April 4, 2020

Professor Wins Grant to Pen Open Education Textbook

It’s a dilemma faced by many students on financial aid. Funds often don’t hit accounts until a few weeks into the semester, so students can’t purchase textbooks, and they risk falling behind. Melissa Wells, an assistant professor in UMW’s College of Education (COE), knows this scenario all too well. That’s why she’s designing an Open […]

Greenlaw Quoted on Grade Distribution in Inside Higher Ed

Professor of Economics Steven Greenlaw

Professor of Economics Steven Greenlaw

Professor of Economics Steven Greenlaw was quoted in an article on InsideHigherEd.com entitled “Forced to Fail Students?” The article examines an accusation by a former professor at Arizona State University who says he was fired for failing to adhere to grading quotas. “Asking professors to strictly follow a grade distribution is highly unusual,” Greenlaw said. “If a professor is giving out too many A’s, that might necessitate a conversation, but not a mandate to fail a specific proportion of the class.” Read more. 



Forced to Fail Students? (Inside Higher Ed)

Online Students Don’t Have to Work Solo (Inside Higher Ed)

What Online Teachers Have Learned From Teaching Online (Inside Higher Ed)

Greenlaw Honored by OpenStaxCollege

Steven A. Greenlaw was recently honored when OpenStaxCollege, an affiliate of Rice University in Houston, named a conference room after him.  OpenStax is the preeminent publisher of free, open source textbooks for introductory college courses.  They currently have introductory texts in Physics, Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, Statistics, Precalculus, U.S. History, Psychology and Economics. By the end of 2015, they expect to have 25 books.

Greenlaw was one of their first authors.  He recently conducted a statistical analysis comparing the use of OpenStax’ economics text against the commercial text, and found there to be no statistical difference in student learning in his course. If you teach one of these introductory courses, you might want to save your students money and consider adopting an OpenStax or other open text.

Honors Students Explore Washington, D.C. Architecture

group of students posed in front of Union Station.

Honors scholars in front of Union Station during the fall 14 field trip.

In August, incoming UMW Honors Scholars participated in a common reading experience, reading the book “The Devil in the White City” by Eric Larson. To expand on the theme of the planning and architecture of the Chicago’s World’s Fair, Andrea Smith, Department of Historic Preservation, led the fall field for the honors program on Saturday Oct. 4. Twenty six honors students, Professor of Economics Steve Greenlaw, Professor of Chemistry Kelli Slunt, and Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Melanie Szulczewski enjoyed learning about the urban planning and contributions of Daniel Burnham (one of the main characters in “The Devil in the White City”) while exploring Union Station, The National Mall, and the National Building Museum.

Highlights of the October UFC Meeting

The UFC met on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Provost Jonathan Levin announced the reopening of a search for the director of academic and career services, as well as a search for the associate provost for enrollment management. Dean Lynne Richardson reported that the College of Business has submitted its eligibility application, the first step towards AACSB accreditation. She also announced the suspension of admissions to the M.S. in management information systems program due to low enrollments.

Next followed the continuing discussion of the strategic resource reallocation initiative, specifically faculty and staff responses to the templates and training to complete the templates.

V.P. for Student Affairs Doug Searcy and Meg Higgenbothem responded to faculty concerns (compiled by the UFC) about last summer’s new student orientation. The new plans involve reducing the student-staff ratio for the advising/registration sessions, and moving transfer advising/registration to later in the summer. There was also discussion of how to better manage seats for incoming students. Convocation will be moved from Sunday night before classes start to Friday night.

Provost Levin announced a new policy for summer school compensation of faculty, with details to be provided later.

Discussion moved to the vision for UMW over the next decade, and in particular how to differentiate UMW from competing schools. The UFC suggested that faculty be more involved in the conversation, and that suggestion was well received.

Finally, the UCC Action Items and WI Action Items were approved

More information on these items can be found in the formal meeting minutes.

October UFC Meeting is Wednesday!

The October meeting of the University Faculty Council will be held Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. in Monroe 210.  Note the change in location.

On the agenda, will be:

  • Continued discussion of the Strategic Resource Allocation;
  • Discussion and approval of proposals from the University Curriculum Committee; and,
  • Discussion of the vision for UMW over the next decade.

Visitors are welcome!

September UFC Meeting Summary

The UMW University Faculty Council held its first regular meeting of the 2013-14 academic year on Monday, September 16.  Highlights of the meeting included:

  • Discussion of last June’s Summer Orientation events and problematic issues with Doug Searcy, Meg Higgenbotham and Keith Mellinger. Many suggestions were offered and it was a fruitful discussion, especially with regard to planning for next summer.
  • Review of the existing Faculty Handbook language and discussion of the role to be played by the UFC regarding any Discontinuance of a Program that may occur as a result of the Strategic Resource Allocation (“Restructuring Initiative”);
  • A decision to remain constituted as the UFC through August 2013 in order to accommodate review of the SRA decisions;
  • Announcement of  the upcoming October 11 forum to discuss the recent faculty governance survey (with Jim Lollar, President of the Faculty Senate of Virginia), from 3-5pm in Lee 411;
  • Discussions with the provost about final elements of the SACS report (regarding the QEP and development of a metric of faculty and student research); summer teaching salaries; course evaluation response rates; the staffing of Career and Academic Services, and Admissions.
  • Discussion of the need to create a QEP Advisory Committee. The QEP director to be announced shortly.
  • A motion by the Speaking Intensive Committee to recommend SI designation for HIST 471E5, PSCI 471, and RELG304 was passed.

For more details, feel free to consult the meeting minutes, which will be posted (when approved) on the UFC website at http://ufc.umw.edu/archives/2013-2014-ufc-approved-minutes/ .