May 2019: From Beth Fisher-Yoshida

May 2019

Dear SPS Faculty,

In my role as Vice Chair of Faculty of SPS, I will be writing this monthly blog for the Academic Affairs site. One purpose is to communicate with SPS faculty updates and reflections on the initiatives we are embarking on for faculty development. The strength of SPS faculty is that we bring our experience from our fields of practice into the classroom. Some SPS faculty members have strong scholarship from research we have been conducting over the years.

SPS value added to our students and the university is our scholar-practitioner model. What does this actually mean? I think of this on a continuum with scholar on one end and practitioner on the other end. If we take the faculty of SPS and plot them on this continuum it is very heavily weighted on the practitioner end, with a few on the scholar end and some other faculty scattered across the continuum. One goal I am working on with Faculty Affairs is how to help move more SPS faculty along the continuum from the practitioner end towards the scholarship end so that we create a more balanced distribution.

In any good adult learning model there is a balance between challenge and support. There are a few potential challenges, such as motivating faculty to want to engage in this endeavor, faculty finding the time to do research and writing, and identifying the scholarly journals for publications of our disciplines. Faculty Affairs is currently creating a long-term strategy on how to support SPS faculty in developing their scholarship by sponsoring workshops (and more) on these topics. Some initial ideas we are planning for are workshops on proposal writing for the Dean’s Applied Research Award and writing research statements that will be needed eventually for full-time faculty reviews.

I really want to hear from you about your interests, what you need for your development and contributions you would like to make. I am really excited about the possibilities of what we will achieve by working together and I look forward to hearing from you.

Beth Fisher-Yoshida