Senate Agenda, March 24, 2017

Spring Semester meetings are held at 1:30 pm in DW 1001.

  1. Call to order.
  2. Approval of the minutes of the February 17, 2017 meeting.
  3. President’s remarks
  4. Conclusion of the February conversation about Blueprint 2.0, campus directions, and the upcoming Executive Committee report to Executive Vice President Applegate. Please prepare for this discussion by reading these notes from that portion of the last Senate meeting. The notes refer to sentences from the wider IU strategic plan for the regional campuses, chosen by our colleagues for our use in the last meeting’s discussion. You can review those selected highlights here from Blueprint 2.0. [To dig deeper: If you would like to review the wider strategic plan, that is available here. Or you might prefer this two-page summary of the Blueprint.]
  5. Chancellor Allison on using an email suggestion box model for feedback and improvement. We expect to be able to share his announcement here, ahead of the meeting.
  6. Announcements.

Reducing Administrative Barriers

IU President McRobbie created a task force or working group downstate last fall to find ungainly IU policies and practices, then begin the work of streamlining them. The first results, the so-called PIRAB Report, with implementation dates in the weeks ahead, has been released for our consideration and use.

PIRAB roughly stands for the IU President’s Initiative to Reduce Administrative Barriers to Academic Excellence.

If you have questions or suggestions about the report’s contents or see issues that we need to address together, please contact the Executive Committee.

How to Prepare for the 2/17 Discussion of Blueprint 2.0

Colleagues are nominating sentences from Blueprint 2.0 for our discussion on Friday, February 17th. The document has grown by mid-week and the nominations are now complete. The nominated sentences are posted in this brief document–reading that ahead of the meeting will make your time there much more valuable.

If time is short, consider reading or even skimming this two-page summary of Blueprint 2.0 before the Senate meeting on February 17th.

Take a closer look at sections that seem most important to you in the full Blueprint 2.0 — this document is the strategic plan guiding the development of the regional campuses over the next few years.

Nominated Sentences from Blueprint 2.0

Nominations are complete. This document will be the focus of Friday’s discussion.

Colleagues have suggested that these are among the most interesting sentences in Blueprint 2.0. They offer them for our conversation on February 17th in the Senate. We are continuing to try to answer the request made by Executive Vice President John Applegate to the Executive Committee in December to hear from this faculty much more about campus directions and vision.

Their nomination suggests that in these sentences are some projects or programs, some goals or values, that may be especially promising for our campus, in service to our region, going forward. In our conversation we will consider their suggestions together. Here, if you prefer, is a pdf copy.

Shared Vision

  • [That the regional campuses will be known for providing students] an excellent education that prepares them for both a living and a life . . . [and distinguished in part by] a firm grounding in the liberal arts.

Section 1. Excellent, distinctive education and student experience

  • Use AAC&U Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) learning outcomes to inform curricular decisions and assess learning.
  • Ensure that all students have opportunities to learn from and work with full-time faculty members who are accomplished teachers who are expert, current, and active in their fields.
  • Promote research involving students to develop lifelong skills in inquiry-based learning, such as depth of knowledge, persistence, and creativity.
  • Support students in developing global awareness and competence.
  • Develop programs for sharing research resources and equipment among Regional Campuses and with the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses.
  • Adopt state-of-the-art methods for developing evidence of excellence in teaching and to support tenure, promotion, and teaching award decisions.
  • Make courses that rely on the special expertise of particular faculty members or departments available, to the extent possible, to all Regional Campus students.

Section 2. Completion and Student Success 

  • Employ best practices from other institutions.
  • Create a vibrant campus life that includes engaging academic, co-curricular, and extracurricular events and activities.

Section 3. Accessible and Affordable to Prepared Students

  • Offer degree completion programs that attract, retain, and graduate former IU students who have stopped out.
  • Develop year-round programs of study that enable timely or early degree completion.
  • Develop and deploy best practices for supporting first-generation students from orientation to graduation.
  • Engage at-risk students in the life of the campus through work, curricular, advising, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities.
  • Adopt best practices for creating a culture supportive of diversity and inclusion.
  • Provide through and individually tailored advice to incoming students (new or transfer) concerning the academic demands and financial costs of attaining a degree.
  • Serve as a national model through our comprehensive efforts for effective financial literacy programs. ​
  • Participate fully in enterprise-wide initiatives to support academic programs and to reduce administrative costs.
  • Aggressively market the Regional Campuses as offering high-value IU degrees that provide a strong return on investment to students who successfully complete them.

Section 4. Connecting with Careers

  • From their first contacts with IU, Regional Campus students will understand how their studies prepare them for careers, and they will be supported in discovering and pursuing career aspirations and opportunities throughout their education at IU.  
  • Make explicit connections in degrees, majors, and courses between instructional experience and valuable career skills, including development of high-level skills described in the AAC&U LEAP initiative.
  • Develop pathway courses, “meta-majors,” and co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities to explore careers.
  • Begin career awareness with orientation, with a goal of supporting active exploration of interests and possibilities.
  • Provide a summer junior year “bridge out” program with internships and networking with alumni and local businesses for students who will be seeking jobs, and a parallel program for students planning to continue to graduate school that focuses on developing research proposals and networking within the academy.
  • Include students wherever possible in community and regional engagement activities.
  • Through an “I Hire IU” campaign, aggressively market the message that employers prefer to hire students who have the knowledge and skills encompassed by an IU degree.

Section 5. Engagement and Regional Development

  • Each campus will prepare and at the next opportunity apply for Community Engagement Classification as  determined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • Connect students’ education to the local community through academically grounded service commitments, requiring experiential coursework and activities directed to local businesses and organizations.
  • Establish community-based, applied research laboratories at each campus for interdisciplinary study of regional needs.
  • Engage in problem-solving and innovation with community and regional partners to address regional needs.

ACA-80 annotation

Recent conversations about the role of the Trustees’ Teaching Awards in the promotion and tenure process have produced this agreement, which has been widely circulated across campus at the request of Executive Vice Chancellor Jann Joseph and Academic Senate President Ken Smith. The paragraph provides a close reading of IU policy ACA-80.

The IU policy on TTAs, which is ACA-80, calls for the campuses to give these awards to colleagues “who have demonstrated that they are the best teachers,” clearly suggesting that we should be recognizing these awards as meaningful. It also says that a TTA does not by itself make the full case for excellence in teaching in the PTR process, which is very reasonable. It goes on to say that in combination with other information a TTA does represent “one piece of evidence to include in the teaching section of a promotion and tenure or promotion dossier.” So we are urged by the IU policy to value these awards and include them in the PTR process, and in fact the winners are intended to be described in rather glowing terms: as having “demonstrated that they are the best teachers.”

President McRobbie on the values American universities hold dear

IU President Michael McRobbie published a commentary piece in US News & World Report in response to recent US actions to restrict immigration. A representative passage:

Universities have always been truly international, with a tradition of opening their doors to the world, attracting scholars from every country and championing greater cultural and intellectual understanding, exchange and enrichment. At the same time, colleges and universities are dynamic institutions, reflecting the society and culture of their time and shaping those of the future. Our very foundations – gathering, creating, disseminating and exchanging knowledge and ideas – mean these institutions must constantly evolve.

Indeed, the responsibility of embracing openness to the world has been handed to us. It is an inextricable part of who we are. We are guardians of centuries of knowledge and culture that we transmit from one generation to the next, a constant through political, social and economic upheaval.

Senate Agenda, February 17, 2017

Spring Semester meetings are held at 1:30 pm in DW 1001.

  1. Call to order.
  2. Approval of the minutes of the January 20, 2017 meeting.
  3. The gift to the campus of Evie Barton and past Senate president David Barton.
  4. President’s remarks, including a remembrance of the contributions to this campus of Dr. Lester Wolfson, who served as its leader and chancellor from 1964 to his retirement in 1987.
  5. Discussion of the Blueprint 2.0 strategic plan for the regional campuses. Picking up the discussion from last meeting: Some colleagues have nominated interesting and promising sentences from Blueprint 2.0 for our discussion. What values and initiatives drawn from this strategic plan have the most to offer our campus and the region in the years ahead? How to prepare for this discussion.
  6. Announcements.

Graduation rates

Emeritus professor of history Roy Schreiber recently published a letter in the South Bend Tribune about graduation rates. He urged readers to consider that a four-year graduation rate may not be the most informative clue, especially when understood by itself. His full text:

According to the AP report in The Tribune (Feb. 5), the graduation rate for IUSB and the other Indiana University regional campuses is 15 percent. That would mean of the roughly 1,200 freshmen admitted each fall, 180 would graduate four years later in the spring. In fact many times that number graduate IUSB. That is why the campus rents the University of Notre Dame Joyce Center for its graduation ceremonies. No building on the IUSB campus is large enough to accommodate all the graduates and their guests.

What causes the underestimate of graduates? It has to do with the way the federal government calculates graduation rates. It counts only those who enrolled in IU as full-time freshmen and then graduated four or six years later. No transfer students are counted, no students who dropped out and returned years later are counted and no part-time students are counted. While by no means typical, I know of one student who took 22 years to earn his BA degree. Perhaps counting and cheering for the students who fought so hard to earn their degrees is worth consideration. (February 10, 2017)

Resources for the February 17 discussion of Blueprint 2.0

This listing will grow into a fuller set of postings the days ahead.

For starters, however, here is a two-page summary of Blueprint 2.0, meant to make it easier for any colleague to locate sections of this strategic plan of greatest interest.

And then we have Blueprint 2.0 itself. This is the strategic plan for the IU regional campuses that is now in place, with its emphasis on innovation that has strong roots in collaboration between the regional campuses, which comprise roughly 1/3 of Indiana University by many measures.

In the days ahead, volunteers will suggest passages in Blueprint 2.0 that they believe are of most interest to IU South Bend faculty as we share the work of guiding and strengthening the campus. As these nominated passages come in, we’ll post them, ahead of the Senate meeting.

Summary of Blueprint 2.0

Blueprint 2.0 Summary Notes (by section)

Overview (preceding the Table of Contents). This brief headnote explicitly ties regional campus progress to three particular sections of IU’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan and to a new commitment to collaboration between the regional campuses in order to achieve those and other goals in the years just ahead. The three sections of the Bicentennial Plan that Blueprint 2.0 emphasizes here are: A Commitment to Student Success, A Community of Scholars, and Building a Prosperous and Innovative Indiana.

Introduction (Page 3). The regional campuses share the statewide IU educational mission and identity but also have their own histories, missions, and identities based on their service to the regions where they are located and the people they serve there. Both layers of identity are asserted to be a vital part of Blueprint 2.0 going forward. Blueprint 2.0 is an action plan, meant to be carried out in the next few years. In its final column this introduction asserts some main ways the regional campuses are meant to advance particular goals of the Bicentennial Strategic Plan, but acknowledges that the regional campuses contribute widely to the Priorities announced in the Bicentennial Strategic Plan.

Shared Mission and Vision for the Bicentennial (4). The history of this document is sketched here. Four layers of leadership and collaboration were established to advance these new goals for the regional campuses, including a vice-presidential office and three groups that bring together the regional chancellors, the senior regional academic affairs officers, and the presidents of the regional faculty governing bodies. Through an extensive process of revision, Blueprint 2.0 was created on the foundation of the 2011 Blueprint for Student Attainment. The final version was approved by the Regional Campus Cabinet, consisting of the chancellors of the campuses.

Shared Mission (4). Quoting Thomas Jefferson, this section commits the regional campuses to living up to an expansive understanding of the social roles played by a university, including but surpassing the limits associated with vocational training and career development, cultivating not just the success of individuals in their private and work lives but the health, growth, beauty, and innovation of communities and the wider society. The regional campuses will serve here in part by helping to increase the number of Hoosiers with a university education.

Shared Vision (4-5). This half-page section lists in capsule form many of the central traits of excellent higher education and commits the regional campuses to accomplishing each of these things by 2020. This is a key summary section.

The Collaborative Imperative (5-6). The opening two paragraphs here assert with radical confidence that collaboration between the regional campuses will very substantially improve what these campuses are able to do in service to Indiana.

The first set of Action Items briefly sketches some of the organizational structures needed to carry out this vision of regional collaboration. The second set of Action Items here sets out administrative principles needed to guide new collaborative structures and initiatives. The third set of Action Items asserts that pervasive collaboration will establish the regional campuses of IU as a new and-much-needed model of excellence in higher education.

A very brief list of possible measures of success brings the section to a close.

Shared Strategies for Regional Campus Excellence. A short paragraph of introductory headnote reprises some elements of the opening pages of Blueprint 2.0.

Section 1. Excellent, distinctive education and student experience (6-8). The section opens with a portrait, in many ways familiar to us now, of education as it will be conducted on the regional campuses in the years ahead. Action Items include: 1A. Serious commitment to quality and innovation in teaching. 1B. Commitment to undergraduate education built on the liberal arts, life-long learning, global awareness, and a distinctive, not generic model of education practiced at IU. 1C. In case you missed 1A, 1C too commits us to state-of-the-art excellence in teaching. 1D. Increase the opportunities available to students at any given campus by sharing resources, courses, programs, research, and other university offerings among the regional campuses. The section concludes by noting some ways to use the NSSE survey tool as a measure.

Section 2. Completion and Student Success (8-9). This ection commits the regional campuses to getting much better at helping students succeed in courses and complete their programs. Action Items include: 2A. Pervasive, wrap-around advising. 2B. Conducting substantial research on student success at our campuses. 2C. Make transfer credit, dual-enrollment high school-based credit, credit by assessment, and other related operations work smoothly and to the advantage of students who are properly qualified. 2D. Make our campuses truly lively and welcoming places. The section closes with a familiar list of data types to use in assessing student success.

Section 3. Accessible and Affordable to Prepared Students (9-10). Handy, inexpensive, supportive, welcoming, flexible–traits such as these will allow the regional campuses to help more and more diverse groups of Hoosiers graduate from IU. Action Items include: 3A. Use multiple, flexible means of delivery and seamless programs across the regional campuses to create more student success. 3B. Recruiting a student body of increasing diversity (of many kinds) and create support programs that will lead to their success. 3C. Work very strategically to keep the regional IU programs affordable. The section closes by suggesting that it be assessed through transfer and loan rates among our students.

Section 4. Connecting with Careers (11). The regional campuses must engage with career needs and ambitions of students. Action Items include: 4A. Create specific opportunities for students to explore career skills and paths at various times in their undergraduate programs. 4B. Strengthen career advising, internship, career shadowing, and networking opportunities for students. 4C. Involve students in the life of the region; create mentoring, networking, and Hire IU opportunities for them to participate in. The section ends by suggesting that it can be assessed through alumni surveys.

Section 5. Engagement and Regional Development (11-12). Assist in in the development of our regions is asserted here to be a core mission of the regional campuses. Action Items include: 5A. Work as partners with regional groups and institutions to address critical needs, including better K-12 education and public health; apply for the Carnegie Engaged Campus designation. 5B. Figure out what programs the region actually needs and offer them; make them more attractive with competency-assessed credit options, where appropriate. 5C. Each regional campus should have an outward-facing, collaborative, multidisciplinary regional problem-solving laboratory; engage students in community-based service projects of academic merit. 5D. Formalize regional partnerships in problem-solving and innovation; share leadership roles and work actively in these partnerships. The section concludes by suggesting that it be assessed through the Carnegie application process and by the number of service learning projects.

The strategic plans of the individual regional campuses. These are published as a final section of Blueprint 2.0 and their importance as planning documents is asserted on page 3, above. Blueprint 2.0 closes on page 13 by reiterating the commitment to regional campus collaborations that will, it is hoped, serve as a multiplier of the strengths, resources, and opportunities provided by the regionals, which are, after all, roughly ⅓ of Indiana University. The document is summarized briefly again on page 14.

Equally important to review: Sections of the Bicentennial Strategic Plan for all of IU that may be most closely tied to Blueprint 2.0: A Commitment to Student Success, A Community of Scholars, and Building a Prosperous and Innovative Indiana.

See also: Various campus strategic plans, plans for areas of special emphasis like the international strategic plan, plans for informational technologies, libraries, etc.