Faculty Newsletter

This Week in Brief

Tuesday, September 4

Fall Term classes begin.

11:30 a.m. Reflections

Ascension Chapel

5:30 p.m. Faculty Meeting Wallenberg Hall (reception to follow in Science)

Wednesday, September 5

Noon-1. Academic Affairs Office "walk-in hours"

3:45 - 5:00 p.m. Teaching Circle Session for New Faculty
Wilson
Center

Thursday, September 6

10:30 a.m. Convocation – Mark Schwiebert
Centennial Hall

Friday, September 7

5 to 7 p.m. – Potluck Picnic by the Slough – Welcoming Our New Faculty

Saturday, September 8

8:00 p.m. CUBOM Major Concert

 

A detailed schedule is available on the second page of the newsletter. Click 'This Week' at left

A Message from Academic Affairs

Dear Colleagues:

Welcome back!

As we welcome a record class of students and a record group of new faculty colleagues to Augustana, all of us have been thinking a great deal about our work as faculty.

I thought I would share with you a few of the suggestions I made to a group of our new colleagues this week. I offer these items as an invitation. Would you be willing to share a word or two of advice for new colleagues? As you think of your own first year after graduate school, what useful advice would you like to have had? Please send any suggestions that you have to Sherry Docherty in our office: we will keep a list and publish it for our new colleagues in the newsletter. A benefit of building such a list together is that it may serve as a vision of what we hope for our new colleagues and ourselves in the years ahead.

  1. Make a difference in your students' lives. Of the myriad ways to accomplish that aim, here are a few thoughts.
    1. Teach well, by which I mean,  make sure your students are learning.
    2. Know how you will know they're learning before you begin the class ('They get good grades' isn't a sufficient answer, and neither, for that matter, is 'I get good SRI scores').
    3. Remember that good questions are nearly as important as good answers for a classroom centered on learning.
    4. Know your students by name by the end of week two. Give each of them a chance to know you as a teacher and as a potential mentor.
  2. Don't fall behind in the goals you have for your scholarship (though you may not get a great deal done in the next nine months, either). Do what you can to blend teaching and scholarship. We hope your research can involve students.
  3. Look for opportunities to work with and get to know colleagues beyond your department. Come to the Friday events.
  4. Keep life and work in balance. Take time for reflection, for family, for that bike ride up the river that you've been putting off. We should model the balanced and reflective lives that we wish for our students. Every college faculty struggles with this issue, and we at Augustana are continuing a conversation about how to come to a better balance.

I hope that this year we can find ways to strengthen our sense of community, to finding common ground in part by recognizing that, if we disagree on a portion of our work, we agree on the vast majority. One of our points of agreement, I think, is that Augustana is a great place to study, teach, and learn.

We have made some changes to the Newsletter. Highlights in this week's newsletter: Mike Green launches the Augustana Center for Teaching and Learning, and division chairs have already scheduled their division meetings for the year. We also feature a profile of Laura Badtke '07, who spent a good part of her summer conducting research with Jason Koontz. We would be glad to welcome any news you would like to share with the campus, and we are, in particular, looking for pedagogical innovations and profiles of student learning.

I look forward to our work together in the coming year.

Sincerely,

 

Jeff Abernathy

 

 

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