School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

for the period of December 1, 1998 through November 30, 1999.

Highest Degree & date: M.F.A., 1968
Date of first appointment to RIT : 07-01-66
Date present rank achieved: 1986

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REVIEW of 1998-1999 PLAN of WORK and
Proposed PLAN of WORK for 1999-2000 and coming year(s).

Foreword: I have tried to keep the four major divisions that were provided in mind and mention them below in the order in which they were given: Teaching/advising, Scholarship/creative activity, Service and "other".

To examine a listing of professional activities such as lectures, high school visitations and presentations, individual and group exhibitions, etc. simply request: Record of Professional Activities. To examine the summary of responses from student course evaluations click on Course Evaluation Report and for a listing of feedback about my contributions on the Internet click on Feedback

Separated by horizontal rules, listed below and preceded by a green "button" are the objectives listed in my plan of work last year. My evaluation of performance this year vis-a-vis the previous plan of work is shown in italics. Items indicating planned activities for the following year are preceded by a red "button".

To start things off I would like to report on what I did to improve teaching in direct response to student evaluations where the most significant item that was mentioned (in my opinion) was that I seemed to be a bit disorganized.

My reaction and response to this is that to some extent this is my teaching style. I try to draw students into a less than predictable situation. This works for me but it may not work for them yet. In any case, this year I tried to do better than in the past by making sure I provided extensive reprints and supporting documentation regarding the projects we were involved with in the High Speed Photography course. I also made video tapes of the lectures and offered them to the students for check-out. What I did not do was to prepare notes for them ahead of time so that they might follow a prescribed direction when it came time to attend the lecture.

In any case, the fact that I had so much supporting materials available did not seem to make any impact on the students nor in the general performance of the class as a whole when it came to grades earned. The large majority is not really interested in high speed photography but they are "amused" by the subject matter. I am not upset at this and I think it is a realistic view of life. Hardly any one of them will ever get a chance to practice the material covered in this class.

What else can be gleaned from the student evaluations? To tell the truth I don't know. In general it seems students think I am highly knowledgeable but have difficulty sometimes in transferring all this knowledge to them. The truth is that my knowledge is maybe simply a bit greater than theirs but it is by no means indicative of that which a truly knowledgeable instructor in my area might have. I believe have made significant attempts to learn about my teaching style even going to the point of taping my lectures and have colleagues analyze them. I have sometimes simplified the subject matter beyond what I think is acceptable in a university setting. As I look over these evaluations they are not much different than they were 10 or more years ago. My major flaw is disorganization. I have taken steps to improve but in the final analysis, when it came time for the students to perform on a test or earn the course grade, not much has changed over time or with my improved organization.

The responses of the students can bee seen at this location

Now I will comment further on the specific classes that i teach below as well as several other items as listed in last year's Plan of Work:

Last year: "To keep the mind alive I will continue to teach the courses where I can see the greatest benefit to the greatest number of students. These include High Speed/Time Lapse Photography and Photoinstrumentation Applications Seminar. I realize I am not an expert in color or digital imaging or multi-media which is where students seem to have their greatest interest. Someday the only thing I might be able to teach is the history of photographic technology but I think this too will be an uninteresting and dull subject to the future students and eventually this may cause me to rethink my relationship with the School at large. So far teaching at SPAS is one of my greatest joys and delights. If technical and scientific photography dies here maybe it will be time to move on. "

I again undertook the Special Effects course which I designed primarily for Advertising/Commercial photography and MFA students. The experience was mixed again. Since this is an elective course for them they really don't take the requirements seriously and given the lax way in which I approach student relations (I try to treat them as adult and responsible persons) the evaluation process at the end is usually not a satisfactory experience for me. The breath of fresh air were the two MFA graduate students in the class. They made the experience bearable. I will again consider making this only a graduate level course but the problems I face with that is that there are not enough of them to make running a course such as this practical.

In the Spring I ran the Nonconventional Imaging Seminar almost singlehanded (with only one guest speaker) and the experience was bearable but I am afraid I shortchanged the students because they only got to see nonconventional imaging from my limited perspective.

The high speed/Time Lapse photography course went according to plan. It is delivered at a level such that the students feel challenged but not as a thorough, highly specialized, course. Sometimes (most often) the nuances of what this course is supposed to be are lost on the students but judging from the evaluations I am achieving the results I believe perfectly meet my plan for the course.

The Photoinstrumentation Applications seminar runs. Most students who enroll in it are really not ready for a seminar-type program and are somewhat shocked to disbelief when they experience the "culture" and the freedom that exists in the seminar. Sometimes they still want a highly or even moderately structured course. The Seminar is not that. If they are somewhat confused that is because I am also. In the Seminar we explore together and sometimes the roads we take don't lead to a successful conclusion. Students are not penalized for this but regardless of the outcome of discussions in the seminar they are held "accountable" for participating and engaging in the discussions and in retaining at least the rudiments of the thought processes discussed each week.

My plan for next year in this area is to teach just one course each quarter if possible. Since our program is small I think this is a reasonable plan. I believe other administrative chairs teach less than this. In truth, I doubt that I will be able to reduce my teaching load to anything less than I have done over the last year and that has been the same as for the last 20 years regardless of what additional administrative duties came along. They always were added on top of teaching a full load.

Last year I said: "I would hope that my activities regarding an extensive email campaign to keep Imaging and Photo Technology students enthused and informed about development in the field as well as within the department could be classified as a off-shoot of advising"

This wassaid in the context of advising activities. As all IPT faculty members I provide advising to several students as well as to the whole student body in the program. I do this through one-on-one consultations as well as by maintaining a regular connection with all Tech students by e-mail. I make it a point to disseminate and share communications of all kinds related to our student's discipline and also including departmental operations. I try not to let a day pass without some message, be it a joke, an announcement about a full-time job or coop possibility, a meeting announcement, a greeting, etc. going to the email box of all the IPT students. I believe this builds community and a sense of belonging.

In terms ofofficial advising I have not heard from anyone that has complained about my advising or my advise.

For next year I plan on maintaining my current level and procedures related to student communications and advising.

Last year's plan called for: " Revision and updating of courses is something that I do on an ongoing basis and this is another item where all I can say is that it is my plan to do it as needed and as possible. Needed is something that is primarily governed by developments in the field. Possible is something that is often governed by the clash between available financial resources and desirable student experiences. Since my specialty is in a "high rent" area as it concerns equipment and laboratory or field experiences I don't hold my breath that at least the financial support to make my dreams possible will materialize anytime soon. I continually ask for loans and gifts and have purchased surplus government items myself (since they were classified as "junk" by the government). "

Well, I spent some of my personally earned consulting fees on a used high speed camera and built several improvised digital cameras from cheap electronic subsystems. This has resulted in publications and professional speaking engagements.

As far as updating of course content is concerned this is a most discouraging undertaking because as I stated last year, modern photoinstrumentation systems and equipment are very expensive and since most students will not work in this area it almost seems pointless in equipping our labs with state-of-the-art equipment. I plan on simply covering the fundamentals and the basics since these have universal applications in imaging.

The plan was to again offer a Photo/Imaging workshop for Educators after the success of previous ones

The workshop last year was a huge success with the faculty contributing of their time so that we could run two sessions. These were attended by about 45 high school, community college and university instructors nationwide and from Canada. Even Roy Burns of CIS attended! These workshops have now helped almost 125 participants over the years and have resulted in several students being recommended to attend the School. Hopefully all this effort is worth it.

This voluntary activity would not be possible without the cooperation of all the faculty in SPAS upon whose good will and friendship this event is totally dependent. In fact by now I am actively engaged in organizing this again (for what is "next" year) but the current one may very well be the last one. Maybe someone else would like to take over this project from us. And I say "us" because my role is mostly an organizational one and the real effort is expended by the contributing faculty.

Last year: "My plan for the following year is to redouble my recruiting efforts on the Internet by expanding the number of links to websites where information about SPAS can be found and where forms can be filled out and submitted in response to interest expressed in SPAS programs."

That was my plan last year. I think I succeeded. I generate at least 150 inquiries about SPAS photo programs every month and some months double that figure. This is better than the Office of Admissions does. The problem is that my life now revolves so much around the Internet and promoting the School that I have very little free time left for personal amusement and relaxation.

My plan for next year is to pare back on the amount of effort dedicated to promotion of the School and the IPT program. This activity this past year has had a very negative impact on my home life and I must first of all dedicate some time to keeping peace and tranquility on the home front.

Last year I stated that: "Therefore, I plan to continue my relationship with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology and the International Society for Optical Engineering. I am a member of the Education Committee of this latter society and have contributed to the organization through this committee by being present and active at the meetings of this committee and also publishing two articles related to teaching in the OE Reports newsletter as well as contributing illustrations to the annual SPIE Optics Education survey which is distributed to schools worldwide. "

Due to lack of financial resources to attend the meetings of the SPIE I was forced to resign from the Education Committee of this organization. (My place was taken up by somebody at the U of R). I have continued my relationship with IS&T and several other groups such as the IPPA, and the PSA, etc. I did, however, meet the commitment of publications set forth above.

For next year I would like to continue to contribute to professional organizations as possible. My plan includes speaking at the SPIE meeting in San Jose, the American Association for Forensic Science in Reno, the PIEA in Las Vegas and collaborating with the Fotofusion event conducted at the Palm Beach Workshops.

My plan last year called for: "Among things to do for next year I plan to research and submit grants opportunities possibly offered by other similar professional organizations and if I find any appropriate one, to submit applications to them as well."

I did not do this at all.

My plan for next year is to try again although I really am not very hopeful that I can do this. Most such grants call for several layers of administrative approval and I find this an impediment to my initiative.

Last year I stated that : "For the time being I plan on totally withdrawing from trying to establish ties with the MFA program and I will, during the coming year, look for more productive things to do than trying to engage in long range planning having to do with fine art educational activities. I do not plan, however, on severing personal relationships with colleagues in these areas. They are a good bunch of friends. "

Well, what developed is that I forged closer ties to the MFA program than had been the case in the past. I again participated in the walk-through and my comments were taken with interest and respect.

If this continues I will reciprocate and contemplate offering a new graduate course for the MFA students in particular since they are sadly lacking in a good understanding of the basics of photography.

Last year I stated: "I am not sure how to incorporate this item in a plan of work but clearly the establishment and maintenance of friendly and productive interpersonal relations among all faculty are a significant ingredient in everyone's daily activities. While it is hard to state how this is "planned for" I suspect that this kind of activity will engage all of us over the next year to a significant degree."

I continued to offer Friday afternoon social hours that seem to be generally well received. I have maintained the coffee service for the faculty that other bureaucratic organizations could not keep going in the past.

Last year's plan: "It is my sincere hope that these little efforts to maintain a collegial atmosphere within SPAS have a generally positive effect on our daily lives and therefore I will, in spite of the obstacles, continue to offer these services to the SPAS faculty and staff.

I plan on continuing to look after the coffee service, the Friday get togethers and other social events that contribute to the solidarity and feeling of (photographic) community within the School.

Last year I stated: "I still have no plans to initiate joint ventures with other "art" departments but will investigate the possibility of possibly establishing closer ties with the College of Applied Science and Technology or the Center for Imaging Science. Currently the situation does not look good for cooperative activities with these groups."

I still have no plans to establish closer ties with other art programs within CIAS. The reason is simple. It would dilute the effort required to look after the Imaging and Photographic Technology program. On the other hand, through the initiatives of colleagues I may be drawn into such relationships but with the more technical side of the RIT house, namely Imaging Science. Imaging Science has made various overtures to collaborate on recruitment and in a shared MS program as has Printing. I personally have no major interest in these relationships. The one that matters most to me is the relationships that exist within the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences and I plan on fostering those as much as possible.

My forecast is that the technical photography programs such as Biomed and IPT will continue to be a small part of the overall SPAS operations but a very significant contributor to the image the school projects to the imaging world in general. I want to make sure we maintain some sense of technical expertise in the School.

To this end I recently developed an activity on the web that should recognize the expertise of our faculty. All our faculty and not just the techs. This activity is called PhotoQuest and I will work over the following year in improving its service to the global photographic community (with the cooperation of colleagues from SPAS).

Last year I said: "I will help promote the establishment of a strong web presence for the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences by collaborating with faculty from the various departments as well as the Facilities Department to help install a new School-wide website that proudly reflects on the tradition of a multifaceted school that offers top-notch education in not only the arts but also the sciences and technologies of photography and imaging all under one roof. "

I did this. Along with John Retallack and Mike Dear the old SPAS website was redesigned and installed. It now better reflects the image of a unique, multifaceted and competent school of photography.

Next year I plan on remaining engaged in the further development of the SPAS website and to promote a further expansion of its activities and presence on the web.

Last year: "I plan to remain engaged with Internet activities and in addition to being the coordinator of the RITPHOTO mail server, the listowner of the PhotoForum and the Fotored mailing lists, I will continue as the moderator of the High Speed Photography Working group mail list operated by the SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering. Rich Donnely of SPIE is the overall supervisor of SPIE's special interest mail lists. "

I did this.And much more. As planned, I have maintained a level of involvement which amounts to roughly 40-50 hours per week (mostly evenings and weekends) in addition to all the time dedicated to such effort generated at my office and mostly from my home computer for World Wide Web activities representing the School or related to Imaging and Photographic Technology matters. I have maintained one of the earliest "web galleries" for photographic images and I updated the contents of this gallery every week of the last year with 12 new images. I also established a Gallery for Students and expanded the scope of services and information made available in connection with one of the most active email discussion lists on the Internet, the PhotoForum. I started this (with Rus Kraus' prodding) in late 1993 and I have moderated the list and its services ever since. A year later I added the Spanish language list, Fotored, and for this list I now supervise a traveling exhibition that has been shown in Mexico, Spain, the Canary Islands and is now in the process of going to Argentina.

Next year I am planning to continue my efforts with the PhotoForum, Fotored and the SPIE High Speed Photography mail lists.

In addition, will also aid The Photographic Historical Society as their "Internet Liaison" and a duty I will be performing for them during the coming year is that of recruiting speakers for the Photo History XI conference that will be held in October of 2000.

Last year: "I plan on continuing to provide lectures and demonstrations to photography groups that ask for my assistance and in spite of everything I propose an equal challenge for next year in terms of professional activities as I set up for myself last year. My level of success in this area hopefully can be judged in the future exactly as it can be judged this year."

I presented a variety of lectures, demonstrations and other contributions to local and national professional organizations.

Next year I plan on more of the same. The idea is to stay current and provide to the imaging community information that is useful within the limits of my personal expertise.

New item: During the course of the last few months I was asked by the Dean to help develop a MS program within the Imaging and Photographic Technology department and to assist Milton Cofield in developing a certificate program that could be offered over distance education during the next academic year.

The update on this situation is that I have asked Nitin Sampat to spearhead a process whereby a new MS program. Several meetings have been held around this topic but various side issues (one having to do with an initiative related to simply modifying a printing program) have prevented the plan that was proposed from moving forward. Nitin and Rus Kraus also proposed a new BS program that would only be offered through the Internet. Michael Peres is evaluating the possibility of a New Media program with photography as its major thrust. Milton Cofield had submitted a distance education program in the past but development of this project was limited mostly, it seems to me by inadequate support from Institute departments that were supposed to guide a faculty member through the process of initiating and approving distance education programs.

All of these initiatives are progressing and my plan for the coming year is to be as supportive as possible to each faculty member engaged in such developments without engaging directly in these processes. I am personally very concerned that new initiatives that have very little to do with what is understood generally to be "photography" are a significant threat to the stability of the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. These new initiatives may generate students (and thus money) but threaten the continued existence of a significant photographic interest at RIT. I would thin that a better plan would be to grow our new ventures as intimate extensions of current, photographic, interests and programs rather than copying initiatives that already have established significant reputations elsewhere.

Last year: "Along with teaching and other service and professional contributions I am planning to continue to carry out the more mundane and routine activities associated with being the Chair (and hopefully "spiritual" leader) of the IPT department."

I hope I have performed as I stated to my colleagues I would do.

Next year I plan to do the same in regard to interpersonal departmental and school-wide relations. I realize that I left out the Biomed Department and the Imaging Systems department in my statement of last year so I'd like to amend that to ready that next year, in addition to being supportive of these two programs, I will also redouble my efforts at trying to be of service to all the photography programs in the school by promoting them and assisting all faculty to deliver a more diverse and complete educational product to our students.

Winter 1997-98 (972)                            course     credit enrollment 
   course title                                 number     hours 
2. SPECIAL EFFECTS PHOTOGRAPHY                  2076 408 01    4  14
3. PHOTO TECH COOP                              2076 499 01    0   2 
Spring 1997-98 (973)                            course     credit enrollment
   course title                                 number     hours
1. SURVEY OF NON-CONVENTIONAL IMAGING           2076 503 01    3  18
2. PHOTO TECH COOP                              2076 499 01    0   3 
Fall   1999-00 (991)                            course     credit enrollment
   course title                                 number     hours
1. HIGH SPEED/TIME LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY            2076 511 01    3  24 
3. SPECIAL TOPICS - TECHNICAL PHOTOGRAPHY       2076 215 01    0  16
2. PHOTO TECH COOP                              2076 499 01    0   4