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Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Review

April 15, 2009

HLC Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Presidential Room, Maucker Union

  1. Welcome - Bev
  2. April 8, 2009 meeting notes – Shirley
  3. FoE Transitions Dimension Report – Kristin Woods & Lex Smith
  4. Discussion of Criterion 3 draft – Donna & Barry
  5. Discuss
  6. ion of Criterion 4 draft – Mike, Patrick, Bart
  7. Committee Updates - all
  8. For the good of the order
HLC Steering Committee

Meeting Notes
April 15, 2009 – 3:15 p.m.
Presidential Room-Maucker Union

Present: Arthur, Chatham-Carpenter, Cutter, Hanish, Kaparthi, Kopper, Licari, Martin, Morgan, Murtha, Neibauer, O’Connor, Pease, Uehle, Upah, Vinton, Wilson

Absent: Agee, Buse, Hays, Patton

Guests: Lex Smith, Kristin Woods

  1. Welcome – Bev
  2. April 8, 2009 meeting notes – Shirley
    The notes stand as distributed.
  3. Foe Transitions Dimension report – Lex Smith and Kristin Woods
    • Kristin stated the Transitions committee was large, but 12-13 members made up the core group and were consistently involved. Also, in response to the feedback from FoE, each action item has not been given high, medium or low priority which is not reflected in the report.
    • Lex indicated they gave a relatively high grade to their dimension compared to the grades given to other dimensions.
    • The committee provided the following questions/comments/suggestions:
      • Where did the topics listed in performance indicator 5.2 come from – Kristin indicated these were specific topics they were asked to evaluate by FoE.
      • Ginny asked if there is any survey data about students’ responses to the mission statement? April suggested Ginny talk with Gretta Berghammer about this question.
      • Students believe that “Students First” is the university mission.
      • Most of us agree that there is a lack of general knowledge about the university mission. However, do you want to make the statement that there is a lack of clarity about our institutional mission in your report?
      • Lex and Kristin indicated the mission was discussed at the committee level and committee conversations may be considered data per the FoE policy center.
      • Ginny indicated it’s all right to say that people are not clear about the mission because we can say this is what we need to work on. There is a difference between the university mission and the mission statement – people have a good idea what the mission is but no idea what the mission statement says.
      • Maybe the report should say mission statement where the word mission is used to distinguish between the two.
      • Under the Communication to Others section…another example that could be added is the IMSEP project. A workshop was organized by the IMSEP to bring together high school teachers and UNI math faculty.
      • Discussion about the new Iowa Core Curriculum…even though the Transitions Dimension report focuses on the transition of high school students to college, they realize there will be an impact on first year advising, classes, etc. if students come to UNI with 30 credit hours.
      • Andrew Morse is writing his senior thesis on high school students coming to college with multiple credit hours. According to Jan, the people that Andrew interviewed have indicated that high school students are not necessarily more prepared and their time in college is not necessarily shortened just because they come with college credit hours.
      • Is there data related to the spring board program? If so, it might be interesting to include it. has assessed the program and they could include some of the data.
      • Lex believes the FoEtec evidence library is very powerful and he hopes the evaluating team has access to the documents.
      • Kate indicated the resource room will be both digital and in print. If there are documents that have been used or referenced in any reports that are not in the evidence library or SharePoint, then we need to add them.
      • Kristin indicated there may be printed publications they used that are not in the evidence library, such as marketing pieces. Jim said UMPR should have the pieces available as PDF documents.
      • Bev asked John Gardner at the FoE policy center whether we can link from SharePoint to FoEtec but she has not received a definitive answer.
      • Kate indicated most documents in FoEtec have been moved to SharePoint except a few items such as committee minutes.
  4. Discussion of draft of Chapter 3 – Donna Vinton & Barry Wilson
    Donna stated there are still topics missing and there is a lot of repetition with other chapters. She would like to add more about assessment in the Student Affairs division.

    • The committee provided the following questions/comments/suggestions:
      • Impressively thorough
      • Regarding demographic diversity…the numbers are so small is the decrease significant? Donna asked if this section should remain in this criterion or is it discussed elsewhere. Diversity is mentioned in Criterion 1 and Criterion 2 but it’s fine to leave in for now.
      • Since UNI was an early adopter of the Voluntary System of Accountability and President Allen is on the national committee, maybe this should be added.
      • The Iowa Communications Network is mentioned but maybe a short explanation is needed for those not familiar with the system.
      • If student satisfaction with advising has remained positive, why was undergraduate advising reorganized?
      • The Educational Trust considered UNI a model for graduation rates – this should be included. Barbara is adding this to her introduction, also.
      • In the section where SOA plans are discussed, should all degree programs be listed?
      • When discussing changes to courses in the Liberal Arts Core…there is a process for major changes with forms to complete…this should be articulated.
      • The Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning was not discussed in this chapter but probably should be addressed even though it was mentioned in other chapters. An institution that emphasizes undergraduate teaching needs to explain why a center is not staffed.
      • In tables where data is not available, we need to explain why and also use the phrase “not collected” instead of “unknown”.
  5. Discussion of Criterion 4 draft – Mike, Patrick, Bart
    • Mike indicated they are still trying to gather data for component 4a – some of the information is in confidential documents and is scattered across the institution.
    • Core component 4c – the assessment component – they will discuss with Barry and Donna what should be included in each criterion.
    • Patrick sent a message to all department heads and asked them to provide information that would have been included in their Academic Program Assessment reports. He will input the information he received into a database this summer. A suggestion was made to talk with Kelly Flege in the Office of Business Operations regarding travel expenditures.
    • Patrick reminded the committee that he had offered to provide maps for the report but so far, no one has taken him up on his offer. He asked if anyone would be interested in him mapping information on students such as ethnicity, high school, ACT scores, etc. Patrick has been asking the Registrar’s Office for this information for over nine months. Shashi offered to work with the Registrar’s office to help obtain the requested information. The committee agreed they would like Patrick to provide colorful demographic maps for the self-study report.
    • Patrick has found that about 80% of our students come from within a 50 mile radius of UNI. Jean attended a workshop at an ACT conference and was told that the majority of students go to college within a 1 ½ hour radius of their home.
      • The committee provided the following questions/suggestions/comments:
        • Could international experiences fit into component 4b?
        • Should issues/events such as lifelong learning, campus conversations, qualities of an educated person, diversity town hall meeting, sustainability conference, etc. be included in this chapter? Jan covered campus conversations in her chapter
        • Is there a way to capture all the presentations, lectures, workshops, etc. that occur on campus? Jim is not aware of a database that contains all these events. Jan indicated that both Maucker Union and the GBPAC have databases that could be searched. Maybe a few examples could be included.
        • Should there be something on undergraduate majors in 4b since the LAC and graduate programs are discussed. The structure of the institution with colleges, departments, etc. will be discussed in criterion 2.
        • Mike believes 4b is focused on the breadth of knowledge rather than the more narrow focus a student receives from an academic degree.
        • What about interdisciplinary programs and the foreign language requirement?
        • What developmental opportunities are available for staff members? Jan will discuss staff training grants in her chapter.
        • Could include the website expansion of the Office of Sponsored Programs. Also, this office has offered multiple workshops and pushed to get staff certified in human subject training.
  6. Committee Updates – all
    Barbara asked what percentage of members actively participated on each committee. Comments included:

    • no one was excluded
    • one or two out of 18 or 19 that didn’t participate
    • big committee so it was difficult to find a time when everyone could attend meeting

    Inez reported that Ginny Arthur is now a member of the Criterion 1 committee.

  7. For the good of the order
    • The Criterion 5 draft report will be discussed at the next meeting.
    • Do not use personal names in the report; use titles (at the time) instead.
    • Each criterion should include a summary section.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 22, 3:15 p.m. in the Presidential Room.