University Assessment Panel

Notes from Meeting of
January 17, 2003

The sixth meeting of the University Assessment Panel (UAP) for the 2002-2003 academic year was held on Friday, January 17, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. in Lowden Hall 304.


Dr. Douglas Eder from SIU-Edwardsville will conduct two workshops on assessment February 7.  There will be a general session in the morning and a session for general education in the afternoon.  There is no charge to attend, but registration is necessary.  Faculty Development will distribute a flyer with more information.  In lieu of the UAP meeting on February 7, the UAP will attend the Ederís presentation.  Askins said the next issue of Toolkit is scheduled for publication January 27.  Askins highlighted the features in this upcoming issue for the panel.  The response deadlines for Junior-Level Writing and Portfolio and Capstone proposals are approaching in February.  The panel is asked to encourage participation in their departments.  The panel will begin reviewing graduate assessment plans and status reports.  The deadline for submitting the graduate assessment plans is February 1.

Cassidy gave an update on the progress of the self-study to the Higher Learning Commission.  All chapters have been drafted, and meetings have been set up for the steering committee to review the chapters during the first half of the spring semester.  Confirmation has been received for the NCA visit date in February, 2004.

In response to a question about the status of the budget, Cassidy responded that no new information is available concerning the FY03 budget.  It is anticipated that the new governor will ask for an extension to submit his FY04 budget to the General Assembly, which may make the notification of budget allocations for FY04 later than weíve had in the recent past.

Records & Registration

Sheri Kallembach and Don Larsen of Records and Registration joined the panel to answer questions and give further insight into the operations of the unit.  Cassidy expressed the view of the panel that the assessment report submitted by their unit was very thorough.  Kallembach and Larsen were asked to expand on findings from data collected.  Students are generally satisfied regarding the admissions process.  Communication is one area where students expressed more dissatisfaction and in which they are striving to improve.  The challenge has been pinpointing contact people has been difficult to track to remedy problems.  Feeback indicated that a more comprehensive approach is desired.  Records and Registration is moving toward doing more online operations.  Doing more online will allow the unit to reduce costs.

Kallembach gave some insight into how the assessment report was compiled.  Documents for the Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions and the unitís five-year strategic plan were used as the baseline.  A comprehensive training program has been developed for new employees to be familiar with all four areas of the unit.

Feedback on Assessment Plans

Feedback on assessment plans and status reports from Liberal Arts and Sciences and Health and Human Sciences was given.  Discussion of two departmentís plans will be continued at the February 21 meeting.

Your First College Year

House distributed a handout on highlights of the 2002 Your First College Year survey and gave an overview of the survey.  The finding show that NIU, in comparison to other participants, has higher scores in the areas of writing assessment, in helping first year students adjust to college (UNIV 101), and diversity.  The use of email and instant messaging was also more prevalent at NIU.  In other areas, NIU was typical compared to other participating universities.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:55 am.  The UAP will attend Juggling, Dogs, and Assessment: The importance of feedback, critical thinking, and punctuation, a presentation by Dr. Douglas Eder of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville on February 7 in Campus Life 100 in lieu of meeting that day.