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Updates in Academic Affairs - March 24, 2014

Academic program review and planning is making steady progress

Dr. Jody Brylinsky

by Dr. Jody Brylinsky, associate provost for institutional effectiveness

The process for developing and refining academic program review and planning is steadily moving forward. The Faculty Senate and Office of Academic Affairs co-sponsored two open faculty forums to provide an overview on the development of procedures as well as recent versions of academic program review and planning documents.

Feedback from participants indicated a need for greater clarity of the role of faculty members in the writing of the self-study, a desire to learn how beta participants managed the self-study process and confirmation of the review process. In addition, the Office of Institutional Research hosted four COGNOS training sessions to help familiarize deans, department chairs/directors and support staff with utilizing data reports for preparing program self-studies.

In addition, the project management team has been working to review the 50 program self-studies prepared by the beta year participants. The team engaged in the review process to gain a greater understanding of how to sharpen template questions, establish meaningful rubric descriptors, and improve the directions provided in the readers guide for academic program review and planning.

The next step will be to use this wealth of knowledge to revisit documents and data sources, make modifications where needed, and continue the process of dialogue with beta participants, faculty, program coordinators and administrators. We will work with the colleges to provide opportunities for faculty members to review and provide feedback on proposed materials.

Nominations will be sought for additional tenured faculty members wishing to serve on the academic program review and planning review committee for 2014-15. This body will be charged with monitoring the implementation of the established academic program review and planning process with monthly meetings beginning in September.

For more information, go to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness program planning Web page at I also am available to meet with units. Contact me at (269) 387-2314 or to schedule a visit.

Office of Disability Services for Students’ overflow testing site set for final exam week

Office of Disability Services

The Office of Disability Services for Students is offering room 113 at the Bernhard Center as an overflow testing site during final exam week, April 21 to 25.

The overflow testing site provides space for up to 20 students who require extended testing time accommodations during the week of April 21 and only for the following times:

Monday through Friday at 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The primary test location for students should be within the department with a test proctor or monitor. The DSS office provides testing accommodation services with a reader/scribe and adaptive technology by appointment during the following office hours:

The DSS office and overflow testing locations are not able to accommodate walk-in testing services. Please work with students to schedule a testing time in advance of exam week. Please plan to deliver all exam materials to the DSS office on the main floor of Woodlawn Place 24 hours in advance of the scheduled exam date. Exams may also be faxed to the DSS office at (269) 387-0633 or sent by email to

Instructors should specify the materials students are allowed to use in the testing room. Students will not be permitted to take materials into the testing room that have not been documented by their instructor. Exams will be returned directly to the department unless instructors make prior arrangements with the DSS office.

Instructors interested in volunteering as exam proctors at the overflow testing location in the Bernhard Center should contact Jayne Fraley-Burgett at (269) 387-2120 or

All non-bargaining unit staff in academic affairs invited to April 25 meeting

The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is hosting a meeting for all non-bargaining unit staff members in academic affairs on Friday, April 25, in the Fetzer Center’s Putney Auditorium. To accommodate normal business hours and operations, two meeting times will be available, from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. and from 9:45-10:45 a.m. Supervisors are encouraged to accommodate staff participation in these sessions.

The purpose of the meetings is to provide updates in academic affairs and answer any questions staff members may have. As a way to thank administrative staff members for their contributions to keeping departments and units running smoothly, beverages and bakery items will be available before each of the sessions.