Greetings and welcome back for an enthralling 2008-2009 academic year! I want to issue a heartfelt thanks to all of you for moving Northwood forward in 2007-08! It was a busy year and a year that has set us on a path to accomplish great things... start on assessment, terms to semesters, academic program reviews, increasing faculty development opportunities, and inclusion of adjunct faculty in our processes, enhanced transparency, and enhanced engagement!
AQIP in Action is a monthly newsletter designed to inform us all on academic and related issues of importance. For our new faces in the crowd, AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Program) is our accrediting method and at its core asks us how we help students learn – through creating and delivering robust processes, tracking and understanding corollary results, celebrating strengths, and identifying and acting upon targeted improvement areas.
I join colleagues across our entire university in saying we are thrilled to get the year started! There are so many opportunities and growth areas ahead. I can hardly wait to collaborate with all of you as we move Northwood University forward in being recognized as one of the foremost institutions in the development of leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs – our BHAG!This month’s AQIP in Action welcomes our newcomers and highlights a few points about our Strategic Plan, the One Northwood Undergraduate Academic Structure, the One Northwood Curriculum Process, Assessment, Faculty Development Team activities, Terms to Semesters, and the Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year program.
First and foremost, let us all provide a warm welcome to our new faculty and academic staff.
What follows are some brief notes and contact information for our new teammates:
At our Florida campus:
Sheila Clarke, Academic Advisor
Dr. David Holness, Associate Professor; Division Chair, Management; Department Chair, Management and International Business
Dr. Maureen McBride, Assistant Professor; Division Chair, Arts and Sciences; Department Chair, Communications
At our Michigan campus:
Weikang (Ken) Wang, Assistant Professor, International Business, Entertainment, Sports & Promotions Management, Entrepreneurship
Also, Cliff Harris and David Sanford have assumed new roles, both transitioning from adjunct to full-time teaching status within Economics and Management Information Systems, respectively. Welcome them to their new roles at Cliff at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
At our Texas campus:
Carla Allen, Instructor, Accounting
Also, Chris Giles moves from being an adjunct faculty member to serving as Director of the Learning Resource Center. Welcome Chris to his new role at email@example.com.
At our DeVos Graduate School of Management:
New roles for three of our DeVos colleagues: Matt Bennett now serves as Director of Corporate and Specialty Programs; Dr. Lisa Fairbairn now serves as Academic Dean in addition to serving as a Professor; and Lake Hamilton now serves as Director of Graduate Operations. Welcome them to their new roles at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
Within our University College:
Dr. Patrick Callaghan, Associate Professor and Online Lead Faculty
Also, Dr. Linda Henderson now serves as Academic Dean, and Brennan Brown now serves as Faculty Manager/Cornerstone Schools Director. Welcome them to their new roles at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
Within Central Administration:
Ron Browne, Associate Director of Instructional Technology (direct report to IT and dotted line to EVP)
Mamiko Reeves, Director of International Education
Stacy Smith, Director of Institutional Effectiveness
Also, Joan Deegan still serves as our Research Librarian, but now from our Texas campus (congrats to Joan and Dr. Howard Borck on their marriage over the summer!), and Cheryl Smith now serves as the Interim Director of the
Please help me provide a very warm Northwood welcome to these and our other colleagues throughout the entire system. We thank you for your commitment to developing the future leaders of a global, free-enterprise environment!
And as we welcome our colleagues, we also welcome the Board of Trustees’ approval of our strategic plan – entitled Northwood’s Positioning Statement
The Northwood Positioning Statement, operating plans, and organizational charts for our varying operating units are available on Blackboard
One Northwood Undergraduate Academic Structure
Please note the strategic and operating plans are based upon a set of needs that have been developed through your input. These cover primary, required, and secondary student needs and lock in our focus in providing a learner-centered environment. Below you will find a link to these needs as part of a larger document entitled, One Northwood Undergraduate Academic Structure. We have shared the Undergraduate Academic Structure visual across our campuses and with our Deans’ Council and Officer Team. This represents a fairly major shift in how we are addressing future academic activities. It represents internal partnerships and internal collaborations in a visible way. It also spells out and shows how we are bringing support to faculty in new ways. These supports are real in terms of being on the ground in each of our operating units and certainly within our budgeting activities. You’ll see these supports throughout the operating plans as well.You can view the One Northwood Undergraduate Academic Structure document here.
In this coming academic year, we’ll continue to focus on some key and core areas. These include:
One Northwood Curriculum Process
This will be a major activity and really a thrust for our academic leaders as we hit this topic head on and, perhaps, in a way different from how we have done things in the past. We will not have a large faculty summit, rather several interactions following an academic model to allow for conversations and, ultimately, consensus upon what we are trying to do in each of our undergraduate programs and majors. Academic deans are assuming curricular areas of leadership and I will update you regularly on our progress.
Our Assessment Coordinator, Laura Vosejpka, is helping guide the process, but we need all of you involved in this endeavor. There is no doubt we have room for improvement in this area and this is a topic that all of us need to embrace to understand how we are, in fact, achieving our 12 Outcomes and our overall program outcomes.
Faculty Development Team Activities
Our Faculty Development Team addresses engaging classrooms and brings tools to all of us for better interactions within and outside our classrooms. Please access their talents and work – but bring your talents and work to bear as well— as the team is gathering best practices from all of you and throughout the world of education. You received a brief message late last week on the team’s September e-letter (theme: Launching a Class) and can access that here.
Terms to Semesters
The work of our Semesters Transition team (STT) has been nothing short of excellent since we announced the transition back in March. Kayte Aspray,
Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year
Larry Lindsey (MI), Ellen Iwanow (MI), Mike Anguiano (TX), and Kelly Blaggie (FL) are leading this effort, but so many of you from across the system have volunteered to co-chair or be a part of their committees as we look at providing excellence in the first college year across our system. This includes not just undergraduate, but adult learning environments as well. President Pretty’s weekly message of August 22 addressed this endeavor. Thanks to so many of you for agreeing to be part of this self-assessment and please note we are currently confirming our co-chairs and their committee membership.
All of the above content addresses directional statements and corresponding actions within our strategic plan. We are realizing a great deal of forward progress and we appreciate all of you and your efforts. Thank you!
In next month’s AQIP in Action, you’ll read about some very exciting growth initiatives within the DeVos Graduate School of Management, University College academic integration, and beyond.
Our open communication policy is one of our strengths. Please email me with your comments, ongoing questions, and thoughts about how to improve our learning environment and processes to achieve results and strive for continuous improvement – the AQIP way.
Yours in teaching and learning,
John Jasinski, Ph.D.