Dean's Update - January 2021

Hi Applied Arts,

 

As January closes, I wanted to update you a number of things. It’s a long list, so I hope you’re seated comfortably.  

 

We’re a Faculty Now!

It’s official—we are now the Faculty of Applied Arts. The Board of Governors approved our interim proposal for the formation of faculties at its December meeting. I am now looking for 1-2 faculty members from each school and an admin assistant to be part of a working group to develop Terms of Reference for our Applied Arts Faculty Council. We have a draft TOR to adapt for our purposes. If you’re interested in serving, let me know.

 

Classroom Observations

As a temporary building block towards a faculty evaluation process that will pass muster with Campus Alberta Quality Council, I have asked Carolyn to book me into a random sample of classes across Applied Arts to pilot classroom observations—something that hasn’t been the norm at YukonU/Yukon College in all the years I’ve worked here.

 

Year-End Reflections

About this time two year ago, I asked faculty to use the Employee Comments section of their Performance Management Planning form to write a self-reflection on the year that was. As with the classroom observation piece, reflective writing is a common aspect of faculty evaluation and development at other institutions. Our follow-though needs a bit of work, so I’m reviving the idea this again this year. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to discuss self-reflective practice at a Faculty Council meeting before the spring.

 

Post-COVID Planning

Janet Welch has put together a group of senior team members to do some strategic thinking around “YukonU after COVID.” As I suggested in my last blog post, we will need to balance increasing accessibility to our programs and courses with our desire to return to in-person class time. We need to begin mapping out which aspects of our programs can/should remain in a blended online format and which need to be residency-based—and why either way.

 

Change to Our Fiscal Year

Just when I thought it wasn’t happening, YukonU will shift its fiscal Year End to Mar. 31 after all. In my last update in late November, we were steering away from this change, but our administrative unit since learned that the request to change the fiscal year was already on Yukon Government’s agenda, so it will go through after all. We will need to remain vigilant over the next year to determine the overall impact of this change on our operations as a Faculty. The impact will be felt immediately as we begin our full-year forecasting process, now on a 3-month rather than 6-month timeline.

 

Timely Feedback to Students

A friendly reminder: Our Academic Regulations require that students have at least 30% of their term’s grade back to them prior to the official Withdraw date. This is so they can make an informed decision about staying engaged in their courses or opting for a W. If students decide to withdraw, please make sure they know that a Withdraw doesn’t happen automatically—they need to make their intentions official with our Admissions unit.

 

Conference Attendance by CEES Students

Students in the Community Education and Employment Support program’s Capstone course attended two conferences in January: The Yukon First Nation Education Conference and Cannexus 2021 (the national career development conference). For some of these students, it was their first time attending a conference. Students selected sessions that aligned with their project interests, participated in networking opportunities, and reflected on the experience both individually and as a group.

 

Award-Winning PN Grads

Huge congratulations to two of our Practical Nurse graduates, who are part of a team that recently won The Premier’s Award for Excellence and Innovation. Steve Tapp and Emerald Gillespie graduated from the program in 2016 and are members of the Mental Wellness and Substance Use Immunization Team. The award recognized the team’s contribution to “the health and wellbeing of some of Yukon’s most vulnerable and complex patients.” The Premier’s Award of Excellence and Innovation was established in 2005 and recognizes Government of Yukon employees’ exceptional accomplishments and celebrates their talent and teamwork.

 

Student Recruitment Program Presentations

Our student recruitment coordinator, Jennifer Sugden, is looking for faculty who may be willing to do a 30- to 40-minute presentation to showcase their program or a particular course. She is thinking of something along the lines of Mary Samolcyk and Joel Cubley’s presentation on Yukon geology at Fall Huddle 2020. Jennifer would be available to introduce, help host, promote and answer recruitment questions. If you’re interested, please let me know, and I will put you in touch with Jennifer. She is hoping to get a few of these presentations going in February.

 

Academic Integrity Policy Working Group

The Office of the Registrar is creating an Academic Integrity Policy and is putting together a working group to draft the document. If you are interested in participating as part of your institutional service commitments, please let me know, and I will forward your name on to Christine Borgford, who is organizing the group.

 

That’s all for now. As always, feel free to get in touch with questions you might have. You can email them, connect via Teams during my “virtual water cooler” times on Fridays, 9-10 am, or request a meeting via Carolyn.

 

Take care,

Andrew