Service to the School of Education (narrative)

Task Force on the Conduct of Research and External Funding

In February 2008, I was asked by Dean Warren to serve on an ad hoc task force on the conduct of research and external funding.  The task force was given a number of related commissions all around how the School of Education might support faculty research structurally, financially and otherwise.  The task force met weekly between March 2008 and May 2008 to craft a comprehensive set of recommendations to Dean Warren.  Serving on this advisory board was an honor and a great learning experience for me.  I was able to learn many of the details of the flow of funds from research and training grants while simultaneously offering my input on organizational issues to be addressed.  I believe the recommendations ultimately submitted to the Dean were excellent and strongly incentivize faculty members to pursue external funds for research.

Research and Professional Development Committee (RPDC)

For my first two years on the faculty of the School of Education at VCU, I served as a member of the ad hoc Research and Professional Development Committee (RPDC). In the first year, among other issue, I helped to organize the faculty research colloquium that took place in the Spring 2008.  This well-attended event involved a keynote speaker (Dr. Joseph Maxwell from George Mason University) and presentations by VCU SoE faculty members.  I agreed to present twice and was pleased to do so.

In my second year serving the VCU School of Education on the Research and Professional Development Committee (RPDC), I became the committee’s chairperson.  That role, as always, became more of a commitment than I had imagined, but the committee work was important and a valuable learning experience for me.  I organized and facilitated monthly meetings of the committee where we discussed ways to promote a research culture in the School of Education.  The culminating activity for this committee was the Spring research colloquium which was organized with zero budget.

SOE Faculty Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee

In Spring 2012, interim Dean, Dr. Davis, asked me to be part of an ad hoc committee looking at faculty evaluations. We were asked to facilitate faculty focus groups and develop a working document of faculty thoughts and attitudes about faculty evaluations. I facilitated one focus group by myself and then co-facilitated another one. Also, we met with Dr. Davis 3 times independent of the focus groups. Ultimately, we produced a report to Dr. Davis which was then presented to the faculty for consideration. This work will have important ramifications for the School of Education moving forward under new Dean Walther-Thomas.

Search Committees

Serving on search committees is time-consuming, but vitally important work. Nothing is more important to the vitality of a learning organization than ensuring that the best and brightest faculty and staff are recruited and hired. I have searched on multiple search committees for faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership (see below). However, in my five years on the faculty of the VCU School of Education, I have also served on three search committees for either school-level staff positions or for faculty positions in other departments.

First, during academic year 2009-10, I served on the search committee for the Coordinator of Doctoral Studies. That extensive search yielded Dr. Leslie Bozeman; an outcome of which we were all really proud. Dr. Bozeman was a perfect fit for the position.

Second, during academic year 2010-11, I served on the search committee for the Director of Technology. That extensive search yielded Monty Jones; another outcome that has worked out nicely.

Finally, in Spring 2012, I spent a good amount of time serving on a search committee for the Department of Foundations of Education. We conducted a search for a professor of quantitative methods applied to education. I think this search worked wonderfully and yielded a fantastic result; the hiring of Dr. Mido Chang from Virginia Tech University. I look forward to working with Dr. Chang in the future.

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