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Jun 13, 2008

Fall Offense Planning

I have written here before, that I divide all work into defense and offence. Defense is reacting to things that are coming my way: reports, requests for information, trouble students and trouble faculty, personnel issues, routine office management issues, things to sign, and things to check on, schedules, workloads, staffing, contracts, finances, responses to student inquiries, teaching. This actually adds to quite a bit, especially in Fall and Summer.

Offense is new projects, such as grant applications (we just submitted one), program revisions, attempts to expand out off-campus empire, thinking about where we want to be in the future, developing some efficiency tools (for example, the SIMS database, and I started on a new scheduling database), considering changes in policy (such as a new system of payments for consultants), looking for ways to save money, developing a plan of action or the year. Just lie a military offense, each academic year needs to have some preliminary planning work done: what should be accomplished, and then, narrow it down to what can be accomplished.

In the next academic year, we have a number of biggies. NCATE comes in November for a site visit. In October (tentatively, 10-17), the Russians are coming for the First International Teacher Education conference (See the Nomadic Conference blog for the original idea). If that happened, then we are to travel to Russia in May for a visit. If we like the whole thing, we can start planning another one, with a different country. If the Jordan Early Childhood grant is funded, Jordanians will come for a visit sometime in the Fall as well. Now, we absolutely must start another off-campus cohort in MAT/LDE next year, expand Secondary Postbac, reignite the Bridge Postbac program, and plant seeds for perhaps three more programs, hoping at least one of them will work (I am thinking, we can take MAT/Elementary off-campus to Denver, start an Early Childhood PTEP cohort in one of community colleges, and begin developing a quality Ed.D. on-line). The Elementary PTEP and Postbac assessment system overhaul needs to be completed next year; Secondary and K-12 also moved forward considerably. We need to keep ironing out the kinks of our PTEP tracking system (the checkpoint courses), and keep debugging curriculum (that seems to never end). Elementary transition should complete by the end of the year, so we need to see what bugs are there. Early Childhood program will mature to adulthood (it's a pun), so we need to review the lessons and adjust. We need to take a hard look at our annual budget, estimate PT costs, and see how much money we can really invest in professional development and curriculum development. I am also going to teach a new doctoral class in the Fall, and am still quite unsure about it.

Now, these are too many projects to just keep working on them at the same time, so we need a plan, with some timeline, and specific tasks in each project. In other words, we need a script for the year. There is not a slightest chance for me to do most of it, so the play needs a cast, with specific roles assigned. Wait, I am mixing my metaphors here: started with military and ended with theater. But I guess it is the same idea; both involve what they call project management in business. In the last two years, I have tried to be more or less systematic about each individual project, but not about all of them. So, that's my Summer project, to spell out the big plan, and try to see how different parts interact with each other. Any help will be greatly appreciated.


  1. Anonymous2:51 PM

    It makes sense that we need to define our goals and work on them, while the work is delegated to all of us to make the ideas materialize. I am excited to see more happen with off campus Master's Degrees in Denver and Loveland. Yet the problem seems to be that we just do not have enough faculty to make that work efficiently and with good results. So, do we first schedule the courses and then hire the professors? Or do we get the profs to help mold the cohort ideas and then design the programs? Which comes first the program or the instructor? Finally, what if we through a cohort and nobody comes? I do know that there is demand for Reading, Curriculum, Elementary Ed, Secondary Post Bac, and LDE programs around northern Colorado and Denver. Yet, even beginning this fall will be a major challenge regarding marketing and just getting the word out (not to mention scheduling professors and courses). Rome was not built in a day. I would love to see MAT: Elementary Ed and MA Reading offered in Denver at Lowry. I would also love to see the Bridge Post Bac and LDE cohorts in Loveland. Actually, any of the above programs and either venue would be awesome. Hope to help make it work!

  2. Dear anonymous:
    I do not believe we will have any more stat-fundned lines, ever. However, we can hire good FT people to teach off-campus, onse we have enough action going on. IN the meanwhile, we'd have to keep working with adjunct instructors, and we do have a large pool, with some people with advanced degrees.

  3. We can hire faculty using off-campus funds.