September 20, 2010

IDEAL Wraps Up Year One at Plenary Conference

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Eric Fingerhut

Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents Eric D. Fingerhut, addressing representatives from six Northern Ohio universities at Friday’s IDEAL Plenary Conference at the Mandel Center, said the future of an educated work force depends in large part on a strong team of educators.

“If we’re going to achieve the goal of raising educational attainment of our state and thereby driving the economic prosperity of the future, obviously we have got to reach every student possible,” Fingerhut told faculty and administrators from Case Western Reserve University, Bowling Green University, Cleveland State University, the University of Akron, Kent State University and the University of Toledo.

“We’re going to need everybody, of all ages, to be able to benefit from higher education. We know that means we have to have a first-quality team of educators in higher education.”

Fingerhut’s address was part of a busy agenda for the Institutions Developing Excellence in Academic Leadership (IDEAL) Plenary Conference.

IDEAL is a three-year, nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to seed gender and underrepresented minority equity and institutional transformation in the areas of science and engineering awarded to Lynn Singer, deputy provost and vice president for academic affairs at Case Western Reserve University.

Friday’s meeting provided participants with an opportunity to report on their Year One projects.

Several issues seemed to resonate universally among team members of the six universities represented in IDEAL: the need for more mentoring; a vast disparity in job satisfaction between men and women on faculty; and the need to build a pipeline of talent and leadership.

Action plans that came out of the conference included a pledge to fund mini-grants ($50,000 or less) to grow STEM projects and help develop leaders on campus; teaching senior faculty members how to become mentors; implementing fairer rules on the “tenure clock” (the period generally expected for non-tenured faculty to achieve tenure); and investigating why women in faculty are less satisfied than male faculty in general.

Case Western Reserve has taken steps to improve mentoring with a program recently launched by UCITE for the fall semester. The second Mentor Fellows program begins in the spring 2011 semester. Register online by Oct. 15.

Posted by: David Wilson, September 20, 2010 11:25 AM | News Topics:

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