Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
Sisler Conference Room
September 21, 2001 - 3 p.m.
James Roark, Charles Bicak, Mike Bohnhoff, Roger Davis, Marilyn Hadley, Roger Jones, Kathy Livingston, John Oseth, Denise Schlake, Debbie Schroeder, James Scott, Kenya Taylor, and William Wozniak
Betty Jo Armagost, Barbara Audley, Paul Bishop, Bruce Elder, Kent Estes, Randal Haack, Ben Homan, Larry Kuskie, William Lewis, Peter Longo, James Rundstrom, Ryan Samuelson, Mike Sumpter, and Annabell Zikmund
After greeting committee members, Roark began the meeting by showing the Power Point presentation that is shown to new faculty at fall orientation. It reflects on the positive changes at UNK during the last decade.
When KSC became UNK a decade ago, we became a different institution operating under a new set of rules. The University of Nebraska operates under a strong central administration. We now have more resources than we have ever had. However, starting a new academic program is considerably more difficult under University guidelines.
Core KSC values remain in place at UNK. Personal interaction between students and faculty remain the principal value of a UNK education. Our university-wide General Studies program allows students to change majors without changing General Studies requirements. We are continually working to improve the residential experience and change the KSC image of the "suitcase" college to a university where weekends hold students on campus. It has been suggested that intramural events could be held on weekends.
In an effort to improve the caliber of students attending UNK and hoping to improve retention rates, the University of Nebraska initiated new Admission Standards in 1997. In 1991, 10 units of core classes were needed to meet admission standards, and 46% of our students had completed that core. In 1999, 71% of our admitted students completed an enhanced 16-unit core.
ACT scores for the freshmen cohort have improved considerably when compared to 1991 as shown in the Power Point presentation:
ACT Range 1991 1999
1-18 30% 17%
19-21 31% 32%
22-26 30% 36%
27-36 9% 12%
UNK Faculty are applying and receiving more outside funding than in the past. Grant activity in the first quarter of 2001 has exceeded the total for the entire previous fiscal year ($1,594,396). We hope to continue to increase this amount.
As you may know, the $5 per credit hour surcharge (student technology fee) for student use of computers raises about $1 million annually for technology for student use. We now have 36 multimedia classrooms at UNK. All courses have web-based capability. All residence halls contain computer labs. We have 28 academic building computer labs compared to 10 in 1991. All students are given e-mail accounts at the time they enroll at UNK. This year we plan to initiate a student "all subscribers" database for getting messages to all students quickly (i.e., snow days, athletic events, reminders).
Retention rate of UNK students in 1991 was 72%. In 2000 it rose to an all-time high of 80%. Our 6-year graduation rate in 1991 was 42.8%, which has now risen to 47.7% in 2000. Fifteen percent (or 1251) of our students were graduated from UNK in 1991. Nineteen percent of enrolled students in 2000 were graduated (1215)--Although enrollment in 2000 was down twenty per cent, graduation numbers were only down 36 students.
Roark explained that assessment measures are being put into place at UNK. This fall we are participating for the first time in a National Student Survey and will be using the information gained from that survey to continue to improve our institution.
As Vice Chancellor Haack has reported to the Committee, there are many construction projects in process at UNK. In addition, we have several projects on the University Capital Queue (i.e., Otto Olsen, Phase II; Bruner Hall of Science, Phase II; and Fine Arts Building renovation)
In summary, the University of Nebraska at Kearney has had a successful first decade as part of the University of Nebraska system.
The Board of Regents has approved a statement in the University of Nebraska Strategic Plan that "each campus will be in the top 30 among universities with comparable missions." This is both a challenge and an opportunity. To be on a level with our peer institutions, funding remains our single biggest challenge. A "strategy" draft from the 2001 Administrative Council Retreat set out a plan for UNK to attain this goal. Bohnhoff distributed the list of institutions in UNK's peer group as well as a copy of the "Undergraduate Ranking Criteria and Weights" used by US News & World Report to rank educational institutions. The "Total Expenditures per Full-time Equivalent Student " is 10% of the ranking score and "Average Faculty Compensation (Adjusted by Regional Cost of Living)" is another 7% for a total of 17% of an institution's score.
The University of Indiana has developed and will conduct a survey of freshman and senior students called the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The survey randomly selects students in those two classes to look at the value aspects of student undergraduate experience. This is an alternative to US News & World Report rankings. A copy of 2001 survey was distributed to the Committee. This is designed to measure the quality of their university academic experience. UNK will begin participating this year. The data will be used for UNK's decision-making process. It will also used for general and NCA accreditation assessment.
As part of UNK's benchmarking efforts, Bohnhoff and John Anderson have drafted a survey to be sent to UNK Alumni. The survey addresses alumni satisfaction with their UNK educational experience. The survey targets alumni who graduated five years ago.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
The next meeting of the Committee will be held in the Sisler Room, Student Affairs Building on Tuesday, October 30, at 2 p.m.