The Moon Room

A Community Forum on Guilford College Faculty Life

Board approves revisions to tenure and promotion

February 25th, 2017

Guilford’s Board of Trustees today approved the revisions we proposed to the tenure and promotion process today after a brief discussion. Several trustees expressed appreciation for the hard, long, and thorough work of the faculty in reaching this goal. FEP, the Dean, and the faculty were specifically commended.

Congratulations and thanks to all who have worked on this process over the past decade or more, particularly to the members of FEP, whose language makes up much of the newly approved standards. I look forward to our present and future Guilford colleagues working under a rigorous but also much clearer and more flexible promotion and tenure system that better sustains their careers and that appreciates the breadth of faculty contributions to our students, to the national discourse, and to the pursuit and application of knowledge.

Discussion area for Faculty Forum on Curriculum Revision, February 15, 2017

February 15th, 2017

Here are the images of the posters we created today. Thanks for a useful, challenging meeting. Feel free to continue our discussion in the comments section below.

Update to clarify: People were asked to place no sticker if they didn’t care about an issue, but if they did care, they were to place a green sticker for support of an element, a yellow sticker if they had concerns but weren’t necessarily opposed, and a red sticker if they were against an element.

Click on the images to see bigger versions.


Clerk’s Committee Minutes, February 2, 2017

February 15th, 2017

Guilford College

Clerk’s Committee Meeting

Thursday, February 2, 2017, 2:30 pm

Attending:  Alfonso Abad Mancheno, Dave Dobson, Sherry Giles (took minutes), Gwen Gosney Erickson, Eva Lawrence, Beth Rushing, Kathryn Shields, and Don Smith. Absent: Leanna Kantt, Jeffrey Ray

  1.    The meeting began in silence.
  2.    Minutes from December 2, 2017 were approved.
  3.    Hiroko Hirakawa and Sherry Giles were approved as Faculty Development associates, in response to the request of the chair of Faculty Development, Maria Rosales.
  4.    Clerk’s discussed people nominated to receive honorary degrees at this spring’s commencement ceremony. Concern was expressed that the purpose of awarding honorary degrees needs to be clarified. We decided to devote time at the February 8th faculty meeting to a discussion of the purpose of awarding the degrees in relation to the mission of the college, and to invite Jane Fernandes to discuss briefly her vision for awarding honorary degrees. Following her presentation, faculty will discuss and come to consensus about which one, if any, of the three final nominees to whom we want to award the degree.
  5.    Clerk’s discussed and agreed upon the following topics and times for our faculty meeting on February 8th:
  •         Catalog statement on course hours – Beth will draft a statement about workload hours for courses (180 hours minimum) for faculty approval. (5 minutes)
  •         Honorary degrees (20 minutes)
  •         Curriculum revision- The Forum in January had about 20 people present, and had a thoughtful discussion of the curriculum. LAGER wants faculty to consider whether it is realistic to have an approved revised curriculum by the end of the semester. Dave proposed faculty discussing each of three areas of the proposed curriculum separately at successive faculty meetings. CIP, First Year Experience, Two Course Writing Chunk, Two Course Communication Chunk, and then implementation questions. We will discuss the CIP portion of LAGER at the faculty meeting on February 8th. (65 minutes)
  1. Clerk’s discussed the Personnel Committee proposal from the Faculty Sub-Committee on Salary. Clerk’s will be responsible for the remaining work around compensation this spring. We will bring the proposal for the new Personnel committee to a faculty meeting later this spring.
  2. Clerk’s agreed to discuss the following topics at future meetings:

o  Online course evaluations

o  Compensation adjustments

o  Position requests – Dave has sent an email to Jane about this, and Beth also is talking with Jane about it.

o  Administrative structure (divisions and departments)

o  Budget committee revision

o  Committee staffing issues

o  Compensation for faculty service

  1. The meeting closed in silence at 4 pm.


Agenda for Clerk’s Committee Meeting February 16, 2017

February 15th, 2017

Clerk’s Committee Meeting Agenda

Thursday February 16, 2016 2:30 pm

  1. Gathering and Moment of Silence – 3 minutes

  2. Approval of Minutes from Feb. 9 meeting – 2 minutes

  3. Review of Faculty Forum on February 15 – 20 minutes

  4. For discussion: Proposal for Peace as a core value -10 minutes

  5. For discussion: Proposed change to commencement – 10 minutes

  6. For approval: Proposal for Personnel Committee – 10 minutes

  7. For discussion: Faculty service workload and expectations – 10 minutes

Open discussion area for faculty meeting February 8, 2017

February 8th, 2017

Please enter any comments, ideas, discussion, or feedback relevant to the February 8th faculty meeting below.

Cards left at the meeting:

In the past few faculty meetings we have spent a lot of time on early items on the agenda, which seem relatively insignificant (e.g. printers), which has cut into our discussion of the gen ed revision. This has frustrated me. I support doing anything possible to prioritize and centralize discussion of the gen ed revision. One possibility: place this item at the beginning instead of the end of future agendas.


Can we start with the most important topics? When we push them to the end, everyone who had daycare pickup gets excluded. The 5:15 (or 5:20 or 5:25) end time isn’t very family friendly.


When the podium is not going to be used, could you move it so those of us sitting behind it can read the screen? 🙂


It occurs to me that Quaker process is difficult to use in ranking candidates for anything. Also, rating and ranking multiple candidates has problems. See Arrow’s Theorem.


Any reason why people not standing up when speaking?


Minutes from Clerk’s Committee meeting on December 2, 2016

February 7th, 2017

Clerk’s Committee Meeting

Friday, December 2, 2016 11:30 a.m.

Attending were Dave Dobson (Clerk), Alfonso Abad Mancheno, Leanna Kantt, Beth Rushing, Jeffrey Ray, Kathryn Shields, Don Smith, and Eva Lawrence (minute taker).

  1. The committee gathered with a moment of silence.
  2. Approval of Minutes: Minutes from 11/11 were approved with minor edits.
  3. Approval of Faculty Development Associate: Michele Malotky was approved as Faculty Development Associate for Inclusive Pedagogy.
  4. Discussion of 11/30 faculty meeting:

There have been some issues with the new printer installation and some concerns about how information was distributed. We agreed to encourage IT to distribute important information more widely, perhaps via email.

During the faculty meeting, several faculty members raised questions about how we evaluate the success of new majors and minors. Clerk’s committee agreed to schedule a forum in the spring about how to evaluate both new and existing majors and minors, and how to determine when a major or minor should be laid down.

Nominating committee will nominate faculty members for the ad hoc learning technologies committee that was approved during the faculty meeting.

There appeared to be a lot of interest in attending the Arts and Science presentation next Friday, and to consider how their findings should impact the revision of the general education curriculum.  

  1. PECS nomenclature:

We discussed whether the search for a tenure-track PECS faculty member should advertise PECs as a department or program. We currently have no clear distinction between what the definition of a department is and what a program is. Because the new hire would be the only tenure-track faculty member in PECs, members of Clerk’s thought the term program would better reflect the institutional reality. We agreed that calling PECS a program would not affect its status as a stand-alone major or its budget structure.  

  1. Compensation plan:

We discussed the compensation plan and how it might be implemented. Compensation committee will meet later today and as of the time of the Clerk’s Committee meeting, we have no clarity on how raises might be allocated. If Compensation committee reaches consensus on a recommendation, we will have a forum on Monday 12/2 at 3:45 so that faculty understand the process and have an opportunity to voice their support or concerns.

  1. General education revision:

We agreed to hold forums in January about the general education revision. Dates and times will be determined.  

  1. Administrative structure:

We briefly discussed potential changes to our departmental/program/division administrative structure, including the potential benefits of reducing redundancy. We agreed to take this up in the spring.

  1. The committee closed at 1pm.  


Agenda for Clerk’s Committee Meeting February 9, 2017

February 7th, 2017

Clerk’s Committee Meeting Agenda

Thursday February 9, 2016 2:30 pm

  1. Gathering and Moment of Silence – 3 minutes
  2. Approval of Minutes from Feb. 2 meeting – 2 minutes
  3. Review of Faculty Meeting on February 8 – 10 minutes
  4. For discussion: Position requests for searches in 2017-18 – 10 minutes
  5. For approval: Proposal for Personnel Committee – 10 minutes
  6. For discussion: Faculty service workload and expectations – 10 minutes
  7. For approval: Online course evaluations – 10 minutes
  8. For discussion: Proposal for Peace as a core value – 10 minutes

Notes from Curriculum Revision forum on January 25th

February 1st, 2017

I took notes during the forum on general education curriculum revision that we had on January 25th, and I thought I’d share them here, expanded a bit from my scribblings. These topics and concerns are not a complete reflection of all that we covered, but they might help give a sense of some of the topics raised. Participants were asked to focus on the Communities in Practice (CIP) component of the LAGER proposal for this forum.

Question: How does the Art and Science research affect our curriculum revision process? They recommend a program where students pursue an area of passion along with their major. We should ensure that:

  • Students can find an area of passion to study here – are we big enough and flexible enough that we can do this?
  • These areas of passion should not merely overlap or augment their major, but instead should be something different.

During the first year, students will need to be exposed to many possibilities for their general education “passion” experience in order to be able to find one they can embrace.

The current LAGER model seems to suggest that students would be locked into the communities in practice (CIP) model by sophomore year, although we intend that movement between CIPs be possible. This seems problematic to some

Calling the CIPs “communities” is problematic. A community suggests a living and working group, and within communities, there is often status, hierarchy of participation, and people who are deeply engaged and then some left on the margins.  Within larger societies also, some communities have higher and lower status. We do not want students (or whole CIPs) to be marginalized. Will our small communities include marginalization or have imperfect participation?

The term “community” does not seem clear in meaning or intent. Perhaps a different name with fewer connotations would be better. LAGER is open to better names for all parts of the general education offerings.

Not all students will be able to find a passion or CIP within their first or second year. We should have an “undeclared” CIP. Perhaps it could be called the Explorers, seeking a topic or passion that ignites interest.

If we have something like the CIPs or passion groups, we need to reserve time and space for those groups to meet. This could include altering the schedule, such as reserving weekly times, or reserving whole days every month for groups to meet. Some of these meeting spaces could be digital/electronic. We can probably figure this part out later, once a model is in place.

Some felt that the three-year CIP model might be too restrictive. Many students change their majors several times during college or add minors as they have new experiences or as their interests shift. The ability to change between CIPs seems necessary. Participants saw value both in having a consistent, progressive multi-year CIP experience as envisioned in the LAGER proposal, but also allowing some students to be more nomadic, moving from one group to another from year to year. Making this nomadic model work, and ensuring that the goals and outcomes of the Gen Ed curriculum are met, could be challenging.

Question: How prepared are we to offer this kind of innovative, customized model? How would CIP participation fit into regular workloads for faculty? We can probably figure this part out later after we have a model nailed down.

Question: Could our CIPs be completely student driven, with students forming groups around certain issues, and faculty taking what students want to do and crafting an academic experience on the fly? This might allow us to get closer to the admonition to let students follow their passions, but it would also be potentially chaotic, challenging for faculty, and hard to assess.

Question: Could we separate the three SACS-required courses out of the CIPs rather than trying to tailor those courses to CIPs? This would allow students to take any qualifying course. This would still allow students to bring those topics and skills back to their CIP, but it would reduce the problems of scheduling many different required gen-ed courses and ensuring that they fit the themes of the CIPs. This allows students and CIPs more flexibility and reduces some of the design challenge for CIPs, but it would bring back the checklist model for Gen Ed that LAGER was trying to move away from.

Proposal: Have students take the three SACS courses as an exploration period during sophomore year, then do the CIP/passion group parts during junior/senior years. This gives them longer to find a passion and might make the CIP experience more intense and useful, but it means the overall CIP experience would potentially be shorter and less deep. It would make the implementation of the revised curriculum easier, though, because most of the SACS-required courses are already in place, while the CIP parts would be new and challenging.


The Moon Room

A Community Forum on Guilford College Faculty Life