AN OPEN LETTER TO PROSPECTIVE FACULTY MEMBERS
TEACHING AT DAVIDSON COLLEGE: THE FUTURE
With conviction, enthusiasm, and energy, the faculty of Davidson College are currently implementing an ambitious strategic plan. The development of this plan began in the fall of 2007 with a strategic assessment of the College's needs. In the ensuing time, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees worked together to produce a wide-ranging plan that was approved by our faculty and, in October 2009, unanimously by our Board of Trustees. http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x30520.xml
Already components of this plan have been implemented and have begun to affect positively all aspects of curricular, co-curricular, and social life at Davidson College. Our faculty, staff and trustees are totally committed to this plan, and we have begun an ambitious campaign to raise the funds needed to fulfill all the objectives of the plan.
The plan relates to five major areas of life at Davidson College.
1. The Teaching and Learning portion is aimed at addressing the challenges of teaching in the 21st century. We need to assess critically the appropriate delivery of information and knowledge to prepare students for lives of leadership and service. Support for teaching, learning, and research - by faculty, by students, and collaboratively-needs to be properly designed and funded. We already have a very strong commitment to undergraduate research with significant support for student projects and the dissemination of their results. We are developing a Teaching and Learning Center to coordinate and enhance services in these areas for students and faculty.
2. Integration of Knowledge has become a significant challenge to higher education. Davidson encourages team teaching, in courses that combine differing disciplinary perspectives, as well as in additional interdisciplinary concentrations and majors. In spring 2010, our faculty approved an interdisciplinary major in Environmental Studies; other interdisciplinary programs are under consideration and development. We further aim to integrate the curricular and co-curricular experience of students through greater emphasis on student research, internships, and deliberate global experiences.
3. Our enhanced efforts with respect to Globalization include a more deliberate infusion of global issues into the curriculum with new courses and enhanced curricular emphasis on area studies. We are also promoting more deliberate study-away efforts for our students and increasing the number of international students studying on campus.
4. Davidson is enhancing efforts to promote greater Diversity and Inclusivity. In this quest we hope to have a demographically more diverse campus, including students, faculty, and staff; and enriched curricular offerings that relate to different cultures, religions, and ways of life. Our ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere where difference is not only respected, but celebrated.
5. In our quest to promote Community, we hope to expand opportunities for students to engage in the arena of social responsibility, broadly defined. We hope to integrate better the curricular and co-curricular aspects of service and civic engagement.
As the College pursues these worthy objectives, we shall draw on our traditional strengths as a premier liberal arts institution. Our current faculty and those who will join our ranks in the near future will be engaged in these new initiatives, many of which stretch beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. Specific opportunities for our faculty, both current and future, will include the opportunity to teach in our first-year composition program or other programs aimed at first-year students, such as our Humanities program. Faculty are teaching, both individually or in teams, in our interdisciplinary efforts from Gender Studies to Environmental Studies. We are very excited that we can provide these opportunities to current and in-coming faculty. The involvement of new faculty in courses beyond their discipline will be tempered and deliberate. We wish to offer them exciting challenges, but are mindful of their need to establish themselves as teacher-scholars at Davidson College.
We hope that you, as a potential faculty candidate, will find our future as exciting and as challenging as we current faculty do. Those of us in Academic Affairs truly look forward to discussing our academic objectives with you.
Clark G. Ross, Dean of Faculty
Christopher Alexander, Associate Dean for International Programs
Verna Case, Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Research
Leslie Marsicano, Associate Dean for Academic Administration
Pat Sellers, Associate Dean for Curriculum