Faculty Senate President's Column - December 2011

Still feeling a bit sleepy from my Thanksgiving turkey coma, it's almost time for December's Board of Regents meeting. Professionally speaking, there is a lot to give thanks for this month. FHSU is a well-managed and led institution. Not only do we have vision and direction from President Ed Hammond, Provost Larry Gould, and the other top-level administrators, I'm blessed to be part of a passionate and innovative faculty at Fort Hays State University.

As our workloads have increased and faculty have done more with less, we are fortunate to have technological aids that can compensate for the ever-increasing demands on faculty. Just this year an electronic Faculty Portfolio system with Digital Measures was introduced, and this fall our Computing and Telecommunications Center rolled out a new in-house developed Faculty Portal for advising, course rosters, enrollment, and better communication between faculty and students outside of the classroom environment. With a significant portion of our faculty having hundreds of advisees, many of them learning at a distance, it is important to provide effective communication on a mass basis. The new tools help provide the same level of contact and communication while saving the professor time and effort.

I am proud of our University Marketing and Academic Partnerships committee, which is leading the FHSU senate's efforts to explore and create more efficiency tools for faculty to use. Every new requirement, from specialized accreditation to online advising and increased assessment to overload teaching demands, has increased the demand on an already stretched faculty. Unless we can find ways to help faculty do their jobs more efficiently there is no way college faculty can continue to be asked to do more with less. Faculty are a committed bunch, but that should not be confused with a limitless ability to have more foisted upon their shoulders.

Once we faculty leave Topeka at the Board of Regents we will head back to our respective campuses, finish our grading, and then enjoy some well-deserved holiday time with our families. I wish for everyone at the Board of Regents to have a very safe and happy holiday season and will look forward to continue working with you in the New Year.

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