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Year of the Department

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Presented by Larry Gould, Provost …

Presented by Larry Gould, Provost
Vancouver, July 2007

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. The Year of the Department: A Call to Engagement Facilitating Academic Quality Work “Where Faculty Live” Larry Gould Fort Hays State UniversityPresentation to the Academic Affairs Summer Meeting of the AmericanAssociation of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), July 27, 2007, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 1
  • 2. What is The Year of the Department?  Conceptually, The Year of the Department (YOTD) is an ongoing strategic initiative for orchestrating change and aligning people, systems and culture within academic departments in the Division of Academic Affairs at Fort Hays State University (FHSU).  Operationally, YOTD is best seen as a structured conversation among faculty and chair with a focus on “educational quality” process improvement at the academic department level. 2
  • 3. What is The Year of the Department? (continued)  The structured conversation is framed around an “academic audit” system that includes five essential quality domains (see Massey et al., Academic Quality Work, 2007): Desired Learning Outcomes Design of Curricula Design of Teaching and Learning Processes Student Learning Assessment Use of Results/Applying Feedback for Curricula Improvement and Quality Assurance 3
  • 4. What is The Year of the Department? (continued)  The essential dynamic catalyzed and directed by YOTD is the following: “Faculty reflect on how they can work collegially within their departmental or program units to improve teaching and research quality. Then they put their ideas into practice and track results.” (Massey et al.,2007, p.16).  It is important to emphasize that “doing the work” (the teaching and learning) is NOT the same as “assuring and improving its quality” 4
  • 5. Why Engage Faculty and Chairs in “YOTD?”  To make the university’s Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) accreditation activities relevant to faculty and chairs  To help them understand what it means to conduct “academic quality work” with a focus on “educational processes”  To provide an opportunity to experience how faculty participation in department quality work is essential to academic citizenship and institutional-level quality improvement 5
  • 6. Why Engage Faculty and Chairs in “YOTD?” (continued)  To provide an opportunity to clarify and emphasize that “doing the work” of teaching and learning are not the same as “assuring and improving its quality” (time needs to be set aside for each)  To demonstrate “how to do educational process quality improvement” by employing existing affinity diagrams of course curricula, stakeholder input and benchmarking initiatives across institutions and programs 6
  • 7. Why Engage Faculty and Chairs in “YOTD?” (continued) College of Arts and Sciences Affinity Diagram for Major in Political ScienceWhat are the elements/building blocks of a degree program in the Department of Political Science that will meet the educational needs of the prospective political science major? Characteristics of Expected Learning Assessment Approach Curriculum Political Scientists Outcomes and MethodsKNOWLEDGEABLE GOAL 1--To understand the tactics and techniques CORE COURSES FOR THE MAJOR Research papers; given topics for critical thinking of politics at the local, state, national, and1. Understands the concepts of government, international level. Orientation to Political Science 1 hr. Computer exercisespolitics, and law and how they work. Political Science Methods 3 hrs. GOAL 2--To understand the connection of Intro. to Political Philosophy 3 hrs. Internships (Service learning approaches)2. Understands empirical and descriptive theory political science to other disciplines - especially Choice of Adv. Political Theory course 3 hrs.construction. history and economics. State and Local Government 3 hrs. Student evaluations of advisor American Government 3 hrs. GOAL 3--To be able to communicate effectively, Intro. to International Relations 3 hrs.3. Uses analytical and critical thinking skills to Alumni Survey orally and in writing. Intro. to Public Administration 3 hrs.solve problems and take advantage of Introduction to Law 3 hrs.opportunities. Choice of Seminar 3 hrs. Senior Survey GOAL 4--To use computers effectively Internship 1 hrs.4. Able to write and speak effectively. (a) to do on-line searches, Senior Thesis 1 hrs. Senior Thesis (b) to write an essay or paper, TOTAL 30 hrs. (c) to store, analyze, and retrieve dataCOMPUTER LITERATE CHOICE OF TRACKS GOAL 5--(International Studies)--To understandPossesses information literacy skills. Uses International Studies 12 hrs. the international nation-state system and how itcomputers for information storage, analysis, and Public Administration 12 hrs. works.retrieval; e.g., word processing, data processing, Pre-Law 12 hrs.statistical packages, etc. Political Management 12 hrs. GOAL 6--(Public Administration)--To understand Political Theory 12 hrs. the structure, functions and processes of TOTAL 42 hrs.COMMITTED TO A PLURALISTIC bureaucracies in the American political system; andSOCIETY become familiar with decision-making techniques MINOR used in the public sector.1. Uses leadership skills in addressingopportunities and challenges of the various 20 hours minimum, no prerequisites or required GOAL 7--(Pre-Law)--To understand the basiccommunities of which the person is a part. courses. principles of the American legal systems, including statutory law, common law, and the judicial2. Cross-culturally competent and empathetic to system.others points of view. GOAL 8--(Political Management)--To understand the political system of the United States under its constitutional structure. GOAL 9--((Political Theory)--To understand inductive and deductive reasoning in problem solving and empirical and descriptive theory construction. GOAL 10--To understand and explain an open and pluralistic society and become involved in some community activity. 7
  • 8. Why Engage Faculty and Chairs in YOTD? (continued)  To facilitate faculty and department participation in the Regents and institutional performance improvement cycle by working collegially and with the university’s goals in mind (pass out scorecard)  To help renew and remind faculty of the “academic compact” (the belief that all faculty want departments and personal activities to be a part of a successful and reputable institution of higher education 8
  • 9. Why Engage Faculty and Chairs in YOTD? (continued)  To position YOTD as a “variable theme” change agent for leveraging other academic initiatives and opportunities for improvement (civic engagement outcomes (ADP), internationalization of the campus and the curriculum, mobile teaching and learning, reinventing distance education course development process, etc.)  To engage and facilitate faculty leadership in future institutional change and improvement  To make national discussions on assessment, accountability and accreditation more relevant and local 9
  • 10. How is YOTD Conducted in Practice?  Initiated with two YOTD workshops Academic Quality Work 101: Basics Academic Quality Work 102: Advanced  YOTD is being conducted as a 12-18 month structured conversation and process (Fall, 2007 celebrations)  There is an expectation that departments will set aside one faculty meeting per month to discuss YOTD issues and items (department notebooks, documents, etc. are inundating the campus) 10
  • 11. How is YOTD Conducted in Practice? Intermittent reports are shared with the Office of Quality Management to encourage progress, reflection and mid- stream corrections/additions Affinity diagrams, assessment plans, course initiatives and other strategic and operational documents are the focus of attention Departments are sharing results through Unit performance agreements Special reports Forums Department Annual Reports 11
  • 12. How is YOTD Conducted in Practice? (continued) Funding is primarily process and project dependent (provost/deans) Assessment plans become applications and funded distributed through Offices of Quality Management and Provost Action plans are being generated for funding through strategic planning (president) Reward, recognition and merit structure modified and applied 12
  • 13. How is YOTD Conducted in Practice? Exclusions Individual efforts by chairs to conduct academic audits instead of chair and faculty collaboration (recognition that time spent on YOTD is a trade-off/no time excuse unacceptable) Failure to use current affinity diagrams and the basic five academic audit questions to conduct a review A focus on course or program content to the exclusion of process improvement and an assessment of existing learning outcomes Substitution of accreditation or professional requirements in lieu of a focus on academic audit and questions 13
  • 14. Who Has What Responsibilities in YOTD?  Provost  Manage, empower, and fund  Provost’s Council  Approve, communicate, implement, and report  Department Chairs/Faculty  Feedback, commitment, implement and report  All must nurture the “virtuous circle” and facilitate the turning of the “flywheel” (see Jim Collins, From Good to Great, 2003 and Massey et al, 2007, pp. 16-23) 14
  • 15. What are the YOTD Deliverables? Final department/program YOTD academic audit results included in department annual reports Revised/updated affinity diagrams with new/modified/affirmed program learning outcomes A plan for implementing changes included in the revised/updated affinity diagrams 15
  • 16. What are the YOTD Deliverables? (continued) An more precisely defined and appropriate number of assessment initiatives to include both direct and indirect measures. Linkage with institutional assessment, strategic planning, KBOR performance agreements, AQIP, and annual strategic themes should be clear where appropriate (e.g. intensive writing, civic engagement, internationalization measures, mobile teaching and learning, etc.) A continually updated YOTD Institutional Report Card maintained by the Office of Provost 16
  • 17. What Resources are Available to AlignYOTD with Institutional Effectiveness Efforts?  Charter and Scope  Directions for FHSU Academic Audit Process/Affinity Diagram Sample  Academic Audit FAQs/More Sample Academic Audit Questions  Example Departmental Performance Agreement  Example Departmental Scorecard 17
  • 18. What Resources are Available to AlignYOTD with Institutional Effectiveness Efforts?  Charter and Scope  Directions for FHSU Academic Audit Process/Affinity Diagram Sample  Academic Audit FAQs/More Sample Academic Audit Questions  Example Departmental Performance Agreement  Example Departmental Scorecard 18
  • 19. What Resources are Available to Align YOTD with Institutional Effectiveness Efforts?  Basic FHSU Documents: University Strategic Plan KBOR Performance Agreement University Performance Scorecard Elements of Quality Departments AQIP/PA Matrix of Goals Comprehensive Assessment Report and Strategic Plan Listing of Current Major Improvement Initiatives 19
  • 20. YOTD Thanks Questions? Availability: <http://www.fhsu.edu/provost 20