Faculty Resource Network

An academic partnership devoted to faculty development. Now in our fourth decade, we remain committed to this partnership, and to fostering connection, collaboration, and collegiality among our members.

Challenge as Opportunity: The Academy in the Best and Worst of Times

A National Symposium

Fall 2009



1. Plenary Panel
2. Presentations

When Charles Dickens opened A Tale of Two Cities with his now famous words – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – he captured the ambivalence of a society in upheaval and transition. The 21st century academy is also experiencing the best and worst of times. The growth of higher education provides the potential for greater access and expanded opportunity. Our students are now more diverse, more technologically savvy, and more globally aware than any previous college generation. Yet all members of the educational community – students, faculty, and administrators, – are currently experiencing the challenges of uncertain times. These challenges have come in the form of financial difficulties, closer scrutiny and accountability, and mismatches between faculty and student expectations. In this time of difficulty, how are educational institutions responding in a manner that benefits all of their constituents? How are we turning challenges into opportunities?

In November 2009 faculty members and other representatives of Faculty Resource Network institutions addressed these questions and issues during a national symposium on “Challenge as Opportunity: The Academy in the Best and Worst of Times,” hosted by Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

This event also provided an occasion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Network, reflect on its past accomplishments, and look forward to how it can energize our academic community in the years to come. Participants were invited to contribute to our collective mission of identifying and shaping the future priorities of higher education. In this time of transition, the role of the academy becomes even more essential as a source of insight, innovation and inspiration.

In this seventh issue of our online NETWORK: A Journal of Faculty Development, we present excerpts from a number of the presentations that were delivered during that symposium.

Plenary Panel

Recession, Realities, and Resurgence: Challenges and Opportunities for Higher Education
Excerpts from the Presidential Panel
Martha J. Kanter, U.S. Under Secretary of Education
Carlton Brown, President, Clark Atlanta University
John Sexton, President, New York University
Beverly Daniel Tatum, President, Spelman College

Learning Matters
Excerpts from the keynote address
Jamie P. Merisotis, Lumina Foundation for Education


A Chinese Proverb: “May You Live in Interesting Times” or “That Which Does Not Kill You Makes You Stronger” — Faculty Roles and Responsibilities in the New Abyss
Presentation excerpts
Thomas W. Garsombke, Clayton State University
Diane J. Prince, Clayton State University
Howard Ralph, Clayton State University
Richard Fulton,Troy University
Gwen Hanks, University of Georgia – Athens

Beyond Tolerance: Opportunities for Teaching and Learning Compassion in the HBCU Classroom
Presentation excerpts
Wendy A. Gaudin, Xavier University of Louisiana
Pamela Waldron-Moore, Xavier University of Louisiana
Adrian Woods, Xavier University of Louisiana

Challenges and Opportunities within the Classroom: Facilitating Students’ Transition from High School to College
Presentation excerpts
Takeisha Wilson, Clark Atlanta University
Danielle Sweat, Clark Atlanta University

Chaminade University: The Four Year Plan
Presentation excerpts
Curtis Washburn, Chaminade University
Richard Kido, Chaminade University

Emerging Pedagogies for Uncertain Times: Student and Faculty Perspectives
Presentation excerpts
Sonia V. Gonsalves, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Marcia Daley, Clark Atlanta University

Inter- & Intragroup Dialogue and Assessment as Partners for Diversity
Presentation excerpts
Kristie A. Ford, Skidmore College
Sarah W. Goodwin, Skidmore College

Legal Implications of Academic Advising
Presentation excerpts
Audrey Wolfson Latourette, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Faculty-Librarian Collaboration to Teach Information Literacy in an Online Environment
Presentation excerpts
Mary Ann Trail, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Amy Hadley, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Global Ethics in the Classroom
Presentation excerpts
Mark Wekander, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

Student Interpretations of Disasters: Do Online Students Respond Differently Than Face-to-Face Students? – Evidence From the Classroom
Presentation excerpts
Richard Vogel, Farmingdale State College

The Curriculum and the Campus Crisis: When Campus Shootings Impact Classroom Instruction
Presentation excerpts
Francine Edwards, Delaware State University

The Morehouse College W.E.B. Du Bois International House — A Living and Learning Residential Center to Engage the Global Community
Presentation excerpts
Ida Rousseau Mukenge, Morehouse College
Gwen Wade, Morehouse College
Samuel Livingston, Morehouse College

The Role of Language and Popular Culture in Civility
Presentation excerpts
Jon A. Yasin, Bergen Community College

‘The Times They are a Changin’: Promoting Learning beyond the Classroom and Social Activism
Presentation excerpts
Dorsia Smith, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

We’re 20, They’re 21
Presentation excerpts
Thelma Baxter, Spelman College
Joan Tropnas, Spelman College
Nancy Philip, Spelman College