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It’s About the Relationship: IT and Academic Affairs Partner to Support Faculty

Craig A. Fowler, Chief Information Officer,Anna McFadden, Director of Academic Engagement and IT Governance Western Carolina University

At its core is a teaching and learning center that reports to and receives funding from both divisions. The Center was recently named one of eleven 2010 Innovators by Campus Technology Magazine.

Centre offers coaching for faculty and talk directly to student both campus and online about evaluation. Boyer model of engagement.

Shared funding between It and provost for academic affairs Centre for excellence: teaching and learning

Have a funded professor, 3 faculty fellow.

Director sits as member of It Senior. Management as well as provosts board.

Data driven which helped relate area to University mission and also enabled them to be strategic when facing up to 20% cuts

78% of staff felt that they had changed teaching or improved via engagement with Services. Over 95%  happy with services.   Data used in every stuff meeting to see how they performing.

Being usable is very important. Must to go out and work within faculty. Advocate services too. CIO and Commons Director working together. Produced a video on services.

Collaboration and co-ordinate is important. Educational briefcase project demonstrates this in relation to training, administration etc.

Data is better than an anecdote. V. important. Tie to student learning and vision. Data on downloads etc (but does that demonstrate learning?)

Faculty voice is critical. Represented in all faculty senates. For example collected data and consulted within faculty on move to Blackboard 9.

Transparency is very important. It and Academic Affairs can learn from each other. It data and process focused, Academic Affairs less focused a data but taught IT good on faculty in formation and relationships. It think about cost, faculty think about hours so changed language.

Changing University governance structure now based on this model of working. Would like 3 year roadmap in each area – academic, infrastructure, administrative.

Faculty Commons was first step in new approach. Makes for a better institution. And relationships grow through purposeful interaction. Conflict does occur but question is how to handle it and build trust.

Anne’s role as mediator between IT and faculty [sounds familiar!]

Faculty Commons offers confidential service for staff who wish to improve teaching. This maybe used in tenure or promotion but that is up to faculty, not a remedial service otherwise would not work.

Faculty Commons supports media services, podcasting , vle etc.

Helpdesk uses sharewell to record engagement then have record of all interactions by individual. Each year individual is contacted to say ‘this is what you have done to improve your teaching this year’ and they put that in their promotion file. Wow

amcfadden @ email.wcu.edu email re sharewell and liaison service

Coulter Faculty Commons – http://cfc. wcu.edu

WCU Information Technology – http:// doit.wcu.edu


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