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Latest Updates

2/13/17 - Town Hall Highlights

Posted: 2/13/2017 9:30:00 AM

We again held two town hall meetings for our St. Louis adjunct faculty to provide updates on University and college/school developments, and to address questions and comments from our adjunct faculty. Approximately 40 adjunct faculty members from the St. Louis area attended the two sessions.

These town hall meetings continue to be extremely helpful to us and yield invaluable insight regarding your experiences as a Webster University adjunct faculty member. In fact, we’ve listened and taken action on a number of issues you have brought to our attention during previous gatherings.

We want you to succeed, as you play a critical role in our collaborative efforts to provide a world-class education to our students. To the extent we can take action on items of concern to our adjunct faculty, we have and will continue to do so.

With these ideas in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to provide an overview of the topics covered during the recent meetings. Where appropriate, we’ve also provided links to additional information.

Microsoft 365 Migration – Representatives from Information Technology provided an update on the migration to Microsoft Office 365 and encouraged those in attendance to migrate to the new system when it is offered. Among the benefits of the new system are the following:

Online hosted email

Shared calendaring

50 GB online storage (OneDrive)

Cloud-based MS Office Programs

Install MS Office on up to 15 devices

Collaborate!

WebsterAdjunctInfo.org – A brief overview of the websteradjunctinfo.org website was provided. Designed specifically to meet adjunct faculty information needs, the site offers the following features:

  • Latest Updates (Home page) – Includes news/events of interest to adjunct faculty.
  • The Adjunct Experience – Overview of workplace values and faculty governance.
  • Adjunct Resources – Offers helpful information about the university, teaching resources and support, as well as adjunct benefits.
  • FAQs – Provides a list of questions submitted by adjunct faculty and responses from the university.
  • Ask a Question – Submit a question using the form provided. You may do so anonymously or by name.
  • Sign Up To Receive Alerts – Receive an email when the site us updated.

Adjunct Faculty Development Fund – Last Fall, 36 adjunct faculty applied for grants from the fund, which was announced and administered by the Provost’s office. Of those applications, 16 grants totaling $15,000 were awarded to adjunct faculty members representing all five schools and colleges, Webster Groves, domestic extended campuses, and online. These funds will be used to offset expenses for adjunct faculty professional development initiatives.

The program will continue in 2017. Please note the following deadlines:

  • Applications accepted: August 15 - September 15
  • Applications reviewed: September 16 - October 15
  • Notification to applicants: October 16 - 31

Watch Webster Today for more details, or take a look at the Academic Affairs Policies and Guidelines Channel in Connections. 

Adjunct Faculty Overseas Teaching Opportunities – During 2016, 18 adjunct faculty members taught MBA courses in China, while six others taught courses at other international campuses. In addition, seven faculty members led international hybrid courses.

Construction Progress – The parking garage addition is on schedule, and could open as soon as May, while the Interdisciplinary Science Building will be open for Fall 1 classes in August 2017.  Space planning for the new building and the campus overall is currently underway.

School of Communications – Eric Rothenbuhler, Dean

  • Hosting Woodrow Wilson Fellow – Eric Stange, who helped produce a documentary of Edgar Allen Poe, will be on campus during the week of March 6, 2017, lecturing and meeting with faculty and students.  In addition, his film on Poe, “Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive” will be screened at the Winifred Moore Auditorium on Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. Questions and answers to follow.
  • Media Academy – The school will again welcome noted newsman, Bob Dotson, and representatives from a number of national news organizations as it once again convenes its Media Academy. The event will be held on April 5-6. Details will follow.

College of Arts & Sciences – Eric Goedereis reported for Jenny Broder who was traveling

  • Adjunct Faculty Task Force – Chris Paar and Ravin Kodikara are heading this group, which is designed to facilitate communications with our adjunct faculty.
  • Individual Department Meetings Underway – These meetings are being used as a vehicle for curriculum development and program assessments.
  • Dedicated Office Space For Adjuncts – Webster Hall now has dedicated space available for adjunct faculty in Room 219. Contact Debbym@webster.edu for access information.

School of Education – Brenda Fife, Dean

  • Annual Conference – With the theme of “Equity in Education: Creating Voice and Choice for Social Justice,” the School of Education is once again convening its conference on April 8, 2017 in the EAB. For details on speakers, seminars, and logistics, visit here.
  • Website Enhancements – The school is actively reaching out to adjunct faculty for photos and bios to be placed on the school’s website.
  • Adjunct Faculty Meetings – In the School of Education, meetings with adjunct faculty are taking place two times a semester by department.

Walker School of Business & Technology – Tom Johnson, Interim Dean

  • Adjunct Faculty Are A Vital Element of the Walker School – At the Walker School, there are 62 undergraduate and graduate programs within three departments: Management, Business, and Math and Computers. Between 184 and 240 adjunct faculty in St. Louis and a total of approximately 1,000 worldwide help staff these robust program offerings. 
  • Adjunct Faculty Task Force Results – The report from the task force is posted on the Walker School’s website, and include a list of 21 recommendations.  You can take a look here.
  • Monthly Coffee With the Deans – Attendance welcome. The gatherings have been instrumental in the changes made to some of the academic programs.
  • Walker School Orientation – Approximately 125 attended the Walker School orientation at the beginning of the school year. Another session is planned for April 7, 2017. 

Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts – James Roby reported for Peter Sargent, Dean

  • Adjunct Meetings – Adjunct faculty are actively involved in meetings concerning college and curriculum planning, and other key decisions.
  • Conservatory Anniversary – The Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018! We will post details of celebration events as soon as we receive them.
  • Research Across Disciplines – Efforts are ongoing to strengthen arts curriculum by incorporating the rigor of academic research.

Finally, since we last met, we recently held a Town Hall meeting on the recent Executive Order on Immigration. Because this issue is one of concern to many of our faculty, students, and staff, we thought it would be of interest to you. Please visit here to see a video of the discussion, which was held on February 3, 2017, and featured immigration attorneys and school administrators.

Conclusion

Once again, thanks to all who attended these town hall sessions. Dialogue among colleagues delivers better understanding, collaboration, and problem-solving. Whether you are talking to a department chair, a program coordinator, your dean, or to us, please engage and let us know your ideas and concerns.  We want and value your feedback. It is essential as we execute our mission to educate our students so that they can become the global leaders of tomorrow.