Faculty & Staff E-news 9.8.14

September 8, 2014

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Welcome back to the start of another academic year! I thank you for your commitment to the School of Education and our students and know that we will have an exciting and productive year. We held our first Chairs Team of the semester last week and again discussed recruitment and retention at length, Winter Intersession courses (at this point in time, two courses will be offered by CEP), the qualification screening process for our adjuncts, our ongoing faculty searches, and initial plans for the 2015 Urban Education & Community Forum. A good meeting with meaningful dialogue and I am energized by the good work we are engaged in and the enthusiasm of all faculty and staff.

My heartiest congratulations to Polly Prendergast and the entire staff at Berkley for successfully earning NAEYC accreditation just weeks ago! Berkley undertook an extensive self-study process and hosted a two-day on-site visit during the past two years. Scores in all but one of the 10 areas considered for the accreditation met criteria by 100 percent or more. The only one that did not – physical environment – received a 96 percent. Berkley is now among only about eight percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs so accredited and the School of Education is proud of our affiliation!

The dean’s search committee will hold its first meeting this week Wednesday. My thanks to all those from the School of Education who agreed to serve in this capacity, including: Drs. Etta Hollins, Patty McHatton, Johanna Nilsson, Uzziel Pecina, Edward Underwood and Jennifer Waddell and Ms. Rachael Steele and Ms. Christine Timmerman, and community members and donors Mr. Ralph Reid and Mr. John Sherman.   The committee will be chaired by Dean Ellen Suni and includes faculty, staff and student representatives from across campus as well.

On Thursday, the 11th, we will be honoring the SOE’s student scholarship recipients and our many generous donors who make these students’ dreams possible at the annual (invitation only) Scholar Donor Luncheon. My many thanks to the members of the Scholarship selection committee and those who have planned and managed the logistics for the event for what I know will be another successful celebration!

As mentioned previously, this year’s Welcome Back Picnic for all faculty and staff will now be held after the faculty meeting on September 19th from noon – 1:30 p.m. on the SOE patio. Catered by Backyard Burgers, hot dogs, chicken, burgers, brats and veggie burgers with all the fixings will be available. Our thanks to the Culture and Climate Team for continuing with this enjoyable annual event! Please RSVP (password: picnic) if you have not yet done so!

Are you a runner? UMKC’s second annual 5K Regalia Run will be held September 28th during Founder’s Week and this year the SOE has its own team (Team A+)! Join fellow SOE alums, faculty/staff and students for a morning of fun; proceeds from the run will support student scholarships across campus. Register to participate before September 26th.

Please plan to attend our faculty retreat on October 10th from 8 a.m.–1 p.m. in the Plaza, Hyde Park and Brookside Rooms in the Administrative Center.  Our focus will be assessment and accreditation as we take further steps to ensure that our programs meet the new CAEP standards.  Please RSVP (password: retreat); lunch will be provided.

Looking further ahead, the Urban Education Research Center will hold an informal open house (with snacks) to showcase its new home on the second floor on October 22nd from 4-6 p.m. Stop by and learn what the UERC has been up to!

And, please mark your calendar for mid-year commencement which will be held Friday, December 19th at 1:00 p.m. in Swinney Recreation Center. Further information and a call for volunteers will be forthcoming.

I know you will join me in welcoming James (Jay) Meyers as the new Office Support Assistant IV in Student Services.  Joining us August 25th, Jay replaces Val Abbott who moved to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Illinois.  Jay has a bachelor’s degree in film and video from Columbia College Chicago and worked as an Assistant to the Chair of the Art and Design department for six years.  He has also worked as a video producer and adjunct instructor.  Jay is originally from Clinton, MO, and is happy to return home.

And, a clarification from last week’s original enews version regarding grant submissions: Drs. Michele Foster and Clare Bell jointly submitted “Accelerating Mathematics Achievement in Kansas City Public Schools” to the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation (GKCCF) while Dr. Michele Foster alone submitted “Going to Kansas City:  Preparing Education Researchers for Urban Contexts” to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

Have a great semester!