Faculty Meeting #2 Minutes 2011-10-24

Committee Minutes

Faculty Meeting #2 Minutes 2011-10-24


1.  Call to Order & Welcome: Dean Mary Brabeck

Minutes of meeting of September 19, 2011, were approved.

Mid-semester is here.  Howling is just around the corner and then … we’re almost at 2012.  Lots of fun things are happening.  The Greenwich Village Children’s Parade, co-sponsored by NYU and the Community Board, is on Monday afternoon.  This week we’re celebrating the125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty and the 10th anniversary of iPod – the old and the new.   The “NYU” in the Steinhardt letterhead is in the Bulmer font, developed in England in 1790 by William Martin; “Steinhardt” is in the Gotham font, developed between 2002-2004 in Greenwich Village.  The Steinhardt School is old and new – grounded in strong foundations and innovative in response to now. 

“Sweet Smell of Success” was a success (Steinhardt Program in Vocal Performance: John Simpkins, Director).  Composer Marvin Hamlisch told Bill Wesbrooks that the NYU Steinhardt performance relieved the pain he felt since the Broadway production!   Glen Frey (Eagles – “Hotel California” “New Kid in Town”, etc.) participated in the NYU Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Master Session.  Chancellor Dennis Wolcott will participate in the Steinhardt Policy Breakfast discussion of teacher quality. (200 “RSVP’s” were received on the first day the invitation was sent.)

Reminder of memorials recognizing: Gabe Carras (Nov. 1) and Nancy Swortzell (Nov. 13).

2.  Report from the Student Organizations

Graduate Student Organization, Victoria Sung, GSO President

GSO held a social in conjunction with a relief party on the lower east side; participated in the “day of service” with USG; sponsored a “town hall” with good turnout.  Upcoming events: day of relaxation on 12/8; MLK oratorical event (applications will be available in November).

Undergraduate Student Organization, Joey Kopriva, USG President

The USG General Assembly meets every Monday; 9 clubs participate; the 10/15 “day of service” was the largest ever, over 60 students; prepared a student preference survey asking, “what do undergraduates want from the USG?”  Future events: 11/21 “class wars”; 11/7 adviser panel; 12/5 deans’ panel; awards’ gala in April and the Tip-to-Tip Walk.  

 3.  Report from the Dean – Mary Brabeck

Information on Incoming Students:  541 incoming freshmen with an SAT average of 1318; PhD applications were up 29% since 2009; the acceptance rate is 6%; average GRE score of incoming doctoral students is 1320.

Capital Plans:  As a brief historical review, the buildings are beautiful but they are old and their age is showing.  There have already been a number of renovations, e.g. Department of Communicative Sciences & Disorders (2007); James Dolan Music Recording Studio (2009); Department of Applied Psychology moved to Kimball.  In 2011: Administration & Finance moved to new offices on Mercer and Jazz Studies relocated to Third North.

Into the future: renovations in Education, East, and Pless buildings.  We’re addressing present needs, looking into the future, and carrying all that into the design work; working with the departments to identify the character of the floor and of the department. Renovations incorporate the Steinhardt theme and uniqueness in each department and each floor.  The architects’ plans also incorporate a sense of the city, e.g., working with NY native trees – ash, beech, walnut  - that can be found in Washington Square Park.   Redesign of the East Building lobby will accentuate the height of the space and provide light through perforations in a wood “ceiling” imitating the way the sunlight disperses through trees.  Elevators will open onto lobbies on each floor with a view into the programmatic space in the center (e.g., faculty commons, open, transparent, lots of light).  Timing: on 11/11/11, the design phase stops and the move to actual floor plans begins.

4.  Erin O’Connor, Assistant Professor, Department of Teaching & Learning

Recipient of the 2011 NYU Steinhart W. Gabriel Carras Research AwardIntroduction – Perry Halkitis, Associate Dean for Research & Doctoral StudiesPresentation:

“Dynamic Models of Teacher-Child Relationships”

5. Online Course Feedback/Evaluation System – Beth Weitzman

Context – We are moving to online course evaluation and using that process as an opportunity to improve evaluation and to better inform students about classes and expectations.  An ad hoc committee, co-chaired by Fran Stage and Sharon Weinberg (including Adam Buchwald, David Darts, Bob Tobias) will review pilot information, consider feedback from faculty, and recommend format and procedures.  While pilot testing the approach, the items/questions will be reviewed, reconsidering the content and seeking feedback from the faculty on items.  An online survey will be emailed to the faculty for ideas about items relevant to the faculty and to the students and identification of items not appropriate for public sharing either because they are intended for faculty feedback or they are viewed as inappropriate.

Report of Pilots – Jim Ford

Brendan Woodcock was hired to oversee implementation.  At this point we’re using the GAP Technologies procedures but mimicking our prior paper process. The pilot with the Department of Communicative Science and Disorders during the Spring Term resulted in a 69% response rate (739 of 1064); 46 classes were sent the evaluation.  Return rate in the summer term was only 46%.  Special challenges included: communication difficulties, shorter session types, PeopleSoft data integrity issues due to summer piloting of “new Albert.”  Plans for managing the challenges: communication with departments; communication with Faculty; Longer Evaluation Period – three (3) weeks (around Thanksgiving); working with David Zapotocky re PeopleSoft.

QUESTIONS:  Why has there been no feedback from the summer evaluations?  What kinds of emails are sent to the students?  Why did many faculty members not get any information about the online summer evaluations?  When is it appropriate for students to receive the evaluations?  What are the implications of broad posting of evaluation “results” when the form and the process are in pilot versions?  Since the feedback process approved by the faculty has changed to an evaluation process, shouldn’t decisions about posting and sharing be linked to the validity and reliability of the process and the form?

Students get lots of email.  In the future the emails will be staggered in terms of the length of the email, the sender (e.g., Dean Carey, NYU Steinhardt, course instructors) to let the students know that the “evaluation will get the faculty the help they need to make their courses better.”

Posting Evaluation Results: Courses with fewer than 6 students won’t be posted.  In the current pilot, evaluation results were a “little lower” but still had the same curve.

6.     “Benefits Minute” – Claude Blenman

This year, the open enrollment time period if very short: Monday October 24 – Monday November 7 at midnight.  Comparisons of the plans can be found on the Faculty Affairs website.

 7.     PeopleSoft & “New Albert” Implementation: A “PeopleSoft Minute “ – David Zapotocky

We are in a post-project phase 1; now we’re in phase 2; the consultants have left and the process is turned over to the registrar’s staff.  That’s slowing down implementation and explains the delay in activating the adviser center and the graduation audit.  When the system is fully implemented, the staff will be able to maintain it in a timely fashion.  At this moment in the conversion process, there continue to be a few backlogs.

Implications for Course Approval Process – Heather Herrera

The new system enables earlier course scheduling, which results in changes in the timing of the approval process.  NYU is moving toward yearly schedules so that students can look ahead and plan their schedules more effectively.  Visit the Academic Affairs webpage for review dates and timelines for this year.  

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Astuto, Faculty Secretary