University Assessment Panel


Notes from Meeting of

6 March 2009


The sixth meeting of the University Assessment Panel (UAP) was held on Friday, 6 March 2009, at 10:00 a.m. in Altgeld 203.




Susan Hatfield will present two workshops on Friday, 20 March 2009. The morning workshop entitled Leave No Outcome Behind: Teaching, Learning, and Assessment will be from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. The regularly scheduled UAP meeting will not be held so that UAP members can attend. All UAP members will be registered for this workshop.  Please notify Brenda Hodges at FDIDC or Karyn Higgs in the OAS if you cannot attend.  This morning workshop will focus on keeping the emphasis of assessment on improving student learning while building a culture of assessment. For more information, go to the FDIDC website at


The second Susan Hatfield workshop entitled Getting Students Involved in Assessment will be held from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. For more information, or to register for this workshop, please go to the FDIDC website at


The OAS is looking to hire a full-time Research Associate who will help to facilitate our participation in the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA). The RA will be responsible for the collection of data and the design and maintenance of a website that will address student demographics, student engagement and learning, and outcomes at NIU. The OAS will be accepting applications through Friday, 13 March 2009.


A question regarding members serving on the VSA Advisory Committee was raised. Some members of the panel suggested that both faculty and student cooperation in the VSA may be better obtained if this position was filled by a half-time faculty member rather than making it an entry-level position.         


Public Agenda for College and Career Success


Douglass discussed the executive summary for the Public Agenda for College and Career Success which replaces the Illinois Commitment. The Public Agenda is the product of a yearlong planning process initiated by the Illinois General Assembly and conducted by the Public Agenda Task Force and the IBHE. The four goals being advanced by the Public Agenda primarily focus on access, affordability, and economic impact. The full report can be found at






2007-2008 Annual Assessment Update Report


A copy of the 2007-2008 Annual Assessment Update Report was distributed to the panel for review. Academic Program Compliance with the Annual Assessment Updates was 100 percent for the second year in a row. The greatest improvement in assessment practices across the university was seen in the development of clear and measurable learning outcomes. Continuity could be improved in linking the results and use of results to specific learning outcomes.


Capstone Revision Proposal for Masters of Public Administration


A capstone revision proposal was reviewed for PSPA 699 Public Sector Research. Feedback from the panel will be sent with notification of the approval of the proposal pending guidance from the OAS. 


Review of Status Reports  


At a previous meeting the status report for the University Office for Teacher Certification was reviewed. The panel decided to revisit this status report in order to address various questions that were raised concerning the office’s role in assessing student learning outcomes.  The panel recommended that vice provosts Virginia Cassidy and Earl Seaver reexamine whether the UAP is the appropriate venue for the review of this report. It was suggested that the Unit Assessment Committee may be an alternative body to review this unit.


The status reports for the B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in Political Science were reviewed by the panel.  The Student Involvement and Leadership Development assessment summary report was also reviewed. A summary of the panel’s feedback will be sent to the departments.  


One funding request for support of work on the department assessment plans for the B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. in Political Science was reviewed by the panel. The panel requested that more information be provided before considering the request for funding.   


The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, 3 April 2009 from 10:00-12:00 in Altgeld 203.




U:\Assessment\UAP\2008-2009\Notes\UAP Notse 03_06_09 .doc