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University of Mary Washington

DECEMBER 2013

A summary of important events, notices of significant accomplishments, and announcements about significant upcoming developments in the Academic Affairs area of the university.

Additional Provost Office Organization Changes Announced

By Jonathan Levin, Provost
I’ve spent a good portion of my time recently thinking about how to structure the Provost’s Office in a way that will most effectively accomplish the important challenges that lie ahead of us. I am very pleased to share with you two new organizational changes I will make –a redefinition and new title for the former position of Associate Provost for Enrollment Management and Student Services, and the establishment of a new position as Special Assistant to the Provost for Teaching, Technology, and Innovation.

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Special General Faculty Meeting Called for February

By Jonathan Levin
As I approach the six month mark of my service as Provost, and as I near the end of my series of meetings with academic departments, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with everyone to continue our discussion of where we are and where we’re heading.  Though we are very much in the middle of our collective analysis of our academic and support programs, several important themes have emerged for me, and I’d like to take some time to talk about them with you.  To that end, I am pleased to announce a special faculty meeting on Wednesday, February 5, at 4:00 pm, in Dodd Auditorium.  

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Congratulations to 2014-15 Sabbatical Awardees and Jepson Fellows!

By Jonathan Levin
It’s my pleasure to recognize the faculty who were selected for sabbatical leaves and Jepson Fellowships for the next academic year.  Twelve faculty members were awarded sabbatical leaves for all or part of the 2014-15 academic year to pursue a research or other professional development project.  One additional faculty member received a sabbatical award that will be deferred to the 2015-16 academic year.  Finally, another five faculty members will spend the next academic year as Jepson Fellows with a half-time teaching load while they pursue a research project that has particular and direct application to their teaching.  Please continue reading to see who has earned these important awards.

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Quality Enhancement Plan Activities Are Underway

By Keith Mellinger, QEP Director
Even though the Quality Enhancement Plan that Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) deemed as acceptable doesn’t officially start until fall 2014, we’re gearing up for a second QEP pilot study to be run this spring.  The pilot is designed to test-drive two online learning modules and to help us refine them before application on a broader scale. A big thank you goes out to the several faculty – Helen Housley (Theatre), Jackie Gallagher (Geography), Hai Nguyen (Physics), Janet Asper (Chemistry), Chad Murphy (Political Science), and Neil Tibert (Geology) – who have expressed interest in incorporating the QEP on-line learning modules into their first-year seminar courses this spring.

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Wrapping Up a Semester of Change in Academic and Career Services

By Keith Mellinger, Interim Director, Academic and Career Services
It’s not often that someone gets to use more than one title in the same newsletter.  As Provost Levin noted in his article about organization changes, the committee searching for the next Director of Academic and Career Services will soon conduct campus interviews and the hope remains that this position will be filled sometime near the start of the spring semester. As I near the end of my temporary role leading the office while the search is underway, I wanted to offer a few comments and reflections about how our semester went as we took the first steps in implementing the holistic approach to academic and career advising for first-year students.

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UMW Signs Contract with Grant Writing Firm

By John Morello, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Beginning on January 1, 2014, the firm of McAllister & Quinn from Washington, DC will provide comprehensive grant writing services to UMW for a period of two years, with an option to renew for three additional one-year periods. The contract was awarded following a Request for Proposals (RFP) that was issued in June 2013. The RFP announcement specified that the selected firm should be prepared to provide a comprehensive suite of competitive grant services comparable to what might be offered by a successful, mature sponsored research services office.

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Report on External Grants – Grants Won, Proposals Submitted, and Procedures for Applying

By John Morello
UMW faculty are continuing to find success in winning external grants and contracts. Congratulations to Roberta Gentry (Department of Foundations, Leadership, and Special Populations), Janet Asper (Department of Chemistry) and Kathy Loesser-Casey (Department of Biological Sciences), Pat Reynolds (Department of Foundations, Leadership, and Special Populations), and Steve Hanna (Department of Geography) who learned that their project proposals have been funded! For details about their projects, and to see the several other faculty members who have submitted projects for external funding since the last report in the August 2013 newsletter, please keep reading!

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Photo Credit: Jeff McClurken