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Jared A. Russell, Sheri Brock, and Mary E. Rudisill

Bias, an automatic—usually unconscious and unintentional—inclination, preference, or favoring of an individual or group over another, is an inherent aspect of an individual’s academic leadership and decision-making processes. Bias alone is not a detriment to building an inclusive and supportive environment for faculty. However, oftentimes an academic unit leader’s biases result in the justification, rationalization, and facilitation of exclusionary processes and practices toward faculty, particularly those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. This article discusses the impact of bias, specifically implicit bias, on academic leadership. Moreover, the impact of a leader’s biases toward diversity attributes (e.g., gender, sexual orientation/affinity, age, ethnicity, race) of faculty are highlighted. Specifically, key areas of academic leadership are explored: faculty recruitment (hiring), retention (evaluation), and advancement (promotion and tenure). Recommendations, promising practices, and strategies for minimizing the impact of implicit bias are provided.

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Sheri J. Brock, Danielle Wadsworth, Shelby Foote, and Mary E. Rudisill

Institutions of higher education have a responsibility to prioritize the needs of society and local communities. One essential need prevalent in all communities is to address the rise of obesity and health risks due to lack of participation in physical activity. In the United States, children spend a small percentage of time engaged in physical activity, and engagement decreases further in adolescence and adulthood. Collaborative partnerships between kinesiology faculty at universities and community organizations are one avenue for engaging children in physical activity. Partnerships must be multilevel and community wide to evoke change and have long-term impact and sustainability. Within the context of community-based research, we propose a three-step framework for establishing collaborative partnerships: (1) determining the needs of partners; (2) discussing expertise, services, and philosophy; and (3) providing a quality product. In addition, we outline and illustrate our experiences when collaborating with community partners to promote physical activity.

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Michael S. Willett, Damon P.S. Andrew, and Mary E. Rudisill

Market pressures and external demands to sustain access, improve cost management and accountability, and increase productivity continue to persist in departments and schools of kinesiology. Confidence in the sustainability of an institution’s business model is eroding. To address these challenges, one possible approach for enhancing institutional performance, accountability, and stability is to revise an institution’s management process or budgeting model. Indicators suggest that many institutions are changing budget models to an incentive-based budgeting (IBB) system (i.e., responsibility-centered management [RCM]). The management strategies reviewed in this article are important for higher education budget administrators that implement, or are considering implementing, an IBB system as a means for assessing outcomes or institutional decision-making.

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Scott E. Gordon, John B. Bartholomew, Richard B. Kreider, Ronald F. Zernicke, and Mary E. Rudisill

This is an era in which academic units in higher education are expected to do more with less. State- and institutionally-appropriated funding streams are generally decreasing or stagnant. Federal grant funding is at its lowest level in years, and unlikely to rebound anytime soon. Institutions are restricting tuition increases to allow greater accessibility to students of limited means as well as to heed public demand for more accountability in the “educational product”. Enrollment growth adds pressure to academic units but rarely results in immediate resources directed to the affected units. To compound this problem, kinesiology is one of the fastest growing majors nationwide. With such mounting pressures on academic units and their leaders, creative entrepreneurial resourcefulness is not only rewarded, but required. This paper presents a series of successful and practical resource-generating strategies from the unique perspectives of units at several different institutions.

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Philip E. Martin, Mary E. Rudisill, Bradley D. Hatfield, Jared Russell, and T. Gilmour Reeve

One of the most important and yet more challenging and stressful tasks completed by a department chair is evaluating faculty. Regardless of its importance, though, department chairs often receive little or no training for this critical task. This paper contains three sections, all of which focus on faculty annual evaluations. The first section discusses a number of recommendations for conducting thorough and meaningful annual evaluations. The second section highlights a real case scenario at Auburn University in which all university departments were tasked with changing their evaluation procedures, criteria, and expectations for faculty performance to better align with the revised strategic goals and mission of the university. The third section highlights an innovative peer-based faculty performance-evaluation system employed in the department of kinesiology at the University of Maryland that is designed to engage all tenure-track faculty in the evaluation process.

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Danielle D. Wadsworth, Mary E. Rudisill, Jared A. Russell, James R. McDonald, and David D. Pascoe

The School of Kinesiology at Auburn University unites teaching, research, and outreach efforts to provide access to physical activity for local, statewide, and global communities. This paper provides a brief overview of the programs as well as strategies to mobilize efforts for physical activity outreach within an academic setting. School-wide efforts include youth initiatives, physical activity assessments offered through our TigerFit program, and the United States Olympic Team Handball training center. All programs provide service-learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students as well as outreach outcomes. Furthermore, the programs provide a platform for scholarship in the form of publications, partnerships for grant submissions, and student research projects. Merging teaching, outreach, and scholarship has provided longevity for the programs, thereby establishing long-term social ties to the community and providing continued access to physical activity to promote public health.

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Jerraco L. Johnson, Peter A. Hastie, Mary E. Rudisill, and Danielle Wadsworth

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which preschool boys’ and girls’ gender and skill level relate to their throwing practice behaviors during a mastery motivational climate intervention. Fifty-four preschool children (24 boys, 30 girls) participated in a 7-week FMS intervention. Children’s practice behaviors (number of visits, total time, and total trials) at the overhand throwing station were video recorded during each session. A series of unpaired Welch assessments were run to determine if there were differences in practice behaviors across the intervention based on gender and initial skill level. Results indicated significant differences in practice time and trials based on gender and skill level, but no differences in the number of visits. It appears that throwing gender stereotypes perhaps may be related to practice behaviors for young children. Interventions should consider ways to make throwing more enticing for young girls and less skilled children to encourage practice and enhance learning.

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Jerraco L. Johnson, Mary E. Rudisill, Peter A. Hastie, and Julia Sassi

The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which guided throwing practice volume influenced gains in throwing competency in young children during exposure to a mastery motivational climate physical play program. Fifty-four preschool children attended 13 biweekly 30-minute motor skill sessions over 7 weeks. Pre- and post-test throwing competency was measured in three ways (Test of Gross and Motor Development–Third Edition [TGMD-3], developmental sequence for throwing, and throwing velocity). Throwing practice behaviors (visits, time, and trials) were then coded for each participant using video recordings. Paired-samples t-tests revealed significant gains in throwing proficiency by the children from pre- to post-test on all three measures. Results from multiple hierarchical linear regressions highlighted that pre-test scores and guided throwing practice volume (a principle component analysis of throwing visits, time, and trials) accounted for 19% (TGMD), 52% (developmental sequence), and 60% (velocity) of the explained variance of post-test throwing competency, respectively. Results also revealed that although boys spent more time practicing throwing than girls, gender only appeared to be a significant predictor in the TGMD regression model. These findings provide empirical evidence of the importance of guided practice during mastery climate programs.

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Danielle D. Wadsworth, Reita Clanton, Ford Dyke, Sheri J. Brock, and Mary E. Rudisill

Mental health is a major concern for higher education and students are starting their college experience with psychological issues or developing mental health problems after enrollment. Because physical activity and exercise have known mental health benefits, the field of kinesiology can facilitate the delivery of physical activity and exercise programs aimed at reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as promote healthy coping mechanisms. The School of Kinesiology at Auburn University has implemented a framework to address mental health on campus and within our community. Our framework consists of coursework, outreach efforts, and establishing key partnerships to facilitate the delivery and sustainability of our programs. Our programs enable individuals to establish self-regulation skills, use a mindfulness-based approach, or participate in yoga, thereby establishing effective and healthy coping mechanisms. This paper discusses the evolution of our framework, as well as barriers and facilitators of implementation and sustainability.

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Nadia C. Valentini, Nancy Getchell, Samuel W. Logan, Ling-Yin Liang, Daphne Golden, Mary E. Rudisill, and Leah E. Robinson

Background:

We compared children with, at-risk for, or without developmental coordination disorder (DCD) on the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2) and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) through (a) correlations, (b) gender and age comparisons, (c) cross tab analyses, and (d) factor analyses.

Method:

Children (N = 424; age range: 4–10 years) from southern Brazil completed the TGMD-2 and MABC and placed into groups (DCD: ≤ 5th%, n = 58; at-risk: > 5th to ≤ 15th%, n = 133; typically developing (TD) >16th%, n = 233).

Results:

The strongest correlation was between total performance on the TGMD-2 and MABC (r = .37). No gender differences were found for performance on the MABC while boys performed better than girls on the TGMD-2. Cross tab analyses indicated a high level of agreement for children who performed in the lowest percentiles on each assessment. Factor analyses suggested that, for both the TD and at-risk groups, three factors loaded on the motor assessments. In contrast, the DCD group loaded on a sport skill, general skill, and a manipulative skill factor, accounting for 42.3% of the variance.

Conclusions::

Evidence suggests that children who perform very poorly on one assessment are likely to perform poorly on the other. Children with DCD may have sports-related skill deficiencies.