September 2017

Provost's Welcome
Welcome back to another academic year and fall semester. I am very pleased to present the new monthly online newsletter, Academic Hall Connection, from the Office of the Provost. As I've said in various forums, this is the most exciting time of year for me. The faculty are back on campus meeting new classes and reuniting with continuing students.  Some students arrived for the first time with tremendous anticipation while others return with enthusiasm for a new school year. The sidewalks, UC, Kent Library, and classrooms are occupied. There is very little that creates the same feelings of optimism and excitement as that brought on by the activity found on a university campus early in the fall semester.
The Provost's Office is providing this monthly electronic newsletter during the academic year for conveying information about happenings, thoughts, ideas, and events in Academic Affairs. We will feature faculty activities, announce professional development opportunities to enhance teaching and learning, provide a calendar of upcoming events of interest to faculty, and present articles to provoke thought about issues we face both as a university and in the national higher education community.

Over the past years, we had numerous discussions, as well as developing and implementing plans focusing on student success in retention, persistence, and completion. At the recent initial meeting of the Faculty Senate, Chair Jim McGill also articulated an emphasis on faculty success. Obviously, student and faculty success are intertwined in that student success results from faculty effort and faculty careers benefit from students motivated to accomplish their goals. We should enhance and support the success of both our students and our faculty.

The monthly publication of Academic Hall Connection is intended to open another communication channel between the Provost's Office and faculty along with contributing to a successful university environment for all.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of the students and faculty at Southeast Missouri State. There is something special about being a Redhawk!

Karl Kunkel, Provost

Faculty Showcase for Teaching Excellence
Bratberg's Last Lecture

Dr. Bill Bratberg just entered his 40th year of teaching. He is highly regarded by his peers and loved by his students. Dr. Simin Cwick, department chairperson for Middle and Secondary Education describes Dr. Bratberg as a "true educator and scholar who understands the issues that this generation of students faces." Dr. Cwick explains that Dr. Bratberg is always available to assist students or colleagues, and his students trust and respect him deeply. In fact, his students admire him so much they decided to have a day where they all came to class dressed like Dr. Bratberg (i.e. in Hawaiian shirts!).

Inspired by "The Last Lecture," given by Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Randy Pausch one year prior to his death, Dr. Bratberg created his own last lecture to highlight the wisdom he has cultivated during his teaching career. For this inaugural issue of Academic Hall Connection, Dr. Bratberg shares this wisdom with us. Read Bratberg's Last Lecture.

News from the Provost's Office
Provost's Office Hosts Fall Book Studies for Faculty

The Provost's Office, in collaboration with the Center for Scholarship, Teaching, and Learning, is hosting two book studies for faculty this fall.
One book study will read and discuss Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel. The second book study will read and discuss Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning by James M. Lang.

Books will be provided to the book study participants by the Provost's Office. Each book study will meet six times during the fall semester.

Each book study can accommodate up to 15 participants, and there are just a few spaces  remaining. Faculty who are interested in joining these groups can email to register or ask questions. Book studies start meeting soon.

Learning Communities in LaFerla Hall
Focus on Student Retention
Learning Communities at Southeast

Learning communities are groups of students with a shared academic interest or experience who live together within a residence hall, and who take classes together. Faculty and staff support these communities by designing co-curricular activities that help students to engage more deeply with academic concepts, to develop an identity as a student within a particular field, and to strengthen their social connections on campus. Extensive research suggests that learning communities are highly effective strategies for promoting deeper learning and engagement among students who participate in these groups. The AAC&U categorizes learning communities as one of its 10 High Impact Educational Practices. Commonly, learning communities are considered to be effective strategies for supporting and enhancing student retention.
Currently, Southeast has several learning communities that are thriving under the leadership of faculty and staff who support these groups. Allie Wisker, area coordinator for the Office of Residence Life, shares more insight into the learning communities at Southeast and how a particular group of faculty and staff are working to advance this program. Faculty who are interested in developing or supporting a learning community are encouraged to contact Allie to learn more

Upcoming Faculty Development Opportunities

Quality Matters Cohort Sessions
Available for any faculty member who wants to learn how to design an online course to meet Quality Matters standards. Participants who attend all five workshops and whose courses gain Quality Matters approval will be eligible to receive the stipend. 
Upcoming Take Away Fridays
  • Friday, September 22, noon - Information Literacy and Fake News (You won't believe number 6!)
  • Friday, September 29, noon - Gradebook from the Ground Up
  • Friday, October 6, noon - "Why won't my teacher answer my text?"
  • Friday, October 13, noon - What the Kids are Saying Online
Take Away Fridays are held in Towers Complex Room 110. Lunch is available!

Around the Region
Faculty Spotlight on Lisa Biggs-Clark

Lisa Biggs-Clark works as an instructor of Communication Studies at all three regional campuses: Kennett, Malden, and Sikeston. She teaches SC105 Oral Communication, SC155 Interpersonal Communication, and UI345 Nonverbal Communication.
Marsha Blanchard, director of the Kennett Regional Campus, describes Lisa as an "outstanding instructor." Marsha explains that, "Ms. Biggs-Clark is very student oriented, but she challenges her students in a very supportive way. Her students really enjoy her classes, but they have to work hard!"

Read more about Lisa Biggs-Clark and her approach to teaching and learning.

Meet a Chairperson
An Interview with Dr. Victor Wilburn

Chairpersons are busy people. Not only do they maintain a teaching portfolio but also they perform important management and leadership functions. Chairpersons support the curricular and quality assurance activities for their programs, and they coordinate many of the student-facing aspects of the department (among myriad 'other things'!). In this segment, Dr. Victor Wilburn, interim chairperson for the Human Environmental Studies Department takes time out of his busy day to be interviewed. 

For Your Calendar
  • Family Weekend - September 30, 2017
  • State of the University Address - October 5, 2017,  3 p.m. - Academic Hall Auditorium
  • Copper Dome Dinner / Merit Awards - October 13, 2017
  • Homecoming - October 14, 2017
  • Please view all River Campus events.