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UNT Faculty Newsletter February 2015 Edition

Teaching, Research, Service, and Love

Did you know that academic couples comprise 36% of the American professoriate? By supporting dual career academic couples, universities open many avenues to compete for the best and brightest faculty. At UNT, we have identified 24 academic couples who are contributing to our success through their teaching, research, and leadership activities. It's no surprise that many of these couples met in graduate school or during their first academic appointment.  Who better to understand the complexities of faculty life, than another academic? This spring, Drs. Jamaal and Jemimah Young, faculty members in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration, will launch a network for couples to explore strategies for balancing the work life demands in the academy.  Check out their inspiring stories in the article, Romancing the Academy.

CLEAR Initiative: Learning Catalytics - Engaging and Interacting

How do you measure student learning?  Are your students engaged?  CLEAR is working with Pearson as part of an ongoing exploration of increased student engagement.  Faculty in UNT's Biology, Anthropology, Information Technology & Decision Sciences, Political Science and Math departments are testing a classroom engagement tool called Learning Catalytics (https://learningcatalytics.com/).  The tool allows faculty and students to interact in a variety of ways using student devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Jenna Ledford at Jenna.Ledford@unt.edu.

Mentoring Grant Call Announced

The Office for Faculty Success is committed to providing a culture of mentoring excellence through the Mentoring Grant Program.  Funding for the 2015-16 academic year is available to all full-time faculty for both individual and team grants.  Mentoring grant proposals are due on April 3, 2015. If you are interested in learning how these grants can help build your professional network, please join one of the information sessions listed below:

  • February 27, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., BLB 270
  • March 3, 3:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m., BLB 270

Calling All New Faculty (and their Mentors)

The mentoring relationship is especially important for new faculty as they learn to navigate institutional policies while performing their job responsibilities at the very highest level. The Office for Faculty Success is pleased to invite all new faculty and their dedicated mentors to a special appreciation luncheon. At this event, mentors and mentees will have the opportunity to connect while sharing successful strategies for building strong mentoring relationships. First and second year faculty are encouraged to join us on February 20, 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., Gateway 42Register here.

Get Funded

Learn how to write a successful grant proposal from UNT's top researchers. Topics will include insights into the peer review process, addressing 'broader impacts,' as well as insider tips for creating a competitive application.  Register TODAY!

Panel members are:

  • Bill Buckles, Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
  •  Rick Nader, Vice Provost for International Affairs
  •  Jincheng Du, Associate Professor, Materials & Science Engineering
  •  Marco Nardelli, Distinguished Research Professor, Physics & Chemistry
  •  Yong Tao, Distinguished Research Professor & Chair, Electrical & Energy Engineering

The workshop, moderated by Angela Wilson (Regents Professor of Chemistry), will be held on February 24, 2015 from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. BLB 180.  If you have questions, please contact faculty.success@unt.edu or Angela.Wilson@unt.edu.

Upcoming CLEAR Opportunities

  • Online Program Initiative (OPI)

    A request for proposals for the 2015 Online Program Initiative is now open and the application deadline is fast approaching, February 20, 2015.  Please visit the CLEAR website for more information 

  • University Forum on Teaching & Learning
    Save-the-Date for this half-day event designed to enable faculty, graduate teaching fellows, and staff to engage in open dialogue about the challenges of teaching and to share ideas and practices that improve teaching effectiveness. The forum will feature keynote speaker George Siemens, Ph.D. on April 10, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in Gateway Ballroom 035.  More information will be available as the event draws closer. 
  • Call for 2015-16 Proposals for NextGen Course Redesign Grants
    NextGen utilizes an innovative three-tier model of student learning outcomes, outcome-based instruction, and assessment that promotes deeper connection with course content, instructors, and peers.  Beginning in February, CLEAR will be accepting applicants on a rolling basis until April 30, 2015.  For additional information, please contact the NextGen Program Manager at Jenna.Ledford@unt.edu or website here. 

Make UNT a Safer Place
In case you haven't heard, UNT has been nominated for a $200,000 grant from Stanley Security to help improve safety on campus. Vote online by visiting StanleySafeSchools.com and searching for UNT, tweeting the message using the hashtags #untedu and #STANLEYSecurity, and/or texting 'untedu' to 334455.  For more information, click here.  Voting ends on Friday, Februrary 13, 2015

Resources for Supporting Students
Did you know that 1 in 5 people have a disability? At UNT that means that there are over 7,000 students who may need your assistance. The Office of Disability Accommodation (ODA) helps students reach a higher level of independence. In the most recent ODA e-newsletter, check out the Top 10 Disability Awareness Points that will help you as you interact with students. Beyond the face-to-face interaction, have you considered how to make your digital course content fully accessible?  Check out this YouTube video, for some VERY helpful tips.

Feed the Eagles: UNT Food Pantry Now Open
Consider making a donation to the UNT Food Pantry.  Located in Stoval Hall 150, the Dean of Student's Office is open for walk-ins during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm) and on Thursday evenings (5-7pm).  If you know of enrolled students in need, please refer them to this important campus resource.

So, What's Up with SETE?
In April 2014, the Office of the Provost, in collaboration with the Faculty Senate, appointed a task force to evaluate the current Student Evaluation of Teaching (SETE) instrument and administration process.  Below is a brief overview of their work to date:

  • Identified criteria for evaluating an instrument.
  • Completed comprehensive survey including focus groups and online surveys with student and faculty.
  • Interviewed stakeholders at other Texas institutions.
  • Hosted webinars with the nationally recognized providers - IDEA Center and IASystems.

In the coming months, the task force will make recommendations to the Office of the Provost and Faculty Senate for consideration. If you have any additional questions or concerns related to the student evaluation of teaching instrument or administration process, please contact your Faculty Senate representative listed on the SETE website

 Academic Leaders Corner   

Building, strengthening, and sustaining UNT's administrative leadership team is an important part of the work that we do in the Office for Faculty Success.  Upcoming events are listed below: 

 Please send your good ideas, comments, and/or suggestions for the next Faculty Newsletter to faculty.success@unt.edu.