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Strategic Plan for Classics

Context For Planning

Mission

  • Classics is the interdisciplinary study of ancient Greece and Rome. 
  • The program in Classics fosters the continual exploration of and critical inquiry into the living traditions and legacies of the Greco-Roman world with a student-centered, inquiry-based approach.
  • Faculty in the Department of Classics are highly qualified specialists in their respective fields who:
    • Contribute teaching to the program in Classics and other programs, including General Education and Honors;
    • Pursue active and well-articulated research agendas;
    • Offer leadership and service to the department, to the university, and to the profession and the community.

Vision

  • The Department of Classics provides a student-centered, rigorous program with a focus upon encountering the languages and the cultures of the classical world, and their traditions, through primary sources, both textual and material.
  • Through this work, we will enlarge the state of knowledge in the field and contribute to the broader community by: 
    • Sustaining and improving the quality of instruction;
    • Enhancing opportunities for student achievement and professional development;
    • Supporting the research and the scholarly and professional development of current and future faculty;
    • Being a committed partner and an effective voice in the promotion and development of classical studies locally, regionally, and nationally.

Value Statement

  • We value Classics for:
    • The historical importance of the discipline as the source and origin of the liberal arts.
    • Its enduring relevance at the heart of a liberal education in preparing life-long learners who challenge their own cultural and historical assumptions and whose choices are informed by long-term perspectives.
    • The urgent and perennial questions that the material we teach poses about what it means to live as a human being and to realize one's human potential.

  • We value this University's commitment to inclusion and equity with respect to the individuals whose lives we touch and the collegial, welcoming, and student-centered environment we aim to create, in which every door is open and every voice encouraged and empowered to speak.
  • With respect to the program and curriculum:
    • We value the interdisciplinary nature of Classics and emphasize direct exposure to primary sources, both textual and material.
    • We value rigorous training, to a high degree of proficiency, in the diverse methods of inquiry and in the particular areas of study that comprise Classics, including material culture, history, art, philosophy, society, literature, and languages.
    • We value helping students develop an understanding of the classical tradition and how the legacies of antiquity create precedents and possibilities in every area of culture.
  • With respect to students:
    • We value a student-centered curriculum with a face-to-face learning community of students and faculty.
    • We value advising as a means to engage with our students in all aspects of their academic life.
    • We invest in the success of our students by taking a proactive approach in making them aware of opportunities which equip them to succeed, particularly in the areas of undergraduate research and professional development.
  • With respect to faculty:
    • We value highly qualified, full-time, permanent faculty.
    • We value expanding opportunities and resources for research, scholarship, and development.
    • We value high levels of teaching effectiveness as demonstrated by student achievement.
  • With respect to the university, the profession, and the community:
    • We value making connections through collaboration and the sharing of resources between Classics and other faculty, students, and programs in the university and beyond it.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

At least 90% of undergraduate Classics majors participate in two or more high-impact learning experiences prior to graduation.

Baseline

Current percentage of students who participate in two or more high-impact learning experiences prior to graduation.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Initiated additional data collection modalities.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Internal data collection ongoing.

Objective 1.A.2

Revise, pilot, and fully implement curriculum.

Baseline

Curriculum in 2015

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
Curriculum revision completed and passed at all levels.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 1.C.1

Classics maintains communication with 75% of its alumni via email and social media.

Baseline

Current levels of communication with alumni on social media, through email, and other platforms.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Database of alumni contact information updated. Unit Head and Office Coordinator communicate directly with alumni twice annually, via email, and more frequently via social media.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Database of alumni contact information continually updated. Unit head and Office Coordinator communicate directly with alumni re work/life updates. Unit head communicates directly with alumni re upcoming department events, via email. There is also a department-sponsored Facebook group.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

Global learning is an integral part of the Classics B.A. through the study of the classical World Languages and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.

Baseline

Current Global Learning level across the Classics curriculum.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
Principles of Global Learning are an integral part of all Classics courses.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Unit head completed "Global Learning in the Majors Survey" to assess current alignment with Global Learning principles.

Objective 1.D.2

At least 25% of Classics faculty members use innovative pedagogy and instructional technologies.

Baseline

Current level of Classics faculty members who use innovative pedagogy and instructional technologies.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
All Classics faculty regularly employ innovative pedagogical strategies and technologies in the classroom.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Survey of all Classics faculty reveals that all use innovative pedagogical techniques and technologies in the classroom.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 1.E.1

The Department seeks resources to maintain, enhance, or transform its physical space, which is essential for our mission-critical, high-impact, and interactive face-to-face learning environment.

Baseline

The physical configuration and use of the Department suite in Lake Huron Hall.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Unit participated in formal discussions with college and university planning bodies regarding instructional and other physical resource needs.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Report on department physical resource needs submitted to college and university planning bodies.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

The Department remains staffed with tenure stream faculty at 7.0 FTE.

Baseline

Current levels of staffing.

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
The Classics department is currently staffed with tenure stream faculty at 7.0 FTE, enabling us to maintain our strategic goal of promoting the continuing relevance of Classics for modern society & culture, including the traditions of humanistic inquiry that lie at the heart of the University.

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
CLA completed a very successful national search in 2016 that ensures our ability to maintain our strategic goals in "Reception and Tradition" in order to promote the continued relevance of Classics for modern society&culture as well as the traditions of humanistic inquiry that lie at the heart of the University.

Objective 2.A.2

At least 75% of Classics credit hours are taught by tenure stream faculty.

Baseline

Current percentage of credit hours taught by tenure stream faculty.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
In calendar year 2018, over 90% of Classics scheduled credit hours were taught by tenure stream faculty.

2017 Status
Achieved
In calendar year 2017, 85% of Classics scheduled credit hours were taught by tenure stream faculty.

Objective 2.A.3

25% or more of faculty in Classics complete professional development relevant for academic programs.

Baseline

Percentage of faculty who completed professional development relevant for academic programs in calendar year 2015.

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
5 of 7 FT tenure stream faculty in calendar year 2017 identified professional development activities relevant for academic programs.

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Data will be collected for 2016-2017 AY after FAR review is complete.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

The Department encourages participation in intercultural training and development of different kinds for all new employees.

Baseline

Levels of participation in intercultural training for new employees in AY 2015-2016.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
All new employees have participated in intercultural training and development.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
6 of 7 FT tenure line faculty have completed the Inclusion & Equity Training Initiative workshops or other pertinent development activities. PSS colleague has completed Inclusion Advocacy recertification.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

At least 75% of tenure stream faculty participate in one or more external professional relationships.

Baseline

Current percentage of faculty who participate in one or more external professional relationships.

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
All faculty maintain multiple professional external relationships beyond membership in national organizations.

2016 Status
Achieved
All faculty maintain multiple professional external relationships beyond membership in national organizations.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 2.D.1

The Department will review all policy documents related to personnel in order to ensure that they are fair, aligned with CLAS and University guidelines and consistent for all tenure stream faculty members.

Baseline

Current alignment of these documents.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Maintaining alignment with university policy.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Additional revision in April 2018.

Objective 2.D.2

The Department will perpetuate the Assessment Cycle.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The department continues to perpetuate the Assessment Cycle in accordance with university guidelines.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The department continues to perpetuate the Assessment Cycle in accordance with university guidelines.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1

All tenure stream faculty in the Department of Classics participate in professional development within the context of their positions.

Baseline

Levels of participation in 2015

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
All tenure stream faculty participate in professional development.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
6 of 7 tenure stream faculty identified formal Faculty Development activities in calendar year 2018.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 3.A.1

At least 30% of undergraduate Classics majors complete a significant project that integrates their learning and addresses a question or problem important to the student or to society.

Baseline

Current percentage of undergraduate Classics majors who complete a significant project that integrates their learning and addresses a question or problem important to the student or to society.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
All students in CLA 395 (Research Methods) and CLA 495 (Capstone) complete a significant project.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
Students in CLA 495 Capstone complete a significant project.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

The Department sponsors a national professional association meeting on GVSU's campus.

Baseline

Number of meetings sponsored in AY 2015-2016.

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
CLA hosted the American Classical League conference in June 2017. The American Classical League Institute is an annual national conference, attended by 300-400 educators.

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
CLA has secured the support of CLAS and the Provost's office to host the American Classical League Institute in June 2017.

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