Spring Conversations Series

Published: December 5th, 2005

Category: Memos

Debra Walker King, Associate Provost for Faculty Development

The University of Florida’s Provost Office announces its Spring 2006 “Faculty Development Conversations” series.

The first event in the spring series features nationally renowned sociologist, educator, and professor, public intellectual and gifted speaker Dr. Samuel Betances. Betances earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University and is now Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. As one of America’s foremost communicators on the challenge of casting away barriers to success, Dr. Betances will speak on why diversity is so important. A panel discussion will follow on the same subject as Dr. Betances and UF Faculty discuss the benefits of diversity to not only institutions of higher education but also to the preparation of tomorrow’s leaders and workforce. These discussions continue in an interactive workshop during the afternoon that focuses on “Women in Leadership and Administration.” The day’s events conclude with a third two hour workshop and discussion lead by Dr. Betances. This time the subject is “Empowering First Generation College Students.” All sessions will be held on January 11th in room 282 of the J. Wayne Reitz Union.

Want to know more about how to get your PhDs “out of the door”? If so, the second conversation in the spring series is just for you. On February 8th from 3:30-5:30 p.m., a UF faculty panel of Doctoral Mentoring Awardees will share their theories, methodologies and practices for successful mentoring in a conversation titled “Helping Doctoral Students Finish with Flair.” Join Dr. H. Jane Brockmann, Professor of Zoology; Dr. Gregory Neimeyer, Professor of Psychology; Dr. Marianne Schmink, Professor of Latin American Studies and Dr. William Thatcher, Graduate Research Professor of Animal Sciences to discuss a few best practices for mentoring graduate students for success. This conversation will be held in room 282 of the J. Wayne Reitz Union.

The third event in this spring’s “Faculty Development Conversations” series focuses on the most formidable concerns and arguments facing Academic Freedom. On March 8th from 3:00- 5:00p.m., Dr. Bonnie L. Yegidis, Provost at Florida Gulf Coast University; Dr. Lawrence Abele, Florida State University Provost; and UF Vice President and General Counsel, Pam Bernard join UF Provost, Janie Fouke in a conversation addressing what, if anything, can be done to save Academic Freedom. Provost Fouke will moderate and host this conversation with each of our panelists speaking briefly on various topics related to Academic Freedom. Dr. Abele will trace its history and review its recent political trajectory (House Bill 837, for instance). As provost of a University without faculty tenure Dr. Yegidis will speak on the relationship between tenure and academic freedom. UF Vice President Pam Bernard will discuss the intersection of values, collegiality, academic freedom and tenure. Following these presentations panelists will enter into discussion with each other and with the audience about the most important issues and biggest challenges facing academic freedom in Florida and the nation. The session will be held in 209 Emerson Hall.

To obtain additional information for any of these events please contact Dr. Debra Walker King, Associate Provost for Faculty Development, at 352-392-6004. Register for these events at www.aa.ufl.edu/aa/affact/faculty_development/sessions.asp. We look forward to seeing you there.

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