Provost Update: Spring 2024

To faculty

By Provost Debra Liebowitz  January 23, 2024

A rendering of The SITE academic building at South Quad

I hope that winter break provided much-deserved rest and reflection. I extend a special welcome to those faculty and staff joining us for the first time this semester.

We also celebrate those colleagues who retired at the conclusion of Fall semester, and thank those members of our academic community who have spent the last few weeks welcoming new students into our professional and accelerated programs. This semester we will continue our commitment to collaborating and building a vibrant academic community together. I am encouraged by the many productive meetings and other engagements we shared during the Fall that help define our priorities. I am confident that this Spring will allow us to make even more progress toward meeting our shared goals and aspirations.  

It is my sincere pleasure to provide this update at the start of Spring 2024.  
Academic Affairs Division 

Please welcome the Office of Global Engagement to Academic Affairs! Given the strong ties to curricula, compliance, and collaboration across academic programs, the global learning and study abroad team has moved under Academic Affairs and has been renamed the Office of Global Engagement. The Senior Director of Global Learning, Director of Study Abroad, and Associate Director of Global Public Health and Experiential Learning positions will report within the Office of Student Personal and Professional Development which currently encompasses the Office of Career Development and Experiential Learning.  The Office of Global Engagement is co-located with the Office of International Students and Scholars on the first floor of Arnold Bernard Library adjacent to the Career and Experiential Learning Lab.  
The Office of Learning Design and Technology is at the forefront of shaping our online education strategies including leading the Online Learning Advisory and fostering innovative learning practices. Faculty are encouraged to connect with this dynamic team for a range of initiatives such as Quality Matters course reviews, AI in teaching and learning exploration, and the development of media-enhanced teaching methods. You can contact the team by email or schedule a meeting through their office scheduler.  
The Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA) serves as a cross-teams unit advancing interdisciplinary learning, engagement, and scholarship. Our shared mission is to Empower, Elevate, and Expand Faculty Excellence. This semester we look forward to welcoming the inaugural cohort of Faculty Affairs Fellows who will work across the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the Central European Institute, University Libraries, and the Albert Schweitzer Institute to design and coordinate university-wide programming that advances the ecosystem of faculty support and engagement. An additional cohort of Learning and Engagement fellows will help elevate the suite of resources available to support academic excellence. Stay tuned for more information on new investments in teaching, scholarship/creative works, and advancement. Contact Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, associate provost for faculty Affairs for more information.

The Center for Teaching and Learning is excited to offer multiple opportunities for faculty engagement throughout the spring semester. Look forward to events focused on AI, neurodiversity, and critical conversations as well as communities of practice focused on instructional practice. This semester, the Inclusive Excellence Teaching Lab will develop an open-source repository of instructional strategies, from lesson plans to student examples, that equitably empower all learners. We will cap the semester in May with the Inclusive Excellence Summer Assembly. This year, IESA invites proposals for presentations that demonstrate how the classroom can be a space for transformation. Maybe an assignment transformed the worldview of a student, or perhaps a student transformed a community through coursework. Transformation can be as local as a reading that lights up a student's heart or as global as literally traveling across the globe. What does change, as a result of learning, look like? When and how does individual change result in systemic justice? Please submit your teaching strategy or an approach to learning that fills you with hope and optimism.

Always visit us on Blackboard for the most recent information, event dates and resources. 
The Department of Lifelong Learning continues to strengthen Quinnipiac’s ability to deliver continuing education workshops built on collaboration and expertise. Lifelong Learning has partnered with faculty in the School of Education and School of Health Sciences to leverage our collective strengths and offer professional continuing education workshops designed for working professionals. You can share your ideas for continuing education via the Continuing Education Idea Intake Form. We look forward to partnering to turn your ideas into reality. 

We are excited to announce that our QU Summer 2024 pre-college programs offering has been finalized. QU employees, alumni and corporate partners are eligible to receive a 10% discount off the full tuition. Additionally, QU employees will be eligible for an early bird discount of $100 if they register before March 1, 2024. Keep an eye out for the Provost’s Summer Program Announcement email, which will include special registration links and more detailed information.

Forward Thinking 

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) steering committee and three subcommittees (Teaching and Learning, Curriculum, and Services and Operations), are immersed in examining and proposing ways to incorporate AI into the educational experience at Quinnipiac University. To solicit ideas and engage our community members, we invite you to visit our AI blackboard site which provides AI resources and a forum for commentary. Thank you to the faculty, staff, and students who have contributed their expertise toward the committee thus far.  

Academic Space and Reorganizational Planning

We are excited to announce that the “new academic building” will now be known as The SITE! SITE stands for Science, Innovation, Technology, and Exploration and captures the hopes for its integrated use. The SITE includes state-of-the-art wet and dry labs, computing and immersive media spaces, six new classrooms, multiple collaborative areas for breakout and group study, offices for faculty, the College of Arts and Sciences, and Schools of Health Sciences and Nursing, and a 700-seat auditorium. The design and name for this building included significant input from faculty and students. It was wonderful to celebrate with faculty at The SITE’s topping off ceremony last month.  The School of Business building and The SITE remain on track to open at the end of next academic year. Both buildings are LEED certified.  

The scoping process to update the Mount Carmel Campus capital master plan has officially begun. This plan will eventually shape strategic refreshes for academic spaces that will be vacated with the moves into the new academic buildings. It will also help us determine what will move into the vacated spaces. I sincerely appreciate the time, expertise and enthusiasm shared by all during these collaborative processes. 
Student & Faculty Wellness 
Quinnipiac continues to provide Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for Higher Education training to our campus community.  Mental Health First Aid for Higher Education teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders amongst college students. Seven additional training sessions are being offered during the Spring semester. These trainings require 2 hours of preparatory work and participation in the full training session of 8 hours; there is no cost for the participants as expenses are being covered through the CT State Higher Education Mental Health Services Initiative grant which was awarded last semester. There are still open spaces if you would like to sign up. Additionally, QPR training continues to be rolled out; QPR training focuses on recognizing the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to receive help.  If you have questions about mental health training, please reach out to Terri Johnson or Kerry Patton. 
Retention and Student Success 
A cross- school and unit working group was formed last summer to improve the undergraduate enrollment process, both on the student side and to address workload and efficiency for the pertinent units and staff. We are already seeing positive results. This group has been working diligently to align processes to support an efficient, equitable and inclusive pathway. Last semester, we saw significant improvement in timeliness and completion of registration and the working group is now setting sites on how to improve processes before the end of Spring semester in preparation for Fall 2024. If you have any questions about the working group, please contact Terri Johnson or John Goepfrich.  

School Spotlight: School of Law

This Spring, the School of Law introduced a new course entitled “Understanding AI: Promises and Pitfalls in the Legal Profession.” In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a disruptive and transformative force with profound implications for the legal profession. This symposium course delves into the world of generative AI technologies, focusing specifically on their applications within the practice of law. Through guest lectures, case studies, and hands on application, this course explores the challenges, ethical considerations, and innovations associated with the integration of AI in legal practice.  

Learning Outcomes for the Course include the following: 

Understanding Generative AI Concepts, including the underlying technology, algorithms, and applications relevant to the legal profession. 

Proficiency in Prompt Engineering and AI Tech Tools, as students acquire hands-on experience in prompt engineering, navigating AI platforms, and leveraging generative models to create documents and responses.  

Critical Evaluation of Ethical and Social Implications, as students learn to identify potential biases, ethical challenges, and societal impacts related to the adoption of AI technologies in the law/ 

Effective Communication of AI Impact as students learn to articulate the benefits, risks, and challenges associated with AI adoption in legal practice.  
The course will be team taught by Wayne Unger, Assistant Professor of Law, Jordan Jefferson, Director of the Lynne L. Pantalena Law Library and Associate Professor of Law, and Brendan Holt, Visiting Clinical Professor of Law, with several guest lecturers joining the virtual classroom over the course of the semester. 
Upcoming events:


Thank You 

Best wishes for a strong semester filled with progress and possibility.  

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