February Newsletter

February Newsletter


Save the Date Exciting Faculty Women in Leadership events are on the horizon for the Spring 2024 semester!     We have an exciting lineup of activities planned for the Spring 2024 semester. We'll host monthly "drink and discuss" mixers, offer a learning circle specific to women's experiences in moving to the "c-suite" within academe, and end the semester with a culminating luncheon and panel discussion on destigmatizing ambition. Join us as we support, inspire, and empower women faculty to advance in their careers.

Demystifying AI: Fulton Library Guides & Workshops


Explore the Guide: As AI surges to the forefront of higher ed hot topics, Fulton Library has created a new guide, AI Tools for Students, to cut through the AI haze. The guide offers a rundown of popular AI tools, including how to write stellar AI prompts, cite AI in assignments, and create research questions with AI.

You’ll also find an overview of AI art tools, as well as the downsides and limitations of AI, like hallucinations and plagiarism.

Research with Confidence: AI-generated art tends to be controversial, so researching this murky topic can be difficult. If you or your students are researching the crossroads of AI and art, our AI and Art research guide is a great starting point. Use this guide to learn about database search strategies—including how to punctuate and phrase your searches—and find articles, books, websites, and databases to begin your background  research.

Attend the Workshops: Slice into AI—learn how to use generative AI for academic research at the new Pie & AI workshops. Join your UVU librarians in the Bingham Gallery for free pie and a deep dive into the complexities of AI in the classroom. The first workshop introduces how to leverage AI with academic sources, while the second workshop teaches how to use AI for bibliographies, work cited pages, literature reviews, and more.

These workshops are open to the UVU community, including students.

Pie & AI, Part 1: The Intro
Bingham Gallery
Feb. 27, 12:00–12:30 pm

Pie & AI, Part 2: Be a Pro
Bingham Gallery
March 4, 12:00–12:30 pm






International Women’s DayINternational Women's Day: March 8, 2024 11:00-12:15 pm SC 213ab

The theme is:  Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress

Achieving gender equality and women’s well-being in all aspects of life is more crucial than ever if we want to create prosperous economies and a healthy planet. However, we are facing a key challenge: the alarming $360 billion annual deficit in gender equality measures by 2030.



  1. Academic Freedom Symposium

  2. Sponsored by the Office for Global Engagement

The purpose of the symposium is to engage in a conversation about these issues, and the challenges of mis and disinformation, as well as raise awareness about academic freedom to those who may not be aware of the threats to academia and scholars around the world. We also want it to provide a support mechanism for those who have been affected by or displaced due to a lack of academic freedom. In essence, this symposium should establish lines for future communication, networking, and research, so that this conversation continues beyond the symposium and feeds into the global conversation that UNESCO has led on individual rights and freedoms of higher-education teaching personnel, including civil rights, DEI, AI, academic freedom, publication rights, and the international exchange of information.


Academic Freedom Symposium: Thursday March 28, 2024 Sorensen Center SC 213ab 11:00am-12:30pm








MYUVU Updates

On February 29th, myUVU is getting a fresh design and several updates, including a collapsible bulletin board for all UVU announcements, a new look that mirrors the design of the student mobile app, and intuitive features such as account status, an updated checklist, and easy-to-use toolbar navigation.Get ready for a smoother, more user-friendly myUVU experience!



Celebrate Your Students!


Dear esteemed faculty,

We invite you to nominate your outstanding students whose academic achievements deserve recognition and celebration. Celebrate student success with us! Share recent awards or accomplishments using this form. Your input increases the likelihood of their recognition by the administration. Let's spotlight our students' achievements together! 
QR code to survey to submit students for recognition

Important Dates

February 19

President's Day

March 11-16

Spring Break (students)

March 1 

Rank Advancement - VPAA reviews the rank advancement file and forwards his or her written recommendation to the President of the University by March 1

Faculty Tenure - Provost midterm decision due

Merit Pay - Deadline to submit a Merit Request Form

March 4 

Merit Pay - Deadline for chair to submit the required materials to the committee

March 7 

Salaried Workload - Department chairs shall plan faculty workloads with faculty members

March 15  

Salaried Workload - Department chairs shall submit a report of faculty workload for the academic year to the dean

Rank Advancement - The President of the University forwards his or her written recommendation to the Board of Trustees

Faculty Tenure - RTP chair receives input from faculty member

-Requests for one-year extensions to the probationary period must be received by the department chair

Merit Pay - Deadline for committee to submit its review and recommendations

March 31

Graduation Application Deadline for Spring Semester



Upcoming Events

February 15

Roots of Knowledge Speaker Series: Wioleta Fedeczko - 'She Must Be a Rare One': The Rhetoric of An Invisible Woman - 1 pm

February 21 

International Mother Language Day

February 22

Roots of Knowledge Speaker Series: R.E.C.CLAIM Utah - Reclaiming Our Journey Through the Outdoors - 1 pm

February 27

Roots of Knowledge Speaker Series: Pie & AI, Part 1: The Intro - 12:00–12:30 pm

February 28

Roots of Knowledge Speaker Series: Rob Line's Sociology Class - Themed Tour: Black History - 2:00 - 3:00 pm

March 4
Roots of Knowledge Speaker Series: Pie & AI, Part 2: Be a Pro - 12:00–12:30 pm

March 7 

Roots of Knowledge Speaker Series: Kelly Hall - Roots of Leadership: Exploring Leader Character & Women Leaders Throughout History - 1 pm

March 8

International Women's Day

Policy Update:


On January 25, the President’s Council approved one policy to enter Stage 2 for a limited-scope revision. Any comments must be submitted to your Faculty Senate senator or PACE representative before March 21, 2024:

  • Policy 501Undergraduate Admissions and Enrollment.

At that same meeting, one policy was approved to enter Stage 4, which means that it will be added to the Policy Manual after being approved by the Board of Trustees:

  • Policy 376Reduction in Force.

On February 8, President’s Council approved two policies to enter Stages 1 and 2 for a limited-scope revision under the Temporary process:

  • Policy 306Faculty Positions: Posting and Waiving of Posting, and
  • Policy 648Faculty Personnel Reduction.

At that same meeting, one policy was approved to enter Stage 1. This policy applies to staff, especially administration, and will better align UVU policy with Utah Board of Higher Education guidelines:

  • Policy 335 Staff Grievance.

Three policies were approved to enter Stage 2 for deletion because their content is now addressed in new, more comprehensive policies:

  • Policy 444AcademicFreedom and Information Access,
  • Policy 449 Private Sensitive Information, and
  • Policy 451Retention of Electronic Files.

Additionally, three other policies were approved to enter Stage 2. Any comments must be submitted to your Faculty Senate senator or PACE representative before April 4, 2024:

  • Policy 640 Faculty Sabbatical Leave,
  • Policy 644Selection and Responsibilities of Department Leadership, and
  • Policy 654 Faculty Merit Awards (limited scope).

And finally, one policy was approved to enter Stage 3. Please submit any comments by email to one of the stewards, Kathren Brown, at [email protected] or John Hunt at [email protected] by February 16, 2024:

  • Policy 649Faculty Remediation, Sanction, and Dismissal for Cause.






Policy Highlight


Policy 637 Faculty Tenure – Tenure Clock

UVU Policy 637 Faculty Tenure is an essential policy that many faculty know well. For those unfamiliar with the policy, Policy 637 lays out the requirements and timeline for applying for tenure. There are some upcoming important dates to be aware of if you are due to apply for tenure, including stopping the tenure clock, getting an extension, or applying early.

“Unless the faculty member has been notified that their employment shall not be continued,” the RTP committee chair must “notify the faculty member in writing by March 1st of the fifth probationary year that [they] must apply for tenure by September 15 of the next academic year.” Additionally, the RTP chair must consult “with the faculty member for input in determining suitable candidates from whom to solicit peer evaluations by March 15th” (section 5.7.1).

There is a possibility of interrupting the probationary period “for a specified time when circumstances would justifiably prevent the faculty member from making progress on the tenure plan.” For this to happen, the faculty member must request the tenure clock stoppage and receive the recommendations of the department chair and dean, and the approval of the Provost.” A few examples of such circumstances “include, but are not limited to, childbirth, adoption, military duty, or other extenuating medical, professional, or personal circumstances” (section

Rarely, a one-year extension to the probationary period for tenure is possible. In order for this to happen, the faculty member must request a one-year extension by submitting a letter “requesting and justifying the extension to the department chair by March 15th of the fifth year of the probationary period.” The RTP committee, department chair, dean, and Provost must approve or deny the extension request by April 15th of the faculty member’s fifth probationary year (section 5.10.1).

Also in rare cases, the probationary period for tenure may be shortened. In order to apply for tenure early, the faculty member must have extraordinary performance and must have approval from their RTP committee, department chair, dean, and Provost (section 5.11). While not spelled out in the policy, it is generally accepted that this procedure follows the same general process above in terms of letter, timeline, and requirement of justifying the early application. However, rather than requesting such action in the fifth probationary year, the request would be the probationary year before the faculty member wishes to apply for tenure.

Finally, when a faculty member is serving in an administrative position within the University during their probationary period, the faculty member normally retains probationary status. However, “[i]n unusual circumstances, the faculty member’s tenure clock may be stopped while serving in an administrative position, if approved by the dean and Provost” (section 5.12.1).





Feminist Mentoring in Academia Workshop & Lunch



Dear Faculty,

Join us for a feminist mentoring workshop with Dr. Stevie Munz (UVU) and Dr. Leandra Hernandez (Univ. of Utah) based on their recently published book: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781666917055/Feminist-Mentoring-in-Academia


The workshop & lunch will take place on Friday, March 29, 12-2 pm

Please use the following link to register: https://uvu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_baowYcL8VzPQlaC

The first 15 registrants will receive a free copy of the book!


International Mother Language Day

We would like to invite you to join a special multicultural public event "International Mother Language Day 2024" at Utah Valley University. The program details are given below:
Event Name: International Mother Language Day 2024
Date: February 21, 2024 (Wednesday)
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm (MST)
Place: Ragan Theater, Utah Valley University, 800 W University Pkwy, Orem, UT 84097
Refreshment: 2:30 pm - 3: 30 pm
Please join us and also inspire your colleagues, students, staff, peers, and other stakeholders in your institute to join. Please reserve your seats and join this event. It's a sponsored program and there is no cost to join. 
QR codes for seat reservations
QR code for international mother language day event livestreaming.
What is International Mother Language Day?
It was initiated in my country, Bangladesh. That's why I have personal emotions about this event. This is one of the most inclusive events in the world. We all have a mother and a mother tongue. That's why everyone in the world is a part of this meaningful event regardless of their race, culture, and country of origin.
Some Highlights in 2023:
Program Memories: 








UVU Thrive: Overcoming the Winter Blues

Later sunsets are in our future, but unfortunately, they are not here yet. For those struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression or the “winter blues”, it can be a tough time of the year.

One way to combat the “winter blues” is to stay active and be outside while the sun is shining as much as you can. UVU Intramurals and the Outdoor Adventure Center can help students with both! Encourage your students to visit both programs to find an activity that interests them.


February Student Snapshot

The Winter Blues Have Arrived

As mentioned above, students may also be feeling a bit of the “winter blues” or at least need more time outdoors in the fresh air. Feeling “cooped up” this time of year is normal, and we want students to know that there are plenty of ways to move their bodies and enjoy nature even before the warmer days of spring arrive.


Ways to Stay Active in the Winter:

The Outdoor Adventure Center: Group Adventures and Events

The Outdoor Adventure Center: Equipment Rentals

UVU Intramurals

On-Campus Gym and Exercise Facilities


Midterms are Inching Near

Students are settling into the semester and midterms are right around the corner. As they prepare for upcoming exams, they may feel increased stress which can affect their mental and physical health. Students need to know that UVU has a variety of stress-reducing activities and programs.


On-Campus Stress Reduction Resources:

UVU Stress Reduction Room

Massage Chairs on Campus

UVU Walking Group


Virtual Stress Reduction Resources:

TimelyCare Self-Care Content:  Students may sign up by emailing [email protected] and then visit the Explore page within TimelyCare for guided self-care content, including yoga and meditation sessions, as well as group conversations with our providers on a variety of health and well-being topics.


February Service-Learning-Superstar: Natalie Grecu (Associate professor, Communication)


Natalie Grecu (Ph.D., Washington State University) is an Associate Professor of Communication at Utah Valley University. She teaches courses, including Introduction to Public Relations, Communication Theory, Communication Research Methods, and Public Relations and Strategic Communication Campaigns. Her research focuses on pedagogy and multi-stakeholder engagement surrounding contentious issues and dialogic communication to promote relationship-centered communication engagement opportunities. After six years of working in media sales, advertising, and the nonprofit sector, she earned a Master's in Organizational Communication from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She then earned her Ph.D. in Strategic Communication/Environmental Communication from Washington State University. Prior to joining UVU, she taught Public Relations and Communication courses for five years at Missouri Southern State University.

Dr. Grecu has used service-learning in multiple courses, including her COMM 4850 Public Relations Strategic Communication Capstone courses, and she is continually impressed by what students learn from working on strategic communication campaigns for local nonprofit organizations. Service-learning courses are vital to providing hands-on, engaged learning experiences for students, especially in the field of public relations, an area that emphasizes building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with community stakeholders. Student service-learning projects have included creating multiple in-depth communication strategies for Utah's Project Read, an adult literacy organization in Utah and Salt Lake Counties. Dr. Grecu models the community engagement that she encourages in her classes. Her passion for teaching and education extends beyond the classroom. Prior to UVU, she was an executive board member for the Neighborhood Adult Literacy Action (NALA) of Joplin, Missouri. Here at UVU, she is currently an executive board member of Project Read Utah and is the newly elected chair of the executive board. Dr. Grecu continually sees how impactful the projects are for students and the importance of these intentional moments that foster mindful reflections on the co-educator relationship between students and the community. This semester, the students in her COMM 4850 course are working with Project Read on their 40th Anniversary event! She believes service-learning is a fantastic opportunity to develop new ways of thinking and creative problem-solving that will hopefully better equip students to navigate their careers and professional relationships.  


Please join us in congratulating Natalie for her incredible service-learning efforts!

Dr. Jonathan Westover

Academic Director, Center for Social Impact

Dr. Ezgi Sertler

Associate Academic Director, Center for Social Impact

Help us highlight you and your students! Share your story using the CSI Success Stories form.

We welcome nominations for future Service-Learning Superstars on a rolling basis, and self-nominations are encouraged. To nominate, please send an email to Dr. Jon Westover ([email protected]) and Dr. Ezgi Sertler ([email protected]) with a 250-word description of the nominee, department affiliation, and service-learning course activities.


Announcing the Healthy Minds Study at Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University, in conjunction with the University of Michigan, is conducting a campus-wide survey about student health and well-being called the Healthy Minds Study.Participating in this survey will automatically enter you into a sweepstakes for one of 2 $500 prizes or one of 10 $100 prizes. The drawing will be conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the summer of 2024. Winners will be notified by email and provided with information about how to collect the prize. In addition, participants are eligible for a random drawing for the following prizes, which will be given to students only at Utah Valley University: One of 10 $50 campus store gift cards.Why is the survey important? We want to better understand student mental health and well-being, sources of support, and other mental and emotional health topics. You've been invited to participate, and we're excited to hear from you. The online survey takes about 30 minutes to complete and is a chance to reflect on important topics in your life and our campus community.To participate now, click the link below or copy and paste the URL into your web browser: https://umich.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ezoixeGJLAnZMGy?Q_DL=cBVXFPmbwPIsNOH_ezoixeGJLAnZMGy_CGC_QtarpXZAuI2MgzX&Q_CHL=emailThe Healthy Minds Study was designed to help your school improve student life, and its success depends on you.For more information on HMS, please visit our Student FAQ pageThanks in advance for your participation.Alexis PalmerAssociate Vice President of Student Development and Well-Being/Dean of Students[email protected]The Healthy Minds Study Team[email protected]