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October Academic Affairs Update

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost - University of Northern Iowa

Any “What,” Every “Who:” 2016 Fall Faculty Workshop

In late August, almost 175 UNI faculty built skills to strengthen hospitable learning atmospheres during the 2016 Fall Faculty Workshop on “Culturally Inclusive Classrooms in All Our Disciplines, for All Our Students.” UNI's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning facilitated the event.

As campuses become more multicultural, and as more international students seek degrees in the U.S., teachers are confronted with the question of meeting the challenges of privilege and discrimination.

Guest speakers Rev. Dr. Stephany Rose and Dr. Dena Samuels, from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs' Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion, helped workshop participants to examine institutional and personal barriers to inclusiveness.

Dr. Samuels' professional website explains, “Because identities of difference (race, gender, sexuality, etc.) are often considered taboo subjects..., we don't always have the language or the knowledge we need to speak about these issues without the fear of offending others.”

The workshop consequently also focused on classroom contexts where discussions can occur about privilege, inequality, and diversity.

In addition to inclusiveness-building and curriculum transformation, the Matrix Center offers workshops in “Transforming the Curriculum,” “Reframing Emotions,” and “Culturally Inclusive Leadership,” among other topics.

Click here for UNI's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning's website.

Click here for more information about the Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion.


Developing Leaders in 2015-16

Throughout the 2015-16 year, the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs partnered with Faculty Senate Chair Steve O'Kane and Faculty Chair Scott Peters, to offer a Leadership Development Series.

“One of my goals in helping to put together the series was to try to recognize as valuable and important the work that faculty do every day around the university,” Peters explained.

“I think it's important that these efforts be recognized as leadership, and [as] helping to lead the institution or parts of it toward its goals and objectives.”

The October session, focusing on “What Is Good Academic Leadership?,” featured panelists Kerri Clopton (Educational Psychology), John Fritch (Dean, CHAS), Donna Hoffman (Head, Political Science), and Dan Power (Management).

In February, Maureen Clayton (Biology), John Johnson (History), Douglas Mupasiri (Head, Mathematics), and Victoria Robinson (Associate Vice President, Educator Preparation) described “Why [They] Bec[a]me an Academic Leader... and Why You Should Step Up.”

The March session on “Making Wise Decisions About Service” took a less formal structure, focusing on the role of service in faculty's work and the concept of the “servant leader.”

“Another goal of this series was to start encouraging people to see how [their] leadership experiences might benefit them personally in ways that they might not think about,” Peters said.

“For shared governance to work, we need good faculty leaders—good department citizens, good committee members, good Senate members and leaders, good union members and leaders.”

“All parts need to work well with one another, so it really benefits us all to promote development of leadership at every level of an organization,” Peters stated.


October 2016
Academic Affairs Update is edited by Dr. Adrienne Lamberti (Languages & Literatures)

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
20 Seerley Hall
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614