Writer: Hayden Coombs
At the general faculty meeting, held on Thursday, April 17, faculty had the opportunity to hear from President Kim B. Clark and Academic Vice-President Fenton Broadhead.
A video of a faculty panel was shown at the beginning of the meeting to introduce one type of faculty development. In this video, a group of five faculty (Brian Pyper, Dan Moore, Yohan Delton, Craig Johnson, and Shane Ruebush) discussed examples of systematic inquiry they were employing in their own classrooms. This panel discussed ways they had each been employing for the improvement of courses they teach. A video of this panel, "Studying Our Own Teaching: Systematic Inquiry at BYU-Idaho," is now available.
Brother Broadhead thanked faculty for their efforts to enhance the quality of student learning. In particular, he noted articles in the recent Perspective magazine and the work being done in the Research and Creative Works Conference. He also encouraged faculty to continue enhancing their courses by collecting data on student learning. From the administration, he announced additional support with curriculum design and media objects. He also referenced a talk by former Academic Vice President Dean Sorensen, "Coping with Change in Years Ahead." Brother Broadhead marveled at the number of changes that have occurred at Ricks College and BYU-Idaho since Brother Sorensen delivered that talk, and yet how relevant they are still today. Brother Broadhead concluded by expressing his gratitude to faculty saying, "I'm grateful for each one of you as we go through these changes and improve the University."
President Clark spoke about his perspective on the future of BYU-Idaho and important relationships that are becoming more clear and defined in the work of faculty as the University grows. He began his remarks by praising the great work done on this campus by consecrated faculty, administrators, and staff who love the Lord and love students.
The President then outlined three areas of our work that have been - and continue to be - a great hallmark of our work: the Rexburg campus and faculty have an important tradition of consecration and skilled teaching; that inspired teaching is done through the love and mentoring that faculty extend to their students; and those two things combine to produce exceptional graduates who understand the know-do-become process that produces disciple leaders (see the diagram below).
The President then continued by showing a second tier of work that is a growing and expanding focus of the BYU-Idaho faculty as we expand our work here and as we reach out to educate more young people of the Church across the country and world. This second tier includes scholarship that advances our efforts through inspired innovation and systematic inquiry. That scholarship leads to the creation of powerful learning resources and materials which frame the great concepts taught in BYU-Idaho classrooms.
President Clark then diagrammed a number of important inter-relationships that exist between the five areas described. He showed potential connections between each of these areas and the Pathway program, including the idea of how Pathway will provide faculty members here with tremendous amounts of valuable data about learning and teaching and learning resources.
The President concluded his remarks by talking about Doctrine & Covenants 88:63, 77-78 and the great lift of inspiration and innovation that has and will occur here as these relationships inform, direct, and improve all that we do at BYU-Idaho. President Clark closed by inviting faculty to prayerfully seek for guidance and instruction in their teaching and systematic inquiry.
A sketch of his ideas on how these areas will support and inform each other is available below.