Service-Learning & Civic Engagement
Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Registrar’s Conference Room, 4 PM
Meeting was called to order by Earl Mulderink at 4:00 PM. In attendance: Steve Barney (HSS), Pam Branin (CSD), John Bryner (LIB), Neal Cox (Student Services), Mark Grover (SCI), Jo Kremin (Student Representative), Larry Johnson (PVA), Blair McDonald (CIET), Matt Nickerson (Honors Program), Karl Stevens (SCPS). Excused: Owen Anderson (EDU). Not Represented: BUS.
Approval of Minutes (December 6, 2005.)
After the minutes were corrected to show Pam Branin’s attendance, the minutes were approved.
Earl began by discussing summaries of the Utah Campus Compact’s recent Faculty Engagement Inventory that reflected SUU’s strong record of service-learning endeavors. For example, returned surveys from SUU faculty demonstrated that more than 1,500 students had engaged in over 26,000 hours of service-learning endeavors. Despite some repeat submissions of surveys, SUU’s response rate was quite high – approximately 100 faculty, or a little less than one-half of all full-time faculty, answered the electronic surveys. (SUU had one of the highest response rates of all institutions.) Earl distributed a list of faculty respondents by name, some of whom expressed interest in learning more about service-learning, and he encouraged committee members to contact and work with these individuals.
Earl also discussed his attendance at the UCC-sponsored Student Leaders Board meeting at the Timpanogos Lodge in early January. For the first time ever, Faculty Consulting Corps representatives met with students, and evaluations from the gathering were quite positive. In particular, Earl related a role-playing exercise in which a faculty member appeared on a faux Jerry Spring show to banter with a student hostile to service-learning, an exercise that drew from his real-life experience at SUU.
Earl distributed handouts with several publishing opportunities for faculty engaged in service-learning instruction and research. In addition, he shared materials relating to a recent radio interview that he and Pam Branin did (“The Thursday Thing” with Dean O’Driscoll and Renee Ballenger). He shared correspondence to and from a parent who wondered about academic recognition for their daughter who had engaged in extensive campus service. Finally, Earl noted that all committee members received a letter from President Bennion (dated December 23, 2005) that outlined progress and issues in the area of civic engagement on campus.
A. Following distribution of information and exhortations about the forthcoming 2006 Moab Engaged Scholar Institute, several committee members expressed interest in participating. Also, it was suggested that other campus faculty might be invited at the LunchBytes presentation by Steve Barney and Earl Mulderink scheduled for January 19, 2006, an event organized by committee member John Bryner. More information about the Moab Institute can be found at http://www.sa.utah.edu/utahcampuscompact/faculty/
B. Materials about the Utah Campus Compact Recognition Event on April 4, 2006, were distributed. SUU is expected to nominate one individual in each of three categories: S-L Engaged Scholar, Outstanding S-L Student, and Committed Community Partner. Earl noted that previous faculty nominees from SUU had included Steve Barney, Laura Cotts, Boyd Fife, and himself. It was agreed that a subcommittee consisting of Pam Branin, Jo Kremin, and Earl Mulderink would review applications and select nominees (against a deadline of February 17, 2006). Earl agreed to advertise the application process and deadlines through the SUU Bulletin Board, and urged committee members to spread the word, as well. The UCC link for recognition criteria is at http://www.sa.utah.edu/utahcampuscompact/awards/criteria.asp
C. Committee members discussed areas of potential interest and responsibility. One suggestion was that faculty with differing backgrounds and levels of experience should work together. Below is a list of faculty and their stated preferences for service-learning responsibilities and tasks. All were asked to report about their progress at our committee’s next meeting.
- Faculty Development and Training (Earl Mulderink)
- LRT Policies (Steve Barney and Matt Nickerson)
- Service-Learning Scholar Program (Pam Branin and Jo Kremin)
- Service-Learning in the Curriculum (Blair McDonald, Larry Johnson, and Mark Grover)5.
- Funding Opportunities (Earl Mulderink and Pam Branin)
- Web Site Revisions (John Bryner and Karl Stevens)
- Public Relations (Neal Cox)
It was agreed that the issues of strategic planning, fund raising, and the creation of an Advisory Board should be addressed later, perhaps after investigating the operations of the Lowell Bennion Center at the University of Utah and similar entities.
D. Pam Branin raised an issue about the lack of formal recognition of service-learning courses in a memo to Earl dated January 17, 2006. Although it was too late to add this item to the meeting agenda, Pam’s memo, supporting documents, and concerns were discussed. Pam shared information and her experiences in teaching UNIV 2120 and expressed eagerness to see this or similar courses offered in the future. Since this is a curricular issue, it was suggested that our newly-formed subcommittee on Curriculum (see above) delve into these concerns. Earl used this opportunity to acknowledge a recent complaint from a student and her parents that SUU did not have ways to recognize outstanding accomplishments in service and service-learning. For example, despite the best efforts by key organizer, Jo Kremin, SUU’s Service-Learning Scholar program continues to suffer from limited visibility and support.
The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, at 4 PM.
Meeting was adjourned at 5:00 PM.