Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
Warner Conference Room
April 11, 2001 - 3 p.m.
James Roark, Gordon Bennett, Charles Bicak, Paul Bishop, Mike Bohnhoff, Elsie Cafferty, David Clark, Roger Davis, Bruce Elder, Kent Estes, Randal Haack, Ben Homan, Roger Jones, Kathy Livingston, Peter Longo, John Oseth, Debbie Schroeder, Jim Scott, and Annabell Zikmund
Betty Jo Armagost, Barbara Audley, Marilyn Hadley, Larry Kuskie, William Lewis, James Rundstrom, Ryan Samuelson, and Mike Sumpter
Recently two campus-wide forums were held shortly after the distribution of the list of priority programs. Input at the meetings was very similar to that at the Strategic Planning Committee meetings--very little comment on the list. Most faculty questioned what could be done to get a program on the list if it was not there now. Faculty asked if non-priority programs would be downsized or face budget cuts or even be eliminated. They were told that programs couldn't be removed without Board of Regent approval. In general, there seemed to be agreement with the list of UNK priority programs. The next step is to present the list of priority programs to Chancellor Johnston. A cover letter from this Committee should be attached. After Chancellor approval, we will forward recommendations to President Smith.
Bicak felt that our number one priority, "General Studies", is a term that is misleading and misunderstood by many non-academics. Perhaps we need to clarify this term to the general public. In the last General Studies Program Review, the review team suggested that the name be changed. Bicak suggested something like "General Education" or "Liberal Arts Education". He invited the Strategic Planning Committee to add their views to the General Studies upcoming Academic Program Review.
Roark reminded the Committee that any change would require approval from each college academic council.
The disciplines such as Biology and Chemistry that support "Health Sciences" should also be recognized as priority programs. They are the core of the Health Science Program. Livingston and Scott voiced their agreement.
Roark expressed his thanks to this Committee and others on campus who have made this process work. His perception of the prioritization list is that it is a good first attempt. It sets out a group of programs that will make sense to individuals off campus. UNO and UNMC have responded favorably to our concise list. UNO expects to finish their list of priority programs in the near future. Roark wanted the Committee to understand that no changes have been made to the final draft of this document shared with Committee members, but notations have been made and will be included as the document goes forward.
Bohnhoff spoke about the upcoming NCA accreditation visit. NCA requires every institution to conduct a self-study every 10 years. UNK needs to have theirs done no later than Spring term 2004. To that end, the first step in creating a self-study will begin with the last report and concerns listed in that report. It will be a campus-wide effort. Assessment [defined as "assessment of student learning"] is one area that is scrutinized and in recent years, institutions have had trouble meeting NCA expectations. Northern Colorado was hard pressed to meet NCA assessment standards. It took two years (three attempts) for Northern Colorado to successfully attain reaccreditation from NCA.
Elizabeth Peck will chair a committee to review the requirements of NCA and get UNK on track for a successful accreditation visit. The committee will review many aspects of UNK, including assessment, fiscal cuts of the University, and strategic planning, among others.
Bohnhoff copies of Chapter 5 of the North Central Association* Handbook for Accreditation. This handout outlines the two foundations on which NCA builds its evaluations: institutional self-study and peer evaluation. UNK does systematic academic program reviews for each department on a five-year cycle. Bicak confirmed that for the General Studies APR, survey data has been collected from alums, current students and faculty. There seems to be general satisfaction with the General Studies program as positive responses ran 80-90%. Bohnhoff targeted some parts of the UNK current Strategic Plan that may need to be updated.
Roark asked VCBF Haack to update the Committee on construction at UNK. Some of the items highlighted included West Center nearing completion. The west wing will be completed in May; when the northeast section is done, the Center will be complete. Brick is on the side of the new College of Education building, and things are moving along well on schedule. The sculpture annex will be moved soon. Work has begun on the BHS roof and on the mechanical penthouse as well as on fourth floor. The west wall of the Nebraskan is out and all new footings are in. Construction seems to be ahead of or on schedule.
UNK continues to improve on its technology. West Center's high tech capabilities in the renovated classrooms are a good recruitment tool for both prospective students and prospective faculty. Schroeder advised that steps are being taken for deployment of Blackboard Enterprise Edition for UNK web-based courses. Classroom improvements continue this summer through the use of Student Technology Fee funds. Additionally, there is a network component involved in all current construction projects. There are plans to soon wire the Health & Sports Center to stream video speeches.
Davis asked if departments should be buying or leasing computer equipment. Schroeder told the Committee that leased property is subject to personal property tax. If departments buy equipment and wish to dump old computers, there are some disposal problems with monitors. Although some institutions lease all computers, UNK has approximately 150 PCs on lease in student labs. Once the leases end, Dell will probably sell them to us at $50-$100 each, and we will lease new machines.
Elder suggested the possibility of getting laptops for students for four years and then "giving" them to the students. Northern Michigan has successfully launched such a program. Surveys show that two-thirds of our students have computers. But, they are not all compatible with our programs.
Oseth shared the UNK document of December 1994 entitled Environmental Factors and Assumptions that Influence Planning and the January 31, 2001, UNK Student Recruitment Plan, Executive Summary. On page V of the former, "environment factors" that have significant impact on enrollment are set out. The enrollment chart on page 4 shows a huge change in enrollment from 1990 to 1991. Another big drop shows in 1997 because of new admission standards. Three major events in UNK history cost us approximately 1000 students:
1) Entry into the University system brought enrollment down 1500 (i.e., we lost nursing students; different reporting dates)
2) Change in enrollment at College Park (i.e., initially, we had 2000 students at College Park; now we have less than 1,000; CCC was granted transfer authority by NCCPE)
3) New admissions standards/requirements caused an 8-10% enrollment drop
Clark suggested the committee perspective on these facts should be printed in the Hub to explain the enrollment decline to non-UNK residents.
The latter document sets out UNK's new plan for successful recruitment of students. Part of our new strategy includes a contact program that "chases" admitted students. We are using students, faculty and administrators. UNK will be striving to increase applications at a 3% annual rate and to enroll more than 50% of the students applying. This year, applications are running up 5% for the freshman class and 7% overall with transfer students.
Elder expressed concern about UNK's ability to "close the deal" with students that have applied for admission. Oseth said that ideas are being discussed regarding how to reach students that cannot attend orientation. They have considered sending recruitment teams to those students Elder would like to see orientation revert to past schedules where they were conducted up to August.
Oseth felt prospects are looking good. The tuition increase complicates recruitment efforts. However, campus buildings are improving. Several cable ads are being run at no cost to UNK. At this point, out-of-state and international students are primary targets. Members questioned if we are recruiting heavily at community colleges? There is a need to get students and parents on campus.
Bishop reported that the cadaver lab and Human Performance lab are shown frequently to prospective students and parents. The National Youth Sports Program brings several hundred students to campus each summer. Bicak said their tours are also up. General enrollment in the College of Ed has been up. Zikmund reported that Modern Languages has many events that draw high school students and teachers. Music and speech contests are held on the UNK campus. The general consensus was that everyone at UNK is pitching in to increase enrollment, and those efforts seem to be paying off.
Meeting was adjourned.
The next meeting will be held in the Sisler Room, Student Affairs Building on Thursday, August 9, at 3 p.m.
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