December 2009

December 7, 2009

Dear Colleagues:

I write to share with you my report to the Faculty Senate in its meeting on Friday, December 4, 2009.

We knew coming into the 2009-2010 academic year that this was going to be a big year, full of big, challenging projects. We have already hosted six accreditation site visits this fall and look forward to three more in the spring semester. The faculty has grappled with university-wide promotion and tenure guidelines and IRB policies and procedures. The Faculty Roles and Rewards II Task Force is preparing a draft document for faculty consideration in the coming months. And, under the leadership of President Ford, the faculty is beginning to explore the revisiting of the undergraduate curriculum with a particular focus on the core curriculum.

This is weighty, substantive work which faculty is addressing on top of routine responsibilities of teaching, research, and service. Engaging in this work requires enormous amounts of time, thought, and energy. I appreciate the faculty’s commitment to this university demonstrated through its engagement in these discussions and processes.

It is not unusual for us as a faculty not to agree with one another on everything. This is OK. If there is any place where debate should occur, it should be in the academy. And what we find at UALR is that there are good, thoughtful people engaged on all sides of the topics at hand.

From time to time, it is important for us to push ourselves back from the immediacy, the urgency, and the friction surrounding debate on these topics to remember this: that good people are engaged on all sides of the issues. We may disagree with one another, but we are colleagues.

Thank you for being good people who believe in UALR to such an extent that you will engage in these debates.

Happy Holidays!

David Belcher

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

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