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Assessment Oversight Committee (AOC) meeting notes 10/21/02

Michael Grant, chair
Gordon Brown
Sam Fitch
Rodney Taylor
Candice Miller
Graham Oddie
Lou McClelland, staff
Perry Sailor, staff

Elease Robbins, Jim Sherman, Padraic Kenney, Merrill Lessley, Ronald Melicher, Stephen Jones

New Member
Graham Oddie, Associate Dean, A&S

Mike reported on visits made by him, Perry to department reps (chairs, undergrad directors) regarding undergrad assessment, plus some that also included Rodney and Candice and dealt also with grad assessment. Conclusions:

  • They're doing assessment, but they don't think of it as that.
  • They don't respond to anything but visits. Ignore mail, even from provost.
  • Most who don't report don't see value of reporting. Most don't know reports are on web.
  • Possibly we should change the reporting schedule. Visit regularly? Set up 1/3 - 1/3 - 1/3 cycle of visits? Reports? (See below for Mike's summary of decisions made later regarding reporting schedule.)

Rodney: Pessimistic about ever making assessment part of department culture in departments where it isn't already.

Gordon: We (math) give MFAT. Had slacked off, now give to all seniors. At least lip service among faculty to idea that it's a good thing. Did make curriculum change once based on content of MFAT.

Mike: Should we evaluate quality of units' assessment efforts?

Sam: We could at least recognize as "good" or "exemplary."

Mike: Maybe coordinate with PRP, since they overlap a lot. Assessment as "midterm" with respect to PRP, every 3 years. Plus one-page annual updates.

Rodney, Sam: 3 year report, 6 year report evaluated for quality (add comments), feeds into PRP. Connecting to PRP gives process teeth.

Mike: Will help convince units it's of use to them, it's important. I'll talk to Susan Kent to make sure it's okay, will fit in mechanically.

Lou: Even before that, you (Mike) should read PRP manual.

More discussion followed, all summarized in email to committee from Mike, as follows:

At our meeting last week, we decided to make some recommendations of considerable substance.

  1. We decided to send 'reminders' to all those units with whom we have met and from whom we have yet to receive a report specifying Friday, December 6th as the deadline for getting those reports to us.

  2. We decided to revise the annual reporting requirements to be a single page listing of activities to be accompanied by any request for support from the AOC budget (no report, no budget request accepted)

  3. We decided to float an idea by Susan Kent AVC for Faculty Affairs which would effectively connect and integrate the Assessment process with the PRP, recognizing that assessment is already specified as part of that process, that faculty already are accustomed to PRP, that it is taken seriously and that such a move would 'stabilize' assessment for the foreseeable future, and that AOC would be dealing annually in a substantive way with only 1/7th of the campus departments each year.

  4. The basic idea suggestion derives from units sense that annual is 'too often' partly so we are going to recommend that in the third and 6th years of the PRP cycle units write 5 page reports of the type we are asking for now to fill out the details, results and actions resulting from the actions listed in the annual 1 page report to AOC. The 6th year report would be reviewed and analyzed and commented upon by the AOC and those comments sent to the units. The units would presumably cut and paste their 6 year report to AOC directly into the PRP with little extra work required and they could, if they chose, submit the AOC comments to PRP process as well.

    I've met and talked with Susan Kent and she was very positively enthusiastic about this idea and we agreed that I should write up a slightly more formal proposal for consideration by the PRP committee, get their endorsement and then we submit to Provost and Chancellor for formal adoption. Unless I hear strong dissension from those of you not able to attend the meeting, I will proceed along this course and circulate a draft to the AOC people for comments soon.

  5. We decided the report to the Chancellor, Provost and to NCA was to consist of some general overview remarks, some specific examples of good programs, a summary of our activities as AOC and a link to the web page where all the unit by unit reports are posted. Other suggestions are welcome.

PBA: PS-- L:\IR\OUTCOMES\aoc\notes021021.doc

Last revision 11/15/02

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