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November 28, 2005

Notes as Winter Term Begins


Jeff Abernathy


I hope that you enjoyed a pleasant holiday. As classes begin, I note with appreciation the work of senior Jessica Moore and several fellow students to develop an Honor Code at Augustana: Jessica and her fellow committee members have, for informational purposes, presented their work to the Educational Policies Committee and to the Senate. However their proposal might develop--and much work remains before it comes before the faculty for a vote--we can be proud of the effort of these students to make all Augustana students aware of the principles and obligations of academic integrity.

I encourage you to speak with your students on these subjects early in the term and to include a specific statement on academic integrity in your syllabi. Through such guidance, we as faculty prepare students to uphold the high ethical standards expected of Augustana graduates.


President Bahls plans to speak on our progress toward the goals of the strategic plan in two sessions Thursday, December 8. The first, at 11:30 in Olin Auditorium, will be directed primarily to faculty. The second, at 4:00, is open to all but will be directed primarily to administration and staff. President Bahls will then host a wine and cheese at the Dahl President's Home at 5:00.


Augustana Self Study

Many colleagues have been hard at work on Augustana's self study, and I encourage you to attend this afternoon's forum on the current draft, which you can find on the CampusNet here. The forum will be held at 4:30 in the Wilson Center. Our consultant-evaluators will be on campus March 12-15. You will hear much more in the days ahead of their visit.


Grant Opportunities

As we have announced in several earlier newsletters, President Bahls is offering Presidential Research Fellowships for faculty research for the coming summer. A limited number of $4000. stipends are intended to reward faculty members for their summer research efforts. Faculty receiving a fellowship will be eligible for additional funds should they choose to work with a student who is conducting research this summer. Proposals are due December 5.

For the second year, Academic Affairs has funding to support a limited number of one-course releases for 2006-07 for colleagues with major commitments to scholarly or artistic projects in that period (final stages of a book project, continuing work on a substantial grant, a juried/invitational show, etc.). Please apply to me by letter or email by December 16.


Faculty Searches

Several departments are currently conducting searches for new colleagues. Our advertisements for these positions are all available on the faculty search web site. In addition to the faculty positions, Academic Affairs is searching for a new associate dean whose work will be focussed on general education and its assessment, advising, course scheduling, and the like. I would appreciate your nominations of colleagues whom you feel might be qualified. I am grateful to David Snowball for agreeing to direct the search.


General Education

The General Education Committee continues its work to ensure the successful implementation of AGES. I will ask all departments to maintain or increase the initial contribution they agreed to make to LS and to LC courses for next year, and, indeed, the committee is seeking proposals for both. In particular, we have need for LC proposals right now. The extended deadline is December 15, which we hope will give sufficient time for faculty to develop brief proposals. For those faculty teams needing more time, a commitment to developing a learning community for 2006-07 would suffice. More information on learning communities is available here, and you will find the form for proposals here. In addition, a lunch for those interested in learning communities, including all teaching learning communities this year or next, will be held December 13 at noon in the Chicago Room. Please email Angie Williams if you would like for us to order a lunch for you.


In the last term, the committee determined to maintain our commitment to the current themes for the forseeable future, agreeing that we have only just begun with the current themes and that we would lose our ability to measure improvement were we to make a change in the next year or two. While we will conduct a survey to learn more this week, we believe--albeit on the strength of only anechdotal evidence--that the second year of the program is running more smoothly than the first. We again ask that you remind our first-year students that the general education courses they are taking are the first steps toward any major they might choose, that we as a faculty have agreed on the particular skills, dispositions and knowledge that these courses will help them to gain.


Conversations on Faculty Work

Given conversation on campus recently about the quality of faculty work life, I was interested to recently hear Richard Chait, Harvard professor and a leading scholar of higher education, speak on the changing professoriate. Chait suggested that colleges and universities must find news ways to remain attractive to faculty who will want increasing flexibility as they balance active work and personal lives. The topic is on the minds of many these days: the American Council on Education issued a recent statement that you may read here, and the current issue of Change features several related articles. A recent issue of Academe addressed related issues as well. Academic Affairs and Women and Gender Studies will co-sponsor a discussion of related matters in the near future. The Faculty Welfare Committee is currently addressing related issues and considering the administration's proposal to provide a pre-tenure sabbatical and to allow new parents to delay the tenure decision. In addition to such efforts, we will need to consider other ways to help all faculty with these issues.


Thank you for all you are doing to make Augustana an engaging and rewarding environment for learning.



This Week                                     


Monday, November 28

4:00 p.m. Katz Harris Room

LS 112 faculty meeting.

4:30 p.m. Wilson Center

Faculty Forum: Augustana Self Study

Tuesday, November 29

11:30 a.m. Ascension Chapel

Reflections - Dr. Rachel Magdalene, Religion


Wednesday, November 30

Jeff Abernathy will have walk-in hours from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. for conversations with faculty: please drop by!


Thursday, December 1

10:30 a.m. Centennial Hall

Convocation : Bonnie G. Smith. "Outside Influences on Europe and the U.S."

Bonnie Smith will present ways in which Africa, Asia, and Native America helped make Europe and the U.S. modern. Dr. Smith is the Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University, earned her B.A. at Smith College and her M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Rochester. She is the author of Ladies of the Leisure Class (1981), Confessions of a Concierge: Madame Lucie's History of Twentieth-Century France (1985), Changing Lives: Women in European History Since 1700 (1989), The Gender of History: Men, Women and Historical Practice (1998), and Imperialism (2000). She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment of the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Davis Center of Princeton University, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Currently she is studying the globalization of European culture and society after World War Two.


Friday, December 2

12:00 p.m. College Center Board Room

The Augustana Center for Vocational Reflection invites you to a lunch and lecture by:

Prof. Tom Christenson - Capital University - "The Vocation of a Lutheran College "

Free lunch with reservation by Monday, Nov. 28th . Please contact the Center for Vocational Reflection at Augustana College . 309 794-8612. Prof. Christenson is the author of The Gift and Task of Lutheran Higher Education (Fortress, 2004).


3:30 p.m. Wilson Center

Conversations on Scholarships - Ellen Hay/Jim Winship


8:00 p.m. Wallenberg Hall

Opera @ Augustana presents 4 operas centered on holiday themes. The composer/librettist team of Richard Shephard and Mark Schweizer have created a triptych of short operas: "The Shepherds' Play," "St. Nicholas" and "Good King Wenceslas". These brief music dramas are delightfully humorous and heartwarming. The final opera is "A Gift of Song" by the late Mary E. Caldwell. Opera @ Augustana will present the first and last scenes of this touching opera that explores the history of the favorite carol "Silent Night."

Admission is free.


8:00 p.m. Centennial Hall

Tickets are $4 for the general public, $3 for senior citizens, students, Augustana faculty and staff, and free for children under age 12.


Saturday, December 3

8:00 p.m. Wallenberg Hall

Rose Ensemble - Early Mexican music resounds in this joyful program featuring over two centuries of festive Christmas dances and villancicos from the great cathedrals of Puebla and Mexico City. Accompanied by lively percussion and the period instruments viola da gamba and vihuela da mano, solos and choruses burst forth in this holiday program that's anything but typical.

This presentation is supported by the Heartland Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from General Mills Foundation, Land O'Lakes Foundation ,sprint Corporation and the Illinois Arts Council.


8:00 p.m. Centennial Hall

Family fun for everyone is the focus of this wintertime program. What better way to welcome December than to perform a work called December by American composer Michael Torke. This gentle composition for string orchestra recalls wintertime rain as it gradually turns to snow. Narrator Jon Hurty takes the stage to read one of his favorite stories, Babar the Little Elephant , to the enchanting music of Francis Poulenc. The holiday season gets a nod of recognition from the next work, selections including the famous "Evening Prayer" and "Dream Pantomime" from Humperdinck's opera Hansel and Gretel . Maestro Schleicher wraps up the all-orchestra program in delightfully fanciful selections from Edward Elgar's childhood-inspired Wand of Youth . Tickets are only available from the Quad City Symphony Office, 563-322-0931, or at the door.

Concert conversations are offered in Larson Hall one hour prior to each performance. Join QCSO conductor Donald Schleicher and Augustana's Kai Swanson for insight into the music and composers featured in each concert.


Sunday, December 4

2:00 p.m. Centennial Hall

another performance by the QCSO, see details above.


8:00 p.m. Wallenberg Hall

another performance by the Opera @ Augustana, see details above.