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Poor Jerod

The other day, I was talking to some faculty about the chair transition. I noted that I was a bit worried about passing work on to Jerod and they said something like At least it’s quiet; it’s summer.

However, it seems like things have not calmed down much this summer. I know that Jerod spent today trying to work on class prep and seems to have gotten less than thirty minutes of class prep done. Why? Because, at least in CS, department business doesn’t seem to stop. What’s going on right now? Let’s see.

Construction. FM is converting a study area to a research lab for our new faculty member and a storage area for our Peer Education Coordinator. Things got started, but have now paused. While we have a departmental FM coordinator, it’s still helpful for the chair to stay on top of things and figure out what’s happening.

Consequences of construction. We have a bunch of things that were in the storage closet that have to be organized and moved to the new, smaller, storage closet [1]. We will need furniture and computers for the rooms. There are probably minor things to think about, such as thermostats [2].

Furnishings. It appears that we do not have all of the chairs we need on Noyce 3rd. Jerod and I spent an hour today reviewing records and rooms to see what chairs were available in Noyce. We’ve also been doing some back and forth with FM about the chairs.

Budget. The Dean’s office sent us our budget for 2017-18 today. It looks like we got most of what we asked for. But it also looks like we were significantly over budget on peer educators for 2016-17 [3]. That means that we under-budgeted for peer educators for 2017-18. It also means that Jerod has to analyze how much we really need and talk to Mike about it.

Course support. One thing that did get cut from our budget is support for the alumni mentors in CSC 322. That’s a bit strange, since the Dean’s office told us to put it in our budget. But I guess that’s how things go. But Jerod does have to help me think through alternatives.

Our partnership with UIowa. We’ve just started a 4:1 program [4] with the University of Iowa in which students do four years at Grinnell and one year at Iowa and get a BA in CS from Grinnell and an MCS from Iowa. They also take two UIowa courses remotely during their senior year at Grinnell. New programs need coordination, including making sure that thins are arranged with the registrar and getting more information out about these issues.

Study abroad. The department encourages its students to study abroad. In his sabbatical, Jerod visited many of our partner institutions. As chair [5], he’s already been thinking about how we better advertise study-abroad opportunities to our students and about what issues students might think about as they choose a program. This planning doesn’t need to be done immediately, but it does need to be done before fall.

Meetings. We have at least two meetings with the Dean’s office scheduled for next week, and it sounds like Jerod will need to schedule others. Among other things we need to start getting ready for our decennial review in 2018-19, and some of that preparation likely needs to happen this summer. We’re meeting about that next week.

Welcoming our new faculty member. We have a new faculty member arriving in a week or so. There’s lots of things to do to help get her acclimated to the department, the college, and the town.

And more. There’s a bunch of other stuff that probably has to be ready (or at least thought about) before the chaos of the semester starting.

Poor Jerod. I’ll do my best to help.

[1] Fortunately, we have two more storage closets on the second floor.

[2] Yes, Jerod is thinking about them.

[3] I wonder what the consequences are.

[4] Or U2G, as the UIowa administration prefers to call it.

[5] Or study abroad coordinator.

Version 1.0 of 2017-07-07.