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Spring News Roundup

A collection of sundry gatherings and other tidbits to pique your interest this spring.

Life of the Mind 2017

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel has been chosen as the 2017 Life of the Mind book.

A science fiction novel set during a swine flu pandemic, the book won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Toronto Book Award. It was nominated for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The Office of First-Year Studies, which oversees Life of the Mind, encourages faculty and staff to read Station Eleven and propose programs or coursework that could tie in to the themes.

Faculty, staff, and graduate students interested in serving as discussion leaders for Life of the Mind sessions during Welcome Week should sign up here. Discussion leaders are asked to read the book and lead a small group of students in critical thinking discussions. Leaders attend a professional development workshop on the novel in preparation for the discussion sessions.

In addition, the Life of the Mind committee is already searching for the 2018 book. Suggested books should have appropriate themes (global scope, transition, and current events) and meet the program criteria (fewer than 350 pages, with a living author).

Please email Stella Bridgeman to suggest a book or inquire about the Life of the Mind program.

Faculty Pub

The first Faculty Pub of the spring will celebrate Faculty Appreciation Week. It will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, in the West Club of Neyland Stadium. There will be a cash bar with discounted drinks during the first hour and free appetizers. Door prizes have been donated by VolShop. Limited parking will be available after 5 p.m. in Staff Lot 9. RSVP here.

Other spring Faculty Pub dates are March 2 and April 6. All pubs will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays in the West Club of Neyland Stadium.


MicNite will be held March 9 at the Relix Variety Theatre, 1208 N. Central Street. Social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. and presentations start at 6:30 p.m. There will be free pizza and a cash bar. RSVP here.


The second phase of Elements has launched, allowing faculty to record all their scholarly, teaching, and professional activities in the system. You can now add information about your creative activities—such as gallery shows, performances, or exhibits—and scholarship of engagement. You can also add activities such as student supervision, student advising, and participation in Experience Learning.

Elements will soon begin pulling grant information from Cayuse, the university’s system for tracking grants and contracts. A new “What Goes Where” guide is also being added.

By fall 2017, you will be required to use Elements for your annual performance and planning reviews as well as academic program reviews and strategic planning,

For more information about Elements, email Matthew Theriot, interim vice provost for faculty affairs and associate provost for teaching and learning innovation.

MyCampus survey

The MyCampus student experience survey is open until February 24. Students have received an email with information about the confidential survey, which includes questions on topics ranging from overall satisfaction with the university and free speech to intimidating conduct and sexual harassment.

Data gathered through this survey will help us identify issues and needs. Please encourage your students to participate.