Week of October 4, 2021

Greetings, Colleagues,

Below please find a summary of recent announcements and upcoming events. 

President Spencer sent this message to the Bates Community.  As we settle into the rhythms of the academic year, I wanted to be in touch to share some thoughts and plans about our work together.  Please see my message here.


The MLK Committee sent a message announcing they are accepting workshop proposals for this year’s observance, which will take place via Zoom or in person on January 17, 2022.  This is a day on campus that our work transforms from regular classes to a series of events.

An important part of the day consists of morning and afternoon workshops. These workshops are typically organized by Bates faculty, staff, students, and administrators, but sometimes also local community members, and they offer a rich diversity of formats and ideas. The success of MLK Day depends heavily on our having a full program of workshops, and so the success of the day depends on people such as yourself.

The theme for MLK Day 2022 is “Decolonization and Liberation.”  We look forward to reviewing your proposal for workshop/film/performance etc.  Click here to submit Workshop Proposal

Kerry O’Brien, Assistant Dean of Faculty, sent a message announcing that the deadlines have been extended until October 8  for students applying for a BATES STUDENT RESEARCH FUND GRANT or a STEM CONFERENCE GRANT.   Student proposals must have a brief statement of support from the faculty advisor, which you can email to Kerry O’Brien (kobrien@bates.edu) or to Alison Keegan (akeegan@bates.edu). Student materials are due on 10/8; faculty comments are needed no later than 10/12.

BATES STUDENT RESEARCH FUND (Deadline Friday, October 8): Grants of up to $300 (sometimes more) to support research in a course, and independent study, or a thesis/capstone. These grants support:

– research supplies and consumables

– travel within the U.S. to archives, museums, historic and field sites

– subject reimbursement

– studio art and theatrical design supplies, 

– data sets, books and media not available through Ladd, etc.

All the guidelines and applications info can be found here:  https://www.bates.edu/academics/student-research/academic-year/bates-student-research-fund/

Krista Aronson announced that the Short Term Innovative Pedagogy Program will resume this Spring. For more detailed information about the program and the proposal process, please visit this page. Proposals are due on or before October 29th, 2021. I’m happy to answer questions you may have and look forward to receiving your proposal.

STEM CONFERENCE GRANTS (Deadline Friday, October 8): Support students presenting research at scholarly conferences in STEM fields:  Bio, Biochem, Chem, DCS, Earth and Climate Sci, Environmental Science, Math, Neuro, Physics, biomedically-related Psych. Funding is available for both online conferences and those held in the U.S. Alums from the Class of 2020 and 2021 also may apply for this funding to present research conducted while at Bates.  All the guidelines and applications info can be found here: 

Áslaug Ásgeirsdóttir, Associate Dean of Faculty, sent along this message.  Last spring, we shared with faculty that we would begin to share minutes from the Faculty Governance Review Committee, which has been working for the past two years to rethink our faculty governance structure. Please find the minutes from our meetings since then in this folder. We will continue to update this folder.

The CFG Committee sent this message:  We are working toward a goal to bring legislation to the faculty this fall, during which process you will have the ability to engage with our ideas as they move through the legislative process.

Our second Faculty Meeting of the semester will take place on October 4, from 4:15 PM to 6:00 PM, using Zoom only (and via phone connection for colleagues who need that alternative).  The Zoom link can be found here.

As was the case in September, we will pursue a remote meeting format on Zoom. We follow the recommendations of the specialists at Mayo Clinic, and we believe that a gathering of the entire faculty indoors is inadvisable at the moment.

We will keep evaluating the situation and we are currently exploring several options for how and when to bring the entire faculty together in-person safely and with accessibility in mind.

Thank you for your understanding and continued efforts to keep the Bates community healthy and safe.


Facilities Services announced to the Bates Community that starting Tuesday October 5, Facility Services will begin the process of removing all campus window A/C units for Fall and Winter.  The process usually takes two to three days to complete.  Please ensure there is a clear path to these units so we can make this process safe and efficient for our staff and customers.  Work should take approximately a half hour per location.


Geoff Swift wrote with an update to the information provided in his September 8 message about our COVID-19 testing program.  Thanks to the efforts of the entire Bates community, cases of COVID-19 on campus remain low.  In order to continue this favorable trend, we are extending COVID-19 testing until further notice.  All students will continue to participate in ongoing COVID-19 testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays at our COVID-19 Testing Center at Underhill. Faculty and staff who are regularly on campus are encouraged to test once a week; faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated are required to test weekly on one of these days. Instructions for how to register for testing and further information about the testing program can be found here.

Kristen Cloutier of the Harward Center shared the following announcement.  2022 Davis Projects for Peace award.  Students interested in applying should plan on attending an informational meeting on Monday, October 25 at 4p.m. via Zoom.  Those who RSVP that they will be in attendance will be sent a Zoom link on October 22.  RSVP HERE

The Davis United World Scholars Program, which funds a number of scholarships for international students at Bates each year, has decided to re-fund this coming summer “Davis Projects for Peace” at the colleges at which they have scholarships, including Bates.  The awards will be made to a student or group of students at each college who design the most promising and do-able project, funded at $10,000 each, which they will implement during the summer of 2022 anywhere in the world. The objective is “to encourage and support today’s motivated youth to create and try out their own ideas for building peace in the 21st century.”  The grants are made possible by a gift of $1M for this purpose by Mrs. Kathryn Wasserman Davis.  She wants today’s students—tomorrow’s leaders—to be challenged to design and test their own ideas for world peace. This is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the world.  Information and particulars on the project are available at the project website:  http://www.davisprojectsforpeace.org/ 

Lee Desiderio announced that the Zoom Client for Meeting has been upgraded to version 5.8.0. If you have not had an opportunity to update Zoom, please do so at your earliest convenience so you may access Zoom’s news features, bug fixes, and security patches. Instructions on performing a Zoom update for the macOS and Microsoft Windows are available for your reference.

Judith Miller ’91, Chair of the Committee on Honorary Degrees, writes to the members of the Bates community to solicit nominations for honorary degree recipients for Commencement 2022 and beyond.

The committee is composed of faculty, students, staff, and trustees. Nominations for honorary degrees come from the Bates community and from committee members, and the committee maintains a rolling list of individuals to be considered. Names are discussed by the committee as a whole and invitations are often extended a year or two in advance.

If you would like to nominate someone for an honorary degree, please write to honorarydegrees@bates.edu with the individual’s name, a brief description of why the individual would be a good honorand for Bates, and whether you have or know of a personal connection. Submissions are welcome throughout the year, but those received by October 15 will be considered at the Committee on Honorary Degrees’ fall meeting.

Click here to read more about the guidelines for honorary degrees and to find a list of past recipients.

Assembling a dynamic and worthy class of honorands is a community project, and I thank you, in advance, for your thoughtful contributions.

Next, upcoming events. Please Note: You can find additional, asynchronous resources for course redesign, and pedagogy here. I will use these weekly emails to draw your attention to upcoming events, but you are also welcome to check this link for real-time updates.

Faculty Technology Showcase
Thursday, October 21

4:30-6:00 p.m.
Ladd Library

As one way to bring us together as a community, ten of your faculty colleagues are partnering with the DOF and ILS to demonstrate unique ways they have incorporated technology into their teaching and scholarship.   The final program is coming together and will be shared shortly.  Refreshments will be served.


Workshop:  Reginald Dwayne Betts

In Conversation with Major Jackson

Thursday, October 7, 2021

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. EST
Register here>

Hear MacArthur Fellow Reginald Dwayne Betts in conversation with renowned poet Major Jackson. They will discuss why reading and writing matter and the ways in which teachers can bring literature alive for students. Their insights will deeply inform the goals of the Cornerstone: Learning for Living initiative in re-engaging students with transformative works of literature and philosophy and providing them with clear pathways through general education that enable them to connect the humanities to their professional aspirations.

As a poet and lawyer, Reginald Betts has championed the power of the humanities. He created Freedom Reads, an initiative to curate micro libraries and install them in prisons across the country, inspired by the impact literature had in countering hopelessness in his own life when he was incarcerated as an adolescent. His award-winning essays and poetry reflect on his journey towards becoming a working lawyer, the failure of the criminal justice system, and his post-incarceration experience.

Major Jackson is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University and author of five books of poetry, including The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. He has received numerous fellowships, including those from Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

The event is the first in a series of Teaching with Transformative Texts Workshops. Workshops focus on what can be done to strengthen general education—as students move into STEM, business, health, and other pre-professional fields—to ensure that college students, whatever their major or background, encounter inspiring works of literature and philosophy and grasp the power of the humanities and its relevance to their professional aspirations. Learn more >

These virtual workshops provide practical insight on effectively teaching first-year students and non-majors in the humanities. Each workshop will run from 12:30-1:30 p.m. EST. Foundation staff will remain from 1:30-2:00 p.m. EST to answer questions about the Cornerstone: Learning for Living initiative. All workshops are free and open to current grantees and prospective applicants. Register for workshops >


On-Site Flu Shots
Underhill Testing Center
Tuesday, October 5-Thursday, October 14.

7:30 am – 1:00 p.m. 
Sign up for a flu shot using the same scheduling system in Garnet Gateway for signing up for a COVID test.  You may then receive a Flu shot only and/or a COVID test with the same appointment.  

You may sign up for a flu shot next week, you just cannot schedule an appointment on the same day as each day’s schedule is locked down at 4:00 am (if you want to schedule a flu shot for Tuesday you have to book an appointment before 4:00 am Tuesday morning).

The type of flu shot that will be offered is the Standard Injectable Quadrivalent.  There will also be High Dose flu shots available to those employees who are age 65 or older. Due to the Pandemic, only employees will be able to receive the flu shot at the testing center.  An employee’s family members are encouraged to seek a flu shot in their community.  

A flu shot registration table will be set up outside of Underhill for you to pick up and complete a flu shot consent form.

  • Flu shot consent form requires you to answer a few questions on how you feel that day.
  • If you are a member of the Bates Medical Plan your medical billing information has been completed.
  • If you are covered under a non-Bates provided medical plan please be prepared to enter your medical coverage information on the consent form (plan name, group number and ID).
  • In the event of bad weather an email will be sent if the registration table is relocated.

If you choose to receive both a flu shot and a COVID test within the same appointment you will be directed to take your flu shot first and then follow the procedures to go through the center for your COVID test.


Purposeful Work Beer Science Night at Baxter
Wednesday, October 13
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Baxter Brewing

Emily Tamkin ’23 will present her research that she conducted alongside Merritt Waldron (Quality Director at Baxter Brewing) and our own Dr. Lori Banks (Assistant Professor of Biology) this past summer.

Optional purchase of a $10 ticket for a guided flight tasting upon arrival. For more information and to register (required), click here

Curious about retirement?
A panel of recently “liberated” faculty will discuss/learn about diverse ways to navigate life and work beyond Bates.
Monday, October 18, 2021
4:15-5:15 p.m.  (ZOOM link forthcoming)
From ongoing academic engagement, to creative reinvention, to graceful disappearance, our panelists will describe how it is all possible!  

FMI: Contact Margaret Creighton, Leslie Hill, or Darby Ray

Literary Arts Live presents writer Corinna Vallianatos
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
7:30 – 8:30 pm
A Zoom reading and conversation https://bates.zoom.us/j/94546620489

Corinna Vallianatos is the author of the novel The Beforeland (Acre Books 2020), a 2020 winner in the Forward Indie Awards for literary fiction. 

Her first collection of short stories, My Escapee (Univ. of Mass 2012), won the Grace Paley Prize in Fiction, and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. 

Vallianatos’ stories have been published in Tin House, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, The Kenyon Review, The Idaho Review, and elsewhere. 

She teaches fiction writing at Claremont McKenna College in California, where she lives with her family.

Phillips Fellowship Lecture
Monday, October 4, 2021
Benjamin Mays Center
6:00 p.m.
Dinner followed by Raluca’s Presentation
“Claiming the Carpathians:  Transnational Mountain Discourses in East-Central Europe”  Registration, Tickets, & Mask Required.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/phillips-fellowship-lecture-tickets-177384219977