9/19/2008 ESA Meeting Minutes

ESA Meeting Minutes 9/19/2008

Submitted by Sari Altschuler

Present: Sari Altschuler, Leila Walker, Mia Chen, Carrie Shanafelt, Robert Machado, Jill Belli, Emily Stanback, Diana Colbert, Shawn Rice, Tahneer Oksman, Jeff Drouin, Molly Pulda, Neil Meyer

I. Neil and Sari opened the meeting by describing the function of the meetings and their jobs as ESA cochairs

II. Committee Roles.

  • There was a suggestion raised about using the ESA listserv as a space to brainstorm about the jobs of each of the committees.
  • Along these lines, the fundraising committee mentioned that they would be interested in brainstorming new ways to raise money for the program.
  • Emily Stanback volunteered to speak with Steve Kruger about how this might be accomplished.

III. Course evaluation.  Robert Machado reported the following:

  • Every faculty member distributed evaluations last semester
  • There was a request made to announce the presence of the evaluation binder in the lounge to both faculty members and students who wish to know where the evaluations go.
  • The course evaluations committee revised the template, making it more consistent.  The form will still be anonymous, but students will now be able to track the responses of a given respondent within the form.
  • There is also now a clear deadline for filling out these forms.
  • There was a suggestion raised again about filling out evaluations online, but, as was pointed out, this has already been tried and has been much less successful than students taking 15 minutes at the end of class.

IV. Website. Begun with a report by Jeff Drouin.

  • It was reported that many faculty and students are displeased with the new website and prefer the old website.
  • The following suggestions were made: the navigation needs to be improved, formatting problems should be fixed, and redeveloping/redesigning may be considered.
  • There was also a suggestion that a space be created fro ABD students to post their dissertation topics and CVs.  If it works, the suggestion was made that this service be extended to recent graduates and all students.  Carrie Shanafelt volunteered to put out a call for this information.
  • Jeff suggested it might be possible to move parts of the website to an easier to use content management system so that each person could edit their own information more easily.

V. Executive Committee. Reported by Carrie Shanafelt and Shawn Rice.

  • Duncan Faherty and Hildagaard Hoeller were last year’s faculty hires.
  •  The committee would like to remind students that student evaluations are very important to faculty hiring.
  • There was some discussion of perceived needs in early African-American lit, Comp/Rhet, and Early Modern.
  • The department will undergo Middle States Review accreditation.
  • Budget for the department is identical to last year.
  • History of the Book course will become part of the curriculum next semester.
  • There has been renewed discussion of an en route MA, though nothing has been finalized.
  • Steve Kruger will be on leave next semester.  Mario DiGangi will be taking over as acting EO and Richard Kaye will take over Mario DiGangi’s administrative responsibilities.