Faculty Senate President's Column - August 2011

August brings with it the scorching heat of a western Kansas summer and the time to get ready for the fall semester. While I have been continuing to write a book and avoiding the summer heat, time has marched on and we have almost bumped up against the beginning of the academic year. To separate myself from controversy over the debt ceiling and the future of NASCAR driver Carl Edwards (the two main distractions of my summer) I've turned to setting up the committees that will serve FHSU's Faculty Senate this year. The new school year is here and it's time to get to work!

I'm fortunate to have an all-star cast around me. Fortunately I will have great mentorship as our last two Senate presidents, Dr. Jeff Burnett and Dr. Rita Hauck, will continue to serve on Senate as chairs of our Academic Affairs and Bylaws & Rules committees. My successor, Dr. Emily Breit, will also serve in committee leadership to prepare for taking the gavel next year.

Leadership is important. I saw a great reminder of that leadership from our Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning Technology and Virtual College a month ago. CTELT and the Virtual College won an Award of Distinction for a video production at the Videographer Awards. Virtual College strategic communication director Brad Goebel, military specialist Debbie Staab and coordinator of instructional design Andrew Tincknell produced the award winning spot for FHSU. The FHSU team won the award in the "Educational Institution/Low Budget under $1,000" category from 1,800 entries submitted from all around the United States and other countries, with only 14 percent winning the Award of Distinction for projects that exceed industry standards. In my virtual teaching I've been fortunate to see Andy Tincknell's excellence in the job and the award is recognition of his tireless efforts to improve our virtual teaching and tell the FHSU story.

The next time I speak to you, syllabi will be ready and a new crop of excellent students will be in our classes. The excitement of a new school year will bring with it the challenges of leading Senate, and the thrill of new opportunities. Let's get it started!

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