I'm very curious - what does your department look like? Especially in regards to the number of faculty and student population. Below I will outline my departments since I started in 2000.
My 1st job - Dean of Academic Tech & Fac Dev, me (Support Manager), 1 programmer, and 4 student workers.
= 7 employees to 200 faculty and 2500 students
My 2nd job - Me (Director of Distance Learning/Title III), Secretary.
= 2 employees to 30 faculty and 150 students
My 3rd job - Me (Director of Distance Learning Technologies) & eventually 2 work study students
= 3 employees to 60 faculty and 800 students
My 4th job - Me (Director for the Center of Teaching and Learning) -
= 1 employee to 80 faculty and 2000 students
I'm not looking for anyone's CV here...no pressure to go into lots of detail, but if you'd like to participate, give as much info as you'd like, and perhaps any interesting statistics surrounding the Online Learning/Distance Education/Faculty Training.
I'll add mine, but it's not that interesting since my current job has been my only for this type of position. 🙂
Director of Online Learning (currently working to change our areas name and my title)
Like Kona, our structure is rather simple:
Like you, I wear several other hats, but unlike you I have just one title.
I hope this helps,
The University of Oklahoma is very de-centralized, so here is my college:
College of Professional and Continuing Studies = Department of Academic Technology
Me = Director of Academic Technology
My staff = 1 Instructional Designer, 1 Graphic Artist, 1 Database Manager, 1 Support Staff, 1 Summer employee
Full-time faculty = +/- 12
Adjunct faculty = +/- 180
Students = +/- 3000
We are a newly formed college after combining different departments and programs. We range from BA - MA, to Aviation, CESL, to a few others.
I understand the complexity of naming the department...it really affects how the department is viewed, by the faculty, and by everyone. In all actuality, I'm not entirely convinced that I like most of the department titles, it's just that they're predictable, and strangely impossible to find a unique identifier. I finally resonated with the Center for Teaching and Learning, I thought it sounded more...academic?
My motive for this discussion was to find out what folks are dealing with, on a support-to-faculty-&-student ratio (English liberties taken). Some of my positions have been grotesquely out of proportion (and not in my favor) while other schools equipped the department with adequate employees, whether they were designers, copy editors, programmers, or even student workers, which any of these additions can make a noticeable difference.
"Several hats" seems to go with the territory here...and like you, I'm ok with it I discovered that I have the personality to appreciate a routine but I definitely need the random activities of spontaneity to keep my days interesting. I remember getting a call from my VP one morning in a panic that two media tech employees had both out called off for the day and there was some big-time guest lecturer speaking on campus and he didn't have even one camera operator. Voila - change of pace for the afternoon! In that case, having history with various other departments on campus can help facilitate needs.
Also, knowing the strengths of one's staff is very convenient. I discovered that by using a simple and fun (ok, fun for me) exercise with my new employees, I can help myself help them in my own communication style with them, referring to sensory preference and learning styles. Here is a great neuroscience resource on several necessary areas of personal and professional identification and growth.
This is where you can find the specific assessments;
This is where you can find explanations and lot more information...very interesting research and it's not over-the-top!
I am so glad you mentioned the aviation program. Some of my earliest flying memories took place with my dad in Tulsa (I grew up in Claremore), and where I am living now a local university partnered with a flight school for a few years but I don't think there was enough interest to make it work.
My title is Senior Instructional Technologist. I do not have a separate department, I report to the three Academic Deans who roll up under Academic Affairs and the Provost. I have no staff (student or otherwise) and we do not have any instructional designers or other teaching and learning staff at the institution. We have 130 FT faculty and 3500 students.
@ppelzel , wow, your job is crucial! These were the stats that I was somewhat expecting, and yet fearing. You are a one-man band (pardon the gender-ignorant expression) supporting an enormous number of faculty and students.
My next question to you is, did you start up this department by yourself or did you take it over from someone else? (and I've done both, so no judgement...lol I'm just curious about your journey).
Thank you for the supportive words. It can definitely be overwhelming sometimes! My position was newly created when I was hired, but it replaced a similar position. The person prior to me was less globally focused and was more focused on connecting individual faculty with technology. This made sense at the time because there was very little technology use. I came in to a more global position and have developed a pedagogical focus to technology implementation. Not just technology for technology’s sake.
Our new strategic plan is very technology focused so I am hoping to add band members soon!
Patricia Beyers Pelzel
Senior Instructional Technologist
Canvas Support Line: 1-833-852-5266
100 N. East Avenue | Waukesha, WI 53186