I submit this comment with the utmost respect for our historic values and institutional heritage.
Response to Comment: (See above)
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
Response to Comment: The subcommittee agrees that work still needs to be done to assure that the intended actions/activities in support of various strategies are appropriate and applicable. We further agree that the various strategies should share an appropriate relationship to each other so that the plan represents a coherent, single body of work. Concurrently, it is the subcommittee’s impression that some have viewed what was presented for public comment along a continuum far closer to a completed draft than it was intended to represent. Instead, this first public comment period was intended provide an opportunity for comment and participation