Wednesday Message from Ed Bonahue

Dear Everyone,
Just a few big-picture items to share this week:
Our first SACS Visitors
Over the last two weeks, the College hosted brief visits from two key players in our SACS reaffirmation process—Dr. Martha Nesbitt, President Emerita of Gainesville State College in Gainesville, Georgia, who will lead the peer review team visiting Santa Fe, and Dr. Claudette Williams, who is the SACS Vice President and staff member who will provide support to the visiting committee.  Each visitor confirmed that our SACS site visit will be thorough and comprehensive, with peer reviewers visiting each of our campus centers, meeting with a variety of faculty and administrators, and reviewing college policies and operations in general.  Each also confirmed that we are well prepared for the upcoming visit, which will be on October 29-31.
Nominations for statewide Gen Ed Working Groups
Last week, I met with the department chairs from the Liberal Arts and Sciences division to confirm nominations from Santa Fe to the statewide General Education working groups who will select courses for a statewide general education core.  While there were many great instructors and administrators who indicated a willingness to participate, the five selected were all highly experienced academics with a wide variety of academic interests and administrative experience to bring to the discussions.  All have a long-standing commitment to the importance of general education.  The five individuals nominated for consideration to the statewide working groups are:  Susan Miller (Communications), Leslie Lambert (Humanities), Van Dubolsky (Science), Dick Cohen (Math), and David Price (Social Sciences).  It is my understanding that the statewide steering committee will attempting to include at least one nominee from every “community college” and university in the state system somewhere on one of the teams.  So while it’s unlikely all five of our nominees will be included, I’m confident we’ve put forward five excellent nominees for consideration.
SMARThinking
For many years, the Provost’s office has invested significantly in SMARThinking, an online, 24/7 tutoring service available to all SF students through the eSantaFe portal under an “Online Tutoring” link.  We have purchased several thousand hours of tutoring services over the past few years, and students are clearly using them up, with math, English, the sciences, health sciences, economics and accounting, and a few other disciplines getting the heaviest usage.  But given the expense involved with this service, I also want to hear the faculty perspective.  What do students report to you about their SMARThinking experience?  Do you recommend it to students?  Have you or your students ever had any poor experience with the service?  I’d be grateful for your input, so please feel free to drop me a line.
That’s all for now.  More next week.
–Ed