Faculty Development Newsletter

2013-2014: issue #8 - January 8, 2014

Fac Dev Website

Faculty Corner


Gilbert, A new Deal

By Gregory Gilbert, Art History

Exhibition Opens January 18 at WIU in Macomb.

About the exhibition, from the Figge Museum website:

In October 1929, the stock market crashed, ushering in the Great Depression of the 1930s. The seismic effects of the crash quickly reached the Midwest, resulting in factory closings, massive unemployment and plummeting farm prices. As a major industrial and agricultural state, Illinois was especially hard hit by the economic crisis.

In response to the nation's devastating financial hardship, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration created federal work relief programs, which included the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). Established in 1934, the PWAP was the first government program in the United States to support art on a national scale, providing unemployed artists with wages and creative opportunities. In 1935, it was replaced by the larger Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration (FAP/WPA).

Although the Depression was especially challenging for educational institutions, Western Illinois University (WIU, then operating as Western Illinois State Teachers College) received substantial funding from New Deal agencies to advance the college through campus building projects and student work study programs. These funds were obtained through the dedicated and skilled efforts of the college's influential president, Walter P. Morgan.

In contrast to the national scope of the Smithsonian Institution's 1934 exhibition, A New Deal for Illinois examines New Deal art in the regional context of Chicago in the 1930s and in relation to the institutional history of WIU. The exhibition and accompanying catalog are the first scholarly studies to research the historical, socio-cultural and artistic factors associated with the formation of WIU's FAP art collection.


A New Deal for Illinois: The Federal Art Project Collection of Western Illinois University was organized by the Western Illinois University Art Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Gregory Gilbert, associate professor of art history at Knox College and co-author of Harry Gottlieb: The Silkscreen and Social Concern in the WPA Era.

Special Workshop Opportunity
Service Learning 101 with Prof. Nancy Castle, Northern Illinois University
Thursday, January 16 - 4:00-7:00 PM

Enhance your teaching with community engagement. All faculty and staff are invited to participate in this workshop on the practice and purposes of service learning in the curriculum. The workshop will consider practical considerations and concrete examples as well as techniques for evaluating and strengthening the impact of these activities for students and the community. Faculty who have not engaged in community-based learning before and anyone interested in high-impact immersion practices as part of our Strategic Planning initiative are especially encouraged to participate.

Prof. Nancy Castle is the Director of NIU's Center for Nongovernmental Organization Leadership and Development and is a nationally recognized specialist in rehabilitation counseling.

Please sign up for the workshop here by Tuesday, January 14. Dinner will provided.


December is gone. What now? Join a Research Group

Sustaining research activities throughout the academic terms is a significant challenge for liberal arts college faculty. To assist faculty in keeping the research momentum alive in the weeks and months ahead, we would like to organize Research Groups. These groups will be small and loosely organized around shared (or at least mutually intelligible) research and creative endeavors. The aim of each group is to provide structured work agendas, feedback, and encouragement so that group members can push projects to completion. Regardless of what stage your research project is in, you can benefit from a Research Group.

If you are interested in joining a research group, please submit some basic information about your research agenda here.


Pedagogy Wanted: Present it on "Tuesdays @ Noon"

You have excellent ideas about how you approach your course material in the classroom. Chances are that most of us do not know about them. We invite you to present your ideas at our "Tuesdays @ Noon" faculty discussion series. As part of our initiative to explore new pedagogies, we would like to have faculty present examples of the excellent work they do on a daily basis. You do not have to have to be up on the latest edu-speak or implementing the latest gizmos in the classroom. We want to hear what matters to you, how you went about addressing it in the classroom, and your assessment of whether it worked or not. Even great ideas that did not necessarily work out make excellent material for these presentations. Also, no idea is too small. "Tuesdays @ Noon" events can include multiple presentations.

If you might be interested in presenting as part of the "Tuesdays @ Noon" series, please provide us with some information here.
Please note: providing information does not commit you to presenting. We would like to hear from you even if you are not certain what you would present or how you would go about doing so. Or maybe you don't have material you would like to present, but you have an idea for a presentation you would like to hear. Please submit that too.


Next Midwest Faculty Seminar, February 20-22 - Capitalism and its Futures

"This seminar explores the state of capitalism and its futures as we move into the twenty-first century, with a particular focus on the tensions between economic growth and ecological sustainability. It therefore begins with an examination of the history of growth as a concept and its place in modern economic thought. By now we tend to take growth for granted, but it was not always so--a long line of philosophers and economists once assumed that we would eventually become so wealthy that the economy would no longer need to grow. How did growth become a de facto assumption of modern economic policy? In what way is growth important to our thinking as regards global warming and other environmental issues?"

The full announcement is here.

Please contact facultydevelopment@knox.edu no later than Friday, January 17 if you are interested in this seminar.

Read about this year's seminars and Knox policies here.


Next Fridays at Four: Claudia Fernandez - January 24

A formal announcement will be forthcoming.


ACM Visiting Faculty Positions 2015-2017 Announced

Follow this link for more information.


Reminder: Research/Creative Work and Conference Travel Funding Requests for Spring and Early Summer (through end of Fiscal Year, June 30, 2014) - Due January 31

If you are interested in applying for Funds for Research and Creative Work for the remainder of the 2013-2104 academic year (including June), please submit forms and supporting documents (in .doc or .pdf) to facultydevelopment@knox.edu by January 31, 2014.

For Conference Travel Funds, complete the Conference Travel Request (Google Form - requires my.knox.edu login) by January 31, 2014. Remaining conference travel funds are quite limited. On a positive note, faculty have been quite active this year in attending and participating in conferences. Alas, that success also means that will not have resources to fund a second academic conference for any faculty this fiscal year.

Read Full Details and Find Application Forms Here