Alan’s Weekly September 3rd, 2018

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Here are the semester credit hour generation, applications and net admissions data for the Fall 2018 semester as of August 27, 2018, point in time from a year ago.

Undergraduate admissions – SOE is down 2 in net admissions (down 5 in applications)
Transfer admissions – SOE is down 9 in net admissions (down 15 in applications)
Graduate admissions – SOE is down 54 in admissions (down 10 in applications)
Total admissions (UG, T, and G)down 65 in admissions (down 30 in applications)

2018 Summer semester credit hours signed up for is up 3.7% point in time from 2017.

2018 Fall semester credit hours signed up for is down 2.6% point in time from 2017.


This week I had regular meetings with the Kathy Quirk, Liz Drame, Hope Longwell-Grice, and the Deans.

Central City CyberSchool Executive Board Meeting

On Monday afternoon, I attended a Central City CyberSchool Executive Board meeting. This year, we are planning to expand from K-8 to add one grade in high school per year for the next four years. The first ninth graders will start in August 2019. Most of the meeting was devoted to preparing for our regular board meeting in September.

Deans and Chairs Meeting

On Tuesday morning, the Deans and Chairs had their first meeting of the new academic year. Erica Yewlett provided an update on new HR procedures. Afterward, I gave a brief budget update. As of Monday, we finished the summer 2018 session up 3.7% and we were trending 2.6% down for the fall semester. This translates into an approximate loss of $100,000 in revenue. In anticipating this loss, we took some proactive measures by cutting graduate assistants and not filling or saving on some positions. We have saved approximately $225,000 through these efforts. Factoring in that spring enrollments are always lower than fall enrollments, I am hopeful this planning will be enough to balance our annual operating budget for this year.

In a related budget item, I asked the chairs that I have charged Associate Dean Hope Longwell-Grice with monitoring course scheduling patterns. Specifically, this pertains to multiple sections of the same course. Unless a program can guarantee solid enrollments for offering multiple sections, I have directed Hope to minimize the number of sections being offered. A program can hide a section and if the waitlist warrants, then open another section, but currently and in the recent past, we have had too many cases where multiple section courses dilute themselves and we end up offering very inefficient courses with relatively low enrollments.

Following the Dean’s update, Hope Longwell-Grice shared a calendar with deadlines for the chairs. We are trying to standardize when certain regular activities are due each year, so that chairs know when to submit items and can plan their workload accordingly. After this, Hope addressed an issue raised by Liz Drame about faculty support and building procedures. Hope gave an update on things and encouraged people to use the soe dashboard to request support.

Aaron Schutz led a discussion on the Urban Education Doctoral Program (UEDP) process for assigning faculty to teach doctoral courses. This is an issue Aaron will also share with the UEDC.

Following the UEDP discussion, Jeremy Page gave an update on the strategic enrollment action plan activities. He is moving forward with this work and I am hopeful it will yield positive results over the coming years.

Sanford Inspire

Right after the Deans and Chairs meeting, Hope Longwell-Grice and I had a teleconference with representatives from Sanford Inspire. Sanford Inspire is a free online professional development value added site for pre-service and in-service teachers. We are exploring a partnership with Sanford Inspire to share this tool with our school district partners and students. They currently have over 70 on-demand modules with badging capability and in 2019, they anticipate putting out a call for developing more modules in literacy and educational leadership among other topics.

Urban Education Doctoral Committee (UEDC) Meeting

After lunch on Tuesday, I attended the UEDC meeting. Aaron Schutz shared that only 4 applicants are starting the program this year and this is not a sustainable number. He asked for suggestions on how to market the UEDP. He is going to contact Nicole Schanen for ideas. Another issue Aaron brought up is the heavy reliance on a few faculty to teach UEDP courses. This is not a good model and he asked for assistance in getting other faculty to teach UEDP courses. The rest of the meeting was devoted to planning for the ten-year review of the UEDP. This is going to occur in late spring 2019, although most of the paperwork and report needs to be done in the coming months. Aaron asked the UEDC representatives to share information with the faculty, so that he can gather the required information needed to put the final report together. Aaron will need every faculty member to submit an updated CV for the reviewers.

Academic Leadership Council (ALC) Meeting

After the UEDC meeting, I attended the ALC meeting in Lubar. Stan Yasaitis from the University Staff shared a document the University Staff committee is putting forth as part of the process to develop governance policies. Afterwards, we heard a presentation about Open resource textbooks and the benefits it has to students. The open resources are gaining traction as Rice University is one of the leaders in developing a number of open resources for their courses, thus alleviating the financial burden on students to buy textbooks.

Following the open resource presentation, the media relations team gave a quick presentation on interacting with the media. They are willing to come to any department meeting to provide media training. Please contact Angela McManaman for further information.

Ad hoc Orientation

To finish my day on Tuesday, I welcomed the ad hoc faculty to their orientation. Hope Longwell-Grice, Kerry Korinek, Sarah Osborne, Erica Yewlett, Jeremy Page and Kristen Taylor organized and carried out the orientation. They did a great job of sharing available resources and support for ad hoc faculty including the ad hoc handbook.


On October 31st, the Pabst Theater will be hosting the Teach Rock professional development. For further information, go to the following website to rsvp.


This past week, Nancy File was elected to be the co-chair with Liz Drame for the Department of Teaching and Learning.


Candance Doerr-Stevens was quoted in a recent Journal Sentinel story on helping kids get ready for the new school year. Congratulations Candance. She was featured at the ALC meeting as an example of engaging with the media. As Angela McManaman and Michelle Johnson stated, it is usually a case of first one to get back to a reporter is likely to be recognized in a story.


Don’t forget to attend the All School meeting on Thursday, September 13th starting at 1 pm in the 4th floor Library conference room. The Provost will be speaking and sharing updates from his office. I encourage all faculty and staff to attend this meeting.

Next Monday Message will be Monday, September 17th


  • September 13th – All School meeting, 1:00 pm at 4th floor Library Conference room
  • October 13th – Panther Prowl, 10:00 am in front of Enderis Hall