Town Hall Meeting Notes

The town hall meeting occurred on Jan 9 as planned. An outline of the content of my presentation follows:
Job Definitions

  • list of director and 2 associate directors of the Sibley School and their functions
  • list of DGSs of the three fields of TAM, AE, and ME and their functions
  • my roles in the Sibley School (Associate Director for Graduate Studies) and Mechanical Engineering Field (DGS)

My three goals as Assoc Director

  • foster intellectual community among students and faculty
  • use community to enhance professional development of students
  • increase recruiting, retention, and marketing of students

Goals for generating intellectual community

  • associate social events with academic events
  • build community around Q/A/B exams
  • create shared buy-in for MAE colloquium
  • create shared buy-in for SIGMA professional development (seminar series, etc)

Recruiting, retention, marketing

  • broad marketing/recruiting: I am implementing a protocol such that all papers, grants, exams, graduations are listed on web site
  • “modern” approaches to recruiting
  • I am working to increase our use of social networks for recruiting and as part of the admit weekend
  • I am starting (in fall 2013) targeted recruiting of UG students
  • role of community
  • community helps recruit, helps retain students
  • marketing externally helps recruiting, but the same marketing leads internally to community

We had a bunch of Q&A; I will make no attempt to summarize it all. A couple of key takeaways:

Stuff I said or we talked about

  • My stress is on protocols as much as possible — I am looking for processes that lead to the outcomes I want. If these work they give a path forward beyond my tenure as Associate Director
  • some mention of how I will do targeted recruiting
  • some discussion of the MAE colloquium and strategies for its success
  • some discussion of things students would like to be more informed about

Questions I couldn’t answer:
* Will the student participation in the 2012 search be codified in departmental protocol.

Areas of concern:
* there is perception among some students that TA loads for some classes are systematically higher than stated hour ranges (15-20 hrs).  I will be following up on this.  Marcia, it seems, was already following up on this, and we will coordinate.