Message From the Dean: October 2013 - Part 2

Optimistic Opportunities Revisited

After sending out my message about opportunities and my maniacal work ethic, sleeping patterns, and penchant for multi-tasking, I realized that I might have given the impression that I was anti-leisure. Those who know me best, and eventually I hope that will become all of you, know that I am fun-loving, engaging, and appreciative of all elements of leisure. My weekend consisted of riding my bike, playing tennis, starting a Stephen King novel, viewing a movie (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - 2), attending a scholarly presentation, traveling from Indianapolis, and enjoying our Panther football victory. I also believe in the adage that you "work hard in order to play hard." I truly enjoy my profession and I always seek opportunities to travel, present at national conferences, and engage in professional conversations about the joys of teaching and learning.

I want to make sure that faculty also have the resources to engage in these types of leisurely, professional opportunities and that they engage our students in collaborative research, co-presenting, and networking domestically and internationally. At our faculty meeting yesterday, I shared a variety of ways in which faculty members can secure funding to support these leisurely/professional opportunities. Listed below are the various funding opportunities.

Senate Travel Requests - The College of Education Senate will provide an opportunity to apply for $500 travel grants to support professional conference presentations of scholarly endeavors.

Senate Collaborative Research Grants - Two grants of up to $2500 will be awarded to faculty members who submit proposals to the College of Education Senate for research that involves students. The funds can be use to provide stipends for students and other research incentives.

Dean's Foundation Funds - Funds will be made available to those submitting proposals to Andrea Elliott requesting support for a project that aligns with our strategic initiatives, connects with service and community outreach, and engages alumni.

Dean's Travel Requests - If you have an opportunity to engage students in field trips, co-presenting at conferences, or conference attendance, then apply for these funds by securing a request form from Brenda Biersner. Travel requests can also be made to supplement professional travel needs. Seek funds first from department heads and the Senate before requesting these funds if this is an individual professional endeavor.

Dean's Sponsorship Requests - If you are working on a campus-based program or a student organization event and you need some support in co-sponsoring the program or event, then secure a request form from Brenda Biersner.

School Improvement Network - I would like to engage as many faculty as possible in securing a membership to the School Improvement Network. I am especially interested in those faculty members who are teaching Human Relations, Diverse Learners, method courses, assessment courses, and learning theory courses. The cost for each faculty member is $150 per year. I have set aside $20,000 for those who are interested. Please investigate this outstanding suite of materials that can be used to enhance your students knowledge base and skill sets pertaining to the Common Core, cultural competency, technology integration, assessment, classroom management, instructional strategies, etc. To log into the demonstration site, go to, username:, password: pd360. Please let me know what you discover or questions you may have. Those who are interested in joining wiill have an opportunity to be granted log-in capabilities and additional professional development on how best to use the resource suite with our students.

A special thank you to all of those who participated in the visitation day on Saturday and those who attended the College of Education faculty meeting. We are indeed a cohesive, participatory, and industrious group of faculty and staff who "work hard and play hard" for the benefit of our students. I am truly humbled and honored to be your dean.

Dr. Dwight C. Watson
Dean, College of Education