As the seasons transition from one to the other, I want to share with you some of the wonderful and creative ways in which several members of our community spent the summer. This fall edition of Provost Briefs chronicles those experiences. Some of us chose to relax and recharge our batteries, while some took the opportunity of a long break to do research, publish, travel, give talks, attend conferences, or participate in workshops. The breadth and depth of the activities speak to the dynamism of our Hobart and William Smith Colleges community.
This summer, I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Aspen-Wye Deans Seminar, which drew chief academic officers, provosts and academic deans from a wide range of colleges and universities to share our interests in the relationship between liberal education, citizenship, and civil society. The topic of the seminar was Citizenship in the American and Global Polity. We had intense discussions and read canonical texts on our founding faiths, what is a good society, and leadership.
I also had the opportunity to attend the Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference at Bryn Mawr College with colleagues - Professors Jo Beth Mertens, Renee Monson, Christine de Denus, Leah Shafer, and the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Susan Pliner. HWS is involved in the multi-institution Next Generation Learning Challenges grant-funded blended learning study. My major take away from that conference is that our faculty already engage in blended pedagogy to a significant extent, and that our challenge is to get more people on board and to provide appropriate training to support it.
Finally, I attended the Annual Leaders Workshop, organized by the Collaborative on Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It was a most rewarding experience where we covered the important topics of shared governance, support and leadership for faculty engagement, and mentoring across ranks. I came away with many practical ideas shared by colleagues from various institutions. My office is already planning programs to support faculty at the various stages in their career, based on some ideas from that workshop. I invite you to enjoy the accounts embedded in the links to the right of this page from colleagues across the campus on how they spent their summer. Happy reading.
Titilayo Ufomata, Ph.D.
Dean of Faculty and Provost