Category Archives: For Faculty

April phishing education

Recently, Drake has seen an increase in phishing emails designed to look like they have been sent by senior administrators, such as President’s Council members or Deans, to members of that person’s staff.

Often these messages indicate that the supposed sender needs the receiver to take some sort of discrete action and specifically requests that the receiver not call them, but respond via email. The body of a recent message of this type said simply:

“Do you have a moment? I have a request I need you to handle discreetly. I am going to a meeting, no calls so just reply to my email. I will be glad if you reply to this email as soon as it gets to you.”

They often appear hastily written and urgent, and ask the receiver to take immediate action. These are the signals that should remind you to slow down and take a closer look.

Before taking any step, use another channel to confirm the request is from the person who appears to be the requestor. Manually type the presumed sender’s email address in another email message (rather than just replying to the initial email) and ask for confirmation. Using the chat feature in Microsoft Teams or sending a text message, if you have the person’s cell phone number, are also effective alternate-channel communications.

Messages that ask you to take urgent action should be treated with caution. Cyber criminals want you to feel pressured to move quickly and they are skilled at creating a sense of urgency. Your best response is to be cautious of unexpected or out of character email messages and confirm their legitimacy before taking action.

ITS will be continuing phishing education this month using emails that mimic real attacks. A short training lesson will be assigned to any faculty and staff who repeatedly click links or open attachments in phishing emails, simulated or not.

For additional information on how to report phishing emails, please see the IT Service Portal guide, Reporting a Phishing Message (How-to).

— Information Security, ITS

Blackboard Learn Ultra instructor orientation course module 7 now available 

Module 7  is expected to take less than two hours and is focused on adding course content in the Ultra Course View. All Fall 2021 courses will be built using the Ultra Course View. 

This module focuses on better understanding attendance, grading options, and analytics available. If you have not completed Module 6’s Things to Try On Your Own activities, there will be little to try on your own for grading. Module 7 grading activities are dependent on the data from Module 6.   

Next week we will release Modules 8 and 9 (optional), the final modules in the self-paced training. 

Need Assistance with your Ultra Sandbox Courses? 
If you don’t see the sandbox courses in Ultra Course View in your Courses list (sandbox course names follow this formula: Ultra Sandbox #: Drake ID), please submit a Blackboard Site Creation request in the IT Service Portal. 

Start Planning Advanced Training Opportunities 
Each college/school has an assigned CTE Ambassador available to inform college members about the impending transition to Blackboard Learn Ultra Courses. To schedule additional training opportunities for your college/school, please contact your CTE Ambassador. The CTE Ambassador will work with academic technology experts to ensure the training requests are met. 

Note: Advanced training opportunities are dependent upon all attendees having completed the self-paced training modules first. 

— Karly Good, ITS

Complete Title IX training through Blackboard

As part of our continued commitment to providing a safe and respectful environment for the entire Drake community, the Title IX Office released a short online training series for faculty and staff in the fall. The Title IX Office requests that any Drake employees who have not yet completed this training do so at their earliest convenience. The course is available through Blackboard and can be accessed via Upon selecting the Blackboard link under “Commonly Used Apps,” employees can access the training via the left hand menu under the “Courses” tab by clicking on the course entitled “Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Violence Prevention” and selecting the “Title IX Training” module and following the instructions within the course.

— Jessica Morgan-Tate, Finance & Administratio

For all the feels, watch this ‘Smile Slideshow’

Thank you to everyone who contributed a photo for Drake’s Smile Video Slideshow.

A collaboration between Human Resources and the All Staff Council, this short video showcases what has made Drake persevere through all the challenges and changes this past year—YOU!

Take a moment to enjoy your colleague’s smiling faces. Behind those smiles are dozens of stories of strength and community for family, friends, and neighbors. As we cautiously allow ourselves to feel a sense of optimism going forward, there will still be difficult days. On those days, let this short video give you a smile, and know that your Drake family is here.

— Linda Feiden, Human Resources

Change to travel program for non-athletic departments

Drake University is making a change to its travel program for all non-athletic departments. Short’s Travel Management has made the business decision to focus on athletic travel only so all non-athletic travel services will transition to Direct Travel beginning April 12, 2021. Athletic travel will not be impacted by this transition. With their assistance our goal will be to provide continued support for our business travelers and management of our travel spend. Drake University along with Direct Travel and our current provider, Short’s Travel Management (STM), have been working closely over the past few months to ensure a seamless transition with minimal impact to our travelers and overall travel program.    

Please note this change does not impact our current travel policy and restrictions on travel. If you have questions please refer to the travel FAQ.

Here’s what to expect in the upcoming transition:

  • Existing travel profiles including preferences, loyalty numbers, and unused tickets will be transferred to Direct Travel.
  • No change to existing phone number. It’s still 877-263-2550.
  • New agent support email address:  
  • New Direct Travel itineraries (Direct2U).

We are excited to announce a change to our online booking tool as part of the transition. Drake will be using Etta powered by Deem. Etta provides business travelers an effortless and modern booking experience including enhancements like Deem’s innovative Travel SafetyCheck which presents hotel neighborhood safety scores as well as current and historical COVID related information in the selected area. More information will follow regarding this change including site access and training. 

For those travelers that had previously used a Short’s Travel Management Portal as their landing page for booking tools and profile management please note the following changes: 

  • Your online booking tool will be the primary resource to access items previously available through the STM portal including but not limited to:
    — Booking Travel
    — Travel Profile Access/Updates
    — Unused Tickets/Credits
    — Administration of Travel (Department or Company level access)
  • Copies of travel invoices can easily be found using DT’s Invoices on Demand.

We are confident that a travel partnership with Direct Travel is in the best interest of Drake University. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email Your cooperation is appreciated.

About Direct Travel
Direct Travel, Inc. is a privately held corporation with the ultimate goal to create a best-­in­-class TMC through acquisition and organic growth. Direct Travel has been providing travel management services for over 40 years; by working with clients to develop highly customized travel programs. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and innovative solutions, Direct Travel helps clients derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of superior service, internet-based technologies, and significant cost savings. Direct Travel has offices in 39 locations across the US, and is ranked among the top US corporate travel management companies.

— Heather Winslow, Administrative Services Specialist

Famous Last Words retirement celebration

On Thursday, April 15, we will honor six of our faculty colleagues retiring from Drake at the end of this academic year.

Professors Sally Beisser (Education), Ed Bell (Pharmacy), Ramesh Dhussa (Geography), Dorothy Pisarski (Advertising), Nancy Reincke (English), Michael Rieck (Computer Science), and John Rozycki (Finance) have amassed nearly 200 years of collective experience and wisdom about Drake and higher education. On Thursday, April 15, we’ll honor their service to Drake and mark their retirement at an online event co-hosted by the Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching Excellence.

“Famous Last Words” will air from 3:00-5:00 pm and will allow us to spend some time with Sally, Ed, Ramesh, Dorothy, Nancy, Michael, and John. Drawing on their experience and observations over the years, they will briefly share their insights about how Drake, as an institution, can continue to thrive in the midst of new and pressing challenges to higher education in the U.S. Following their remarks, we’ll open the (virtual) floor for Q&A.

Too often, we have allowed our departing colleagues to take their wisdom with them. Please take advantage of this opportunity to hear this year’s retirees’ “Famous Last Words,” to learn from them one last time, and to wish them well.  Click here to register for this free event using your Drake email address.

Log-in information will be sent by email prior to the event.

— Sandra Harris, Office of the Provost

Bright College now accepting course proposals

The John Dee Bright College at Drake University invites full-time faculty on continuing appointment and faculty emeriti to submit course proposals for its Spring 2022, 12-credit integrated seminar on Global and Natural Systems. Responses by Monday, April 12, will receive full consideration.

This seminar will serve as the second of four integrated seminars in the Bright College curriculum and will be taught by a multi-disciplinary team of two or three faculty (depending on cohort size, faculty expertise, and course design) as their primary teaching and service assignment during the Spring. Proposals are welcome from individuals as well as from teams already formed. Please see the catalogue description below for details about the general course outcomes and framework.

Standard compensation is $4,000 in addition to the faculty member’s base salary and reassignment from teaching in their home departments; however, there is considerable flexibility in the exact configuration of an individuals’ assignment. Craig Owens, dean of the College, will work with department chairs, program directors, and fellow deans to facilitate the appointment of faculty whose course is selected for inclusion in the 21-22 curriculum.

Preliminary submissions should include a brief course description and a representative list of learning activities that support course goals. Courses should be based on collaborative, high-impact, active and experiential learning and on problem/challenge-based approaches to problem-solving and learning by doing. Please bear in mind that Bright College does not employ a lecture model of instruction or an examination approach to student learning assessment.

Proposals and queries can be sent to by Monday, April 12.

Catalogue Description

JBC 055: Integrated Seminar in Global Natural and Social Systems

12 credit hours (2-3 instructors)

Fall 2022


  • Global and Cultural Understanding
  • Scientific Literacy (including lab/fieldwork)
  • Historical Foundations

In this seminar, students will gain competence as systems thinkers as they investigate and map the interrelationship among globally interconnected systems of social organization, power, and the distribution of goods, on the one hand, and such scientifically inflected systems as the natural environment, public health, and healthcare, on the other. Students will learn about the influence of policy, history, and the physical and biological forces on the dynamics governing—and created by—these systems. Working in collaboration with their peers, participants will engage in direct scientific inquiry and data collection and will map these systems as steps toward designing interventions to improve identified outcomes. Examples of topics this seminar might pursue include (but are not limited to): global response to pandemics; global water policy and health; eco-tourism; globalism and the green economy; the politics and economics of healthcare in the global south; national health care in a global environment.

— Craig Owens