In 2011 the Center for Faculty Development piloted a new format for faculty events: candid conversations. These are intended to be relaxed, late-afternoon discussions where faculty can share their views and experiences on topics that may be more controversial or "hot" at the time. These facilitated conversations have less emphasis on current research, more on exploring the topic in its Seattle University context, with gentle moderation from the Center for Faculty Development.
A candid conversation with Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Associate Professor, Modern Languages & Cultures and Women & Gender Studies; and Carmen Gonzalez, Professor, School of Law
Seattle University has a higher than average proportion of students from underrepresented groups, yet its faculty profile doesn't yet reflect that diversity. At many institutions, a gap exists between the "ideal" of faculty diversity and the actual experience of underrepresented faculty. Using the example of women of color as an entrée into the topic, this Candid Conversation creates space for an open dialogue about the daunting challenges faced by underrepresented faculty as they navigate the often hostile terrain of higher education.
Editors of Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, PhD, and Carmen Gonzalez, JD, will facilitate the conversation. We'll discuss some of the concrete strategies offered in the book to help junior faculty thrive in academia and will hear some of the problems that they encountered with editing a book about difficult issues of the intersections of gender, race, and social class within the Academy.
Mere mention of the phrase "learning outcomes" – or "learning objectives" – can raise the hackles of many a faculty member throughout the English-speaking world. And yet the learning outcomes agenda and the discourse of outcomes assessment are fast permeating US higher education, driven in large part by the accrediting bodies that assure the quality of our degree programs. What pitfalls do we see and how do we sidestep them? What benefits might learning outcomes present and how do we capitalize on them? What can we learn from faculty experiences of the learning outcomes process in other countries?
"Grade inflation" has long been a hot topic on US campuses, and we hear it discussed at Seattle University, too. So to what extent is it a problem for the university, and how is it manifested here? Is grade inflation evidence of a humane educational environment that supports learners, the result of a sense of entitlement among students, a non-issue due to a mastery model in some SU courses, or a myth that needs to be dispelled?
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