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SPSUTeach Co-Directors

With jobs similar to those of a department chair, the co-directors have the following roles and responsibilities:

• Planning: The basic function of the co-directors is to visualize the evolution of the UTeach program and to set in motion all the actions that will lead to the creation and improvement of a unit responsible for teacher preparation.  As the program evolves, planning includes continually considering the future and identifying upcoming tasks that are not yet anyone’s responsibility and determining how to accomplish them.

• Negotiation: Teacher preparation depends on cooperation between many groups, including university administration, the Colleges of Science and Education, and one or more school districts. Co-directors generally need to be present in meetings involving any of these groups, particularly when ad- dressing potential conflict and issues involving resource allocation.

• Management: How the management tasks are divided between the two co- directors will vary somewhat at different institutions. At UTeach Austin, the co-director from Natural Sciences oversees the hiring and performance of master teachers and UTeach support staff within Natural Sciences. This co- director reports to a dean or an associate dean in Natural Sciences, communicating budget requests and job performance evaluations. The co-director from Education oversees hiring of faculty, scheduling of courses, assignment of teaching assistants, and acquisition and management of resources. This co-director reports to a dean or an associate dean in Education, communicating issues related to budget, staffing, and facilities. The co-directors decide jointly on teaching assignments.

• Instruction: The UTeach Austin co-directors have often taught UTeach classes. (For example, one Education co-director supervised the creation of Knowing and Learning, Classroom Interactions, and Project-Based Instruction and taught Classroom Interactions. A Natural Sciences co-director has overseen Research Methods and taught one of the sections.) This arrangement is desirable because it provides closer and more realistic contact with students than would otherwise be possible.

• Ceremonies and conferences: The co-directors represent UTeach at functions both within and outside the university, including events such as graduation dinners, fundraisers, and conferences

• Student relations: The co-directors arbitrate disputes between students and faculty and serve on committees to grant scholarships and to decide on student appeals for waivers of UTeach rules.

• Fundraising: The co-directors write and administer federal and state grants and assist university and college Development officers in raising funds for UTeach.

• Committees: The co-directors assign UTeach instructors to committees and oversee their operation. Co-directors chair the Steering Committee, and one or the other is a member of most other committees. (See the section “UTeach Committees,” later in this chapter, for more information on UTeach committees.)

• Other duties: Co-directors tend to be viewed as spokespersons for the improvement of education—within the university and outside—and can therefore have many duties, such as ad hoc arbitration of disputes within the school district, direction of science fairs, consultation with state and national education leaders, and many others.