Senate Resolution No. 0203-02R
University at Albany RESOLUTION
WHEREAS an email sent from Associate Provost Donald Steven on the SUNYGED Listserv
on March 21, 2003 indicated that the Provost's office "would like to begin
discussing the Task Force recommendations on university-wide assessment
WHEREAS the purpose of general education assessment has been understood to
be an evaluation of a campus' programs, not an assessment of individual students;
WHEREAS it is our belief that assessment needs to be a campus-based activity
for the following reasons:
- Such a standardized system-wide assessment would interfere explicitly
with the fundamental academic freedom of instructors in discussing their subject,
an important element of higher education in a democracy.
- A standardized system-wide assessment would appear to presuppose a
system-wide curriculum, which would tend to undermine the rigor and comprehensive
nature of each campus' General Education Program.
- The University at Albany created a General Education Assessment Plan
mandated by SUNY System Administration which was approved by the University
at Albany's University Senate and submitted to SUNY GEAR, and which is currently
in its first year of a three-year cycle of implementation.
- The University at Albany adopted the SUNY Learning Outcomes and Guidelines
for the Approval of State University General Education Requirement Courses
and in addition developed for our campus a more in-depth set of learning objectives.
- The logistics of such system-wide standardized assessment would appear
to be insurmountable, given that general education is specifically defined as
a four-year program, with students following numerous individual routes in choosing
from the intellectually rich diversity that is appropriate to a university education;
and given that general education requirements can be met through coursework
taken at other institutions, including high schools and study abroad programs,
making an examination given at one campus an evaluation not only of that campus
but of many other teaching and learning environments.
- Uniform system-wide standardized assessment at any point prior to the
completion of the four-year general education experience would not reflect the
accomplishments of the graduate.
- Any funds which might be spent developing such a vehicle would be better
spent on enhancing individual campus-based undergraduate assessment.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT: the faculty of the University at Albany will continue
to follow the General Education Assessment Plan of its own, and not support,
embrace, or willingly participate in any SUNY-mandated standardized General
Education Assessment Plan.