College Senate Bulletin 

Bulletin No. 17
March 31, 2004
Contents

Announcements
Spring 2004 Senate Meeting Schedule
Spring Elections: Results
Referendum on Addition to Faculty Constitution By Laws
Sabbatical Leave Announcement
Presidential Approval of Actions taken at March 23, 2004 Senate Meeting
Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting, March 16, 2004
Minutes: Faculty Affairs Committee Meeting, March 16, 2004
Minutes: Graduate Academic Affairs Committee, March 23, 2004
Minutes of the College Senate Meeting, March 23, 2004
Minutes of the Undergraduate Curriculum Meeting, March 30, 2004
UCC Proposal Summaries
Campus-Based Assessment Proposal Information

· Cover Letter From Joe Hildreth, President of UFS, regarding Campus-Based Assessment Committee Minutes

· Minutes: Campus-Based Assessment Committee Meeting, March 10, 2004

· Letter From Joe Hildreth, President of UFS, regarding changes to GEAR Process Guidelines

· Strengthened Campus-based Assessment Summary

· Proposed Revisions (Spring 2004) General Education Assessment Review (GEAR) Group: Review Process Guidelines

Correspondence: Charlie Freeman, Department of Physics,

Greene 202; e-mail: freeman@geneseo.edu; phone: 245-5286


Spring 2004 College Senate Meeting Schedule

All Senate Meetings: 4:00 pm, Newton 204
April 20

Spring Elections: Results

Congratulations to the following winners of the Spring 2004 elections:

Senate Vice Chair

  • Maria Lima, English

Senate Treasurer

  • Ming-Mei Chang, Biology

Senate Secretary

  • Savitri Iyer, Physics

Senator At-Large (over 6 years)

  • Sharon Bossung, School of Business
  • Edward Gillin, English
  • William Gohlman, History
  • Margaret Stolee, History
  • Edward Wallace, Mathematics

Senator At-Large (under 6 years)

  • Anne Eisenberg, Sociology
  • H. Cristina Geiger, Chemistry
  • Rosemary McEwen, Foreign Languages

General Education Committee

  • Kurtis Fletcher, Physics, Natural Science/Computer Science/Math Rep, 2-year term
  • Kathleen Jones, Communicative Disorders & Sciences, Professional Programs Rep, 2-year term

Professional Leave Review Committee

  • Isidro Bosch, Biology, Natural Science/Computer Science/Math Rep, 3-year term
  • Rachel Hall, English, Humanities Rep, 3-year term
  • Daniel Repinski, Psychology, Social Sciences Rep, 2-year term

Voter turnout: 146 out of 296 teaching faculty ballots were cast (49.3%) and 66 out of 166 administrative faculty ballots were cast (39.8%). This gives a total voter turnout of 212 out of 462 (45.9%). These tallies meet the constitutional requirement for a quorum (1/3).

Sincere thanks to all of those who ran for elective office or committee this year, and thanks also to all of those who submitted ballots.

Referendum on Addition to Faculty Constitution By Laws

Ballots regarding a proposed addition to the Faculty Constitution By-Laws will be distributed to all members of the teaching and administrative faculty during the week of April 5, 2004. A copy of the proposed addition, which would specify the procedures for electing faculty representatives to the CAS Board in the Faculty Constitution By-Laws, is available in Senate Bulletin #16, page 165. Voting will be conducted electronically, using the web-based interface. All members of the teaching and administrative faculty are eligible to vote on the proposed addition to the By-Laws. A majority vote (subject to a 1/3 quorum requirement) is needed to enact the proposed addition to the By-Laws. Elections will close at 5 pm on Friday, April 23, 2004.

Sabbatical Leave Announcement

September 15, 2004: Deadline for applicants to submit Sabbatical Leave Requests for the 2005-2006 Academic Year to departments

October 15, 2004: Departments submit recommendations of 2005-2006 Sabbatical Leave Requests to Provost for review by Professional Leave Review Committee

November 15, 2004: Professional Leave Review Committee submits recommendations of the 2005-2006 Sabbatical Leave Requests to Provost

December 2, 2004: Provost submits recommendations of 2005-2006 Sabbatical Leave Requests to President's Office

Due dates which fall on a weekend shall automatically be effective the following Monday.

In accordance with the Constitution, the Professional Leave Review Committee is charged with publishing the criteria by which they evaluate applications. Here is their statement:

"Sabbatical leave proposals are evaluated on the following criteria: clarity of presentation of proposed objectives (including schedule and planned outcomes), potential contribution of the project to teaching or professional stature, necessity for leave, and evidence of productivity in prior leaves or ongoing scholarly activity. See the Guidelines for the Submission of Proposals for Sabbatical Leaves for further detail and clarification."

The Guidelines for Submission of Proposals for Sabbatical Leaves and Sabbatical Leave Applications can be found under "Forms" on the Office of the Provost's web site.

Presidential Approval of Actions taken at March 23, 2004 Senate Meeting

The College Senate Chair has received a memo from President Dahl indicating that he approves of the actions taken at the March 23, 2004 Senate Meeting.

Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting, March 16, 2004

Attending: C. Freeman, D. Gordon, G. Hartvigsen, T. Bazzett, C. Faulkner, E. Putman, W. Gohlman, L. Dance, R. Hartman, D. Metz, H. Hoops

Approval of Minutes

Last Meeting (February 10, 2004), p 146, Bulletin 14--approved

Reports

… Chair's Report - Charles Freeman: Disappointed that we lost quorum at last senate meeting, though understandable b/c of the time. We needed to vote on grad committee proposal and swastika resolution, but we’ll put them on agenda for next meeting.

G. Hartvigsen raises issue of whether or not there should be some expectation for how long senate meetings should be, or whether conflicts at 5:00 or 6:00 should disqualify people from serving on the senate.

Gohlman: for personnel committee, not supposed to agree to serve if can’t commit to two year term

Consensus that people should be aware of classes and commitments in agreeing to serve on senate.

Freeman: elections going smoothly so far. Thanks Maryann Stopha for the web based voting program. Deadline March 26 at 5 pm. Administrative faculty also receiving ballot, but only allowed to vote for secretary, treasurer, and vice chair. Even though there is only one candidate for each of these positions, we need their votes for a quorum (1/3 total ballots sent out). Administrative faculty please vote!

Roark award nominations due April 1, executive committee reviews nominations and makes selections.

… Provost's Report - David Gordon: SUNY has set up joint degree programs with overseas universities and wants to recruit Geneseo to participate. We picked 4-5 programs where this might be beneficial, but will probably only do it with 1 or 2 programs. If there is interest, will be a multi year process. Programs will be with school in Mexico City in international relations, and with Turkish universities, fields fairly open. If happens, would mean that we would have cohort of Turkish students on campus every year. So far, SUNY students haven’t gone. No faculty exchanges. Need 25 students to make it viable. New Paltz has program in economics with Turkish universities, who come during summer session, but we could integrate foreign students in normal school year.

Summer Institute for First Year Students—1st of experimental summer programs. Course will be Intd 105, probably 2 or 3 sections with 20 students per section, but will also be part of program to introduce them to Geneseo, including a weekend retreat in Adirondacks. If works, we’ll make money for summer session. As it grows, we can add to it. Have sent letter to faculty who have taught Intd 105 to see if they are interested. Will send letters to students in May.

Office filling up with campus awards, continuing appointments, term renewals

… Vice Chair - Gregg Hartvigsen: no report

… Past Chair - Terence Bazzett: no report

… Secretary - Carol Faulkner: no report

… Treasurer - Errol Putman: Senate fund: $317.11, Richard Roark principal: $2002.02, Richard Roark income: $704.51. Seventeen have contributed to senate fund.

… University Faculty Senator - William Gohlman: Next meeting April 22 in Syracuse. Right now, senate committee is working on a proposal re: assessment, but some concern expressed that the current proposal is too similar to last proposal. Committee trying to come up with something that will satisfy trustees, UFS, and all colleges and universities in SUNY system. Proposal deadline is March 31.

… Central Council - Liz Dance: Budget committee has been working to determine budget for 04-05 school year. It’s almost done. In Albany, we had 5 students there for lobby day. Next Wednesday March 24 will be budget advocacy day in the union. Will be lots of publicity this week. In process of changing constitution for first time since 1978, please encourage students to vote before Friday. We need 1000 students to vote.

Committee Reports

… Faculty Affairs Committee - Rosanne Hartman: Meeting today at 4:00 to talk about report from faculty roles and rewards committee.

… Graduate Affairs - Dale Metz: Meeting next Tuesday during all college hour for proposals from school of ed.

… Policy Committee - Harold Hoops: Policy committee considering two issues: 1. request to put disclaimer in syllabi for handicapped 2. Policy for people who speak English as second language for extra time on exams?

… UCC - Cynthia Klima: Meeting today at 4:00 in language lab

… Student Affairs Committee - Michael Lynch: Meeting tomorrow to continue discussion of how to respond to issues of hate and bias on campus

Old Business

New Business

Freeman: Proposed change in By-Laws regarding the selection procedure for faculty representation on the CAS Board of Directors (see page165, Senate Bulletin 16). SUNY board of trustees adopted new guidelines for auxiliary services corps such as CAS, one of the rules was that faculty representatives must be appointed by faculty governance. This proposal is to make sure things are done by the books. Idea to still let CAS come up with nominees but have it be approved by senate and voted on by entire faculty in election run by senate.

Only full time teaching faculty eligible to serve. Appointments will come from senate—that’s why emphasis on role of chair and executive committee.

Where to put in constitution? Freeman thinks best place is in the bylaws. If executive committee votes to approve, then we have to wait one month before election. Still possible to get done this semester.

Carries

Minutes: Faculty Affairs Committee Meeting, March 16, 2004

Bearden, J., Bicket, D., Everett, T., Fletcher, K., Hannam, K., Hartman, R., Johnson, D., Pretzer, R., Tze-Ki, H., Youssef, C.

Guests: Dr. Mary Ellen Zuckerman & Dr. David Geiger, Co-Chairs of the Task Force on Faculty Roles, Rewards, and Evaluation

1. Old Business:

a. Calendar changes

2. New Business

a. Discussion of the President’s Task Force on Faculty Roles, Rewards, and Evaluation Progress Report

b. Dr. Zuckerman and Dr. Geiger were interested in receiving feedback from members of the committee- more specifically regarding the preliminary recommendations found on page 3 of the report.

Issues under Discussion:

1. It was noted there was no discussion in the report concerning faculty rewards. This is an area still under discussion by the Task Force Subcommittee on Faculty Rewards.

2. Peer Review Observations: Discussion began with concerns about the proposed requirement of including all written documentation of peer review observations. Three main topics were discussed:

a. the time element imposed on faculty to formally write the peer reviews

b. the possibility reviewers may alter what they say in a peer review observation. Examples were given where some departments synthesize the peer reviews and send forward one report which includes ideas from all the peer observations.

c. general concerns were expressed that the list of recommendations on pp 13-14 were too extensive and that all but one point stated something “must” be done rather than “should” be done. This severely limits department flexibility, initiative and ability to respond to department related issues.

3. The movement from SOFI forms to the IDEA forms. Questions were raised about the proposed changes in distributing the teaching evaluation forms. Would it create more work for faculty having to coordinate with other faculty members the distribution of the forms? Is there a real need to change the current process? The focus of the discussion was on taxing faculty with more work when faculty members are already asked to do a great deal.

In general, members of the committee felt the IDEA form may provide better information about student perceptions of teaching. Members also felt that using a more reliable and valid tool was a positive move. In general, the committee felt a shorter version of the IDEA form would avoid respondent fatigue. It was also suggested that the committee consider the online version of the IDEA form. This would remove the problem of distribution although response rate may be affected. It was suggested the committee look at the possibility of distributing the forms at a different time of the semester. Students are often stressed during the last two weeks of the semester which may factor into their faculty reviews. Finally, it was suggested students be made more aware of the importance of the faculty review forms, especially with the weight the student teaching evaluations have in the promotion and tenure process.

4. Mention of the difficulty in developing a college-wide rubric to assess contribution of faculty to a discipline. Committee members expressed concern about any proposed rubric using a universal index that would enumerate values for types of research/creative activity across disciplines. Such a comparative endeavor may lead to unfavorable comparison across departments that could potentially be used against departments. The use of a universal index might unduly influence research activities. Faculty may focus their limited time pursuing activities with a higher number value. Generally, the committee felt such a system would be problematic.

5. Discussion occurred about recommendation #3 listed on pp 3 of the report: “…each department should develop clearly defined expectations of faculty for contract renewal, continuing appointment and promotion.” Some members felt quantifying the expectations would probably not be useful. Instead examples of past precedent would be helpful and allow departments to be flexible based on the candidate strengths.

The Task Force on Faculty Roles, Rewards, and Evaluation plan on completing their charge by fall, 2004. The recommendations are expected to be presented to the College Senate at that time.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Rosanne Hartman,

Chairperson, Faculty Affairs

Minutes: Graduate Academic Affairs Committee, March 23, 2004

Members Present: Dalton-Ferris, K., Jassawalla, A., Kirkwood, J., Landes, S., Metz, D. (Chair), Mounts, J., Sutherland, M.

Guest: Burwood, S.

GAAC met on March 23, 2004 to discuss two Master of Science in Education program revisions and two related course modifications that are designed to conform to the New York State Education Department’s revised guidelines for certification. The programs and courses are listed below. Steven Burwood answered several questions committee members had regarding the proposed program and course modifications. Following the question and answer period, GAAC voted unanimously to approve the two program modifications and the two course modifications.

The committee also voted unanimously to propose to the senate that the first reading of the program and course modifications be waived. Waiving the first reading would allow the School of Education to implement the proposed changes prior to the start of next academic year.

I. Major Program Revision

Master of Science in Education with Specialization in Social Studies:

Adolescence Certification (7-12)

Students who complete this program are eligible for New York State professional certification for teaching Social Studies at the Adolescent level. Each student’s program will have the following components: (1) Core areas of study in the nature of learning, philosophical and psychological foundations of education, school and society, methods of research and the nature of secondary education (13 credit hours); (2) Specialization in the content knowledge of the social sciences (e.g., history, geography, anthropology, economics, sociology, political science, psychology) (12 credit hours); (3) Electives under advisement (6 credit hours); (4) Capstone Seminar and Research Project (3 credit hours). Admission Requirements: Students must have completed the basic undergraduate courses required for the baccalaureate in the academic area of the social sciences in which they are seeking certification. Applicants also must have met requirements for initial certification in secondary education social studies prior to entering the program, as well as admission requirements of the College. Credentials of applicants are reviewed by the School of Education.

Ia. Course Revision

INTD 597; Interdepartmental Seminar in Social Studies

Considers the interdependence of the social sciences and demonstrates the value of social science theory, pedagogy, and research. Designed to understand the philosophical underpinnings and evolving goals of social studies education in our rapidly changing world. Attention is given to the development of a teacher as reflective practitioner who will inform his/her own practice and contribute to the profession.

II. Major Program Revision

Master of Science in Education with Specialization in English: Adolescence

Certification (7-12)

Students who complete this program are eligible for New York State professional certification for teaching English at the Adolescent level. Each student’s program will have the following components: (1) Core areas of study in the nature of learning (philosophical and psychological foundations of education), school and society, methods of research, adolescent literature and studies in English Education; (2) specialization in the content knowledge of English (12 graduate credit hours); (3) a 3-hour elective under advisement (English or education); (4) an action research course, which includes a final action research project. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 must be maintained. Applicants must meet requirements for initial certification in English adolescence education prior to entering the program.

Example for completion of the program in 2 years:

Year 1

First Summer

EDUC 501: Nature of Learning: Philosophical and Psychological Foundations of Education (3 credits)

EDUC 436: Adolescent Literature (3 credits)

Fall Semester

ENGL course (3 credits)

EDUC 503: The School and Society (3 credits)

Spring Semester

ENGL course (3 credits)

Education or English elective (3 credits)

Year 2

Second Summer

EDUC 504: Research Methods (3 credits)

Fall Semester

ENGL course (3 credits)

EDUC 525: Studies in English Education (3 credits)

Spring Semester

ENGL course (3 credits)

CURR 535: Action Research in Reading & Literacy (3 credits) (This course includes a final action research project.)

IIa. Course Revision

Educ 525; Studies in English Education

This course focuses on pedagogical knowledge that will enable candidates to assist learners in understanding and responding to the content knowledge of literature, reading, and writing. In addition to texts, candidates will explore the role of media and technology in assisting learners to acquire understanding and skill in the English language arts. Candidates also will evaluate approaches to assessment that enable teachers and students to assess learning outcomes. As candidates integrate knowledge gained from content courses in English, they will consider strategies for creating active learning environments that promote respect for ethnic, racial, language, cultural, gender, and learning differences.

Minutes of the College Senate Meeting, March 23, 2004

Attending: Anderson, D., Annala, C., Bailey, S., Bazzett, T., Bearden, J., Bicket, D., Boiani, J., Brainard, S., Coloccia, E., Cope, J., Everett, T., Faulkner, C., Fletcher, K., Freed, W., Freeman, C., Gillin, E., Gordon, D., Gouvernet, G., Granger, D., Hannam, K., Hartman, R., Hartvigsen, G., Hon, T., Hoops, H., Hursh, K., Iyer, S. Jassawalla, A., Johnson, D., Klima, C., Kline, A., Landes, S., Levison, K., Lima, M., Lunch, M., Metz, D., Mounts, J., Norris, D., Over, J., Owens, B., Pretzer, R., Putman, E., Rowley, C., Savellos, E., Schwartz, S., Stanley, A., Sullivan, D., Sutherland, M., Tamura, Y., Tang, Jasmine, Towsley, G., Weibel, A., Young, R., Bock, E., Enam, S., Esch, M., Hyman, J., Nash, B., Principe, J., Reilly, C., Shenoy, A., Swift, S., Truglia, C., Youssef, C., Remy, J. Guests: LaManna, G., Maia, A., Chen, X., Spicka, E. Burwood, S.

Call to Order

Adoption of the Agenda

p. 164 Senate Bulletin 16--approved

Approval of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

p. 156, Senate Bulletin 15--approved

Senate Reports

Provost David Gordon: 1. Geneseo is in early stages of discussion of a joint degree program with foreign universities. SUNY central administration wants us to join other campuses that are participating. Would involve us partnering with university in Turkey or Mexico—students from those universities would do half their requirements at Geneseo. Still several years away from being implemented. Would only involve one or two programs. Have already made contact with international programs in Mexico.

J. Hyman: is there a difference from study abroad?

Gordon: They would get a degree from Geneseo as well as their own school. 2. SUNY Provost’s office has initiated second round of mission review. We will be responding to questions from provost about our programming and will come to agreement about goals for the future. Tentatively due this summer. 3. Middle States accreditation—periodic review due in ’06. Will need to put a committee together soon. 4. NCATE accreditation in school of ed., preparing for Feb. ’05 visit. NCATE consultant on campus today meeting with school of ed. Program reviews in individual departments also occurring. By end of next year we will have completed two rounds of program review—this round even better than the first one. Responding to reviews in first round.

Chair Charles Freeman: 1. Elections are underway—should have received ballots. All members of administrative and teaching faculty are eligible. Elections close Friday March 26. 2. There will be another round of elections to vote on whether or not to adopt addition to faculty constitution bylaws re: elections to CAS board. New proposal (p. 165 bulletin 16) would have CAS board solicit nominations, bring nominations to all college meeting, open up for further nominations, close nominations, and then senate would run the elections. All members of teaching and administrative faculty eligible to vote on the proposed addition to the faculty constitution bylaws. Ballots will be sent out during the week of April 5, elections will close on April 23. 3. Accepting nominations for Richard Roark award for student who has shown outstanding scholarship and community service. Nominations due April 1.

Vice Chair Gregg Hartvigsen: no report

Treasurer Errol Putman: Senate fund: $317.11, Richard Roark principal: $2002.02, income: $704.51

University Senator William Gohlman: University-wide campus-based assessment committee has met and has developed a new assessment proposal that calls for campus-based assessment. Copy sent out on faculty listserv. New proposal states there is no need for additional layer of system wide assessment programs, calls for modification to GEAR guidelines. Please pass on comments to Charlie or Bill. Will be voted up or down at University Faculty Senate meeting on April 22-24 in Syracuse. Additional information on assessment available at www.geneseo.edu/~senate (click on link to assessment info).

Central Council Liz Dance: SA constitutional referendum is ongoing—voting on knightweb. Tomorrow is budget advocacy day in union lobby—please encourage students to attend.

S. Bailey: Faculty and staff should have received announcement about Phi Beta Kappa nominations—please read and offer your recommendations.

Reports of the Standing Committees of the Senate

Undergraduate Curricula Cynthia Klima

Second Readings

New Courses: (approved)

COMN 391, Seminar: Issues in Communication (p. 150)

Course Revisions: (all approved)

CDSC 310 Literacy Development (p. 149)

CDSC 330 Clinical Intervention I (p. 149)

CDSC 331 Clinical Intervention II (p. 149)

GEOG 371 Synoptic Climatology (p. 151)

GEOG 250 American Landscapes, add U/ Core (p. 151)

Course Deletions: (all approved)

COMN 301 Topics in Journalism: (subtitle) (p. 151)

COMN 351 Issues in Political Communication: (subtitle) (p. 151)

COMN 364 Seminar: Issues & Problems in Broadcasting (p. 151)

Major Revisions: (all approved)

Communication BA (p. 150)

Geography BA (p. 151)

International Relations BA proposal 1 (p. 152)

International Relations BA proposal 2 (p. 152)

Next UCC meeting is March 30 4 pm Welles 210 (language lab). If your dept. does not have rep on UCC committee send rep when comm. considering course proposals from your dept.

Undergraduate Policies Harold Hoops: no report

Graduate Academic Affairs Dale Metz:

Second Reading: New Course: ACCT 510 (p. 125)--approved

Student Affairs Michael Lynch: 1. recently submitted proposal to policy committee re: syllabi insertion re: students with learning disabilities. 2. proposal for first year seminar approved on student health and safety

Faculty Affairs Rosanne Hartman: met last Tuesday to hear report from Geiger and Zuckerman re: faculty roles and rewards—minutes will be in next bulletin.

Old Business

Resolution on Senate Response to Swastikas found on Campus (see Executive Committee

Minutes, Bulletin 14, p. 147)

Freeman: any discussion?

J. Remy: friendly amendment: “now a symbol”, and capitalize “further resolved”

Students: ask whether adding “now” doesn’t lessen impact of swastika. Hyman: was it always called a swastika.

Another friendly amendment “swastika, a symbol of racial oppression”

Freeman: let’s discuss first amendment first—amendment fails

Darrell Norris: friendly amendment “remains a symbol of”

Lima: friendly amendment: “and has been used”

Freeman: amendment passes

S. Iyer: friendly amendment: “as used by”

Student: Germans used it as symbol in WWI as well.

J. Hyman: essence of sentence remains

Freeman: amendment passes

T. Everett: amendment: add “and discord”

E. Gillin: speaking respectfully against amendment, but remembering how careful President Dahl was to speak about delicacy of motion like this in an academic situation where we don’t want to stifle free speech and dissent. Disturbed by statement that we don’t want to have discord.

Lynch: doesn’t know that discord is bad thing—creates environment for discussion and problem solving.

Everett: better word than discord? “unreasonable discord” or “destructive discord”

Hartivgsen: “resulting discord”

Freeman: motion fails

Everett: second amendment: “denounces actions taken by anyone for any reason that impose such hateful symbols on our campus”

D. Baker communication: would this dencounce faculty members who use swastikas in class to make an intellectual point

Everett: I think that’s the point of getting rid of the word display vs. impose

Baker: faculty can impose symbol on student

D. Norris: has slides that features southern states cooperative, which uses the symbol.

J. Remy: this amendment unnecessary b/c set up in preamble that we denounce use as a hateful symbol.

Freeman: motion fails. Back to main motion. Any discussion on overall resolution

Everett: amendment: “taken by any individuals for any reason”

J. Hyman: sentence doesn’t balance now

Freeman: amendment fails

Everett: “regardless of motivation”

Freeman: amendment passes

Levison: Call to question

Freeman: Debate closed, will now vote as printed:

WHEREAS the swastika remains a symbol of racial and religious

oppression, as used by the Nazi party and other contemporary hate groups

as an emblem of anti-Semitism;

WHEREAS the presence of these symbols on our campus may create a climate

of insecurity and vulnerability for members of the Geneseo community;

and therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the College Senate recognizes the rights of all members

of this community to live and learn on a campus free from intimidation

and harassment; and

RESOLVED, That the College Senate denounces the recent actions taken by

individuals, regardless of motivation, which display hateful symbols

across campus; and

RESOLVED, That the College Senate applauds the efforts of the students,

faculty and staff who, in the wake of these incidents, have participated

in activities designed to bring about constructive dialogue and a

greater understanding of the issues pertaining to this matter.

Motion carries.

New Business

Lima: SA, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Wayne Hall Council, and Inter-Residence Council sponsoring “One College, One Community, One World” on April 5 tell students to participate. Those who participate should wear something that says Geneseo and “Stand UP” during the April 5 on college green at 2:15.

J. Remy: petitions are circulating regarding teacher certification—want five years for masters. Please return petitions.

Adjournment

Minutes of the Undergraduate Curriculum Meeting, March 30, 2004

Present: Cynthia Klima (Chair), Ed Spicka (Guest), Isidro Bosch, Annaliese Weibel, Darrell Norris, Xiao Chen, Joe Cope, Zhiming Zhao, Bob Owens, SueAnn Brainard, Kathleen Hursh, Gary Towsley, Olympia Nicodemi

Excused: Amy Stanley, Anna Kline, Denise Sullivan

Absent: Steve Swift

Our meeting began at 4:05pm. The Committee discussed a variety of proposals. Waving the first reading of the proposals was discussed and it was pointed out that B.S. in Biology, being a program change, would not be able to have its first reading waved. It was agreed that waving the first reading would be in the interest of the Committee in order to lessen work being passed over into Fall 2004. One proposal in Political Science is being returned for further clarification; otherwise, all other proposals passed in the course of the meeting. We adjourned at 4:25 pm. There is no future meeting scheduled; however, there could be and Committee members should watch their e-mail for any announcements.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Klima

UCC Chair

UCC Proposal Summaries

Full versions of these proposals are available on by clicking on the Curriculum Information link on the Senate home page, http://www.geneseo.edu/~senate.

BIOL 250 – Biological Data Analysis (new course)

Rationale: The Biology Department would like to add BIOL 250, Biological Data Analysis, to the menu of courses satisfying the Computer Science/Statistics requirement for the BS degree in Biology. This course fulfills the purpose of the requirement which is to provide students with the “tools” needed to collect, manage, and analyze scientific data. The course was not included in the original list of courses because it was developed after the requirement was put in place.

B.S. in Biology – Adding Biology 250 – Biological Data Analysis as a choice under related requirements (revised major-requirements)

Rationale: The Biology Department would like to add Biol 250, Biological Data Analysis, to the menu of courses satisfying the Computer Science/Statistics requirement for the BS degree in Biology. This course fulfills the purpose of the requirement which is to provide students with the “tools” needed to collect, manage, and analyze scientific data. The course was not included in the original list of courses because it was developed after the requirement was put in place.

BIOL 312 – Aquatic Community Ecology (new course)

Rationale: The proposed course, Aquatic Community Ecology, will complement our department’s offerings in ecology (e.g. Principles of Ecology, Population and Community Ecology, Environmental Management) and provide additional opportunities for students to participate in field-oriented activities. The “laboratory” component will make use of local freshwater habitats that are not fully accessible during the spring and fall. Students also have an opportunity to gain first hand knowledge of the marine environment and to work for one week in the dynamic setting of a marine laboratory. Our department formerly taught a course titled Limnology (freshwater biology). The proposed course fills some of the gaps left by the cancellation of Limnology and also provides a more contemporary perspective of ecological problems in the aquatic sciences.

MATH 348 – Oral Presentation and Research Seminar (new course)

Rationale: The course is designed help students develop the skills necessary for effective research and presentation in the discipline. Students taking this course will meet SUNY oral and research requirements.

PLSC 339 – The American Founders (new course)

Rationale: This course provides the theoretical foundations of the American regime. It will enable students to understand the source of legal and political controversies of public life and Supreme Court opinions.

PLSC 322 – WAS Plsc 242 – Human Rights in a Global Perspective TO Plsc 322 – Human Rights (revised course – title/desc/prereq/# change)

Rationale: The re-numbering of the course reflects the Comparative Methodological approach to the course, which also necessitates the addition of the PLSC 120 pre-requisite to ensure students have been exposed to Comparative theory and methodology. The course description has been altered to more accurately reflect the course focus, which has moved from a focus on regional and institutional areas to more issue-oriented and theoretical concerns.

PLSC 399 – Independent Study (new course)

Rationale: Students and faculty periodically desire to complete an independent study. This will allow them to do so.

PLSC 320 – Theories of Comparative Politics (new course)

Rationale: The course will cover prominent areas of comparative politics that are not specifically addressed in other course offerings. The course will serve as a comprehensive methodological and theoretical “capstone” for Comparative Politics, much in the way PLSC 345, Theories of International Relations, does for International Relations. As a result, the course will provide symmetry between the two subfields.

PLSC 326– Terrorism and National Security (new course)

Rationale: Given the wide-ranging impact of terrorism on states and societies, this course will be an important addition to the Department’s curriculum taught by an acknowledged expert on the subject matter. The course was successfully taught as an Experimental Class in Spring 2003, demonstrating sufficient demand. The course will fulfill both Comparative Politics and International Relations 300-level requirements within the Political Science Major, and will be included in the Developing World and War and Peace Tracks of the International Relations Major.

PLSC 215 – Community, State, & Regional Politics FROM: Offered once yearly TO Offered when demand is sufficient (revised course – rotation)

Rationale: Due to staffing course cannot be offered yearly, as currently stated.

PLSC 213 – Change title to: Political and American National Elections (revised course – title change, syllabus, description)

Rationale: Literature on American public opinion reviewed in PLSC 311 (Mass Media and Public Opinion). PLSC will continue to examine American elections, and expanded to review electoral as well as nonelectoral forms of political participation

PLSC 346 – Global Issues (new course)

Rationiale: In 2003 the Department decided to give greater coherence and focus to the major by limiting the “capstone” options to two courses: the existing PLSC 345 Theories of International Relations and the restructured Global Issues. Students with more interest in theoretical issues may choose the former, those with greater interest in policy issues may choose the latter. The conversion of PLSC 388 Experimental: Global Issues into a regular course completes this revision of the program.

PSYC 365 – Clinical Psychology – add Psyc 260 to the prerequisites required (revised course – prereq.)

Rationale: An understanding of basic concepts about abnormal psychology is an important prerequisite for the study of clinical assessment and treatment procedures. The Psychology Department has not previously included Psyc 360 Abnormal Psychology as a prerequisite for Psyc 365 Clinical Psychology, primarily because both were offered at the 300-level. However, the Department has now redesigned Psyc 360 to a 200-level course that can provide an introduction to the fundamental bases for the field of Clinical Psychology

PSYC 366 – Developmental Psychopathology – prerequisites to read: Any two courses from among Psyc 215, Psyc 216, and Psyc 260. (revised course – prereq.)

Rationale: One of the current pre-requisites for this course is Psyc 360 Abnormal Psychology. Psyc 360 has been changed to a 200-level course. Because the developmental courses (Psyc 215 and 216) are extremely helpful in providing the fundamental background for Psyc 366, a choice of both developmental courses, rather than one of these plus Psyc 260, is appropriate.

THEA 250 – Creative Dramatics (delete course)

Rationale: Thea. 250 Creative Dramatics, which is offered on a two year rotation and which garners a small enrollment, currently is taught by an adjunct instructor whose primary teaching assignments are Thea. 100 Introduction to Theatre and Thea. 220 Speech for the Theatre, the former course serving as many as 225 general education students and the latter being an essential component of any theatre program, whether B.A. or B.F.A.

Creative Dramatics, formerly known as Creative Dramatics for Children, became a part of Theatre’s curriculum many years ago when the faculty was larger and included a specialist, Alice Austin, in that area of the discipline. Because the adjunct instructor is the only member of the current faculty who is qualified to teach the course, a full-time member must replace the adjunct in Thea. 100 when Thea. 250 is offered, a consequence of which is that the full-time person cannot teach a course required in the major without carrying an overload. Because Thea. 250 is not a required member of either the major or minor program, nor is it essential to the concentration, SOPA proposes its deletion, replacing it with Thea. 204 F/M Asian Theatre Survey and/or Danc. 211 M/Cultural Dance of Asian Peoples in the concentration curriculum.

THEA 325 – Theatre Management (delete course)

Rationale: Thea. 325 is a remnant of a former curriculum, almost of B.F.A. proportions, that engaged a faculty larger than our current one. The course is not required in the current major, minor or concentration because it is not particularly appropriate for our smaller curriculum, which is more centered on liberal arts education than on professional development.

Cover Letter From Joe Hildreth, President of UFS, regarding Campus-Based Assessment Committee Minutes

March 22, 2004

Dear Colleagues,

The attached minutes were revised and approved by the Campus-based Assessment Committee during our meeting last Friday afternoon, 3/19/04. It was considered to be essential for the large, System committee to approve the minutes before they were widely distributed. The basic components of the new proposal are contained in my summary near the end of the minutes. The new proposal evolved by meeting faculty concerns toward assessment. Additional documents will be distributed to you within the next couple of days, however, the basic plan components are contained in these minutes. This new assessment proposal will only revise the existing campus-based assessment plans in three learning areas.

The entire plan will be debated and voted up or down during our Spring Plenary Meeting at Upstate Medical on April 22-24, 2004.

Best wishes,

Joe

Minutes: Campus-Based Assessment Committee Meeting, March 10, 2004

11:00-2:30

System Administration – Board Room

Kimberley Reiser, Joe Hildreth, Achim Koedderman, Patricia Francis, Robert Golden, Stephanie Gross, Thomas Finch, Jim Schofield, Don Steven, Daniel Hayes, Scott Shannon, Doug Jones, Wayne Fulks, Andrea Rubin, Karen Spellacy, Marvin LaHood, Norm Goodman, Ted Skotnicki, Bob Jubenville

Via conference call: Doug Sanders, Carol Eaton, Ken O’Brien, Peter Knuepfer

Review of Chancellor King’s Proposal

Kimberley Reiser opened the meeting by explaining the purpose of the committee and referred to the following APPCC motion, which states: “The APPCC strongly recommends that a true University-wide committee be formed with broad representation and a reasonable calendar to address strengthened campus-based assessment.” She then referenced Chancellor King’s letter of November 5, 2003 in which he invited the faculty to develop an assessment proposal based on the following four points.

1. An assessment framework for determining the growth in learning achieved by SUNY undergraduates in the building blocks of general education.

This framework should consist of a set of instruments administered at two points in time: close to the student’s entry to the institution and at some later date when the student has completed this learning. The designated measures should include “externally referenced measures” — which I will interpret as either nationally or SUNY-normed — in addition to those already in place in campus plans. This, in my view, meets the goal for accountability.

2. A survey instrument that will provide for an understanding of the indicators that reflect the campus academic environment.

3. An analysis of the relationship between academic assessment results and these environmental influences.

4. An indication of how individual campus plans will be folded into the GEAR approval process, including the specific criteria that GEAR will use in approving them.

Joe Hildreth explained that the building blocks of general education referred to in point number one, are the learning areas of writing, critical thinking, information management, mathematics and the methods scientists and social scientists use. In addition, he mentioned that the survey instrument mentioned in point number 2 could be the National Survey of Student Engagement or the Community College Survey of Student Engagement which is currently being used by several of our campuses.

Background Statements

Kimberley Reiser discussed and distributed a document entitled: “A University-wide Assessment Chronology”, from the Faculty Council of Community Colleges. It began with the June 17, 2003 Board of Trustees resolution calling for the implementation of a System-wide assessment. She noted that over half of the community colleges have deliberated on the Chancellor’s revised proposal. To date 19 of 20 community colleges do not support the revised proposal. Nonetheless, representatives of the Faculty Council have joined the University-wide committee to discuss the strengthened campus- based assessment.

Joe Hildreth presented the University Faculty Senate background statement on assessment. The assessment issue began with the discovery in 1999 of a request for an across-the-board national test for the twelve learning outcomes of the SUNY General Education requirement. He stated that the UFS passed three resolutions which opposed University-wide assessment.

The following faculty concerns toward University-wide assessment were the basis for this opposition. Faculty are opposed to:

1. The public reporting of assessment data. This could embarrass and harm institutions.

2. The standardization of the curriculum. We value diversity and feel that is one indicator of a great university.

3. Another layer of assessment. Campuses in good faith developed a campus-based assessment plan. One more layer is not necessary.

4. Value-added assessment. Assessment is expensive enough without having to double the cost by assessing twice.

5. Another unfunded mandate. Campus budges are already stretched to the limit. We simply do not have the resources to add another assessment layer.

6. High stakes assessment.

7. Campus budgets being tied to assessment results.

Don Steven presented the System Administration position. He said that it has always been the goal to move assessment forward together, that is faculty and System Administration, through consensus. The Chancellor has said that if the committee proposal met his expectations and has the support of faculty governance, he would be willing to consider revisions to the June 17 resolution. The approach now is to address the issue in terms of strengthened campus based assessment and he indicated that the Chancellor’s points were based on the structure of Truman State University’s nationally-recognized assessment plan, which he distributed at the meeting. (Professor Koedderman added that he did not agree with this comparison.). Don Steven indicated that he felt that the committee should try to make every effort to develop a shared effort of what it wants to see.

Kimberley Reiser discussed trustee involvement in the meeting. It was noted that Kimberley Reiser and Joe Hildreth asked that four trustees be invited and Joe Hildreth forwarded the names to the Secretary of the University. The committee thought it was important to have the trustees involved. After consultations and discussions, System Administration felt that this might not be helpful at this time.

Proposal Components

The group discussed how the revised campus plans could be folded into the GEAR process. It was agreed that the proposal would contain this component. It was also stated that no additional System layer should be added. The group felt that campuses should provide an analysis of the assessment results.

Samples of the National Survey of Student Engagement and Community College Survey of Student Engagement were distributed and discussed. The group felt either of these surveys or a revised, extended Student Opinion Survey or similar measures could be used to provide a context for understanding campus assessment results.

Value-added Assessment

Value-added was understood to mean two separate measurements taken of the same learning area. The assessment would occur at different points in time. After some discussion it was determined that value-added assessment could be an option.

Assessment of the Building Blocks of General Education Using External Measures

After considerable discussion it was decided that the learning areas of Information Management and the methods scientists and social scientists use could be dropped. Don Steven suggested revising the GEAR guidelines to focus on the areas of Writing, Critical Thinking and Mathematics. There was discussion regarding the relevance of Information Management and it was decided to focus on only Writing, Critical Thinking and Mathematics. Regarding the concept of ‘externally-referenced measures’, there was agreement that there needs to be a flexible interpretation of external reference and that GEAR itself may not have the specific expertise to be the external reference. What is needed is the inclusion of nationally-referenced measures, or the correlation of campus measures with nationally-normed or SUNY-normed measures. In the latter event, GEAR would rely on subcommittees with special expertise in these areas. There would only need to be a couple of changes in the guidelines to address the revised process. Don and Patty will identify the revisions to the GEAR guidelines and let the committee know. Stephanie Gross asked that a student be involved in GEAR in the future.

The group also agreed that language which safeguards the reporting of data should be included in the proposal.

Joe Hildreth summarized the assessment proposal components as follows:

 

1. The existing campus-based plan will only be revised. There will not be a second System-based layer.

2. An instrument such as the National Survey of Student Engagement, the Community College Survey of Student Engagement, a revised, extended Student Opinion Survey or similar measures will be used to understand the campus academic climate and how that might relate to the assessment results.

3. A campus-based analysis of the assessment results, which could use information from the NSSE or CCSSE, will be incorporated into campus procedures.

4. The assessment of the building blocks of General Education—for campuses using a “level of achievement” approach—will use externally referenced measures. Various options for doing this will provide real flexibility for campuses.

5. Only the learning outcomes in three areas will be assessed incorporating external measures. These areas are writing, critical thinking, and mathematics.

6. Value-added assessment (two measurements of the same learning area given at different points in time) will be optional.

7. System Administration will cover the cost of all externally referenced measures or surveys for a representative sample.

8. The proposed policy will contain language which will safeguard the publication of raw assessment data.

Achim Koedderman pointed out that, in the spirit of the Faculty Senate resolution of April 29, 2000, campus plans should incorporate active faculty and student participation in the development and choice of externally referenced measures.

Following Joe’s summary, there was a spontaneous round of applause from the committee.

Minutes from this meeting will be sent to this committee for approval. After approval, they will be sent to the Senators and CGLs and others as identified by Kimberley Reiser, Joe Hildreth and Don Steven.


Letter From Joe Hildreth, President of UFS, regarding changes to GEAR Process Guidelines

March 22, 2004

Dear Colleagues,

Attached to this memo are two documents (Strengthened Campus-based Assessment Summary and Proposed Revisions to the GEAR Review Process Guidelines) from the Campus-based Assessment Committee. The 30 person committee consisted of representatives from each Sector of the University. Since the group decided to propose a revision the existing campus-based assessment plans, the required changes to the GEAR Review Process Guidelines are minimal (the changes are underlined).

The University Faculty Senate will debate and discuss the proposed assessment plan during our Spring Plenary Meeting on April 22-24, 2004. Consequently, I urge you to distribute the attached documents as widely as possible. The Summary attempts to present the components of the proposed plan in a clear and straightforward manner in order to communicate as effectively as possible. In addition, I will be available to answer questions that your campus might have on the issue. It is very important that our colleagues are fully informed in order for our April debate to occur in a manner that is characteristic of the Faculty Senate.

I hope all of you will be able to attend our Spring Plenary at Upstate Medical in Syracuse where a decision on this important issue will be made.

Best wishes,

Joe Hildreth, President

University Faculty Senate


Strengthened Campus-based Assessment

Summary

Background

It is not the intent of this summary to retrace the University’s many efforts over the years to develop a high quality assessment program. As we all know, colleagues have been engaged for a long time in serious and conscientious efforts to develop a State University Assessment Initiative that represents both “best assessment practices” and our own “best thinking.” We can be very proud of what has been accomplished to date.

In its final report, the Provost’s Advisory Task Force on the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes underscored its belief that assessment serves two complementary functions in higher education today: ‘Assessment as improvement’ and ‘Assessment as accountability,’ and that both of these functions have an appropriate place in the SUNY Assessment Initiative and can strengthen the University’s institutions and the System as a whole.

In recent years, we have struggled to try to find a way to address both of these goals in a way that faculty and stakeholders agree meets their concerns and expectations. After many attempts, we believe that we have discovered an approach that is based on good assessment practice, that addresses our faculty’s many legitimate concerns, and that meets System goals as expressed by the Chancellor.

The Elements of a Proposal

We believe that proposal for a strengthened campus-based assessment process could be structured as follows:

  1. Existing campus-based assessment plans need only be revised and incorporated in the proven and ongoing GEAR process. There would be no need for a second, System layer of assessment.
  2. Only the learning outcomes in three foundational areas: Mathematics, Basic Communication (Written), and Critical Thinking (Reasoning), should be assessed incorporating external measures[1] and the assessment of these “building blocks” of general education could be done in various ways that would provide real flexibility for campuses.
  3. An instrument such as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), or a revised, extended Student Opinion Survey (or similar measures) could be used to understand the campus academic climate and how that might relate to the assessment results. This analysis of assessment results could be incorporated into campus procedures.
  4. System Administration should cover the cost of all externally referenced measures and surveys for a representative sample of students.
  5. Value-added assessment should be optional.
  6. The proposed policy should contain language which will safeguard assessment data from misuse.

Proposed Revisions to the GEAR Guidelines

To incorporate these elements into the GEAR process, very few changes are actually needed:

Re “externally-referenced measures”, to GEAR Criterion #3, add the following:

  • For the learning outcomes in Mathematics, Basic Communication (Written), and Critical Thinking (Reasoning), are externally referenced measures of the campus’s choice — either nationally- or SUNY-normed — included?
  • For campuses opting to attempt to determine the growth in learning achieved by SUNY undergraduates in some or all of general education (“value-added”), is there an adequate description of when measures will be administered and how problems commonly related to pre- and post-testing (e.g., student motivation, attrition) will be controlled?

Every effort has been made to describe “externally referenced measures” in a way that provides for meaningful external referencing while providing maximum flexibility for campuses. Not only will this address the longstanding concern of faculty that no proposal should promote a “one size fits all” approach, but it also renders any attempt to engage in inter-campus comparisons essentially meaningless. Campuses will continue to use their current approved assessment plans for all of the SUNY-GER learning outcomes. For the learning outcomes in the three “building blocks,” there are a number of ways in which campuses can meet the requirement for “externally-referenced” measures: for example, through the use of nationally-normed tests such as the Academic Profile, the California Critical Thinking Skills Test or the Quant-Q, or by using SUNY-normed measures in lieu of nationally-normed measures, using one of two approaches:

 

i. A locally developed instrument that measures the learning outcomes in one or more of these three areas and that is demonstrated to correlate statistically (i.e., have concurrent validity) with nationally-normed measures.

ii. A locally developed instrument that measures the learning outcomes in one or more of these three areas that is reviewed and approved by GEAR. As part of this process, GEAR will rely on discipline-based panels of distinguished SUNY faculty that will develop standards and rubrics campuses may use to assess student performance. Campuses choosing to use their own standards and rubrics must demonstrate to GEAR that their standards and rubrics are essentially equivalent to those developed by the discipline-based panel.

Campuses opting for this approach would be expected to periodically provide GEAR with samples of student work for each standard of student performance, to be reviewed to ensure ongoing validity and reliability of the measure. Note that it is also possible to combine these approaches: for example, a campus might choose to use the CCTST for Critical Thinking and SUNY-normed measures for Mathematics and Basic Communication (Written).

Re the “campus academic environment”, add a new GEAR Criterion (as #6) to:

  • Ask that “Mechanisms for assessing the campus academic environment are described.”

Re student involvement, to address the need for greater student involvement:

  • Revise GEAR Criterion #7 — related to governance — to require that the plans show evidence of student involvement in the development of revisions to the assessment plan.

Safeguards re the Utilization and Reporting of Assessment Results

To ensure that assessment results are used appropriately, it is essential that this process be guided by a set of principles that will safeguard assessment data, along the following lines:

  • Assessment results will never be used to punish, publicly compare, or embarrass students, faculty, courses, programs, departments, or institutions either individually or collectively.
  • Assessment results will never be used to make public comparisons among groups of students based on gender, race, ethnicity, or other demographic factors. A basic value of the State University is that all students can learn and the University’s programs are intended to provide educational opportunities to students as individuals, not by virtue of their membership within a particular demographic category.
  • Given the vast diversity that exists among SUNY campuses — reflecting their unique missions and constituent groups — the public dissemination of assessment data for accountability purposes will take place only through aggregate reporting for SUNY as a whole and by sector (Doctoral Degree-granting Institutions, Comprehensive Colleges, Colleges of Technology and Community Colleges). Campus-specific assessment data will be used for confidential in-house discussions as part of the ongoing improvement process, whether between faculty and administrators on a particular campus or between campus representatives and System Administration officials.
  • Faculty support for, and participation in this initiative is predicated on the responsible and collegial adherence to these principles.

Costs

The costs of the purchase and scoring of nationally-normed measures[2] — as well as for the NSSE or CCSSE — should be paid for by System Administration for State-operated/funded institutions and community colleges, based on a sample size of up to 20% of the undergraduate student body on a three-year cycle.

Next Steps

System Administration has indicated that its goal is to move assessment forward through consensus and the Chancellor has said that if a faculty proposal met his expectations and has the support of governance, he would be willing to consider revisions to the June 17 Board resolution.

 


Proposed Revisions (Spring 2004)

[Note: Changes to the original guidelines are underlined. The Appendix is also new.]

General Education Assessment Review (GEAR) Group

Review Process Guidelines

I. Introduction

The General Education Assessment Review (GEAR) Group has been established upon the recommendation of the Provost’s Advisory Task Force on the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes and has been formed jointly by leadership from the University Faculty Senate, the Community College Faculty Council, System Administration and the Student Assembly.

Comprised primarily of faculty from throughout the University, GEAR also includes students, campus chief academic officers, and campus professional staff (particularly from Institutional Research). GEAR is co-chaired by Dr. Patricia Francis, Professor of Psychology and Executive Assistant to the President at the College at Cortland and Dr. Donald Steven, Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. GEAR’s Web page, which includes a summary of its activities as well as many useful resource and reference materials, may be accessed at http://cortland.edu/oir/gear/.

II. Goals

The GEAR Group’s goal is to work with campuses as they develop and implement their campus-based plans for assessing student learning outcomes in General Education, following the guidelines contained in the Task Force report as well as subsequent discussions involving faculty and campus and System leadership. GEAR intends to function as a resource and a colleague, making itself available to campuses to the extent that they would welcome and in ways that they feel would be helpful, engaging them in a dialogue as they develop and carry out their assessment plans. In its “process review” of campus General Education assessment plans, GEAR will focus exclusively on the campus’s assessment processes and procedures, not the assessment outcomes themselves.

III. Process

Each campus is responsible for determining the particular structure and content of its campus-based General Education assessment plan, following its own existing governance processes.

The task of developing and implementing a campus-based assessment plan for General Education should fall primarily to the faculty members who teach in the program, with the assistance of professional staff and students when appropriate. (Indeed, it may well be the case that on some campuses a full-time staff and/or faculty assessment person may be in a leadership role.) Campus-based assessment plans should be submitted to, and approved by, the campus’s Faculty Senate or Faculty Council prior to being submitted to the GEAR Group for formal review.[3]

GEAR’s Expectations of Campus General Education Assessment Plans

In its initial review of campus assessment plans, the GEAR Group will use eight nine criteria in evaluating a plan’s comprehensiveness and rigor. In addition to reflecting widely recognized best assessment practices in higher education, these criteria are consistent with the general guidelines included in the Task Force Report and subsequent discussions, the expectations for assessment of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and regulations proposed by the New York State Education Department as part of its Quality Assurance Initiative in Higher Education.

In its initial review, the GEAR Group will seek to ascertain for each campus plan that:

  1. The objectives for student learning in General Education relate directly to the student learning outcomes defined in the Implementation Guidelines of the Provost’s Advisory Task Force on General Education.[4] The GEAR Group is likely to agree that this criterion is met if all outcomes from the Implementation Guidelines are reflected in the campus’ statement of General Education learning objectives for its program. (It is important to note that campuses may also include additional learning objectives that are specific to their own program.)

  1. Programmatic activities intended to accomplish the campus’ objectives for student learning in General Education are described. The GEAR Group is likely to agree that this criterion is met by the campus providing GEAR with its guidelines or procedures for designating courses as General Education courses.

  1. The measures developed to assess student learning are designed to provide credible evidence of the extent to which students have achieved the learning outcomes or skills stated in the objectives. The GEAR Group is likely to agree that this criterion is met if, for each learning objective, appropriate assessment measures have been established for determining the degree to which students have mastered the objective. In judging the appropriateness of a specific measure, the GEAR Group will rely on answers to the following questions:

  1.  
    • Will it directly measure student learning (i.e., as differentiated from the perception that learning has taken place)?
    • Will it measure the objective it is intended to measure (i.e., will it have reasonable face validity)?
    • Will the plan provide assurances that the measure is reliable, particularly with respect to the ability of two independent scorers to rate it similarly (i.e., will it have inter-observer reliability)? While this issue is less important for objective measures (e.g., multiple choice exams), it is critical for qualitative approaches (e.g., portfolios), which do not yield “one correct answer.”
    • For the learning outcomes in Mathematics, Basic Communication (Written), and Critical Thinking (Reasoning), are externally referenced measures of the campus’s choice—either nationally- or SUNY-normed[5]—included?
    • Will the data that are reported be representative? It may not be feasible for campuses to assess all students on a particular measure, nor is it necessary. The campus assessment plan should therefore make it clear how representative sampling of students will be assured when collecting assessment data.
    • For campuses opting to attempt to determine the growth in learning achieved by SUNY undergraduates in some or all of general education (“value-added”), is there an adequate description of when measures will be administered and how problems commonly related to pre- and post-testing (e.g., student motivation, attrition) will be controlled?

  1. The plan proposes standards to which student performance relative to the learning outcomes in the objectives can be compared. The GEAR Group is likely to agree that this criterion is met if campus assessment plans include, for each learning objective, the standard defining what level of student performance the faculty considers as “exceeding,” “meeting,” “approaching,” and “not meeting” standards.

  1. The anticipated results of the assessment are able to affirm the degree to which the learning objectives have been achieved and thus make it possible to identify areas that need to be addressed in order to improve learning. The GEAR Group is likely to agree that this criterion is met if it is clear from the assessment plan that mechanisms exist for sharing assessment results with appropriate faculty and staff and for making programmatic improvements based on the assessment results (if necessary).

  1. Mechanisms for assessing the campus academic environment are described. The GEAR Group is likely to agree that this criterion is met if it is clear that the assessment plan provides for the periodic administration of a survey that yields indicators reflecting the campus academic environment (e.g. the National Survey of Student Engagement, the Community College Survey of Student Engagement or a revised, extended SUNY Student Opinion Survey or similar instrument.) and a report on what has been learned from the campus’s consideration of the possible relationship between academic assessment results and these environmental influences.

  1. The assessment plan has been reviewed and approved through the appropriate curriculum and faculty governance structures and shows evidence of student involvement in the development of revisions to the assessment plan. The GEAR Group is likely to agree that this criterion is met if the assessment plan includes a section describing the process through which the plan was developed and approved on the campus prior to being shared with the GEAR Group, as well as the efforts made to include students in the process of revising the initial plan.

  1. The plan adheres to the timetable established by the GEAR Group and agreed to by the University Provost. The GEAR Group is likely to agree that this criterion is met if it is clear that the assessment of all of the General Education learning objectives in the Knowledge and Skills Areas and Competencies will be completed takes place within a three-year cycle. (The campus plan should include the schedule for the assessment cycle.)

  1. The assessment process includes provisions for evaluating the assessment process itself and disseminating assessment results to the appropriate campus community. The GEAR Group is likely to agree that this criterion is met if processes are described in the assessment plan for evaluating the assessment process once complete, making changes in the process if necessary, and sharing assessment results with the appropriate campus community.

Initial Review

GEAR will receive and critique campus assessment plans and approve those that meet its expectations for effective assessment; campuses will be advised in writing of revisions that would likely lead to approval, as appropriate. GEAR will place a strong emphasis on the extent to which campuses demonstrate they will use assessment results to improve their General Education programs.

Ongoing Review

After the initial review process, the GEAR Group will review campus General Education assessment plans on a biennial, staggered basis, applying the same criteria as above, with greater emphasis on how campuses are using assessment data to improve their General Education programs.

IV. Reporting

GEAR will establish a clear protocol and a standardized reporting format—consistent with the recommendations of the Provost’s Advisory Task Force on the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes—for campuses to use to report assessment results in General Education to System Administration for the purpose of accountability. This annual report, to be submitted by the Chief Academic Officer at each campus directly to the Office of the Provost, will include specific information on its students’ progress in mastering the learning outcomes outlined in the General Education Implementation Guidelines.[6] System Administration will use these data—in accord with the Utilization and Reporting of Assessment Results principles in the Task Force report—in the preparation of summary reports to external stakeholders for accountability purposes.

V. Summary

The GEAR Group will continue the long tradition of involving existing faculty governance and curriculum review structures on individual State University campuses in the process of assessment. This involvement of SUNY faculty was central in the early 1990’s when the State University was playing a leadership role nationally in the assessment movement, and it has certainly characterized the deliberations of the Task Force on the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes that has provided the raison-d’être for GEAR.

Approved by GEAR: October 16, 2001, updated: December 5, 2003

Proposed revisions, Spring 2004

Appendix

Nationally-normed Measures

There are many nationally-normed measures available that are designed to assess learning outcomes in Mathematics, Basic Communications (Written), and Critical Thinking (Reasoning). The table below shows a number of examples of some which campuses may find useful:

Discipline

AP

CAAP

CCTST

CRA

QUANT-Q

Mathematics

ü

ü



ü

Basic Communications (Written)

ü

ü




Critical Thinking (Reasoning)

ü

ü

ü

ü

ü

AP Academic Profile, Educational Testing Service (www.ets.org/hea/acpro/)

CAAP Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency, ACT (www.act.org/caap/)

CCTST The California Critical Thinking Skills Test, INSIGHT Assessment

(www.insightassessment.com/test-cra.html)

CRA California Reasoning Appraisal, INSIGHT Assessment (www.insightassessment.com/test-cra.html)

QUANT-Q Quant-Q, INSIGHT Assessment (www.insightassessment.com/test-cra.html)

Costs

The costs of the purchase and scoring of nationally-normed measures—as well as for the National Survey of Student Engagement or the Community College Survey of Student Engagement—will be paid for by System Administration for State-operated/funded institutions and community colleges, based on a sample size of up to 20% of the undergraduate student body on a three-year cycle.

SUNY-normed Measures

Campuses wishing to include SUNY-normed measures in lieu of nationally-normed measures in Mathematics, Basic Communication (Written), and Critical Thinking (Reasoning) may use one of two approaches:

 

  1. A locally developed instrument that measures the learning outcomes in one or more of these three areas and that is demonstrated to correlate statistically (i.e., have concurrent validity) with nationally-normed measures, including those listed above.

  1. A locally developed instrument that measures the learning outcomes in one or more of these three areas that is reviewed and approved by the GEAR Group. As part of this process, GEAR will rely on discipline-based panels of distinguished SUNY faculty that will develop standards and rubrics campuses may use to assess student performance. Campuses choosing to use their own standards and rubrics must demonstrate to GEAR that their standards and rubrics are essentially equivalent to those developed by the discipline-based panel.

Campuses opting for this second approach would also be expected to periodically provide GEAR with samples of student work for each standard of student performance, to be reviewed by GEAR to ensure ongoing validity and reliability of the measure. GEAR will provide campuses with feedback and, possibly, recommendations regarding any scoring adjustments that may be required.

Mixing and Matching

It is also possible to combine these approaches: for example, a campus may choose to use the CCTST for Critical Thinking and SUNY-normed measures for Mathematics and Basic Communication (Written).



[1] When employing a “level of achievement" methodology (as distinct from a “value-added” methodology).

[2] Currently estimated at under $200,000 for the entire system.

[3] Though GEAR encourages campuses to engage in dialogue throughout the plan’s development process.

[4] See Appendix D of the Final Report of the Provost’s Advisory Task Force on the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes, at http://www.sysadm.suny.edu/provost/whatsnew/asmtfinalreport.pdf.

[5] See appendix for examples and process.

[6] Reported results should indicate the percentage of students exceeding, meeting, approaching, and not meeting the delineated learning outcomes. (A draft reporting form is attached.)