October 20, 2022
Like any self-respecting institution, Xavier has insider acronyms. Most we've adopted from our Jesuit, Catholic tradition. A few we even derived from ancient languages, just to be tricky.
Maybe you've encountered AMDG or IHS.
How about the UCA and the 4 UAPs?
And don't forget ICP and JVC (not to be confused with JVC Northwest).
Baffled? Don't worry. I suggest you first familiarize yourself with two simple and practical acronyms.
Start with SJ. If you see that suffix on a nametag, you can be pretty sure you've just met a member of the Society of Jesus -- the formal name of the Jesuits.
And here's an especially useful one for us academics: the AJCU.
That's the Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities, twenty-eight institutions of higher learning in North America that share a common mission.
Among its activities, the AJCU facilitates the collaboration of dozens of conferences and affinity groups.
Xavier CAS members have engaged, led, or hosted many of these over the years, including those for faculty in Communication, Rhetoric & Composition, Physics, Philosophy, and Theology. Plus many more.
There's even one for Arts and Sciences Deans and Associate Deans, whose meetings I've been attending since 2012. Last week Richard Polt and I joined a few dozen colleagues at Loyola University Maryland for our first in-person meeting since 2019.
What do deans discuss when they gather? Well, I co-facilitated a session with my counterpart from Gonzaga on "Mission-centered approaches to building faculty/staff belonging and community." Other topics included "Tips for New Deans," "Navigating Budget Cuts," "Interdisciplinary Majors," "Advising & Advising Loads," and several related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
And then there's the accompanying CAS Deans' listserv, which this week included a thread about rank and tenure practices.
I encourage you to explore the AJCU and any of its affinity groups that may be of interest. A great starting point would be subscribing to the weekly AJCU Higher Ed News e-mail and checking out articles in Conversations magazine.
You've far more to gain than a prodigious vocabulary of acronyms!