Draft Minutes

Academic Board Meeting

June 4, 2002

 

BG H. S. CARTER LTC A. W. LeCLERCQ  
COL H. W. ASKINS, JR.  COL J.S. LEONARD
COL M.  BEBENSEE COL I. S. METTS, JR.
COL J. R. BLANTON COL W. B. MOORE, JR.
COL C. E. CLEAVER COL L. W. MORELAND
LTC P. B. EZELL COL S. OZMENT  
COL D. J. FALLON LTC S. NESMITH
COL A. J. FINCH LTC R. HILLEKE for COL P. J. REMBIESA
LTC G. W. WILSON for LTC J. E. GOODWIN LTC P. M. ROSENBLUM
LTC A. E. GURGANUS

COL W.E. WALKER

COL D. OUZTS for LTC K. T. HENSON LTC G. T. WILLIAMS

                                     

 The Academic Board held a special meeting to discuss preparations for the upcoming SACS Self Study. BG Carter called the meeting to order at 1400 hours.

BG Carter, COL Metts, COL White (director of the self-study), and COL Moreland (Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee) attended a one-day workshop sponsored by the Commission on Colleges for institutions that will be undertaking their next Self Study during the 2002-2003 academic year.

BG Carter distributed to all Board members a document that provides critical information for the upcoming SACS Self Study: A draft SACS Handbook (the final version be available in the fall) and discussed some of the most important issues.

 The Commission on Colleges has identified twelve Core Requirements (pp. 10-12 of the draft Handbook) that are fundamental to reaffirmation. BG Carter reviewed these requirements and drew attention to the three he has concerns about. The first of these is # 5, Institutional Effectiveness. BG Carter emphasized that every department (academic, service, support) must explain its assessment process and how it uses the results of assessment to make improvements in programs and services. SACS is looking for two years' worth of assessment data. We will not be able to provide that in all areas but will be able to go through at least one complete cycle and be well into the next one. BG Carter summarized where we stand on assessment. He stated that while we have done a good bit in the way of collecting opinions, we may not have done as much "research-based"  assessment as we should and we may not have a strong record of showing how we use the results of assessment for improvement of programs and services.  BG Carter distributed a page outlining a plan for strengthening academic  assessment processes. The plan calls for each department to administer an annual examination (either standardized or internally developed) that has been approved by the Office of Planning and Assessment. He reminded department heads that graduate as well as undergraduate programs must be assessed. COL Metts's office will provide an inventory of available standardized tests. LTC Rosenblum raised the issue of convincing students to take the assessment seriously. COL Walker suggested that one way of doing this is to include the assessment test in a capstone course. LTC Moreland raised concerns about any step that would result in changing degree requirements for rising seniors. COL Metts noted that if students are given ample notice, they can still be required to complete an assessment exam. BG Carter emphasized that even if the first year operates as a pilot effort, we must begin. He established October 1, 2002 as the deadline for developing appropriate assessment measures in each academic unit for core sequences (if relevant) and for the major and urged department heads to begin discussion with faculty this summer, if possible. COL Bebensee suggested that we use the results of the Senior Exit Survey. BG Carter said we will use those data, but we have to do much more. COL Metts noted that the Senior Exit Survey provides helpful feedback to the institution but we must measure student learning outcomes, not just student opinions. COL Metts asked that department heads include in the annual assessment report that is due June 15th very specific descriptions of what assessment has been conducted  and what the department has done with the data. An honest assessment of where each unit stands is the first step.

The second area of concern raised by BG Carter has to do with # 10, Student Support Programs and Services, primarily because we provide limited services and programs for non-cadets. BG Carter also drew attention to # 12, a new standard that calls for the development of a Quality Enhancement Plan. In regard to the Comprehensive Standards, outlined in the last section of the draft Handbook on pp. 13 ff., BG Carter mentioned issues with several standards under Institutional Mission, Governance and Effectiveness:

      # 4: Board of Visitors Conflict of Interest policy

      # 5: Board of Visitors freedom from undue external influence

      # 7: Clear and appropriate distinction between policy-making functions of the Board of Visitors and administrative and implementation functions of administrators and faculty.

    # 13: Ultimate control of fund-raising activities by CEO

    # 14: Formal agreement between the institution and an institution-related foundation, not controlled by the institution (i.e., Citadel Foundation)

   # 15: Intellectual Property policies-COL Walker suggested that Professor Strauch may provide be able to provide help in this area

   # 16: Assessment

In the area of Educational Programs, BG Carter noted concerns with the following standards:

   # 11: Confidentiality of student records

  # 20e: Faculty credentials, specifically for faculty teaching professional development course

   # 21: Regular evaluation of faculty members; this has not been documented consistently in all departments

   # 28: Student rights and responsibilities

   # 29: Student records

   # 30: Credentials of Student Affairs Personnel

In the area of Financial and Physical Resources, standard # 1, which deals with financial stability, will require careful attention. Given The Citadel's heavy reliance on The Citadel Foundation for funding of basic operations, we will have to make a convincing case that this funding source is stable and dependable.

BG Carter next distributed a copy of the reaffirmation schedule and reviewed the reaffirmation process. By August 15, 2003, The Citadel will have prepared a certification statement, specifying the extent to which the institution meets the core requirements and comprehensive standards. We want to do as much of this electronically as possible. We hope to have a Webmaster in the PR Office to improve the website. A template will be developed for each area to follow. The certification statement will be reviewed by an off-site committee; the results will be relayed to us in a conference call. A small committee will visit the campus in March 2004 to clarify anything that is unresolved from earlier stages and to review our Quality Enhancement Plan. BG Carter clarified that this is to be a plan that can be completed in three to five years, not an accomplished plan. Finally, we will receive a committee report and have an opportunity to respond to the report before the Commission on colleges votes on our reaffirmation.  BG Carter also distributed information about the pilot institutions. He stressed that they should not be contacted at this point. Eventually, we will confer with officials at East Tennessee State (a member of our conference) and Texas A & M (a senior military college).

Because campus-wide involvement is central to the reaffirmation process, the President has determined that the Strategic Planning Steering Committee will lead the initiative for developing the Quality Enhancement Plan to include developing goals, objectives, assignment of responsibilities, a timetable for completion, and assessment measures. The QEP may focus on issues other than those identified as we analyze compliance, the cannot simply be devoted to addressing any deficiencies recognized.

 The meeting was adjourned at 1510 hours.

Submitted by

Suzanne Ozment