Academic and Student Affairs Committee —8:30 am – September 8

These are not easy to find on the Board’s website, so I’ve put them here.

Elevator version: A long rambling report from Coltrane on academic program assessment, followed by a substantive report on UO’s new student success initiatives, with Schill’s new hire Doneka Scott and Bramhall and Freinkel. The trustees were fully engaged by the later, session ran late with questions.

Academic and Student Affairs Committee —8:30 am – September 8, 2016, Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom [Materials] [Livestream].

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Whoops, that’s the agenda from Oregon State’s Academic Strategies Committee. Html with links to all their work – including a complete self-assessment of their board, here. For comparison, the UO Board’s equivalent committee’s agenda – which I had to scrape from a pdf, is below:

Convene – Call to order, roll call – Introductory comments and agenda review  – Approval of June 2016 ASAC minutes (Action)  – Public comment

1. Academic Program Review: Scott Coltrane, Senior Vice President and Provost; Susan Anderson, Senior Vice Provost

Reading these content-lite powerpoints you’d never know that UO is up for reaccreditation this year. Does our Board know?

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I missed most of this, mostly seemed to be Coltrane talking about how academic programs are reviewed. Mentioned Academic Analytics. Lots of talk about consolidating honors under the Honor’s College. That will be a tough sell.

Coltrane passes around the schedule of program reviews. It’s not in the online materials. LCB hasn’t had an external review since 1991? Or did I hear him wrong?

Most of the discussion is a very basic , general discussion about how academic reviews are done. It’s surprising that this committee isn’t getting into specifics or asking more knowledgeable questions.

Coltrane offers to share examples of some reviews off-line with the committee members. He hadn’t done this already? No wonder they don’t have any good questions. He does mention the fact that UO’s accreditation is up for review this year, at the very end of his talk.

Ginevra Ralph asks about humanities programs and how the review process handles their importance.

2. Student Success Initiatives: Scott Coltrane, Senior Vice President and Provost; Lisa Freinkel, Dean of Undergraduate Studies; Ron Bramhall, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Doneka Scott, Associate Vice Provost for Student Success

Fortunately this part seems a bit more substantive:

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Coltrane gives Ron Bramhall a great introduction, noting he has worked both sides of the faculty union bargaining table.

Lisa Freinkel introduces Doneka Scott, who was hired by Schill to try and increase graduation rates and graduation time, and then goes on to explain how UO will target specific kinds of students to increase retention in years 1-2, and then target students in 1-4 to get them to take enough classes that they don’t need to stay for 5. Both strategies will save students enormous amounts of money.

Doneka Scott then explains how UO will target students by academic performance, rate of credit accumulation. Students who take too credits in their first quarter never catch up.

But, she also notes that most students leave for non-academic reasons: family, health, money. Believes that student engagement with the university as their home, where they should be. Wants to implement campus wide centralized advising. Student centered, evidence based, interventions for students identified as needing help. Mandatory advising for targeted students. [This all sounds very good so far.]

Bramhall’s turn:

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Majors need to give their students 4-year degree paths with milestones. Need to address advising about these classes, potentially readdress the curriculum? [I’m guessing Bramhall’s not proposing we have them all take Doug Blandy’s easy A online AAD 250-252 sequence.]

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Allyn Ford and others ask some good questions about how these new efforts will affect first generation, low income students.  Important, because the easy way to move these metrics is to just admit richer students.

Willcox notes that her committee will come back to this at the next meeting. The members are impressed by how much has been done on this since Schill first raised it last year, as they should be.


Here is some info on past meetings of this committee:

Academic and Student Affairs Committee — June 2, 2016 [Materials] [Webcast] [Minutes]

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