Sunday, August 27, 2006
Creative Faculty Workshops
Last week was our first Fall 06 faculty workshop at USD. Instead of the usual paper/talk format, our faculty used the occasion of the first colloquium of the semester to have several of our faculty members make short presentations about recent development in their field. In particular, the format was a Supreme Court review in several fields, with an expert in each field reporting and commenting on the major decisions of the term. I thought it was an excellent session. It allowed the faculty to interact on a substantive level without the dynamics of a paper presentation. It reminded me of something that one of our dean candidate’s last year mentioned he had done at his faculty. He described how the faculty at UVA was brought together to monthly meeting/retreats to basically continue their legal education drawing on each other’s strength. They even invited one outside professor to teach them a mini course in analytical jurisprudence, as that was an area where they all felt they could use some back-to-fundamentals training.
I often think that when I have more time, I will want to take some of my colleagues courses/seminars. But there are of course limits to that, and the level of discussion might not really get to what you hope for it to be. Isn't it great to develop some more of these sessions that draw on our greatest strengths – the fact that we are all teachers and scholars under one roof - to continue teaching and learning from each other, in more ways than just the paper talk?
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