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Monday, November 20, 2023



Greetings one and all! I hope the grading and the upcoming faculty development opportunities all go well.

As we close out this academic term and are about to close out the calendar year as well, I thought I’d send out the first of what will likely be several reminders that we will be participating in 2024 in the COACHE faculty job satisfaction survey. It will open in early February and close in early April. I know I have mentioned this survey on several occasions this academic year, so I’m hoping it won’t seem completely unfamiliar to anyone, but if it doesn’t ring a bell, you can find a description of the survey and the questions/items on the survey here.

The survey will go to all tenure-track and tenured faculty members as well as faculty on continuing appointments (both full-time and part-time FOCA). Sadly, COACHE guidelines on implementation indicate that visitors as well as tenure-track and FOCA faculty who are in the first year of their appointment at Carleton will not receive the survey, however we will have a variety of post-survey sessions to discuss the results that will include those who do not receive the survey so that we can share the survey results and get feedback on the results.

As I mentioned in the October faculty meeting, I am very eager to hear what you all think about a variety of aspects of your work as faculty members without the pressure of sharing opinions publicly. My hope is that the results of the survey will help inform our planning in the Provost’s Office in the coming years. Two faculty members (Bereket Haileab and Kambiz Ghanea-Bassiri) have graciously agreed to work with Todd Jamison (IRA) and me on preparing us for the survey distribution. We will start meeting in winter term to plan and will send out frequent reminders and updates as they become necessary.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Fall Term Grading Deadline

Fall Term grades are due on Wednesday, November 29 at 8:30 a.m. For more information about grading, please see the Registrar’s Office website. If you are teaching a mandatory S/CR/NC course, please make sure you grade your course with an S/CR/NC grade only. PE and grades for Music lessons should also be submitted by the November 29 deadline.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to registrar@carleton.edu.

Student Course and Materials Fees Reminder

As fall term comes to a close, and we soon turn our attention to winter term, it’s a good time for a reminder about our student course and material fees policy. As announced in the April 14, 2022, edition of Carleton Today, beginning with the fall term of 2022, Carleton has discontinued most student course and materials fees related to academic credit.

Faculty, departments, and programs who would previously have charged students directly for course packets or other course materials now have two options. One is that the department or program can use their operating budget to cover the cost of the materials, and give them to the students free of charge. The other is that faculty can arrange for their materials or course packets to be sold at the Carleton bookstore. Course packets printed and bound by Print Services are easy to distribute this way, at a reasonable price to students. Please note that departments, programs, and faculty are not allowed to bill or collect payment from students, either directly or through the Business Office. If you have questions about this policy, please contact Eric Egge or Jane Rizzo.

Humanities Center Announces Winter Break SRP Awards

The Humanities Center and Ethical Inquiry at Carleton (EthIC) are pleased to announce the recipients of winter break Student Research Partnership awards. Congratulations to all!

Student Research Partnership Award Recipients

Barbara Allen (Political Science), Aaron Bronstone ’24 (Computer Science), Dylan Fox-Arnold ’25 (Political Science), Serafin Patino ’24 (Computer Science), Efram Stewart ’26 (undeclared) and Matthew Vincent ’26 (undeclared) will archive the content-analysis data from the Carleton Election Study for the years 2000, 2004, 2008 & 2016, and will also conduct news analysis of the coverage of the George Floyd murder, the Derek Chauvin trial, and transgender rights. Students are co-authors on two papers presented at the 2023 Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties Conference of the Political Studies Association. Students will also be co-authors on contributions to an edited book project. Funded by the EthIC Joan Hanson Fund.

Cecilia Cornejo (Cinema and Media Studies), and Valentina Guerrero Chala ’24 (Computer Science and SOAN) will develop an interactive, digital replica of the Red Wing Community Quilt which is a tapestry currently under construction. The quilt features 60 embroidered phrases gleaned from audio testimonials recorded by Red Wing and Prairie Island residents in2022 through my multimodal project, The Wandering House. The digital replica will be accessible to the public through this website and also via touchscreen technology when presented in museum and gallery settings.

Chris Geisler (Linguistics), Margie Claus ’24 (Linguistics) and Jyothi Nellakra ’25 (Physics) will work on assembling a literature review article that will survey the range of options researchers have followed in analyzing and interpreting Electromagnetic Articulography (EMA) data.

Shaohua Guo (Asian Languages & Literatures), Taaja Foster ’24 (Chinese) and Kamaal Somji ’26 (undeclared) will examine the pivotal role played by live streaming platforms in orchestrating the ebb and flow of user attention, the commercialization of the performative space, and the initiation of novel forms of online social interaction. This work is part of a larger book-length exploration of digital culture in China provisionally titled “Streaming China in Times of Uncertainty.”

Alex Knodell (Classics), Ellie Simon ’26 (undeclared), and Charlie Solomon ’25 (History) will carry out GIS and remote sensing analysis on lidar data obtained for the Cyclades, Greece. The project is related to the broader program of research in the Cyclades with the Small Cycladic Islands Project (SCIP), which involves fieldwalking and lidar-based remote sensing surveys of numerous small, currently uninhabited islands.

Brooke McCorkle Okazaki (Music) and Ben More ’24 (Spanish) will craft an abstract proposal and a video presentation about music for the game Wario Land 4 for submission to the North American Conference on Video Game Music to be held at Michigan State University March 16–17, 2025. This abstract and presentation will also serve as a template for future MUSC 313 students’ research projects and presentations.

Tim Raylor (English) and Drew Rodriguez-Michel ’25 (English) will work on Raylor’s edition of Thomas Hobbes’ De Corpore, and in particular on producing printable versions of the diagrams drawn by Hobbes and his scribes for the geometrical chapters of the text. This will require examining facsimiles of manuscript diagrams alongside the edited transcriptions and translations.

Juliane Schicker (German) and Celia Vander Ploeg Fallon ’25 (German) will gather and evaluate academic material pertaining to practical preschool immersion education to build a bibliography. This bibliography will be used to provide training and resources for educators as well as easily accessible material for parents and caregivers about the process of language acquisition in the immersion environment in connection with social-emotional development.

Victoria Thorstensson (Russian) and Stephanie Baranov ’26 (undeclared) will work on a project to create a database of oral history interviews of Russian immigrants to Minnesota and a series of events, aimed at bringing attention to this part of Minnesota’s history, as well as putting a spotlight on the Russian-speaking community in Minnesota.

Winter Weather Disruptions

As we look ahead to the upcoming winter term, we must also look ahead to the potential for more disruptive inclement weather. As a residential campus, Carleton very rarely closes or cancels classes completely because of weather. But even if the college is open, winter weather can still make staff and faculty travel to campus challenging, particularly for those who live farther from Northfield.

If severe weather impacts employees’ ability to safely travel to campus, there are Weather Days and FlexWork policies that may apply, depending on circumstances. Faculty unable to travel safely to campus on a weather-impacted class day will need to teach in ways other than the usual. (We’d all hope that these disruptions won’t occur frequently, but circumstances are different, and the individual decision about when it’s appropriate to stay off the roads is left to the best judgement of individual faculty.)

Many instructors will be able to use hard-earned experience of the last several years to substitute remote instruction during their normal class meeting time. For some types of courses, though, remote instruction may not be possible or appropriate; these instructors can arrange for a colleague to cover their class, make their own arrangements for make-up class sessions after the weather improves, or offer alternative asynchronous instructional activities. In any case, the amount of work asked of students in these alternatives should be similar to that of the original class session. (The LTC’s information on resilient pedagogy is particularly helpful in planning.) See the policy on Class Attendance (newly revised as of the November 2023 faculty meeting) for the limitations on remote class sessions.

Summit: Interdisciplinary Efforts at Carleton

As many of you know, the Provost’s Office is planning to host a “summit” to discuss issues related to interdisciplinary teaching and learning during this academic year. The summit will include a focus on interdisciplinary programs, but it won’t be exclusive to programs.

The goal with the summit is to listen to what you all have to say and then see how we can pull it all together, so we will be coming with open ears and a notepad.

The Faculty President has graciously allowed me to co-opt the January 22nd Faculty Forum (4:30-6pm in AGH) slot for this summit. I am writing to you now with this invitation and a couple of requests:

  • Please put it on your calendars!
  • We have begun to build the agenda for the summit, but will also happily consider items you’d like to add. Please feel free to send ideas my way as late as one week before the Forum (January 15th).

Here are the items we know we want to cover at this point. We will circulate an updated list once we’ve had a chance to think about it a bit more:

  • Structure
  • Staffing (existing and hiring — constraints and possibilities)
  • Visibility (i.e., how can we get the attention of more students more consistently?)
  • Challenges we haven’t discussed yet (although we will go over some that we have already discussed)
  • Carleton 2033 and interdisciplinary programs

Finally, we know that one meeting will not be enough, so we are planning to host some lunches following the summit and will invite people in to talk further about specific topics over the course of the winter and spring terms.


Advising Quick Links

Grants and Fellowships

NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture

The National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Education Programs is accepting applications for the Landmarks of American History and Culture program. The program supports a series of one-week residential, virtual, and combined format workshops across the nation to enhance how faculty and humanities professionals incorporate place-based approaches to humanities teaching and scholarship. Landmarks workshops situate the study of topics and themes in the humanities within sites, areas, or regions of historic and cultural significance to expand participants’ knowledge of and approaches to teaching diverse histories, cultures, and perspectives in the United States and its jurisdictions.

Applications for up to $190,000 are due by Feb. 14 for projects beginning Oct. 1, 2024. To learn more about this opportunity, please reach out to Christopher Tassava in the Grants Office.


LTC 2023 Winter Break Conference

Registration is still open for the Winter Break Conference! All members of the Carleton community are welcome and you may sign up for as few or as many sessions as you wish. Please register at the conference website. Everyone’s voice counts in these important conversations!

Academic Technologists offer December Skillshops and Winter Term Ed Tech Lunches

Here are three ways to learn more about instructional technologies:

  • AT drop-in hours will be offered through December 15 in light of the transition to Moodle 4.2.
  • New Skillshops are scheduled December 11-14. Some skillshops will focus on features available in the new version of Moodle. Skillshops will be recorded for later viewing.
  • New Ed Tech Lunches will be starting in Winter Term. Join colleagues for deeper dives, experiments, and lunch each Thursday at noon in person in the IdeaLab (Weitz 026).

Details are available on the blog post December Skillshops and New Ed Tech Lunches.