Exciting News from Magna

Dear Academic Leader subscriber: As you know, we have made some exciting changes to your Academic Leader subscription. Beginning in July, Academic Leader will move to an online-only format. This new online version will include everything you love about Academic Leader plus many other extras. Here’s a quick summary of what you can expect: A dedicated website that will deliver a more robust reader experience and better site navigation Online access to current and past articles—use any device…

How to Ensure Faculty are LGBTQ+ Competent in the Classroom

During my six years at the University of Connecticut, I had the opportunity to interact with many different faculty members across our campus community. This was particularly true during my final two years, when I coordinated our Rainbow Center’s Out to Lunch (OTL) Lecture Series. The OTL Lecture Series—our center’s largest and most attended recurring program—hosted fellow academics and community advocates, whose work dealt with contemporary intersectional issues and topics related to the LGBTQ+ community. While the OTL Lecture Series had served as a key fixture to the Rainbow Center’s programming for many years, we soon identified that it had missed opportunities in one key demographic on our campus: faculty.

Budgeting for New Chairs: Personnel, Grant, and Foundation/Gift Accounts

In the June 2018 issue of Academic Leader, I covered questions that new chairs may wish to ask their supervisor, presumably the dean. Armed with basic information on the sources of academic income available, how the department’s budget is derived, and what expenses the department is responsible for, chairs are now ready to move to another aspect of the department’s budget and to consider other department accounts that they must monitor.

Why Undergraduate Research?

While research is a vital tool for graduate students and graduate programs, unfortunately, little or no research is done on the undergraduate level. When people think of research, they often connect it with science and engineering, creating the misguided perception that it is done only in those areas. However, all areas of study sometimes require a certain amount of research or background checking of some kind. Consequently, this article provides an overview of undergraduate research and emphasizes its importance, advantages, and benefits.

Leading: Environmental Scanning and Effective Listening

Leaders have an unfortunate infatuation with new theories. Academic leaders would be more effective in charting and managing the future if they did not often confuse current theories with what actually works. Management theories are not science. They are only reasonable approaches informed by experience to increase organizational and individual effectiveness.

To Round or Not to Round: Encouraging Consistency of Message in Grading

As the spring semester drew to a close, I followed a Twitter debate pitting students against professors. On one side, students were sharing plans to argue about their final course grade and bemoaning professors who refused to call a grade “close enough.” These students took issue with the idea that some professors were inflexible when it came to students asking to “round up” to change an 89.49 to a 90 to earn an A-. The students were correct in pointing out that nearly every college course has a degree of subjectivity in the grading, and the difference between an 89 and a 90 was often open to interpretation.