2007 – 2008
FACULTY SENATE STUDENT AND FACULTY HONORS COMMITTEE
I. Committee Membership
The following members comprised the 2007– 2008 Faculty Senate Student and Faculty Honors Committee:
Kirsten Andrews, Graduate Student Representative
Michael Gilbert, Office of the Vice President, Student Life
Katharine Kerrane, University Honors Program
Zachary Schafer, Undergraduate Student Representative
Jonathan Urick, Undergraduate Student Representative
II. Technology Assistance for Committee and Faculty Senate
The Committee has three major recurring tasks: to establish criteria for and select recipients of (1) the Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Advising and Mentoring Awards and (2) the Francis Alison Faculty Award, as well as (3) set criteria and approve new awards for inclusion in the University Honors Day Program booklet. Since 2000, to increase transparency, outreach, and efficiency, the Committee has created a public website describing all awards, criteria, and committee procedures, online forms for submitting UDSIS-authenticated nominations for the Excellence Awards, procedures for electronic solicitation of nominations from all UD students and staff, a database system for processing those nominations, a secure website for viewing and archiving nominations and other confidential tasks, electronic application forms for including new awards in the Honors Day Program, and more. The result has been to dramatically increase the quantity, quality, and variety of nominations for all awards, improve the visibility and transparency of committee procedures, and augment recognition for recipients of these prestigious UD awards.
These activities are all highly technology dependent and also require electronic solicitation and sharing of data with various administrative support units throughout the year. As the technological complexity of the Committee’s tasks increased, it became harder and eventually impossible to recruit new chairs. The system also became vulnerable to breakdown at critical moments. Begging and borrowing assistance would no long suffice.
Request for a Faculty Senate CITA
Urged on by technologically savvy colleagues, members of the Committee assisted the Faculty Senate in developing a request to the Provost for a new CITA, who would assist the Faculty Senate and this Committee in particular. The Committee (and especially its Chair) is thrilled to report that the request was approved, and the new CITA (Brenda Misko) and her supervisor (Eric Cantrell) began working with the Committee in the Spring. They will redesign, simplify, improve, implement, and manage the technological aspects of the Committee’s Excellence Awards nomination system and website. That work has begun and the new database system will be in place for the next cycle of nominations.
III. Honors Day Program Booklet
Clarity and efficiency in application procedures
The Committee clarified and posted all criteria on its website, and developed an electronic application form. Publications now notifies applicants that they need to submit requests on our form which, if approved, can be copied directly to Publications. The form allows for faster turnaround of applications and better coordination among applicants, the Committee, and Publications.
Awards approved for inclusion
· Katherine L. Esterly Nursing Education Scholarship
· Wayne Westerman Entrepreneurial Scholarship Award
· Gladys and Harry David Zutz Awards – approved adding a second award
· Bryce Hach Scientific Foundation Scholarship Awards
· Outstanding Senior Award (Philosophy)
· Robert W. Hancock Award
· C. Richard Quade Award
· David Hollowell Endowed Scholarship
· Judy Cohen Schwartz Scholarship
V. Possible Revision or Addition of New Excellence Awards
Undergraduate Academic Advising Award
The award was renamed to “Advising and Mentoring” to recognize the importance of mentoring undergraduates, especially because much advising is not done by assigned advisors.
Advising and Mentoring by Professional Staff
The call for nominations generated numerous inquiries to the chair about why particular individuals or classes of individuals were not eligible for the Excellence in Advising and Mentoring Award. The issue is this. Only faculty are eligible for the Excellence Awards, which were established for and are administered by faculty. However, much undergraduate advising is now done by professional staff, and admirers naturally want to honor them as well. The chair answered all inquiries and invited suggestions. The Committee entertained but rejected the suggestion that professionals be eligible for existing awards (which would require intervention by the Senate) or that it set up a separate award. Neither is feasible or within the Committee’s purview. We will, however, take the question to the Administration and the Student Government Association for their consideration: might they want to create a means of honoring excellent advising by professionals?
Lifetime Limit on Excellence Awards
The Committee entertained and rejected the suggestion that it limit the number of times an individual may receive an Excellence Award. Faculty who continue to inspire students after decades of teaching or advising ought not be excluded from further recognition.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Committee entertained and rejected the suggestion that it establish a Lifetime Achievement Award. If there is no limit on times received, there is no reason to establish an entirely new award—and good reasons not to.
VI. Administration of Excellence Awards
Coordination with Public Relations
Much of the Committee’s work involves communicating with the UD community in some way, whether to solicit nominations or publicize the winners. With VP (and member) Michael Gilbert’s help, we have begun to coordinate more closely with John Brennan, of Public Relations. Fruits of that coordination this year included John’s assistance in sending out our solicitations and reminders to nominate (to all UD students and staff), additional publicity (an advertisement in The Review and a beautiful poster which was posted in all residence halls), and more.
Generating More Alumni Nominations
There have been two chronic problems: (1) difficulty contacting alums and (2) alums’ difficulty accessing our nomination forms. Concerning the first problem: UD alums do not get UD email accounts, nor has UD accumulated contact information for many alums. That is, there has been no UD-wide system of connecting with alums that we could tap into. The new administration plans to establish closer ties with alums. Until that time, the Messenger, UD’s alumni magazine, will publicize the winners and the opportunity to nominate in its Winter issue. The assistant director of Alumni Relations also suggested that we provide that office information on making nominations early in the calendar year so it can be one of the rotating features on their website. The Committee will continue to discuss other potential points of contact with alumni, previous suggestions including inserting notices in announcements for Homecoming or to new grads.
On the second problem: All nominators need a UD userid and password to gain access to the nomination forms. We ascertained that all alums can get them over the phone within minutes—at least in theory. We have included that information at the entry point to our forms. Unfortunately, the process worked for some alums but not others, for reasons unknown. We will continue to pursue that matter.
Generating More Student Nominations
Student Committee members made the following suggestions for increasing the number of future nominations: (1) use technology as much as possible (e.g., FaceBook), (2) increase the publicity of the award by running stories of the winners in The Review in February, rotating pictures of winners on UD’s home page, putting ads in The Review, (3) hold a “meet and greet” with students to meet the winners, and (4) use honor groups and societies, whose members may be more likely to submit nominations.
Number of Nominations Received
The final number of submitted nominations was as follows. Note: For everyone nominated in the current year, we add in the nominations they received the year before.
# Nominations they received in 2008
# Nominations they had received in 2007
Total number reviewed for 2008 nominees
Excellence in Teaching (faculty & graduate student)
Excellence in Advising
Note: System problems this year preclude a count of 2008 nominees’ nominations in 2007
VI. Recipients of Excellence Awards
Excellence in Teaching, Faculty ($5,000 award)
Kenneth C Haas, Criminal Justice
Carolee A Polek, Nursing
Patricia Sloane-White, Anthropology
Julie K Waterhouse, Nursing
Excellence in Teaching, Graduate Students ($1,500 award)
Michael A Anderson, Education
Stela K Stefanova, Economics
Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising and Mentoring ($2,500 award)
Michell Provost-Craig, Health, Nutrition & Exercise Sciences
VII. Francis Alison Faculty Award
Clarified Submission Guidelines for Dossiers
The Committee continued to revise its submission form (“cover sheet”) to more clearly communicate to deans and chairs the kind and format of evidence the Committee requires. A recent clarification was that outside letters should communicate the candidates’ contributions in terms that non-experts can appreciate. Lacking that, it is hard for Committee members to properly compare contributions from different fields. In requiring the same sorts of evidence in the same format, the cover sheet both communicates the criteria for the award and levels the playing field for candidates. The quality of dossiers for worthy candidates has improved considerably as a result.
Created Evaluation Rubric
The Committee created an evaluation form (“rubric”) for member use in reviewing the dossiers. It conforms to the scholarship and teaching criteria spelled out on our website. The rubric helps Committee members be “on the same page” and implement the criteria when evaluating dossiers. It will also serve to keep evaluation criteria and procedures consistent from one year to the next.
Review of Submissions
The Committee evaluated the dossiers of four candidates and selected ____, of____, as the 2008 recipient of the Francis Alison Award.
VIII. Meeting Dates and Agenda Items for the 2008-2009 Year
Meeting dates for the 2008-2009 term will be as follows:
Mar 13 & 20
Meetings will be on Friday mornings from , with the exception of the second March meeting and the April meeting, which will begin at .
The following items should be on the agenda for the 2008–2009 year. These items are carryover items from the current year:
1. Trimming the Honors Day Program Booklet
2. Soliciting more Excellence nominations from alumni
3. Soliciting more Excellence nominations from matriculated students
4. Implementing the new technology
IX. Committee Website