Values Day, celebrated in September, is an annual tradition established by Stetson University’s eighth president, H. Douglas Lee. It is a day dedicated to Stetson University’s core values of personal growth, intellectual development and global citizenship.
This year, the Values Day Planning Committee has selected Chimanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful and award-winning book Americanah (2013) for a common R.E.A.D (Read Engage and Discuss; Reflect, Engage & Affirm Diversity) on September 20th, 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM. For more information, including how to get your copy of the book read the announcement at Stetson Announce!.
Days 2 & 3 of new faculty orientation provided some important resources and a time to think about your course design and syllabus. We rounded out the orientation with a faculty resource fair where campus departments shared the resources available to new faculty and the all important overview of HR benefits.
Rob Berwick, University Registrar Diane Everett, Professor of Sociology, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Andrew Larson, Professor of Music; Associate Dean of the School of Music Danielle Lindner, Assistant Professor of Psychology Julia Metzker, Executive Director, Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence Megan O’Neill, Director, The Writing Program
Alicia Slater, Professor and Chair of Biology; Chair, Integrative Health Science; Director, Curriculum and Assessment
Leigh Ann Dunning, Director of the Writing Center; Assistant Director of the Writing Program Lua Hancock, Vice President of Campus Life and Student Success Julia Metzker, Executive Director of Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence Megan O’Neill, Director, The Writing Program Maria Rickling, Assistant Professor of Accounting and FSEM Coordinator
Do you struggle to talk with students or co-workers about issues such as #BlackLivesMatter and the Orlando shootings? Are you interested in leading dialogues around race/ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class and/or sexual identity but don’t know where to start?
August 26-28, Stetson University is hosting its first, three-day Intergroup Dialogue Institute. Consultants Dr. Deirdre Johnston and Dr. Lorna Jarvis Hernandez from Hope College will train faculty and staff to engage “difficult dialogues” around issues of difference. Participants will learn to engage dialogues and lead difficult discussions in the classroom and the workplace. They will be able to demonstrate greater intergroup understanding and become more effective collaborators.
Day one of the 2016 Stetson New Faculty Orientation was jam packed with information. Luckily, most of this information is available to you electronically when you need it.
Greetings & Introduction
Noel Painter, Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Painter welcomed the group and encouraged new faculty to develop as Teacher-Scholar Citizens and participate in the Stetson and local community.
Wendy Libby, University President After leading the group in a round of Happy Birthday for Noel. (Happy Birthday!!), Dr. Libby challenged the Stetson new faculty to develop courageous spaces for dialogue.
Liberal Learning and the Teacher-Scholar at Stetson University
Megan O’Neill, Director, The Writing Program Greg Sapp, Associate Professor of Religious Studies Alicia Slater, Professor and Chair of Biology; Chair, Integrative Health Science; Director, Curriculum and Assessment
Start Smart: Surviving the First Day and the First Year
Tod Cox, Assistant Professor of Marketing Camille King, Professor and Department Chair of Psychology Danielle Lindner, Assistant Professor of Psychology Dejan Magoc, Assistant Professor of Integrative Health Science Joyce Mundy, Assistant Professor of Education
Stetson faculty provided insights about adjusting to life at Stetson from their own perspective.
In just two weeks, the newest class of faculty will be arriving on Stetson’s campus and as a community, we look forward to welcoming them. Faculty will attend orientation August 16 –18 where they will learn what to expect during their time at Stetson. During these three days, new faculty have the opportunity to interact with each other, current faculty and staff, the President and Provost, and the Stetson community. Orientation session highlights include how to survive the first year at Stetson, maintaining health and wellness, the overarching role of inclusive excellence at the institution, a syllabus boot camp and course design, benefits workshop, and a faculty resource fair. There will be opportunities for new faculty to explore downtown Deland and take a tour of Stetson’s Deland campus.
We invite the campus community to meet our new faculty at one of the following events:
Snack and Network with New Faculty
Tuesday, August 16th at 3:30 pm in Sage 222
(add event to your calendar) All campus faculty and staff are invited to meet these new faculty on campus on for an event called “Snack and Network” while enjoying light snacks. Please come out to welcome our new faculty to Stetson!
Annual Pizza Lunch and Faculty Resource Fair in the LBC Lobby Thursday, August 18th from 12pm to 2pm (add event to your calendar)
New Faculty Orientation culminates with the an information resource fair for all faculty. This event brings together organizations from all over campus to meet, greet and learn about the diverse campus resources available. Grab some pizza and gather important information while developing collaborations with Stetson’s staff and faculty leaders.
I am honored to be able to welcome you to the Stetson faculty. Stetson’s faculty, a wonderfully talented group of teacher-scholars, form the cornerstone of an inclusive community deeply committed to academic excellence and student learning. On their behalf, I welcome you as a new colleague!
I myself just recently joined Stetson as the Executive Director of the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. The Center is available to you as you develop your courses and learn to navigate the university. You can learn more about our offerings by following the Stetson Faculty blog. Below you will find some resources and information you will find useful as you prepare for your first semester, including information about your orientation on August 18.
New Adjunct Faculty Orientation
Where: Sage Hall 222 – SCALE UP Classroom
When: Thursday, August 18, 2014, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm (breakfast available at 8:15 am)
In order for us to best prepare your orientation , please complete short pre-flection and registration at this link before August 1st. Syllabus PreparationI am aware that you are busily preparing your fall courses! Please visit the “Teaching at Stetson” site at for access to the academic calendar and other relevant policies. You will want to pay particular attention to the Syllabus Guidelines as you develop yours. In addition, you can find relevant academic policies on the Office of the Registrar’s website.
Over the next few weeks, the Office of Academic Affairs (386-822-7010) will be more than happy to assist if you have questions during your transition to Stetson. You will also find many more helpful resources on the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs website and the Human Resources website. In addition, I have added below some meeting and event dates you may wish to add to your calendar.
I am thrilled to be able to welcome you to Stetson University and look forward to getting to know each of you!
Library Annual Reception: Aug 19, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
A casual drop-in, drop-out event with light refreshments. Families and friends welcome. New faculty are welcomed to campus as we celebrate faculty accomplishments. Remarks will occur at 4:15 PM.
Monthly Faculty Excellence Seminar Series
The Faculty Excellence Seminar Series will provide ongoing orientation, faculty development and mentoring throughout your first year. The seminars provide opportunities for you to meet and engage with wonderful colleagues from across the disciplines and beyond Stetson.
University Faculty Meetings
Faculty meet on the third Friday of each month at 12:00 PM in Rinker Auditorium.
Values Day: Sep 20 (no classes)
Values Day is a day dedicated to the university’s commitment to its core values–personal growth, intellectual development and global citizenship.
Hand Art Center
The Hand Art Center offers a series of creative exhibits throughout the year. Admission is free and open to the public. Upcoming exhibits include:
Aquiferious, featuring the work of Gainesville, Fla., artist Margaret Ann Tolbert;
Faculty Focus on Gary Bolding, who has taught painting and drawing at Stetson since 1989
Dream Garden, a collaborative project by new media artist Matt Roberts, poet Terri Witek, and software developer Michael Branton to gather, graft and nurture Stetson’s dreams. stetson.inthedreamgarden.com
School of Music concerts
Your Stetson ID provides you free admission to School of Music concerts throughout the year, kicking off with performances by School of Music faculty at the Friends of Music Season Premiere Concert on August 26 at 7:30 PM in the stunning Lee Chapel located in Elizabeth Hall.
Call for Submissions, Summer 2017 CUR Quarterly Consider submitting an article or vignette for the Summer 2017 CUR Quarterly on “Undergraduate Research and Higher Education of the Future”; deadline is August 5, 2016. View the full call for papers.
Additional highlights from CUR …
Noel Painter, Ph.D., interim executive vice president and provost and an associate professor of music, assists student Marcus Jones.
In the 1990 landmark report Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, Ernest Boyer called our attention to the need for institutions of higher education to connect the work of the academy to the social and environmental challenges of our world.
At Stetson University, we rise to this challenge through effective teaching. And, it is through our continuous engagement in scholarly and creative inquiry that we elevate our roles as teacher-scholars. In so doing, we stimulate a culture of lifelong learning that connects our work to our world.
Lifelong learning comes naturally to us as we enjoy conducting research and creative work. For Thomas Farrell, Ph.D., professor and chair of English at Stetson, research is central to faculty professional training and identity. “We chose our careers because we loved that work,” said Farrell, “and that love means that it continues to matter to us.”
Yet, the term “research” is fairly new to the vocabulary of American higher education. Introduced in 1906 by Daniel Gilman, “research” was coined to enlarge the definition of the university as not only a place of teaching, but also a place of learning.
As a place of learning — to wonder, discover, create, invent, reinterpret, integrate and share — smaller colleges and universities that possess an integrative teacher-scholar mission offer unique opportunities for faculty to explore any — or a combination — of the four pillars of research and creative activity identified by Boyer. The first pillar, discovery, involves the creation and dissemination of novel ideas within an established field. During the scholarship of integration, research is summarized across disciplines.
Application research involves serving one’s community and profession, while teaching research integrates learning theory and mentorship. Faculty at these schools can explore innovative ideas, pursue new territory, cross disciplinary boundaries and diverge from traditional scholarly boundaries.
In harnessing our collective expertise, Stetson has been able to respond in unique ways to complex global challenges. At the College of Law, for example, the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy conducts research at the intersection of education, research and service as related to issues of biodiversity. The Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center, home to the special collections of Oscar Bluemner, engages our campus and broader community in creative work using art as activism while raising Stetson’s liberal learning mission and values around timely issues.Stetson benefits from Boyer’s openness to a wide range of scholarly and creative inquiry. Unlike research-intensive universities, the rich diversity offered by each of the four pillars of research and creative work manifests in disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry that runs the gamut — from issues of social justice and advocacy to new musical compositions, from the scholarship of teaching and learning to stoneflies.
Stetson’s new Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience promotes interdisciplinary research to inform policy in the quest for solving challenging environmental issues. In our Roland George Investments Program, students use research and education to manage a real portfolio of investments.
An evolving paradigm points to faculty research as a key measure of institutional attractiveness to new faculty and students. For example, we attract Brown Teacher- Scholar Fellows and Jacobs Fellows who celebrate Stetson’s teacher-scholar role. We attract individuals who are new to higher-education faculty — either recent Ph.D.-earners or accomplished professionals who are making a career shift to higher education.
Fellows receive mentoring from long-serving Stetson faculty in the teacher-scholar role and Stetson’s mission-based approach to learning. They collaborate with Stetson faculty on teaching and scholarship, bringing new energy and insight to our doors. These roles follow a “post doc” model, limited to two successive one-year appointments, after which the Fellows pursue tenure-track faculty positions at other institutions. This distributes Stetson teacher-scholar excellence throughout academia.
Faculty at learning-centered institutions like Stetson can include students in their scholarship and creative activity, thereby gaining the advantage of students’ fresh perspectives. Faculty can involve students in their own professional development as teacher-scholars and experience the satisfaction of transformative learning students realize in the process.
Therein lies the power of the hyphen in the term “teacher-scholar.” The hyphen uniquely integrates teachers’ facilitation of student learning and scholars’ continuous intellectual and creative inquiry. The hyphen makes the learning community come alive.
“As a result, our research makes us better teachers of today’s students,” notes Farrell, who also is chair of Stetson’s Professional Development Committee. “And it does so not just in terms of content, but also in terms of pedagogy. Our various forms of ongoing professional activity make us sharper and more focused in the classroom, more ready to consider the ways those issues present themselves today.”
And, when Stetson faculty bring the messiness of research into the classroom, they model the real exhilarating and exasperating process of learning and inspire the next generation of courageous learners and leaders. This is confirmed by a considerable body of research, much of it cataloged by the Council on Undergraduate Research, which shows that students who access research and creative opportunities in and outside of the classroom demonstrate improved confidence, clearer career pathways and advanced professional skills.
Since 1883, Stetson’s vision has remained constant: graduate students who dare to be significant in a world faced with rapid change and as-yet-unimagined challenges and opportunities. We stress research and creative inquiry at Stetson because we know that when we give a person a fish, he or she can have a meal; but when we teach a person to fish, that person can eat for a lifetime
By Rosalie Richards
Note: Rosalie Richards, Ph.D., is associate provost for Faculty Development and professor of chemistry and education.
There may not be greasepaint or wild animals, but sometimes university faculty may wonder whether they have mistakenly chosen life under the Big Top: juggling while trying to keep their balance on a high wire.
That’s a little bit how it feels to try to meet the twin demands of the study and the classroom, research and teaching. And increasingly there is a third element to add to the apparently conflicting mix: service.
Is it really possible to do it all, to excel in each sphere? Can you keep all the balls in the air? Or does something simply have to give?
The question is “spot on,” according to one Stetson professor asked about workplace tension — who illustratively went on to decline an interview request because, the professor explained, the workload meant there was no spare time to talk for several weeks.
For Doug McKee, Ph.D., associate chair and senior economics lecturer at Yale University, the answer is clear.
“It’s almost impossible for a junior professor to be a great teacher and a great researcher,” wrote McKee in a blog post noting the importance of publishing in hiring, promotion and tenure. “One has to give, and that’s teaching.”
In a follow-up email to Stetson University Magazine, McKee observed “most faculty understand that teaching matters little in the hiring and promotion process at pretty much any research-focused university.” He may have been unusually candid about things, but McKee’s is by no means a minority opinion.
“Many faculty members at research universities report that they have a tough time getting higher-ups’ attention for anything but research and securing grant money, making teaching a decidedly lower priority,” Inside Higher Ed noted in an August 2015 article.
PUBLISH OR PERISH
Historically, this “publish or perish” pressure, as it is widely known, has been greater at major research universities. But times are changing.
“For more and more faculty, there is a creeping increase towards more and more scholarship and publication, because that is where competition is settled,” said Craig Vasey, Ph.D., chair of the committee on teaching, research and publication for the American Association of University Professors. “The people who publish more do get rewarded for that. The people who teach better don’t generally get rewarded for that because that’s part of your job, to teach and to teach well.”
The research-teaching tension is not a new topic of conversation — nearly 20 years have passed since publication of the Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University’s influential Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities, which advocated a major overhaul of existing practices to improve teaching standards affected by the lean toward research.
More recently, Association of American Universities (AAU) President Hunter R. Rawlings acknowledged that “there has been a lot of reward for great research but not as much for great teaching” at the nation’s top-tier research universities. His assertion: “Our teaching should be better.”
His comments were made in a video on the organization’s website that highlighted how the research-teaching conflict doesn’t just affect faculty but students: It noted that 90 percent of students who switched out of science fields cited poor teaching as a major concern.
The video introduces the association’s 2011 STEM initiative, encouraging creative new teaching methods and approaches in STEM classes. The pilot projects at eight universities across the country don’t just focus on ways individual faculty can improve their teaching, but how to encourage institutions to raise the level of commitment to teaching overall. Part of that encompasses studying how involving undergraduate students in research benefits students and faculty alike.
MARRYING TWIN DEMANDS
“Some faculty think they move their scholarship ahead more with undergraduate co-researchers because they often bring different and diverse insights into the problem they are focused on or trying to resolve,” said Beth Ambos, Ph.D., executive officer at the Council on Undergraduate Research.
This philosophy, bringing research and teaching together as complementary rather than competing activities, is part of the AAU effort and one of the central ways in which Stetson seeks to minimize that research-teaching tension.
“We have to understand how to marry those two important components of our role, in order for what appears to be a tension to disappear,” commented Rosalie Richards, Ph.D., associate provost for Faculty Development and professor of chemistry and education. Richards also oversees Stetson’s Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence.
Bringing research, teaching and even service together is “almost like taking a thread from wool and weaving these things together in ways that reduce the tension of having these three strands that are running parallel to each other, and trying to steal from Mary to pay Paul,” Richards said.
Such has been the case for Terry Farrell, Ph.D., professor of biology, who has twice been honored for outstanding teaching at Stetson. By embracing the teacher-scholar identity championed at the school, “you are saying someone is both, simultaneously,” he commented. “I think a lot of us really want to look at it that way, that our scholarship is not distinct from our teaching, and it is all kind of wrapped into one,” Farrell said. “When you generate situations in which the research endeavor and the teaching are combined, all of a sudden you don’t have the tension between the two; they are actually kind of synergistic activities. Each furthers the other.”
That is not necessarily easy, though. Involving students in research may be easier in some areas and disciplines than others, Farrell recognized. For instance, the study may require “high levels of mathematical skills or other deeply specialized knowledge, language skills that a typical undergraduate couldn’t have.”
Michael Denner, Ph.D., underscored that reality. “I don’t know any undergraduate in the United States who could do what I do and have to do for my research,” said the Stetson professor and director of Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, who is also director of the University Honors Program and editor of the Tolstoy Studies Journal.
Combing through archives in search of relevant articles and references requires language and history skills “no student could possibly be expected to have.” For his part, Denner feels the expectation that students take part in research is “often naive.”
Denner also observed that, though they may be good teachers, many faculty enter academia primarily to do research.
“We didn’t get into the game to teach. We like to, many of us are very good teachers, but that’s not why I got in,” he commented. “I wanted to solve big problems. I love to talk with other people about things that nobody else cares about. That’s what I wanted to do and that’s what I was trained to do and that’s what I continue to do, but it is vastly removed from what I do in the classroom.”
The emphasis on research over teaching may be true at Yale and similar schools, observed Kirsten Work, Ph.D., Stetson professor of biology, “but if anything we probably have the opposite problem: that our research suffers because we spend a lot of time teaching.”
In part, she went on, that’s just the nature of a liberal arts school: “If somebody doesn’t really like being in the classroom, they are probably not going to come to [one].”
By Andy Butcher
Note: This article originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Stetson University Magazine. To read the entire magazine, click here. The next issue of the magazine is scheduled for publication this fall.