Faculty Meeting #4 Minutes 2012-2-6

Committee Minutes

Faculty Meeting #4 Minutes 2012-2-6


1.     Call to Order & Welcome – Beth Weitzman, Vice Dean

The minutes of the meeting of November 14, 2011, were approved.

 NYU Steinhardt will be launching a strategic planning process.  Lindsay Wright will present the thinking so far and faculty will be asked to respond to provide feedback on a couple of preliminary questions.

 2.     Report from the Steinhardt Senate – Bill Wesbrooks, Chair

 Reports from the Student Organizations

Graduate Student Organization, Victoria Sung, GSO President

Events included: GSO Social in January, GSO MLK Oratorical Contest will be at the King Juan Carlos I Center on February 7-8; first Town Hall Meeting of the semester; community service activities, e.g., soup kitchen at St. Joseph’s; planning for International Women’s Day activities.

 Undergraduate Student Organization, Joey Kopriva, USG President

Excited to be back to another semester of more great things: the annual semi formal to be held at Battery Gardens, remember USG “goodies”, e.g., the traditional USG sunglasses, bracelets.  Coming up: April Awards Gala – students nominate faculty and vice versa; Tip to Tip Charity Walk on the 31st – reaching out for faculty support, e.g., joining the walk, cheering, handing out water, etc.

Report from the University Senators – Wen Ling

Spring is a busy time for the University.  The 2031 plan was evaluated and approved by City Planning in early January; CB #2 held meeting; FSC heard from colleagues about positive and negative issues; FSC will hold two Town Hall Meetings on NYU 2031 plans (March 9, 10-12, Kimmel 914; March 10, 2-4, Kimmel 914).

Reports from Faculty Council & Steinhardt Senate – Bill Wesbrooks

It’s nice to see so many people here because this is how faculty can participate and participation is the key to success of faculty governance.  Please communicate with the Senator from your department about issues you want raised.  Clinical faculty have been invited to participate in a focus group discussion about the contract review process – what worked, what didn’t, what recommendations to improve the process. We are also looking for feedback from the faculty on the Final Report of the Task Force on Faculty Load.  Finally, Bill mentioned NYU Steinhardt’s phenomenal program in instrumental music, which allows us to have full orchestras for our shows.  It’s wonderful to be able to do that and to hear such gorgeous sounds.

 3.     Strategic Planning Presentation & Discussion – Lindsay Wright, Associate Dean

 Lindsay Wright noted that the best reason to undertake strategic planning at this time is that we’re in a good place – strong, able, good resources.  And Steinhardt has completed much of the necessary preliminary work:

  • Clear mission with strong financial base begun with Dean Ann Marcus and continuing through to the present along with the human resources of our faculty and students;
  • Articulation of the mission by Dean Brabeck;
  • Core values, i.e., the theory-practice link that is inter-professional inter-disciplinary; multidisciplinarity in our work; in an urban & global context;
  • Depiction of our interconnections through the Celestial Road – Steinhardt Universe – with the whole person at the core of a multifaceted reality incorporating culture, education, and human development ranging from families, to media, to global contexts carried on with other parts of NYU in increasingly inter-personal ways.
  • Visual identity: look, logo, color palette communicating greater visual identity in and outside of NYU;
  • Capital plan and a fund raising campaign;
  • A time of restricted resources highlighting the need to define our priorities and goals, position ourselves as central to NYU ambitions, and demonstrate our strengths and capacities as a positive, powerful, able partner.

Process: An Advisory Group has been formed and nominations are requested for individuals who will serve on the Strategic Planning Committee.  The consulting firm of Keeling & Associates (NYC, Hudson St.) has been engaged.  See: www.keelingassociates.com

The process will be data driven and transparent (the power point presentation will be sent to the faculty) and focused on how our work can better achieve our purposes, missions, and core values going forward.

Shared work plan:

  • Generated through consensus based on information gathering and sharing;
  • Supporting research and scholarship;
  • Setting the stage for continued work;
  • Modifying Physical Space as we work on the capital campaign;
  • Assessing, i.e., gathering data on the big ideas (for about 9 months) and then establishing an implementation plan and an evaluation method;
  • Extending and communicating a shared vision and core values for the future.

Strategic Planning Steering Committee: 15-20 colleagues selected according to the following criteria:

  • Ability to reach out to various constituencies
  • Consisting of faculty, staff, students, alums, donors, dean’s council
  • Recommended by the advisory group, dean’s group, department chairs, senate leadership, faculty, students

Questions for Roundtable Discussions:

What are the best ways in which to seek input from and communicate with faculty on the strategic plan?

What work, projects and programs in the Steinhardt School align with our values and mission and should be considered foundational for this strategic planning effort?

 4.      Updates from the Deans

Space: Robert Knight – thanks for bearing with the disruptions and inconvenience due to the ambitious $ 89million capital plan.  And thanks to Jeff Lane and David Wong.  154 offices were moved during the January break.  We are doing this to resize so that the facilities match the work and quality of the faculty and students and to have the department offices contiguous.  East Building floors 8,7,6,5 are under renovation.  Soon we will begin connecting our building to the NYU cogeneration plant to improve the sustainability of the buildings we work in.  Administration & Finance moved out of Pless 6 – now space for the Department of Administration, Leadership & Technology but will become the home of Occupational Therapy.  Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health moved to 411 Lafayette; some of Media, Culture & Communication moved to another floor until their floor in the East Building is completed.

Faculty Updates: David Darts, Chair of the Department of Music & Performing Arts Professions, introduced Roselee Goldberg who joins us as Clinical Associate Professor.

Faculty Searches:  An incredible number of faculty members are involved in the search process.  This is a big commitment to get out there, meet the candidates, host them, and spread the word on the quality work of NYU Steinhardt.

Benefits Minute: Claude Blenman – If you have issues or questions about benefits, let Claude know.  There are a number of ways to use WageWorks: Automatic Health Plan Claim directly deposited into your account; WageWorks Health Care Card, which functions like a debit card.  See information on the Faculty Affairs webpage.

 Update on Online Course Evaluations

 Remember that we are still in the process of piloting the online course evaluation process.  At this point it mimics the paper process.  Evaluations were sent out around Thanksgiving and closed prior to the last day of classes prior to final exams.  Results were sent to faculty during the first week of the semester.  Note comparisons:

FALL 2010                                          FALL 2011    

978 courses                                          1310 courses

21,905                                                 24,622 surveys

16,228 completed                                16,222 completed

74.1% response rate                             69% response rate

Issues & Fixes:

PeopleSoft data

Improving communication with the departments

Cross-listed courses (management by hand)

Team Taught – how to handle these


Items Students Will See:

Course concepts were explained clearly

Instructor stimulated my interest in the subject

Instructor provided helpful feedback

Instructor was open to students’ questions and points of view

I learned a lot in this course

Recommend to others

Pilot Phase 2

Focus groups with students on how we present data

Examining our question sets: length of evaluations vs. survey fatigue, tuning questions to the courses

Communicating with other NYU schools

Continued communication with faculty and departments

Questions: When and how will the faculty be given an opportunity for input; how can we improve the response rate; what are the issues involved in public data; what statistical explanations are there for variations in student responses; are we evaluating the course or evaluating the instructor and, either way, what criteria inform reports; what do we know about the validity and reliability of the process?

Ad Hoc Committee: Fran Stage & Sharon Weinberg (Co-Chairs), LaRue Allen, Adam Buchwald, David Darts, Bob Tobias, Beth Weitzman, Lindsay Wright, and Brendan


Respectfully submitted,

Terry Astuto, Faculty Secretary