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Assessment Oversight Committee (AOC) meeting notes 2/15/02

Michael Grant, chair
Gordon Brown
Padraic Kenney
Merrill Lessley
Ronald Melicher
Elease Robbins
Stephen Jones
Candice Miller
Kumiko Takahara
Kathy King, student
Lou McClelland, staff
Perry Sailor, staff

Sam Fitch


  1. Draft cover letter from provost to department chairs.
  2. Draft of assessment guide for units.
  3. Draft letters to department chairs, those active and attentive to assessment and those not.
  4. Draft Short Check List for Departmental Student Assessment.


  1. Example letters to unit chairs - handout
  2. Draft letter from Provost - handout
  3. Strategy to engage depts.
  4. Budget process for short term.

Mike: Have written specific letters to each unit, describing or mentioning their most recent report currently posted on PBA assessment web site. Personalized. My system crashed this morning, so I couldn't bring them. Showed (handout) draft letter from Provost, also the two generic letters to units active vs. inactive in assessment in recent years, and the short checklist for departmental student assessment.

Padraic: Need time frame in letters, a deadline for units to act. Discussion of this.

Decision: Mike will insert "need results by end of October 2002."

Discussion of schedule - should we require report every year? Assessment every year? What?

Decision: Assess and report annually.

Lou suggested moving item #2 in the Short Checklist, "Report results promptly to PBA for posting on web site," to the end of the list, since everything else on the list should be a part of that report.

Elease had a comment on the item from the Short Checklist "Faculty awareness and, ideally, support for the departmental process." If there's no support, should they say why in their report?

Decision: Should deal with that issue in committee members' 1-1 meetings with chairs.

Question: Should letters to units go directly to them, or through deans?

Decision: Business, journalism, arch. & planning - go through college dean. A&S - to units. Engineering: Mike will ask Jim Sherman.

Discussion of handout, "Brief Guide to Assessment," for units. Suggestion: add more on E. Boyer, in case reader doesn't know who he is. Will do.

Last section of Guide - assessment's cost. Question: Procedure for handling allocations?

Decision: Unit will submit short ( page) justification with request for funds, Mike will send to whole committee for comment, then will decide.

Mike: Some tendency for inverse relationship between department size and money spent on assessment. How to handle this? Should we do anything proactive re money? Suggest no, suggest case-by-case basis, not setting some limit of $ per student or something. Do we want to set deadline for money requests? Committee will think about this.

Mike: My notion is that we need personal contact between committee members and units. Salesperson model. Not just mailing a packet.

Discussion: Wait for units to ask for help? Merrill mentioned once bringing in NCHEMS (Peter Ewell) in to consult when he was in charge of assessment somewhere. Did a great job. Mike: Invite units to some sort of workshop? Ron M. liked this idea, thought it would be the only thing that would get units' attention. Mike suggested treating different units differently, just mailing the packet to ones that have been active in assessment, inviting inactive ones to a conference/workshop. Sent materials first. Invite by mail first, then approach personally. Inactive defined as those with reports 5 years out of date. Decision: Do workshop.

Mike: Who to invite to meeting besides the "special guests" (i.e., inactive units)? Reps. from committee? Yes. Outside expert, e.g., Ewell? Wait on this - ID units who really need him. Invite reps from "good units" for testimonials? Yes.

Candice: What are expectations for units? Mike: Assess, report, use assessment to modify programs.

PBA: PS-- L:\IR\OUTCOMES\aoc\notes020215.doc

Last revision 05/10/02

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