UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER ASSOCIATION OF LECTURERS AND INSTRUCTORS
If you are a CU Denver Lecturer, Instructor, or Clinical Teaching Faculty, then you are one of us!
To get in contact with a UCDALI liason from your school or college, visit our Bridge Network list: Bridge Network
For more information visit: UCDALI Webpage
A Message from the UCDALI President
Hello Instructional Faculty Colleagues,
How are you doing? In pre-Covid times, this greeting was practically synonymous with “Hello,” and rarely required any answer. But here, I really mean that as a question. How are you doing? Amid this setting that often seems straight out of a bad dystopian novel, how is your professional life going?
Thankfully, we as CU Denver Instructional faculty are still able to provide instruction for our students. Our University has, thus far, navigated the pandemic relatively successfully. But things are different, for every single one of us as faculty, for our students as learners, and for the administration as they tackle the challenges we face.
UCDALI has three main focus areas. First is representation. As we work with University administration, we want to make sure we are capturing and representing the needs of all CU Denver Instructional Faculty. Since so much has changed recently, we have developed this SURVEY so that you can tell us how you are doing. Please take a few minutes to provide us this valuable data, so that we can best support and represent you.
Our second major focus is communication; hence, this Newsletter, and a chance to tell you about a number of projects on our docket for this coming year. Among them are:
• Collaborating with the Provost and our new Chancellor on the development of a new campus administrative policy defining Instructional, Research, and Clinical (IRC) faculty Titles, Ranks & Responsibilities.
• Participating in faculty governance work focused around issues of Career Development and Job Security, Online Education, Safe Return Policies and Procedures, and responses to pandemic-related changes in student enrollment and their impacts on budget.
• Informing you of resources and supports available to support your professional development and instructional work.
With regard to that last bullet, I want to let you know about the UCDALI-managed IRC Professional Development grant programs for non-CLAS (in Fall) and CLAS (in Spring). As you might suspect, the funding for these programs has been affected. In response to these changes, the CLAS IRC Professional Development grant program will NOT be available this Fall. Instead, we are working to make funding available to all Instructional Faculty, regardless of school or college, in the Spring. You will get more information in this regard soon.
While we remain committed to our third area of focus, providing community, our usual social and networking gatherings on campus are obviously not possible this year. We are creative though and are discussing some ways we can still connect with you all. In the meantime, we are open to suggestions, and have space for that in the SURVEY we’ve asked you to complete. Hopefully we will find a way to gather, even if just virtually, at least once this semester.
Thank you for taking the time to read my note. Remember, we have Bridge Network Liaisons from each school/college and the library. Feel free to reach out to them, or to UCDALI@ucdenver.edu directly if you have any questions, concerns, topics you want us to consider, or are interested in getting more involved.
I wish you all the best,
President of UCDALI
UCDALI Instructional Faculty Survey 20-21
As UCDALI continues its work to represent you, ensure communication with you, and provide for our community, we need to hear your views and your voice. Please complete our 20-21 surveyof all CU Denver Lecturers, Instructors, Senior Instructors, and Clinical Teaching Track Faculty.
Faculty Featurette: Joan Bihun This month we had the privilege of interviewing Joan Bihun who is an Associate Professor CTT in the Department of Psychology
You have a background in psychology, what drew you into teaching statistics and human development?
I have been interested in human development as soon as I took my first introductory to psychology course! The idea that “we all are the way we are because we got that way” (Madeleine L’engle quote) and that we all have a developmental story that informs our lives’ directions, our adulthood self, our relationships, etc.
My love for statistics comes from doing research as an undergrad and graduate student, then a postdoc. I’ve always been excited to collect data, see the patterns that emerge, see what types of theories are reinforced and how others need adjusting. Science is always evolving, so it is so important to stay current on what the data are telling us. I also think teaching scientific thinking is paramount for young adults to become critical thinkers and informed citizens. More basically, I enjoy teaching statistics because learning how to do statistical analyses and what they tell us is like learning a language—I feel multilingual because I understand statistics too!
You have recently become more involved with UCDALI as a member of UCDAL’s executive committee. What challenges and opportunities do these new responsibilities entail? UCDALI has been a been a terrific venue to become more connected with my IRC (Instruction, Research, Clinical) colleagues from around the campus. So often IRC faculty feel “peripheral,” or “temporary” and don’t feel as invested in relationships with both students and colleagues. UCDALI has allowed me to make and enrich those relationships and know I’m not alone in challenges I face as an instructional faculty member. I have also learned much more about the resources ALL faculty have available to them and interact more with offices that are on campus to help our students has been invaluable. Me being more connected means I’m more informed, which means I can be a bigger help to directing students who are struggling find the resources they need.
One challenge is just the workload involved of being a teacher of growing class sizes, adjusting my teaching to be effective remotely (like everyone else!) and to being more aware of seeing what happens “behind the curtain” in terms of administrative policies on campus. It’s hard to “not know” things we’ve learned along the way about how the machinery works.
Instructional Research and Clinical (IRC) Faculty in the Research and News
Instructional Faculty in the Research “Against gig academia: Connectivity, disembodiment, and struggle in online education.” By Susana Martínez Guillem & Marco Briziarelli, (2020). Communication Education, Vol. 69 Issue 3, pgs. 356-372. doi:10.1080/03634523.2020.1769848
“…we examine the process of decomposition as well as the struggle for recomposition of academic labor, which we understand as a contradictory positionality within so-called "gig academy. Ours is a rhetorical intervention to, first of all, explicitly connect contemporary working conditions in academia to the general process of neoliberalization; second, illustrate how online education platforms (or LMS) mediate important aspects of the academic labor process."
Instructional Faculty in the News
“Next-Level Precarity.” By Colleen Flaherty.
In Inside Higher Ed, April 10, 2020.
"Non-tenure-track professors are used to uncertainty about contract renewals. But the coronavirus and related hiring freezes represent an unprecedented threat to their careers. They're increasingly refusing to quietly bear the brunt of the disruption."