You are on page 1of 7

Where We Should Be Headed As The TSU Faculty

Carroll G. Robinson
Associate Professor
Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland
School of Public Affairs

 Use Title III funds to pay faculty members to put at least 25% of all existing TSU courses
online like the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) Program has done.

 Use Title III funds to pay faculty members to develop Executive Online Degree Programs
for all existing Masters Degree Programs at TSU. This will generate millions of dollars in
new revenue (tuition and state formula funding) for the university that can be used to
increase faculty salaries and hire more full time faculty members. (The MPA Program
and the Business School have developed such programs.)

 Review existing faculty qualifications and make as many Joint Faculty Appointments as
possible across academic programs (Departments) and Schools and Colleges. This will
improve and increase our ability as a university to offer interdisciplinary courses and
engage in interdisciplinary teaching and research to help our students, the Houston
community, Texas and the nation. It will also improve our image as a center of education
innovation, which will help faculty members in our pursuit of grant funding.

 Working with our students and local stakeholders and elected officials, we need to
become more actively involved in improving the security, walkability and beautification
of the streets and neighborhoods surrounding our campus. (See attached Security and
Walkability sketch.)
Online presence gains ground at Texas colleges

Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle

July 16, 2010, 8:57PM

Count Moses Casarez as a convert to the fastest-grow ing trend in higher education.

Casarez, a freshman at the University of Houston, intended to take a summer math class the old-fashioned way. He'd go to class
and take notes as instructor Maria Gonzales Rojas covered the material.

Which he did, except that Gonzales was in Bolivia for a family emergency and taught the class through an online video conferencing
system and e-mail.

"It w as a new experience, for sure," Casarez said.

But he said he may do it again, joining the more than one of every four college students who take classes online. That number is
likely to grow as schools try to educate more students with less money.

"You can't automatically assume online is less expensive, but I think w e've moved into an era where, for the most part, it will be,"
said David Gardner, deputy commissioner for academic planning and policy at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

A board advis ory committee later this month w ill recommend w ays to cut costs in higher education, and requiring everyone who
attends a public college or university in Texas to take some classes online could be up for discussion.

Whether online education saves money is up for debate, since schools have to invest in technology and support servic es in order to
deliver it. The most obvious savings comes from not having to provide additional classroom space. Campuses need fewer parking
spaces, campus police and other auxiliary services, too.

Tuition is generally the same, although some schools charge an additional technology fee.

The field w as pioneered by for-profit universities, including the University of Phoenix, which succeeded by selling higher education
to people w ho don't fit the traditional mold: Many are older students who juggle work, family and classes, paying their own w ay
without help from mom and dad.

No silver bullet

Now it has gone mainstream, and even students who live on campus may take some classes online.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Paw lenty is promoting online education as a cheaper alternativ e to traditional classrooms.

The University of Maryland system requires all students to complete at least 12 credit hours outside the classroom, through online
classes, internships and other programs. That's intended to cut costs while helping students earn a degree, spokesman Mike Lurie

And Wal-Mart announced last month that it will offer employees the chance to earn a college degree through the online American
Public University.

Despite the rapid growth, technology isn't the answer to every problem besetting higher education.

"I w ould love to say this is the silver bullet," said Bruce Chaloux, director of student access, programs and servic es for the Southern
Regional Education Board and president of the Sloan Consortium, w hic h supports integrating online education into traditional higher
education. "We can do a whole lot more, and do it w ith less, but I don't think you can do quality on the cheap."

One hurdle has been cleared, however: A number of studies show students learn as much in well-designed online classes as in a
traditional class, partly because they can proceed at their own pace.
"It's all the elements a student would have in class, except they can revis it them as often as they want," said Brian McFarlin,
associate professor of exercise physiology, nutrition, and immunology at the University of Houston.

McFarlin teaches both traditional and online classes, as well as those that blend online and face-to-face instruction, and he said
students in hybrid classes do better — typically, about half a grade point higher - than those in traditional classes.

Engaged, even online

The days of a professor lecturing in front of a video camera are over. Today's online classes mix video, dis cussion forums, online
quizzes, podcasts and other technology.

Psychology students in Lone Star College professor Glenda Williams' online classes can watch a video clip of groundbreaking
psychologist B.F. Skinner discussing his work.

"In such a people-oriented subject as psychology, many of my colleagues and I w ere reluctant to get into online teaching," Williams
said. "We all like the discussion in the classroom."

She discovered there's plenty of discussion online, too.

"Students are so used to communicating on the computer," she said. "They seem to be more free, maybe because they'v e been
texting all their lives."

One of every three Lone Star students take at least one class online.

McFarlin says the convenience is great for students who work part-time or even full time. But teaching online can be more work.

"If you have 300 students in a class, they'r e all going to be review ing lectures at different times, and they'r e going to have questions
at different times," he said.

Despite all the changes, college campuses aren't unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

Still, they aren't what many people remember.

"Many are more electronically oriented than anyone would imagine," Gardner said. "Even very traditional campuses are influenced
by online education."

• Fix Sidewalks • Security Cameras

• More Street Lights  Monitored by HPD,
• Landscaping & Trees TSU, HISD,
(Beautification) Constable, Sheriff, &
 Keep Houston Metro (Police
Beautiful Departments)
 Trees for Houston • Fix Streets & Drainage

This diagram was prepared by Quonna Coleman a student in the MPA Program at the Barbara Jordan-M ickey Leland School of
Public A ffairs and Associate Professor Carroll G. Robinson. It is not to scale.
Our Unive rsity

Dear Faculty Colleagues:

Like you we too love TSU and are committed to its mission of graduating people who
will make a positive difference in their community and the faculty creating intellectual
capital and practical solutions through scientific research, artistic expressions, broad based
scholarship, and civic engagement in Houston, throughout Texas, nationally, and globally.
We know that to do these things the faculty needs the administrative support and resources
necessary to succeed, including funds to travel to academic conferences nationally and
As faculty members, we must not only advocate for shared governance we must also
be responsible, active, informed and thoughtful participants in the go vernance of Our
In the coming weeks and months ahead, we must help make sure that TSU’s funding
from the legislature is protected, and if possible increased.
We all agree that the Faculty needs a salary increase and that we need to reduce the
university’s reliance on adjunct faculty members.
We have to use our contacts and network to serve as partners in securing funds for
Endowed Chairs and Faculty Research Relief Fellowships. As partners we can work with
donors and the administration to ensure that funds are specifically dedicated to faculty
salaries, faculty development, and faculty research grants and travel.
As role models we should encourage our students—undergraduates, graduate and
professional—to support a Professional Dress Day every Thursday as is now being done in
the Business School and a once a month TSU Paraphernalia Friday.
Full time tenure track faculty members should receive free parking and faculty
members with the most seniority should receive free reserved parking in the lot closest to
their office.
During this year’s Opening Faculty Meeting, Provost Ohia advised us that he will be
giving credit for mentoring students as apart of his evaluation of our service to our
Department, School/College and The University. We now have the vehicle for formularizing
all the mentoring of students we each have been doing for years. Sign up for President
Rudley’s T.I.G.E.R. Project mentoring program by emailing Eva P ickens in the Office of
Communications so that you can formally document the mentoring you are doing.
If we are going to make TSU one of our nation’s greatest urban universities , we who
are closest to the students must not only be their teachers and role models, we must also be
the conscience of Our University and the leaders of continuously regenerating our legacy of
“Excellence in Achievement.”


Dr. Michael O. Adams, Ph.D. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq.