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Comment 5: Academic Standards

I understand why my academic colleagues are “shocked” and “confused” by the strategic planning reports. Several of the proposals appear to me to be solutions desperately in need of a problem. But it also might be that my expectations of academic standards are not appropriate for this planning process. In an academic model, it is common practice to identify problems, define terms, and establish goals and outcomes. This is the model we use for the AQIP process and this is the model we use for proposing new academic programs and new courses. The ‘Seamless Movement” report makes sense to me because it follows this model. By contrast, part four (4) of the Enrollment report does not make sense to me. It states the following: “Fayette campus faculty are utilized as academic advisors. EU has Academic Advising positions.” It follows up with four recommendations: “We recommend advising training for all faculty advisors. Utilize the Jenzabar Advising module. Look at making the evaluation of advising as part of faculty tenure requirements. Hire full time academic advisor to handle students who are undecided.” The recommendations do not flow from the stated problem. I am left to assume there is a problem with faculty advising, but the problem has not been identified. It recommends advising training, but it does not state any goals or outcomes for that training. It recommends evaluating advising as a part of faculty tenure requirements, but it does not define a benchmark for excellence in advising. It recommends hiring full-time staff to advise students who are undecided, but it does not acknowledge the inequity of current faculty advising loads (some faculty have 30-40 advisees, other faculty have 3-4 advisees). I believe the faculty should be accountable for advising, but it is highly questionable whether faculty are in a position to accept a proposal that does not follow an academic model. Perhaps the strategic plan would be more cohesive if all the reports were to follow an academic model. It doesn’t cost us anything to better define who we are and what we want to do. But if we fail to take this opportunity, we are less likely to succeed. Don McComb

Comment 6: General comments

I am most impressed with the reports from the Strategic Plan teams; they show a deep appreciation for the need of Upper Iowa University to move forward aggressively into the future. I believe the Youtube video "Did You Know" was very appropriate in light of this overall discussion of the future of Upper Iowa University. We must be looking 5 and 10 years ahead in order to keep up with the rapid changes that are taking place, and the Global Citizen approach is going to be way that we take UIU into the future. I would urge the University to create an ongoing task force to identify trends that will be impacting us (and the world community that we are a part of) 5 and 10 years in the future so that we can adapt and create majors and processes and modalities that will keep us on the cutting edge rather than lagging behind other institutions. Having seen the AQIP and strategic planning processes at close range at another institution similar to UIU, I know the importance of such forwarding thinking. I suspect if we are not nimble enough to adapt quickly to emerging trends, we will be unable to meet the needs of the students of the future. I understand that some of the recommendations and observations of the teams may seem, at first glance, to be too aggressive or not realistic, however we need to engage as a

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