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Provost’s Announcements

Provost's Announcements
May 21, 2024

Sent to all faculty

Dear Colleagues,

As we come together for Arching and for graduate and undergraduate Commencement ceremonies in the next week, I want to extend my gratitude for your dedication, creativity and tireless effort in fostering a supportive environment of intellectual growth for our students.

We’ve certainly had many successes to celebrate in the past year. Just in the last few weeks, faculty members have been awarded a grant to support their work in climate change education and a Fulbright-Hays Award to study global sustainability.  These two examples are representative of the overall increase in sponsored research proposals and funding we’ve had this year to support your scholarship. With your mentorship, students in Psychology and Physics have presented their research at professional conferences, and been awarded NJ Governor’s Hispanic Fellowships and Critical Language Scholarships.  These and other successes are important to recognize, as are the day-to-day successes that occur in our classrooms, labs, tutoring sessions, and office hours.  I’m deeply appreciative to those who have invited me into your learning spaces, since in those moments I can truly appreciate the day-to-day teaching and learning moments that make Ramapo special.

As I reflect on my first full year at Ramapo, I also want to thank you for your effort to engage in shared governance and to create a more collegial and collaborative environment which makes teaching and learning possible.  In the Fall, you endorsed the Comprehensive Academic Plan (CAP), providing a blueprint for many of the efforts we’re making to strengthen the student experience, to cultivate inclusive excellence, and to nurture community partnerships that advance knowledge and problem solving. Over the last few months, we’ve found a way to improve our process for curricular innovation and change in order to be more collaborative, transparent and timely. Improving the ways we work together – both in processes and in collegiality – adds to the quality education we can provide our students.

With this spirit of coming together, I’m also thinking ahead to our shared challenges for the next academic year, including:

  • Improving our reappointment, tenure and promotion process to clarify and revise professional standards that reflect our institutional mission, create an environment of constructive feedback to support growth, and provide mentoring and guidance throughout a faculty member’s career.
  • Advancing interdisciplinary curriculum and scholarship as foundational to the way in which faculty collaborate and students learn;
  • Based on task force recommendations, enacting changes in our academic structures and convener model to improve the ways we work together.

I hope you’ll reflect on these challenges and plan to join me in addressing them together in the Fall.

Thank you again for your exceptional contributions and dedication that make me proud to be part of our community. I’m looking forward to our shared celebrations over the next few days, and hope that the summer is restful and rejuvenating for each of you.

Warm regards,

Michael Middleton

May 20, 2024

Sent to all faculty

Dear Colleagues,

As we gear up for end-of-year activities, I thought it might be helpful to share a schedule of the many exciting events to celebrate the class of 2024!

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Graduate Programs Commencement Ceremony, Bradley Center

4:00 pm: Doors Open

5:15 pm: Ceremony Begins

Thursday, May 23, 2024

10:00 am: Nursing Pinning Ceremony, Sharp Theater

12:00 pm: Rites of Passage, Friends Hall (Reception in Alumni Lounges)

2:00 pm: Academic Achievement Ceremony, Sharp Theater

3:00 pm: Pictures & Music in the Grove

4:15 pm: Organization/Lineup of Graduates, Faculty, Staff, & Guests

4:30 pm: Arching & Post Reception, Arch/Bandshell Lawn (Rain Site:  Cherry Lane & Bradley Arena)

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Undergraduate Commencement, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

7:30 am: Doors Open

8:40 am: Ceremony Begins

Processional Attire

Reminder:  If you process in any of these events, the attire is academic regalia.

Additional information can be found here.

Warm Regards,

Michael

May 13, 2024

Sent to all full time faculty

Dear Colleagues,

If you are a full-time faculty member interested in a position of extraordinary College service in AY24-25, we are currently accepting applications for the Director of the Faculty Resource Center.  This role requires the appointee to produce concrete deliverables as outlined in the job description.

Please review the information below and apply by emailing provost@ramapo.edu by Wednesday May 22, 2024.  Please include an explanation of your interest and qualifications (1 page maximum) and your CV. I look forward to learning of your interest!

Position:  Director of the Faculty Resource Center (FRC)

Term:  Three (3) years; appointment reviewed annually

Compensation:  $10,000 summer stipend and four (4) credits of reassigned time for the fall and spring semesters.  (Please be aware that, as per the AFT Collective Bargaining Agreement, faculty are not permitted to teach overload in any semester in which they receive course releases/reassigned time.)

Responsibilities:

  • Plan and execute the summer new faculty orientation;

  • Plan and execute programs and activities of the FRC throughout the academic year;

  • Assess FRC programs and submit annual assessment plans and reports;

  • Manage the FRC budget;

  • Support the vision of teaching and learning at Ramapo College and respond to faculty needs in this area;

  • Communicate FRC opportunities and resources to Ramapo College faculty;

  • Coordinate activities with the Instructional Design Center and other ad-hoc groups as needed;

  • Develop and maintain contact with other teaching and resource center professionals outside the College;

  • Maintain and consult with an FRC Advisory Board; and

  • Maintain and update the FRC website.

April 18, 2024

Sent to all faculty

Dear Colleagues,

I know the next few weeks will be busy with guiding students in their final projects and papers, preparation for exams, and other teaching activities.  I’m looking forward to joining many of the year-end celebrations of our students’ work that would not be possible without your guidance.

I’d like to update you on a couple of matters of college-wide importance.  First, I’m pleased to announce the following appointments of faculty in key service roles directing programs:

Professor Tammi Redd – Faculty Resource Center

Professor Michael Bitz – Instructional Design Center

Professor Peter Campbell – First Year Seminar Program

Professor Monika Giacoppe – Studies in Arts and Humanities (SIAH) Course

With the recommendation of the Comprehensive Academic Plan Implementation Team, I’m also appointing two short term task forces to examine and make recommendations to me on critical structures of the College – the composition of our Schools and the role of convening groups and conveners.  The members of the task forces are listed below.  I’m sure you will hear more about their work as it evolves and will be given the opportunity to weigh in on the task forces’ recommendations.

Task Force on the Roles of Conveners and Convening Groups

Co-Chair:  Dean Susan Hangen – HGS

Co-Chair: TBD

Anne LePore – CA

Kokila Kota – TAS

Emily Leskinen – SSHS

Tim Haase – ASB

Tae Kwak – HGS

Jessica Steinheimer – Office of Student Success

Jenn Hicks-McGowan – People Operations and Employee Resources

Task Force Examining Academic Structures

Co-Chair:  Dean Ken Goldstein – CA

Co-Chair:  Emma Rainforth – TAS

Ruma Sen – CA

Sangha Padhy – SSHS

Kathleen Ray – Graduate Programs

Malavika Sundararajan – ASB

Lisa Cassidy – HGS

Katie Cohen – LLC

Kathy Stathis – Fiscal Health Core

Anthony Dovi – Admissions and Enrollment

Thanks to all the members of our community who are willing to serve.

Warm regards.

Michael

December 15, 2023

Sent to full time faculty via email

Dear Colleagues, 

If you are a full-time faculty member interested in a position of extraordinary College service in AY24-25, we are currently accepting applications for the following positions:  Director of Studies in Arts and Humanities Course, Director of the First Year Seminar Program, Director of the Faculty Resource Center, and Director of the Instructional Design Center.  These roles require those who are appointed to produce concrete deliverables as outlined in the job descriptions.  

Please review the information below and apply by emailing provost@ramapo.edu by Friday, January 12, 2024.  Please include an explanation of your interest and qualifications (1 page maximum) and your CV. I look forward to learning of your interest!  

Position:  Director of Studies in Arts and Humanities (SIAH) Course

Term:  Three (3) years; appointment reviewed annually

Compensation:  Four (4) credits of reassigned time per academic year.  (Please be aware that, as per the AFT Collective Bargaining Agreement, faculty are not permitted to teach overload in any semester in which they receive course releases/reassigned time.) 

Responsibilities:  

  • Assist the Dean with prescreening, recruiting, interviewing, and recommending qualified adjuncts for appointment;
  • Address adjunct faculty needs and inform them of learning objectives and requirements of the course/program;
  • Conduct classroom observations to evaluate first-time adjunct faculty and share written evaluations with the Dean;
  • Recruit full-time faculty to teach these courses;
  • Develop fall semester and spring semester Studies in the Arts & Humanities course schedules;
  • Collaborate with Advisement, Enrollment Management, Admissions, Tutoring, and Library services;
  • Serve as the General Education Committee (GECCo) representative for Studies in the Arts & Humanities; and
  • Assist the Dean to facilitate grade disputes and address other issues for students and faculty in the program.

Position:  Director of the First Year Seminar (FYS) Program

Term: Three (3) years, appointment reviewed annually

Compensation:  $10,000 summer stipend and four (4) credits of reassigned time for the fall and spring semesters.  (Please be aware that, as per the AFT Collective Bargaining Agreement, faculty are not permitted to teach overload in any semester in which they receive course releases/reassigned time.) 

Responsibilities:

  • Develop fall semester and spring semester First Year Seminar course schedules;
  • Recruit, interview, and recommend qualified adjuncts for appointment;
  • Address adjunct faculty needs and inform them of learning objectives and requirements of the course/program;
  • Coordinate FYS activities;
  • Recruit full-time faculty/qualified professional staff to teach FYS courses and work with them to ensure their continued contribution to FYS;
  • Create and deliver an orientation to the course for new instructors of FYS;
  • Coordinate and chair at least two (2) meetings with the FYS instructors in the fall semester;
  • Conduct teaching observations of all new adjunct instructors during their first semester of teaching FYS at Ramapo;
  • Collaborate with Student Success, the Center for Reading and Writing, Advisement, Enrollment, Admissions, and Library & Learning Commons services/staff on issues related to FYS;
  • Work with the Director of Student Success to ensure that peer facilitators implement an appropriate curriculum in FYS;
  • Organize learning outcomes and course syllabi for FYS and post FYS course syllabi prior to the first summer orientation;
  • Attend, as appropriate, summer orientation sessions to stress the importance of FYS;
  • Serve as the General Education Committee (GECCo) representative for FYS;
  • Assess the effectiveness of FYS and submit annual assessment plans and reports;
  • Manage the FYS budget;
  • Attend meetings and work with the First Year Experience Board;
  • Chair the committee to select the summer reading, review the summer reading outcomes and criteria with the selection committee and other stakeholders on campus, ensure that the book selection meets those outcomes and criteria, communicate the importance of the summer reading to first-year students, and coordinate the essay contest; and
  • Assist the Dean to facilitate grade disputes and other conflicts for students and faculty in the course/program.

Position:  Director of the Faculty Resource Center (FRC)

Term:  Three (3) years; appointment reviewed annually

Compensation:  $10,000 summer stipend and four (4) credits of reassigned time for the fall and spring semesters.  (Please be aware that, as per the AFT Collective Bargaining Agreement, faculty are not permitted to teach overload in any semester in which they receive course releases/reassigned time.) 

Responsibilities:

  • Plan and execute the summer new faculty orientation;
  • Plan and execute programs and activities of the FRC throughout the academic year;
  • Assess FRC programs and submit annual assessment plans and reports;
  • Manage the FRC budget;
  • Support the vision of teaching and learning at Ramapo College and respond to faculty needs in this area;
  • Communicate FRC opportunities and resources to Ramapo College faculty;
  • Coordinate activities with the Instructional Design Center and other ad-hoc groups as needed;
  • Develop and maintain contact with other teaching and resource center professionals outside the College;
  • Maintain and consult with an FRC Advisory Board; and
  • Maintain and update the FRC website.

Position:  Director of the Instructional Design Center (IDC)

Term:  Three (3) years; appointment reviewed annually

Compensation:  $10,000 summer stipend and four (4) credits of reassigned time for the fall and spring semesters.  (Please be aware that, as per the AFT Collective Bargaining Agreement, faculty are not permitted to teach overload in any semester in which they receive course releases/reassigned time.) 

Responsibilities:

  • Anticipate and plan for instructional technology needs of faculty/instructors;
  • Read/research instructional technologies used in model schools;
  • Collaborate with the Chief Information Officer and the Director of the Faculty Resource Center to identify faculty needs vis-à-vis teaching and learning with instructional technologies and to support their use of those technologies;
  • Continue implementation plan to train and support faculty to use Canvas, at a minimum, as a communication resource for all Ramapo courses;
  • Serve on the Teaching, Learning, & Technology Roundtable Committee;
  • Plan, organize, and offer faculty technology institutes and other workshops, including best practices showcases for users across differing levels of experience and needs;
  • Contribute to the selection and introduction of new instructional technologies in collaboration and consultation with the Chief Information Officer and the Instructional Design Center staff; and 
  • Attend appropriate workshops and conferences.
October 16, 2023

Sent to all faculty via email

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the middle of the Fall semester, I once again want to thank you for all your work with our students.  It seems that each day I learn about another accomplishment that a faculty member and their students are celebrating. It’s been a joyful experience for me to see what our goals of experiential learning and close faculty-student relationships look like at Ramapo.  Thanks also to the faculty and students who have invited me to join their class and observe first-hand.

One issue that seems to be a focus of daily conversation is the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in teaching and learning.  I am very pleased that this year’s Faculty Development Day will be centered around this very topic.  The Faculty Resource Center and the Instructional Design Center invite you to an in-depth discussion and exploration of Artificial Intelligence with special guest speaker Amanda Bickerstaff from AI for Education.  The event is Wednesday at 1:00 pm on the 2nd floor of the Learning Commons.  Click here for more information and to register.

I want to congratulate all of us for the development and endorsement of the college’s Comprehensive Academic Plan (CAP) that serves to reinforce our values and prioritizes strategies for helping us get closer to the educational goals we hold for our students. Special thanks to Professor Stephanie Sarabia and Dean Ken Goldstein for their leadership of the committee and to all who participated as committee members over the past year. I’m especially pleased by the number of faculty members who have mentioned their appreciation for the inclusive process that led to the formation of the document.  It serves as a model for our future work.

With the endorsement of the CAP, we now move to the implementation phase of the plan. Within the CAP is an Appendix that “serves as a blueprint for turning our plan into action.” In the next few weeks I’ll be putting together an implementation team who will meet with me regularly to monitor our progress on the plan and will advise on committees, timelines and governance processes for moving forward with the implementation tasks. The committee will be representative of the College and will include some members of the initial CAP committee for continuity as well as new members to broaden participation and voice.

Thanks again for your contribution to a successful start of the academic year!

Warm regards,

Michael

August 15, 2023

Sent to all faculty via email

Dear Colleagues,

As you prepare your course materials over the next few weeks, I want to raise some important considerations. The College has revised its Academic Integrity policy to include information about use of artificial intelligence (AI). As AI tools evolve and we all become more informed about how AI may be used or misused within our disciplines and classrooms, the policy seeks to empower our faculty in making decisions about appropriate use of emerging technology tools in their classroom.  After reviewing the policy, I urge you to include explicit direction for your students in what is acceptable/unacceptable use of artificial intelligence tools in your classroom and in student research and creative activity. You may also include a link to our Academic Integrity policy in your syllabi.

I also want to alert you to the existence of websites (see articles from the International Center for Academic Integrity and Inside Higher Ed ) that serve as a clearinghouse for course materials that students have supplied, at times for financial benefit. In some cases those materials include lecture notes, assignments, instructor feedback, course assessments and answers. Although this may not come as a surprise as we navigate a new reality of electronic communication, it may have important implications for how you move ahead with your classes in preparing course materials. Please be explicit and educative with your students and in your course materials about what materials students may or may not share with others. Please know that the integrity of academic conduct and protecting intellectual property is paramount to the College.  If you are aware of violations of the use of your course materials, you may request that course-sharing websites remove your course materials. In some cases, it would also be appropriate to report those violations in the Academic Integrity system. Please consult with your Dean if you’d like to discuss this further.

In the Fall, the Provost’s Council will continue reviewing our policies with regard to AI as the context evolves. I will also bring the matter of course sharing websites to the Council for developing a policy and information to guide our community.

Warm regards,

Michael