Minutes of March 31, 2003
3 p.m., Holmes Student Center – HSC 505

Present:     Aase, Cassidy, Deskis, Goldenberg, Griffiths, House, Isabel, Jeris, Legg, Miller, Munroe, Payvar, Rintala, Thompson, Weilbaker, Wheeler
Guests:     Donna Askins, Research Associate, Office of the Provost; Craig Barnard, Assessment Coordinator, Assessment Services

The meeting was called to order at 3:05 p.m.  It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of December 2, 2002, and the motion passed unanimously.

Legg said that the next item on the agenda was feedback on the NIU mission statement.  The input that the APC and the University Assessment Panel (UAP) provided has been shared with the president; Cassidy and Legg met with the president to discuss the feedback on two occasions.  Lipman and Hearne, a Chicago-based marketing firm, is in the second phase of data collection and will also be providing information that will be helpful in the restatement of the mission statement.

Legg turned to the next item on the agenda, the program review format.  He said that he was surprised at the repetitive information that was in previous program review documents, and that we have tried to eliminate duplication in this new format.  Cassidy asked if there were comments about elements of the new format that were helpful or problematic.  She added that the front section of the document deals with departmental factors, and this was where most of the redundancies in the format were occurring.  Rintala asked that if there is more than one undergraduate program in a department could common elements be reported in an overview statement.  Cassidy responded that the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education may be the only department to which that approach might apply.  This department has three undergraduate programs that were rolled into one set of data.  The change in the title of the B.S.Ed. in Physical Education to the B.S.Ed. in Kinesiology and its CIP code should take care of this issue in the future. Jeris added that there seems to be three areas driving the format.  They are:  the goals of the Illinois Commitment, learning outcomes, and assessment plans.  Getting at the program specific information was difficult using this document.  Cassidy replied that the Department of Counseling, Adult and Health Education is probably unique because it has so many programs.  Cassidy asked Jeris if she had any suggestions to make regarding this issue.  Jeris replied that it might be possible to have the learning outcomes section at the program review level.  Cassidy added that maybe we should look at the Illinois Commitment section and it could possibly come from a departmental level, where some common items could be addressed. Jeris added that the language on how the assessment data has been used to improve the program should also be reviewed; some people did not think this was what we were looking for.  Thompson stated that it should not be an expectation that a program always needs to be changing.  Jeris stated that she was referring to the data being used to improve the program.  Thompson said that this implied that you have to somehow change the program.  The program does not always need to change.  Cassidy added that the other part of this is to confirm that what you are doing is on target.  Deskis said that the format does not seem to provide much opportunity to discuss the connections between the undergraduate and graduate programs.  Our department had a hard time working this into the document.  I think it was finally reported as part of the graduate review.  The separation of the programs made this difficult, and it did not seem to belong in the front part of the review.  Cassidy stated that this information could be placed in the section on faculty/student interaction.

Legg turned to the agenda item on statewide outcomes indicators.  Cassidy said that this is an IBHE initiative that has been part of the program redesign process that started in 1998. During the last year there have been discussions on statewide outcomes indicators different from those the state comptroller’s office asked for on teaching, service, and scholarship.  Legg noted that this was politically motivated, and that he did not know if it will hold up over the next several years.  Cassidy stated that we do have it now, and this report will become part of the Results Report.  There are three levels of indicators:  statewide indicators, common indicators for Illinois public institutions, and mission specific indicators.  The mission specific indicators should be designed to reflect the unique ways that each institution contributes to the goals of the Illinois Commitment, and these indicators should be unique to NIU.  The IBHE expects us to reflect the mission of the institution and contribute to the goals of the Illinois Commitment.  The document that you received with your agenda for today’s meeting outlines the common institutional indicators that the IBHE staff has developed with input from Illinois institutions.  We will need to report on these indicators and select our own indicators for NIU.  We would like you to think about what indicators would be appropriate for NIU to report on within the six goals of the Illinois Commitment.  Keep in mind that the mission indicators cannot duplicate the common institutional indicators. The UAP provided their suggestions about what we could select as mission specific indicators.  We will talk about this at the next APC meeting.  We will want to limit the number of indicators that we select for each goal.

Legg announced the next agenda item was the university and statewide results reports.  Cassidy stated that the university Results Report for 2002 was in the APC notebook.  The Results Report contains several sections:  best practices, accomplishments for the last year, and plans for the next year.  The individual institutional results reports are submitted to the IBHE in August, and then the IBHE staff compiles a statewide results report.  The statewide results report talks about the advancement of the goals of the Illinois Commitment and also the challenges ahead that higher education will be facing.  This is where we get ideas about what to submit for funding as part of the program priorities request procedure.  We also go back and look at the statewide results report so we make sure we report on activities at NIU that relate directly to the information in the statewide results report.  We wanted to provide you with this information so you know what is going on at the statewide level for higher education.

Legg turned to the agenda item on the responsible conduct of scholarship policies being developed.  Griffiths said that in January 2000 a bill was introduced in Congress regarding the responsible conduct of research, and this legislation was withdrawn, but similar legislation will be coming in the near future.  The president and the provost have both endorsed the establishment of a Responsible Conduct of Scholarship Committee (RCS).  Griffiths distributed information about the configuration and responsibilities of the committee to the council.  What the Graduate Council decided to do was to approve the committee and once the committee is formed they will propose the creation of subcommittees as needed.  This committee will report to the Graduate Council.  Rintala added that she recalled discussion at the Graduate Council regarding diversity not only in research and scholarship areas, but also methodologies.  Griffiths said that he has asked individuals to provide a paragraph about their research.  Rintala asked if the language in the committee guidelines states that methodologies will be considered in addition to research and scholarship.  Griffiths replied that he will make sure that the language is specific enough to include methodologies.  Cassidy asked when the committee would be formed.  Griffiths replied that once all the nominations are received, the committee will be formed.

Legg turned to Rintala for an update on the UAP.  Rintala replied that during the past year the UAP has been evaluating the undergraduate and graduate assess plans and making recommendations to the departments.  There are still some departments that have not submitted plans.  The UAP has also discussed the mission statement and the results report.  Thompson added that some of the graduate assessment plans that the committee has received are established and others are very new. Cassidy stated that the UAP has undertaken a review of the plan and report on general education.  The General Education Committee (GEC) has been working since the last site visit on developing some initiatives to help with the assessment of general education.  The Junior Level Writing Project and the portfolio and capstone workshops were implemented as aspects of general education assessment.  Wheeler added that he has been pleased by the work of the GEC this past year.  They have learned how to work with the resubmission process.  He stated that he has seen some real progress on these issues this past year.

The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn A. Cradduck