College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Faculty E-newsletter

March 2013
Vol. 6, issue 8

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 of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

March begins with an awful lot of contemplation of the ice underfoot, so I'm glad to have many positive reports to warm your heart (if not your toes).  We have much to be proud of and many congratulations are due. Mathematics Chair Ed Aboufadel has been chosen to receive a faculty Niemeyer Award.  The most prestigious academic award presented by the University, the Niemeyer honors those striving for excellence in all aspects of a well-rounded academic experience.  I'm so glad to see his many contributions at the departmental, disciplinary, college, and university levels honored in this way. Meanwhile, English Chair Bill Osborn has won the 2013 Unboxed Books Prize in Fiction for a short story collection.  Barbara Roos of Film and Video Production in the School of Communications was honored by the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society as its 2013 Faculty of Distinction.  Philosophy's Dwayne Tunstall's new book ( Doing Philosophy Personally: Thinking with Gabriel Marcel and Lewis Gordon about Metaphysics, Theism, and Antiblack Racism) is out.  And Lois Tyson of English was recently elevated to Emerita by the Board of Trustees. And we're just getting started.  CLAS faculty are setting wonderful examples in teaching, research and service recognized at the February Faculty Awards ceremony: Janet Vigna (Biology) was recognized for Outstanding Teaching; The Pew Teaching Excellence Award was bestowed on Shannon Biros (Chemistry), Roderick Morgan (Biology), and Andrew Spear (Philosophy); The Part Time Faculty Teaching Award went to Michael Seger (Movement Science); The CSCE Awards went to David Leonard (Chemistry), Michael Lombardo (Biology), Carl Ruetz (AWRI) , Dawn Hart and Amy Russell (Biology); Danielle Leek (School of Communications) received the Outstanding Advising and Student Services Award; Zulema Moret (Modern Languages and Literatures) received the Outstanding Community Services Award; and Helen Marlais (Music) received the Distinguished Contribution in a Discipline Award.  My thanks to the many colleagues of these honorees who wrote letters and kept to the application deadlines so that this recognition of their good work was made possible. March is an important month for keeping the momentum.  AP Award nominations are due on March 15.  Please take a moment to think about the APs you work with who deserve to have their work recognized.  Also save the date of March 22 to attend one of the most uplifting of GVSU events-the annual Author Recognition Reception (RSVP by March 12 to   Alumni House, 4:30-6pm will be a great place to reconnect with your colleagues and celebrate their recent publications.  March is also key to the smooth running of our governance process.  We are excited about the many candidates running for college and university committee seats.  Please vote- the ballot is open now and closes March 14 at 5pm. While you have your calendar open, please note these two big events on April 3- First, CLAS Sabbatical Showcase and Spring Celebration will take place on April 3, Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room (2250 KC). Showcase: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Spring Celebration (Awards, Dean's address, lunch): 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Showcase: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Second, same day, Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath is speaking at the Ott Lecture.  This chemistry lecture series is pitched for a public audience, so no need to worry that one must be a chemist to attend.  6pm at the Loosemore Auditorium. All that excellence will surely inspire you to start thinking anew about your own scholarly and creative activity.  Our Faculty Development Committee will be holding a sabbatical information session on April 11 (3:30-5pm in 308PAD).  Keep an eye out for that announcement.  Our FDC  encourages you to take your sabbatical and to be successful on your sabbatical applications. I, too, work with a great team in my office that wants our college to be successful, meet our objectives, and grasp opportunities.  As you know, I put out goals for the college each year and report on those.  Both of these are posted on the website, and I recently distributed the report to our faculty and had it posted on our website. But for now, please join me in celebrating the inspired work going on all around us and by each of you-every term.  
Faculty Governance Election Ballot is open now until March 14.          

What the Deans are Doing in March

In March, Dean Antczak will be taking a trip to the CCC Conference as part of his RSA Executive Director duties.  "Nested around that trip, in which I fully plan on seeing the sun after a Michigan winter, I'll be going to the Inclusion Advocate semi-annual training, meetings of the PSM Directors, the Deans' Academic Advising Policy Committee, the Golf Benefit Organizing Committee, the Staff Advisory Board, Faculty Council, the transfer committee, the community engagement event, and unit heads.  Also, I have about 25 one-to-one meetings set up, and I'll be completing the CLAS salary category recommendations and discussing them with the Provost."  Associate Dean Shaily Menon will continue work on planning related to new buildings, renovations, and facilities improvements. She will facilitate a CLAS faculty seminar on high-impact activities and study abroad for second-year faculty and work with CLAS Faculty Development Committee and CSCE on ideas for supporting faculty in their professional development. She will attend an Inclusion Advocate and Champion Semi-annual meeting and make a presentation at an Inclusion Advocate Orientation session. Shaily will continue work with her co-PIs on two ongoing NSF funded projects and facilitate scholarship interviews for STEM students. She will continue to teach an introductory natural resources management class during the winter semester and mentor ongoing graduate student thesis research. As part of her outreach activities, she will participate in Science Olympiad arbitration, make a presentation at the GVSU Asian Student Union's R.I.C.E (Realizing and addressing Issues in our Culture and Education) conference, and attend a meeting of the Pierce Foundation Board of Trustees. Associate Dean Gary Stark will assist the CLAS Personnel Committee and the dean with personnel actions; assist Faculty Council with college elections; assist unit heads and the dean with salary recommendation process; monitor Spring/Summer enrollments; review requests for 2013-14 visiting positions; work with units to identify additional efficiencies regarding scheduling, curriculum, pedagogy, faculty workload, and lab and space use;  serve on Internationalization Task Force; and serve as judge at National History Day. Associate Dean Mary Schutten continues her efforts related to several student support initiatives on orientation, academic advising, and admissions. Specifically, she will participate in several planning sessions for the Student Success Collaborative as it begins this semester and beyond.  She will continue collaborating with the College of Education on a series of initiatives involving CLAS/COE related to student teaching, teacher tests, secondary admissions, etc.  She continues to implement and assess degree cognate substitution requests, support the work of the CLAS Curriculum Committee as ex officio; and serve as a faculty mentor for Movement Science.  She will be connecting with one of our newest reverse degree transfer partners via a site visit with Montcalm Community College, be involved in the interview process for faculty candidates, convene several meetings related to a possible certificate programs, and continue to identify curricular efficiencies.  


A Little Help So That You Can Go A Long Way

Even for seasoned and successful  grant writers, putting together a great application and submitting it represent a considerable investment of time and effort without guarantees.  Anything that can be done to avoid missteps or to streamline the process is most welcome.  Luckily for faculty at GVSU, we have an office for that. The Office of Sponsored Programs (AKA the Grants Office) is, in the words of its director, Chris Chamberlain, "here to help."  The help she and her team can provide ranges from assistance on budgets to shepherding the various levels of necessary administrative sign-off to spotting potential conflict-of-interest situations. "We care about these projects and want them to be successful," Chris explains.  "And we're small enough that we can get to know you." More than just helpful, the team in the Grants Office allows faculty to navigate the many regulations and compliance issues involved in state and federal grants.  Faculty drive the projects, but whether they realize it or not, they are working in partnership with their university.  Since grants are, in most cases, awarded to universities, not directly to the Principle Investigator (PI), the responsibility for their proper administration is not the faculty member's alone. The team in the Grants Office also have a handle on topics that may be of limited interest to faculty but which are important to grants such as how to create an effective data management plan, how to draft subcontracts, whether to apply now or wait, learning online filing systems, and how to work with Purchasing on competitive bids. And anyone without extensive grant experience can certainly benefit from being connected to colleagues within the university who have written similar successful grants, learning who was awarded grants of this type in the past, and reading sample successful proposals.  "We can even help our faculty who are working in collaboration with colleagues at other institutions by asking for their budget so that our PI doesn't have to," Chris notes. Monica Johnstone, Director of CLAS Communications and Advancement,  sends out targeted e-mailings to CLAS units when grant opportunities are announced via the Grants Office.  "This sort of institutional support is just about unheard of in a university like ours.   We have a great success rate, and I think our approach supports that. Faculty who make the connection with the Grants Office do themselves and the institution a big favor.  Down the line, if the grants team knows you and your work well, they can serve you even better by spotting opportunities that suit your research interests.  PIs can avoid compliance issues.  Faculty can even help us preserve-- and even improve-- GVSU's reputation  out there in the grant world so that everyone benefits," Monica states. So how can you work optimally with the Office of Sponsored Programs?  Here are some tips: E-mail or call when you spot a grant for which you'd like to apply.  Alerting the Grants Office with plenty of lead time is very helpful for you and them.  Allow plenty of time not only for writing, but also for taking opportunities for feedback on your draft and for the various administrators to sign off.  Allow a bit of extra time for electronic filing of applications, for making PDFs, etc. Let the Grants Office know when you change your mind.  If you decide not to apply let them know so that they can curtail their support activities and redeploy their efforts to other projects.  Don't let even the big federal grants put you off.  They aren't just for R1 universities.  GVSU faculty members are awarded millions of dollars a year in support of their research at a success rate far above the national average.  Let our Grants Office help you go for it.