September 2008

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.

  • Have you taken the time to greet any new colleagues?
  • Would you take some time and greet a few within operating units beyond your own?

What follows are some brief notes and contact information for our new teammates:

At our Florida campus:

Sheila Clarke, Academic Advisor

  • Most recently a caseworker supervisor for Palm Beach County Human Services, Riviera Beach, FL
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice from Florida Atlantic University
  • A.A. in Criminal Justice from Palm Beach Community College
  • Welcome Sheila at             

Dr. David Holness, Associate Professor; Division Chair, Management; Department Chair, Management and International Business

  • Most recently served as Dean of the Business School, American International University in Atlanta, GA
  • Ph.D., M.B.A., B.B.A. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing, Nova Southeastern University
  • Welcome David at

Dr. Maureen McBride, Assistant Professor; Division Chair, Arts and Sciences; Department Chair, Communications

  • Most recently an English instructor at University of Nevada, Reno
  • Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric from University of Nevada
  • M.A., B.A. in English from University of Nevada
  • Welcome Maureen at

At our Michigan campus:

Weikang (Ken) Wang, Assistant Professor, International Business, Entertainment, Sports & Promotions Management, Entrepreneurship

  • Most recently taught at our partner school, Southern Yangtzee University – Lambton College as well as provided support for faculty in the Northwood University program
  • M.B.A. from Henderson State University
  • M.S. in Physical Education with emphasis in Sports Management from Washington State University
  • B.A. in English from Anhui University
  • Welcome Ken at

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 and

At our Texas campus:

Carla Allen, Instructor, Accounting

  • Most recently served as Senior Financial Analyst for CVS/Caremark,
    Fort Worth, TX
  • M.P.A. in Professional Accounting from University of Texas-Arlington
  • B.B.A. in Accounting from University of Texas-Arlington
  • Welcome Carla at

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

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,, and, respectively.

Within our University College:
University College / Adult Degree Program - University College is the internally used term for describing the operating unit; Adult Degree Program is the externally used term based on what our market told us.

Dr. Patrick Callaghan, Associate Professor and Online Lead Faculty

  • Most recently served as Director of Human Resources, AlixPartners, LLP
  • Ph.D. in Education, specializing in Instructional Technology, from Wayne State University
  • M.A. in Human Resources from Central Michigan University
  • B.A. in Economics and Management from Albion College
  • Welcome Patrick at

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 and, respectively.

Within Central Administration:

Ron Browne, Associate Director of Instructional Technology (direct report to IT and dotted line to EVP)

  • Most recently served as Production Director for Public and Government access cable TV for the City of Midland
  • B.A.A. from Central Michigan University in Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts
  • Welcome Ron at

Mamiko Reeves, Director of International Education

  • Most recently served as Japanese liaison for Youth for Understanding, Inc.
  • B.A. in Communication from Nanzan University (Nagoya, Japan)
  • M.A. in Counseling from Central Michigan University
  • Welcome Mamiko at

Stacy Smith, Director of Institutional Effectiveness

  • Most recently served as Senior Planning Analyst at Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw, MI
  • E.M.B.A. from Northwood University’s DeVos Graduate School of Management
  • B.S. in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University
  • A.A. in Business Administration/Management from Delta College
  • Welcome Stacy at

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
Alden B. Dow Creativity Center.  Welcome them to their new roles at and, respectively.

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!

Strategic Plan

And as we welcome our colleagues, we also welcome the Board of Trustees’ approval of our strategic plan – entitled Northwood’s Positioning Statement
. As President Pretty stated in last week’s Weekly Message, we have operating plans across all of our operating units as well.  Please note that within our strategic plan, our five strategic themes and corresponding directional statements and actions speak to ongoing growth and excellence, our mission, and our BHAG.

The Northwood Positioning Statement, operating plans, and organizational charts for our varying operating units are available on Blackboard

The Northwood Positioning Statement

  • Do you know the five strategic themes within the Northwood Positioning Statement?
  • As you review the Directional Statements under each strategic theme, how might you become engaged in helping the University implement our strategic plan?

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.
  • How would you define the roles of our division and department chairs? Academic deans?
  • How do you interface with the myriad of internal partners?  How might you increase your involvement during this academic year?

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.

  • How are you addressing the 12 Outcomes in classes, co-curricular activities, and beyond?

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.

  • Do you know your Faculty Development Team leaders?  Have you thought about how you might work with them this year?

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,
Lea Holland, and Kevin Petrovsky as team leaders, along with all of our committees, are working quite hard in meeting our milestones.  The first timeline was gaining approval for the new semester calendar by the end of August.  The team exceeded that goal by having the Officers approve the semester calendar at the August 11 Officer Team meeting.  Below you will find a link to the approved semester calendar that commences during the fall of 2010.  I know all semester transition committees are working diligently on their areas of emphasis.  These committees include Curriculum Development, Transition Curriculum Development, Calendar Development, Professional Standards, Budget & Finance, and Academic Records & IT.

The calendar may be viewed here.

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 J.

John Jasinski, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President/Chief Academic and Operating Officer
Contact me at

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