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1 Report to Phi Beta Kappa members applying for Chapter at USF. Alvin W. Wolfe, October 13, 1997 Subject: Phi Beta Kappa Triennial Council This is an expended edition of the email note I sent to the CAS Phi Beta Kappa members on September 30and of the report I presented to the Steering Committee on October 9, about our coverage of the Phi Beta Kappa Triennial Council. Both Jan Platt, president of the Tampa Bay Phi Beta Kappa Association, and I, representing the USF faculty applying for a Chapter in the next Triennium, renewed old contacts and made lots of new ones, and learned a great deal about the Society, its modes and its moods. I sensed a strong desire to activate the Phi Beta Kappa Society as a whole, as well as its local Chapters and Ass ociations, toward our general mission of improving liberal education. Many want to see the Society and Chapters do more outreach, not only in relation to the Associations but into communities, especially through high schools. One program that received a l ot of good notice was organized by the Washington Phi Beta Kappa Association in collaboration with a large number of the universities and colleges in the Washington area. They are working directly in high schools. We at USF might look to anything that we are doing that sounds something like that and mention it prominently in our application. I am thinking of Carl Riggs Center for Excellence in Math and Science, and the work that Gerry Meisels is doing. I am sure that Education is working in that directi on as well, but our application will focus more on the College of Arts and Sciences. There is no doubt that the Phi Beta Kappa Society is recognizing the inevitability of technological change and concomitant effects on liberal education -especiall y the opportunities for communication, and wider and faster dissemination of educational resources. I saw no opposition to such developments -electronic enhancement of access to library like resources and electronic mediated learning -except that an o rganization as steeped in tradition as Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776 and maintained by members electing members in course directly for 200 years, is bound to move very cautiously. As an example of such caution, a highly pertinent one right now: they are talking a lot about having a national Phi Beta Kappa web page, talk, talk, talk, as they are trying to make it perfect before releasing it. Such extreme caution is delaying their joining the 21st century, but it does not prevent it. For USF, we should o f course call attention to our electronic library resources. We should also look for whatever else might prove that we are using electronics and computers to enhance quality rather than just quantity of data delivered. The Council a pproved seven institutions to host chapters: Hendrix College, Lewis and Clark College, University of Maryland (Baltimore), St.Mary's College of Maryland (a state, not a religious school), Spelman College, Western Michigan University, Willamette University. Forty seven had applied, and I believe 12 were visited. I had a long conversation with Burton Wheeler, the chair of the Qualifications Committee, whom I have known since the 1960s when
2 we were together at Washington University in St. Louis. We also le arned a lot from the open discussion of the general criteria and questions and answers about each of the applying institutions. We learned a lot that should be helpful for our application. Here are some random ideas gleaned from both the public and private sessions. Decisions to admit or reject a new chapter are not made on the basis of strict quantitative criteria but rather the Committee, and the Visitors and the Senate, are concerned about the general tenor of the educational institution regarding the liberal arts. Are there enough faculty concerned with liberal arts? Are enough students actually studying the liberal arts? Does the institution put enough emphasis on the liberal a rts? This latter, perhaps subjective judgment, seems to be the one that hurt Florida International University during this past Triennium. Apparently, members of the Phi Beta Kappa Senate overruled the Qualifications Committee on the grounds that it did no t appear to them that FIU really cared about liberal arts. FIU will be applying again, and our two applications will certainly be compared scrupulously, both quantitatively and qualitatively. In a discussion of why institutions have been rejected in the past, the first item mentioned was quality of the library. Secondly, restriction of academic freedom (especially in regard to religious institutions) has been important. In this regard, we must remember that Phi Beta Kappa was originally founded as a sec ret society, secret so that its members could pursue free inquiry despite a restrictive environment. [With academic freedom and tenure under attack 230 years later, perhaps we may have to draw more upon those roots to get courage of the type our Phi Beta K appa ancestors had. Phi Beta Kappa chapters may have to battle stealthily for free scholarship in the liberal arts tradition in the face of demands that students take only those courses absolutely required for a lucrative career and that teaching faculty be restricted to five year contracts. I dont think we want to raise those issues in our application, but I could not resist mentioning them here.] One leader said publicly, I know instances where Phi Beta Kappa has been responsible for the reintroductio n of tenure for faculty and where Phi Beta Kappa has been responsible for the building of a wing of a library. In response to a query about possibly developing a matrix chart that would make it easier to compare institution, the Qualifications Committee s aid it rejected that idea on the grounds that it would lend itself too easily to a purely quantitative rating, whereas they wanted to retain the contextual qualities that can best be expressed by textual descriptions. Previous applications by institution s are referred to, usually to indicate that previous criticisms have been addressed. A questioner who commented that just because an institution has a Division I athletics program it should not be assumed it does not have a quality liberal arts program. A responding official admitted to a bias against an institution that pays its coach ten to one hundred times as much as it pays its faculty leaders. He also said, We do not ask our committee members to check their values at the door. A meeting of cha pter representatives on the subject, The Life of the Chapters, introduced a set of questions that reveal the way Phi Beta Kappa is thinking. The topics included: 1. Membership roster? 2. Annual dues? 3. Meeting for election of new members in course (rather than mechanically select)?
3 4. Award scholarships? 5. Teaching awards? 6. Chapter Newsletter/Web page? 7. Local community projects in schools? 8. Cooperate with local PBK association? 9. Communicate with Chapter alumni? 10. Financial support from Administration? 11. Other forms of suppo rt from Institution? 12. Get in touch with entering students? It seemed clear to me that an institutional application that suggests that the applying members would build a chapter that would work along these lines would be favored. Finally, I am more optimist ic about our own application now than I was before the Council. There is a lot of uncertainty, of course, but if we do a good job of selling USF's commitment to liberal arts education, throughout the university but especially through the College of Arts a nd Sciences, we can succeed. Before I went, I was thinking 50 50. I now say at least 60 40. Western Michigan made it, Univ of Maryland (Baltimore County) made it. Florida International University almost made it, and they will be applying again. Our app lication will certainly be compared with theirs. We must emphasize our strengths, and show how hosting a Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at USF will further the purposes of the Society: "to recognize and encourage scholarship, friendship and cultural interests ." Those original words may sound a little anachronistic, but they are still principles worth striving for in this era of efficiency, effectiveness and bottom line. Best wishes, Alvin Wolfe
4 Letter by A W Wolfe to Chronicle of Higher Educatio n September 1996 Opinion and Letters Department Chronicle of Higher Education 1255 23rd Street N.W. Washington DC 20037 To the Editor: Christopher Shea's "Lost Cachet", in the March 22 issue, really misses the essence of Phi Beta Kappa. When the So ciety was founded in 1776 at William and Mary it was to protect scholarship from those who would restrict their freedom of inquiry. Because the threats to that freedom were real, chapter membership had to be secret and highly select. But grade point aver age is not the crucial thing. Threats to academic freedom are real today. To use the vernacular, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the current thinking of trustees, regents, and legislators calling for post tenure review, five year co ntracts, and abolition of tenure are serious threats to academic freedom, and that peer insistence on political correctness is a threat to academic freedom from another source. We need Phi Beta Kappa as much as its founders did, but we cannot expect that t he Society will have popular appeal. Alvin W. Wolfe Distinguished Service Professor, Anthropology University of South Florida, Tampa (PBK, Nebraska 1950) Telephone: (813)974 0794 Email: email@example.com
5 Report to Phi Beta Kappa members applying for Chapter at USF. Alvin W. Wolfe, April 27, 1998 Subject: Phi Beta Kappa Application Today I received a letter from Douglas Foard, Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in which he said, "I am obliged to inform you that the University of South Florida was not selected by the committee for further study during the present 1997 2000 review cycle"(letter dated April 20, 1998). In turn, I feel as he must have, "obliged to inform you." I have since spoken with him on the phone, and while he would prefer to discuss this in a face to face meeting, he did give me a little more information from his recollections of the comments by members of the Committee on Qualifications. First, he mentioned that only 9 of the 51 applications are being mo ved on to the next level, so we are one of 42 good institutions that were not selected. I don't think he told me, but I have learned that both Eckerd College and FIU are among the nine that will continue. In response to my question, he said he did not fe el that geographic propinquity played a role. Eckerd's success, then, did not reduce our chances. He pointed out that last year St.Mary's College and University of Maryland Baltimore County were both successful. He assured me that the committee's action refers specifically to the compatibility of USF's programs with "Phi Beta Kappa's own institutional objectives, especially the primacy of the liberal arts." We should understand that their decision is not a reflection upon the excellence of the many prog rams we offer, but only their compatibility with Phi Beta Kappa's special objectives. They liked the Honors Program as it was presented this time. Also, the problems we had previously concerning libraries were not raised as an issue this time. Some Comm ittee members felt that we had a lot of courses taught by part time faculty and graduate students. We anticipated this as an issue, but we thought we had explained it well in the application. Compared to the expectations of the PBK Committee on Qualifi cations, a high proportion of Arts and Sciences students major in fields like criminology, communication and psychology, fields which they see as more professionally oriented than other "liberal arts" disciplines. Our GED and Liberal Arts core curriculu m requirements are seen as somewhat ambiguous. "Here," he said, "are areas that USF and Phi Beta Kappa must talk about to make sure that we are speaking the same language."
6 Notes (by A.Wolfe) on telephone call by Alvin Wolfe and Jean Linder to Dougla s Foard (June 23, 1998). In this cycle there were 51 applications, and only nine were chosen to be visited on the basis of their preliminary submissions. Two of those nine are in Florida, Eckerd College and Florida International Unviversity. This time o ur honors program was fine. Concern was expressed that only 66% of the courses are taught by full time professors (and something about the figures on this not adding up correctly). Liberal arts requirement seems good, with a 36 hour core, but concern was expressed that there were 300 courses to choose from. Graduation rate is low, at 46%. To get the committee to understand the value of our program, we should track the graduating students. One committee member was quoted as saying "There are few physic s majors, but tons of criminology majors." The criteria are not very specific, but "a good institution would be one where you go for liberal arts." New College? Not a problem this time. It was difficult to find items in the appendices because there we re no page numbers.
8 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY 4202 East Fowler Avenue SOC 107 Tampa, Florida 33620 (813) 974 0794 (813) 974 2668 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org [dated ca October, 1998] President Betty Castor Office of th e President, ADM241 University of South Florida Tampa FL 33620 Dear President Castor: It has only recently come to my attention that you may not have received a copy of the enclosed letter from Douglas Foard, Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, informing us that we were not selected by their Committee on Qualifications for further study during the 1997 2000 review cycle. I apologize for my oversight in not making sure that you had a copy. I look forward to our meeting on Tuesday, October 20, when we will be able to discuss the implications of the Phi Beta Kappa Committee's decision. By the way, I am not yet discouraged. I think that if we continue doing what in our minds will make us a better liberal arts institution, and if Phi Beta Kapp a will continue to try to understand the liberal arts in the modern era, our trajectories should merge seamlessly in the first triennium of the Twenty First Century. That's not far off at all. Sincerely yours, Alvin W. Wolfe Distinguished Service Pro fessor Enclosure: Foard letter dtd April 20, 1998 cc: Jean Linder
9 Phi Beta Kappa Forum on Liberal Arts Marshall Center, USF Club 3:30 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, 1999 Brief report on meeting, Alvin Wolfe More than twenty USF faculty member s who are members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society met on Wednesday, March 31, in the first of what they anticipate will become a series of forums on how they might best apply their talents to enhancing the liberal arts emphasis at USF and, in the process, ga ining authorization to establish a chapter so that the best USF students would have the right to be inducted into this most prestigious of honor societies. Alvin Wolfe, Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology, welcomed the group and thanked the USF Club for making their facilities available for the meeting and thanked Dean Robert Sullins for making the refreshments possible. He introduced the forum with the following comments: The Phi Beta Kappa Society, founded at William and Mary in 1776, au thorizes new chapters to institutions only upon application by faculty members of the institution who are Phi Beta Kappa members. When the Society was founded in 1776 at William and Mary it was to protect scholarship from those who would restrict their fr eedom of inquiry. Often that history is forgotten as we think of it merely as an "honor society." It is more. Because the threats to that freedom were real, chapter membership had to be secret and highly select. But grade point average was certainly not t he crucial thing. Threats to academic freedom are real today. We need Phi Beta Kappa as much as its founders did, but we cannot expect that the Society will have popular appeal. In 1998, we faculty members at USF were turned down once again. I will gi ve you a few details about that, but I don't want to dwell upon it. My belief is that our USF Phi Beta Kappa faculty should become very active in the USF academic community so that we will have more influence on instilling and maintaining in this universi ty the kind of liberal arts program, including both curriculum and surrounding activities, that will make the Phi Beta Kappa Society want our affiliation. Forums like this one today might help us generate the energy and activity that we need to accomplish that end. At first, I thought we would only have Phi Beta Kappa members here, but gradually it opened up to others, those with special interest in the curriculum of liberal arts, then those with special interest in honors (like Sigma Xi members), and the n everybody. Professor Wolfe proceeded to describe some of the circumstances of USF's 1997 application having been turned down by the Phi Beta Kappa Society: On April 27, 1998, I received a letter from Douglas Foard, Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in which he said, "I am obliged to inform you that the University of South Florida was not selected by the committee for further study during the present 1997 2000 review cycle"(letter dated April 20, 1998). He did not provide much in the way o f detailed analysis of our application, and encouraged me to visit him in
10 Washington to discuss it further. Instead, I spoke with him on the phone, along with Jean Linder who had facilitated our application as a representative of the Provost's Office. He gave us a little more information from his recollections of the comments by members of the Committee on Qualifications. First, Doug Foard mentioned that only 9 of the 51 applications were being moved on to the next level, so we are one of 42 good instit utions that were not selected. Both Eckerd College and FIU are among the nine that will continue. In response to my question, he said he did not feel that geographic propinquity played a role. Eckerd's success, then, did not reduce our chances. He point ed out that in the last triennium two institutions in the same metropolitan area, St.Mary's College and University of Maryland Baltimore County, were both successful. Secretary Foard assured me that the committee's action referred specifically to the co mpatibility of USF's programs with "Phi Beta Kappa's own institutional objectives, especially the primacy of the liberal arts." We should understand that their decision is not a reflection upon the excellence of the many programs we offer, but only their compatibility with Phi Beta Kappa's special objectives. They liked the Honors Program as it was presented this time. Also, the problems we had previously concerning libraries were not raised as an issue this time. Some Committee members felt that we ha d a lot of courses taught by part time faculty and graduate students. We anticipated this as an issue, but we thought we had explained it well in the application. Compared to the expectations of the PBK Committee on Qualifications, a high proportion o f Arts and Sciences students major in fields like criminology, communication and psychology, fields which they see as more professionally oriented than other "liberal arts" disciplines. One committee member was quoted as saying, "There are few physics majo rs, but tons of criminology majors." They were concerned about our having what they considered a low graduation rate, quoted as being "forty six percent. Our GED and Liberal Arts core curriculum requirements are seen as somewhat ambiguous: "There is a 36 hour core, but 300 courses to choose from." "Here," he said, "are areas that USF and Phi Beta Kappa must talk about to make sure that we are speaking the same language." From the Phi Beta Kappa perspective, a "good institution is one where one would g o for liberal arts." I know that this time Florida International University passed Phi Beta Kappa muster, while in the prior triennial review period, Florida International was viewed as "not putting sufficient emphasis on the liberal arts." We have to beco me that kind of university or at least we have to have that image. Before introducing the Panel of faculty members who would raise issues for discussion by all participants in the forum, Professor Wolfe noted that the discussion was not to be limited to the structure or content of the "Liberal Arts Curriculum," but was to be an open forum on any aspect of liberal arts relevant to our intentions to establish a chapter here. Mention was made that this discussion today could still have an impact on the Lib eral Arts Education platform of the USF Strategic Plan 2000, even though the report of the Liberal Arts Task Force has already been submitted to the Provost by Task Force chair Sarah Deats, Professor and Chair of the Department of English.
11 The panel whi ch would start off this current discussion of liberal arts consisted of College of Arts and Sciences Phi Beta Kappa members Carol Jablonski, Professor of Communication, and Gerry Meisels, Professor of Chemistry and former provost at USF, both of whom had a lot to do with developing USF's current Liberal Arts Curriculum, along with Mark Amen, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, where 85% of the curriculum is taught, and Robert Sullins, USF Dean of Undergraduate Studies, who has considerable respons ibility for administering it. Another "expert" on hand, to fill out the panel, was John Richmond, Professor of Music, and the chair of the General Education Council. Many issues were raised and discussed in some detail, and not always with consensus amo ng the participants. Professor Meisels, former provost of the university who now specializes in improving science education at all levels in the Florida educational system, made some strong points about USF's close cooperation with the Community College system in developing an integrated system of liberal arts education for the entire state. As this becomes more successful, all the students experience improved opportunities in a rapidly changing world of work and professions, where, he noted, Americans are now making an average of seven major career changes. Without a solid basis in liberal arts we could not adapt so well to the changing environment. Dean Robert Sullins also spoke of the University's articulaton with the Community College system in po sitive terms, as a contribution that this institution is making to the general education of the entire community served. Professor Wolfe pointed out that the Phi Beta Kappa Society itself is beginning to recognize the importance, the value, of fostering l iberal arts in communities, in contrast to the image that many people have of an "honor society" interested primarily in grades and the college curriculum. Active in the discussion, in addition to those already named, included faculty members Carl Riggs Professor of Biology and former Vice President for Academic Affairs, Charles Arnade, Professor of International Studies, Leon Mandell, Professor of Chemistry and former dean of the College of Natural Sciences, John Shively, Professor Emeritus, College o f Medicine, Spencer Cahill, Professor in the Bachelor of Independent Studies Program, Mike Gibbons, Professor of Government and International Affairs, and Jean Linder, Director of the Sun Coast Area Teacher Training Honors Program. There were, of course some pessimistic statements and questions -"Is it not more trouble to go through the agony of preparing a Phi Beta Kappa chapter application than it is worth?" "They will never grant chapter status to us because we are not the small liberal arts colleg e that they favor but rather we are a huge university that serves many more students and many more purposes." "It is all politics and bureaucratic nonsense anyway." However, "at the end of the day," there was considerable consensus that these discussion s and the effort that goes toward PBK chapter status should have the effect of improving liberal education at USF.
12 Memo April 5, 2000 To: Provost Tighe From: Alvin W. Wolfe Subject: Phi Beta Kappa Application, due October 2000 About twen ty of the more than a hundred USF Faculty members have been discussing the wisdom of applying once again for a chapter at USF. Despite the downsides pointed out by some, the optimists prevail and we are asking your help once again in preparing the lengthy and complicated preliminary application. In 1997 you assigned Jean Linder to that task and she did a great job. Although it is billed as a faculty application, there is no way we could do it alone. Your office has already helped us by polling the dep artments to identify Phi Beta Kappa faculty appointed since the fall of 1997. As I am sure you know, there is much much more to do. The preliminary application is not something that uses boiler plates. I have received the new application form from the Soci ety, and will be happy to go over it with whoever you assign to help us. Acting President Peck spoke well of the Phi Beta Kappa enterprise some weeks ago, and we were planning to meet with him. Subsequently, he felt we should wait until the new president was announced. Now, that original meeting is no longer scheduled, and I personally think it would be better to have something underway before we try to raise the issue with President Genshaft, who must have more urgent things on her mind right now. In any event, if we are to do it, we must get started now because the application is due in Washington on November 1, 2000 for approval at the 2003 Triennial Council. Personally, I believe it would be good to schedule a meeting of all interest Phi Beta Kappa fa culty members, and have you come as a helpful guest to talk about how we might organize this new application. We have not scheduled any such meeting yet. The Alumni Association of PBK of the Greater Tampa Bay Area is having its Spring 2000 meeting and di nner at the University Club in Tampa, and it would be useful to be able to make some report to that group about our plans. The president of the Association is Dean Lloyd Chapin of Eckerd College, an institution that anticipates the announcement of its new chapter at the 2000 Triennial Council in October. We will be looking forward to hearing from you. We, i.e., myself and some number of the faculty members, would also be willing to meet with you at your convenience. Although we are not formally organized I attach a list of the twenty some faculty members who have shown significant interest. This does not mean that those not mentioned have no interest in the application process, only that they have not signaled it explicitly to me. Attachment: List o f twenty some active Phi Beta Kappa members.
13 Potential members of the PBK Faculty Steering Committee for Chapter Application: (draft 4/4/00) Charles Arnade, International Affairs, GIA Jess Binford, Chemistry Nancy Cole, Theater, Fine Arts Sara Deats, Eng lish, CAS James Halsted, Criminology, CAS Alan Hevner, ISDS, Business Gerry Meisels, One100, Center for Science Literacy William Murray, Classics, History, CAS Carl Riggs, Biology, Science & Mathematics Alvin Wolfe, Anthropology, CAS Other active faculty: Michael Angrosino, Anthropology, CAS Debra Chandler, Soc Foundations, EDU Margaret Fisher, BIS Christina Greene, History, CAS Kathleen Heide, Criminology, CAS Doug Rohrer, Psych, CAS Jay Coble, Arts, Fine Arts Jan Pipkin, IT Leon Mandell Chemistry Joh n Shively, Medicine
14 News from USF Phi Beta Kappa Members From Alvin Wolfe, April 12, 2000 University of South Florida faculty members who are Phi Beta Kappa are getting organized again to apply for chapter status during this coming triennium. October is the due date. Both the Interim President, Richard Peck, and Provost Thomas Tighe have shown interest. Representatives are scheduled to meet with the President Peck on Tuesday, April 18, to discuss it and to open communication with President elect Jud y Genshaft. Meanwhile the faculty members have been engaging in discussions, mostly through our PBK email list, about several important issues: (1) One of these focuses on the invitation from member Mike Angrosino for Phi Beta Kappa faculty to participate in an undergraduate research program initiated and funded by Vice President for Research George Newkome. This is a part of USFs move toward Research I status. With Phi Beta Kappa involved, we will help ensure that it is not all technology oriented. (2) A nother issue being discussed is the set of criteria used by Phi Beta Kappa chapters in selecting student members. Concern has been expressed by Fine Arts faculty that Phi Beta Kappa may be too strict in discounting studio arts courses. The discussion ha s to do with the degree to which studio courses contribute to the liberal arts as opposed to professional applied arts. (3) A third issue raised is whether new legislation in Florida is moving too narrowly in its emphasis on reading, writing and arithmetic and thereby causing schools and students to neglect the arts and humanities, both expressive and relational.
15 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY 4202 East Fowler Avenue, SOC 107 Tampa, Florida 33620 Phone (813) 974 0794 [fax: (813) 974 2668] email@example.com MEMO: Monday, April 24, 2000 TO: President Peck Provost Tighe FROM: Alvin Wolfe (spokesman for Phi Beta Kappa faculty) This memo is merely to cover a copy of the application form that Phi Beta Kappa is using for this next triennium, application due November 1, 2000 for the 2000 2003 review cycle. Attached as well is a copy of the current Phi Beta Kappa publication, The Founding of New Chapters. I look forward to our scheduled meeting with President Peck at 1 0 a.m. on Tuesday, May 2. Attachments
16 Phi Beta Kappa Issues arising from the USF 1997 application Only 66% of undergraduate courses taught by full time professors (numbers did not add up). Honors program fine. Liberal Arts Curriculum. 36 hour core, but 300 courses to choose from! Graduation rate is low, at 46%. To get the committee to understand the value of our programs, track the graduating students. There are few physics majors, but tons of criminology majors. Perhaps too many profe ssional schools within the College of Arts and Sciences. New College? Not a problem this time. No page numbers on the document made it hard for committee members to check on different items.
17 News for USF Phi Beta Kappa Members From Alvin Wolfe, M ay 3, 2000 May 1: Ten of us met in the USF Club Campus View to discuss our approach to the meeting with Interim President Peck on the following day. Present were Charles Arnade, Nancy Cole, Sarah Deats, Gerry Meisels, William Murray, Marth Rearick, Carl Riggs, Chris Steele, Irving Weiner, and Alvin Wolfe. We tried to keep the discussion forward looking rather than continuing to bemoan our past failures to make the cut. Nonetheless, areas we want to improve continue to include: percentage of courses taug ht by full time professors (66% considered low by PBK); honors program (better if it were done as regular faculty assignment rather than as overload); liberal arts curriculum (make sure its purposes and accomplishments are clear in the application); gradu ation rate (considered by PBK as low at 46%, but perhaps we can improve our explanation that a part time student body has some benefit for a liberal education); proportion of our majors that are in professional training rather than liberal arts (again, if we dont want to change that, we have to explain it better). May 2: Seven of us (Arnade, Cole, Deats, Meisels, Murray, Riggs, and Wolfe) had an hour long meeting with Interim President Dick Peck on Tuesday morning. He impressed us with his knowledge ab out our situation. Being a Phi Beta Kappa member himself, it was not difficult to convince him of its worth. He will visit the Phi Beta Kappa headquarters on a forthcoming trip to Washington, something that Betty Castor had wanted to do for us but did not get the occasion. President Peck took notes on everything we said, partly to use on that trip and partly to brief President Genshaft. He saw no reason to doubt that she would be fully behind our application, and he offered to encourage the support of the Provost and of the several relevant deans, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of Fine Arts. We do expect to have logistical support from the Office of the Provost as we had last time, some person assigned to pull the data together and take the lead in drafting the application. Last time we had great help from Jean Linder, but I think we may have relied too much on her and we did not take enough initiative on our own. This time I think it would be helpful i f we ourselves (Phi Beta Kappa faculty or a committee of us) met regularly so that we would have continuous involvement and would not have to rush at the end. After the meeting, I communicated with Associate Provost Catherine Batsche briefly at lunch. Al so, I let all three of those deans know that we want their support and their involvement. I am in the process of making appointments for a delegation from PBK to meet with each of them. Getting the involvement of the deans may have been a weakness during the last application, although there was no message to that effect from the Committee on Qualifications. Let us continue to use the pbk list for our discussions between face to face meetings. -Alvin
18 News for USF Phi Beta Kappa Members From Alvin Wolfe, June 6, 2000 Four of us met with David Stamps, Dean of the College or Arts and Sciences, Tuesday June 6, to enlist his support for the effort to get a USF Chapter. Present were Charles Arnade, William Murray, Carl Riggs, and Alvin Wolfe. Sara Dea ts wanted to be there, but was teaching a class at that hour. We found Dean Stamps to be very receptive, even enthusiastic. He suggested we work with the CAS Advisory Council through its newly elected chair, Bob Potter, to get the issue directly before the CAS faculty. David saw our effort as fitting in well with the data collection that is going on now for the new SACS accreditation process. Dean Stamps told us that President Peck was planning a Washington trip in the middle of June and would be tryi ng to visit the Phi Beta Kappa Society at that time. Dean Stamps also agreed to meet with us again, from time to time, as appropriate to see that all those who will be involved in the PBK application will be well informed of all the arguments that arise. I wont review them here since we have touched on them in many previous messages in the list. (List users are aware, are you not, that through your web browser you can review all the past messages or you can search for messages with a particular content. Go to http://www.cas.usf.edu/cgi bin/lyris.pl?enter=pbk and follow instructions.) Best wishes. Alvin Wolfe
19 PRESIDENTS OFFICE Subject: Phi Beta Kappa V isit (by USF Interim Preside nt Peck) June 15, 2000 Washington D.C. I met with Dr. Doug Foard, who is secretary (or Director' ) of Phi Beta Kappa. He brought out his notes, taken during convers ations with the interview team, and we went through those notes. W hile there were a numb er of po s itive things offered by the com mittee he and I discussed o nly those items that remained at question. 1. According to ou r applicatio n, two thirds of our classes are taught by full time faculty Eleven percent are tau ght by adjunct or part time. Th ose numbers do not a dd up to 100 %. There was some question as to wheth er they were inac curate or simply careless. Nothing in our application explained why th e n um bers didn't add up to 100%. 2. The a pp lication pages were not n u mbe r ed and in one case had been out of order an d diffic ult to follow -not a way to win friends with the committee. 3. The committee believed that whi le the 36 hour core curriculum is a good idea and a good curriculum, they thought that 300 courses from w hich to choose those 36 we re too many. 4. Graduation rate was listed as 46% (low), but in addition a num ber of numerals in tha t category didnt add up to 100%. Its here where I made a point in conversation that Doug Foard believes should be included in our application, and that is that its not possible for students who take a full load" consisting of 12 hours or even 15, to graduate in fou r years. So many of our students work part time that our student popula t ion cannot match the graduation rate of a place like say, Williams Colle ge. I offered him a different way of reading the numbers. If our students ar e regarded not as individua1s, but are counted as FTE students, that number of FTE stu dents, divided by the number of Baccalaureate degrees issued in the year, results i n a f igure of something like 4. 3, or 4 .3 years for the average full.t i me student here to graduate. That m akes ou r rate mo re than acceptable. An explanatio n needs to be offered, a very v er y brief one, as to why many co mprehensive universities should be evaluated on terms that apply to them rather than only to sm al l liberal arts co ll eges. 5. The core curriculum, outside the Honors Program, is v ague. 6. We should p robab ly explain that Criminology is not Criminal Justice. That is it's not a "cop shop' b ut indeed a theoretical and academic pursuit. I have no doullt of that, but it s a department that no t all small colleges have, and ther efore was som ething that wa s questione d by a couple of members of th e team.
20 7. The most positive response I got from him was by showin g him t he layout of two colleges a new college of comm unity and professional programs, pulled out of Arts and Sciences, and the rem aining Arts and Sciences College which loo ks very much like a traditional model that Phi Be ta Kappa members ar e us ed to seeing and understanding. I sha red that with him and watched h im smile, lean back in his chair, and relax, as if to imply by body lan guage "that takes care of it" -"it' b eing the objection to the number of p rofessional programs in the College of Ar ts and Sciences, which m akes it differ f rom that Williams College mo del. 8. We talked for som e time about Florida International University, which is likely to get its c h apter this year .What had happe ned was, six years ago they applied and, we re found wan ting, although their Honors College was favorably received. But the folks at FIU particularly the Dean of Arts arid Sciences, took to heart the objections registered by the intervi ew team and revised and resubmitted their application. Th e revisio ns were r ight on point. The applic a tion was admired, and has gone to the entire coun cil, that is the big gover n ing body. Doug Foard believes that th ey will receive their chapter this Octo be r One of us probably ought to spea k to the Arts and Sciences Dean at Florid a International and ask how the y revised their initial application It might be a good idea for someone, probably Marci Finke lstein, to attend the Phi B eta Kappa council meeting in O ctobe r, in Philadelphia Tha t will be a bit late for the a pplication that we have unde rway, but she may be able to make the kind of p er sonal conta c ts that would allow our a p plication to be read mo re favorably. That's what the hour s' c o nversation wi th Doug Foard am ounted to. He is most agreeable He underst ands (as d oes the new head of the committee herself a faculty member at a comprehensive univ ersity rather than a small lib eral arts college) that we are differe nt and need to be considered slightly differently. Bu t the fact remains that Phi Beta Kappa has a set of standar ds to whi ch we must adhe re if we e xpect to join t he organ ization.
21 MEMORANDUM Date: Saturday, August 12, 2000 TO: Interim Dean Renu Khator and Interim Provost David Stamps, with copies to President Genshaft FROM: Alvin W. Wolfe, Distinguished Serv ice Professor, speaking for the Phi Beta Kappa faculty members who are applying for a chapter at USF SUBJECT: Urgent need for coordinated development of application The preliminary application must be at the Phi Beta Kappa Society in Washington on No vember 1. Officially the application is to come from PBK faculty members, but the application asks for so many specific details that it requires coordinated data collection using resources from Institutional Research, the Office of the Provost and the Coll ege of Arts and Sciences. We need also to take into account faculty and programs from Fine Arts, the Honors Program, and programs at branch campuses. We started this process some months ago, and thought we were on schedule. Now, with changes in both t he College and the Office of the Provost, we are not sure where we stand. The Phi Beta Kappa faculty are willing to do a lot for example, we have been working on the section on faculty lists, and Sara Deats and others have agreed to draft an introductio n but we need a focus for the coordinated effort, a focus in the form of a person assigned to pull the data from various sources and to integrate these data into a product according with the rather rigid PBK approved format. President Genshaft will b e speaking to the Annual Meeting of the Tampa Bay Phi Beta Kappa Association on October 17. It is our hope that we can have our draft document ready by October 1 so that she might draw upon it, or at least be able to mention our progress on that occasion. So that she knows that is our intention, I am sending a copy of this memo to her. The faculty are very grateful for what has already been done at both the College and Provost level, but we are concerned that, with all the other important things you h ave to do in your new positions, you might forget the urgency of this issue. I look forward to hearing from either or both of you. You may reach me at 974 0794 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Documents from the USF Phi Beta Kappa application archive :
[Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida,
1 online resource (21 p.)
Title supplied by cataloger.
Includes internal documents discussing USF's experiences with the Phi Beta Kappa Triennial Council and the Phi Beta Kappa application procedure.
Phi Beta Kappa.
University of South Florida.
t USF Phi Beta Kappa collection.