Campus-wide charges

Re: Strengthening School Structures Charges

August 4, 2023

Re: Strengthening School Structures Charges

Dear Deans Au, Cornick, Sanyal, Sarathy, & Watts:

Thank you for supporting your schools within a shared governance context to meet the FY23 charges. These charges represent prior (before FY23) campus-wide decisions that required active collaboration with your elected faculty councils (FCs) and leadership teams to implement. Because of your efforts in collaboration with your school communities, we collectively accomplished the following in FY23:

  1. Professional Leave (Sabbatical) Criteria for Prioritizing: Effective for FY23, all five schools approved prioritization criteria for sabbaticals within a shared governance framework. [These criteria are provisional in SNHS and they may choose to revise.]
  2. Changes to the Major Declaration Process for FYPP Students (& Change of Major Process)
    • BUS –
      • Curriculum isn’t set up the way they would like for minimum requirements though they like the concept and it could solve another issue.
      • Need a few minor changes to curriculum to set up the context for minimum requirements.
      • Need to consider implementing the various changes in FY24.
    • EDU –
      • Curriculum change underway to move to open admissions for educational studies major.
      • No change to elementary education option; need to notify DEM regarding eliminating the application.
    • IAS – all degree programs moved to either open admissions or minimum requirements (a few in process via tri-campus review); Slate form built.
    • NHS – discussed and decided no changes.
    • STEM –
      • Tri-campus curriculum changes underway to move to open admissions for biology.
      • Mathematics (already minimum requirements) needs to notify DEM to remove essay requirement.
      • Physics and chemistry moving to minimum requirements; need to start curricular change process.
      • Electrical engineering moving to minimum requirements and reducing number of prerequisites and minimum grades; need to start curricular change process.
      • Mechanical engineering moving to minimum requirements; need to start curricular change process.
      • CSS in discussions aligned with the new state-funded STARS program.
  3. Campus-wide Community Engagement Undergraduate Learning (CEL) Goal (charge continued from 2020-21 due to pandemic):
    • BUS – no progress or updates
    • EDU – all majors already include requirements for CEL.
    • IAS –
      • No majors include a CEL requirement.
      • Discussions planned as part of the 4-year curriculum development via an Investment Fund grant.
      • Partnering with Office of Student Academic Success and Office of Connected Learning on a faculty fellows’ program to build capacity for CEL courses.
    • NHS – all majors already include requirements for CEL.
    • STEM –
      • PSD has two courses that meet CEL standards. Waiting to learn more before engaging further.
      • BIO is in conversation with OCL’s CEL team to “certify” several current courses. Others have modules that, with a little tweaking, would fulfil this requirement. The faculty discussed requiring all Biology & Society courses to have a CEL module.
      • E&M met with OCL’s CEL team and identified the capstone experience (EE, ME, CE) as meeting this ULG. Mathematics is considering incorporating CEL into a new course on Professional Studies in Mathematics
      • CSS – no updates.
  4. Assessment of Undergraduate Learning Goals (ULGs):
    • BUS – unknown.
    • SES – actively participating in CCAL’s campus-wide assessment process.
    • IAS – actively participating in CCAL’s campus-wide assessment process.
    • SNHS – actively participating in CCAL’s campus-wide assessment process.
    • STEM –
      • Actively participating in CCAL’s campus-wide assessment process.
      • Currently reviewing and updating the school bylaws to include an assessment council; anticipate in place by the end of autumn 2023; council will lead in working with divisions to respond to requests from CCAL.
      • Dean charging council to develop a STEM Assessment Plan with an easy-to-follow process for divisions that aligns with the campus plan.
      • Divisions are currently working with curriculum committees to map courses to the ULGs.

This summary demonstrates progress on issues that were already vetted through campus governance and needed school attention. Because of the complexities regarding curricular changes, it is not surprising that some work remains. I look forward to hearing from the relevant deans throughout the year as you follow through on the various outstanding items.

There are two issues that were vetted through campus governance during FY23 and need school attention. They include:

  • Promotion guidelines for teaching track faculty at all ranks — SES and BUS both need to develop through shared governance processes. As always, all schools are encouraged to iterate as needed. Please send me any changes and I appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback on close-to-final drafts.
  • Our campus approved a policy regarding “other FTE-producing instructional labor.” The campus policy requires each school to have a framework in place to implement by June 15, 2024. For schools that have an existing framework, please review the campus policy for the various deliverables. Please also ensure that you have a process in place for overload compensation that requires pre-approval by the VCAA.

Finally, given the various campus initiatives across the last two years (e.g., enrollment management planning, space planning, faculty success office, etc.), I’ve listed the near-term priorities for the academic affairs division. These priorities will require collaboration and partnership at many levels with equity principles centered throughout. Your leadership is central to our success. Thank you!

  • Complete the undergraduate academic advising structural changes.
  • Complete the creation and implementation of a major declaration (and change of major) process for undergraduate students.
  • Maintain momentum towards the goal for all students to meet the campus-wide community engagement undergraduate learning goal by the time they graduate.
  • Revisit the undergraduate learning goals so that assessment is feasible and meaningful.
  • Identify the campus-wide structural needs to support graduate programs — vision, mission, resources.
  • Strengthen support for transformative pedagogy.
  • Strengthen support for research, scholarship, and creative practice across all schools.
  • Strengthen support and structures for faculty success at all career stages.
  • Revise the formula for designating faculty office space.
  • Improve communications and engagement across the division with a focus on faculty.

As we look forward to starting a new academic year, there are no new FY24 school charges. We will be busy enough! I look forward to continuing our collaborative work to strengthen our support structures for our faculty, staff, and students. Thank you!

Sharon A. Jones, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA)

Kristin Esterberg, Chancellor
Scott James, Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management & Student Affairs
Carolyn Brennan, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Offices of Research & Connected Learning
Cinnamon Hillyard, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean, Student Academic Success
Wadiya Udell, Acting Assistant Vice Chancellor, Faculty Success
Richard Lewis, Associate Dean, University Libraries
Kara Adams, Director, Connected Learning
Emily Christian, Dean, Enrollment Management
Jose Rodriguez, Assessment & Curriculum Coordinator
Adrian Sinkler, Director, Institutional Research (IR)
Suzanne Yates, Acting Assistant Dean for Academic Advising
Nora Kenworthy, Chair, GFO
Robin Angotti, Chair, GFO Executive Council