1. A) In what ways are the goals of the ATHE strategic plan consistent with the goals of your focus group?
Goal 2 and 4 seem to be most important for our DT&M focus group members
B) What are some ways your focus group is performing actions that are consistent with the goals in the ATHE strategic plan?
The DT&M FG is seeking ways to connect with tenured and promoted design professors from other colleges for peer reviews of design work for the professional development and creative work tenure and promotion files.
The DT&M FG is seeking ways to connect with global opportunities in design such as the Prague Quadrennial.
C) Which of your focus group goals, if any, do you think should be a goal of the entire association?
2. D) How can ATHE can help your FGR thrive and/or meet the goals of the strategic plan?
Communication and connection seems to be the biggest struggle. The new website functions will be helpful as the ATHECast list was difficult to monitor. It is difficult, even as a FGR and former Conference Planner to feel like I am communicating with new and current members at all. I have to trust that they are getting the communications. I feel we could reach more design, tech and management folk if ATHE is more accessible to non-members. I know there are faculty who would benefit from ATHE’s education based focus rather than the professional based such as USITT. It would be beneficial to have a liaison with USITT to help build a bridge with educators of design, technology and management and ATHE
Often DT&M are more hands on and less theory based. The Playwrights and Creative Team experience and co-sponsorship is important to many in the DT&M FG.
E) How can ATHE better support and advocate for our members as theatre/performance educators to make their work lives at their home institutions more fruitful, rich and productive?
Small theatre departments struggle to make a case for the total learning experience of a student engaged in theatre. Often economics are a stronger force and on paper theatre takes money, staff and space. The high levels of collaboration students are engaged in, especially if they are not getting a degree in theatre is under appreciated in the greater college community and administration. Often theatre is not attracting an audience unless it is a guaranteed box office hit. The advocacy for theatre is not always easy as the professors are busy with making theatre and often administrating this is not an easy task. ATHE might create administrative advice or guidelines or talking points - a database of research, articles etc. that explain the importance of theatre to the whole person and community. This could be shared with the powers that be and would ease the struggle of the small theatre program to advocate for themselves and their needs.
Goal 1 (Theme: Promote Theatre in Higher Ed / Lifelong Learning)
Promote theatre as an essential component in higher education and as a lifelong tool for learning.
The Advocacy Committee has a number of projects planned and underway: an Advocacy Watch (to monitor the state of the arts in American culture and higher education), a resources page, a planned white paper on disabilities in higher education, and a focus on interactive theater as a unique educational tool. Other proposed ideas include: improving our ability to pitch theater to skeptics by focusing on economic, developmental, and social benefits; reorganizing the advocacy resources page around particular roles/goals relevant to theater faculty; better publicizing materials that are already available; and preparing a white paper on contingent faculty to guide deans and administrators.
- In the face of shrinking funding for the arts and waning support from administrations and policy makers, how can ATHE best promote and support theater education?
- What would help you make the best case for theater in your institution, in your community, or more widely?
Goal 2 (Theme: Global Participation)
Position ATHE as a global participant within higher education.
- How might we partner with International organizations to meet our goals?
- How would you like to see ATHE more internationally involved? In the Hemisphere, or in other parts of the globe?
- How would you distinguish our mission from other organizations that define themselves internationally (PSi or IFTR)?
Goal 3 (Theme: Strategic Partnerships for Advocacy)
Continue to develop strategic and sustainable partnerships to advocate for and advance the study of theatre and performance in higher education.
We currently have fifteen affiliate organizations with whom we have reciprocal agreements to share access, information, and opportunities. (For a complete list, see http://www.athe.org/?page=Affiliates_Alliances). In order to establish a more united voice advocating for theatre and performance in higher education, we first need to identify what that voice should be saying, then we need to identify partners to help us advocate on these issues.
- Are there immediate issues fundamental to advancing the study of theatre and performance in higher education in your programs and organizations that must be resolved for the maintenance and growth of the field?
- Based on the responses above (yours or someone else’s), do you know of other arts organizations addressing similar issues?
- Are there successes in your own programs and organizations that you believe could be implemented more broadly? Do you know of arts organizations that have advocated successfully? How did they do so?
Goal 4 (Theme: Professional Development)
Support the professional development of ATHE Members
ATHE offers sessions, workshops, job postings, and has developed Promotion and Tenure guidelines. It has taken positions on electronic publishing, academic freedom, and more. We wonder if current professional development offerings are sufficiently robust to help you in meaningful ways.
- What other guidelines or position papers should ATHE develop to help you?
- Are there specific initiatives outside of the conference that ATHE can undertake to support contingent faculty (adjuncts, PTI, etc.)? To prepare graduate students for contingent work?
- Is the ATHE Leadership Institute® sufficient or should ATHE find other ways to support mid-career members?
Goal 5 (Theme: Administration & Organizational Viability)
Develop strategies for sustaining the administrative and organizational viability of ATHE.
To make ATHE sustainable in changing times, we offer suggestions and inquiries about how we might do our job better. We hope to increase economic accessibility and improve organizational communication.
- How might we better communicate with you and the field as a whole? What would make it more accessible to you?
- If you could imagine an organizational structure for ATHE, what would it look like? How would you change it?
- What types of resources do you think that ATHE overlooks or might look to as we try to develop our organization in our fiscal times?
Goal 6 (Theme: Diversity)
Continue to diversify participation in every facet of the organization including membership, programming, scholarship, and governance
We would like to clarify what ATHE considers to be diverse participation, especially considering the national conversations of the past few years concerning, for example, women playwrights, representation by people of color in American theater, and season selections in regional theaters.
- As a member of ATHE, what do you consider diversity? How might we increase ethnic and racial diversity in the membership and participation in our organization? Where else do you see the need for increased diversity such as gender identity and sexuality, class position, professional profile and position (i.e. contingent faculty, tenured or tenure track faculty, teaching artists, non-university affiliated artists/teachers) or in terms of methodology, subject matter, or pedagogy?
- How can we transpose the driving ideas of this goal into pedagogical activities that foment diversity in our classroom curriculums and in shaping our institutional production seasons?
- And, perhaps most importantly, what organizational initiatives might ATHE convene to activate and actualize this goal? Do Focus Groups and their specificity accomplish this work on the organization's behalf? How might they do so more fully? Conversely, how might "diversity" within ATHE be reimagined in total?