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Events
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • Exquisite Beauty is the first retrospective and publication to document the eye-dazzling ceramics created by Ralph Bacerra (1938–2008), a Los Angeles–based artist known for his innovative approach to surface embellishment. Curated by Jo Lauria, the exhibition features more than ninety of the artist’s finest pieces—dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been the focus of a major exhibition or publication.

  • Opening Reception for Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

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Activities and Workshops

Faculty Development

Teaching Excellence

 

Annual TLC “Teach-In.” Numerous workshops are offered during the week before school starts. These are often technology related, but with an emphasis on how technology can support pedagogy. Schedule.

Teaching/Learning Center. The TLC provides workshops on a range of topics, generally scheduled during the Wednesday or Thursday free periods. Or you are welcome to drop in anytime for one-on-one assistance.

Presentations in Academic Assembly. Presentations at monthly meetings are regular occurrences. Topics relate to such concerns as instructional technologies, best practices, and reports on faculty projects, grants, and academic travel.  Presentations are generally 10-20 minutes long.

Annual Convocation. A college-wide event featuring a keynote presentation and discussion groups/workshops related to the education of artists and designers. Past keynote speakers include renowned experta in the fielda of creativity, innovation, art, design, and education.

Faculty Pecha Kucha. Faculty members share short presentations of works “in progress,” or other professional activities in a quick format using images that change every 20 seconds.

Brown Bag Discussion. Upon occasion, faculty convene to discuss issues of art/design pedagogy, related research, and/or teaching tips. Led by some of Otis' most experienced and respected teachers.

"Just in time" Drop-In Assistance. TheTeaching/Learning Center offers technical support related to all sorts of technologies from email to OSpace. Staff in the TLC includes an instructional designer and others who are available to assist faculty with technology issues and provide information literacy training.

Discipline-Specific Discussions in Department Meetings. Department Chairs often lead pedagogical discussions during faculty meetings, especially during the week preceding the start of the school year. Assessment has been a frequent topic over recent years, as Otis prepared for accreditation visits.

O Teaching Matters Blog. Edited by Debra Ballard, this online faculty resource covers a range of topics relevant to beginning and experienced teaching practitioners alike. Topics include learning styles, assessment, information literacy, writing across the curriculum, best practices, the new Integrated Learning curriculum at Otis, ESL learners in the classroom, technology and teaching, active learning, layered curricula, Liberal Studies in the 21st century, and “core” in art and design higher education today.

Books and Articles: New Browsing Shelf in the Library and TLC. The library provides many books and e-books to support faculty in teaching practice. The TLC maintains a shelf of selected books and recent issues of the Chronicle of Higher Education for easy faculty access.
 

Join our Diigo Group!
Sammy Flores recently suggested that we create a "database" where information about best practices in teaching at Otis could be shared. Can this space serve as that? Can it be a resource for an intellectual community, where interesting articles, ideas, and projects get posted and discussed?


View a summary of Faculty Development Activities at Otis, 2004-2009 (PDF)
 

Professional Development

Faculty Learning Exchange (FleX). FleX fosters integrated learning, community building, and faculty professional development by enabling faculty members to take Otis courses offered by other departments.  This opportunity to learn from colleagues and explore new curricula provides enriching experience that supports faculty interests in interdisciplinary professional and/or teaching activities.  

Participation in FleX expands the knowledge, skills, and information available to faculty and provides a means to enrich professional and teaching resources.  Further, FleX fosters curricular connections between disciplines within the college and strengthens the educational community.

FleX activities are subject to Department Chair and Teaching Faculty approval (i.e. thoseproviding the FleX course).  FleX course participation includes all in-class work, but FleX faculty are exempt from homework and testing.

Conferences. Departments can plan conference travel that enables faculty to participate in professional/academic conferences.  Faculty who present or otherwise participate are expected to share what is learned at the conference with their Department or the larger academic community.

Faculty Development Grants. The College maintains a commitment to support faculty in their pursuit of excellence in professional activities, teaching effectiveness, and contributions to the college. Modest grants are available to support activities including, but not limited to, the following:

Professional activities such as research, exhibitions, publishing, funding for supplies and materials, or participation in conferences and workshops.

  1. Enhancing teaching effectiveness by learning more about today’s students’ learning styles, dealing with problem students, the Millennial generation, or educating the whole student
  2. Contributions to the college such as building departmental teamwork, fostering collegiality, hosting interdisciplinary events, or enhancing inter-departmental communications
  3. Grants awarded by the Faculty Development Committee support faculty needs such as travel, exhibition assistance, research, supplies and equipment, and more. (Application Deadlines are usually October 1st and March 1st; submit applications to Chair or Co-Chairs, Faculty Development Committee).


Sabbaticals. Professional Leave enables faculty to pursue scholarly, creative, or professional activities with support from the College. Each year, three full-time faculty members are eligible to receive one semester of paid leave. (See the Faculty Handbook for important details about eligibility and processes). Sabbatical Application Form

Software Upgrade Grants. Grants are available to full-time, adjunct, and part-time faculty from the Provost's Office for software upgrades that enhance teaching.

All faculty members who have taught at Otis for a minimum of two years are eligible for software upgrade grants, which will be administered as reimbursements.  Please note that the grants suport software upgradesonly and that the Provost's Office reserves the right to approve, deny, and/or cap awards.

Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis. To make a request, eligible faculty members should complete the Software Upgrade Request form and forward the relevant Department Chair's written approval to the Provost. Awards will be made as funds allow.

Faculty Discounts on Hardware and Software. Otis has negotiated discounts for all faculty on items purchased from Apple and CDWG.

External Funding Opportunities. External Faculty Support Opportunities (PDF), a faculty development resource prepared by Randy Lavender for the Provost's Office, offering over 80 linked sources leading to hundreds of grant, fellowship, residency, and emergency loan opportunities for individual artists, designers, scholars, and writers.