Faculty Council Corner

So, I’m thinking that this post will be our new regular Thursday morning feature (replacing “ReinQuestion?”): basically an open thread for you to bother your HWFC members with pressing questions (or for me to post the pressing questions that you send to me should you want to ask your question near anonymously–just email it to me with a request to withhold your name and it shall be done).

Also, it’ll give us a forum to post regular updates about what is happening and when.

So…any questions?

7 thoughts on “Faculty Council Corner

  1. Let me start with a pat on the back for all of our local FC members. Nice job so far y’all!
    Here’s my question: Where are we with the shared governance thingy?

  2. Great idea for a regular feature, PhiloDave!

    Here’s an issue that came up in a conversation with some of my departmental colleagues the other day, and I said I’d bring it up at our next FC meeting, but this post is a great chance to just toss it out there now and see what folks thinks: what used to be known as the “Activity Period” (Thur 2:00-3:50) doesn’t really seem to exist anymore. We now have a lot of classes that meet during this time. In my department at least, this seems to contribute to our sparsely attended department meetings, as well as to the lack of active departmental curriculum committees. Without a common time when classes aren’t in session, scheduling regular meetings is tough, if not impossible. I don’t have a great solution to offer, but I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed this trend and felt its impact. Thoughts?

    • Yes. Thanks for bringing this up. I, too, wondered about this. In math a few semesters ago, full-time faculty were encouraged (the pool of classes and times was altered) to not teach during that time slot in order to allow them to attend meetings.

      I wonder if it would be possible to bring it back. When I was in undergrad, activity periods (there were a few) were times for student clubs to meet. Without them, it would have been impossible to ensure membership in several clubs. I’m assuming that we’re (the college) attempting to meet the needs of our large number students but it would be nice to have at least one hour block each week when little to no classes occurred. I can see those balancing budgets and bottom lines not necessarily loving this idea.

      • Here’s a wild and crazy idea:
        Why not have the activity period on Fridays? ‘Wait’, you say, ‘that’s not my day to come in!’
        Wait, I say, we need to work around the student schedules.
        If an activity period is reinstated on Thursday afternoons, that will throw-off the Tuesday Thursday schedules of our students.
        I will never know, but I believe the activity period was started a long, long, time ago when enrollment was not so high and faculty were teaching 9 credit hours and each faculty member had an office all to her/him self. (Where’s MathArt when I need him!?!)
        I say we get realistic and consider Fridays as an option or a Tuesday-Thursday schedule, say 11:00am-12:30pm.
        I’m all for the activity period, but with enrollment being so high and availability of space being a premium, we must throw in as many options as possible.
        That’s my two cents.

        • Tuesday/Thursday (or Monday/Wednesday) makes sense. My undergrad had a 2 day a week activity period for the very reason you mention. Unless we start offering, MWF classes, M-R will continue to be the most populated days which would make T/R (or M/W) a good choice.

  3. The activity period not only allows faculty to meet, but also students – if we want to look at ways to get students more engaged on campus- having time for them to meet could really help the student groups out. Since our students don’t live on campus, they don’t spend a ton of time before and after class hanging out- having a specific time during the week that they could meet could really boost engagement. We’d have to look at days where more students are on campus, but not take away from our “prime” course times.

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