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December 2019

Graduate Statement of Mutual Expectations Sparks Dialogue at the Academic Leadership Forum

Academic Leadership Forum Graduate Student Government (GSG) Graduate Assistant Advisory Committee (GAAC) - Let's start a dialogue.
Courtesy of GSG and GAAC

For this month’s Academic Leadership Forum (ALF), held on Dec. 5, the Graduate Student Government (GSG) and the Graduate Assistant Advisory Committee (GAAC) were invited to do a presentation on how faculty members could use the Statement of Mutual Expectations (SME).

Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Steve Fetter, stated that the graduate students gave campus leaders important details about the SME. Graduate student leaders also explained how there could be more communication between departments and the GSG.

According to Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Professor in the iSchool, Dr. John Bertot, the Academic Leadership Forum is “comprised of academic administrators, including Deans, Associate Provosts, Associate and Assistant Deans, Department Chairs, and Directors of centers and institutes and convened by the Provost to enable conversations about issues in Higher Education in general and in the state of Maryland in particular, institutional management, and best practices. The Forum is an opportunity for academic leaders and the Provost to provide input into anticipated, current, and ongoing issues regarding stewardship of the University.”

The GSG and GAAC were both invited to the ALF to present because even though there are many graduate students who have had great experiences in their studies and as graduate assistants, the concerns of those who have not need to be addressed.

“[The] GSG now represents nearly 10,500 graduate students. GSG provides a way for graduate students to come together, build community, share knowledge and advocate together in a vibrant and decentralized university. Our function as one of the main shared governance branches at UMD (alongside SGA, University Senate and RHA) is key to making sure graduate student specific needs and ideas are present. We connect with the university, state and national community via our representation on over 50+ committees/councils/task forces/etc.,” said the Graduate Student Government President and PhD Candidate, Annie Rappeport.

The GAAC is “[t]he official meet and confer body for the University of Maryland representing the 4,400+ graduate student employees on campus. GAAC members meet with several graduate students to help address concerns and issues with research assistantships, teaching assistantships and administrative assistantships. GAAC advocates for the creation and enforcement of policies and practices that protect and benefit graduate student employees,” said Rappeport.

The Statement of Mutual Expectations is a written and signed contract that helps students and faculty members mutually understand what it is required of the graduate assistant and the supervisor. Some students feel that they receive unclear expectations from faculty members, a problem the SME is designed to address. Also, some students report having to work over the maximum 20 hours a week, and others feel that they are not secure in their program. However, as Rappeport said, they hope “that connections at the ALF would be key in developing approaches to help improve the consistency and quality of the graduate student experience campus wide.”

Fetter says that the contract provides the graduate assistant and supervisor with a list of common questions that, if discussed in advance, will lead to a successful work experience. However, he encourages faculty members and graduate assistants to modify the SME for their specific situation because ultimately the contract is there to help improve communication between both parties.

Although the form is not required, Rappeport stated that, “the spirit of the SMEs is good and like any recommended policy or best practice, it needs to be developed by all stakeholders and have buy-in at all levels to become a part of our standard practice.”

The presentation and the dialogue that followed allowed everyone to share their experiences and listen to one another, but it was only the beginning of more conversations and solutions to come.

The GSG and GAAC hope that they can continue the conversation with all departments to further work on improving the graduate student experience at the University of Maryland.

Article by Jaime Williams

Message from the Provost

Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship Program & Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate Promise Academy Alliance - USM

The University of Maryland (UMD) joined the University of California’s Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP) in 2016 as part of a larger effort to enhance the diversity of our faculty. Provost Rankin established our membership in the PPFP with the goals of recruiting to UMD scholars who would increase representation in campus units where women and minorities are underrepresented, and whose research contributes to diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity in higher education and at UMD.

Open to all disciplines, the program has enriched our campus community through the 18 Fellowsbrought to UMD since 2016, and we anticipate six more Fellows joining UMD in Fall 2020. More information regarding the program is available here.

Furthering its commitment to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and more broadly within the University System of Maryland (USM), UMD received a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program for the AGEP PROMISE Academy Alliance - University System of Maryland. Working in collaboration with USM, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Towson University, and Salisbury University, the five-year initiative seeks to develop a USM-wide approach to increasing the number of historically underrepresented minority tenure-track faculty in the biomedical sciences. To achieve the project goals, UMD intends to recruit up to six Fellows through the PPFP initiative into the AGEP PROMISE Academy Alliance.

We encourage applications to both the PPFP in general, and the AGEP PROMISE Academy Alliance in particular. For further information or to discuss either initiative, please contact Blessing Enekwe(Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs) or John Bertot (Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs).

Awards | Recognition | Leadership Development

Flyer - Carivision Community Theatre Presents A Carribean Christmas Memory in Performance Recovering Caribbean Stories of the Season - Sun. December 22nd 2019 at 3:30pm.

Professional Track Faculty Excellence Awards

Activity Insight Launch

What to Expect When Submitting Your Annual Activity Report

The University of Maryland is launching Activity Insight by Digital Measures/Watermark as our faculty activities system this year, 2019-2020. This system enables individual faculty members and the University as a whole to promote and report accomplishments and activities. We have been launching this new tool over the 2019 calendar year with tenured/tenure-track faculty members, with the goal of using the platform for annual reporting in early 2020. The next phase, in 2020, will expand the use of the platform to all faculty members.

Those of you who will be using the platform to submit your 2019 annual activity report can get started now. Head to the Faculty Affairs Activity Insight portal to log in. When you access the platform, you'll notice that some activities have already been loaded for you. In September, we shared information on the campus integrations in place that automatically load your information, including data from the legacy Lyterati system. In October, we provided an overview of the publication import feature. Last month, we shared some useful features for streamlining your Activity Insight experience. This month, we'll be covering how you will submit your 2019 annual activity report.

2019 Annual Activity Report Submission Timeline

Beginning in January 2020, all tenured and tenure-track faculty will use Activity Insight for their 2019 annual activity reporting. Activity Insight allows faculty and administrators to track research, instructional, and service activities as part of the university’s reporting requirement. It provides a comprehensive system for recording and promoting professional efforts, including:

  • Promotion and Tenure
  • CV generation
  • Grant applications
  • Merit and post-tenure reviews
  • Nomination and recognition
  • Accreditation

All tenured and tenure-track faculty must submit their 2019 Faculty Activity Report using Activity Insight by March 13, 2020 to enable the University to meet its state and USM reporting requirements. Further, all tenured and tenure-track faculty are required to submit their 2019 Faculty Activity Report in order to be considered for campus approval for sabbatical leave, leave without pay requests, merit pay, and awards.

Preparing Your 2019 Annual Activity Report

Submitting your annual activity report is a fairly straightforward process:

  • Log in to Activity Insight
  • Enter your Activities on the Activity Insight Platform for the calendar year 2019
  • Go to Workflow section (available in the top red bar); Workflow Tasks will open
  • Open the UMD Annual Faculty Activity Review task available in the Inbox section
  • Fill the form as per the guidelines and submit it

You can learn more about the submission process by reading the Annual Activity Report Submission - Faculty Instructions, or viewing this short video.

A Few Things To Remember

The system is open now for your use; you may begin documenting your 2019 activities immediately. Please note that courses taught, course evaluations, completed thesis/dissertation committee involvement and ORA-managed proposal and award data will be auto-populated for 2019 by January 30, 2020. See the September newsletter for more details.

Activity Insight integrates with several citation management systems and supports BibTeX file import. This is a great way to bring in your publications. Remember that the annual activity report is for calendar year 2019, so while you may bring in many publications through these tools, only the publications from 2019 will be included in your 2019 annual activity report. See the Octobernewsletter for more details.

Also, as you work on manually adding your activities, be sure to remember to save each record. The Rapid Reports tool lets you preview your activities in the annual report as you are entering them. Additionally, you may find the duplication feature is a timesaver.

Learn More About Activity Insight

The Activity Insight portal is not only your starting point for logging in to the platform; it is also a self-service resource with short how-to videos, extensive user guides, and contact information for the Activity Insight team. Platform support is available through email, by phone (301.405.7681) and drop-in office hours in 1120A Toll Physics Building (M 12-2/Tu 9-12/W 11-1/Th 9-12/F 9-12).

Teaching & Learning Transformation Center

TLTC Departmental Faculty Liaison Network.

UMD Emeritus/Emerita Association

UMEEA Members Gather to Learn More About College Park's Transformation

Photo from the Presentation

On December 4, UMEEA held an event featuring Ken Ulman, Chief Strategy Officer for Economic Development and President of the Terrapin Development Company for the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. Ken discussed the evolution of connections between the University and the town of College Park; physical and technological changes on and near campus; and the ties between public and private research initiatives and resources. Learn more about UMEEA here.

Faculty Development

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

Resolving Ambivalence: A 4-Minute Technique

Merriam-Webster defines ambivalence as “simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (such as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action.” This ambivalence you may be experiencing is a low-level energy sucker, so you're going to want to get past it so you can make your decision with confidence. When I experience ambivalence, I do a little exercise that helps...Read more from NCFDD.

Remember to Sign-up for your free NCFDD Membership!

Not yet a member of NCFDD? Click on "become a member" and select "University of Maryland" from the institutional dropdown menu. Click here to register. The Center is dedicated to supporting academics in making successful transitions throughout their careers, and providing on-demand access to member resources. Membership is open to all faculty members, postdocs and graduate students.

Tips & Resources

Engaged Gazes: Principles that Online and Flipped Teaching Can Learn From Themed Museum Exhibits

Rendered image of a museum

Online instructors have known for some time that the primary work of creating an online course consists of “curation,” which is usually understood to be a matter of selecting and creating appropriate texts and videos (Davis, 2017). But if we were to look critically at museums, an ideal representative for modern curation, we would recognize that the work of curation is much more than finding the right materials; it’s also about crafting a visually arresting exhibit, a fact especially true at museums that adopt the kinds of trappings that theme parks do....Read more from Faculty Focus.

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Jan. 2Winter Term Begins
Jan. 27First Day of Spring Semester
Feb. 19Academic Leadership Forum
Feb. 20Faculty Forum: Working with Graduate Students
Feb. 26Orientation Follow-up: Diversity & OCRSM
Feb. 27Chair Workshop: Dealing with Difficult People
Mar. 11Faculty Forum: Freedom of Information Act
Mar. 25Chair Workshop: Lunch with Georgina Dodge, Chief Diversity Officer
Mar. 26Orientation Follow-up: Community Engagement
Mar. 31Academic Leadership Forum
Apr. 22Chair Workshop: Sexual Misconduct & Bullying
Apr. 23Faculty Forum: Academic Freedom & Free Speech
Apr. 28Academic Leadership Forum

Registration will open in January 2020.

Happy Holidays!

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