School Duties

Clinical Assistant Professor

Fall 2017

Admin Duties

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina.

Teaching in Fall 2017

  1. Tuesday & Thursday at 0800 in Manning Hall 307
    INLS161-001 Information Tools
  2. Tuesday & Thursday at 0930 in Manning Hall 307
    INLS201-001 Foundations of Information Science

Advising Duties

  1. INLS795
  2. INLS992

Office Hours

Fall 2017

it's best to make an appointment, but I will normally have office hours
on Tuesday and Thursday
1100-1300
and on Wednesday
0800-1200
in Manning Hall, room 112.
If my door is open, I'll be there and am ready to speak with you.

School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact |

Teaching

My goal in this endeavor is to follow in the footsteps of a previous Chancellor of the University of North Carolina. In a column in the Carolina Alumni Review mourning his passing, it was stated ...

(Christopher) Fordham praised the goal of teaching students to conceptualize and analyze rather than to memorize facts and theories that rapidly become obsolete.
graduation day, May 2017, in front of Manning Hall

I hope to be able to do the same.

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

Teaching Philosophy

Let them go

Let your people do the job their own way.
You will be amazed at what they can do.

My father told this to me in 1969.

You cannot be overly controlling when dealing with people and humility has its virtues. Everyone has a vision of how things may be done and others' ideas may well be far better than those that you have.

My goal is to help students develop their capabilities, so that they can become informed, critical, insightful thinkers and doers. To do that, I need to identify the particular goal of my class, point out the path to that goal, and provide them tools to help them navigate that path, then work with them as they find their way.

In this process, I should be humble enough to accept that they may not exactly take the same path I would, may not decide to believe all of the things I believe.

However, if they can grasp the essence of what I am trying to impart to them and can show that they can put that understanding into useful operation, then maybe I have succeeded.

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
let them go | be positive | taking care | standards | esse quam videri

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

Be Positive

You've got to accentuate the positive,
eliminate the negative,
latch on to the affirmative,
don't mess with Mr. Inbetween
Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen

If I can empathize with the lives the students are living, then perhaps I can seize control of the things I can control and try to make them work for the students.

Accentuate the positive I try to be unremittingly positive in my exchanges with the students. In class, I try to address their questions directly and immediately. Outside of class, I try to keep a steady flow of email chatter with those who want to talk. Many times a student feels uneasy displaying either too much or too little in front of their peers. However, a private communication seems to open up a safe channel for them to communicate their concerns and ideas and I turn around pertinent items to the class blog, stripping out anything that would identify the author. The fact that they can indirectly have a positive benefit on the knowledge and awareness of their fellow students, while still maintaining their anonymity, seems to be useful.

Eliminating the negative has its place as well. Eliminating the negative also means eliminating the unnecessary. All class notes, all assignments, and all deliverables are done electronically. Students need never worry about paying for printing costs, need never concern themselves with handling paper. Since students are expected to have laptop computers and since we know that we all use computers to do most of the things involved in academic work, I use them as the sole method of handling assignments. Web work and blogs, email and email attachments; all are easy ways to eliminate some of the things that just get in the way.

One of the most important things I got out of the Center for Teaching and Learning seminar for new teaching assistants was the advice to latch on to the affirmative. Following this advice, I tell my students that I accept without question that they are honorable individuals and that I accept anything they tell me to be the truth. They don't have to come up with reasons why I should accept their actions or decisions; they only need tell me they have reasons compelling them to do or not do something and I will accept them. We try to have an affirmative sense of mutual respect and trust.

Not messing with Mr. Inbetween is a bit more problematic. There are very few firm and fixed issues and every circumstance has within it the potential for change and evolution. One of the basic ground rules that I emphasize to each class is that everything is negotiable. However, no negotiation can take place if communication does not occur. I am willing to listen to any suggestion, but the students have to initiate the dialog. I am willing to mess with Mr. Inbetween, but I won't start the process. In our instructor-student relationship, the student has to introduce Mr. Inbetween.

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
let them go | be positive | taking care | standards | esse quam videri

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

Taking Care

Take care of the people and they will take care of the mission

Whenever I heard this phrase in my service time, it irritated me because I felt that we all were responsible for doing our duty and needn't be concerned with personal needs. I had always been one who took care of the mission and never one who had to be concerned with the well-being of anyone other than myself. I had felt lucky to have served for a series of really good commanders. When I became a commander for the first time, the phrase made sense to me. I had been able to focus on taking care of the mission because my commanders had done a good job making the rest of my life easy, so that I could focus on the mission.

What does this have to do with teaching? Maybe not much, but it seems as appropriate as part of a teaching philosophy as it did as part of a command philosophy. Taking care of people means relieving them of the stresses of the unknown. I try to be as prepared as I can be and to have everything ready for each student at each class session. From the very start of the semester, each student should be able to understand the expectations of both instructor and student. By being as fully prepared as possible, I can take care of the students so that they can focus on learning.

Taking care of the people also means helping them structure their lives so that they can have an optimum opportunity to succeed in whatever they are doing. In the classroom, it might mean reserving the three seats nearest to the door so that the students who have to hike up to Manning from the business school can slide into class 10 minutes late every day without disturbing the others. Perhaps more significantly, students know that there isn't anything they can ask me that I won't try to find an answer for. They know that I care about their situations. They also know that I do not get too close to anyone, but that I always try to point them in a direction that might be right for them. If you take care of the students, they will take care of the learning.

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
let them go | be positive | taking care | standards | esse quam videri

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

Standards

Task, Condition, Standard

But they can't always take care of learning on their own. The learning environment needs to have a recognizable structure. An instructor might well be a very linear individual who needs a building block approach, while many students might very well be global learners who react best in a hyperlinked environment. The reverse might also be true, or, more likely, both instructor and student may well be a bit schizoid, needing linearity in some things, randomness in others. The US Army divides learning objectives into Tasks, Conditions, and Standards. Though it was built for the needs of a large scale training situation, the model is useful for an academic situation as well.

In the Army's view, "all learning objectives must be realistic, attainable, observable, and measurable." I try to structure my courses with a schedule of activities and events that the students can see on Day One. By combining the syllabus with the class notes, we can see our expectations and the steps we will take to arrive at our goal. The schedule clearly shows the tasks to be considered, the dates on which they are taken up, and the assignment that is based on the sessions. The student can weigh the relative conditions and choose to focus on any or all of them (though they are so closely intertwined that it would be difficult to do some, but not all of the assignment). The gradesheet is the standard that states explicitly what must be done to constitute task success. Additionally, the students know exactly how grades and task success are related. I spend a fair amount of time on Day One explaining the grading schema and explaining how everyone starts with a blank slate. Each assignment builds points toward a grade and the final result is simply a recounting of the points earned over the course of the semester. I find that students are a bit more comfortable with clear numerical standards, standards that they can calculate for themselves so they can judge how they are doing or what more they need to do.

On further reflection, however, perhaps I need to alter this component. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education noted, in part, that instructors should ask themselves three questions.

  1. task: what, exactly do they want students to do?
  2. purpose: Why are they asking students to do it?
  3. criteria: How will they evaluate the work?

Perhaps TASK, PURPOSE, and CRITERIA need to be the three elements.

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
let them go | be positive | taking care | standards | esse quam videri

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

esse quam videri

The motto of the State of North Carolina means

to be rather than to seem

I hope to help the students become people who can actually do something rather than remain people who seem to be able to do something.

To achieve this, I want to structure the environment so that the students spend as much time actually doing things as they do listening or reading about doing things. I try to give them enough to do that they develop a sense of confidence in their own ability to do things independently. So far, the courses I have taught have been tailor-made for this goal, but I think any course I might teach could be so structured as to permit the students to do things that will make them able to do newer things. My goal is to make them independent thinkers.

To that end, I give them a lot of leeway, a lot of rope. I am ready to help them pull on that rope, to help them succeed in their growth. But that rope has more than one purpose. On the affirmative side, it is a rope to pull themselves (with my willing assistance) up to the goal – "to be rather than to seem." However, the rope can also be connected to a weight. They can pull themselves to the goal or I can help them, but if they don't pull their weight, my help cannot make up for that lack of effort.

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
let them go | be positive | taking care | standards | esse quam videri

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School of Information and Library Sciences

Information tools, or tools for information literacy

This particular class has gone through a series of number changes since the first time I taught it in the fall of 2000. But it has remained a very similar course, one focused on learning the underlying logic and syntax of the information tools we use every day. The SILS catalog describes INLS161 as:

Tools and concepts for information literacy. Includes software use and maintenance, computer applications, and networked information systems.

Information Tools Classes

session number name
47 2016-2017 spring INLS161-001 Information Tools
46 2016-2017 fall INLS161-001 Information Tools
45 2015-2016 spring INLS161-001 Information Tools
44 2015-2016 fall INLS161-001 Information Tools
43 2015-2016 fall INLS161-002 Information Tools
42 2014-2015 spring INLS161-001 Information Tools
41 2014-2015 fall INLS161-001 Information Tools
40 2013-2014 spring INLS261-001 Information Tools
39 2013-2014 fall INLS461-001 Information Tools
38 2013-2014 fall INLS261-002 Information Tools
37 2013-2014 fall INLS261-001 Information Tools
36 2012-2013 summer INLS2/461 Tools for Information Literacy
35 2012-2013 spring INLS261 Tools for Information Literacy
34 2012-2013 fall INLS261 Tools for Information Literacy
33 2011-2012 summer INLS261/461 Tools for Information Literacy
32 2011-2012 spring INLS261 Tools for Information Literacy
31 2011-2012 fall INLS261-001 Tools for Information Literacy
30 2011-2012 fall INLS461-001 Tools for Information Literacy
29 2011-2012 fall INLS461-002 Tools for Information Literacy
28 2010-2011 summer INLS261/461 Tools for Information Literacy
27 2010-2011 spring INLS461 Tools for Information Literacy
26 2010-2011 fall INLS261 Tools for Information Literacy
25 2010-2011 fall INLS461 Tools for Information Literacy
24 2009-2010 summer INLS261/461 Tools for Information Literacy
23 2009-2010 spring INLS261/461 Tools for Information Literacy
22 2009-2010 fall INLS261-001 Tools for Information Literacy
21 2009-2010 fall INLS461-004 Tools for Information Literacy
20 2008-2009 summer INLS261/461 Tools for Information Literacy
19 2008-2009 spring INLS261 Tools for Information Literacy
18 2008-2009 spring INLS461 Tools for Information Literacy
17 2008-2009 fall INLS261 Tools for Information Literacy
16 2007-2008 summer INLS261/461 Tools for Information Literacy
15 2007-2008 spring INLS261 Tools for Information Literacy
14 2007-2008 fall INLS261 Tools for Information Literacy
13 2006-2007 spring INLS261 Tools for Information Literacy
12 2006-2007 fall INLS261 Tools for Information Literacy
11 2005-2006 spring INLS050 Tools for Information Literacy
10 2005-2006 fall INLS050 Tools for Information Literacy
09 2003-2004 spring INLS050 Tools for Information Literacy
08 2003-2004 fall INLS050 Tools for Information Literacy
07 2002-2003 summer INLS050 Tools for Information Literacy
06 2002-2003 spring INLS050 Tools for Information Literacy
05 2002-2003 fall INLS050 Tools for Information Literacy
04 2001-2002 spring INLS050 Tools for Information Literacy
03 2001-2002 fall INLS050 Information Technology Applications
02 2000-2001 spring INLS050 Information Technology Applications
01 2000-2001 fall INLS050 Introduction to Computing

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
tools | foundations | organizations | perspectives | UI design | public libraries | find & analyze | management

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School of Information and Library Sciences

Foundations of Information Science

I started teaching this class in the spring of 2014. The SILS catalog describes INLS201 as:

Examines the evolution of information science; information representation, organization and management; search and retrieval; human information seeking and interaction; organizational behavior and communication; policy, ethics and scholarly communications.

Foundations of Information Science Classes

session number name
06 2016-2017 fall INLS201-001 Foundations of Information Science
05 2015-2016 spring INLS201-002 Foundations of Information Science
04 2015-2016 fall INLS201-002 Foundations of Information Science
03 2014-2015 spring INLS201-001 Foundations of Information Science
02 2014-2015 fall INLS201-001 Foundations of Information Science
01 2013-2014 spring INLS101-002 Foundations of Information Science

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
tools | foundations | organizations | perspectives | UI design | public libraries | find & analyze | management

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School of Information and Library Sciences

Information Management for Organizational Effectiveness

Starting in the fall of 2011, I taught INLS385 (formerly numbered as 285), Information Management for Organizational Effectiveness. The SILS catalog describes it as:

Basic concepts in the way that information, people, and technology interact to influence organizational effectiveness. Principles of problem solving, teamwork, leadership, and organizational change/innovation.

Information Management for Organizational Effectiveness Classes

session number name
04 2016-2017 spring INLS385 Organizational Effectiveness
03 2012-2013 spring INLS285 Organizational Effectiveness
02 2011-2012 spring INLS285 Organizational Effectiveness
01 2011-2012 fall INLS285 Organizational Effectiveness

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
tools | foundations | organizations | perspectives | UI design | public libraries | find & analyze | management

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School of Information and Library Sciences

International & Cross-cultural Perspectives

Starting in the fall of 2010, I have taught INLS758, International and Cross Cultural Perspectives for Information Management. The SILS catalog describes it as:

Examines information in society for selected nations/cultures. Compares institutions, processes, and trends in the globalization of information management in the face of barriers of language and culture.

International and Cross Cultural Perspectives Classes

session number name
03 2014-2015 fall INLS758 International and Cross Cultural Perspectives
02 2012-2013 fall INLS758 International and Cross Cultural Perspectives
01 2010-2011 fall INLS758 International and Cross Cultural Perspectives

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
tools | foundations | organizations | perspectives | UI design | public libraries | find & analyze | management

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School of Information and Library Sciences

User Interface Design

Starting in the spring of 2010, I have taught INLS718, User Interface Design. The SILS catalog describes it as:

Basic principles for designing the human interface to information systems, emphasizing computer-assisted systems. Major topics: users' conceptual models of systems, human information processing capabilities, styles of interfaces, and evaluation methods.

User Interface Design Classes

session number name
07 2015-2016 spring INLS718 User Interface Design
06 2014-2015 spring INLS718 User Interface Design
05 2013-2014 spring INLS718 User Interface Design
04 2012-2013 spring INLS718 User Interface Design
03 2011-2012 spring INLS718 User Interface Design
02 2010-2011 spring INLS718 User Interface Design
01 2009-2010 spring INLS718 User Interface Design

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
tools | foundations | organizations | perspectives | UI design | public libraries | find & analyze | management

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School of Information and Library Sciences

Seminar in Public Libraries

Starting in the spring of 2005, I led INLS843 (formerly numbered as 341), the Seminar in Public Libraries. The SILS catalog describes it as:

Selected topics in public library services, systems, networks, and their management. Current issues are emphasized, along with the interests of the participants.

Public Libraries Seminars

session number name
09 2012-2013 spring INLS843 Seminar in Public Libraries
08 2011-2012 spring INLS843 Seminar in Public Libraries
07 2010-2011 spring INLS843 Seminar in Public Libraries
06 2009-2010 spring INLS843 Seminar in Public Libraries
05 2008-2009 spring INLS843 Seminar in Public Libraries
04 2007-2008 spring INLS843 Seminar in Public Libraries
03 2006-2007 spring INLS843 Seminar in Public Libraries
02 2005-2006 spring INLS341 Seminar in Public Libraries
01 2004-2005 spring INLS341 Seminar in Public Libraries

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
tools | foundations | organizations | perspectives | UI design | public libraries | find & analyze | management

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School of Information and Library Sciences

Retrieving & Analyzing Information

Usually during the summer sessions, I taught INLS151 (formerly numbered as 040, then numbered as 200, now numbered as 151), Retrieving and Analyzing Information. The SILS catalog describes it as:

Viewing information as a social cultural construct, this course covers the processes used in seeking information by evaluating the quality of the information retrieval, and synthesizing it into a useful form.

Retrieving and Analyzing Information Classes

05 2012-2013 fall INLS200 Retrieving and Analyzing Information
04 2007-2008 summer II INLS200 Retrieving and Analyzing Information
03 2006-2007 summer II INLS200 Retrieving and Analyzing Information
02 2006-2007 summer I INLS200 Retrieving and Analyzing Information
01 2005-2006 summer II INLS040 Retrieving and Analyzing Information

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
tools | foundations | organizations | perspectives | UI design | public libraries | find & analyze | management

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School of Information and Library Sciences

Management for Information Professionals

I started teaching at SILS during the summer of 2000 when I co-taught INLS585 (formerly numbered as 131), Management for Information Professionals, with Dr. Evelyn Daniels. As described in the SILS catalog, it is:

An introduction to general management principles and practices intended for information professionals working in all types of organizations. Topics include planning, budgeting, organizational theory, staffing, leadership, organizational change, and decision making.

Management for Information Professionals Classes

01 1999-2000
Summer II
INLS131 Management for Information Professionals

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU
tools | foundations | organizations | perspectives | UI design | public libraries | find & analyze | management

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact

North Carolina Central University

School of Library and Information Sciences

The Public Library

I began teaching an online course in public libraries for the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University in the fall of 2008. As described in the SLIS catalog, it is a study of:

The roles performed by public libraries in meeting educational, informational, recreational, and cultural needs.

The Public Library Classes

02 2009-2010 fall LSIS 5180 The Public Library
01 2008-2009 fall LSIS 5180 The Public Library

perspective | philosophy | at UNC-CH | at NCCU

Home | School | Tools | About | Teaching | Thoughts | Contact