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Session Schedule for 2018 - 2019

Session #1

Welcome to

Wednesday, 21 August 2019
University Center, Room 259

In this inaugural meeting, attendees will mingle with other faculty new to the campus during a breakfast meeting.

We’ll then overview the First Year Program before taking a brief and engaging look (in a game show format) at the history, traditions, myths, and current status of UW-Whitewater. By the end of the session, first year faculty will have a better understanding of:

  1. important events and characters that spurred the growth of the town and the university;
  2. the role the university plays in serving the state and the region; and
  3. the strategic direction of the university in the near and long term.


Session #2

Hands-On Campus

Friday, 23 August 2019
McGraw Hall, Room 119

Few tools serve the contemporary faculty member as readily as technology. It’s a pervasive part of virtually all instructional and non-instructional activities. This session will familiarize faculty with on-line services to assist in managing courses and the host of other professional responsibilities. 

Through a series of hands-on and interactive exercises, attendees will meet and work with staff of Instructional, Communication and Information Technology (iCIT).  By the end of this technology session, participants will:

  1. learn about the campus email and calendar system, messaging and collaboration tools, and web conferencing;
  2. gain experience using some of the technology in classrooms on campus;
  3. become familiar with the different resources to assist you with course software and supplemental course materials.


Session #3

The Purple Book

Friday, 13 September 2019
University Center, Room 068

During the first of the luncheon meetings, Vice Provost Greg Cook and Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs Grace Crickette will join us.  Greg will overview the Purple Book process—introducing first year faculty to UW-Whitewater’s vehicle for chronicling professional accomplishments relevant to reappointment, promotion and tenure.  Grace will introduce the resources and services available from Administrative Affairs to “Make the Right Thing Happen.”  Higher Education organizations are complex environments and it can be difficult to navigate the rules and complexity within systems.  UW-Whitewater Administrative Affairs has been re-inventing and re-engineering the day-to-day processes to create greater efficiencies.

By the end of the session, first year faculty will have a sense of the purposes and timelines relevant to the Purple Book and a better understanding of the resources available from Administrative Affairs, and have:

  1. an understanding of the faculty Personnel Rules that guide reappointment, tenure, and promotion;
  2. a sense of how to best document teaching/job performance, research/creative activities, and professional and public service efforts;
  3. questions to ask his/her chair relevant to individual departmental use of the Purple Book; and
  4. an understanding of how resources from Administrative Affairs can assist faculty in their desired outcomes.


Session #4

Challenging Teaching Situations

Friday, 4 October 2019
UC 068

With changing demographics and student characteristics, it is helpful to know our students, their needs, and their behaviors sufficiently to ensure a positive classroom environment. 

Mr. Andrew Browning, from the Dean of Students office, will present select data on UW-Whitewater students, especially with regard to their mental health and other self-care needs.  He will also examine ways to identify and respond to challenging students and classroom situations.  Multiple scenarios will be discussed.
By the end of the session, first year faculty will better understand:

  1. resources on campus available to assist students with mental health and other challenges;
  2. strategies to handle challenging students and classroom situations, and
  3. the complex set of challenges many of our students face on a daily basis and how their learning is impacted.


Session #5

Teaching & Motivating Students

Friday, 1 November 2019
UC 068

As faculty reflect on their teaching, one issue that often comes up is student motivation.  Most instructors agree that teaching motivated students makes classroom instruction an enjoyable experience.  What can instructors do to inspire, challenge, and stimulate students to engage in the classroom and learn? 

Dr. Brenda O’Beirne, (Counselor Education) will facilitate discussion of reflection on teaching and student motivation.  By the end of the session, first year faculty will:

  1. better understand different motivators for student learning;
  2. examine examples of student-focused pedagogies and tools and how they can serve to motivate students; and
  3. begin to develop their teaching philosophy and narrative for the purple book


Session #6

Scholarship and Creative Activity

Friday, 7 Februrary 2020

Tenure-track faculty from across the nation consistently report that the pressure to meet scholarly/creative expectations as the most significant “stress-producing” professional challenge they face.
Catherine Chan and Matt Winden will lead a discussion on actionable steps one can take to be a productive scholar despite competing demands for a faculty’s time.  They will also introduce resources on campus that can support faculty’s scholarly and creative work as well as strategies on how to leverage such existing institutional resources to secure more substantial and external support.  At the end of the session, participants will:

  1. better understand campus resources that are useful in supporting scholarly and creative work;
  2. craft strategies for supporting and increasing scholarly/creative output;
  3. discuss how best to meet scholarly/creative expectations in the UW-W environment; and
  4. draft a scholarly/creative work agenda


Session #7

Grading and Assessment

Friday, 6 March 2020
University Center, Room TBD

Faculty surveys indicate that evaluating student work and assigning grades is the “most time consuming,” and “least satisfying” part of their job.
Dr. Joan Littlefield Cook, Office of Academic Assessment, will begin by looking at the biggest challenges of grading and evaluation, and progress to a discussion of strategies designed to make grading more fair, efficient, and conducive to student learning. The session will also overview the institution’s academic assessment processes. By the end of the session, first year faculty will:

  1. have self-assessed how their evaluation methods compare to a list of “best evaluation practices” in post-secondary settings;
  2. better understand campus grading practices and tendencies; and
  3. develop an understanding of what “academic assessment” is, and how it is practiced on the UW-W campus.


Session #8

Last Words 

Friday, 3 April 2020
University Center, Room TBD

In this final First Year Program session, a panel of recently tenured faculty members from a variety of disciplines will share their experiences and advice on strategies for achieving tenure at UW-Whitewater.  By the end of the session, first year faculty will:

  1. have several examples of how faculty members successful navigate the tenure process
  2. have better insight on how best to document accomplishments and plans in the Purple Book as they look toward their first review in fall 2019
  3. finally confirm some of those ‘fun facts’ from your fellow First Year Program participants (and maybe even win prizes!)