Past Newsletters:
  October 2008 - Part II
  October 2008 - Part I
  September 2008
  May 2008 - Part II
  May 2008 - Part I
  April 2008
  March 2008
  February 2008

November 2008

In this month’s AQIP in Action, we’re providing some information tagged to several of our Strategic Themes.  We provide an overview of progress within our International Programs and an FYI on a redesign of our financial aid model; we provide brief updates on the Alden B. Dow Creativity Center, the Margaret Chase Smith Library, and some IT-related activities; and we close with a look at Omniquest—both fall and winter term information.

Strategic Theme 3—Cultivating Student Growth:  In complementing this theme, we take a look at some key information from our International Programs and the pending redesign of our financial aid model.

International Programs

Dr. Lance Lewis and his team within International Programs have been quite busy.  They have instituted an audit process across our International Program Centers to help address issues of quality assurance.  We project we’ll surpass the 900-student mark for the year (nearly 600 in our two China programs at Changchun and Wuxi, about 170 in Switzerland, about 100 in Malaysia, and almost 150 in Sri Lanka).  We also have scheduled the following:  Term in Europe, Mexico Fall Mini, Euro Advertising/Fashion Fall Mini, Argentina Winter Mini, NU-CARS, Costa Rica Winter Mini, London Theater Spring Mini, Romania History and Culture Spring Mini, International Summer University, and Term in Asia Summer 2009.  A new model of having students accompany faculty teaching in China is also being rolled out in spring 2009, with students helping facilitate the courses and leading group discussions with Chinese students.

Financial Aid Model Redesign

One of our best opportunities to meet the overall recruitment goals at Northwood is identifying more effective pricing strategies and using our available financial aid and scholarship dollars more strategically.  To help us achieve this, as well as increase net revenue and control our discount rate, we will use net tuition pricing research.  Northwood University will be using the Noel-Levitz Enrollment & Revenue Management System™ to help us become more strategic in our financial aid awarding practices and procedures as we implement our strategic plan.  Determining the most effective, data-driven strategies for awarding both need- and merit-based institutional aid is critical to ensuring that our financial aid program supports Northwood’s strategic enrollment goals of growing enrollment and increasing academic quality. 

Strategic Theme 1—Enhancing the Learning Environment:  Although sometimes under the radar, the work within the Alden B. Dow Creativity Center, Margaret Chase Smith Library, and our IT unit provides a unique support structure for our learning environment.

Alden B. Dow Creativity Center (ABDCC)

Interim Director Cheryl Smith and Administrative Assistant Olga Fagan also have been on the move, planning for increased collaboration across all operating units and increased usage of the beautiful Whiting House facility.  We are near finalizing a strategic plan thanks to the guidance of Georgia Abbott and our ABDCC Board of Directors.  Please note the Creativity Conference is scheduled for April 1–4 and we’ll be sure to provide updates as plans are finalized.

Margaret Chase Smith Library (MCSL)

Dr. Greg Gallant and his team have been busy with educational, research, and museum activities.  Two Northwood students from the Michigan Campus are spending the fall term in-residence as they participate in the Northwood University MCS Fellowship Program.  The primary academic responsibilities call for the writing of two significant research papers focusing on the career of Senator Smith.  The program also has a cultural field trip component.  The Library also hosted a weeklong Adult Degree Program seminar.  Several primary and secondary level school groups have visited the MCSL and the Library recently participated in an event marking the 50th Anniversary of NASA.  Senator Smith was an early member of the U.S. Senate’s Space Committee.  Reflecting upon her contributions, NASA’s second administrator James Webb was quoted as saying, “If it weren’t for a woman, Margaret Chase Smith, we would never have put a man on the moon.”

IT-Related Updates

The behind-the-scenes vendor for emergency text messaging is changing and will no longer be clearTXT—this will be seamless for all of us, and if you have signed up previously, your information will be transferred into the new system; we have established a vendor review with Datatel and have articulated priority improvement tiers with Tier 1 (to be done this year) including financial aid, academics/registrar terms to semesters transitions, and budgeting/forecasting; we are doubling band width for all campuses; we are investigating several options for improving how we handle alumni email accounts; we are creating significant savings within DeVos by bringing study.net in-house; we are investigating a shared scheduling system for addressing classrooms, meeting rooms, and the like across the University; and we have rolled out the Document Imaging System to the first group which is financial aid (the registrar group is next and we will roll out this system in small pieces throughout the University—this allows us to be less paper-driven, share files with one click, and be more efficient).

Strategic Theme 2—Nurture a Learning Organization, and AQIP Category 1—Helping Students Learn:  In our spotlight feature, we have the pleasure of emphasizing our Omniquest series.  This fall’s selection of The Last Lecture was quite a success and this past month found our own version of last lectures across the University.  Highlights are found below.

Florida

Kevin Petrovsky, Dr. Cheryl Pridgeon, Jennifer McFarland, Justin Harmon,
Dr. Lynette Nadal, Gary Mazza, Ed Howell, and Marya Summers hosted a “Coffeehouse Discussion” with students.  Highlight concepts discussed included: adopting a positive mental attitude; enacting the values of virtue and ethics in the workplace; adhering to commitment and persistence; educators best serving students by helping them to be more self-reflective and how this ties into NU’s outcome of being “lifelong learners” and “effective self-evaluators;” never giving up, making sure that students keep all options available to them and not becoming constrained by debt, family obligation, etc., because many opportunities will become available to them as they go through the early stages of their lives and careers; taking chances and risks because only then will you truly know your capabilities; being passionate about at least one thing that you wholly commit to during your life; understanding you may not end up where you believe you will because you continue to grow, develop, and learn and what is important today may not be important to you tomorrow; understanding all experiences are valuable and failure is not failure if you learn from the experience; not squandering opportunities by seeing that each day has real potential value; knowing life is about how to achieve your dreams and being proactive; and questioning everything, being responsible for your own beliefs, ideas, and actions and being ready to deal with both positive and negative consequences of your actions.

Michigan

Professors Jeffrey Phillips and Barbara Sumi paid tribute to
Dr. Dale Haywood, showing a video of one of Dale’s last lectures, taking
Q and A, and tying it to The Last Lecture.  Highlights included:  Barb and Jeff began the presentation with personal stories of their interactions with Dale over their time together on the Michigan Campus, talking about his curiosity, optimism, kindness to others, and practicality.  They followed this with a video of Dale’s last lecture to students where he presented his take on The Commanding Heights, relating the key concepts of globalization to Dale’s Twelve Cell Matrix.  The presentation was well attended by students, faculty, and administrators.

Texas

Dr. Faye Lynn King gave a last lecture and highlights included how
Randy Pausch inspired his readers to dream and frequently found clever and determined ways to attain his dreams, no matter how impossible they may have seemed at the time.  His book led Dr. King to reflect on the things that enriched her life.  One of those enrichments is having and using a passport.  She was privileged to see Montreux, Switzerland, at our affiliate institution there and was awed by the grandeur of The Alps and teaching in a classroom which faced Lake Geneva.  She was grateful that her parents were not afraid to tell her “no” when they thought it was in order.  They did not raise her with any sense of entitlement but saw to it that their values were lived out daily.  Learning Spanish in 8th grade started a life-long love of the language.  That has allowed her to be an interpreter in Cuba, teach Spanish, and segue to conversational Portuguese.  These comments are designed to cause students to evaluate their own lives and make sure they are investing in those things which are of real and lasting value.

DeVos Graduate School of Management

Dr. Augie Arbulu delivered a last lecture to his Midland Executive MBA class.  Highlights included a focus on principles that Augie has lived by—which consist of not living a life of quiet desperation, seeing the gorilla in the picture, and having balance in your life while managing tradeoffs.  Key influences by his father and mother, such as entrepreneurship and formal education, helped shape Augie into the person he is today. His early jobs and experiences show life is not linear.  As a result, life means taking a few steps back to move forward.  Finally, struggles have had a profound impact on him, which meant leaving the practice of law and taking a step back to eventually move into business.

Omniquest for Winter Term

Dr. Rose Bellanca, Florida Campus provost, and the entire Florida Campus introduced us to the Winter Term Omniquest in a memo dated October 23.  We are excited about the myriad of possibilities for using Stuart L. Hart’s Capitalism at the Crossroads—across programs and courses, extracurricular activities, and the like.  Dr. Bellanca’s memo pointed out several reasons why we all will enjoy the selection.  Personally, I’ve already started reading the book and find it to be quite interesting and thought-provoking.  Thanks, Florida Campus!

Future AQIP in Actions

Coming monthly issues of AQIP in Action will cover updates on our student-learning assessment approach, terms to semesters progress, and One Northwood Curriculum Reviews; the excellent work of our Faculty Development Team members; survey updates; an exciting redesign for the Freedom Seminar; discussion on work associated with analysis and upgrades of learning areas/technology; and more!

Yours in teaching and learning,

John J.

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

 
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