistantships -- We're reposting the positions because they weren't posted or advertized widely the first time. Please spread the word to curent & incoming students in all programs. Deadline: 7/31/05.
Each position is 5 hours/week for $1625/ semester (plus tuition waiver & 1/4 fee waiver)
A. General Summary of Position: Research assistant (multiple positions)
B. Examples of Duties: Library & internet research
C. Minimum Qualifications: Organizational & computer skills. (One position requires knowledge of Cantonese.)
Candidates should provide a one paragraph statement of general goals and qualifications to peter.taylor@umb.edu

I would appreciate volunteers for a selection committee (and matchmaking with faculty needs) for period probably 8/1-8/7. Please email me, peter.taylor@umb.edu.

Searches
On the basis of Jonathan Chu's account of five positions needed by the Department, last month the Dean requested of the provost two searches for 06-07 -- one for chair and one for early childhood and elementary education (as a replacement for Mari Koerner). My proposal that we ask to search for positions in two areas and make each one open to the possibility of an appointment as chair arrived after the Dean's request had been submitted. I will keep you informed if the requst can be revised at this stage.

More data on course workload requested. Because revisions to the spring schedule are due in the first week of the semester, the caps on courses may have to remain as before unless enough data is received by mid- August about actual instructor's workloads to revise the caps on courses in a rational, equitable, and transparent way. See 6/21 news for check-list for estimating hours, http://candi.wikispaces.com/ChairsNews

Email contact & phone conferences: I won't be on campus the remaining weeks during July, and email replies may be slow, but please email to sign up for times on Mondays for a phone conference if something urgent arises, http://candi.wikispaces.com/PTOfficehours.

See notices in previous Newses, http://candi.wikispaces.com/ChairsNews on:
Fall Schedule (note on possible adjustments given low enrollment)
Faculty needs for Graduate Assistantships
Spring Schedule
Travel support

6/27/06


Fall Schedule: In a number of cases corresponding undergrad and grad courses are listed at the same time.
This was done so that low registration wouldn't lead to cancellation of the undergrad. section. Instructors may have to post notices on the door of one of the rooms directing students to the other room.
The current low registration in many courses means that part-timers won't get contracts till numbers are higher.
Recall from last week: If, come early August, a regular faculty member's course has low registration, my plan is to ask you to prepare a back-up teaching assignment from, alas, the courses that were to be taught by part-timers. Doing this is a chore, but it should help me stave off demands to cancel courses prematurely, given that we know that many returning students register late and non-matriculated stduents make up the numbers in some courses.

Graduate Assistantships: Please let me know if you have a defined project(s) for which you could use a 5hr/week graduate assistant. If there are more requests than available assistants, I'd like to propose that people think about having an assistant for one semester only (as against splitting the 5 hours into smaller weekly bits of time during the whole year) -- how does this sound?
I'm still trying to learn about the process of students applying for these positions.

Copier: You can send scan a document and send it by email. Quite cool.

Spring courses: Current listing is on the wiki, http://candi.wikispaces.com/Schedule#Spring07. Please let me know what you would like to teach and draw attention to any errors and omissions. If we can get this cleaned up by the end of August, it will appear correctly in the printed course schedule. CCDE courses (incl. online ones) need to be in by 8/25.

Email contact & phone conferences: I won't be on campus every week during July, and email replies may be slow, but please suggest times for a phone conference if something urgent arises.

Space: The part-timers' office (2 doors down from main office) has been restored for use. It still needs mice for the computers, but part-timers can gain access to meet with students now if they contact Aralisa Colon (617-287-7591).
With the main offices getting tidied up, we can consider rearranging space to best meet the department's wishes. Input welcome.

Travel: Expect the annual faculty travel awards to apply as they were last year. ("In FY '06 non tenured faculty will be reimbursed $800 plus and additional $200 if a they are presenting at a conference. In FY '06 tenured faculty will be reimbursed $600 plus and additional $400 if a they are presenting at a conference.") Preapproval form is needed (linked to http://candi.wikispaces.com/Documents)

Advising Office on First Floor (Elaine Bauer, Kevin Ziomek, and GA). Services/responsibilities/plans are described at http://candi.wikispaces.com/Advising
Faculty should suggest clarifications and enhancements directly to Elaine or via the program coordinators and Chair.

Evolving Articulation of Guidelines for Working to Develop our programs, department, and college as Supportive Communities, http://candi.wikispaces.com/CommunityGuidelines
This wikipage includes my initial notes after 4 weeks in the job. Please contribute suggested additions and contrasting views. This wikipage should be seen as self-clarification, more than policy, because the department has not discussed these guidelines and stating guidelines is never the same as getting them understood, appreciated, and adopted.

Freeman/Ebe wedding
EbeWedding.jpg

6/21/06


Membership of Department: please let me know if a name is missing or in the wrong place http://candi.wikispaces.com/Members. Please let me know if you are no longer associated with Dept of Curriculum & Instruction so we can take you off the email list. Please send names & emails of regular part-timers ("adjuncts") and other people who should be kept abreaast of C&I matters so they can be added.

Office Hours: It's been great to learn more about poeple's backgrounds and passions. The remaining openings for the summer are limited, http://candi.wikispaces.com/PTOfficeHours, so email me if you want a phone meeting at another time. Please be patient about your concerns -- don't assume I am ignoring anything, but don't assume that I can give up the rest of my work and life this summer to get everything in order, especially in relation to the sticky issues (see 6/2 email)

Email: I'm behind in responding to email while I pull together the revised fall schedule.
Note: It makes it harder for me to keep track when people use the reply button without changing the subject line to inidcate the specific subject. See http://candi.wikispaces.com/eetiquette

Space: The part-timers' office (2 doors down from main office) has been restored for use. It still needs vacumming and making pretty -- suggestions welcome -- and for the computers to be linked up, but part-timers can gain access to meet with students now if they contact Aralisa Colon (617-287-7591). Thanks to Kristen Bennett, Maryann Byrnes & Vann Taylor for their work on the tidying up of this room.
Once we have tidied up the main offices, we can consider rearranging space to best meet the department's wishes. Suggestions welcome.

Revised/updated course schedule for the fall his about to be submitted. A copy is at http://candi.wikispaces.com/Schedule. Please alert me to errors and make suggestions for who to fill the gaps (including yourself if you are a part-timer).
Registration for many courses is low. If, come early August, this is still the case for a regular faculty member's course, my plan os to ask you to prepare a back-up teaching assignment from, alas, the courses that were to be taught by part-timers. Doing this is a chore, but it should help me stave off demands to cancel courses prematurely, given that we know that many returning students register late and non-matriculated stduents make up the numbers in some courses.

Information needs for me to arrange teaching and committee assignments efficiently, timely, and fairly: I'm still seeking copies of documents that formalize any course releases and assignments outside C&I. Please don't force me to assign you to teach additional courses because you haven't delivered this.

Towards Equity in Course Workload: As I said last week, one of my goals as chair is to develop equitable principles for any procedure or assignment and make these transparent. To make sure "equitization" of assignments is "data driven," I would appreciate any data you can provide on the hours for your courses and supervisions. The following format [please suggest adjustments to this] will help us compare courses:
  • preparation in advance of class [once yu have taught the course the first time]
  • class meeting time; for how many weeks in the semester?
  • preparation each week; for how many weeks in the semester?
  • how much time you spend per student each week for commenting on writing; for how many weeks in the semester?
  • how much time for office consultations; for how many weeks in the semester?
  • Supervisions: traveling and observing time.

Merit awards: These are appearing in pay checks for faculty in the union/bargaining unit and soon you 'll get a letter with specific detail. I am in the process of learning about the steps by which the amounts were determined, but let me know if you have queries.

Annual Faculty Reviews (AFRs) and Course Evaluations: Each faculty member has a personnel file down in the Dean's area and has the right to view its contents. Ask the Dean's secretary to pull out your file (and let me know if there are any problems). The Department will also keep a file for each faculty member containing a) copies of the AFRs & reviews by AFR review subcommitee and chair; b) syllabi; and c) course evaluations. If the Dean adds comments to the AFR, a copy of these will be sent back to the Department for its files.

In preparing your AFR, please take time to look over your course evaluations and add an explanatory note if its seems appropriate. The Dean has asked chairs to discuss not-so-stellar course evaluations with faculty. Your AFR can aso include a contextual note on your work -- indeed, this will help the AFR review sub-c'tee to write intelligently about your work.

Art, Architecture and the Public Square: Room is still available for teachers at the FREE summer teacher institute:
Boston Public Library: Art, Architecture and the Public Square, July
10-14.

DonĂ­t miss this incredible opportunity to study the architecture, history
and impact of the Boston Public Library building and bring new expertise,
tools, and curriculum back to your classroom!

Space is limited and the registration period is about to end, so sign up
today by calling the Massachusetts Studies Project at 617-287-7654.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE
Boston Public Library Foundation: Art, Architecture and the Public Square
Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
July 10-14, 2006 and November 18, 2006

The Boston Public Library, in partnership with the Massachusetts Studies
Project at UMass-Boston, will present the Library as a model of how public
buildings function, not just as monuments to the collective memory, but as
constantly evolving works of art. Teachers will learn from the institute
how to use local cultural resources to enliven curriculum for grades 5-12,
and will develop a curriculum unit to implement during the Fall.

This program is part of a national pilot sponsored by the National
Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural
Council. See http://massculturalcouncil.org/programs/institutes.html for
additional information.

Cost: Free
Register now, space is limited to 20.

Each participant will receive a $150 stipend following implementation of
their curriculum unit in Fall, 2006.

To register please contact the Massachusetts Studies Project at
617-287-7654 or e-mail k12.msp@umb.edu

6/13/06

I urge everyone to refer to the Teacher Ed graduate program as Gen Ed or general teacher education, so we keep in mind that Special Ed is also a program educating K-12 teachers.

Ann Freeman is now Ann Ebe after getting married the weekend before last in Maine -- photos to come soon.

The wiki continues to develop. One area to take note of is an evolving list of pointers for our email-mediated interactions -- http://candi.wikispaces.com/eetiquette -- additions or contrasting guidelines welcome.

Email protocol
Please no cc's to Dean on C&I matters -- let me inform him after having a chance to make suggested changes. Otherwise we might perpetuate the sense that the Department is in "chapter 11" (as well as adding epicycles to my work if I see the need for changes.)

Information needs for me to arrange teaching and committee assignments efficiently, timely, and fairly: Copies of documents that formalize any course releases and assignments outside C&I.

Information needs re: past due reimbursements:
Last call for people to use the spreadsheet attached last week (or other means) to inform Aralisa and me of not-yet-remibursed items you or people you are responsible for are owed. Then we'll bring the whole slate of items to Ann Carbone for follow up.

Orientation meetings with/for me are continuing. Thse of you who haven't signed up yet, please take note of openings, http://candi.wikispaces.com/PTOfficeHours.

Two WebCT introductory workshops on July 12th and 19th; see http://candi.wikispaces.com/Calendar

Robert T. Teranishi, Ph.D., Black Migration from Cities to Suburbs: Implications for Education Policy, Wednesday, June 14, 200, 1:00 p.m., McCormack Room 3/415

Space: We are gradually clearing out non-chair's stuff from the chair's office so I can make it a congenial place to work and for meetings of various sizes. We also want to clear up the main office by the end of the month. To that end, we will be returning boxes of student work to your offices. If a student comes by Aralisa will take them to your office to get their work (unless you email some other arrangement to them).

Schedule is slowing taking its revised shape in light of the information you are sending me and talking about with me. Target date: 6/20 for assignments.
One thing to anticipate: A policy seems to have taken shape (subject to confirmation by Gen. Teacher Ed faculty in the fall?) that all core Gen. Teacher Ed faculty will do one supervision per year. For some of you, this may mean dropping one regular course that you teach. If you want to do this supervision in the fall, please let me know asap.

Advising: Another policy foreshadowed at last week's program co-ordinators' meeting is that all core faculty will have advisees (estimate of 15 each for Gen Ed; more for other programs). (This already happens in Spec. Ed, CCT, and Instr. Design.)

Procedures/principles/guidelines: One of my goals as chair is to develop equitable principles for any procedure or assignment and make thse transparent. If you don't understand where something is coming from, please ask -- it will help me articulate principles better, consult further, and revise where appropriate.

6/8/06


Please let me know if you are no longer associated with Dept of Curriculum & Instruction so we can take you off the email list. Please send names & emails of regular part-timers ("adjuncts") and other people who should be kept abreaast of C&I matters so they can be added.

Program coordinators (as the revised constitution dictates) have been established for the four graduate programs:
Instructional Design, Dennis Maxey
Critical & Creative Thinking, Nina Greenwald
Special Education, Maryann Byrnes, with Glenn Mitchell acting cordinator while MAB is on sabbatical
General teacher Ed, Lisa Gonsalves (acting coordinator for 06-07 b/c no one eligible ran for election; will start in September. Until then there is no formal coordinator, but Jorgelina Abbate-Vaughn has agreed to be delegated authority to sign forms.)

A committee of the Program Coordinators met yesterday and shared what's been working well, what changes are planned, what support would be needed to realize those plans, and other information. Notes from meeting will be posted on the wiki in due course.

The wiki continues to develop -- check it out at http://candi.wikispaces.com/. You can view the wiki simply as an informational website that is easy for its webmeister (me) to edit and update. However, unlike a normal website, the webmeister is not the only one who can make changes & additions. Eventually you may feel like joining the wiki and making your own contibutions.

Resources on the wiki include recent video and book acquisitions to the Curriculum Resource Library, http://candi.wikispaces.com/Resources

Information needs for me to arrange teaching and committee assignments efficiently, timely, and fairly:
*From Ann, Hannah, Nina, Brian:
what you've been assigned to teach (or if you don't yet know) including supervision,
what course releases you get (and for what),
any other special conditions in your contracts that affect work assignments,
what you are scheduled to teach in summer and fall,
and
what committees you are now on.

Information needs re: past due reimbursements:
Please fill in using the attached spreadsheet to the best of your knowledge the not-yet-remibursed items you or people you are respsonsible for are owed. Send it to C&I administrator, aralisa.colon@umb.edu, ASAP with cc to me.

Orientation meetings with me have begun. Thse of you who haven't signed up yet, please take note of openings, http://candi.wikispaces.com/PTOfficeHours.

Stay tuned for more exciting developments next week!

6/2/06

I have agreed to be chair starting now and going through the year ahead. The formal letter hasn't been signed, but Peter L. says it's OK to begin talking with faculty now that we have agreed on principle. Peter L. is especially hoping the department can "pull together, communicate, and build on strengths."

To learn how I and the department can best support your work, I am hoping to talk with each of you in person or by phone, either before mid-June or at the start of the fall. (I don't want to cut into faculty's summer with meetings or phone dates after mid-June.) I'll send times when I can meet soon.

The way I like to think about our "work" is that it is about:
1) supporting students' intellectual & professional development;
2) supporting each other as colleagues in doing #1;
3) the research, writing, teaching, and organizational development activities that excite us (that led us to be academics);
4) the operating, planning, and ongoing development of the graduate & undergraduate programs we're affiliated with;
5) dealing with the administrative & other mandates (e.g., licensure, NCATE, AQUAD review) in ways that don't detract from #1-4.

To provide a framework for the meetings/phone dates, it would help me if you were able to tell me under each category above:
a) what is working well that you are involved in;
b) your plans for changes/improvements; and
c) what admin support and other changes would help you continue a and pursue b.

Thinking about admin support and other changes that would help you might open up some of what I call the "sticky issues." For the most part these result, I believe, from decisions made by previous college admins without consulting enough with the faculty who would be affected and from not revisiting the decisions in light of how things actually worked out. The dean knows that I plan to inform him about any such issues and their background -- when he's not already aware of them. But I don't want to push for revisiting these decisions on my own, i.e., without first soliciting faculty views about the issues and what are of highest priority. So please be patient (and supportive).

In the meantime, you might identify your top three wishes for things to address.