TO: Members of the Planning and Budget Committee 2010-2011: Steven Skinner, Deborah Soles, Silvia Carruthers, Terence Decker, Will Klunder, Susan Matveyeva, Ken Miller, Peer Moore-Jansen, Betty Smith-Campbell, Johnnie Thompson, Mehmet Yildirim
FROM: Fritz Hemans, president Faculty Senate 2010-2011
DATE: September 27, 2010
SUBJECT: Agenda for the meetings of October 1st and October 8th
First let me thank all of you for agreeing to serve on the Planning and Budget committee this coming year. For those of you who served last year I hope you’ll appreciate the fact that we will only be meeting every other week and will have a more confined set of objectives. The schedule for the first two meetings is, however, on successive Fridays to avoid a three-week hiatus immediately after we begin.
Our agenda for October 1st is to have a brief overview of the Program Review process and to prepare an outline that a subcommittee can use to create a first draft for a revised process. Thereafter and continuing on October 8th, we’ll be reviewing Foresight 2020. In particular we’ll go through the document to identify areas that faculty should address.
There are a few documents that we would like you to review for the meeting. The first is simply the description of Program Review found at http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=ACADEMICAFFAIRS&p=/ProgramReviewAll/ProgramReview/
The other two are attached to this e-mail: Academic Program Review and Institutional Mission Development—1997; and Foresight 2020.
Last spring as we moved through the discontinuance process a number of faculty raised questions about Program Review and the criteria that are used to evaluate the university’s academic programs. Following up on these concerns Deborah Soles and I asked Associate Provost Martha Shawver to make information about the process readily available on the Provost’s web page, and I asked Provost Miller to include Program Review on the agenda of the Planning and Budget committee.
Program review at WSU in its current form dates from a study of the mission of the Regents universities undertaken by the Board of Regents from 1991-1993 (Academic Program Review and Institutional Mission Development--1997). Within an eight-year cycle each program undergoes an intensive review based on a departmental self-study that addresses the quality, cost effectiveness, and importance of the program to the mission of the university. In addition, the Board of Regents has set minima standards for program performance: enrollments, graduation rates, number of faculty, and, for baccalaureate programs, average ACT scores. A program is triggered for “low performance” when it has a five-year average number of junior and senior majors or graduates that falls below the KBOR minima standard. Triggered programs submit improvement plans to address low performance and, when a program continuously shows low performance for five or more years it is required to submit a complete strategic plan with an analysis to justify continuation.
In further discussion Provost Miller and I agreed that it is important to engage in a more thoughtful program review process, one that could operate more constructively on campus. The KBOR minima standards are too limited to really understand our academic programs. In addition the adoption of Foresight 2020 by the Board of Regents leads us to consider how we can work toward accomplishing the goals set out in that plan without adding additional layers of separate reporting and assessment.
I would like to delegate the task of creating a first draft to a subcommittee, composed of no more than 3 members of the Planning and Budget committee. After our first meeting, where we will review the current process, please let me know by the following Monday (October 4th) whether or not you are interested in serving on the subcommittee. We’ll discuss the timeline for this at our meeting, but my thinking is that creating this first draft should not be a lengthy process and can be accomplished in a few well-organized meetings. Thereafter we’ll bring the draft back to the committee as a whole, and incorporate our work on Foresight 2020. We are preparing a draft outline for review by the committee as a whole at our first meeting.