Continuing through our look at the new Council, our feature article this week has us talking to Christine Hudder from Ontario who first got involved with students’ association back in her traditional college in North Bay.
Now she’s looking to develop student engagement specifically looking toward some interesting contests and prizes.
And speaking of contests and prizes, it’s been a couple of years since the last Voice Reader Survey happened, and in between we started up a whole new website. It’s been operating for almost a year now, so it’s probably a pretty good time to start getting some opinions from readers again. With that in mind, keep an eye out over the next few weeks, as we’ll likely have an announcement for the next Voice Reader Survey, where you can let us know how we’re doing and where we need to be doing better. And yes, there will be prizes. But more than that there’ll be the feeling of helping out your community of students, and that’s worth so much more than material goods, right?
Yeah, that’s what I thought too. That’s why there’ll be prizes as well.
However, if you’ve been watching for AU news, one of the things you might have seen was a notice about how AU’s Center for Distance Education is getting restructured. If you haven’t heard about this, the short version is that AU has a Center for Distance Education that’s extremely well regarded internationally and operates semi-independently, outside of the Faculty structure. That’s going to change. All the courses will remain in place, all the staff will remain in place, but the Centre is going to become part of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
So what’s the big deal if it’s all going to stay around anyway? As an independent centre, the unit had much more control over its budget and, according to the Centre Chair, Martha Cleveland-Innes, had considerable flexibility in how it used that that they now fear it may lose, which would affect it’s ability “to grab the exciting projects that were often coming through our door.” The other part of the big deal is that this was done, according to Cleaveland-Innes, with very little discussion or notice, as the move is to be done by July 1, and the faculty there were only notified in March.
There’s also some concern about the journal that the Centre publishes, the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, one of the leading journals in the discipline.
Matthew Prineas, Provost of AU, has countered that there’s been considerable discussion among the deans and Cleveland-Innes, and that this decision will benefit the CDE unit from “additional bench strength and administrative support,” and that the decision is “a journey, not a destination.” What that means, though, I have no idea. Perhaps he has some idea of what the eventual destination is, but for those along the ride, it’s understandable that they might be uneasy about it if nobody’s bothered to tell them. At any rate, enjoy the read!