Senate Agenda, April 21, 2017

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

  1. Call to order.
  2. The Chancellor’s email-based feedback initiative on advising and other aspects of campus work and life. Details below.*
  3. Faculty awards.
  4. Approval of minutes.
  5. President’s remarks.
  6. Executive Committee discussion of a work-study initiative linked to research. Details below.**

*The Chancellor’s March announcement of an initiative to create two email addresses for feedback on campus programs and services, including one focused on advising, is located here. More recently, this proposal has been revised and updated, with something of a shift of emphasis, and announced in an email from Executive Vice Chancellor Joseph to colleagues who serve as professional academic advisors. In the March meeting, we ran out of time for a fair discussion of this topic, so we begin the April meeting with it. Colleagues with related duties are welcome to join the faculty for this part of the meeting, commencing immediately at the start of the session.

**The Executive Committee’s proposal to launch a pilot project aimed at making faculty-linked work-study funding, with an emphasis on research support, will be a major item for discussion. A sketch will be available here shortly.

PTR discussion

The PTR Committee will bring this document for discussion on Friday during the Senate meeting.

Senate PTR Committee Recommended Reappointment Dossier Guidelines

Preamble

The Faculty Senate PTR Committee is composed of faculty from various academic units on the IUSB campus; efforts are taken to represent as many units as possible on the Committee. The Faculty Senate PTR Committee decides reappointment cases regarding faculty from all of the academic units on the IUSB campus. Most of the academic units have very detailed guidelines on the content and number of tenure and promotion dossiers. However, a wide variation exists across academic units on the minimum recommended content and number of reappointment dossiers. In addition, Academic Affairs recently specified that they require only one reappointment dossier. The Faculty Senate PTR Committee believes that uniform minimum documentation in reappointment dossiers would enable the faculty in the various academic units to better represent themselves.

Recommendation           

Therefore, the Senate PTR committee recommends the following minimum documentation to be included in reappointment dossiers.

  1. For reappointments, a single hard copy of the dossier is required.
  2. A current Curriculum Vita.
  3. The latest available annual report – The Senate PTR Committee reviews the dossiers while the current annual reports are being prepared. Thus, the latest available annual report would generally be the one from the prior year.
  4. The Dean and/or Chair’s evaluation of the latest available annual report.
  5. Recommendations from all previous levels of review, using the standard reappointment form.
  6. In case of a recommendation with reservations or a recommendation against reappointment at any level of review, include all previous reappointment forms and all previous annual evaluations.
  7. These are the minimum documents recommended for the dossier; additional information might also be included.

 

The campus improvement email sites

Chancellor Allison will take questions about this new initiative in the March 24th Senate meeting. He writes:

Thank you for inviting me to speak at the Academic Senate meeting this Friday.  At that meeting, I’ll give a brief budget update and other quick news.  I also will announce that IU South Bend will begin to advertise two ways for students and others to provide feedback on how well our campus is providing services.  The two tentatively named feedback addresses are advisesb@iusb.eduand improve@iusb.edu.

Many college campuses have an online suggestion forum for quality improvement.  In fact, my office already informally serves this function as students, prospective students, parents, staff, and others regularly contact the Chancellor’s Office with praise, complaints, or with other feedback.  improve@iusb.edu will be advertised as a way to encourage individuals on and off campus to provide feedback on ways that the campus can improve its services.  Unsolicited, informal feedback in the recent past has included such suggestions or questions such as:  “Is there a way to reduce the parking lighting during the night to save money?”  “Can you please weed the garden outside (Wiekamp, Northside, the Administration Bldg—all have been suggested)?”  “I have had a problem with my transfer transcript and haven’t been able to resolve it. What should I do next?”  As part of quality improvement for the campus, we would like to encourage campus constituents to continue to provide feedback and suggestions.  Review of suggestions for improve@iusb.edu will begin with Chancellor’s Office staff, who will forward to appropriate units for response and track to ensure that we have responded appropriately if those providing a suggestion wish to have a response.

During my several years at IU South Bend, I have consistently heard from students that they would like to improve advising at the campus.  At the same time, I’ve often heard high praise for individual advisors and have tried to pass on both praise and need for improvement.  In 2014/15 advising was identified by the SGA President as the students’ top concern.  When I recently met with a group of our student professionals, they stated that the quality of advising remains a top priority for them and that IU South Bend must improve our efforts in advising.  Students suggested a specific online mechanism for students to provide feedback on their advising experience.  They stated that course evaluations provide for anonymous feedback and that they’d like a similar system for feedback on their advising experience.  advisesb@iusb.edu would not be anonymous, but would allow a student a degree of confidentiality in stating concerns.  It would be advertised widely as a way to provide positive reinforcement as well as critical feedback on how we can improve.  Students have mentioned the inconsistency of our advising model and different resources for advising depending on major.  They have indicated that sometimes they have been advised to take courses that don’t meet major requirements. Transfer students or students changing majors often express concern about courses we will not accept for major or general education credit which appear to meet graduation requirements. Students also cite individual staff and faculty who deserve recognition for their positive engagement with students. 

advisesb@iusb.edu would be monitored by the Chancellor’s Office and the Office of Academic Affairs, who will forward comments to the appropriate Dean or student services director.

I’d be glad to discuss these initiatives with the faculty at the Academic Senate meeting.

This proposal was replaced in part or in full by the April memo from EVC Joseph to the professional advisors.

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 are 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.”