School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

for the period of December 1, 1999 through November 30, 2000.

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 1999-2000 PLAN of WORK and
Proposed PLAN of WORK for 2000-2001 and coming year(s).

Foreword: I have again 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 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--vis the previous plan of work is shown in italics. Items indicating planned activities for the following year are preceded by a red "button".

Before I get started on other items, I would like to report on what I did to improve teaching in direct response to past student evaluations where the most significant item that was mentioned (in my opinion) was that I, again, seemed to be a bit disorganized.

I agree with student reactions in this regard. I have explained my response to this in the past and not much has changed. I try to improve but it does not seem to make much difference. I still think that a major factor in what I think is a perceptual difference of opinion with students is the fact that I often try to draw students into a less than predictable situation. This is more evident in the "seminar" courses than in the more formal "lecture/lab" courses but it seems to rub-off and is identified with me as a personality trait. On one particular topic, I am personally opposed to providing them with previously prepared notes and distributing these ahead of time so that they might follow a prescribed direction when it comes time to attend the lectures.

Student evaluations still seem to indicate that 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 I 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. Again, my major perceived 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.

For next year I will persevere in terms of trying to present more organized and even more effective lectures, laboratories and demonstrations.

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:

COURSES - Last year: "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."

This past year my teaching activities were, as predicted but not as planned, more than one course per quarter. High Speed/Time Lapse and Freshman Seminar in the fall, Photoinstrumentation and the combined Special Effects (undergraduate) and Photographic Extensions (graduate) courses in the winter and Non-Conventional Imaging Seminar in the spring. In addition, I helped out with the M&P course s needed and looked after the Coop requirement for the Imaging and Photo Tech students throughout the year including the summer.

In my estimation there were no major problems last year other than the fact that state-of-the-art equipment is not available. There is a good reason for this and I don't expect the situation to change in the future so my direction when teaching some of the high-tech topics this past year has been to concentrate on the fundamentals.

Teaching and "living" at SPAS continues to be one of my greatest joys and delights. I try to keep, and encourage others to do so as well, the technical and scientific aspects of photography alive in the School. Not as a separate entity but as a full and contributing partner to all the other manifestations of the photographic "art". In this respect the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences is a unique organization. I am trying to make sure that it continues to maintain its position of prominence in the field as a source of photographic knowledge to the professional, the artist and the technologist. It has already lost its past stature as a source of "photographic science" research and development by the splitting away of the Center for Imaging Science.

For the immediate future I still have no plans to establish closer ties with other art or technology programs within CIAS. The reason is simple. It would dilute the effort required to maintain a cohesive and unified vision for the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences and it would destabilize the position of the Imaging and Photographic Technology program as well as other "technically" oriented activities within the School.

My forecast continues to be 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.

I thought that there would indeed be initiatives from Imaging Science to establish closer ties with them. These never materialized. I have a pretty good idea as to why and it is not because anyone is interested in contributing to the growth and success of Imaging and Photographic Technology. I continue to personally have no major interest in "outside" 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.

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

Again, 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 to use email as a community builder and 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. In addition,

In terms of official advising I have not heard from anyone that has complained about my advising or my advice.

As in the past few years, for next year I plan on maintaining my current level and procedures related to student communications and advising.

UPDATING and COURSE DEVELOPMENT - Last year's plan called for: "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."

I stated this last year and this is exactly the approach that I took and it seemed to again go over fairly well although it really would be appropriate to have some current high-speed digital imaging equipment available. Most of the experiments are conducted with antiquated equipment and obsolete instruments. This is discouraging to me in particular because as far as students are concerned the "whiz bang" factor is still at work when things go well. Just for example, the .22 caliber gun we use for ballistics photography is 30 years old. The high-speed motion picture cameras are all over 15 years old and some date back to the 1950s. Not to speak of "improvised" cameras made from plywood and held together by Elmer's glue!

My goal for next year is to make an effort to somehow acquire a low-end high speed digital imaging camera such as the Redlake Motion Scope and include it in the required course for all Imaging and Photographic Technology students, the High Speed/Time Lapse photography course. This would provide the opportunity for students to interact with at least one instrument commonly used in industry for motion analysis applications.

If successful in updating some high speed instrumentation during this coming year then I will have a "new" task and that will be incorporating it into a series of well-established laboratory experiences plus devise means for making high speed instrumentation more widely accessible to the immediate photo-education community as well as in research and industrial optimization activities throughout the Institute and the local corporate communities.

RECRUITING and PR ACTIVITIES - "While there was I will probably again organize a Teacher's Workshop next year. This voluntary activity would not be possible without the cooperation of the entire faculty in SPAS upon whose good will and friendship this activity is totally dependent. In fact by now I am actively engaged in organizing this again 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 simply mostly an organizational one and the real effort is expended by the contributing faculty."

The workshop last year was again very successful as deduced from evaluations turned in by participants. We did have one person who complained that we covered too much ground and made the participants work too hard. This voluntary activity would not be possible without the cooperation of the entire faculty in SPAS upon whose good will and friendship this activity is totally dependent.

The workshop was again organized last year although we only offered one session unlike the previous year when we did two. We served 20 visiting photography teachers from high schools, community colleges and some universities from across the country. I feel that volunteer activities like this one do place an added burden on participating faculty. I myself don't want to have this significant (in my mind) recruiting and promotional "tool" die due to lack of enthusiasm by the faculty and this was one of the reasons I decided to only do one session last year.

At the request of Bill DuBois I also helped organize and engaged several SPAS faculty members in offering a Photography Post in SPAS during the Fall quarter. The participating faculty did a tremendous job and I want to mention then especially for agreeing to give of their time and expertise to 19 local high school aged children the opportunity to learn about the School and its offerings. A special thanks to: Gunther Cartwright, Doug Rea, Michael Peres, John Retallack and Bill DuBois.

Personally, I also presented workshops, lectures and demonstrations to several groups of students that visited RIT and I also traveled "off-site" to a number of local high schools including one located in Syracuse.

I was successful in getting an article published in Tech Directions magazine, which is distributed to technology teachers nationwide. The article included a reference to the Imaging and Photographic Technology program and it was received very well by the magazine's readership according to its editor.

In addition I presented lectures at the New York State Science Educators conference and the CEPA conference held at CIS, and the Science Exploration Days in Rochester, the objective of which was to point out to science and technology teachers how they could incorporate photography as a teaching tool and at the same time promote the Imaging and Photographic Technology program as a viable program of study for science students.

For the future I will again help organize the Photo/Imaging Teachers Workshop as well as the Scout Photo Post in SPAS (if they will have me). I already have a fairly large number of school visitations and volunteer activities related to local Science Fairs and technology exhibitions. My plan for next year also included presenting a paper and a demonstration at the New York State Technology Teachers Association convention that is held in Lake George each year.

ONLINE and WEB - Last year: "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."

Well, this plan failed miserably. I am doing more on-line recruitment and promotion for the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences now than I ever did before. Or at least it seems like it. It really seems that I am at the limit of the amount of time I have available. But I hope that this effort will bear positive results both school wide as well as having a positive impact on the Imaging and Photographic Technology department in particular.

The SPAS website has been improved. I devised various new forms and installed a large (don't know how many) additional pages of information about us in both the SPAS website as well as the IPT and my own personal website.

I assembled and am maintaining the first school-wide distribution list that reaches all students enrolled in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences and have instructed several colleagues on how to use it.

I have conducted school-wide student photo contests, established a connection with outside organizations to recognize (and sell) the work of our photography students, responded to hundreds of questions related to photography, participated in on-line exhibitions, etc.

I am the coordinator of the RITphoto mail server, the listowner of the PhotoForum (since 1993) and the Fotored (since 1995) mailing lists (both of these are international in scope and have 800 and 400 members respectively), I am the moderator of the High Speed Photography Working group forum operated by the SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering. I helped organize the XI Symposium on the History of Photography that was held at the George Eastman House at the symposium's Internet "liaison".

I have installed and maintained one of the earliest "web galleries" for photographic images on the Internet and I updated the contents of this gallery every week of the last year (and every week since I started it in 1996) with 12 new images per week. I also established a Gallery for Students of Photography and expanded the scope of services and information made available in connection with the PhotoForum. My Spanish-language list, Fotored, has a traveling show of member's work and I remotely supervise its around-the-world peregrinations and this past year organized exhibitions in Spain, Argentina, Peru and Colombia. The exhibition is now waiting for its next destination.

My long term objective is to 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 reflect 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.

PROFESSIONAL - Last year I stated that: "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."

I did all this and more. I reestablished my relationship with the Society for Imaging Science and Technology and the International Society for Optical Engineering, maintained a presence among the Photo Imaging Educators Association and the Photographic Historical Society and established ties with the American Association of Forensic Scientists. I presented at the FotoFusion event as a guest speaker and portfolio evaluator. All in all, I think that the level of professional activity that I was able to complete last year was significant. I am not sure I will be able to repeat this in coming years.

For next year I hope to be able to maintain the level of professional activity I engaged in last year but I am doubtful I can do it at the same level. Nevertheless I will strive to maintain a professional presence in the field of Imaging and Photographic Technology speaking in very broad terms.

GRANTSMANSHIP - My plan last year called for: "My plan for next year is to try again (to obtain grants and donations) 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."

I did not do this very effectively although I was instrumental in securing the donation of about $8K in Hasselblad equipment which I handed over to the Facilities Department to help support the, primarily, "shooting" side of the house. In addition I accepted donations of high-speed equipment from Earl Quinn, retired Kodaker. Unfortunately the items were only of historical value and while interesting could not be applied directly in my courses. I also was instrumental in facilitating the donation of equipment, books and chemicals from two former faculty members in the department, Dr. Leslie Stroebel and Dr. Lothar Engelmann.

Hopefully I can do better next year. I have been negotiating with Minolta, HP, Agfa and Kodak.

INTERDEPARTMENTAL RELATIONS - Last year I stated that : "If this continues (improved acceptance by the MFA faculty and students) 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."

In the past I was discouraged by what I perceived as "rejection" from the MFP photography faculty (possibly because of my "technical" interests?) and had in the past withdrawn from trying to establish ties with the MFA program. However, this past year things seem to have turned around and what developed is that I forged closer ties to the MFA program than had been the case in the past. I was again invited and participated in the walk-through and my comments were taken with interest and respect.

While a new graduate course in the technical aspect of photography for graduate students did not materialize, at the invitation of Willie Osterman I have participated in the "walk-throughs" that are conducted by the MFA faculty and several guests. This has had a beneficial effect in that some graduate students recognize me as a resource and this interest translated into enrollment in the Photographic Extensions course that had not drawn much interest at all in past years. The situation looks to be even better for the coming year.

I will strive to continue to foster and maintain a good working relationship with my "artistic" colleagues in spite of the fact that I am not perceived as a very effective creative/artistic photographer myself.

OVERALL - Last year: "Next year I plan to being more obviously supportive of the Biomed Department and the Imaging Systems department." Well, I am not sure this was the case. I have tried to be as encouraging and supportive of the Biomedical Photographic Communications department as I knew how but my efforts may not have been perceived as sufficient. This may be because I believe that innovation and leadership in that particular discipline or subset of photography must come from those individuals who have some "love" and interest in the activity. Personally I am not interested in gross specimen, photomicrography or surgical or ophthalmic photography. I deeply respect those people that do but it is not an area I know much about nor do I want to.

The New Media - Photography initiative proposed by Michael Peres never achieved widespread support among the faculty of the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. I give him a lot of credit because he tried and tried again. I believe that without the whole school committing to this program it does not have much chance for success. However, to Michael's credit goes the fact that he supervises and runs the Digital Photography component of the New Media programs. I think this is a most appropriate activity and one that helps the school as a whole and the Biomed department's stature within it as well. His efforts in this are shoul be supported further.

The MS in Imaging Technology that was proposed by Nitin Sampat suffered from competing initiatives that diluted the effort to the point that Nitin's plan was relegated to a second tier or even third tier proposal. There was a plan for a new undergraduate program in Internet Imaging but this also failed to develop properly probably because I am personally not interested in such a program. In fact, the person responsible for not spearheading all the plans for new curricula is I. I "delegated" the responsibility to the faculty that were interested in developing such plans but they were usually bogged down in teaching and responsibilities associated with teaching to be able to devote the administrative time required to make any such plan come to fruition.

... also last year: "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."

I have tried to do this. I am not sure how I can demonstrate by a yardstick or other measuring instrument that I have at least achieved half of what the above statement is supposed to imply.

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 in particular.

There have been a couple of interesting development that may merit some further exploration. One is the possible "resurrection" of the Bachelor of Science program in Professional Photography. With the current waiting list for the BFA programs in photography, it might be time to reexamine the possibility of reintroducing the BS program in Professional Photography that was discontinued in the late '70s. This program would be closely associated with the photography industry as represented by one of the largest photographic associations nationwide, the Professional Photographers of America. It would include courses in wedding photography, studio portraiture, corporate photography, architectural photography, business practices, event photography and more. The areas it would not cover would be those specific to the BFA programs. This program might be a natural extension of the first two years of the BFA programs but would result in a BS degree instead of a BFA degree.

Another development worth mentioning for future consideration is the possible contraction of the Biomedical Photographic Communications program name to simply Photographic Communications. This would be a natural extension of the trends in the industry. The Biomedical Photographers Association does not exist any longer. It is now called the Biocommunicators Association. In my opinion, and substantiated by marketing survey run by Michael, the term Biomedical prevents some potential students from even considering the program which has evolved into one that hardly incorporates medical photography at all. It, rather, covers all aspects of photography and imaging as tools of communication.

We would lose a unique "niche" program by doing this but the potential implications in terms of enrollment in the Photographic Communications program would probably be very positive.

I propose to examine the possibilities afforded to the reintroduction of the Professional Photography program and consider the remaining of the Biomedical Photographic Communications program plus provide whatever support I can to other faculty interested in initiating MS programs in Internet Imaging, etc.

COMMUNITY BUILDING - Last year I stated: "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."

The establishment and maintenance of friendly and productive interpersonal relations among all faculty is a significant aspect of my daily activities. 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. I have done this for close to 15 years if my memory does not fail me. I hope to be able to keep it going for another 15 years if possible.

Winter 1999-00 (992)                            course     credit enrollment 
   course title                                 number     hours 
2. SPECIAL EFFECTS PHOTOGRAPHY                  2076 408 01    4  12
3. PHOTOGRAPHIC EXTENSIONS (graduate)                          4   2
4. PHOTO TECH COOP                              2076 499 01    0   1
Spring 1999-00 (993)                            course     credit enrollment
   course title                                 number     hours
1. SURVEY OF NON-CONVENTIONAL IMAGING           2076 503 01    3  20
2. PHOTO TECH COOP                              2076 499 01    0   2 
Fall   2000-01 (001)                            course     credit enrollment
   course title                                 number     hours
1. HIGH SPEED/TIME LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY            2076 511 01    3  19 
2. ST: APPL. SCI. & TECH. PHOTOGRAPHY           2076 251 01    0  14
3. PHOTO TECH COOP                              2076 499 01    0   2

SPAS programs at RIT IPT program at RIT Choose Imaging and Photographic Technology to learn more about the Department and students I work with or click HERE! to request more information about it. Finally, this is a link to the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences at RIT.