Tell Us What YOU Want Next Year!

In this final Tuesday Tip of the academic year, the Office of Faculty Development (FDEV) is interested in what type of programming would most benefit you in 2019-20. This past year, we offered paid programs on teaching enhancement, article writing, online course design, free speech in the classroom, mentoring new faculty, a book club on artificial intelligence and another on culturally inclusive education, as well as four intensive summer programs on inclusive pedagogy, teaching writing, affordable textbooks, and a writing community.

Assuming FDEV is appropriately funded in 2019-20, we plan to retain most of our existing offerings while also exploring programming on teaching first-generation college students, grant-writing, and department chair development.

FDEV is the one office on campus that supports your growth and development as a teacher and scholar. Click on the FDEV blog and let us know what you want from your Office of Faculty Development next year.

“Grade-bumping” can widen equity gaps

This is often the time of the semester when faculty receive emails from students asking for a “grade bump” (i.e. – a student asks for a favor such as their grade of 89.4% be rounded up to a 90% to get an A). Should you deny the request and stick to the point structure on your syllabus? Doing so can result in guilt-inducing responses from students about losing scholarships, being ineligible for sports, or not getting into med school. This decision is, of course, totally up to you but granting an unearned grade bump, just because a student asked for it, can widen equity gaps. That is, it rewards only the students with the audacity to ask you for the favor. Many students, including First-Gen and under-represented minorities, may lack either the cultural awareness or the boldness to ask for a grade bump and thus they may end up with lower grades in the class simply because they accepted the grade they earned. To be clear, if a student has a concern about a calculation error in their grade, it deserves a closer look. There is a clear distinction, however, between asking for grade clarification and asking for a grade boost.

Faculty Writing Community Summer Opportunity!

Commencement is this weekend and the last official academic workday for faculty is May 28th. If you plan to write this summer, the Office of Faculty Development is offering support to facilitate your success. From June 3rd – 6th, we’re offering a Summer Faculty Writing Community. This is a community of faculty in a quiet and comfortable room for four days, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day to write. That’s it. Nothing else. Just writing articles, books, manuscript revisions, or other scholarly pieces. FDEV will provide coffee, snacks, and lunch everyday to keep you going. English professor, Kim Jaxon, will facilitate a supportive community and assist you as needed. There will be some time devoted to peer review of drafts so you can get feedback along the way.

Many faculty write in the summer anyway. This community is a great way to hold yourself accountable for your writing projects and be surrounded in support during the process. If you’re interested, complete the application by Monday, May 27th.