Weekly Mailing to TT, AFF, VIS, AP, PSS in CLAS

CLAS Weekly Mailing 01-06-21


1. Adjustment to weather policy

2. Strategic Planning in CLAS

All Faculty

3. Fellowships for students—upcoming deadlines

Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

4. Faculty Activity Reports for 2020

5.  MSU offering grant workshop



6. Important Due Dates

7. Upcoming Events




1. Adjustment to weather policy

On December 10 there was a revision of the university’s operational status categories to include “remote”, which says in part


"Remote: The most common reason to shift to remote status would be for weather related reasons. Classes will shift to remote delivery whenever feasible. Classes that cannot be delivered remotely will not be held. Staff will shift to remote/work from home whenever possible. Essential staff are to report to work. Athletic contests may be held as previously planned subject to approval by the Vice President of Finance and Administration. Other campus events may be held as previously planned subject to approval by the President or Vice President whose division is sponsoring the event."



2. Strategic Planning in CLAS

In the winter semester, we in CLAS will be coming together to envision possible futures for the public liberal arts and sciences alongside the University’s Reach Higher 2025 strategic planning process. To create a platform for our conversations within CLAS, the dean team has been building some structures.  We are designing an interactive workshop and asking for time at unit meetings and other gatherings to allow for as many of you to participate as possible.  Volunteers from your elected CLAS Faculty Council and other faculty from across the College will help facilitate these discussions.  We are convening a Strategic Innovation Group (SIG) of CLAS faculty and staff (see group members below) who will listen and notetake at these workshops as well as familiarize themselves with the national conversations about the liberal arts and sciences and the challenges facing higher education. This group will synthesize these various data streams and offer recommendations back to the CLAS community for consideration. We will consult with our elected and appointed committees (such as our Student Advisory Committee, Emeritus Committee, Staff Advisory Committee, CLAS Alumni Board), as well as our Unit Heads. 

This will be a transparent, iterative, community-based creative process.  A new webpage has been constructed which contains a growing archive of resources as well as a place to offer your ideas and comments.  I encourage everyone to watch for emails regarding opportunities to add your voice to the CLAS discussions and the university’s Reach Higher Together 2025 strategic planning conversations


We offer thanks to the SIG members and facilitators for their willingness to serve during a very busy semester.


SIG Group 

Melissa Morison (CLA) 

Jennifer Stewart (SOC) 

Dwayne Tunstall (PHI) 

Alexis Schewe (CAAC) 

Tracy McLenithan (CLAS) 

Shannon Biros (CHM) 

Chad Frederick (GPY) 

Richard Besel (COM) 

Dan Bergman (BMS) 

Amy Russell (BIO) 

Merritt Delano Taylor (BMS)

Jen Drake (Facilitator) 

Donovan Anderson (Facilitator) 



Kristen Meyer (University Libraries) 

Sally Ross (MOV) 

Arthur Campbell (MTD) 

Anna Hammersmith (SOC) 

Ernest Park (PSY) 

Len O’Kelly (COM) 

Christine Smith (PSY) 

Grace Coolidge (HST) 

Jessie Vandenplas (CHM) 

Charlyn Partridge (AWRI) 

Christine Rener (FTLC)

Additional facilitators will be posted to the website as confirmed.


All Faculty

3. Fellowships for students—upcoming deadlines

Several fellowship deadlines are approaching.  These are listed in some detail below the Calendars in today’s Weekly Mailing.


Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

4. Faculty Activity Reports for 2020


Faculty Activity Reports for 2020 will be due to unit heads on February 1. Please take note of the following information about 2020 FARs from the Temporary Faculty Personnel Policies for Academic Year 2020-21:

  • Faculty will use their normal FAR form that is on Digital Measures.  There will not be a special form for the 2020 FAR.
  • For scholarship and service, faculty can add notable accomplishments if they wish.  A regular faculty member who reports an outstanding achievement in 2020 will have the accomplishment folded into the 2021 yearly evaluation.
  • Faculty do not need to reflect on scholarship, service, or significant focus on their 2020 FAR.


5.  MSU offering grant workshop


January 14, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Young Investigator Program Awards: How to Write a Winning Proposal


Join us as four recent award recipients discuss best practices for writing a proposal for a young investigator award.


  • Sarah Fitzpatrick, Assistant Professor, Integrative Biology; Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEBB) W.K. Kellogg Biological Station: American Society of Naturalists 2017 Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigators Award.
  • Kristin Parent, Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: NSF 2018 Early CAREER Award, and American Society of Microbiology 2017 Young Investigator Award.
  • Mohsen Zayernouri, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering: Young Investigator Awards in 2019 from U.S. Army Research Office, and 2017 from U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
  • Peng Zhang, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering: Office of Naval Research 2019 Young Investigator Award, and U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research 2018 Young Investigator Award.


Register in advance to receive the Zoom login information.



6. Important Due Dates


Jan. 11      Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 Annual Schedule is due to Tracy McLenithan by 5 p.m. (Annual Schedule Database closes)

Jan 14.     Software requiring periodic renewal payments not managed by IT should be reported on our online form.

Jan. 18     Glenn A. Niemeyer Student Award Nomination deadline 

Jan. 19   Classes begin

Jan. 19   Materials for winter personnel actions due by 5 p.m.

Jan. 19   Unit copies content of candidate’s folder to the unit site at 5 p.m.

Jan. 22    The Graduate School is now accepting applications for the 3-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT). Students completing graduate-level independent research, dissertations, and theses are eligible to participate in the competition. The deadline to apply is January 22, 2021.  

Jan. 26     5:00 p.m. – 100% tuition refund deadline and last day to add/register/pay for Winter 2021

Jan. 29     5:00 p.m. – Last day to choose Credit/No Credit grading option for Winter 2021

Feb. 1     Faculty Activity Reports for 2020 to unit head

Feb. 10     FAO Schwarz Fellows deadline.  Contact Meijer Office of Fellowships for assistance.

Feb. 12   Units submit contract renewal materials to the dean’s office (CLAS Personnel Committee)

Feb. 16   ECS/UAS Faculty Forum on Shared Governance  Tuesday, February 16 from 2:30pm-4 p.m.

Feb. 17   ECS/UAS Faculty Forum on Shared Governance Wednesday, February 17 from 10:30 a.m.-Noon

Feb. 19    Units submit tenure and promotion materials to the dean’s office (CLAS Personnel Committee) 
Feb. 20     Cook Leadership Academy nominations due. 
Feb. 26    Units submit promotion only materials (promotion to associate professor if not associated with a tenure decision) 
Mar. 1       Nominator should submit form to the candidate’s unit head/supervisor for CLAS Service Awards

Mar. 10     Mental break day, no classes.

Mar. 13      If CLAS Service Award candidate is a staff member who reports directly to the dean, submit nomination to CLAS Dean’s Office

Mar. 15     Faculty Activity Plan for 2021 need only describe work planned for fall semester 2021

Apr. 1   Mental break day, no classes.

Apr. 9    5:00 p.m. – Drop with a “W” deadline for Winter 2021


7. Upcoming Events

Jan. 8      The Vice Provost for Health and the Seidman College of Business Alumni Association present: West Michigan Health Care Economic Forecast (Virtual Presentation) 8:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. 

Jan. 12      New Graduate Student Orientation (Virtual)

Jan. 14     New Graduate Student Orientation (Virtual)

Jan. 13      Unit Heads Meeting (Zoom) if needed

Jan. 27      Unit Heads Meeting (Zoom)

Jan. 28      CLAS Faculty Research Colloquium, use form to register to receive the Zoom link.

Feb. 10     Unit Heads Meeting (Zoom)

Feb. 15-17 Repair Clinic drop off 12 – 2:30 p.m. B-4-232 MAK

Feb. 18      CLAS Faculty Research Colloquium, use form to register to receive the Zoom link.

Feb. 24      Unit Heads Meeting (Zoom)

Mar. 18     CLAS Faculty Research Colloquium, use form to register to receive the Zoom link.

Mar. 31     Unit Heads Meeting (Zoom)



WW Teaching Fellowships

The WW Teaching Fellowship recruits the nation’s best and brightest recent college graduates and career changers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, or math) with generous financial support to complete an intensive yearlong master’s degree program in teaching at one of WW Teaching Fellowship’s partner universities in Pennsylvania.



  • Majored in and/or have a strong professional background in a STEM field.
  • Completed an undergraduate degree (or its international equivalent) in a STEM field by Spring 2021 with a 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

Deadlines: January 11, 2021 | March 1, 2021

Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship

The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship provides full-time six to nine-month paid fellowships for recent college and graduate school alumni to work on international peace and security issues with one of more than two dozen participating public-interest organizations in Washington, DC. Scoville Fellows are paid at an annual rate of $40,800 ($3,400 per month), and receive basic health insurance compensation, mentoring a small stipend for professional development purposes, and travel costs.



  • Have completed a bachelors or graduate degree
  • Strong interest in peace and security
  • U.S. citizens and to non-U.S. citizens living in the U.S. eligible for employment

Deadline Extended: January 19, 2021


Boren Fellowships for International Study

Graduate Boren Fellowships offer Master’s, PhD, and professional degree candidates up to $30,000 for language study and research projects in dozens of countries around the world. Fellows have the option to pair their language study with self-designed research projects, academic study, or internships during their time abroad.



  • Open to U.S. citizens and plan to be matriculated in a graduate degree program at the time they will be receiving the award

Deadline: January 27, 2021



Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship

The Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship program provides a path to an exciting career in the U.S. Foreign Service through academic funding (up to $75,000), internships, professional development, and ultimately, an appointment (full-time position) as a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist (IMS).



  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be enrolled in an IT-related degree program and starting your junior year in fall 2021, or seeking admission for fall 2021 in a two-year IT-related master’s degree program, at a U.S.-based accredited institution (in-person or online programs)
  • Hold a minimum 3.2 GPA

Deadline: February 1, 2021


Boren Scholarships for International Study

Boren Scholarships offer undergraduates up to $25,000 to fund immersive language study programs overseas. Boren Scholars from diverse fields of study immerse themselves in the cultures in world regions critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad



  • U.S. citizens and plan to be matriculated in an undergraduate degree program at the time they will be receiving the award

Deadline: February 3, 2021 


Hansen Leadership Institute for Young Leaders

The Hansen Leadership Institute brings together young leaders from all over the world and the United States who want to learn leadership skills, public speaking, negotiation, conflict resolution, community building, and intercultural management. Fellows receive a stipend, travel reimbursement, and more.



  • 20-25 years of age
  • Have completed at least 2 years of university study, or currently in your second year
  • Open only for U.S. Citizens

Deadline: March 15, 2021




Page last modified August 22, 2022