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Humanities Faculty

Notes from Meeting with Humanities Division

21 September 2012

Attendees: Thirty two faculty members participated in the discussion

Extending Our Reach

  • Would like to see our students become truly global citizens.  One of the great benefits of the block system is that is allows for students to study abroad, which in turn foments an internationalization process, so perhaps it should be required that every CC student spend at least one block abroad without the financial burden (this would require some changes to the current procedure).  Perhaps we could use the additional 1% increase in tuition to reduce or remove the program fees for studying off-campus and studying abroad.
  • Desire to create more exchange programs with universities from abroad (both for students and faculty).  If we pursue such programs, we would need to create a support infrastructure for these international visitors to ensure success.  At present we do not have the infrastructure to even support our current international students on campus (e.g. an ESL program or a bridge program like the one for first-generation students).  One problem is the lack of rigor of some of the programs abroad.  One way to control quality is to strengthen and offer more CC blocks abroad.  This would necessitate more support for faculty who teach abroad.
  • Global citizens are also produced when American students have students from other countries intertwined into their academic experience (in the classroom, in the dorm, sports, clubs, socialization, etc.).
  • Global citizens are also produced when students are taken out of their comfort zone and exposed to other areas of the USA.  Examples – Chicago, Los Angeles, border towns with Mexico.
  • CC should take more advantage of bringing scholars here.   More scholars would allow for instruction on courses we don’t teach.  More scholars might be able to come due to the short time [3.5 weeks] that is needed to teach at CC.  Visiting scholars can come to enrich our cultural/intellectual life not necessarily through teaching alone.  This can be done if an appropriate amount of money and other resources were made available for visiting scholars.
  • Would we consider making community outreach part of tenure requirements/decisions so that outreach matters and doesn’t hurt in tenure decisions?  Community service currently negatively impacts tenure.

Engaged Teaching and Learning

  • What makes us (CC) distinctive?  Our face-to-face interaction with students.  How can we improve the face-to-face interaction between faculty and students?  Ideas include (a) student research, (b) student-faculty research collaboration and (c) intimate learning-small classes.
  • Enhance the “oracle to mentor” movement.  Smaller class sizes leads to less papers to grade which translates into a lighter teaching load which allows enhanced teaching and learning through improved student-faculty interaction.  This will also provide for improved quality of time (life) outside of the classroom.
  • Leverage the concept that the block plan gives us (the faculty) a unique opportunity to teach a class anywhere in the world.  The block provides for mobility.  The block also provides for the opportunity to bring distinguished scholars to campus that otherwise would not be able to get away from their home institution for a semester.

Place

  • Armstrong Hall as a physical space.  Teaching capabilities are limited.  Classrooms are not conducive.  Face-to-face discussions are almost impossible due to the lack of sound proofing between classrooms and offices.
  • Where is our value towards public art?  Downtown Colorado Springs cares more about public art than CC does.  What does say about us?
  • CC’s landscape used to be a teaching tool.  Now it is generic.  Example – plastic planters around Tutt and other buildings.
  • We are not using the physical space (including outside spaces) to our advantage.  How can we use our outdoor space as intellectual space?
  • Let us not also lose sight of technology.  We need to integrate technology into the face-to-face interaction.  We need to make technology work for CC, not just bring it in to replace the face-to-face interaction.

General

  • Step back – start a conversation about faculty values.  For example, what does diversity mean?  Let us look at the laminated card of the college’s mission statement and values.