ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES

 

 

DATE:            November 8, 2007

 

PRESENT:     Agnes Samples                                     Jeff Sanders

                        Sandie Rietz                                         Kay Streeter

                        Lorrie Steerey                                      Johanna Mitchell

                        Keith Edgerton                                     Gershon Bulgatz

                        Mark Hardt                                          Steve Coffman

                        Alicia Esteves (student)

                        David Garloff (ex-officio)                      John Cech (ex-officio)

                        George White (ex-officio)

 

ABSENT:       James Ellis (student)

                        Rakesh Sah*                                        Bruce Brumley*

                        Craig McKenzie*                                 Tasneem Khaleel (ex-officio)*

                        Gary Young (ex-officio)*                      Mary Susan Fishbaugh (ex-officio)*

                        Karen Heikel (ex-officio)*                    Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)

                        Stacy Klippenstein (ex-officio)

* excused

 

GUESTS:        David McGinnis                                    Michael Barber

 

PRESIDING: Lorrie Steerey, Chair

 

 

Lorrie Steerey called the meeting to order at 3:44 p.m. in the Chancellor’s Conference room.

 

The minutes of November 1 were accepted as presented.

 

I.          ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

 

Postponed from last week

Item 31  Minor in Health Communication.  New program.

 

Ž Motion by Sandie Rietz, seconded by Alicia Esteves to accept Item 31.

 

Dr. Steerey noted that the Marketing discipline reviewed the minor and came to an agreement with Sarah Keller, originator of the program, that MKT 340 (Principles of Marketing) should replace MKT 343 (Integrated Marketing Communications) in the required core, and MKT 343 should be added to the list of restricted electives.

 

It was noted that the Department of Health & Human Performance is adamantly opposed to this program.  More health courses are needed for a minor in health communication, and this program puts the Department of Communication & Theatre in direct competition with the Department of Health & Human Performance.  The Department of Health & Human Performance already offers a minor in health, and students in that program learn to communicate about health issues.  Health & Human Performance could teach the courses they already have in health and communication, and Communication & Theatre could teach the two new courses they are proposing.

 

It was further noted that in the proposal HHP 211 (Community Health) is listed as an online course, and it is not offered online.

 

It was cited that the proposal does have a letter of support from the Department of Health & Human Performance from October 2006, but it’s only in support of the development of a minor.  The Department did not see the final program proposal.

 

It was stated that the two departments, Department of Health & Human Performance and Department of Communication & Theatre, need to meet and discuss the issues.

 

Ž Motion by Keith Edgerton, seconded by Jeff Sanders to table Item 31 until the Department of Health & Human Performance, Department of Communication & Theatre, and Department of Business Academic Programs meet.

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

II.         DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS

 

A.  Summer 2008 Schedule:  Is it a go?

 

It was noted that we seemed to come to a consensus in our visit with President Gamble that we should let the changes to the Summer 2008 go as the administration’s experiment and responsibility.  We can agree to the new schedule with the understanding that the Senate will be in on discussions of the success or failure.

 

It was noted that the College of Education is willing to cooperate with the new schedule as long as they have the flexibility to schedule courses for teachers when the teachers need them.  It was cited that the issue with Banner is that courses that do not fit into the schedule all have to be entered by hand.

 

Provost White stated that he is in favor of flexible scheduling, and noted that some graduate students (not teachers) also have issues with the summer schedule.  They may take only evening classes in the fall and spring, but have to switch to day in the summer.

 

Ž Motion by Steve Coffman, seconded by Keith Edgerton that the Summer 2008 schedule (of 3-5-5) is fine for Summer 2008, but the College of Education will have flexibility to make changes in the schedule to meet the needs of the returning teachers.

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

It was noted that at the next Senate meeting we will discuss how we will evaluate the success or failure of the new summer schedule.  Dr. Steerey noted that she will be available to go to meetings next summer, but she cannot always go alone.  Other Senators must participate as well.

 

B.  CPSLL Summer Survey

1.  Faculty Association Approval

2.  Anonymity of Results – Michael Barber

 

It was cited that the Faculty Association did not see the survey.  Also, it is possible that students can forward the email to anyone and anyone can then fill out the survey.

 

Michael Barber, Chief Information Officer, noted that there is a certain amount of trust in these surveys that we are getting results from our students and not random people.  Millions of people are using Survey Monkey, and their survey instrument is designed to serve a wide range of groups.

 

For anonymity of the surveys, if a student takes the survey on a campus computer, the actual “address” of the computer is merged with all others on campus to one main address.  Thus, Survey Monkey (which is an off-campus company) sees only one address that can be traced back to MSUB, but not an individual computer on campus.  If a student takes the survey from home, a similar process occurs with that person’s internet provider.  One could trace the address back to a internet provider such as Bresnan or Qwest, but not to the individual student’s computer.  Since Survey Monkey is independent of the University, we do not even receive the computer address information.

 

Dr. Barber also noted that we are making sure that all surveys conducted on campus have IRB approval.  David McGinnis noted that the IRB is working on spreading the word on the difference between confidentiality and anonymity.

 

It was cited that the faculty morale survey did not seem to be anonymous because email reminders were sent to faculty who had not completed the survey.  Dr. Barber noted that most likely that survey was done using a campus program that was based on email addresses.  Future surveys will likely be through Survey Monkey, which has no connection to the campus emails.  Also, Joe Floyd, who processed and analyzed the data, stripped out all identifying information as soon as he received the results.  It was cited that faculty were not told that until after the survey period was finished.

 

C.  Outcomes Assessment – Provost White

 

Dr. White began by quoting the Senate bylaws:

The Senate is charged with the responsibility of making recommendations to the Chancellor of MSUB on matters concerning curriculum and academic policy, degree requirements, admission and retention, the MSUB calendar, the structure of the academic programs, and other matters referred by the Chancellor of MSUB or Faculty Administration Committee.

 

Our biggest issue is outcomes, which are required by NWCCU, as stated in the Standards many times:

“The evaluation of educational programs and their continuous improvement is an ongoing responsibility.” (Standard 2.A)

“Degree and certificate programs demonstrate a coherent design; are characterized by appropriate breadth, depth, sequencing of courses, synthesis of learning, and the assessment of learning outcomes…” (Standard 2.A.3)

“The institution uses degree designators consistent with program content.  In each field of study or technical program, degree objectives are clearly defined…” (Standard 2.A.4)

“The institution provides evidence that students enrolled in programs offered in concentrated or abbreviated timeframes demonstrate mastery of program goals and course objectives.” (Standard 2.A.5)

“Educational program planning is based on regular and continuous assessment of programs…” (Standard 2.B)

“The institution’s processes for assessing its educational programs are clearly defined, encompass all of its offerings, are conducted on a regular basis, and are integrated into the overall planning and evaluation plan.” (Standard 2.B.1)

“The institution identifies and publishes the expected learning outcomes for each of its degree and certificate programs.  Through regular and systematic assessment, it demonstrates that students who complete their programs, no matter where or how they are offered, have achieved these outcomes.” (Standard 2.B.2)

“The institution provides evidence that its assessment activities lead to the improvement of teaching and learning.” (Standard 2.B.3)

 

Dr. White stated outcomes are not an option.  They are expected by our accrediting body.  These standards were adopted in 1992, and we are still debating them.

 

Dr. White noted that Departments can do the reviews however they want; he simply needs to know the program objectives and how they are being measured.  It was noted that not all faculty have participated in or reviewed the Annual Program Reviews, and that is a problem.  Dr. White cited that we have areas of excellence, but they are spotty.  We need a University-wide effort to get all programs in compliance.

 

Dr. White stated that NWCCU is having a workshop February 7 & 8, 2008, in Seattle.  He would send a few Senators to learn how to prepare for NWCCU accreditation if there is interest.  Dr. White cited that during our mock accreditation visit last month, the evaluators said we are not using our assessment data to improve teaching and learning.  There are three big steps:  collect the data, aggregate it, and use it to improve.  We are in various stages of collection and aggregation, but we have not shown improvement as a result of the information.  It was noted that it is important to know how NWCCU views assessment results, especially assessments that may not use a standard numerical system.  Johanna Mitchell, Agnes Samples, Mark Hardt, and Lorrie Steerey all indicated interest in attending the Seattle workshop.  Dr. Steerey noted that she would ask Bruce Brumley or Craig McKenzie to attend so all Colleges are represented.  The group will meet with Dr. White to discuss options.

 

The question was raised as to which programs require reviews.  Dr. White stated that NWCCU states any major, minor, or certificate of 30 or more credits should be reviewed.  It was cited that we should get all majors covered first, and then work our way up to all programs.  Dr. White also noted that the Board of Regents requires every major, minor, and certificate to be on a seven-year cyclic review.  The BOR also has graduation minimums (over a three-year period, 3 graduates for a Graduate program, 10 graduates for an Undergraduate program) that, if not met, indicate a program should be deleted.

 

It was noted that the issue is not that faculty are unwilling to do the work to write objectives, but that faculty do not have time.  In order to do this task, some other task must be set aside, sometimes to the detriment of the students.  Dr. White agreed that there is not a person on this campus who is not overworked, but it is our responsibility to assess these objectives.  Dr. White noted that he is accused of making Departments fit into a cookie-cutter for their objectives, or forcing faculty to use eCollege.  This is not true—objectives should be appropriate to the Department.  The eCollege program is just a tool to help us get the results of the objectives written by faculty.  It was noted that perhaps we need to engage in a dialog about how we achieve the things we need for our accreditation without killing ourselves or each other.  It was stated that the attitude seems to be if faculty are not getting something done, it’s because we are not doing our jobs, not that we do not have time.  It was noted that assessment is a very high priority.  Dr. White stated that we must improve for the students.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:01 p.m.

 

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