CLAS ActsFeb2015


Newsletter for Tenure Track CLAS Faculty February 2015

Vol. 8, issue 6

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.


Frederick J. Antczak, Dean

In the film "Groundhog Day", there is a line something like, ""What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?"  Despite the deep freeze, we are in no danger of that happening, I'm happy to report.  In fact, this issue of CLAS Acts is dedicated to various ways our office, the faculty at large, and your Faculty Council are helping to propel us forward.  Thanks to all of you who have taken the initiative to nominate for governance offices and vote in the election going on now.  I'm also quite appreciative of the faculty who made an effort to go see the candidates for the VP of Inclusion and Equity post that resulted in the selection of Jesse M. Bernal who starts later this month.  I hope you have been over to the Gallery to take in the exhibition of Ed Wong Ligda's work and want you to know that you also now have an opportunity to see the print works of Bill Hosterman (The Evolving System).  When you see Diane Rayor, do congratulate her on having her APA conference panel awarded top honors and get her to tell you about her recent book.  I do hope you have been looking over the sketches in FORUM because it has been brimming with very interesting research work by your CLAS colleagues ranging from areas of major societal issues and community support to fascinating pure science to literary achievements.  Don't miss the opportunity to be inspired by your existing colleagues and, for that matter, the caliber of the job candidates sharing their research and creative talents with us on a daily basis this time of year. As you probably know, all the unit heads of CLAS meet every other week to discuss the business of the college, learn about emerging university policies, share what works and brainstorm on how we can improve everything from advising to workload practices.  Recently this has included learning the GVSU team responsible for the university's response to sexual misconduct at GVSU (there is a new interim policy the faculty will want to read) to hearing recommendations on how we can improve the work life of our adjunct faculty while mindful to their diverse circumstances and our considerable constraints. With the hard earned knowledge of experience and the creative efforts of the many people consulted toward its production, CLAS has produced a document to help unit heads and their units in the difficult time when a colleague or student dies.  My thanks to the many sets of eyes who reviewed and contributed to a resource that will help us, when times are at their worst, to be our best.    Looking ahead, the 2015 issue of our annual report will pay particular attention to teaching in our college.  Do you have an unsung teaching hero within CLAS?  This is a good time to be the little bird who tells us ( ) about a great teaching experiment, a wonderful technique or a particularly inspiring colleague's teaching.  The award winners are on everybody's radar-so let's hear about the people who have somehow avoided the limelight so we can benefit from their teaching nous. On that note, I'll recommend to you the feature in this issue about fresh take on the Out of the Box series that has become a hallmark of our faculty governance processes.  I hope your semester is off to a great start, that you are as excited about the candidates you have met as I am, and that we've made it to longer days and shorter nights.  Can Spring be far away?  


CLAS Faculty Research Colloquia The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is sponsoring a series of six CLAS research colloquia again this year.   PAD 308 2:30 pm  refreshments followed by four or five 20-minute presentations (15 min plus 5 min for discussion). We especially encourage new faculty and faculty who have been on sabbatical recently to make presentations. Dates for CLAS Faculty Research Colloquia Thurs., February 19, 2015 Thurs., March 19, 2015 Contact Mark Staves.      

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. ~Rabindranath Tagore    

Around the world higher education is under pressure to change. It is growing fast and its contribution to economic success is seen as vital. The universities and other institutions are expected to create knowledge; to improve equity; and to respond to student needs - and to do so more efficiently. They are increasingly competing for students, research funds and academic staff - both with the private sector and internationally. In this more complex environment direct management by governments is no longer appropriate. How can the governance of higher education institutions assure their independence and dynamism while promoting key economic and social objectives?  (OECD 2003 Education Policy Analysis, CHANGING PATTERNS OF GOVERNANCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION, Ch. 3, p. 60)      

Guest Speaker to Launch Out of the Box Discussions  

Never the same twice, but always in the spirit of what faculty can do through constructive creativity, Out of the Box events are platforms for discussing and designing solutions to the issues that face CLAS Faculty.  Designed by elected governance committees, hosted by the CLAS Faculty Council and funded by CLAS, OOTB provides a platform for breaking bread together and thinking together about the best ways forward. The 2014-2015 Faculty Council is happy to announce that a special guest speaker is coming to campus to provide a highly informed perspective on faculty governance. Our intent is to ignite a discussion about the role of governance/service in the life of the modern university professor. On Thursday, March 12 at 1:00-2:00pm in the Pere Marquette Room (2204 KC), Emeritus Professor Larry G. Gerber, author of The Rise and Decline of Faculty Governance (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), will address all interested faculty on "Why Service Matters." Professor Gerber, who received his BA, MA, and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, is a specialist in twentieth century American history, with a particular interest in public policy, political ideology, and the role of government in society.  He taught at the University of Maryland (European Division), the University of Arizona, and Brown University. He has also been a visiting professor at Lakehead University (Canada), the University of Helsinki, and the University of Joensuu (Finland), and retired from Auburn University where he was active in university governance including serving as chair of the Auburn University Senate.  He served as the chair of the American Association of University Professors' Committee on College and University Governance and as the national vice president of the AAUP.  His other writings include The Irony of State Intervention: American Industrial Relations Policy in Comparative Perspective, 1914-1939 and  The Limits of Liberalism: Josephus Daniels, Henry Stimson, Bernard Baruch, Donald Richberg, Felix Frankfurter, and the Development of the Modern American Political Economy. All CLAS faculty are cordially invited to attend Prof. Gerber's lecture and should feel free to extend this invitation to colleagues in other colleges.  CLAS Faculty are then encouraged register for the OOTB discussion sessions the following week to bring their voice to the discussion.  These are catered, so registration is required.   Out of the Box discussion sessions   Wed., March 18, 12-1:30pm 2201 KC   Thur., March 19, 12-1:30pm, 2215/2216 KC       Register on