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In Attendance: R. Althaus, M. Ambery, L. Fluegge, C. Frazier, A. Gathman, D. Holt, C. Kaufman, D. Probst, W. Skinner, D. Starrett, J. Stephens, S. Swartwout, A. Vandeven
Absent: G. Gasser
Guests: J. Champine, Hamner Hill, Deborah Lo
Recorder: Christie Renner
Strengthening Faculty-Based Academic Advising – Phase 1 Update
Jim Champine gave an update on Action Project #3 Strengthening Faculty-Based Advising Phase 1. The team was formed by adding faculty members from each college/school to the Academic Advising Council membership. The team will be assessing advising and making recommendations. They will be asking assistance from the department chairs to answer a survey regarding their department’s advising. Champine will give the steering committee access to the dropbox that has the Action Project team’s documents and departmental academic advising surveys that have been returned. Champine met with Julie Grueneberg, Assistant Registrar, last fall about the timeliness of substitutions and student/faculty curriculum guides that departments are using for advising. Recommendations will be brought forward regarding these two items. The Action Project Team is also collecting aggregate data.
J. Champine was asked to meet with the AQIP Steering Committee by the end of the spring semester to give an update on the Action Project Team’s specific recommendations.
It was noted that a large number of graduation applications get rejected. The question was asked if there were any other markers. J. Champine will follow-up. A comment was made that another thing to look at is the number of hours it takes a student to graduate. A discussion was held on making sure prerequisites are in the system but ultimately it is up to the department.
Defining Indicators of Being the University of First Choice Update
Deborah Lo gave an update on Action Project #2 Defining Indicators of Being the University of First Choice. D. Lo distributed a handout identifying the charge of the Action Project Team, the motivation behind the charge, and the outcomes from the team. The outcomes include the development of indicators showing we are a University of First Choice, stakeholder satisfaction, and increased retention and recruitment of all students, faculty and staff. The team spoke with Elizabeth Shelton, Debbie Below and Dennis Holt to gain insight on data that has already been collected. D. Holt agreed to fund for the satisfaction survey to be administered to all staff. Discussion was held on retention of faculty and staff. The following comments were made concerning faculty assessment: look at faculty who withdraw after the interview process, develop a post-interview process to follow-up with faculty who are interviewed, look at faculty cohort tenure and promotion application rates versus success, and develop customized questions for the HERI. The following comments were made concerning staff assessment: define criteria when staff are most apt to leave – a year may be to short, check on the rate of involuntary separation before the six-month probation is complete, and include internal moves when assessing separations in positions. Once the list of indicators is developed, they should be reviewed by Administrative Council. It is possible this could be reported by the end of the spring semester. Also, a follow-up report should be given to the AQIP Steering Committee sometime at the end of April.
Improving Information Distribution and Communication Update
Hamner Hill gave an update on Action Project #1 Improving Information Distribution and Communication. The Action Project Team is trying to identify a good communication model. Comments are often heard from faculty and staff that they are not informed about administration decisions. The team is looking to do a couple case studies, for example the Career Linkages project, the development of the technology park, and the development of constructing a new residence hall. Suggestions were made to assess the communication during the strategic planning process that is currently underway and look at how the AQIP process was started. A comment was made that some people may not be using communications that are currently available (e.g., newswire, website). The AP Team will also be contacting campus experts on communication to gain their insight. The approach the team is looking at is: how communication works now, how we want communication to work, and modify theory and practice. A follow-up report should be given to the AQIP Steering Committee sometime in the future.
Brief Overview of Strategic Plan Forum
Provost Stephens and Dennis Holt updated the steering committee on the Strategic Plan Forum held on February 18. Over 130 faculty, staff, students and community members participated. Participants went through a variety of exercises. Some of the main themes that came out of the forum included more marketing, identifying funding alternatives, developing an institutional image, improving internal communication, and improving student services. The Executive Staff and the Board of Regents went through a similar process in the fall. The Strategic Plan Forum was the first phase in the process to revise the strategic plan. The Board of Regents asked for the revision of the strategic plan in the fall of 2007.
D. Starrett distributed a handout describing the AQIP Category Improvement Project that was initiated in December 2007. The goal is to present a revised set of AQIP category items by the April 2008 Higher Learning Commission Annual Meeting and settle on a revised set of AQIP categories by July 1, 2008. D. Starrett suggested that the steering committee should hold off on writing the Systems Portfolio until those categories are finalized. The writing subcommittee will work with D. Holt to determine what needs to be done with the schedule.
The next meeting will be held before the end of the semester when the Action Project Team chairs are ready to report back to the steering committee.