UNIVERSITY PLANNING AND POLICY COUNCIL

January 24, 2005

Meeting Minutes

Present: J. Bartow, R Baum, N. Claiborne, R. Geer, J. Hanifan, F. Hauser, F. Henderson, T. Hoff, G. Kamberelis, S.B. Kim, C. MacDonald, D. McCaffrey, J. Mumpower, K. Murray, M. Pryse, S. Stern, J. Wick-Pelletier, E. Wulfert

Guest: Wendell Lorang, Institutional Research

Minutes: The Minutes of November 29, 2004 were approved.

Discussion/election of UPC Chair for Spring, 2005:

Professor Pryse has accepted an offer to serve as Interim Dean of Graduate Studies and has thus had to step down from the position of Chair of UPC. Professor MacDonald opened the floor to nominations of persons willing to serve as Chair. A nomination of Professor David McCaffrey was received. There was a motion to approve, all were in favor and Professor McCaffrey will serve as UPC Chair for Spring, 2005.

Provost’s Report – presented by Interim Provost Jeryl Mumpower:

Budget: Interim Provost Mumpower distributed and discussed the summary of the 2005-2006 Executive Budget.

Enrollment: Interim Provost Mumpower distributed a chart summarizing enrollment figures and noted that projections for future enrollment will be discussed by President Hall upon his arrival to UAlbany. He noted that the condensed timeframe of SUNY Administration’s requests for enrollment plans – this year we were given two weeks to respond – makes it difficult to accomplish adequate consultation with governance. Although the Interim President and Interim Provost had communicated to the community the broad outlines of the plan for the upcoming year, there was not adequate opportunity for discussion of the precise details of the plan or its long-range implications. He suggested that we should consider taking up enrollment issues during the Spring semester so that we would have an opportunity to consider the issues more thoroughly and carefully.

Outgoing Chair’s report: presented by Professor Marjorie Pryse:

Institutional Assessment Plan: Professor Pryse has been attending the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Assessment. She has expressed concern with the linkages between assessment, planning and resource allocation functions (see report attached) and asked members for comments/feedback. There was some discussion on assessment working when it is tied to resource allocation and the fact that so much of UAlbany’s budget is tied to historical allocations. The Campus has not moved to incentive or merit based budgeting.

Report from 1996 Task Force on the 4-Credit Standard: Professor Pryse has a copy of Ronald Bosco’s report and will forward it to Professor McCaffrey.

UPC Committee Reports:

University Facilities Committee (UFC), Frank Hauser, Chair: No report.

Resource Analysis and Planning Committee (RAPC), Nancy Claiborne Chair: No report.

URPAC, Professor Wulfert, URPAC Representative: URPAC has met four times since the end of last semester. The purpose of these meetings was, first, a review of the University’s All Funds Budget, and second, to have several deans discuss the potential implications for their units if the University faces further budget reductions. Interim President Ryan had asked for deans to examine two scenarios: a worst-case reduction of 2.75% and a moderate reduction of 1.5% for each of the next two fiscal years, 05-06 and 06-07. The deans were asked to present their highest priority goals for the next two years and to outline what programs or services would be curtailed, maintained or enhanced with budget reductions. The process is ongoing.

UPC Sponsored in-house survey: Professor Wulfert explained that she met with two faculty members from the Industrial/Organization Psychology unit, Professors Shanock and Roch, and with Dr. Bruce Szelest and Jeffrey Gerken from Institutional Research regarding the 2002 Student Opinion Survey. She obtained IRB approval for a reanalysis of the data. The Psychology faculty conducted a factor analysis on the surveys of 400 students and from the six factors derived they sought to predict three items related to student satisfaction:

  1. If you could start over again would you chose this college?
  2. What is your overall opinion of this college?
  3. Did you achieve what you came to this college to achieve?

Preliminary results showed that satisfaction seems to be related mainly to students’ academic experiences. At this time, the group will continue to review the new data set. The goal is to design a study that will yield data for a confirmatory factor analysis. In addition, interviews with students will be conducted to identify more specific information regarding the sources of dissatisfaction with their academic experiences. Institutional Research also will provide a new document with comparative data from 18 other SUNY campuses, once the data have been properly coded.

New Business:

"SIRF to Web" discussion. Guest: Wendell Lorang, Institutional Research:

There was preliminary discussion on if and how the SIRF system could be brought to the web, including incentives for students to complete the forms, i.e., demonstrating that there is a link between assessment and the classroom experience and letting the students know that someone actually is reviewing the surveys.

Discussion will continue.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jayne VanDenburgh, Recorder

 

Proposed text, page 14

Linkages between Assessment and Planning and Resource Allocation Functions

Assessment processes serve to foster internal improvement and institutional effectiveness and are most effective (work best) when they are primarily driven by the explicit goals and objectives of the institution. By their very nature, such processes inform the planning and resource allocation functions of the University at its various levels. The Institutional Assessment Plan looks to the University’s Mission Statement and Statements of Strategic Values and Goals to identify important directions, directions that are also articulated in Mission Review II and the SUNY Memorandum of Understanding documents. Assessment provides an opportunity to look at the congruence between our goals and our practices.

To the extent possible, data-based evidence should be noted in departmental, school/college, vice-presidential, and institutional planning and budget documents. While assessment activities in academic and administrative units can inform resource-allocation, it is important to note that assessment results are not part of any formulae that distribute resources across or within vice-presidential divisions. Improving the effectiveness of units across the University requires data based evidence of performance. As such, the function of assessment is descriptive and informative. Assessment-based information is one of a number of factors that contributes to decision-making at various levels of the University.

The University’s institutional assessment plan lays a foundation for decision-making that embraces University values and its resolve to build to strength. To this end, the assessment process provides an impetus for the campus to discuss the explicit operating priorities and principles at various levels of the institution. In the midst of the challenges facing it, the University seeks to undertake assessment with the goals of identifying ways to serve its many constituencies and to carry out its many missions. Assessment processes, transparent and informed, achieve these ends.