The University of Michigan-Dearborn Campus Overview

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1 Campus Overview The University of Michigan-Dearborn forms one of three campuses of The University of Michigan led by one president and one Board of Regents. This campus receives separate funding from the state of Michigan and has its own chancellor, serving under the president. Students: Undergraduate 5,038 FTE Graduate 824 FTE Total: 5,862 FTE Total enrollment: 8,600 University of Michigan (All campuses) FTE Faculty: Assoc. Asst. (FT) (PT) (ALL) Total (FT) Total (PT) TOTAL CASL Educ Engin Mgmt TOTAL Diversity of faculty: One-third of the Dearborn professoriate is identified minorities. Campus: Founded in 1959 with a gift of 196 acres from the Ford Motor Company, over one-third of the campus is devoted to a natural area, including the Rouge River Bird Observatory and an Environmental Center. Originally the campus was upper division undergraduate only, focused on the engineering and management needs of the automobile industry. As such, the University developed a strong coop program with local industry, a feature that has encouraged some students to transfer from the Ann Arbor campus to Dearborn. Currently the four academic units offer degrees in 94 undergraduate areas of study and 27 Masters level fields; seven graduate programs from the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Management are offered completely online. Library: The library provides an essential core of services and resources for teaching and research and serves a role in the recruitment and retention of faculty. The physical collection of 350,000 volumes serves the curriculum; the online journals number over 17,000 titles with the addition of several thousand electronic books. The campus library benefits greatly from being part of The University of Michigan. Over sixty per cent of our electronic resources are made possible through collaboration with the University library on the Ann Arbor campus, half of which are provided without cost to us. Faculty members at Dearborn are welcome to use the libraries of the Ann Arbor campus. The Google digitization project will incorporate the volumes of this library, including two special collections: the Quigley children s books and the Armenian Research Center library.

2 I. Identifying and Refining Desirable Traits for Faculty Candidates Communication skills. However brilliant the scholar, the ability to communicate well is vital for both teaching and grant writing. This issue is not limited to those who speak English as a second language, but relatively more non-native instructors struggle with communication. To enable them to succeed, we are seeking ways to assess and improve their communication skills. One method of early assessment might be to have every candidate demonstrate both discipline scholarship and teaching ability. Candidates would be asked to prepare a class session at the sophomore-junior level and students would be asked to attend and evaluate the candidate. This is the added criterion in our list of desirable candidates. Some units have included communication skills, but the goal is to make this a standard across campus. Effective teaching. Our campus markets itself as a teaching institution. No courses are taught by teaching assistants. Desirable candidates must have a track record or a demonstrable potential for effective teaching. Candidates could be assessed on their awareness of and sensitivity to different learning styles for the students they will teach and on the strategies they employ to maximize student learning. Enthusiasm for research and scholarly communication. One critical element in the recruiting assessment process and the tenure process is evidence of innovative research and scholarly publication. Such work enhances teaching and is an integral part of our scholarly culture. A personal joy in research is fundamental to lifelong scholarship.

3 II. Assessing Recent Hires and Discipline Challenges How well have they matched our needs and culture? We expect to evaluate the instructors hired in the last seven years on several fronts: How well have they been able to communicate with students? Have they developed a collegial relationship within the discipline? Did they achieve tenure (if tenure track)? Could their publication and funding record have been better had the University provided more support? How well were they mentored? For those who have accepted positions elsewhere, what triggered their move? Which disciplines face the most challenge in hiring scholars with high potential? We need to assess why some candidates offered positions chose not to join our faculty. This assessment will include the following issues: What disciplines have had the most refusals? Why did the candidates turn down our offer? Do some positions remain unfilled for more than a year? In particular, do some candidates go elsewhere because this campus has no doctoral programs or students in their field? What is market compensation for this field? Does the lack of a research library on this campus influence their choice? Are healthcare or retirement benefits a consideration? This campus offers dependent tuition support. Is that a factor in hiring or retention?

4 III. Resources: Major Research Universities These challenges are not unique to institutions our size. Large research universities also face them and many have developed respondes. Our campus has tiers of ready resource at hand. As part of The University of Michigan, we can rely on in-house support that is offered on and through the Ann Arbor campus. This support includes the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, the Division of Research Development and Administration, the University Library system and media support groups. Beyond our own University, we are geographically close to Michigan State University and Wayne State University, and are allied with the universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). Discussions among colleagues at universities throughout the country and internationally can reveal resources in place at other institutions. We need to evaluate the what responses are made by research universities, assess the effectiveness of those responses and decide what can be appropriated for our campus. For example, what would be the most effective support for those who find speaking and writing English challenging? This has an obvious impact on their ability to teach and write effectively. Some Universities provide programmatic support early in the career of instructors challenged in this area. Others recommend individual instructors for tutoring in English as a Second Language (ESL). At what point is the need determined. The earlier intervention occurs, the greater the chance for a successful career.

5 IV. New Faculty Enrichment Once we have recruited academically-qualified faculty members, we face the issue of how to support them in becoming optimally effective in teaching and research on our campus. Everyone wins when new faculty succeed in teaching and research. We have held one workshop since 2003 and are now enlarging that to five workshops spread throughout the year. These sessions are focused at new faculty, but all faculty members are encouraged to participate. The five workshops are: 1. A research collaboration and mentoring workshop. This was our initial workshop, centered on the issue of encouraging new faculty members to be mentored, to network, and to start developing research and funding opportunities with other members of the faculty. We have established faculty members talk about successful research grant-seeking collaborations and the mentoring structure on campus. In addition, the director of Sponsored Research and Programs demonstrates the use of SPIN, the Sponsored Programs Information Network. 2. A teaching strategies workshop. One academic unit on campus had been sending their new faculty members to the Center for Research in Learning and Teaching on our Ann Arbor campus to hone their teaching skills. We decided to bring CRLT to Dearborn and allow the whole campus to benefit. 3. A student assessment workshop. We have asked CRLT to provide a workshop in assessment of learning outcomes. This will be a new workshop for them this year and we anticipate that it will help make testing and grading better and more transparent. 4. A grant writing strategies workshop. Writing a funding proposal requires knowledge of the nuts and bolts, but it is vital for the writer to write strategically. This clarifies the purpose of the research, matches it to the interests of the funding agency, and increases the success rate. 5. A library resources workshop. Libraries have become very complex and many of our own faculty members do not know the resources available. New faculty members may have done their doctoral research with an online catalog, thousands of searchable electronic journals, and all the digital resources and services of a modern library, but still be ignorant of what is offered by the library on this campus.

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