Author : Rusty Carpenter

In the past few years we have found ourselves writing about a book per semester. This semester, however, we’ve done at least two. We say at least because we’ve always got more than one going, and whereas the semester has a definitive end when you are faculty, for writers it never does. When the fall semester started, for instance, we …

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We came up in an earlier age when the old expression was “Show me your library, and I’ll show you your soul.” Of course, today most houses aren’t even constructed with libraries, so perhaps a better indicator of a person’s intellectual core might be his/her desktop—and we’re not talking computer desktop. Most writers still have desks, whether at the office, …

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An issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education (November 14, 2014) carries an essay that provides a rationale for the traditional role of the solitary scholar. In “Leave Me Alone,” Magdalena Kay laments the current trend toward collaborative writing in academia, arguing, “I believe the best work, particularly that dinosaur known as the single-author scholarly book or article, often gets …

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To write Creating the Future of Faculty Development (2006), Sorcinelli et al sent out an 18-question survey to a host of faculty developers—e.g., what kind of institution is yours, what are your program goals and purposes, and what services do you currently offer? To our way of thinking, the surveyors omitted the key question. If you are a director of …

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While space was the final frontier for countless episodes of Star Trek, creating the optimal teaching and learning spaces may be the final academic frontier for centers of teaching and learning (CTLs). As Tom Kelley, CEO of IDEO put it in his “Forward” to Make Space (2012), “Space matters. We read our physical environment like we read a human face” …

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Sunday night we had supper with assessment guru Peggy Maki, author of the forthcoming Real-Time Assessment, and while she was picking apart her eggplant parmigiana, we were picking her brain on how to assess faculty development. While we didn’t learn anything startling, we received sufficient help so that next year we can try a new form of professional development assessment. …

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A few posts ago we discussed the importance of a center for teaching & learning (CTL) developing unified programming—i.e., a central concern around which it revolves. We even made the comment that “Research demonstrates that isolated one-shot presentations have little effect on the faculty.” For those of you wondering about that research, we have a major source for you, and …

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One question that comes up quite often with our oversight of all things under our auspices is: how involved should we as the Executive Committee be over presentations and workshops that occur under our general center for teaching & learning (CTL) banner or that specifically of the Faculty Innovators? One school of thought says treat them like your children who …

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Week before last we discussed what made the morning of our January progress such a success. After an excellent lunch, we moved onto a two-hour afternoon session. Our lunch served a double-duty purpose. First, we had it catered from the local Panera with plenty of options in sandwiches, salads, and drinks (a full faculty innovator is a productive faculty innovator). Second, …

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For the past few posts, we’ve been discussing Faculty Innovators, those selected faculty members who bring development to the campus. An interesting question involves how they are selected. After all, they don’t fall out of trees. Remember the 1989 movie Field of Dreams where Kevin Costner hears the whispering, “If you build it, he will come”? Centers of Teaching & …

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