Northwood University - AQIP in Action

February 2008

The Northwood BHAG – to be globally recognized as one of the foremost institutions in the development of leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs – is our CALL TO ACTION. It stands as our guidepost and serves as the driver of institutional visioning and decision making.

This and succeeding monthly messages are intended to provide the University community a brief update on a few current and upcoming projects and to solicit your ideas/feedback on some initiatives. This particular message focuses upon some key teaching/learning endeavors.

  • Program Review Process
    • Undergraduate Academic Program Review Reports are due in my office February 1.
    • On-site meetings are 2/25-26 in Florida, 2/27-28 in Michigan, and 3/3-4 in Texas.
    • We are creating a Blackboard site for all Program Reviews and to ensure process transparency.
    • We will be constructing similar reviews for all other operations throughout this calendar year.
  • Curriculum Review Process
    • Being designed by the Curriculum Committee (co-chairs of the three-campus Curriculum Committees).
    • Tim Nash and I are meeting with the Curriculum Committee on February 7. As a group we will refine parameters of how to ensure the very best within our curriculum – the same team approach used in designing the Program Review Process.
  • New Program Development and Analysis of Delivery Options
    • We are putting together a strategic growth plan this spring for on-line programs, international programs, and UC.
    • Our undergraduate deans are providing enhanced academic vision relative to possible new programs.
    • Our graduate school is investigating a myriad of possible growth opportunities.
  • Student Assessment
    • The seven faculty (Jack Allday, Jay Chandran, John Dexter, Faye Lynn King, Dale Matcheck, Chandran Mylvaganam and Kevin Petrovsky) who attended the seminal national assessment conference this past fall are engaging with deans and others as we move ahead this spring on activities designed to help faculty more easily use assessment tools in the classroom. Most importantly, we are striving to ensure assessments provide value to the teaching/learning proposition.
  • Instructional Improvement Opportunities and a Consideration of Faculty Development Activities
    • This represents a sea change of sorts for Northwood. We wish to invest in our employees and are making strides to do so. We wish to “externalize” our thinking and are actively seeking the best learning endeavors, graduate tuition benefits, and measures that show our commitment to the critical subject of faculty and staff growth.
    • We have targeted several teaching/learning, assessment, and organizational development learning opportunities that will move us along in this area. We are inviting faculty to participate in these opportunities (e.g., Higher learning Commission’s Annual Conference, Assessment Academy, Lilly East Teaching Conference, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, International Assessment and Retention Conference, and the Baldrige Quest for Excellence Conference).
    • We are crafting a design for our instructional improvement efforts (“LEAF” for those that have been following!) that will roll out our UC and Michigan pilot to all locations next academic year.
  • Faculty and Staff Evaluation Process
    • We are working with the Chairs of the Professional Standards Committees and UC/DeVos representatives to construct a faculty evaluation tool that can be used this spring across all operating units. We have tapped into on-line teaching and human resource expert Patrick Callaghan to help us construct both the on-line growth plan referenced above as well as an evaluation system that can be implemented this year and allow for any continuous improvement thereafter. We are also working to ensure we have an improved and deployed staff evaluation process.
  • Academic-Related Process Improvement
    • A series of processes simply “are done that way because they’ve always been done that way,” and are in need of refinement, or need to be re-articulated. We are striving to address a number of these (e.g., rank promotion, classroom scheduling, dual enrollment, and Omniquest processes, to name a few).
  • Northwood Strategic Plan
    • We cannot underscore enough how important your input is to this process. This, too, is somewhat of a new endeavor to Northwood and as such, the process will morph after its first full cycle of completion. In any event, the guidance of Drs. Lisa Fairbairn and Bill Busby brings us to a point where operating unit strategies are almost complete and the Officer Team will use these along with longer-range HR, IT, and Capital Improvement/Deferred Maintenance plans to construct an Institutional Plan. The Officers will retreat in mid-March and advance the strategic plan to the Board by the May 9 Board meeting.
  • Other Developments of Interest
    • The Texas Omniquest Committee has selected New Ideas from Dead CEOs by Todd G. Bucholz for our Spring Term Omniquest. Please note, too, that the Deans’ Council has tasked a faculty committee, sponsored by Dr. Lance Lewis, to study the Omniquest program relative to intent, use, selection, etc. with the task of continuously improving our approach to Omniquest. We are looking for a report from the committee in the spring and will share their recommendations with you at that point.
    • Our license for the Chronicle of Higher Education for all operating units has just come through. You can electronically access the Chronicle with no subscription and no password (see attachment). Right now, this pertains to access only from the Northwood network, though we are working toward having off-campus access as well.

The Officer Team, with Keith’s unwavering commitment, is striving for continued transparency and all Officers will be sharing recent Board/Officer discussions with you. We are sharing Program Review materials. We are moving toward having “scorecard” measures available at the operating unit level.

Of immediate import and your call to action:

  • Reconsidering the intent and approach to our Faculty Summit.
    • Provide input to your PSC (campus-based) and Dean (UC and DeVos) by February 11.
  • Refining the rank promotion process for campus-based, UC, and DeVos faculty (full-time and adjuncts)
    • Provide input to your PSC (campus-based) and Dean (UC and DeVos) by February 11.
  • Crafting the role of deans and assistant deans
    • Provide input to your dean by February 11.
  • Reconsidering and recrafting the makeup of departments and department chairs
    • Provide input to your dean by February 11.

Of course, we have a number of actions underway that are involving system input from faculty and staff and we will write about these in the coming months. If you have questions on these, would like to see what we are addressing, and would like to be involved, please do not be shy and interact with your dean, leadership team, or directly with me!

Each day, let us ask ourselves, what have we improved and how do we know? Working together, with constant, aggressive, and convincing actions, our BHAG will become a reality.

Most warmly,

John Jasinski
Executive Vice President/Chief Academic and Operating Officer Northwood University