Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Registrar’s Conference Room, 12 PM

Meeting was called to order by Earl Mulderink at 12:05 PM. In attendance: Steve Barney (HSS), Pam Branin (CSD), Neal Cox (Student Services), Briget Eastep (EDU), Mark Grover (SCI), Larry Johnson (PVA), Karl Stevens (SCPS), Denise Woodbury (BUS). Excused: Blair McDonald (CIET), Matt Nickerson (LIB & Honors Program), Dane Hess (Student Representative).

Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the meeting of November 15, 2006, were approved without changes.

Chair’s Report
Chair’s Report. Earl distributed copies of an annual institutional survey for the Campus Compact, and asked for feedback before Friday, December 8. Also, he shared more information about the Third Annual Moab Engaged Scholar Retreat and noted the registration deadline of January 19, 2007. He expressed his hope that SUU might again be represented by a full contingent of ten participants, and urged committee members to find some newcomers who might want to attend. It was suggested that we consider inviting faculty who have responded positively to our faculty engagement surveys of last year. Third, Earl reported on a few enhancements to the SL&CE web site and he (again) encouraged all service-learning practitioners to submit syllabi for posting. Next, Earl distributed materials related to “servant leadership and effective teaching” based on a class presentation he did for Greg Powell and Carl Templin in BUS. Neal Cox mentioned that he has likewise done presentations about “servant leadership,” and it was suggested that this could be a useful topic for a workshop or presentation in Spring Semester. Earl stated that we will not be going forward with a grant application to the American Associations of Colleges and Universities, but he thanked people for their support. As another item, Earl mentioned that he had followed up on Steve Barney’s suggestion that SUU subscribe to the pre-eminent peer-reviewed service-learning journal and to Briget Eastep’s request for The Teaching Professor. One of our committee members, Matt Nickerson, said he would contact library staff with our request. Finally, Earl shared a one-page blurb prepared for the forthcoming Provost’s Newsletter, and noted the ongoing need for effective publicity.

Other Reports
Steve Barney reported that he had located some excellent material related to “discovery-based learning” from a Boyer Commission document issued in 1996. Steve was encouraged to have this posted to our SL&CE web site and to see that it is distributed to committee members. Mark Grover shared his findings from Marshall University about their designation of service-learning courses. Copies were shared for later discussion. Mark also mentioned that he had forwarded to our web site photographs of he and students engaged in service-learning activities. We discussed potential meeting times in Spring 2007. It appears that everyone present could meet on Tuesdays at Noon, and all but one could meet on Wednesdays at Noon. We will meet next in late January 2007 with a time and day to be announced. Finally, two committee members spoke of plans to lead service-learning endeavors in Mexico. Pam Branin will lead a group of 25 students to Guaymas from December 28 through January 4, and Earl Mulderink will travel with the Rural Health Scholars also to Guaymas, December 16-22.

New Business
SUU “Engaged Educators” or “Service Learning Fellows”
Denise Woodbury, Steve Barney, and Briget Eastep led discussion of their proposal for a “Service Learning Fellows” program to commence in Spring 2007. They outlined a nomination process, application deadlines, and selection criteria. The plan was approved unanimously with specific suggestions to provide up to five (5) awards of $750 each, and to offer incentive awards in future years. We will aim to recognize recipients at an annual event, such as the Student-Faculty Scholarship Day on April 19, 2007. We hope to provide plaques and certificates in addition to cash awards.

Conference Plans, Participation, & Costs
Earl distributed brief information about forthcoming conferences, and expressed his wish that our service-learning budget be used to assist travel to relevant conferences. In particular, he pointed to conferences in California in March and April 2007.

Service-Learning Course Designation
Pam Branin led a discussion with a multi-page handout entitled “Service-Learning Course Submission Process,” borrowed from the University of Utah’s Bennion Center. Committee members were urged to review this information, along with the handout about Marshall University, and send suggestions to Pam before our next committee meeting. We hope to discuss a more formal plan in late-January 2007. It was noted that we must work with curriculum committees and the Registrar’s Office to ensure that course designations are approved by the “proper authorities” (most likely our own Service-Learning Committee) and that “service-learning designations” will be displayed on student’s transcripts and university publications.

Objectives for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, 2006-2007
Neal Cox and Karl Stevens submitted to the Chair their first draft of a Strategic Plan for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. Their impressive effort will be polished further before presentation to the full committee in early 2007.

Meeting was adjourned at 12:55 PM with happy holiday wishes for everyone.