Notes from Meeting of

5 March 2010



The seventh meeting of the University Assessment Panel (UAP) was held on Friday, 5 March 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in Altgeld 203.




The UAPís next meeting is the Assessment Expo, to be held in the Sky Room at Holmes Student Center on the morning of March 19. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m. UAP members and other university personnel are encouraged to participate, even if they cannot attend the entire session.


Status Report from University Libraries


The assessment plan and status report for the University Libraries was discussed. Patrick Dawson, Dean of the University Libraries, was present to answer questions about the report and the assessment practices at the libraries. Currently, there are no reported quantitative results or assessment rubrics in the report. It was agreed that when the action tasks from the librariesí strategic planning effort are available, Carolinda Douglass will meet with representatives of the library to help construct rubrics with assessable outcomes and to develop a feasible assessment plan.


Status Report from Studentsí Legal Assistance


Donald Henderson, the Director of Studentsí Legal Assistance, was on hand to provide a history of the legal assistance program at NIU and to offer perspectives on the assessment tools in use by this student unit. The office provides general information on legal matters to student groups and also takes on 800 to 1,200 individual cases involving students per year. Ideas were solicited to improve the response rate from client surveys. The report in general was commended for its clear goals, measurements, and use of results.


First Year Composition (FYC) Report


This is the second year in which student essays have been evaluated at the beginning of English 103 and then compared with the same studentsí work at the end of English 104. The measure that is consistently weakest is that of presentation, which involves grammar, punctuation, and usage. It was noted that presentation skills are not valued equally across disciplines or courses and that writing is not integrated into every course equally. In order to help faculty assess student writing in the same way that is done for the FYC evaluation, it was suggested that someone from the Department of English be invited to discuss the rubric and to present both good and bad writing samples.




The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m. The Assessment Expo will be held on the next UAP meeting date, which is 19 March. The next regular UAP meeting is scheduled for 5 April 2010 at 10:00 a.m. in Altgeld 203.



U\Assessment\UAP\2009-2010\Notes\Notes 3-5-10.doc