Northwood University
Past Newsletters:
  February 2009
  December 2008
  November 2008
  October 2008 - Part II
  October 2008 - Part I
  September 2008
  May 2008 - Part II
  May 2008 - Part I
  April 2008
  March 2008
  February 2008

March 2009

The March issue of AQIP in Action centers us on our Strategic Theme 2:  Nurturing a Learning Organization. This is an important strategic theme as Northwood University’s faculty and staff help to educate our future leaders of a global, free enterprise society so they can effectively address the many opportunities and challenges awaiting them. In fact, President Pretty alluded to the importance of this strategic theme on March 12 in our first-ever, live, University-wide, all-faculty-and-staff spring system update.  In case you missed that address, the link is: http://mediasite.northwood.edu/Mediasite/Viewer/?peid=8527843f-67e5-419c-befb-16f73f3c72cd.

In nurturing the learning within our own organization, we have embraced several key improvements. These include – just to cite a few examples:

  • Tuition reimbursement program for faculty and staff - an area to which our Officer Team continues to commit - in the face of so many organizations doing exactly the opposite.
  • Improved hiring process, systematic new-hire orientation program, learning and action resulting from our first-ever employee survey, revised evaluation and employee development program, pilot leadership development program, and we are targeting a training session for department heads and other leaders on management skills and use of a One Northwood improvement methodology - stay tuned for that this fall!
  • Improved Board of Trustee induction process, overall governance approaches, and ongoing linkage to strategic plan.

All of these are significant in and of themselves.  As I look back at the 20 months since I joined Northwood, an area that produces the most joy is our approach to faculty development.  Our Officer Team, Academic Deans as well as our Division and Department Chairs have committed to it.  Our faculty - full and part time - have been unwavering in their support for our efforts and regularly use the various resources to which we have grown.

Kudos to the efforts of our Faculty Development Team:  Howard Borck, Texas; Cathy Bush, DeVos Graduate School of Management; Justin Harmon, Florida; Jennifer Luzar, Adult Degree Program; and Stacy Romanchuk, Michigan.

We all receive their monthly newsletter (it is on Blackboard, as well!) — New LEAF (Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Faculty Development).  A look back at this academic year’s contents include:

  • Setting the tone in your first class — and in use of Blackboard
  • Using the Socratic Method effectively
  • Critical Thinking
  • Blackboard tips
  • Grading Participation
  • Using PowerPoint effectively
  • Classroom and out-of-classroom engagement
  • Use of portfolios
  • And, of course, numerous Shout Out Awards!

The Faculty Development Team is continuing to shape a robust environment of hands-on and very useful workshops and faculty/staff in-service offerings.  These cut across our campuses, include offerings at our Adult Degree Program centers, include our graduate school, address on-line learning skills and abilities, incorporate faculty attendance at significant teaching/learning conferences, and embrace seminal workshops as the one being held this Saturday, March 21, on “Creating Significant Learning Through Integrated Course Design” from Dee Fink and Associates and
Dr. Stewart Ross.

I have had a chance to review part of the workshop’s materials and would encourage all of you to follow up with colleagues that attend the workshop and/or with your Faculty Development Team colleagues.  Topics range from designing courses that promote learning goals, feedback and assessment, active learning, and integration; to course structure, instructional strategy, and creating the overall scheme of learning activities; to grading, filling your students in on your plans, and assessing your course design.  This is a powerful workshop and we all can benefit from knowledge sharing associated with it!

As we applaud the huge amount of ground covered in Strategic Theme 2:  Nurturing a Learning Organization, please note that our work directly addresses our accrediting criteria by which AQIP assesses the institution — particularly, standards associated within the Valuing People and Leading and Communicating categories.

April and May AQIP in Actions will address upgrades of learning areas/technology, an update on our Foundations of Excellence self-assessment, an example of One Northwood in action from our libraries, an update on our curriculum reviews and assessment, and, of course, our terms to semesters transition status.  A brief note on the semester transition - as mentioned last month in AQIP in Action and by President Pretty in the live, spring system update last week, our Curriculum Committee is addressing some key proposals currently.  Further, issues of workload are being addressed by our Professional Standards Committee Working Group.  You can forward questions and comments you have through committee members and I asked these committees to also keep their colleagues informed of ongoing progress.

Yours in teaching and learning,

John J.

John Jasinski, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President/Chief Academic and Operating Officer
Contact me at jasinski@northwood.edu

 
Northwood University