APR COMMITTEE MINUTES
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2009
263 Cartwright Center
Present: Grunwald (Chair), Knowles, Lieder, Longhurst, Mortell, Nelson, Thoune, Tollefson, Toribio
Excused: Cravins, Dickmeyer
Absent: Devine, Rivera, Kopp
Guest: Bob Hoar, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor
Teri Hinds, Institutional Researcher
Chair Sandy Grunwald called the meeting to order at 7:50 AM.
Minutes from the Meeting were approved with two corrections: Toribio was incorrectly assigned by his first name, and UG Sport Management & Grad Sport Admin: Toribio was not actually assigned to Toribio or anyone else. (M/S/P 8-0-0) (Mortell had not arrived yet)
The charge from Faculty Senate was to review whether the Provost should be part of the formal Review process within Academic Program Review. Sandy spoke with Becky LeDocq, Faculty Senate Chair. Becky LeDocq suggested that Bob Hoar, representative from the Provost’s Office, should come to a meeting to provide background and answer any questions.
Main discussion items regarding this charge:
Hoar confirmed that the Provost initiated the request to be a part of the process. Looking at all the different things that involve the academic side of governance, Academic Program Review concludes at the Provost’s Office. The Provost is required to keep these reviews on file, and send a report to UW-System. In the last couple of years, with GQ & A, along with aligning budgets, there has been a greater need for strategic planning.
One issue presented in a recent Academic Program Review could not be covered by GQ & A—something that was a budgetary item (non-teaching)—it was not mentioned to the Provost early enough where strategic planning would have addressed it in a timely manner. While funds were found to make this particular example happen, the Provost felt that learning of these needs sooner in the academic program review process (by having an official capacity) would be advantageous for getting problems such as these into the queue sooner.
The intent of this request is not to interject any changes in the process, but just more of an awareness issue for the Provost.
External recommendations can be shared with the Provost, but often these external recommendations are combined with the program review, and reported at the end of the process to Faculty Senate. If a department or program report gets bogged down (completed report and/or uncompleted review), sharing information from the external recommendations earlier will allow these needs to be known by the Provost.
Ideally the Program Review will end up with the program improved by addressing weaknesses. If the administration is aware of these needs sooner, then they can begin to be addressed sooner. Funds are distributed with a lot of planning in the next year. If there were a budgetary need, making the Provost aware sooner would be beneficial to the Department or Program.
The funds programs are requesting for a program need, used to go to the Deans, but some of the funds are now at the Provost’s level, so to include the Provost at the same time as the Deans seems appropriate.
Looking at the Review Calendar (T – 1, T, T + 1) Bob suggested that the Provost would receive a report prior to coming to Academic Program Review (basically at the same time as the Deans). It would be beneficial to have the Deans and Provost at the same place looking at funding sources. Before the APR committee sees the review, the Deans and Provost would have the opportunity to strategically plan for those Departments being reviewed.
Concerns from the committee included that budgets are planned out on a regular basis and shouldn’t Chairs and Deans be communicating financial needs regardless of the APR process?
The response to this included that the Review documents are a more persuasive document, which helps to add the cause of need.
Again, is there weight behind the Provost’s review in the process-isn’t there communication between the Deans and the Provost? The response was that it just makes sense to have a formal awareness of these needs for equal treatment should someone not communicate effectively.
Some members of APR were concerned that there is a danger to formally put the Provost into the process—what if it goes the other way—what if a Provost (in general—not specific to our current Provost) ends up using these reports the other way—to “strong-arm” the Committee to report that these needs are not as important and do not need budgetary priority. In other words, the Central Administration is getting strengthened, and there is less recommendation by the Faculty Senate.
The committee questioned why there needed to be a formal step of sharing this information to the Provost? There was a representative, current issue, and it was brought to the attention of the Provost through the APR committee, and our current Provost is feeling like it was too late when she found out about the concern. If the Provost is going to be supporting the reports and recommendation, it seems appropriate to be communicating during the whole process.
Programs with accreditation have significant leverage with the external review. Those programs without outside accreditation (saying you could lose your accreditation without making these changes) would be helpful.
Another issue might be that there are not consistent interviews (with external teams and reviewers) with the Provost regarding the programs/departments being reviewed.
Grunwald called the discussion to the close and the committee agreed that the next step is to propose motions (and models) for integrating the Provost into the Review Process (i.e., competing motions). If we agree to make this an informal request, then the APR will just make a recommendation.
Teri Hinds, Institutional Researcher, presented information on the unit data sheets, which are part of the program self-study report. She came forward to request that the data be standardized from the unit data sheet: student, curricular and faculty load. She is bringing it back to the Committee for two purposes: 1) Are you using this at all? If you’re not, it’s a time consuming project, and it would be helpful to not have to do it. 2) Is there data you’re interested in that is not currently being compiled?
She handed out “Council on Undergraduate Research Consulting Service Application Checklist.” The CURC has a consulting service that would put together a review team that could come and review those programs/departments without accreditation. This handout includes requesting data that they feel would be useful before they come visit. Review of this could give the committee ideas of what information may be important in a unit data sheet.
A third issue from Terri was that UW-L has had a major shift in the way student information is recorded. In theory, it’s similar information. In fact, the information is stored very differently. As of Summer 2009 PeopleSoft is the official data of record. The CAS system is through Spring 2009. Comparison of previous data will not be the same because the breakdown is different.
As long as the APR is looking over the data prepared by the IR, Bob Hoar suggested that maybe there should be budget data that the APR should consistently request? How do you want it sorted (for example if Departments share an ADA, do you want it broken down)? If it’s not an “all or nothing” thing, how do you want that broken down? Getting the Associate Dean’s perspective might also be helpful—long term, not short term.
Do you use it—do the external reviewers use it? Can we streamline the request for data from Departments or programs?
Meeting adjourned at 8:42 AM.