University of St. Thomas Campus News
- Adjunct Faculty Task Force Appointed
An Adjunct Faculty Task Force has been appointed to begin work on concerns identified by adjunct faculty members, and a permanent Adjunct Faculty Council will be established during the fall semester.
Dr. Richard Plumb, provost and executive vice president, announced the appointment of the task force last week. Adjunct faculty members are:
- Tom Becker, School of Engineering
- Michele Braley, School of Social Work
- Ann Brodeur, College of Arts and Sciences
- Uyen Campbell, School of Law
- Dr. Sheila Dickinson, College of Arts and Sciences
- Rodney Hagedorn, Opus College of Business
- Anne Howard, College of Education, Leadership and Counseling
- Ken Kalamaha, College of Education, Leadership and Counseling
- Marguerite Spencer, College of Arts and Sciences
- Kim Sovell, Opus College of Business
Michelle Thom, associate vice president for human resources, and Dr. Paul Wojda, a tenured associate professor in the Department of Theology, are ex officio task force members. Plumb soon will name a second tenured faculty member to the group.
The task force will develop recommendations for establishing the council, addressing issues such as the council’s size, representation, eligibility, compensation, election process and initial bylaws. Plumb will review and approve those recommendations with the task force, which will cease to exist after the council is appointed. In addition, the task force will provide feedback to Plumb on any adjunct faculty proposals that need to be considered before the council is established.
President Julie Sullivan included the establishment of the task force and council as priorities after adjunct faculty who teach undergraduate classes voted in July against union representation. At the time, she outlined her vision of a task force and council, both of which will include representatives at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
“The council will provide a forum for adjunct faculty to communicate and interact with each other, identify opportunities for improving the situation of adjunct faculty beyond the already-identified priorities, and strategize ways of better integrating adjunct faculty into our university community,” she wrote in an email in July. “Ultimately, our goal is to provide adjunct faculty with a variety of participation options to meet varying preferences for levels of involvement at St. Thomas” and to create and sustain “an academic community through open and transparent dialogue where all members are respected, feel valued, and are focused on student learning and outcomes.”
Plumb said Thom is working with Human Resources staff on alternatives for adjunct faculty to participate in St. Thomas’ benefit programs, taking into account the range of their workloads. They have consistently identified benefits as their greatest need.
Plumb also is working with deans and department chairs on differentiated adjunct faculty contracts based on varying levels of participation; issuing contracts on a more consistent basis; developing a portal to review potential annual salary increases; and working with the Faculty Senate on adjunct faculty representation.
He is collaborating with Dr. Ann Johnson, director of the Center for Faculty Development, to provide greater funding mechanisms for adjunct faculty development and to design workshops for department chairs to share best practices on recognizing the contributions of adjunct faculty.
- Ice Water and Donations for ALS Expected to Flow on Lower Quad Thursday Afternoon
The John P. Monahan Plaza on the University of St. Thomas campus is expected to be a sea of purple buckets, ice water and shivering participants who show up for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday afternoon, Sept. 4.
St. Thomas students, staff, faculty and neighbors are all welcome to participate. Buckets, water, ice and even towels will be provided. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is designed to raise awareness and research funds for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”).
The challenge will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. outside the Anderson Student Center.
Registration starts at 3 p.m., and the mass ice-water dousing is scheduled to take place at approximately 3:30 p.m.
If you want to participate, here’s how:
- First, go to the John P. Monahan Plaza starting at 3 p.m. and look for the two registration tents that are next to the plaza fountain. To register and participate, you must sign a waiver. When you do that, you’ll receive a purple UST bucket.
- Once you have a bucket, volunteers will direct you to a trough where you can fill your bucket with water and ice. It’s up to you how much you want to pour on your head.
- After you have your ammo, volunteers will show you where to stand. The idea is to have participants line up to form the letters “UST.” Once the letters are formed, any extra participants will form rows underneath the letters. The diagram below shows how things will look.
- At this point, wait for further instructions. As you can see from the diagram, the second and third floors of the Anderson Student Center will provide a good bird’s-eye view of the action.
Dr. Carol Bruess, professor of communication and journalism, director of the university’s Family Studies Program, and an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge veteran (you can read her Newsroom blog here) will be the emcee and introduce St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan and Dr. Deb DeMeester, director of St. Thomas’ Public Safety and Law Enforcement Leadership Graduate Programs.
DeMeester is a friend and colleague of Dr. Bruce Kramer, former dean of the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling. Kramer has ALS and frequently has been interviewed about living with the disease on a series of programs broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio with Cathy Wurzer.
When Kramer heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at St. Thomas, his reply: “My face hurts from smiling.”
Tommie, the St. Thomas mascot, has the honor of launching the first bucket of ice water. Tommie’s target: the head of President Julie Sullivan.
And now’s when the ice water really starts flowing. Dr. Richard Plumb, executive vice president and provost, will be the first to go. He’ll be standing at the top of the “U”in “UST.” Participants will be asked to dump their buckets in a wave, starting the top of the letters and progressing toward the bottom. Once the wave reaches the bottom, it will continue to the lines formed beneath the letters.
After everyone is soaked, volunteers will distribute purple UST towels. Participants are welcome to keep their buckets and towels as souvenirs.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenges usually are filmed, and the St. Thomas challenge will be no exception. Film crews from Web and Media Services, and Photo Services, will be stationed to record the action. Videos and photos will be posted on St. Thomas’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles, as well as the Newsroom website.
Since most everyone will be soaked by the end of the challenge, the event will be held rain or shine.
Donations to the ALS Association are voluntary. Representatives from the association will be at a tent on the plaza. You can make a donation there, either before or after getting soaked, or later on the ALS Association website. You aren’t required to make a donation to participate in the event, and you aren’t required to dump ice water on your head to make a donation.
Concerns have been raised about participation in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because while the Catholic Church is not opposed to research using adult stem cells, it is opposed to research using embryonic stem cells. Signs posted at the ALS donation tent will state: “Donations collected at the Sept. 4 Ice Bucket Challenge at the University of St. Thomas will be sent to the ALS Association with the stipulation that the money will not be used to support embryonic stem-cell research.”
For more information about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, there’s background about it here on Wikipedia. As of late last week, the challenge has raised nearly $100 million for ALS research.
St. Thomas was “challenged” to hoist the bucket by the ALS Association Center of Excellence at the Hennepin County Medical Center and by Dr. Bruce Kramer’s congregation, the Good Samaritan United Methodist Church of Edina.