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Provost’s Update

Provost's Fall Welcome-2013

Colleagues,

Welcome to the new academic year and with it, our first semester! It has taken a lot of hard work to get us to this momentous time and so it is fitting that on Thursday we celebrate this accomplishment and thank everyone for the role they played. 

I wish everyone a very happy start to the semester, and I encourage you to attend the upcoming calendar conversion celebration event on August 29. The reception begins at 2 pm in the Fireside Lounge and the celebration itself is at 3 pm in Ingle auditorium. I hope you are able to share and enjoy this unique moment in RIT’s history.

Jeremy Haefner, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Following Up On Recent Survey Results

As I shared at the President’s Address to the Community, our recent surveys show that our faculty and staff continue to take pride in RIT. However, like any organization, we have opportunities to improve. 

As I shared at the President’s Address to the Community, our recent surveys (the engagement survey, the climate survey, and the COACHE Survey) show that our faculty and staff continue to take pride in RIT. However, like any organization, we have opportunities to improve. For our faculty, these opportunities include greater clarity on promotion expectations and post-tenure faculty mentoring, making improvements to our tenure policy, and increasing appreciation and recognition of our faculty and staff. Advancing faculty and staff success is a priority this year, and I look forward to working with you to find ways in which we can continue to grow and excel.

With that in mind, I will be making an effort to visit with as many of our academic departments as possible this year in order to facilitate an open dialogue with both faculty and staff. These meetings will begin in just a few weeks, and I look forward to hearing your ideas on ways we can work together to address the challenges identified in our surveys.

Upcoming SmartEvals Launch

Preparation continues on our implementation of SmartEvals, our new online system for Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness (SRATE). The SmartEvals system will open for faculty starting September 9.  

Preparation continues on our implementation of SmartEvals, our new online system for Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness (SRATE). The SmartEvals system will open for faculty starting September 9.  In the meantime, we have been busy creating the student, course and registration database in preparation for the official launch.  With help and expertise from ITS and the Office of the Registrar, we have been able to upload a total of 88,000 records to the SmartEvals system. The SRATE office is working with SmartEvals to organize training sessions for faculty at the college level during the month of September. At these workshops, faculty will have the opportunity to learn more about potential applications of this new tool. Meanwhile, an overview of the SmartEvals system, including FAQ’s and self-training videos, is available online at http://rit.edu/smartevals

Winter TigerTerm(SM) Update

This year also brings our first Winter TigerTermSM during January intersession. 

This year also brings our first Winter TigerTermSM during January intersession.  The summer workshop for faculty interested in teaching during the Winter TigerTermSM  was well-attended, and proposed courses, projects and learning experiences are currently going through the approval process. We project there will be approximately 10 courses available during the first Winter TigerTermSM and that the number and breadth of the courses offered will increase each year. This year’s January intersession will begin Tuesday, January 2 and end with finals on Thursday, January 23.

September Lecture: "Critical Thinking, College and Careers: Lessons from a Study of Recent College Graduates"

On September 26, I invite you to attend the upcoming Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking lecture "Critical Thinking, College and Careers: Lessons from a Study of Recent College Graduates" by Dr. Richard Arum.  

On September 26, I invite you to attend the upcoming Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking lecture "Critical Thinking, College and Careers: Lessons from a Study of Recent College Graduates" by Dr. Richard Arum.  Author of Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Authority in American Schools and co-author of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, Dr. Arum is a professor in the department of sociology with a joint appointment in the Steinhardt School of Education and director of the Institute for Human Development and Social Change at New York University. His areas of expertise are stratification, student achievement and learning environments in higher education. RSVP online at the RIT Alumni Association website by September 16. 

New Early Alert System Goes Live

The transition to the new SIS system mandated the upgrade of the RIT early alert system, which allows faculty to communicate with undergraduate students regarding their course progress. 

The transition to the new SIS system mandated the upgrade of the RIT early alert system, which allows faculty to communicate with undergraduate students regarding their course progress. The new system, Early Alert by Starfish Retention Solutions, will enable us to provide a more robust support network for students who are academically at-risk. With the new system, instructors are able to alert students who are struggling in their courses, and students are encouraged to seek help from their instructors, advisors and other campus resources. Early Alert went live Monday, August 26, and will achieve full functionality in week three (the week of September 9) of the semester. Training is available for instructors and advisors through the Center for Professional Development. Many thanks to the implementation team, which includes the Institute Advising Office and ITS with partnership from Student Affairs. The team is led by Joe Loffredo, assistant vice president and registrar.