Friday, January 22, 2010

In which I critique web sites

The writing goals of the last post are only inching along, but I did finish up the research for the departmental service project and sent a short report around to my colleagues. 

There are some bad college & department websites out there, y'all. My goodness. I am no web design guru, but I'd like to suggest some principles:

  • The dominant color on the website for your women's college should not be pink.
  • I should be able to find a list of major requirements right on a department's page, not have to locate the college catalog (not linked anywhere on the college home page) to read them.
  • The college catalog should be easily accessible from the home page.
  • Lists of faculty should say something about their interests right on the list; you shouldn't have to click through to each individual profile to find out what they do.

Bonus points to sites that make syllabi easily accessible and that lay out requirements for majors (and the reasons for them) clearly and with detail.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Writing goals this semester

I am hoping this semester will be a bit less crazed than last semester, and I'll be better able to write. I know I can only expect so much during my first year at a new job, but I think on the whole I have reasonable goals:

1) Write up application for Interesting Opportunity

2) Write conference paper #1, due early March

3) Write conference paper #2 for Kalamazoo

4) Work on book manuscript revisions

#4 there is more speculative and I probably won't have time to really dig into it until this summer. The rest really ought to be feasible even around teaching etc.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Thanks for all the sympathies, everyone. I have good days and bad days, but I think overall I'm starting to adjust to the new way of things.

As part of that effort, I've been back on campus sporadically this week. I have a relatively light semester ahead; one of my classes had such a small enrollment that it's been converted to an independent study, leaving me with a lighter teaching load than I'd have otherwise. Neither my chair nor the dean thinks this is anything but a weird anomaly, not a reflection on me as a teacher. Enrollment in my other classes is good, and my teaching evaluations for the fall seem fine.

Per our faculty handbook, I have agreed to take on a department service project in lieu of teaching. We are planning to implement a capstone requirement for majors within the next few years, and my job is to do some research on how other colleges handle such requirements and bring them back to the department for discussion. I'm starting the early stages of that this week, as well as finishing up a book review. I am hoping that I'll be a bit less swamped with teaching this semester and better able to work writing, as well as the service project, into my schedule.

Safe travels to all going to the AHA meeting, and good luck to all the job seekers!