A Message from Academic Affairs
I am delighted to announce that President Bahls has appointed two colleagues to endowed chairs: Don Erickson (Dorothy Parkander Chair in Literature) and Van Symons (William Freistat Chair for Studies in World Peace). Please join me in congratulating our colleagues. The formal announcement follows in the Faculty News section of the newsletter.
I have just returned from a Teagle Foundation conference, where I shared the progress that Mike Nolan, Tim Schermer and many faculty colleagues have made the past two years in studying the value added by an Augustana education. As Mike and Tim reported in a breakout session at the Faculty Retreat, we have learned a great deal about the success that all in the Augustana community are having in helping students to grow in their four years in our community through our work with five other colleges (Alma, Gustavus, Illinois Wesleyan, Luther and Wittenberg) sponsored by Teagle. This effort has led to a remarkable set of data that provide an excellent model for collaboration. You will be hearing much more about this work in the months ahead, but please let me know if you are interested in joining the work that these colleagues are doing.
Dr. Richard Hersh, Co-Director of the Collegiate Learning Assessment Project, was one of the participants at the conference, and his message for colleges and universities is provocative: he asks how we can change the culture of higher education so that learning becomes the measure of the excellence of our institutions. The kind of liberal (and liberating) learning that we aspire for at Augustana, Hersh suggests, is a collective effort that improves through response to continued efforts to learn more about what our students are learning. I thought that some might find Hersch's recent Atlantic article of interest:
As we have announced earlier, and in part in response to recent calls for accountability among colleges and universities, Augustana will be share what we know about learning with our prospective students and others through a web site called Open Book. Students will be able to
• compare growth in writing skills from the first-year to the junior year
• find out how often Augustana students give presentations or lead class discussion
• see how Augustana compares with its peer institutions in student-faculty interaction or enriching co-curricular programs
• weigh student satisfaction with programs such as food services, or facilities and resources such as the library or computer labs
• get a sense of the atmosphere of ethnic or cultural understanding on campus
• find out the percentage of Augustana students who engage in internships or do research with a professor
• measure growth in leadership ability and responsibility throughout a student’s four years at Augustana
• find out what percentage of seniors would choose Augustana all over again.
This is the sort of information that few other private colleges have provided their students. We are moving forward with the project because we feel that it is one way to engage all in our community in thinking about student learning at Augustana.
I would welcome your thoughts on ways Augustana as an institution can learn more about what our students are learning or on ways we might better share that information with all in our community, and all who would join us.
This Week in Brief
Monday, September 10
4:00 Wilson Center--ALL LS instructors (100/110/111/112/113)
Tuesday, September 11
11:30 a.m. – Reflections
Thursday, September 13
10:15 - 11:45 a.m. – Teaching Circle Session for New Faculty
College Center, Dahl Room
No convocation this week
Friday, September 14
8:00 p.m. - Faculty Recital
Friday Conversations – None this week
Saturday, September 15
7:00 p.m. – Quad City Arts Visiting Artist: Kuniko Yamamoto
8:00 p.m. – OSA Major Event: OD TAPO IMI
A detailed schedule is available on the second page of the newsletter. Click 'This Week' at left