February 2007

February 19th, 2007 by Noelle

Monthly Academic Affairs Report
To the Faculty of PSU
From the Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
February 7, 2007

Welcome back! I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday and restful winter break. I have a number of announcements I’d like to share with you:

Calendar Committee:

In January I requested volunteers to serve on the ad hoc Calendar Committee. A number of Faculty, PATs and OS members have volunteered. The committee will be appointed later this week and will be charged with looking at the start and end dates for fall semester beginning fall 2008 and going forward.

Voluntary Retirement Transition Plan for Tenured Faculty:

In recent months a number of you have approached me inquiring about the possibility of moving to half-time teaching loads. You’ve expressed to me your interest in continuing to teach and be part of our academic community; at the same time, you would like the greater flexibility offered by a reduced load.

I am pleased to share with you that the Cabinet and the Department of Human Resources have developed the Voluntary Retirement Transition Plan for Tenured Faculty. This plan will allow eligible faculty members to transition to half-time loads for a maximum of 5 years, at which time they will complete the transition to full retirement.

There are a number of potential benefits to this plan. First and foremost it will provide an avenue to keep our treasured faculty in the classroom, where our students will benefit from their skill, expertise, and passion for teaching. Second, it will provide a means for us to “grow the faculty.” We will use the salary cost savings from faculty who have transitioned to half-time to create new faculty lines, thereby increasing the total number of full-time faculty lines.

Later today you will all receive a copy of the Transition plan which the specifics, including the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions of the plan. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss this plan in further detail. Additionally, Laura Alexander and Carol Kuzdeba are available to answer your questions.

New Faculty Award Announcement:

I have some very exciting news to share with the campus. For a number of years we have talked about the possibility of establishing a distinguished teaching award for our adjunct faculty. I am pleased to announce that this year, we will be awarding our first Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award.

It is no secret that our adjunct faculty are integral to the success of our programs. Our students value their work, and in many instances, adjunct faculty have been nominated by students for the Distinguished Teaching Award. It will be a pleasure to finally be able to recognize the excellence that our adjunct faculty bring to the classroom and, indeed, the campus.

A committee made up of David Zehr (Dean of Undergraduate Studies), Jay Moskowitz (adjunct faculty, Art), Elizabeth Ahl (Chair, English Department), Holly Oliver (adjunct faculty, Music), and Dick Hunnewell (Professor of Art History) was appointed in the fall to develop the criteria and application process for the Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award. Their proposal was approved by President Steen last month.

The proposal calls for nominations for the Distinguished Adjunct Teacher to be part of the same process which recognizes our Distinguished Teacher. Next week, the week of February 12th, email notification of the opening of nominations for both awards will go out. Information, including the criteria, nomination forms, and other details will be available on the VPAA website, and a link will be included in the email announcement. Additionally, the Distinguished Teacher Award Committee has recommended some changes in the process for their award.
You’ll notice a new timetable, a new part of the process for our nominees, and a change in the awards for the Distinguished Graduate teacher. These will also be noted on the website.

I’d like to thank the Distinguished Awards Committees for their hard work. I encourage you to participate in this year’s nomination process.

Please watch for the emails, signs and other notifications pertaining to our Distinguished Awards this year.

News From Our Faculty

  • Warren Tomkiewicz and Mark Turski (CEAPS) presented a poster session at the Geological Society of American Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Their discussion centered around the “Design, implementation and Assessment of an Earth System Science Geohazards course.” Warren also presented an invited paper on his work on visitor’s understanding of the geology and biology at Yellowstone National Park.
  • Anil Waghe (CEAPS) took 2 PSU students to participate in USNH Entreprenurial Contest on November 30th. This was sponsored by the New York Times in conjunction with the Marion Kauffman Foundation, Inc., the University System of NH, and Whittemore School of Business and Economics. They presented a poster: “Environment Friendly Organic Dye Cell” and presented part of their research work.
  • The National Association of Social Workers announced recently that Stephen Gorin (Social Work) is the new Editor-in-Chief of Health and Social Work, the professional journal for human services professionals providing the latest advances in areas such as aging, clinical work, longterm care, oncology, substance abuse, depression, and maternal health. The NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 150,000 members.
  • Anil Waghe and Marguerite Crowell (CEAPS) visited Plymouth Elementary School middle schoolers as part of National Chemistry Week, sponsored by the American Chemical Society. This year’s theme is “Your Home–It’s All Built on Chemistry.” Almost everything workers have used to build your house or apartment –– from the shingles on the roof to the cement in the basement –– has been developed by chemists. It’s also chemistry that makes the plywood sturdy, the paint waterproof, the carpet stain-resistant, and the porcelain sink able to withstand high temperatures. Students made observations, tested predictions, and came to conclusions about materials chemists have made better for the homebuilding industry.
  • Eric Hoffman (CEAPS) visited the Pollard School ( Plaistow, NH) and gave 4 fifty-minute “hands on” workshops to 4th and 5th grade students on Monday, November 20th, at their school wide enrichment day. The theme of their enrichment day was “Wonders of Water” and his workshop was titled “Water in the Air: Clouds and Cloud Formation”.
  • Dennis Machnik (CEAPS) gave two presentations at the New England Star Lab Users group Meeting in Plymouth, MA, on 11/17 and 11/18. The presentations were about his Spring 2005 sabbatical, in which he traveled to over 20 elementary schools and saw over 4,000 children, giving planetarium shows in the mobile starlab.
  • Last year, Dr. Joseph Zabransky (CEAPS) met with several representatives of the Mount Washington Observatory to discuss ways we (PSU) might work with them more closely. Joe came back to PSU with a two-pronged approach in mind. First, the MWO people asked that one of the meteorology faculty work with them on publishing results from their data analysis program. Second, MWO expressed a desire to have a meteorologist join their Board of Trustees. In November, Dr. Sam Miller (CEAPS) met with the MWO science team and began working with them on revisions to a scientific paper (first “prong”). He is now in the process of helping them complete an analysis of a 40-year record of relative humidity recorded on themountain. In December, Dr. Miller met with two representatives of the MWO Board of Trustees, to discuss the possibility of his joining the Board. They have voted to approve Dr. Miller’s addition to the Board.
  • Congratulations to ETC on the widespread acclaim for their recent production of “Beauty and the Beast.” Superlatives were flying all around the lobby after performances and the campus was abuzz with people giving tribute to the excellent performances and truly difficult work of putting such a production together. We continue to be awed by the leadership and talent of Trish Lindberg (Education) and her production staff and all of the many staff members across campus who work on behind-the-scenes details without whom a production like this would not be possible.
  • Bravo to Trish Lindberg who was recently named New Hampshire Youth Theatre Director of the Year by the New Hampshire Theatre Committee. This award recognizes excellence in community and professional theatre. Her work with the Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC) has been recognized by numerous other awards over the last few years. This award is yet another validation of Trish’s outstanding contributions to children around the state, the town of Plymouth and the PSU community.
  • Congratulations to Casey Bisson, Lamson Library, winner of the Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration for his ground-breaking software application known as Wpopac; presented at the Annual Meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information in December.
  • David A. Berona (Lamson Library) has been chosen Guest Editor this year for “The Journal,” of the California Society of Printmakers.
  • Linda Levy and Liesl Lindley (HHP) attended the 2007 Athletic Training Educators’ Conference in Dallas, Texas in January. Levy presented a poster on “Applying the Situational Supervision Model in Athletic Training Clinical Education.”
  • Angel Ekstrom (HHP) took two students to the Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) Conference Feb. 1 – 4, 2007. She is also busy working on her Dissertation!
  • Royce Roberts on (Education), Joss French and Lynn Davis have been working on a student teaching rubric revision.
  • Royce Robertson was the Meeting Facilitator for the NHSTE Technology Coordinator’s SIG, January 8, in Concord. He was also a participant in the planning meetings for the SunGard Summit 2007, Academic Solutions

Julie Bernier, EdD, ATC
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Plymouth State University, MSC 3
Plymouth, NH 03264
(603)535-2230 (o)
(603)535-2785 (fax)

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