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Alumni Newsletters

Tapestry - Fall 2005

Message from the dean

Dear Alumni,

The University of Detroit Mercy “wants great things for you” is a key phrase in the University’s recruitment campaign. The College of Liberal Arts and Education is a key component in educating our students in a way that sets the stage for them to do great things, particularly in service to others. To that end, the faculty, staff and administrators in our College have been focused on instituting a number of important changes in how the College operates in several important areas. At the forefront of this effort are three ad hoc faculty committees that were formed to focus on:

  1. improving academic advising,
  2. improving course evaluations, and
  3. improving the planning process in the College.

Each of the three committees worked very hard in carrying out their respective assignments. They reviewed a wide range of documents and other information in addition to interviewing a number of faculty, administrators, and staff members to solicit their ideas on various questions and issues relating to the committee’s charge.

The Academic Advising Committee reaffirmed that academic advising is first and foremost a faculty and departmental responsibility. The committee recommended and the dean approved establishing a formal system of designated faculty advisors trained and assigned to specifically advise those students who are undecided on a major and who are in the Academic Exploration Program in our College. Several other important recommendations for improving general academic advising throughout the College were also implemented.

The Student Course Evaluation Committee revised the course evaluation instrument and recommended that, to improve the return rate for evaluations, the evaluations be required of all students and that they be completed online. As student feedback is vital to course improvement efforts, the recommendation was adopted. The committee is also being asked to consider variations of the standard course evaluation instrument that could be used in “non-traditional” type courses such as graduate seminars, internships, and fieldwork practicums.

The Strategic Planning Committee is working on ensuring that all we do in our College – from recruiting, to how and what we teach, to advising, and beyond – is closely aligned with our core beliefs and values. These values and beliefs are the foundation of our mission and vision statements. I anticipate that the work of this committee will help the College chart its course for the next several years.

A number of other great things continue to occur in the College and are described further throughout this newsletter. In addition to numerous articles and chapters, faculty in the College have recently published several books with outstanding university presses. You can read more about our outstanding faculty in Faculty Notes.

Our students continue to do great things as well. Read more about our award-winning students in Liberal Arts and Education News.

I extend an invitation to all alumni to participate in two upcoming alumni events sponsored by the College Alumni Council. The first event, “Career Daze,” is an attempt to link alumni from the College with current students in the College who are thinking about finding employment and building a career. We are also asking alumni to please submit two of their business cards that we will use for the Business Card Wall (see story).

The Council is also sponsoring an Alumni Night with The Theatre Company. The Saturday, April 1, 8 p.m. performance of the musical “Working,” based on Studs Terkel’s book, will be followed by an Afterglow in the Art Gallery of the Marygrove Theatre Building. Join your fellow alumni for a great evening of live music and theatre followed by the Afterglow. Please order your tickets through the Theatre Box Office at (313) 993-3270 and let them know that you are an alumnus and will be attending the Afterglow.

Finally, we wish Professor Greg Sumner, chair of the Department of History, safe travels when he leaves later this academic year as a Fulbright Fellow to Tsuda University in Tokyo, Japan.

Charles Marske
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Education