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Assessable Roo Newsletter, September 2014

Jennifer Friend, Interim Director for Assessment and Assistant Dean for the School of Graduate Studies, and Dan Stroud are pleased to present the 11th issue of The Assessable Roo.  This issue includes several noteworthy articles:

  • Susan Wilson, Vice Chancellor of the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, writes about the  benefits of adopting diversity-related learning outcomes to prepare students for a global society
  • Barbara Glesner-Fines, FaCET Assessment Mentor and Executive Associate Dean for Academics and Faculty at the School of Law, emphasizes the benefits of reflective practice for self-assessment and professional growth
  • The newly appointed Discourse Coordinator, Rhiannon Dickerson,  describes strengthening Discourse assessment via rubric development and evaluation
  • Jennifer Friend provides an overview of the video resources available for UMKC Assessment Coordinators and opportunities for open communication regarding assessments at upcoming FaCET sessions

The newsletter can be reviewed here.

Update on UMKC’s Response to the COACHE Survey (Workplace Satisfaction) Results

Dear Colleagues,

One of my overarching priorities is to foster a workplace that is valued by our faculty, students, and staff.  There is no doubting that the pressures of an academic career are significant – especially during periods of constraint such as those as we have experienced in recent times. Nonetheless it is important that we continuously strive to do more to support our community and, periodically, assess how we are performing and what further might be done at the department, division, or university-wide level.

Last fall, UMKC was one of many institutions to join the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which administered a survey of job satisfaction. In this effort, locally coordinated by the UMKC COACHE team (Chris Brown, Lorie Holt, Georgia Smedley, Jenny Lundgren, Denis Medeiros, Larry Bunce, Jane Solose, Wayne Vaught, Peggy Ward Smith, Cindy Pemberton), surveys were sent to 399 tenured/tenure track faculty, and responses were received from 222 (56%).

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. Notably, the UMKC response rate was higher than our peer comparators and the full COACHE participant population.  I appreciate that time is a precious resource, and I am committed to making your contribution to this effort be worth every minute.

Survey responses are grouped into several themes, including the nature of the teaching, research, and service aspects of faculty work; the clarity and reasonableness of our tenure and promotion processes; satisfaction with personal and family supports; levels of climate and collegiality; and other aspects of your work-life.

COACHE has sent us a comprehensive report of the findings, including results at peer institutions and among a large cohort of similar institutions. The UMKC COACHE team is assisting me in interpreting and responding to the detailed findings. We will communicate the results and begin discussions about actions plans based on the survey findings this fall in a series of faculty senate, campus-wide faculty meetings, and unit specific meetings.  I encourage you to participate in these meetings so that you can learn the results of the survey and participate in developing consequent action plans.

  • September 2, 2014; 3:00 PM–Faculty Senate Presentation; Plaza Room Administrative Center
  • September 17, 2014; Noon–Volker Campus Faculty Meeting Presentation; Haag Hall, Room 301
  • October 15, 2014; Noon–Volker Campus Faculty Meeting Presentation; Haag Hall, Room 301
  • November 12, 2014; Noon–Health Sciences Campus Faculty Meeting Presentation; HSB, Room 4301

-Dr. Gail Hackett, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

School of Medicine Professors Recognized as Influential Names in Science

Congratulations to UMKC School of Medicine professors Dr. John Spertus and Dr. David Cohen, who were featured in Thomson Reuters’ list of highly cited researchers, a compilation report of some of today’s most influential names in science.  Researchers earned this distinction by writing the greatest number of reports ranking in the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication.  The researcher listings can be accessed at the Highly Cited Researchers Website.

Dr. John Spertus currently serves as the Daniel J. Lauer Missouri Endowed Chair in Metabolism and Vascular Disease Research and the Clinical Director of Outcomes Research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute.  Spertus’ research focuses on methods for measuring health care quality, assessing patients’ health outcomes, and the use of information technology to guide medical decision-making.

Dr. David Cohen is the Missouri Endowed Professor of Cardiovascular Health at the UMKC School of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Health.  Cohen’s research addresses the application of cost-effective methods for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease as well as the inclusion of patient-centered outcomes in cardiovascular outcomes research.

2014 New Faculty Orientation

The 2014 New Faculty Orientation is scheduled for Friday, August 22, 2014 from 7:45 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.  It will be located in the Plaza Room of the 2nd Floor Administrative Center.  Please complete and submit the registration form by August 11th so that we may have an accurate count of attendees! This year’s agenda can be located here.  For further information regarding the orientation, or an overview of UMKC and Kansas City resources, please visit our New Faculty Resources Blog.

Registration Open for August 22 FaCET Symposium

Registration is now open for the Fall 2014 FaCET Symposium! This semester’s conference is entitled “Stellar Student Support: Enhancing Learning through Supplemental Instruction, General Education, and Online Education.” The conference will be held on August 22nd, from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM at the Kauffman Conference Center.  Lunch will be provided for those who register by noon on Friday, August 15th.  Please be sure to email Peggy Ward-Smith with any dietary restrictions.

The official program can be located here, and will include a keynote address by Saundra McGuire, Director of the Center for Academic Success at Louisiana State University, as well as afternoon breakout sessions regarding online writing and supplemental instruction, anchor/discourse courses, RooWriter, and much more.  For additional information, please visit the official FaCET blog.

June 2014 Issue of Assessable Roo

I am pleased to present the tenth issue of the Assessable Roo, which has several wonderful articles that I hope that you will review:

  • Diane Hunter writes about her team’s successes in assessing information literacy in the Discourse classes
  • Kathy Hale describes the assessment of an excellent student affairs program that helped students “find their passion”
  • Jennifer Friend highlights the findings and action plans from a well-designed survey and focus groups on improving graduate students’ writing
  • Dan Stroud explains how the library is “hearing the students’ voice” and responding to their feedback
  • I provide an overview of resources that are available for you about assessment

As we complete this last newsletter, I want to thank Dan Stroud for his outstanding work on all 10 of these newsletters.  His creativity and terrific design skills have been the driving force behind these publications.

The newsletter can be found here.

-Nathan K. Lindsay, Ph.D., Assistant Vice Provost for Assessment

A Smoke-Free UMKC

On August 1, 2014, smoking and the use of tobacco will be prohibited on UMKC’s Volker and Hospital Hill campuses.  The change in policy is the result of a student-led initiative that indicated that the majority of employees and students at UMKC value a smoke- and tobacco-free environment.  In addition, a smoke- and tobacco-free UMKC falls in line with the university’s overall vision to provide a safe and healthy environment for all students, faculty, and other individuals associated with the campus.

“Smoking”, as defined by the new policy, includes but is not limited to, tobacco, cloves, all cigarette products (cigarettes, bidis, kreteks, e-cigarettes, etc.) and all smoke-producing devices (cigars, pipes, hookahs, etc.). The smoke-free policy will apply to:

  • All outdoor common and educational areas; inside all university owned or leased buildings
  • Campus sidewalks and parking lots
  • Recreational areas
  • Outdoor stadiums
  • University-owned and leased vehicles

Tobacco use will be allowed in personal vehicles, with the windows completely closed, located in designated parking areas on the two UMKC campuses. The smoking ban does not extend to public settings/streets governed by the City of Kansas City.

For more information about the policy change or on how to potentially quit smoking, visit the smoke-free UMKC website.

In Remembrance of Dr. Connie Drisko

Drisko Dr. Connie Drisko, recipient of the 2014 UMKC School of Dentistry’s Alumni Achievement Award, died Sunday after a short battle with acute myelogenous leukemia.

Dr. Drisko earned her DDS degree from the UMKC School of Dentistry in 1980 and later joined the faculty as an associate professor.  Throughout her time at UMKC, Dr. Drisko distinguished herself with numerous research grants, teaching awards, and acts of community service.  From 2003 through July 2013, Dr. Drisko served as dean and Merritt Professor at the College of Dental Medicine at Georgia Regents University.  She oversaw the construction of a $112 million, five-story clinical facility, one of the largest of its kind in the country.  Additionally, Dr. Drisko led university-wide initiatives to develop student diversity programs that prepared under-represented minority and low-income students for dental practice.  The college’s achievements were nationally recognized by the American Dental Association.

Dr. Drisko is survived by her husband, Dr. Richard Drisko; a step-daughter, Julie Gardner, and her husband, Marc, of Frisco, Texas; a sister, Carol Barr of Wichita, Kan.; two granddaughters, Kristin Longstaff (husband, Travis) and Cara Gardner, all of Frisco, Texas; and five nieces and nephews. A private memorial service for friends and extended family is being planned for September.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Connie Drisko’s memory to the Georgia Health Sciences Foundation, 1120 15th Street, FI-1000, Augusta, GA 30912. The funds will be used to support pediatric dentistry outreach programs for the College of Dental Medicine.

Online Boot Camp Returns August 2014

In the month of August, UMKC Online will be presenting another intensive one-week basic boot camp for faculty members and instructors interested in teaching online at UMKC.  Participants can look forward to learning the basic technological tools necessary for delivering an online course on Blackboard and gaining an understanding of how to effectively teach and assess for learning in an online format.  Those with little to no experience with online teaching would benefit most from this course.  However, online instructors who desire to get certified or become more familiar with online teaching best practices are also highly encouraged to attend.

In order to be eligible for this training, participants must be teaching a for-credit course at UMKC or wish to develop a course online.  Workshops will be held on August 4-7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on August 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in room 121 of the Miller Nichols Library.  Interested parties can receive more details or register at UMKC Online.  Spots are limited so be sure to register in advance!

Hall Family Foundation Gifts $5 Million to KC Repertory Theatre and UMKC Theatre Department

The Hall Family Foundation has pledged the Kansas City Repertory Theatre a total gift of $5 million, the largest in the theatre’s history.  Of that gift, $3 million will be used to support lobby renovations in the James C. Olsen Performing Arts Center, which houses the Spencer Theater.  Additionally, $2 million will be granted to the UMKC Department of Theatre for student scholarships, and $600,000 will be gifted to support the high quality plays the Kansas City Repertory Theatre produces for the Kansas City community.

The Hall Family Foundation’s endowment comes in recognition of the significant impact of the Repertory Theatre’s live performances on its audience, specifically members of the younger generation.  Representatives at the Repertory Theatre have praised the foundation for its investment, which will further its prominence as a nationally acclaimed regional theater and Kansas City’s standing as a nationally known theater community.  The generosity of this gift highlights UMKC as an institution that develops world-class artists and performers and provides rich artistic resources for the community.