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August 2014 CLAS Acts

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Welcome to campus, New Faculty!   August 2014
Vol. 8, issue 1 The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a student-centered and diverse learning community that engages in critical inquiry extending knowledge to enrich and enliven individual and public life.
FROM THE DEAN'S DESK Frederick J. Antczak, Dean Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.  ~John Dewey With August our attention begins to turn to the new academic year with all its promise, and its rituals of welcoming our new students and new faculty.  This is what we do-and that rising feeling is one of beginning a new chapter not only in our students' lives, but in our own.  As the month goes on we'll be reacquainting ourselves with some of the reasons why we are lucky to do what we do. For those of you who have not been on campus this summer, you should know that some prodigious work has been done by our advising and orientation colleagues in welcoming a record class.   The Summer Scholars Showcase on July 29 was also full of reasons to be proud of CLAS-all of the mentors named in the event booklet were from our college.  Thanks to all of you for what you've done so successfully this summer for our students. The news last month was fun-" Michael Bublé gave 100 tickets to his July 25 concert in Grand Rapids to residents of the Clark Retirement Community and the Grand Valley State University graduates who worked on a LipDub to his hit song, "Feeling Good." And Chemistry Chair George McBane helped some area kids with setting up their research involving the John Ball Zoo-and the kids went on to win a prize from Google. As I write, the BCCE conference is underway here at GVSU-the fruition of years of preparation by our chemistry education faculty to bring a great number of their national colleagues to our campus.  This has been a huge effort, and our colleagues are playing on a national stage; I hope that we all will see many benefits from the raised profile of our program and the connections you are making. This month our office welcomes a new staffer.  Cindy Driesenga will be joining the CLAS Dean's office at the front desk during the week of August 18th.  She is returning to GVSU after working in other colleges here some time ago.  Please join us in welcoming her to CLAS. Now on to some of the nuts and bolts-start up, syllabi, and resources.  This issue of the newsletter is dedicated to bringing you assistance with the flurry of activity that starts the year.  You will find some links to help you prepare the sort of syllabus that helps your students to do well and heads off potential trouble.  You will find reminders of the CLAS Faculty and Staff Meeting and picnic, Convocation and related events.  You will find links to information about the status of the building projects on campus.  You will also find our every-year-or-so article on how the CLAS budget is allocated.  Not to belabor the old metaphor about all being in the same boat, but as I see it, we're all partners in keeping the ship not only afloat but also in fine trim, sailing through whatever will come our way.   Syllabus resources At this time of year it can be handy to have some suggestions about creating a great syllabus.  The potential for misunderstandings between faculty and students can be best addressed by having an effective syllabus. And while you are prepping your classes, we invite you to participate in the Fall Breather you heard proposed last year.  As Dean Antczak explains, "I invite faculty, as they are laying out their fall 2014 syllabi, to plan to give no reading, no assignments, no homework for the weekend before the drop deadline (October 24), that is October 18 and 19.  I am not suggesting that you take any time away from class, nor even that you decrease by an iota the amount of work in the fall course.  I'm simply asking you to redistribute it, so that for that weekend across as many courses as possible, there's no assigned work.  I'm asking for a specific weekend because distributing it on different weekends would dilute its effect."       "Start Up" Week  Webpage for new faculty Webpage for all faculty RSVP for University Convocation Don't own regalia?   Acquire   Borrow from CLAS (very limited)
Contents From the Dean's Desk Syllabi [Fall Breather!] Construction & transport Start up week Budget Research Cluster Grant CLAS Research Colloquia Tidbits