Dear Faculty Colleagues:
I invite you to ponder with me, the theme of this 2018 Faculty Institute, Living The Engaged Life: Andrews University a Place to Belong; and the corresponding scriptural passage: In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew (ethnicity), slave and free (social class), male and female (gender). Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:28, The Message).
Thank you for the work that you are doing to make Andrews University a Place to Belong and a place where we can thrive together and live out the ideals of Galatians 3:28 – at Andrews University there will inclusivity and celebration of our differences. We are equals and are held together because of our relationship with Christ.
This seventh annual Faculty Institute is a rich Andrews University tradition and a permanent fixture on our academic life. Thank you for coming together for this day-and-a-half professional development event marks the beginning of the academic year. You will be inspired and challenged!
On Thursday, Emeritus Professor George Knight will inspire and challenge us to think about what makes an Andrew’s education distinctive. He will challenge us to pay attention to the ‘blueprint.’ Then on Friday, VP Michael Nixon will inspire and challenge us to think about what it means to be a community where students, faculty, staff and administrators thrive in relationships that are centered in Christ. Relationships that acknowledge, accept and celebrate our ethnic and gender differences. Our focus this year will be on building community – A Place to Belong!
You, the faculty, are at the core of our academic community. The teaching and learning environment relies on your skills, knowledge and creativity. Our reputation in research depends on your willingness to engage in, create and sustain a culture of scholarship and inquiry. Our call to Living the Engaged Life emphasizes that as a spiritual community, our success is measured by the extent to which students see how you, their mentors, create communities that give them a sense of belonging both within your disparate disciplines and with the University.
Thank you for what you do so well, every day. This Institute will provide opportunities for you to broaden your repertoire of strategies to enhance the teaching-learning community.
I hope is that you will gain some new perspectives and ideas over the next day and a half, and that as a result of this shared time together we will be an even stronger academic community – a community where we all belong.
We ask for your feedback. Please let us know what we did well, what we can do better, and share with us your ideas for future workshops and Institute sessions.
Thank you for your work. You are a valued member of our Andrews University academic community. This is our home – our Place to Belong!