A-Senate: Ross praises past and looks to the future



The president and provost's written report to the academic senate praised Central Michigan's past year, but will continue to improve the Institutional Review Board and exploring academic rigorousness.

CMU President George Ross said the Qualitative Initiative on academic rigor committee, directed by Dr. Debra Poole, hosted last year a discussion about academic challenge.

"The team is producing demonstration modules and pilot-testing the concept through a program in which 32 CMU instructors attended workshops and are meeting with peer mentors to discuss changes to their courses," Ross said.

That discussion led to a new project called the "Teaching and Learning Toolkit," that gives students learning modules that would improve students learning, reading and critical thinking skills.

Michael Gealt, vice president and provost of the university, said that many changes to the Institutional Review Board.

"The IRB office staff have analyzed the problems experienced over the past year, and metrics have been developed to track performance on a monthly basis," Gealt said. "Experience over the summer month indicates a clear trend in improving response times for submissions."

Gealt said that four full-time equivalent employees have been available support the expansion of the research compliance program. Also, Dr Robert Bienkowski has been hired as the director of research compliance.

Gealt and Ross acknowledge the senior leadership appointments that occurred over the summer.

Those people include Shelly Hinck, interim dean for the College of Communication and Fine Arts, Lesley Withers, interim associate dean for the College of Communication and Fine Arts, Carolyn Dunn, associate vice president for Institutional Diversity and Linda Perkowski is serving as the interim dean for the College of Medicine.

Ross said that 96 faculty-members, 54 full-time and 42 part-time, have been hired in eight different college and departments.

"They join a student-focused, intellectually geared faculty who value teaching, research and creative endeavors," Ross said. "Student success is our top priority as we deliver a personal path to learning, help students develop the skills and attributes to be leaders, and instill knowledge through experiences in the classroom and beyond. "

Ross said that he had seen more participation of the university's program including a record-amount of students attending leadership safari and participating in Pizza with Professionals.

"One of the presenters came up to me and said we may have reached our limit of how many students we can have," Ross said. "We had over 2,000 students participate. We again saw a growing number of participants in some other fine CMU traditions such as Michigan Special Olympics Summer Games and MAINstage. It's making a difference."

Ross commented the June 18 opening of a new Global Campus office in Detroit. The office is used for a variety of activities including receptions, alumni events, classes and business meetings.

"Trustee (Tricia A.) Keith and I welcomed CMU faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as political and business leaders to reaffirm our long-standing partnership with Detroit and southeastern Michigan," Ross said. "Presently, this area is the largest base of CMU’s Michigan-based alumni and incoming students."

The provost letter also praised the accomplishments of the ten faculty and staff who have won grants or contract rewards. Their combined total exceeded $100,000.

Ross also encouraged everyone to participate in the upcoming CMU Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 18. He said senators and students should attend the meeting as well as the committee meetings on Sept. 17. 


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