Regular news/updates from chair of Curriculum & Instruction department

(in reverse chronological order)


Teaching Innovations. Please send Ann Ebe descriptions of your teaching innovations so she can include them in a report for NCATE. (Some of you describe these in your AFRs, so you can copy & paste them from there.)

Lunchtime departmental seminar
Thursday, December 7th
Kanter Conference room
Ann Ebe
TOPIC: Eye Movement Miscue Analysis (EMMA)

Upstairs/downstairs. See latest proposal from Chair to Dean for Space rearrangements.

Future of Graduate Dean's Office debated: See memos from "line" Deans and response from Graduate Dean, with observations by me.

AFR Process. The summaries from the AFR review subcommittee are now in my hands. Once I have made my comments, you can read them and the summary, and add any additionbal material (incl. corrections) before signing.

Extra note on course assignments and "seniority." There is no seniority principle in what full, associate, and assistant professors teach, except that, if one of their sections is cancelled, they will be reassigned to teach a section that had been assigned to a part-timer. (By extension, in the same circumstances a benefited part-timer gets to bump an unbenefited part-timer, provided there is a section for which the benefited person is qualified.)

Reiteration of procedures for work requests of Office Manager.
In order to clear Aralisa'a backlog of tasks, I need to ask faculty members to
a) minimize small requests (which means allowing yourself more time so you can do your own copying etc.);
b) submit any larger requests on the "work request" slips (which will allow me to work with Aralisa on prioritizing); and
c) respect Aralisa's mornings as uninterrupted times (emergencies excepted) for her to carry through on tasks that need focus and follow through.
(A copy of a work request slip is in each person's mailbox.)

To follow through on before Assistant Dean leaves (on 12/22): Please remind me of outstanding items.


Lunchtime departmental seminars
Wednesday, November 29th
Kanter conference room in downstairs GCE area.
Brian Wright
TOPIC: Participants will read a brief draft of a model with pictorial that I am working on that relates to my dissertation research that attempts to theorize or conceptualize how it is that five socially and academically successful African-American young men in 11th- and 12th grade in an urban pilot school achieve high academic success, while also enjoying a healthy racial-ethnic identity.

Thursday, December 7th
Kanter Conference room
Ann Ebe
TOPIC: Eye Movement Miscue Analysis (EMMA)

Another seminar featuring a C&I member:
The Center for Urban Cultural History's final Fall faculty seminar meeting will be next Monday, Dec.
4th from 2:30-3:45pm in W-6-94.
John White, GCOE, will present "The Stories of Knock," a chapter from his book to be entitled "The Land and The Lady: The Knock Apparition and the Irish Land War."

Leadership news
Glenn Mitchell will be associate chair for the spring (in the spirit of rotating among the program coordinators to approximate equity in the course releases for such work). The Dean has also approved Lisa Gonsalves's ongoing assignment as the Coordinator of Alternative Teacher Education Programs.

Salary anomaly process
Recommendations have been made from the Department Chair & Personnel Committee to the Dean. The process used (minus the figures and other identifying information) can be viewed here.

Postscript on Thanksgiving
I learned stuff I didn't know about history of European settlement from this website, sent to me on the weekend:,95667,.shtml


Thanks heard at a Thanksgiving meal, words from an Australian cartoonist, Leunig:
"It is timely that we give thanks for the lives of all prophets, teachers, healers and revolutionaries, living and dead, acclaimed and obscure, who have rebelled, worked and suffered for the cause of love and joy.
We also celebrate that part of us, that part within ourselves, which has rebelled, worked and suffered for the cause of love and joy.
We give thanks and celebrate."

Thanks also for a respite from emails! This said, please give me a nudge if you haven't received a reply after a week. (Open admission: I am not only behind, but not keeping track of everything.)

End of year party and Department meeting, Thursday 14 December, 4-7pm, W-4-148 (=old graduate student lounge)

New (and revived) procedures for work requests of Office Manager.
In order to clear Aralisa'a backlog of tasks, I need to ask faculty members to
a) minimize small requests (which means allowing yourself more time so you can do your own copying etc.);
b) submit any larger requests on the "work request" slips (which will allow me to work with Aralisa on prioritizing); and
c) respect Aralisa's mornings as uninterrupted times (emergencies excepted) for her to carry through on tasks that need focus and follow through.

"Work request" slips are available in the basket on the work table in the C&I office, but you can make your own by supplying the following information:
  • Submitted by:
  • Date submitted:
  • Completion date & time requested:
If not able to be done:
  • Date & time to be notified by:
  • Contact number or email:

Two-year course plans
The '07-08 course schedules are being prepared by the various program coordinators for collation by the Chair and submission in January. If possible, each program's schedule will be based on a two-year plan that takes into accopunt student needs and faculty experience/wishes. Faculty are encouraged to make their preferences known for what courses and what times they'll teach. Please note, however, that staffing of courses is ultimately the Chair's responsibility so individual faculty members may not always get what the assignment/conditions that they want/expect/demand...

Towards community guidelines, another installment
Some practices and principles that I think are valuable in helping C&I be a supportive, collegial, and congenial place for our long-term work.:
  • Communicate openly with all colleagues affected by the deliberations of any committee on which you serve, especially those you lead. (A decision made without consultation or allowing for others to disagree-even if you are 100% right and/or have done the bulk of the work and are entitled to others giving due deference to what you propose-is not a decision that builds capacity in the unit [Program, Department, College] to implement the decision effectively.)
  • Communicate openly when you notice ambiguities about mandates arising at different levels of the program/department/college hierarchy. (This gives the parties involved a chance to reconcile the differences.)
  • Do not make or allow to be made negative comments about any colleague. Instead, whenever possible affirm what has worked well and, in the appropriate setting/procedure, make suggestions to colleagues about what you think could be improved...


Years of service celebration today, 2-3.30. Thanks and Congrats to
Arthur Millman (of CCT Program) 25 years service; Lisa Gonsalves 15 years; Elaine Bauer 10 years

GenEd meeting from 11/17: Notes are on wiki

Searches. The committee met on 11/20 and is addressing a number of issues to elicit applications and manage the complex process of the linked searches. Please contact Denise Patmon with ideas or leads.

AFR process. The summaries are available for faculty to review in Aralisa's office until Thanksgiving. Please return the copy to the folder after you have read it (and copied it if you wish). Denise is the "go to" person in the event of a factual error in your AFR (or misinterpretation, but it is often better to address these by adding a note of your own -- you have the right to do this). Email Denise in order to arrange a good time to meet about their particular afr concern. During the Thanksgiving break, Peter T. will add his comments as Chair, then you have to come in and sign them (after adding any additional material or note if you so wish).

Parking passes
Ask Aralisa to order them for you when needed for guest speakers or other visitors.

Solidarity with teachers' and people's movement in Oaxaca. George Salzman, a retired UMB facultgy member sends the following information and links:
Revving up the dirty war in Oaxaca

"A number of requests asked how to support the popular struggle with financial contributions. One of the most critical needs is for news and communication. Project TUPA (Transmitters Uniting the Peoples of the Americas) and Narco News Journal are two highly commendable efforts. It is possible to make tax-deductible contributions to either of them."


If any faculty wantto know the breakdown of their merit wards for 03-04 & 04-05, please let me know. I was given this info a few weeks ago.

AFR summaries
These are available for faculty to review in Aralisa's office until Thanksgiving. Denise is the "go to" person in the event of a factual error in your AFR (or misinterpretation, but it is often better to address these by adding a note of your own -- you have the right to do this). Email Denise in order to arrange a good time to meet about their particular afr concern. During the Thnaksgiving break, Peter T. will add his comments as Chair, then you have to come in and sign them (after adding any additional material or note if you so wish).

Dean's search
The ad has gone to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The search committee will be announced shortly.

News from faculty
On October 29, 2006, Rona Flippo began her elected three year term on the College Reading Association's (CRA) Board of Directors. Rona was honored to be inducted into this prestigious Board at the conclusion of the CRA Business Meeting at their 50th Annual Conference. Rona's duties include serving this national/international literacy association of teacher educators in the field of reading education by
attending all meetings; reviewing, deliberating, and voting on all matters concerning literacy education and the association, and continuing to support the memberships' good literacy assessment and instruction initiatives / practices throughout the US and in other member countries throughout the

Question: If moths are nocturnal, why are they so keen to fly towards light?


Leave requests for 2007-8 were due to the Chair last Thursday (sabbaticals, leaves for fellowships, etc.). Let me know immediately if you plan to apply but need a (short) extension. Aralisa has the forms. Also downloadable.

Departmental meeting: provisional date 12/14, from 4-7. Place TBA. Provisional agenda: Celebration of each other's work, Appreciations and farewell to Dennis Maxey, State of the Department and its programs Q&A (based on written reports which will have been precirculated), holiday party. Please let me know about other items.

Graduate Studies Showcase: November 15 from 4-7:30pm in the Campus Center Ballroom. Let your program coordinator know if you or your students plan to be there to help shocase your program.

Hannah Sevian has received one of the 2006 President's Public Service Awards and will be recognized at a reception next month. (The "President" in this case is Jack Wilson, not GWB.)

Dennis Maxey is leaving UMass at the end of December and moving with his family to India. (Although Instructional Design has a well-functioning online degree, this is not an outsourcing of the Program to India!) Stay tuned for more news about his new position and future steps for Instructional Design.

Overlapping committees. During the summer I asked each Program coordinator to establish program subcommittees for 06-07 for the various functions, such as, admissions, advising, awards, field placements. These were to replace the C&I commitees that had operated last year, but it has become clear that some of these committees have continued because, it seems, they were imbued witha College-level status (even though most [all?] of their work relates to programs inside C&I). I have expressed my preference to the Dean for a Faculty responsibility model of organization, in which faculty in the relevant plan and define policy and practices within broad mandates from their Chair, Dean and Provost. At this point of time, however, overlapping committees and conflicting mandates persist, so I urge anyone on such a College-level committee to consult with their Program coordinator about any committees, meetings or measures that affect their Program.

Thoughts from Chair on returning from several days away at a conference and finding a number of fires burning. The details are not important (if you don't know don't ask), but let me say:
a. We need to be especially careful not to get personal about our differences when the root cause is structural, e.g, the overlapping committees referred to above, or the impossible demands on programs since the GCE eliminated course load reductions for many directors/coordinators.

b. It is always useful to address some challenging or difficult situation by proceeding through four stages [*]:
1. Objective (getting the facts as they can be observed/recognized by others)
2. Reflective (eliciting feelings and associations)
3. Interpretive (consider the meaning and significance)
4. Decisional (formulating a decision or an action)
When we have jumped quickly to a decision or interpretation, this process encourages us to go back and spend more time on the earlier stages, to be careful to separate facts from feelings, and to recognize at each step the different assessments of other participants in the situation.
(Another way of looking at this is that we too readily climb quickly up the ladder of inference:

[* Source: Focused Conversations, see]


Thoughts after 5 months as chair.
A month ago I presented a view of the C&I Department's success as an operational unit that depended on meeting nine goals []. With respect to the challenges of meeting those goals, what strike me as salient conditions at this time (10/23) include... [see ]... I welcome discussion among C&I faculty on these goals and conditions-and feedback on relevant considerations I may have overlooked or underappreciated.

Deadline for request for salary anomalies to be addressed was extended till 11/9 because the necessary data were not available before the previous deadline. Alas, the data provided so far are not very useful, but I'm getting what I think is needed from various sources (HR, union, faculty members) and should be able to provide it to faculty in time to make a good case. Regular faculty are being considered in this review; part-timers have a chance to raise anomalies later.

Bag lunch on our work & lives: Next cab off the rank will be mer on Monday Nov 6 from 12-1.30 in W-2-92a. Lunch provided. You'll get a "7-minute" version of my 2005 book, Unruly Complexity, designed to help you understand how I try to connect ecological science, social interpretation of science, and critical pedagogy.

Other people who have volunteered to talkk should renew their offer with Steve Ribisi so he can pin down two more meetings this semester.

Small grants: If you need funding up to $300 to help move along your scholarship or program development work, please send me a budget by mid-November. To meet these needs, we will be using the funds that the Department gets from Contiuing Ed for each course taught through CCDE. Part-time as well as full-time faculty may apply.

Schedule revisions: Changes in faculty, time, room, and caps are being submitted this week and we'll let you know when they are up on WISER. A few gaps still exist, but should be filled soon.

GAs work records: Please insist that your GAs keep a record of the hours they work. This helps avoid dissatisfaction from either party about the GA doing too much or too little work.

AFR review process: This is moving along, even if it's behind the official (unrealistic) deadline. Thanks to the sub-c'tee members for all their work.

Caps: I have not succeeded well in getting programs to provide a system for setting its caps or for getting the data from individual faculty members needed to back up individual requests. For spring I have submitted caps of 6, 12, 18, 25. If your course has a cap higher than you wanted, take that as an incentive to get a program-wide systematic policy on caps.

Leave requests for 2007-8 due to chair by 11/9 (sabbaticals, leaves for fellowships, etc.). Aralisa has the forms. Also downloadable from


CCT open house tonight: Wednesday, October 25, 4-6:30 * Wheatley Graduate Student Lounge, 4th floor. Participate in an engaging dialogue session led by an expert facilitator, CCT faculty member, Allyn Bradford!

Deadline for request for salary anomalies to be addressed extended till 11/9 because the necessary data were not available before the previous deadline. Alas, the data are not ready yet.

Leave requests for 2007-8 due to chair by 11/9 (sabbaticals, leaves for fellowships, etc.). Aralisa has the forms.

Program coordinators met on 10/24. Notes of the meeting will be wiki-d in due course. It seems that each program is addressing its own issues; no common issue arose that called for a department meeting, although the coordinators did confer on their similar and different needs for staff support. However, if you think we overlooked something that needs department wide deliberation, please let me know -- don't sit on it.

See PT's proposal for discussion at the Chairs' meetings with the Dean (or at the Senate?) about recognition of the workload of program coordinators, etc.

Provost October memo on personnel reviews. This memo does not override the college guidelines.
See also the overview for the anxious or unsure.

Bag lunch on our work & lives: Next cab off the rank will be Peter Taylor on Monday Nov 6 from 12-1.30 in W-2-93a. Lunch provided. You'll get a "7-minute" version of his 2005 book, Unruly Complexity.

Mentoring of untenured tenure-track faculty has begun with assignments and free monthly lunches at faculty club made by Assoc. Dean Rick Houser.

College Personnel Committee for 06-07: New members (06-08): Dwight Giles (LIE), Ginny Harvey (C&SP), Rona Flippo (C&I/At large rep), John Saltmarsh (LIE); Continuing (05-07): Gonzalo Bacigalupe (C&SP), Peter Kiang (C&I), Denise Patmon (C&I). Varda Konstam (C&SP) substitutes for Ginny in Fall '06 when she is on sabbatical. [Rona Flippo replaces Peter Taylor, who became a department chair at the start of the summer. John Saltmarsh replaces Lee Teitel, who was elected in the spring but has left UMB. These last three members are subject to Senate confirmation.]

Official numbers of C&I students: 678 matriculated students (= 25% of the graduate students in the University); 265 new students. These numbers include Boston Teacher residency, TVI, O&M, Instructional Design.

Conflict Studies: The New Generation of Ideas: The Sixth Biennial Conflict Studies Conference
University of Massachusetts Boston, November 2-4, 2006,
The conference is interdisciplinary in its focus, and will touch on issues ranging from health issues to psycho-social aspects of conflict, environmental issues, gender issues, education, organizational conflict, media, and international relations.
UMB Graduate students from a number of different departments will be presenting papers.
Thanks to the generosity of the GSA, UMB graduate students are receiving a $25 discount on registration.


Faculty should send their cv's to Aralisa, like -- well like several reminders ago! So with the power vested in me by the State of Play, I demand them immediately! (You are also welcome to submit entries in the competition for persuasive ways for Chairs to get faculty members to respond to this and other mandates from above.)

Figures from the University show GCE students making up 44% of UMB's graduate student population. My figures have C&I, with around 650 students, making up around 55% of the GCE number or 25% of the University's total. Now 2/5 of these are working under grant or CCDE support, so C&I can't simply claim it should get 25% of the University's resources for graduate students, but the numberfs are still worth drawing attention to.

Please inform students: MTEL foundations of reading prep session with Jen Yeager, Saturday, October 28th (for MTEL test on November 11th.) $50/student (which includes materials).

New England Center for Inclusive Teaching (NECIT), Annual Conference, Saturday, October 21
9:30 am - 4:00 pm, UMB McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Ryan Lounge
The NECIT conference features presentations on innovative pedagogical and curricular practices in colleges and universities across New England. Session topics include:
Social Class in the Classroom: Introducing Issues of Class into Discussions of Diversity
First-Year Writing Courses: Pedagogical Practices to Promote Academic Literacy and Student Engagement in Learning
Assessment of Teaching Effectiveness: Where Does Faculty Development Fit into the Picture?
First-Year Seminars and Inclusive Teaching: Unique Approaches for Developing Courses for New Students Inclusive Teaching in Multiple Disciplines: Diversity, Inquiry, and Pedagogy
Mentoring and Supporting Early Career Faculty: How Faculty Development Can Make a Difference

Open House. University-wide (mostly undergraduate) open house will beheld this Saturday, starting at 8.30, Look for GCE tables. On Nov. 15th in the evening an open house for graduate programs will be held.

October is White Cane Awareness Month,
Organized by C&I's Orientation and Mobility program, which "Prepares Teachers with Specialized Knowledge and Skills to Promote Independent and Safe Travel Skills to Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired"

Leadership Stipends
Before 2001 when the Graduate Program Director positions in GCE were abolished (in name, not workload), there was a modest stipend attached, which one might think of as payment for summer work. News from the latest Chairs' meeting with the Dean is that these funds (some or all?) have been channelled into the stipends that the GCE department chairs get.

Supervision. I made a mistake in requesting that regular general teacher education faculty let me know which semester from Sp 07 - Sp 08 they would do supervision. This invited people to propose postponing doing it till Sp 08. I should have said, if you are not already scheduled to supervise in Sp 07, let me know if there is a good reason you cannot supervise in Fall 07. Otherwise, we'll assign people to a semester according to how long since you last supervised.

Anomaly review delayed
The data necessary for people to see if their salary is anomalously low are not yet available. The deadline for submitting a request to be considered is no longer 10/20. Stay tuned for revised timeline.

Internal grant competitions
Email notification did not go out to everyone the last two year's and the hard copy did not get in everyone's mail box, but it's available as a pdf,
Apparently no-one from GCE applied last year. Please let me know if it was because you did not get notification or because you were discouraged by some other consideration.

Overdue Reimbursements are happening. Please let Aralisa and I know when you get a check so we can cross each item off our list.

Advising categories. Kevin Ziomek of the advising office would like to know of any changes in the categories for which general teacher education faculty consider themseves suitable advisors.


A bag was stolen from the C&I offices when no-one was in and the doors were open.
Lessons: Close the door if you are the last to leave and Aralisa is not in (or if her door is closed).
Expect the person to return now that they know that C&I is fair game.
Close the doors of your own offices when you are not in them.
In the interest of access of students to our mailboxes we won't (yet) institute a lock the door at all times policy.

The Gen Ed program decided that every regular faculty member should do supervsion 1 semester in 3. Gen Ed faculty members should let me know as soon as possible which of the following three semesters (Sp 07 -> Sp 08) you plan to take your turn so we can arrange the staffing and schedules.

Windows laptop sitting around unused? Let me know -- I'd like to use it for skype (voice over the internet) conference calls and to bring in students to a class who are far away.

This year we're trying to (re)institute proper and/or useful procedures on various fronts:
  • annual reports from program coordinators and plans for fulfilling (or delegating) the many administrative tasks they face
  • specification of duties in the contracts of benefitted part-timers
  • evaluation of the teaching of part-timers
  • annual performance review of C&I staff
  • personnel committee as defined in the constitution (i.e., not the same as the AFR review sub-committee).
Let me know if you want more information about the source of the proper procedures.

Photocopying: We are now able to scan & email from the machine once again.

Salary anomalies
I have received an incomplete spreadsheet of current salaries, but am awaiting additional information so everyone can compare their "base" salary (i.e., without the merit increases factored in) with that of other people at same rank and responsibilities. At the moment, three regular faculty might claim that by such a comparison their salary is on the low side. I don't see anyone else who should be worried, but, if you want to make sure for yourself, please let me know.
Note: any information supplied to you will be anonymized so you won't be finding out exactly who is paid what.

Celebration of our work The AFRs reveal wonderful work and achievements of our faculty. We may host an event in which we celebrate these achievements in some appropriate way.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) offers an opportunity for graduate students to teach a 5 to 6 week non–credit class each semester here on campus to our members. OLLI members are people 50 and older who are interested in engaging in educational, cultural, and social pursuits with their peers. This teaching opportunity includes a $300 stipend.

“Economics of Care,” Nancy Folbre, Monday October 23, 2006 7 p.m., part of Public Policy Forum Seminar Series, 11th Floor – Healey Library, “Old Faculty Lounge.” This will be a collaborative discussion with students and faculty at UMass Boston about research in progress on the "care sector" of the economy. Please RSVP by 10/18/06 to


Searches: The search descriptionsand committee have been approved (subject to confirmation from some members). Stay tuned for ideas and call for suggestions about how to get good people to dive into our pool.

Which door leads to C&I? The main office door is once again the main entrance to C&I. Aralisa's inside office door will be open to this area when she is in. That will, in turn, allow the main office door to be left open when Aralisa is in. Her door to the main corridor will generally be closed.

Mentoring Associate Dean Rick Houser has established a mentoring system for junior faculty and arranged mentors for C&I faculty from C&I and other departments. Lunch once/month at faculty club is provided.

Travel reimbursement limits are lower than last year. Stay tuned for exact values.

General Teacher Ed program had a long meeting on Thursday and decided on various policies -- report will come in the next news.

Alternative models for comparing program's needs: Room for ongoing discussion
This year C&I will have two searches. The arguments made re: the search definitions expose three models of how to assess what positions are needed:
1. Historical: To replace the area covered by someone who has left UMB -- an early childhood and elementary search was needed to replace Mari Koerner.
2. Towards equity among programs in student/faculty ratios -- the high student/faculty ratio in Special Education (moderate disabilities) led to the reframing of the searches to allow a second area. However, if such data were decisive on their own, a faculty position in Instructional Design would be top priority for the College, but such a search wasn't even on the cards.
3. Externally driven needs -- the general Teacher Ed program can claim to be needier than its student/faculty ratio dictates if one focuses on the demands of meeting NCATE standards and covering DOE licensure expectations, or the State's huge needs for new teachers, or urban school districts' needs for new teachers. More generally, as the College's flagship program, the general Teacher Education program has a history of being able to get faculty and staff resources from the College and University when other programs cannot.
Another form of externally drive need arises when a grant-funded initiative blossoms into sizable student numbers, as is the case with TVI and O&M, or promises to, as is the case with the early childhood initiatives under ICI.

The challenge for the Department as a unit is how to reconcile the different models. If the Department were to vote on which searches to pursue, would general Teacher Education, which has the majority of the faculty, get the nod every time? Or would recognition by the Teacher Ed majority of the needs of the minority parties (programs) prevail? -- after all, these programs' students pay the same tuition and fees so it is not fair to shortchange them. Or, then again, would the needs of the minority and underserved members of society in urban schools justify the majority program in our Department getting disproportionate resources?

One response to this conundrum is to be transparent about inequalities in resources, thus allowing faculty and students - current and potential - in the smaller programs to factor this in when deciding whether to join and where to put their energies if they stay. But such transparency still wouldn't address the issue of how to launch lines following grant-funded initiatives, something that has been on the agenda in my conversations with the Dean since early in the summer.

Clearly there's room for more thought & discussion here.

Columbus day weekend reading:
1. Chinese ships reached America seventy years before Columbus and circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. 2. The introduction to White Men Challenging Racism (co-edited by Emmett Schaefer in Sociology) describes the conversion of the yound conquistador, Batolomé Las Casas (1472-1566), to the cause of opposing slavery.

Teaching evolution
CIT Forum - Science and Creationism; Oct 11, 2:30-4pm, W-6-047
John Ebersole, Patrick Clarkin, Adam Beresford, Peter Taylor, Kathleen Sands

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