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Assorted sections from my fall 2017 triennial review report

I’ve now posted the primary components of the report for my triennial salary review, including a context statement, a teaching statement, a statement on scholarly activities, and a statement about other significant activities. This musing ties together the parts of the report that didn’t fit into those sections.

Contributions to Diversity

This section appears at the start of teaching and is generated from the faculty activities we check as being related to diversity. I see that I listed Founding Donor, Computer Science Diversity Fund, Faculty Advisor, Grinnell Women in Computing, Member, Digital Access Subcommittee, and Coordinator, Computer Science Conference Trips Related to Diversity. I also list Co-Director, Grinnell Science Project.

Here’s the paragraph I wrote about the trip coordinator role, which is more significant than it sounds without the description.

I serve as the member of our department who coordinates student travel to the two major conferences related to diversity in computer science, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, as well as smaller offshoots, such as the Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas Women in Computing conference (MINK-WIC). I raise funds from alumni and solicit funds from elsewhere on campus (e.g., the HHMI grant, the Wilson program, the Dean’s office, wherever else I can find). I run the student selection process (most recently, selecting eight students for each of the two main conferences from twenty applicants each). I help prepare students to attend the conferences. I work with our ASA to make plans for the students. I coordinate with faculty at other institutions to try to ensure that LACAFI (Liberal Arts College Association for Faculty Inclusion) is represented at these conferences; in two years, I was the lead coordinator. When possible, I accompany students to the conferences so that they have someone they trust to come to (and to help remind the broader community of how much Grinnell values diversity). For MINK-WIC, I drive students to the conference. I write the reports and coordinate the thank-you notes to our funders so that we can continue to gather funds for these events. This work takes me approximately forty hours per year plus whatever time it takes to attend the conferences [1].

Contributions to Student Research Opportunities

This section is new this year, and is associated with the new Research Opportunities for All initiative. I believe we only get full-year sabbaticals if we contribute to that initiative, so it makes sense that they ask.

I contributed as department chair by leading our discussions of how we would approach that initiative and helped craft our multifaceted approach that acknowledges that not all students need the same kind of scholarly opportunity; our approach gives students a menu of research of opportunities to choose from. I continue to supervise MAP/MIP projects, both in the summer and during the academic year. In spring 2017, I supervised two students doing a Technology Studies MAP on computer-animated 3D film. In summer 2017, I supervised seven MAP/MIP students. (I was scheduled to supervise eight, but one had to drop out at the last minute and, in contrast with past policy, the Dean’s office would not allow me to replace that eighth student.) It’s not within the time frame of the review, but this fall I restructured my offering of CSC 301, Algorithm Analysis, to include practice reading primary literature, something not typical in that course. And CSC 322, one of the courses I regularly teach, serves as one of the options for the initiative when students repeat the course.

Service: Annotate each committee with approximate hours per month.


Service: If any of the committees you served on during the review period did anything unusually time-consuming for that committee, please describe it. You can assume that the Faculty Salary Committee is aware of the normal duties of each committee.

See annotations associated with each service role.

Service: Briefly describe any service activities that are not reflected in the materials provided by Sedona. This can include recruiting, informal committees, and substantial departmental or institutional service. Approximately hour many hours per month did these activities entail?

There are a wide variety of small tasks that I do for the department, the College, and my profession, from meeting with and writing to prospective students to doing some quick ad hoc reviews of student work at conferences. I have no idea how many hours per month they entail. Probably five to ten.

Describe activities that support diversity on campus, such as mentoring and advising faculty or students, special recruitment efforts, submitting grants or proposals, or involvement in co-curricular programs.

Diversity is important. Diversifying my field is one of my top priorities. But I’m not sure that I have anything else to report here, since there was an automatically generated section at the start of the report. However, n neither place does it ask me to write about why I make diversity a high priority. I’d originally left this section blank. But maybe I should write a little about my approach to diversity here.

Whether we like it or not, computer technology is changing the world. The impact will be better and more inclusive if a wide range of voices contributes to the development of computing technology. We’ve seen way too many cases in which technology development by a narrow group of people results in something that fails to account for a more diverse population. Hence, diversifying my discipline is, and has been, one of my top priorities as a computer science educator. I also consider diversity in computing something of an equity issue; while I would prefer that teachers earned more than technologists, computer science graduates are generally quite well compensated. If I can help a first-generation student discover a passion for computing and build their skill, I have made a positive difference. Finally, I’m learning from my colleagues in student affairs and the administration that Grinnell has an opportunity to be a leader in training computer scientists who can be advocates for diversity in their workplaces.

Most of my diversity-related activities appear at the top of this report, where Sedona put them.

Professional Development

This section appears to be tossed in at the end, right after the other significant activities section. I wonder whether it’s for some broader reporting purposes.

My most meaningful professional development activity during this time period was the pair of Global Online Academy workshops I attended in summer 2015 and summer 2016. At these workshops, I had the opportunity to work with both instructional designers and high-school teachers who regularly teach online and with high-school teachers who, like me, were new to online teaching. Hearing from engaged and active teachers about their students (both in-person and online) was quite useful, as was thinking about how one translates the kind of teaching I do to an online realm. I hope that I will have the opportunity to participate in another of their workshops.

I participated in the normal range of Grinnell workshops. During this time, I attended Grinnell workshops on Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender; Group Rubrics; Teaching with Technology; Teaching Writing; Letterpress; Open Educational Resources; Digital Liberal Arts; and Diversity in the Sciences. I am also a regular participant in the Science Teaching and Learning Group.

I also attend the annual SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education. SIGCSE provides me with the opportunity to learn about current trends and new approaches in CS education. I value the opportunity to learn from colleagues from around the world, in both formal and informal situations.

The report also has room for faculty members who have particularly significant responsibilities that lead to course releases. Those aren’t applicable to me, but I list them here for completeness.

Other Core Professional Responsibilities

If your contract includes significant professional responsibilities instead of a five course teaching load (examples: Archivist of the College or Director of the Center for International Studies=2 course releases), please provide this information. Note that details of the position are not required.

Not applicable

In one or two paragraphs describe your most significant accomplishments in this role during the three-year review period. If possible, phrase your discussion in terms of specific impact on the college community or advancement of the college mission.

Not applicable [3]

If applicable, in one to two paragraphs provide goals for the next three year period that are related to this professional responsibility. Not applicable

There you have it. If you’ve read all the related musings, you know know everything there’s a space for me to report on for my past three years. You know about the Grinnell faculty salary report process. And you also know a bit about my plans for the next three years. In a subsequent musing, I’ll report on the scores I’d give myself. That should be my last musing related to the report, at least for the time being.

[1] Four days of travel to Tapia and two days to MINK-WIC this year. I drove the van for to and from Kansas City for students attending MINK-WIC [2].

[2] More precisely, I drove the van to Lenexa Kansas, which is next to Kansas City. I’m at MINK-WIC right now, and hence have yet to drive the van back to Grinnell.

[3] That’s not to say that I don’t have significant contributions. It’s that I don’t have significant contributions that fit within this section.

Version 1.0 of 2017-11-03.