NAPEHE FUTURE DIRECTIONS COMMITTEE (FDC)
MAY 1-2, 1998
Virginia Overdorf, Chair
The meeting, at the beautiful, atrium-like hotel in Austin, TX, began with an exploration of the conference theme of the 2000 NAPEHE conference in Austin, TX. Marilyn Buck introduced the idea of learning in the classroom of the 21st century as a possible theme. This idea met with enthusiasm from the other committee members, and led to further discussion regarding the implementation of such a theme. Related to this discussion was the thought that the keynote speaker will draw the conference participants, so careful attention must be paid to the choice and visibility of the keynoter. Several names were suggested. We encouraged the idea of having reactors to the keynote presentation from among our members. A further idea is to have controversial position papers on various topics in a session, with break-out sessions to follow.
The possibility for NAPEHE to host a specialized conference on organizational structure to explore the future of the organization was also discussed. Along with this suggestion was a discussion about whether we want to be more inclusive, do we want to bring in more of the sub-disciplines or remain as we are currently configured.
A somewhat different conference idea was one dealing with the latest trends in the sub-disciplines. It was noted that such presentations must be inclusive and involve consideration of gender, ethnicity, etc. in the types of presentations for an evolving discipline.
This year's committee concluded that technology should be integrated into the convention again, while considering the integration of the administrator's institute in similar fashion. Alternatively, we might want to have discipline specific presentations on trends in sub-disciplines the first night, with a presentation specifically geared toward administrators, followed by reactors. Discipline presenters will do a second presentation, geared more for faculty, later in the convention. We discussed an opening ceremony for Wednesday night, with a keynote speaker on exercise science, followed by shorter presentations on what is going on in the various sub-disciplines.
Recognizing that higher education is in the throes of a sea change, it was decided to identify and examine some of the internal and external issues and trends impacting the transformation of the academy. Cognizance of these issues will assist NAPEHE in positioning itself for the future. The issues were discussed under three rubrics, internal issues, external issues, and technology issues. The remainder of the FDC meeting was devoted to discussion of these three major areas are impacting us now and into the 21st century. A short presentation of each area was prepared by each full-time member of the FDC, with Jack Razor discussing internal trends, Ginny Overdorf external trends, and Bill Forbus technology.
I. Internal Trends (J. Razor)
A. Faculty trends
- Faculty teaching loads and assignments (direct instruction, indirect instruction, research, administrative support functions, service) are changing.
- Part-time/temporary faculty (diversified staffing, advising, instruction, etc) are on the increase in the academy.
- Reduction in tenure-track lines (differential staffing) is currently underway.
- Post-tenure review (process, validity, outcome) has been introduced andimplemented in many states.
- Faculty/teaching (the role of teaching in faculty recruitment) is gaining importance.
- Faculty/organization (considering faculty work alignment with departmental missions).
B. Teaching trends
- Peer evaluations (external peer evaluation of course materials, examinations, student productivity, etc) are being used more frequently.
- PhD students are now teaching in professional preparation programs.
- The teacher as a scholar is a role being considered on many campuses.
- Broadening teaching content and expanding faculty expertise to increase the number of courses faculty may appropriately teach is being considered.
C. Organizational trends
- Merging departments by "disciplines" and "professional" thrusts may occur in the not-too-distant future.
- Accreditation of programs (costs, "values" of external organizations, quality of programs, etc) may lose importance in the future.
- The trend toward "certification" of students will impact preparation and training.
- Rating of college and university's departments in national surveys has begun. Its impact on various institutions remains to be seen.
II. Technology (B.Forbus)
- Shape of the university has never before changed, but now it is in the throes of a major change. Technological advances are resulting in information flow, causing exponential growth. Libraries are going to electronic alternatives in order to keep up.
- Transmission of information is another function of the university. Alternatives to campus-based transmission are likely to be characteristic of the future. The most negative impact of technology is likely to be felt in mass teaching situations.
- The economic structure of higher education will most likely change in response to the infusion of technology. The future lies less in pure information, but rather in how to acquire information. Universities will most likely still act as gatekeepers of information. In summary, some of the changes likely are:
- Specialization will increase
- Scholarly activity will move into a virtual realm
- There will be a widening gap between teaching responsibilities and specialized research
- Pedagogy must change to consider: hypertext, internet, distance learning, etc.
- Likely to be privitization of education
- Must create partnerships with others
- Need to explore the roles of students - WHAT responsibilities exist for requiring computers; accessing computers, etc. What are the barriers to successful adaptation?
- The virtual world is different
- There is a learning curve for new techniques and technologies
- What about equality and the ability to access information - creates a dividing line between inclusion and exclusion
- What are the effects of computer addiction
- How do we handle burnout from information overload
- What is the effect of globalization of education
- What is the effect of computerized presentations on teaching/learning. (May not be positive--haven't even touched this topic as yet).
- What about state-assisted universities (publics) (At what point do we sell our souls for IBM to come in and provide services?)
The following are some suggestions for ideas for future programs regarding technology:
- Professional development issues
- Looking at tenure and promotion issues to include technology considerations
- Quality of courses during the paradigm shift - empowerment of individuals
- Sage on stage no longer valid--yet students and faculty resist such change--is it a lack of control for faculty? Greater responsibility for students?
III. External Trends (G. Overdorf)
- Rising tuition costs - higher than cost of living increases
- The public is demanding quality for the high cost of education
- The portion of tuition costs spent on instruction, libraries & maintenance is shrinking. (The academic calendar has also shrunk)
- Part-time instruction is already high and may be rising
- Legislators are demanding excellence & accountability (this issue has also received media attention)
- As monetary support diminishes - what/who gets cut? Can't currently cut faculty, so tenure MUST be revisited
- The public wants accountability on part of college/university administrators AND faculty
- Must be attention given to matching education with demands of the marketplace
- Diversity - Affirmative Action issues MUST be undertaken in the broadest conceptualization possible (must consider people, programs, admission, research agendas, etc.)
- Is discipline approach the best? Problems facing society require interdisciplinary solutions. Also need global connections beyond ICHPER & AIESEP.
- Tends to be a "myopia of the academy." We need to chart our course or others will do it to/for us.
- We need to be the trend setters
- The impact of technology has been already discussed, but it intersects with external and internal issues.
- Changes in faculty roles (non-tenure appointments, post-tenure reviews, delivery of programs, cross-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary approaches)
- Governance on campuses is being scrutinized (Board of Trustees involvement; role of unions)
- Changes in Demographics - changes in types of students and faculty create issues to be addressed by the academy. Most important issues related to external trends for NAPEHE to address:
- Accountability on part of NAPEHE and educational programs
- Linkages - internal and external
- Raise awareness to external issues
- Research agendas need to be responsive to societal issues
- Need more involvement in advocacy - Engage with politicians and political process
The remainder of our meeting was an attempt to integrate the previously discussed issues, with suggestions for NAPEHE to consider. The following action items resulted from our spring, 1998 meeting.
ACTION ITEM: Recommend that site selection and hotel negotiation process be reconsidered, with visitation a requirement.
ACTION ITEM: Recommend that there be a preliminary report of the membership survey at the January NAPEHE board meeting.
ACTION ITEM: Recommend that the Social Justice and Cultural Diversity (SJCD) Committee develop an action plan for achieving greater diversity in our membership, which can then be followed by greater representation on committees and the board. The FDC supports the recommendations from the April 7th report, and looks for developed plans for implementation from the SJCD.
ACTION ITEM: Recommend that NAPEHE appoint a task force to explore the development of position papers.
There was discussion about the ambiguity of the mission statement of NAPEHE. It seems that NAPEHE has been talking about an interdisciplinary perspective, but is that perspective driving membership, and is it really reflective of who we are.
ACTION ITEM: Recommend that a task force be appointed to clarify NAPEHE's unique mission and to write a mission statement reflective of what we want the organization to be; and to implement those responsibilities and tasks associated with a revised mission statement. In addition, this task force should consider a name for the organization that is reflective of the revised mission. We further suggest that the task force consider how diversity fits into the mission.
There was some discussion about whether the membership should be increased, or if it should remain at its current size. There was no resolution to this issue among committee members because the issue intersects with the prescribed mission.
Revisiting the conference 2000, we discussed the idea of whether we should occasionally host a working conference. The discussion of internal and external trends led to a recommendation for an interdisciplinary panel at that conference that will address broad trends in the various disciplines (exercise science, teacher certification, sport management, etc). We need to chart our own future, and we need to to be the trend setters. As we revisited the conference theme, the assessment of learning emerged as another possible theme. One title suggested that could embrace the discussed themes was "Collegiate learning: The classroom of the 21st century." This theme might be a good follow-up to the San Diego conference which is focusing on the new university. One identified trend is change from focus on teaching to focus on learning. The "trends" might be presented at the administrative workshop. We further suggest to the conference committee to arrange some sessions that are set-up as "point/counterpoint". For example, the Spirduso/Blair argument about fat people being fit; or the Siedentopf/Locke debate would fit this format. Speakers who are being considered include Lee Schulman and Pat Hutchings of the Carnegie Foundation, and John Kesti, President of the University of Virginia. We would like NAPEHE to consider having the board meet early afternoon on Wednesday so that members will be free for the evening session. We spent time discussing the format of the convention. Registration fee was discussed as well because NAPEHE's fee lists the same as AAHPERD's. Special activities were discussed, and it was suggested that these become part of the pre- convention packet.
ACTION ITEM: Recommend that a committee be formed to do site selection/visitation for NAPEHE, chaired by the Past-President. This committee may also enlist local people to participate in the visitation. The committee and board should consider the selection of a select number of cities (e.g., Scottsdale, San Diego, Ft. Myers, etc) where warm weather is more likely in January, and rotate among those cities.
Thanks to all the committee members for joining me in making this a successful meeting, and hopefully one that will assist the board in charting the future of NAPEHE. Special thanks to Jack Razor whose term on the Future Directions Committee ends at this year's conference in San Diego.
Committee Members: Virginia Overdorf, William Paterson University (Chair), Marilyn Buck, Ball State University (Vice-president elect), Joy DeSensi, University of Tennessee (President-elect), William Forbus, Augusta College, Jack Razor, University of Georgia.