Present: Bose, Cassidy, Hartenhoff, House, Johnson, Legg, Levin, Miller, Munroe, Payvar, Prawitz, Reynolds, Russo, Seaver, Schoenbachler, Thompson, Waas, Wholeben, Williams
Guests: Craig Barnard, Coordinator, Assessment Services
The meeting was called to order at 3:05 p.m., and Legg welcomed the members for the 2004–2005 academic year. There was an introduction of each member of the council. It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of April 12, 2004, as distributed, and the motion passed unanimously.
Legg asked for nominations for assistant chair of the APC. The assistant chair conducts the APC meetings in the absence of the provost and serves as the APC liaison to the University Council. The council voted unanimously to have Parviz Payvar serve in this role.
Legg stated that this year there were two subcommittees to conduct the reviews of the academic programs and the centers, and he introduced the chairs of the subcommittees: Denise Schoenbachler and Carol Thompson.
Legg indicated that the election of the APC Agenda Committee was the next item of business. He stated that in past years the provost, associate vice provost for academic planning and development, the APC subcommittee chairs, and the APC assistant chair have served as the agenda committee. The major task for this committee is to create an agenda for the spring semester. The APC voted to continue this practice for 2004-2005. The committee will meet in January to set the agenda for the spring semester.
Legg stated that the APC needed to elect a representative to the University Assessment Panel (UAP). Parviz Payvar was elected by affirmation to represent the APC on the UAP.
Cassidy informed the APC that members had received the reviews assigned to their subcommittees, and the subcommittee chairs are setting up meetings with the college and department representatives to discuss the reviews. The program review packages contain information that will help you prepare for those meetings.
The APC’s major responsibility during the fall semester is the review of academic programs and public service and research centers. The individuals who are not on the subcommittee reviewing the full program review documents will receive a summary of the reviews and the subcommittee report prior to the APC meeting when the reviews are discussed.
Cassidy reviewed the notebook distributed to the council members. She stated that the first section of the notebook contains information about the committee and directed the council’s attention to the schedule. The schedule of planned meetings is listed for the fall, but council members were asked to hold all Mondays between 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in case additional meetings need to be scheduled. Members will receive an agenda prior to each scheduled meeting.
Cassidy said that the background information section of the notebook contains
reference materials that should be particularly helpful to new subcommittee
members, and this information should be reviewed prior to reading the program
review documents. In the past we were locked into a program review schedule
that was mandated by the IBHE. In the late 1990s we were allowed to develop
our own schedule in consultation with this group and the Council of Deans, and
the new program review schedule is included in this section. This section also
contains the responses to the FY04 APC members’ review of council responsibilities.
The Annual Reports of the Academic Planning Council and the University Assessment
Panel are in this section of the notebook. The annual Performance Report (previously
called the Results Report) guidelines and the 2004 report are included in this
section, and can be discussed by the APC in the spring. The APC will need to
discuss setting institutional targets for the mission-specific indicators that
the APC selected several years ago. These indicators show how the institution
is contributing to the goals of the Illinois Commitment. Last year we were asked
to set targets for NIU on the common-institutional indicators. Input was solicited
from several groups and brought to the APC for endorsement. This year we are
required to do the same for the mission-specific indicators that were selected
Cassidy turned to the guidelines section that contains the program review calendar and review formats. The format should be referred to as you read the reviews. Last spring the APC made some recommendations for changes in the review format but noted that those recommendations would not be reflected in this format because the format was distributed to departments in fall 2003. The changes will appear in the format that is used next year. Thompson asked what changes were suggested. Cassidy replied that one of the items was about the periodic review of the programs that have limited admissions/retention policies. Bose said another item mentioned was doctoral programs having outside reviewers. Legg added that he has made no decision on this, but financially it may not be feasible. Cassidy said that the Graduate School works with the departments undergoing review to conduct an external review of the dissertations. The center/office format remains essentially the same.
The data section contains data from the Office of Institutional Research. You also have data in your packets assigned to your subcommittee, and the subcommittee chairs have additional data that can be referenced by subcommittee members.
Waas asked if these reviews were close to being the finished products. Legg responded that they are fairly good now, but there may some issues that still need to be addressed. We have tried to get the presentation organized. Cassidy added that the Department of Teaching and Learning has eight programs, and the Department of Psychology has three programs. Some documents may be more finished than others and there is considerable variation in the reports. Typically we have a penultimate draft at this point in the review process. Legg said that serving on the APC gives a faculty member the advantage of knowing about programs outside your discipline.
Cassidy said that there are two kinds of follow-up reports that the APC discusses. The continuing members will recall that in the past the APC took up follow-up reports in the spring semester that were requested as part of a previous program review. The interim reports that we are taking up this fall are required by the IBHE. Requests for a new program, the off-campus delivery of a program, and new research centers are required to submit an interim report to the IBHE three years after receiving approval. The interim report states how the program/center is moving toward the outcomes specified in the original request. The council will look over these reports before they are sent to the IBHE.
Cassidy stated that the Doctor of Audiology has received written confirmation from ASHA indicating that the accreditation for the specialization in audiology was transferred to the Doctor of Audiology program this fall. The IBHE asks for an annual report on accreditation status for new programs until accreditation is received.
Cassidy turned to the B.S. in Nursing off-campus request in the West Suburban region (3). Even though we received approval for this program, it was not implemented. The school felt that it was important to keep this program approval for the future, as noted in the interim report.
The Master of Public Health in the West Suburban region (3) offers all the courses for this program in Naperville. The actual number of majors is low, but they make the point that students-at-large are taking courses in the program and help generate credit hours. This program is doing quite well.
The M.S.Ed. in Educational Administration offered in the South Metro region (6) was requested because the Kankakee and Joliet school districts identified the need for this program. One cohort has finished, but they have not started a new cohort at this time. Munroe asked if they were expecting another cohort. Cassidy replied not from the information provided. This program is in high demand, and they try to move the delivery of the program to different locations to meet need.
The M.S. in Educational Research and Evaluation was an on-campus and an off-campus request for the West Suburban region (3). This program was only implemented on campus. Enrollments have not materialized as they anticipated; there are only three students enrolled. If the courses serve other programs, then it may not cost anything to have students in this degree program. Legg added that, three years ago when the program was requested, we asked for documentation on demand and the costs to offer the program. Cassidy added that the degree was designed for individuals working in non-educational settings, and part of the explanation for low enrollments could be the economy. Williams asked what is more problematic: the discrepancies or that enrollment is so small. Cassidy responded that the problem is enrollment. I also have a question about the discrepancy in the data in regard to enrollment and degrees. Wholeben said that the economy did have an impact, but not for the Chicago system. Chicago would be interested in sponsoring this program, but they want the program offered in the region for their institutional research people. We don’t have approval for this region. Cassidy stated that the department could put in a request for Region 10. We might want to come back to monitor the enrollments in this program.
The M.S. in Sport Management program projected 40 majors in their original request, and now they have 75 majors. The data on degrees awarded may appear to be somewhat confusing because this was an existing specialization within the M.S.Ed. in Physical Education, so when the program was approved, students declared this major. The students were already taking the courses in the specialization that could be applied toward the degree. Legg added that this confirms the massive growth of the sport industry. Cassidy said the program has raised some issues that require follow-up. The program has lost one faculty member and trying to direct theses and projects with two faculty members raises questions about maintaining the quality of these experiences. Bose stated that table 3 on credit hours reports for years 2 and 3 there were no new credit hours, yet the program has three new required courses. How are students graduating without these courses? Cassidy replied this was probably an error in reporting, and we can ask for clarification. The report indicates that the assessment plan is not fully implemented, and this needs to be addressed. Munroe stated that the document says that the program needs more funding for library resources. Is there anything more specific? Cassidy responded this was all the information she had, but we can ask for clarification on this. Bose asked Cassidy to describe the faculty involved in the program. Cassidy replied that there was a faculty member who left this summer and that we should check with the dean’s office about where the priority for replacing the faculty member is in the college.
The Northern Illinois Center for Accelerator and Detector Development (NICADD) is a research center that received temporary approval in 2001. In 2006 we have to decide if we want to make this a permanent center. Legg added that this is at Fermi, and Gerald Blazey is playing a leadership role and getting a lot of attention for this initiative. Bose stated that NICADD is involved with the Department of Energy and there is currently a $6 billion grant available for funding. There are two sites being discussed: Texas and Fermi. RIA is another project that will have a $3 billion possible investment with Argonne and Fermi. The other competitor on this project is Michigan State University. Cassidy said that one aspect of the center that stands out is the outreach component. NICADD serves hundreds of school children by getting them engaged in science and physics. Miller asked if the funding that Bose discussed was NIU’s share. Bose replied yes, and part of it is salaries. Thompson added that she thought there were several professors paid out of this fund. Bose replied that those positions are not part of NICADD. I think there is a secretary for the center and probably some travel funds. Thompson stated that she thought the new faculty position was an added position. Bose replied that he didn’t know if this was the case. Miller asked if the other universities involved in the center are included in the funding mentioned. Bose replied that this is our money. Miller said that $3.2 million is NIU’s share, and asked if there was any place where the University of Chicago’s funds were mentioned. Bose responded that every year there is $2.5 million funded by the state, and every institution involved gets a share of that money. This is the part that NIU is awarded by the state; it is not the combined amount. In FY05 the governor wanted complete elimination of this project, but I think it has been put back into the budget. Legg added that there is also a federal contribution that was an earmark by Dennis Hastert. Miller asked if it is correct to state that $3 million plus have been routed through NIU, and Chicago would have a different amount. Legg and Cassidy responded yes.
Cassidy ask if there was an endorsement to check and clarify items that were discussed at this meeting and forward the reported information to the IBHE. The APC voted yes unanimously.
Cassidy distributed the August 10, 2004, IBHE item on the Mid-Term Review of the Illinois Commitment: Preliminary Recommendations on Revisions and Enhancements. The University Council and the Faculty Senate discussed this review. There was an online survey that gives an opportunity to provide input, and this report provides a synopsis of the recommendations to date. This document sets the stage for the next steps the IBHE will take with the implementation of the Illinois Commitment. The report notes that the Illinois Commitment is pretty much on target for identifying the issues important in higher education, and its focus should be that of setting a policy agenda. Language has been changed from “goals” to “policy areas” to reflect this focus. We are pleased to see that research has been made more noticeable in the changes. Another area or statement that could be highlighted is outreach. This would give us an opportunity to report on some of the things we have done. Policy area five has some implications that need careful consideration. It talks about preparing well-rounded students who learn inside and outside the classroom. How will learning outside the classroom be assessed, and how will we measure this. Our student affairs units have assessment plans in place, which will be helpful.
There is still time to give input on this document via the IBHE online survey. You can go to the IBHE website through the end of this week and provide your input. In the spring semester we will probably have more information on the proposed changes in the Illinois Commitment.
Munroe asked if there was something about citizenry in the document. Cassidy replied that it is mentioned on page 2 under the section on Public Purposes of Higher Education. In the paragraph on Quality of Life it states “Higher education’s role in educating a responsible citizenry is just one example of how higher education contributes to a better quality of life for Illinois residents.” The IBHE is looking at keeping the general structure of the Illinois Commitment, but there is still talk about adding another goal. There has also been some talk about making the existing goals broader, but it is difficult to cover everything in one policy document. Munroe stated that this might be covered in the preamble. Cassidy stated this was a major issue that the Faculty Advisory Committee raised, and they want it to be a new goal. It was talked about as an over-arching initiative of the Illinois Commitment. We will have to wait to see what happens.
Cassidy stated that after this meeting the subcommittee chairs would like to meet with their subcommittees. Please stay for a few minutes after the meeting adjourns.
The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.
Carolyn A. Cradduck