Meeting Minutes 9-28-12

President’s Technology Advisory Council

Meeting Notes: September 28, 2012

Submitted by Leanna Giancarlo

Present: Leanna Giancarlo, Steve Greenlaw, Mary Kayler, Kimberly Kinsley, Jeff McClurken, George Meadows, Tim Owens, Andy Rush, Mara Scanlon,

Jeff McClurken updated the council regarding items discussed at our last meeting.  First, in a conversation with Provost Newbould, the Provost stated that the council would not need to undertake responsibilities dealing with the issue of centralized scheduling; he has already formed another group led by Fred Pearce to look into this.  Second, Jeff has spoken with Chief of Staff Marty Wilder about his sense of the Digital Learning Proposal (DLP), since Jeff and some other council members will be presenting to the President’s Cabinet on Tuesday, October 2nd at a special meeting to elaborate upon the DLP.  According to Marty, the President feels that the proposal is important enough for a special meeting and a chance for an extended discussion.  The purpose of the meeting will be to help the Cabinet to understand the DLP’s content and make it more tangible.

In light of the impending meeting with the Cabinet, the council discussed Jeff’s presentation, which will open with an overview of the DLP and each portion of it.  In particular, the goal is to provide the Cabinet with tangible and concrete examples of the items proposed and their importance and relevance.  For example, Jeff will show a short video from his James Farmer FSEM displaying not only student engagement in course material (the students transcribed James Farmer’s lectures) but also authentic learning experiences.  This should showcase how UMW stands out among its peers and can provide resources to the community.  Products from the Maker space will also be demonstrated in order to emphasize how the proposals in the DLP allow students to access creativity and to reiterate that UMW is a unique institution at which to study liberal arts.  Finally, he will show the Domain of One’s Own video to explain what this is and its implications.  Justin Webb has urged that the members of the council at this Cabinet meeting emphasize the low cost of these initiatives relative to their very large returns.  The overall goal will be a ten minute presentation to include the overview of tangible products outlined above and a discussion of the goal of digital learning at Mary Washington.  Rosemary Arneson and Steve Greenlaw, who will accompany Jeff to this meeting, will help to stress the importance of the Digital Knowledge Center and the need for funding to move forward on this particular aspect of the proposal, since other portions are already started.  In particular, Rosemary can elaborate upon space in the library for the Center and the status of the digital repository.

There already seems to be positive feedback on the Digital Studies minor piece, as CAS Dean Richard Finkelstein communicated to Jeff that a BOV member asked him about its status.  Overall, there seems to be interest from the some members of the Cabinet already regarding the presentation; however, the case may need to be made to others about the DLP’s relevance and distinctiveness.  To aid with this, the meeting group will bring data on each of the proposal tasks, including write-ups of UMW initiatives on the Makerbot website, publications and published products from the tasks, etc.



Also in accord with this, we discussed funding sources; while members of the council would be happy to put together grants to seek external start-up funds and work with donors, ultimately the group felt that the latter is the purview of development and development would need to be working toward sustaining the programs in the DLP.  As for possible grants, Mary Kayler noted that Spenser has rolling grants.  We could also look at Andrew W. Mellon for communication, NEH/ODH institutes for advanced topics in the digital humanities (perhaps for funding a summer workshop on digital pedagogy).  Tim Owens suggested the MacArthur Foundation.  Steve reminded us of the Teagle, and Mary also offered the Henry Luce Foundation, NASPA and Lumina.  It was also suggested that we contact Rebecca Davis of NITLE (National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education) for suggestions of applicable grants.  A grants officer is still necessary on either a part-time or full-time basis, but filling this position as commission-based is an alternative that should also be considered.  Mara Scanlon suggested that someone in the Digital Knowledge Center position have experience in grant-writing.

Our next meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 11, 12:30-1:30 PM.


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