Message from the Interim Provost

Message from the Interim Provost

 
 
I am delighted to serve as interim provost at this significant period in John Jay College’s historyThe core strength of John Jay is its faculty, and our value as an institution derives from their work.  As educators, our remarkably talented scholar-teachers hold the key to student success; they ignite student intellectual curiosity, inspire their creativity, and promote their academic excellence in the classroom.  In these ways, our faculty help students develop the knowledge, skills and habits of mind they need to succeed in college and after graduation.
 
As scholars, our faculty contribute to every area of knowledge.  The scope of John Jay faculty research is truly vast:  members of our faculty are just as likely to receive grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities as from the National Institute of Justice.  As social scientists, artists, scientists, humanists, and public sector leaders, our faculty members broaden the college’s reach and enhance its impact.  Through their research and creative accomplishments many of them bring injustice to light and influence the course of justice.  It is our privilege in Academic Affairs to do everything in our power to ensure that our faculty receive the support they need to promote student success and to carry out their research and creative work. 
 
Our mission—educating for justice—animates and informs everything we do.  We work with our public, non-profit and private sector partners to innovate curriculum and design learning experiences that prepare our students to lead and advocate for justice in a rapidly changing world. 
 
Anne Lopes
 
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
Welcome to the spring 2018 semester. I hope that your winter break was enjoyable and productive.  I also write to highlight some news and activities that I believe will be especially important to you this semester.
 
Staffing Change
Brandon Tilghman, Faculty Services Specialist in the Office of the Provost, completed his move to Boston over break.  Effective February 1, 2018, Ms. Sydney Manansala will be the interim/substitute Faculty Services Specialist in the Office of the Provost, reporting to Dr. Kyeanna Bailey, Manager of Faculty Services.  Originally from Hawaii, Sydney came to John Jay in 2015 in order to obtain her MPA in Policy and Administration.  While earning her degree, she worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Public Management and in the Center for Career and Professional Development.  After graduating in 2017, Sydney was hired as the new, part-time Student Evaluation of Faculty Coordinator also in the Office of the Provost.  Sydney is a fast learner and has quickly become a truly vital part of the Faculty Services team. Please join me in welcoming Sydney!
 
We have also had some announcements over break that you may have missed in email and announcements.  In the larger college, you will note that Jayne Rosengarten, Vice President for Marketing and Development, will be leaving the college on February 16th.  Laura Ginns, Vice President of Policy and Strategic Initiatives, will replace her in the interim period.  Dana Davies, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management, ended her tenure with us last Friday.  Lynette Cook-Francis, Vice President of Student Affairs, was appointed Vice President for Student Development.  In this new role, Lynette will also be overseeing Enrollment Management.
 
Faculty Service Working Group Report
The faculty working group that was established in September to examine the clarity of our guidelines for service in the faculty personnel process issued the attached report to the Faculty Personnel Committee in December.  I am very grateful to all the faculty who served.
The working group consisted of five FPC members:
  • Amy Green, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Jay Hamilton, Economics
  • John Pittman, Philosophy
  • Silvia Dapia Modern Languages and Literatures
  • Jose Luis Morin, Latin American & Latina/o Studies

It also included three faculty members selected by the Faculty Senate:

  • Ned Benton, Public Management
  • Chevy Alford, SEEK
  • Belinda Rincon, Latin American & Latina/o Studies
     
Special thanks to Amy Green who convened the group and Ned Benton who chaired it. The report will help inform a faculty-wide conversation about service.  In order to have a broad conversation with as many faculty members as possible, I invite you to meet with me and Allison Pease on any of the following dates in my conference room.   
  • Thursday, February 15th at 10:00 am
  • Monday, February 26th at 1:45 pm
  • Wednesday, March 7th   at 1:45 pm
  • Thursday, March 22nd at 4:00 pm
     
Please RSVP to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdHfKPY3PNnXp4EX4C1Sg8qGVywsAjHy-2hbkT1DH1eLM2ijQ/viewform , so that I may plan accordingly. If you have any trouble with the RSVP, please contact Kim Charles kcharles@jjay.cuny.edu directly.  
 
I will report to the FPC and to the larger faculty about the substance of these discussions.
 
New Faculty Award for Distinguished Service
Service is an area that has not previously been recognized at the college.  We will be instituting a new award this semester to recognize distinguished service.  Information about the scope of the award and the process for nomination and selection is forthcoming. The award is one measure we can take to shine a light on all the work our faculty do outside of scholarship and teaching at the college.
 
Faculty Development Opportunities
 
Diversity
As part of our work this year, Academic Affairs will host faculty development activities related to our diversity. This began this semester on Faculty Development Day. Dean Avi Bornstein has been working with faculty and staff on designing these activities. He has scheduled three lunch discussions for faculty with three speakers related to our Hispanic Serving Institution status.  All have been scheduled for noon in the Teaching and Learning Center.  Interested faculty will need to pre-register for lunch.  The speakers also will lecture during community hour to the larger community in L61. 
 
The schedule follows:
  • Monday, March 5, Gina Garcia of University of Pittsburgh
  • Wednesday, March 21, Stella Flores of NYU 
  • Monday, April 16, Francisco Gaytan, Northeaster Illinois University
 
Avi also has planned a same format faculty development lunch and public speaking by David Rice of Morehouse University to explore our identity as a Minority Serving Institution for Monday, February 26th.   The faculty noon lunch will be followed by a public lecture in L 61 as well. 
 
Additional information about these faculty development activities is forthcoming.  I am excited about how these opportunities will contribute to moving forward our work on being a Minority Serving Institution and a Hispanic Serving Institution. 
 
Teaching Online Undergraduate Courses
I have asked Gina Foster, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center, and Judy Cahn, Director of John Jay Online, to develop a faculty development program for teaching undergraduate online courses.  The program will launch in June and include some incentives. The college has not yet engaged in any systematic development work in this area.   The initial program will be open to 60 faculty members who teach online frequently.  We will do outreach to this group in consultation with chairs.  The objective is to improve the experience of teaching online for faculty and of learning online for undergraduate students.  These improvements aim to contribute to increased faculty satisfaction and also impact student outcomes in online undergraduate courses.  Details will be made available shortly. 
 
Faculty Hiring
Faculty hiring has progressed well.  9 faculty have accepted our offers so far.  Departments with underrepresentation from various groups have all increased their diversity through the search process.  Three finalists have turned down our offers.  One candidate sought a 2/2 teaching load in perpetuity; another decided not to relocate, and the last had an unexpected opportunity to work abroad.  I will send a final listing on the status of our searches with information about the faculty who will join us in the fall when the process concludes. 
 
Workload Discussions
As we learned at the close of last semester, the university and the PSC have negotiated a 3/3 teaching workload for faculty.   We have just started planning for this implementation and will be meeting shortly with faculty leadership to discuss it. 
 
Last semester, prior to the University’s announcement, we began a discussion about finding ways to move to a 3/3 workload.  One major result of our examination of workload was the development of an actual workload reassignment inventory.  I would like to make transparent how workload is assigned.  Essentially this inventory categorizes and shows all reassigned workload time. The chart includes everything from reassignments for chairing to assessment activities.  I shared this document with the chairs in December who made recommendations about content and format.  They suggested more explanations and more discernment in each category.  Academic Affairs staff is working on this.  I plan to reach out to all faculty and have discussions with governance groups, small groups and individuals about reassigned time as soon as the inventory has been satisfactorily revised. I would like to consider how equitable the distribution is and if there are better ways to manage our work through reassigned time. 
 
Departmental Planning
I will begin work with chairs this semester to initiate long-term departmental planning.  In this interim role, I have been struck by the decisions that shape the future of departments. More information will be helpful to departments.  I hope to give chairs the information they need to conduct this work with their faculty.
 
Faculty Development for Online Undergraduate Courses
I have asked Gina Foster, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center, and Judy Cahn, Director of John Jay Online, to develop a faculty development program for teaching undergraduate online courses.  The program will launch in June and include incentives. The college has not yet engaged in any systematic development work in this area.   The initial program (Summer and Fall 2018) will be open to 60 faculty members who teach online frequently.  We will do outreach to this group in consultation with chairs.  The objective is to improve the experience of teaching online for faculty and of learning online for undergraduate students.  These improvements aim to contribute to increased faculty satisfaction and also impact student outcomes in online undergraduate courses.  Details will be made available shortly. 
 
Developments and Plans
There are a number of efforts that I would like to complete this spring semester. I will be sending out an updated 2017-2018 Academic Affairs planning document in two weeks, so that you can see the progress we have made to date.  Additional projects for spring include surveying faculty on matters related to improving faculty life; developing and implementing the faculty diversity recruitment and retention plan further; completing and distributing the SEOF report, and following through on the assessment of student learning.  In the absence of a Director of Assessment, I will collect outstanding assessment reports and join the college-wide assessment committee. As ever, I am eager for your feedback and recommendations.  A silver-foil covered box sits in the Provost’s Office reception area for this purpose. I also am always available via email or phone, and I am happy to meet with you at any time.  Please let me know how I and Academic Affairs staff can better assist you.
With best wishes for an excellent semester’s start,
 
Anne Lopes