Revised and Approved
ACADEMIC PLANNING COUNCIL
Minutes of October 14, 2002
3 p.m., Holmes Student Center Ė HSC 505


Present:     Aase, Cassidy, Deskis, Griffiths, Legg, Isabel, Miller, Munroe, Payvar, Prawitz, Rintala, Thompson, Weilbaker, Wheeler

Guests:     Donna Askins, Research Associate, Office of the Provost; Paul Carpenter, Chair, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education; Connie Fox,
                Director of Teacher Education in Physical Education; Diane Jackman, Associate Dean, College of Education; Pamela Jackson, Department of
                Communicative Disorders; Sharon Miller, Associate Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences; Shirley Richmond, Dean, College of Health and
                Human Sciences; Earl Seaver, Chair, Department of Communicative Disorders; Christine Sorenson, Dean, College of Education
 

The meeting was called to order at 3:05 p.m.  Cassidy announced that the November 18 APC meeting has be rescheduled to December 2.  On December 2 we will be discussing the B.A./B.S. in Journalism and the B.A./B.S. and M.A. in Communication Studies.  Legg announced that Laurel Jeris, who is the chair of subcommittee B, will not be here today due to a death in the family, and Carol Thompson agreed to present the subcommittee report.

Legg introduced Christine Sorenson, Dean, College of Education; Diane Jackman, Associate Dean, College of Education; Paul Carpenter, Chair, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education; Jan Rintala, Assistant Chair and Director of the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology; and Connie Fox, Director of Teacher Education in Physical Education.

It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of September 30, 2002, with revisions, and the motion passed unanimously.

Legg turned the meeting over to Thompson for the discussion of the subcommittee report.  Thompson said that this was a well-written document, and it is easy to see how the departmentís initiatives interacted with the goals of the Illinois Commitment.  Thompson said that many of the departmentís strengths were noted in the subcommitteeís report and highlighted that the department section of the report was written in a straightforward manner.  The facility upgrades to Smart classrooms, the addition of an SPS position dedicated to undergraduate advising, the gains in scholarly productivity, and the decrease in costs during the review period were all departmental strengths.  She added that other strengths of the department were the faculty diversity; the high level of credit hour production; the focus on community service; and the emphasis on making theory-to-practice connections by providing hands-on student experiences as a best practice, especially in light of the many community-based programs this department offers.

Thompson turned to some of the concerns at the department level and indicated the departmentís stated need for additional facilities and faculty resources.  She added that the department documented the need for continuous equipment upgrades to maintain the current programs and the need for personnel to maintain the equipment and its inventory.  The department identified the need for a new faculty position in pedagogy to satisfy external accrediting standards.  Another discussion point was serving the region through off-campus programming.  Since these programs require the use of laboratory type facilities, the subcommittee members recognized that offering off-campus courses is difficult.  Cassidy add that not all departments or programs have an off-campus mission to deliver degree programs, and added that the community outreach initiatives represented the department very well.

Thompson said that there is increased demand for the programs and the department and college will need to set priorities given the increasing complexity of the external environment and the current state financial situation.  The departmental section of the review could serve as a model for other programs.

Thompson turned to the strengths of the B.S.Ed in Physical Education and the B.S. in Kinesiology.  The report combined information related to both programs, which eliminated redundancies in the document. Due to recent curricular revisions and the reorganization of the College of Education, which made data hard to disaggregate, the timing of the program review came at a somewhat inopportune time.   These programs deal with numerous accrediting bodies and agencies.  Among the strengths identified by the subcommittee were the emphasis on research and the considerable faculty efforts to satisfy the requirements of accrediting agencies and external stakeholders.  Sorensen added that the curricular revisions were driven by the recent changes in NCATE standards, which were addressed in the self-study for reaccreditation.

Isabel stated there was a problem with a formaldehyde smell in the building, and asked how this could be addressed.  Sorensen replied that the entire building is not air conditioned, but the room where the cadavers are located is air conditioned.  Isabel added that this could be a problem with OSHA.  Rintala replied that the smell was offensive but that monitoring of the air quality did not indicate a problem. Carpenter added that some HVAC systems need to be updated.  Rintala stated that down the line the change in the location of the cadavers may take care of the situation.  Cassidy said even if the lab was moved, the department would still expect to use the space.  Sorensen added that part of the problem is who is responsible for paying for the HVAC upgrade. It is a biology laboratory, and the college was asked to assist with paying for the upgrades. Carpenter added that this matter is currently under discussion.

Thompson said that the one concern for the undergraduate programs is that the assessment plans need updating.  She informed the APC that new assessment plans are under development.  The response rate on the alumni surveys is very low and the programs did not report on benchmarking.  If the department looked at student diversity nationally, it may be doing quite well in comparison to other universities. She added that the department is exploring the feasibility of using a CD-Rom approach to anatomy instruction.  The department also needs to make better use of the libraryís excellent document delivery services.  Deskis asked how it was known if faculty use document delivery services or not.  Rintala replied that the faculty could make more use of the electronic means now available, and the department needs to make sure that faculty realize that new journals would not be added to the collection. Cassidy added that access is available electronically rather than in hard copy.  Munroe asked if there is something that the library could do to help with this issue.  Carpenter replied that the topic could be explored. Cassidy said that some departments have their own library where students can use journals and asked if this practice could discourage students from going to the library.  Fox replied that she didnít think this was the case.  If a student needs a book, the library will have it.  Older issues of journals are sometimes on microfiche, and students would prefer to read a hard copy. Rintala added that the department has a good collection of journals, but to access science-based journals the students need to go to the library. Munroe added that a large number of education journals are available on-line.

Thompson said the recommendations for the future included redesigning the assessment plans, benchmarking, and increasing the response rate to the alumni surveys.  The programs should look at similar programs to help determine ways to increase student diversity, improve scores on the NATABOC examination, and set priorities for scarce resources.  Cassidy stated that the low response rate to the alumni surveys is not a problem unique to these programs.  The overall response rate to the universityís survey is 30 percent, but the Office of Assessment Services has been working with the department to explore the use of a department-based cover letter to accompany the survey.  Legg asked how long the survey was. Cassidy replied that it was too long.  The survey is also available on the web, and this year we started a telephone follow-up project to try to increase the response rate.  Sorensen said that adding the department survey lengthens the survey.  The college may want to consider disconnecting the department surveys from the university surveys to try and increase response rates, but there are costs associated with this approach.  Cassidy added that Barnard has also talked about putting the departmental surveys on the web.  Rintala stated that there is difficulty with keeping up with the alumniís current addresses.

Thompson stated that some of the strengths of the M.S.Ed. program noted in the subcommitteeís report are funding of graduate assistants that provide a core of full-time student enrollments, core courses serve students well, feedback from students and alumni is sought frequently, the program has a strong research orientation, and the faculty are exploring new curricular options.  Griffiths asked if there had been an increase in the number of graduate assistants who are funded from external sources.  Rintala replied that she could not give exact numbers of the increase since the last review, but the number of athletic training graduate assistants has increased and one graduate assistant is now working in an elementary school.  Griffiths asked what the ratio was for students completing the thesis vs. non-thesis option. Fox replied that she did not have exact numbers but the non-thesis option requires completion of a project or interdisciplinary inquiry.  Griffiths asked if these options were for students not electing a thesis. Fox replied yes, and the comprehensive examination is no longer used in lieu of thesis.  Rintala said that regardless of the option students choose, they select a committee, prepare a proposal, and make an oral presentation.  Griffiths stated that he appreciated the research orientation of both the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Thompson stated that some of the concerns at the M.S.Ed. level are that the assessment plan needs to be updated, diversity of the students in the program is low, and the review did not report on benchmarking.  She added that the department reported that when sports management was moved in the collegeís reorganization process, this change dramatically reduced minority enrollment. The program indicated the need to increase the number of graduate assistantships and additional resources to expand laboratory space. She added that the program should increase data gathering from students, alumni, and employers to assistant in career planning and course development and refinement, and refine and implement their assessment plan. Payvar asked if the national examination was voluntary, or if all students take these examinations.  Rintala replied that not all students sit for a national exam and if they do, it depends on what field they choose.  If a student is in the undergraduate athletic training emphasis, they have to take the NATA, and if a student is pursing teacher education, there is a mandatory examination.  The fitness and exercise science areas are voluntary examinations.  Thompson said another subcommittee recommendation was to initiate benchmarking, which could provide direction to increase recruitment of minority students and support curricular innovations. Given current resources, faculty should work with the college and provost to set priorities and identify if new certificates or degrees could be funded in the near future.  Askins asked if the alumni advisory committee is a good source of data and how do you know that curricular changes being recommended are valid.  Rintala responded that there are going to be some recommendations that reflect practices that are short lived.  If a student is working in a center, even if it has a fad exercise program, our students need to be able to teach the exercise.  Given their strong science background and studentsí exposure to the different forms of exercise, the basic curricular elements can be modified without an overhaul of the curriculum.

Cassidy said that in the B.S.Ed. review it was suggested that a new faculty position and two graduate assistant positions were need, and the graduate review described the need for an increase in the stipend. Carpenter said that ideally both new positions could be added and the stipend could be increased.  Fox said that part of the change in the curriculum is an intensive laboratory experience for undergraduate teacher education students, and the department does not have the resources to implement the change. The departmentís plan is to have the graduate assistants supervise the experience.  Cassidy added that the reports on benchmarking are not optional, and will need to be addressed in the revision of the documents.  The reviews indicate the need to set priorities between the needs in the B.S. and B.S.Ed. programs and the departmentís desire to have a new masterís program.  Rintala responded that a new M.S. degree program would not require any new resources; students would enroll in existing courses. Cassidy replied that there are other kinds of costs associated with offering a new program, including the need to have an assessment plan and another program review document. These are costs even though you are transferring course work from one program to another.  Rintala added that a new masterís program would basically be the same as the current specialization, but would be a science-based degree.  Cassidy noted that the masterís students seeking teacher certification are strongly encouraged to finish the M.S.Ed. degree in addition to meeting the certification requirements; could the M.S.Ed. be changed to an M.S. degree?  Jackman replied that students seeking teacher certification will look at the M.S.Ed. degree, and exercise science students would not be interested in teacher education and certification.  Sorenson clarified that teacher education students do not require a M.S.Ed. degree program.  Cassidy asked if this was a compelling argument to create a new degree program.  Fox responded that hospital-based employers want science people, and this is a compelling reason to have an M.S. degree. Carpenter added that the specialization in exercise physiology will probably be accredited in some way in the future, and we would need to make a change to stay competitive.  Cassidy said that there is nothing in the report indicating that students are having difficulty getting jobs.  Rintala added that the advisory committee could solicit information about the desire for an M.S. degree.  Cassidy replied that opinion is not a strong argument to use in the justification for a new program.

Cassidy said that the department section of the review includes a concise discussion of the composition of faculty in terms of diversity, rank, and scholarship. The reviews of each of the programs include mention of the various directors in the department: a director for the B.S.Ed. program, a director for the B.S. program, an athletic training director, and a director for the M.S.Ed. program, as well as an SPS undergraduate advisor. Could you talk about the directorsí responsibilities?  Fox responded that all directors teach, but have a three hour course reduction each semester.  Each director has different kinds of responsibilities. There are roughly 300 students who are advised by an SPS advisor, but because of certification requirements, one director does quite a bit of advising.  This director position also advises all the graduate students, and works with the curriculum and faculty.  One director does the course scheduling and arranging student teaching placements. Cassidy added that indicating that all the directors teach would be an important item to add to the document. A summary paragraph explaining the directorsí responsibilities and what this means in terms of teaching load should be sufficient.

Wheeler asked if the building now has an elevator. Fox replied that there is an elevator and it works.

The APC turned its attention to the request for a new Au.D. program. Legg introduced Shirley Richmond, Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences; Sharon Miller, Associate Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences; Earl Seaver, Chair, Department of Communicative Disorders; and Pamela Jackson, Department of Communicative Disorders.

Legg said that if NIU is going to have an audiology program, it must seek approval for an Au.D. degree due to the new accreditation standards that will need to be in place by 2012.  There will not be a net cost increase in the department for this degree program; the department will reallocate resources to it.

Seaver said that by 2012 the entry level degree for professional practice in audiology must be a doctoral degree.  This requirement is tied to national certification credentials, which changed a number of years ago based on a skills validation study done nationally. A number of programs are now making this transition. We currently have a specialization in audiology in the masterís program, which is accredited. This proposal is for a first professional degree; the curriculum involves both academic and clinical education, including a 2000-hour practicum requirement. NIU will soon be at a competitive disadvantage if we continue with the masterís specialization for very long.  Rush has a new Au.D. degree program that was implemented this fall.  Northwestern has reported it received approval to offer an Au.D. program; they have a Ph.D. program, but they will have a separate track for Au.D. students.  The University of Illinois currently has a Ph.D., and is considering establishing an Au.D. degree.  ISU has not indicated what their future plans are.  These are the only audiology programs in the state, and NIUís program would be the only one offered at a public institution in this region.  In the past, our program has typically been one of the largest in the state. Cassidy added that there would still be a M.A. specializations in speech language pathology and rehabilitation counseling.  Seaver replied that the previous dean encouraged the department to retain the M.A. degree, but this would not qualify students for practice as audiologists.  If, for some reason, students were not successful in the Au.D. program, they could still be awarded the M.A. degree.  Cassidy asked if these students would get an M.A. in Communicative Disorders without a specialization.  Seaver replied yes, but that that would have to be created through the curricular process. Griffiths added that the proposal for the new degree was approved by the Graduate Council last year.  Legg added that the proposal for the Au.D. could be justified by the needs of an  aging population.  Seaver stated that more children are also being born with hearing problems.

Seaver said that students would have practice hours in the Speech and Hearing Clinic each semester.  The Speech and Hearing Clinic would be difficult to maintain without an audiology program. Richmond said with the current  budget situation, it may seem untimely to come forward with a new degree request but the college and department talked about this issue.  Our feeling is that the program and its graduates are important to the college, and we need the services that it can provide to the community.  The department has done a good job at looking at what it can do with internal reallocations to the new program. We believe we owe it to the university and ourselves to seek a new degree; if we canít maintain a quality program, then we will reassess the situation.  Griffiths added to recruit the type of students we want, a new degree program needs to be requested.  He noted that the proposal mentioned an independent research project, and asked if it was required by the national organization?  Jackson replied that the national organization indicates that students must demonstrate competencies in research.  Griffiths asked if there would be a written project, to which Jackson responded yes.  Cassidy added that the focus of the project was applied research, and asked if the project could be an in-depth case study.  Jackson responded that it could be. Rintala asked if the department anticipated that students would transfer from the M.A. specialization into the Au.D.  Jackson responded yes, on a selective basis.  We will not admit students this summer, and we cut off spring admissions.  The students admitted this past fall were told that they would be in the masterís program for a year and following the outcomes of these meetings and a review of their performance, they could opt to move into the Au.D. program. Seaver added that most programs are using similar processes during the transition period.  Individuals currently practicing with a masterís degree will be able to maintain certification.

Wheeler asked if the students would typically hold graduate assistantships.  Seaver replied that about 50 percent of the students currently receive assistantships, and this will become an issue when we transition to the four-year program.  We are looking at ways to increase graduate assistantship support.  Wheeler asked if, when a student is completing the 2,000 clinical hours requirement, they could be compensated. Seaver replied yes. Legg asked if all the students in this program were females. Seaver responded that 80 percent are female, which reflects the discipline.  Legg asked about diversity in the student body.  Seaver replied that the student body does not reflect the demographics of our service area. Cassidy added that the undergraduate program is quite diverse.  Legg asked how many  undergraduate students seek graduate study.  Seaver replied about 50 percent of their graduates go on to do graduate work and about 2/3 of those students stay at NIU, noting that the undergraduate program is an open enrollment major.

Wheeler asked if a clinical doctorate counts as a doctoral program for our Carnegie classification.  Cassidy replied that it would not, and Legg concurred.  Munroe asked that as the department moved to a professional degree,  did it anticipate problems with having access to any particular serial literature.  Seaver replied that more journals would be helpful, however the on-line resources and the support the department gets from the libraries are very good.

Askins asked if attention would be given to hyper-acuity as well as hearing loss.  Jackson replied yes;  the topic would be addressed in the curriculum.

Cassidy informed the APC that the proposal for the Au.D. degree program has been approved through the curricular process, and has been brought to the APC for endorsement. If the request is endorsed by the council, it will be presented for approval to the Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Personnel Committee of the Board of Trustees at its November meeting and then forwarded to the full Board of Trustees, which will meet in December.  After these approvals, the proposal will be forwarded to the IBHE early in 2003. A motion was made and seconded to endorse the Au.D. proposal.  The motion passed unanimously.  Wheeler asked if the IBHE had a board of professionals to review proposals for new doctoral programs. Cassidy replied that it did for Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs, but not for first professional degrees.

Legg said the next item on the agenda was the review of the university mission statement. The university is preparing for reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2004, and the president has asked for input about the strengths and weaknesses of our current mission and scope statement.  Cassidy added that it is not unusual for institutions to review their mission statements prior to an accreditation site visit.  This committee and the University Assessment Panel are the two groups responsible for initiating such a review. In addition to the discussion today, it would be helpful to us to have your written comments.

Thompson asked if the mission statement had grown in length.  Cassidy replied that it has been this long since she can remember. Legg said that during the visit with Cecelia Lopez, NIUís liaison from the Higher Learning Commission, she pointed out in part that the priorities the university identifies for its future could influence the people selected to conduct our site visit. Legg said that the input the president receives will help with the revision of the mission statement.  We would like to have some written comments about where we are today and where we would like to be tomorrow.

Isabel noted that the mission statement does not strongly address striving to increase our international programs; it contains only one sentence about international initiatives.  Legg said that this is an important point.  Griffiths added that after the PQP process we had to write the mission statement with care because the IBHE wanted NIU to have a more local focus.  Cassidy explained that as part of the PQP process the IBHE issued focus statements to all public universities in the state; each state university was described as having a regional mission, with the University of Illinois as the flagship research institution in the state. Rintala said that this may no longer be relative given NIUís Carnegie classification.  Thompson added that it may be relevant because of our regional focus; we have to be careful about putting in the whole kitchen sink in this document.  It would be wonderful if we identified those things that make us unique, and added references to international programming.

Cassidy asked what makes NIU unique.  Thompson replied that our regional service makes us unique, NIU is growing in its research and scholarship, we are bringing in more students, and we have more research resources.  We have to demonstrate excellent research and scholarship, but the regional focus in service is important.  Maybe my department should do more things like the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education does for outreach.  We want international visibility, but everybody wants this.  Is this what we can put our hearts behind?  Cassidy said that one of the presidentís primary objectives is to move from being recognized for certain individual programs to being recognized as a university.  Legg added that NIU is a primary economic force in this region; we are the only comprehensive doctoral university that is not encompassed by a city, but we are right there.  We can serve a community that nobody else can serve.  Deskis said that she does not think regional visibility helps us more than national visibility.  The focus statement is very narrow.  Much of what is in the mission statement is where we want to go.  You want faculty to look at this and use it as a guide to how programs are molded so it says a great deal about service.  Should we tone down service because of the region?  Do we want to take away this component? Deskis added that not every statement in the mission statement applies to every program.  It is more difficult to have outreach in Physical Education than in audiology.  Thompson said that the university might decide that only certain portions have to be satisfied by some programs.  Deskis said the statement could also be too general to be applicable.  Rintala said that a definition of the term comprehensive would be helpful.  The statement is a potpourri.  We are strong in general education, undergraduate and graduate education, applied research, and we provide much serve to the region. Does the mission statement clearly articulate what being a comprehensive institution means?  Thompson asked should we be comprehensive or regional?  Legg added there are really links between them.  The University of Memphis was famous as a regional institution and then Memphis became a high-tech city and the university changed.  NIUís work with Fermi and other businesses and laboratories will affect NIU in this way.  Cassidy said the form was sent to the council electronically.  You can submit a hard copy or an electronic copy of your comments. We need your comments by October 22, 2002.

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn A. Cradduck