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External panel to share experiences, advice on Program Prioritization

October 2, 2015

What do evaluators look for when they read your program narrative? What are best practices for task force members relative to rubrics and scoring? And what outcomes can NIU look forward as a result of Program Prioritization?

These and many other questions will be addressed Oct. 14 and 15 when a panel of experts from other universities that have already undergone Program Prioritization visit the NIU campus.

The Schedule

The entire campus community is invited to a panel discussion and Q&A session with the panelists on Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. in Sandburg Auditorium. Panelists will share how the process unfolded on their campuses, offer advice on best practices, and describe outcomes.  They will also take questions from the audience.

Following the all-campus event and beginning at 3:15 p.m., the panelists will meet with Administrative Task Force Members in the Lincoln Room and with Academic Task Force members in the Skyroom to address common concerns and issues among those who must rank programs.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, the panelists will meet from 9 until 11 a.m. with academic program authors and approvers in the Sandburg Auditorium, and with administrative program authors and approvers in the Duke Ellington Ballroom, and will repeat the session for authors and approvers in the same locations from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.  All those involved in program narratives are urged to attend – primary authors, secondary authors, support staff, and approvers. 

Also on Thursday, Task Force members will participate in a three-hour afternoon session on scoring and rubric development in the Gabel Hall Learning Center. Part of that session will include a videoconference with Katharine Black and R.J. McGivney of the University of Hartford.  Drs. Black and McGivney helped run the program prioritization process at Hartford, including development of scoring mechanisms there.

In between the large-scale sessions, panel members will be meeting with a variety of smaller groups, including the Council of Deans, the Program Prioritization Coordinating Team, the Task Force Co-Chairs, and the Data Support Team.

Meet the Panelists

Jack MaynardJack Maynard, former provost, Indiana State University

Role:  Ran ISU’s Program Prioritization Process
Expertise:  Resource reallocation and shared governance
Advice:  “Everyone needs to understand need and potential impact up front.”

Brad BalchBrad Balch, Dean Emeritus of College of Education, Indiana State University

Role:  Task Force member
Expertise:  Task Force recommendations and implementation; change management
Advice:  “Take your time with the process – it’s a cultural change and necessary for the future of higher education.”

Dene HurleyDene Hurley, Chair of Economics, Lehman College (CUNY System, Bronx, New York)

Role:  Co-Chair of Academic Task Force
Expertise:  Developing ranking rubrics, training program authors
Advice:  “Ensure you make the appropriate data available to answer questions.”

Richard FingerRichard Finger, Director of Enrollment and Graduate Studies, Lehman College

Role:  Co-Chair of Academic Task Force
Expertise:  Working with data teams to develop and validate data sets
Advice:  “Clearly define what is considered a program, and make the best data available.”

Stacy PearsonStacy Pearson, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Boise State University

Role:  Oversaw process for Division of Finance and Administration; facilitated translation of PP principles into sustainable budget process.
Expertise:  Development of metrics, evaluation of programs, and development of action plans for administrative programs
Advice:  “This is a rigorous project that requires significant commitment from leadership and heavy lifting at top levels to see it through.  Frequent communications and campus updates are key.”

Jim MungerJim Munger, Vice Provost for Academic Planning, Boise State University

Role:  Led BSU’s overall Program Prioritization initiative and implementation of resulting actions; led initiative for academic programs.
Expertise: Overall process organization, data for academic programs and departments
Advice:  “Ensure that substantive changes occur so that people see value in the process.” 

Steve FowlSteve Fowl, Professor of Theology; Chair – Academic Senate, Loyola University – Maryland

Role:  Co-Chaired overall Program Prioritization initiative
Expertise:  Credibility with administration and faculty
Advice:  “Don’t short circuit the process in favor of a quick result.”

Terra SchehrTerra Schehr, Assistant Vice President, Institutional Research and Effectiveness, Loyola University – Maryland

Role:  Member, P.P. steering committee and P.P. working groups on undergraduate education and continuing education
Expertise:  Data analysis and interpretation
Advice:  “Be as transparent as possible so community conversation is focused on the issues and not derailed by questions about process.”

Panelists' Schedule 
at a Glance

October 14

7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast with Task Force Co-Chairs and Data Team Leaders
University Suite

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Meeting with Data Support Team
Lincoln Room

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
Meeting with Council of Deans
Altgeld 203

Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch with Panel Organizers
University Suite

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
All-Campus panel discussion (video)
Sandburg Auditorium

3:15 – 5:00 p.m.
Meeting with Academic and Administrative Task Forces
Academic in Skyroom, Administrative in Lincoln Room

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Dinner with Task Force Co-Chairs

October 15

7:30 – 8:45 a.m.
Breakfast with PP Coordinating Team, Shared Governance Representatives
University Suite

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Academic & Administrative authors & approvers workshops
Academic in Sandburg; Administrative in Ballroom

11:30 – 12:45 p.m.
Lunch with Task Force Co-Chairs & Evaluation Team
University Suite

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Academic & Administrative authors & approvers workshops
Academic in Sandburg; Administrative in Ballroom

1:00– 4:00 p.m.
Scoring and rubric discussion with task force members and Skype session with panelists from University of Hartford
Gabel Hall Learning Center