EIT Assembly's Initiatives Task Force Report

The EIT Assembly’s Initiatives Task Force met on Sept. 14, 2007 and again on Sept. 28, 2007. At the first meeting, the task force identified the following concerns that naturally seemed to be grouped into two or three categories:

Research

  • Cluster identification
  • Pre-proposal support
    • senior-level administrator focused pro-actively on proposal generation
    • grant writing assistance
  • EIT standing research committee
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Research integrated with courses

Academics

  • Core college courses
    • some required (?)
    • interdisciplinary
  • Remove duplication
    • cross listing
  • Teaching
    • technologies
    • methodologies
    • reward faculty
    • in/out classroom
  • Faculty professional development
  • Integrated with research activities
  • Identification of new academic programs/new degree options (e.g., Bachelor of Innovation)

Resource Management

  • Space recommendations
  • GA recommendations

The task force subsequently agreed to discuss these concerns with their departments, possibly identify others, and identify priority rankings prior to the second meeting. At the second meeting, the departmental representatives shared the following recommendations:

Construction Management:

  • faculty/student ratios
  • classroom technology
  • addition of a new MS degree program

Information Science:

  • research clusters
  • fostering interdisciplinary research (including external reps
  • on departmental hiring committees to help identify those who will be interested in interdisciplinary collaboration)
  • classroom technology (esp. for distance education)

Engineering Technology

  • research clusters
  • classroom technology (esp. CAD)

Applied Science

  • proposal development assistance (tech writers, etc.) as well as post-grant support (e.g., assistance with reporting requirements)
  • pro-active, senior-level assistance with identifying funding sources, coordinating inter-departmental proposals, etc.
  • research clusters

Computer Science:

  • elimination of course duplications
  • teaching/research reward (or workload) guidelines
  • research clusters

    Systems Engineering (not represented)

Therefore, the EIT Initiatives Task Force proposed the formation of the following committees to investigate one initiative each. During the Oct. 26, 2007 Assembly meeting, we will discuss which of these if any, we as the College’s faculty, desire to prioritize at this time (the number of committees will be determined at this meeting as well).

1. Research Clusters

Survey existing research programs and identify possible research clusters in support of the college’s mission which have a critical mass of interested faculty; are forward-directed, transformative, and build upon existing strengths but focused on important areas that will have major future impact; have or are likely to receive a minimum level of external funding; and that span more than one EIT department and possibly involve other departments/colleges at UALR (and other universities?).

2. Research Infrastructure

Make recommendations as to how to organize and support research activities; identify college-level and/or university-level resources that are currently available (but possibly need to be modified to be more effective); and identify targeted proposals to enhance the proposal identification, grant writing, agency lobbying, and post-award administration experience, especially in the context of transformative, interdisciplinary research and economic development impact.

3. Classroom Technology

Identify the current capabilities and the problems that faculty currently have with existing technologies; propose the next-generation course delivery mechanisms and teaching technologies for the college; make recommendations on improving the level of technology usage within the classroom, specifically focused on EIT classes; develop usage policies; and propose a reward structure to encourage faculty to implement pedagogical activities.

4. Academic Programs

Review the level of support for existing programs supported by EIT; identify the most likely curricular initiatives that the college should pursue over the next five years, especially using existing faculty resources in creative ways; propose governance structures (if necessary) to facilitate such development; and, should the role of the Standing Committees on Undergraduate Curriculum and Graduate Curriculum be expanded to include a mechanism for leading the effort to propose new programs to the assembly?

5. Academic Course Duplication

Perform a college-wide curricular self-assessment focused on the problem of course duplication; what courses are fundamentally duplicative? what course material is common to all programs in the college? can these courses be combined (at least partially) so that higher numbers of students per section can be generated, thereby freeing faculty resources for other needs? should common courses be taught and maintained using a college prefix (i.e., no longer tied to a specific department)? how can the use of faculty resources to teach “collegized” courses be rewarded at the faculty and departmental level?; identify a mechanism for tailoring a common course to the needs of individual programs.Å