The QEP budget has significant funding to support the diversification of FSEMs. This means that we will provide financial support to encourage a diverse array of disciplines to participate in the teaching of first-year seminar courses.
On January 14, 2014, the follow message was sent to all chairs and deans:
As you may already know, the budget for our Quality Enhancement Plan includes significant funds to “diversify” our offerings in courses that satisfy the first-year seminar requirement. For the fall of 2014, I would like to use the budgeted money to provide hire-behinds for departments wishing to offer first-year seminars, but who feel constrained by resources. Proposals for new FSEMs to run in fall 2014 are due to the FSEM committee this month (Monday, Jan 27, to be precise). That’s a little tight. But if you are willing to offer additional sections of existing FSEMs in the fall, or new FSEMs in the spring, the QEP budget is willing to help with hire-behind money.
Keep in mind that my primary motivation here is to diversify the FSEM offerings. Over 50% of our FSEM offerings come from only 4 of the departments. Those departments and/or disciplines that have offered very few FSEMs in the past will be given preference for QEP support so that we can start offering courses in diverse areas that will align with the diversity of student interests. Of course, any department with special circumstances is certainly encouraged to contact me for consideration.
There is more to come. Later this spring I will be soliciting proposals from chairs for visiting faculty positions. These 1-year positions will be used to provide departments with the additional resources necessary to allow regular full-time faculty the opportunity to develop and teach FSEMs. I anticipate a search for the first of these positions to start in fall 2014. At this point, we are concentrating on the creation of our fall 2014 schedules. As you are planning this month, please talk to your faculty about FSEM offerings, and then work with me to get the support you need. The QEP at UMW is a well-funded initiative and we need to use the money wisely to enhance the first-year experience. Let me know if you have questions.
Dr. Keith E. Mellinger
Director of the Quality Enhancement Plan
University of Mary Washington