Faculty Reading Group

Faculty Reading Group files:


An Invitation to the Faculty:

Dear Colleagues,

At the Strategic Planning Committee retreat last May, President Heckler asked committee members to read several articles that highlight some of the challenges that the U.S. higher education system is currently facing.

As that committee discussed the issues presented in these articles as they might apply to us here at Valparaiso University, it occurred to me that it would be useful for faculty to have this kind of future-oriented discussion as well.

The  Strategic Planning Committee agreed, and as a result there is an action step in the current version of the Strategic Plan calling for a Faculty Reading Group on this topic.

Accordingly, I would like to invite you to one of several discussion sessions that we are organizing in late October.  We are offering several days and times since faculty schedules are varied; I hope that you will be able to attend and participate in one of them.

We will meet in the Faculty Study on the fourth floor of the Christopher Center.

We had an interesting presentation on one of the "hot topics" of higher education--MOOCs--at our Fall Faculty Workshop.  But we as faculty do not often have occasions on which to think together about the larger issues of higher education, and I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts about this and other topics.

Beyond the reading that the Strategic Planning Committee members did, President Heckler has recommended a couple of other articles that he found thought-provoking, so I have included those on our list as well.  I know that we all have plenty of reading to do for our own scholarship and teaching, but I think you will find these articles worth the time.

The articles that we will be discussing are as follows:

1) Disaggregating the Components of a College Degree by Michael Staton

2) Massive Open Online Courses:  A Primer for University and College Board Members by Brian D. Voss

3) MOOCS of Hazard by Andrew DelBanco

(Note:  from the titles, it may seem as though the aim is only to discuss MOOCs; in fact, I hope that our discussion will range much farther than that.)

Our days and times are as follows--please choose one.

Tuesday, Oct. 29: 3:30- 4:20 pm

Wednesday, Oct. 30: 3:30-4:20 pm

Thursday, Oct. 31: 8:30-9:20 am

If you plan to attend, please RSVP here.  (We’d appreciate RSVPs but they are not required.)

I look forward to our discussions, and hope that this will just be a start of our conversations.  Please let me know if you have questions.


Randa J. Duvick

Chair, Faculty Senate