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Indiana University Northwest

Strategic Planning Committee


E-mail message to IU Northwest Community regarding the 2006 Final Achievement

May 4, 2007

Dear Campus Community,

The Strategic Planning Initiative for IU Northwest has taken another step forward in enhancing its position among the leading universities in the United States.

Since its inception, the Strategic Planning Team has undertaken several initiatives aimed at fundamental values that will improve the quality of services and program offered at IU Northwest.

During the spring session, the Strategic Planning Team focused on achievement updates. The following is a summary status report on Outcomes that will guide the Team as it establishes continued and new directions for setting priorities for IU Northwest’s progress:

Outcome 1:

Relevant staff, faculty and administrators have aligned current standards for individual recognition, reward and evaluation with the Academic Excellence Standards adopted by the campus in 2005 and have revised recognition.

Status Summary:

The emphasis of this outcome statement is on moving all of the processes within the university for evaluation, recognition and reward to the point where their standards are aligned with the academic excellence standards adopted by the campus in 2005. The major steps, therefore, in achieving this outcome involved first distributing the university policies and processes that are relevant to recognition and reward for faculty, staff and administrators. Direction then was given to each division to pursue whatever activities were most appropriate to develop that alignment. The divisions proceeded in different ways; within the academic units, both alignment with faculty and staff-related processes was necessary, but not required in other divisions. Alignment processes were completed by December 31, 2006 for staff, however, additional work was needed within Academic Affairs to address faculty-related processes, and an extension was given to Academic Affairs. The result was that the alignment was completed and documented by the end of January 2007.

Outcome 2:

The campus has implemented the first phase of the updated General Education goals and objectives, as approval by the faculty that ensure IU Northwest students are prepared for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers and effective citizenship.

Status Summary:

The General Education Committee and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs produced the Action Timelines that were used to set Academic Quality Improvement Projects (AQIP) action project timelines. The General Education/Assessment Committee then identified the principles for the delivery of General Education. The Faculty Organization approved the General Education principles in October 2006. The IU Northwest General Education Principles were then aligned with the template approved by the IU Academic Leadership Council.

Outcome 3:

IU Northwest demonstrates increased capacity to value and appreciate the contributions and aspirations of all members and commits to cultivating respect throughout the campus community.

Summary Status:

The first step identified was to develop and implement a survey of the campus climate. This was done in May 2006, and the survey received a very high response rate. The results were used to identify topics which were then addressed in focus groups during the summer of 2006. The focus groups were led by staff from Indiana University’s Human Resource Office. The results of the focus group process was presented to the Cabinet with recommendations for action steps in October 2006. The Cabinet developed a set of draft action items and shared these items with deans and directors to obtain response and comment. The input was received in late Fall of 2006, and by the end of November 2006, the action items to be pursued were finalized.

One action item, Administration commits to at least one meeting every two months involving the Cabinet, the Deans’ Council and the President of the Faculty Organization for the discussion of major issues/decisions facing the campus, was initiated in December 2006.

Other topics addressed for which the Chancellor’s Cabinet proposes to implement include:

  1. Improving communication vis-à-vis staff
    • This will be done by holding town hall meetings, at convenient times, to provide for maximum staff participation for the purpose of soliciting ideas on the most effective ways for administration to communicate and share information.
  2. Staff development and leadership training
    • Administration commits to supporting at least one professional development initiative, per year, for each staff employee.
    • Administration commits to developing a scorecard of critical leadership skills and using the scorecard, consistently, in performance management reviews.
    • Administration commits to providing a leadership training series.
  3. Improving communication vis-à-vis Deans and faculty
    • Administration commits to posting the agenda and action minutes of the Chancellor’s Cabinet on the web.
    • The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs commits to meeting with each academic unit one time per year.
    • The Chancellor and Vice Chancellor’s commit to meeting with each department and academic unit each year.

Outcome 4:

IU Northwest has increased its efforts to recruit, hire and retain a more ethically and racially diverse faculty, staff and administrative workforce; in order to be more reflective of our campus community, the primary focus of these recruitment, hiring and retention efforts in 2006 will be African American and Hispanic/Latinos.

Summary Status:

The recruitment efforts of the campus delivered overall very positive results. The number of Hispanic/Latino members of the faculty and biweekly staff remained unchanged at 7 and 13, respectively, while the number of Hispanic/Latino professional staff increased from 1 to 2. The number of African American faculty increased from 10 to 13. African American biweekly staff increased from 58 to 59, and African American Administrators increased from 3 to 5.  The number of African American professional staff declined from 19 to 18.

The academic units assigned mentors for new faculty and CETL provided the training. The Conversation/Study Circles were not held in 2006. In the Spring of 2007, additional facilitator training will be provided to interested IU Northwest employees. Conversation/Study Circles will be conducted during the Fall semester 2007.

Outcome 5:

IU Northwest demonstrates fiscal responsibility and flexibility to sustain excellence in its programs and services and to respond to new opportunities for funding of programs that support the Vision, by reviewing its organizational structure and proposing a plan for revision of that structure.

Summary Status:

The actual wording of this outcome was modified during spring 2006 as a result of President Herbert’s direction to the campus to operationalize a significant initiative in Health and Human Services. Therefore in order to address the challenge presented by the President to IU Northwest, the Strategic Planning Team chose to restate the outcome in such a way as to include both work to develop a proposal regarding Health and Human Services and also to address, subsequently, the organization structure of the institution for the purpose of moving it in a more effective and efficient direction, if needed.

In order to achieve these ends, the campus created a planning team involving deans, members of the Faculty Organization Executive Committee, the Cabinet and other selected administrative staff. The planning team developed plans for a College of Health and Human Services and chose to delay action with regard to other organizational changes. The result was that by September 2007 a proposal regarding a potential college was submitted to the President and received strong support from him. He then asked that the proposal be developed more completely and submitted to him by February 5, 2007 in order to be presented during the March 2007 Board of Trustees meeting.

The planning team made the decision to delay any work on other organizational changes until the Health and Human Services proposal had been presented to the Board of Trustees so that IU Northwest would, more clearly, understand what form the new college would take. Based on that outcome, the planning team turned its attention to other organizational changes.

Outcome 6:

In support of its aspirations for academic excellence, IU Northwest has defined its relationship with community colleges in the regions we serve.

Status Summary:

The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs proposed a list of community colleges to contact, and the list was accepted by the Cabinet. The IU Northwest Chancellor contacted the chancellors/presidents of the selected community colleges. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs worked with academic leadership of selected community colleges to develop a plan of interaction. Due to the State of Indiana’s decision to work on transfer agreements and creation of a course transfer library for IU and state community colleges, the wider efforts were put on hold. Fifty-five course transfer agreements were completed for Ivy Tech and Vincennes, and 2+2 degree completion articulations were signed for Ivy Tech Community College.

Once the IU / Ivy Tech / Vincennes articulation agreements are completed, and the reciprocity issues with Illinois are resolved, we will resume negotiations with the academic leadership of the area community colleges.

Outcome 7:

The Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors and Department Chairs make decisions consistent with relevant student-centered principles and unit service philosophies.

Status Summary:

Outcome # 7 was achieved in 2006 as evidenced by all Vice Chancellors and the Chancellor submitting a process for use in ensuring that decisions are made consistent with relevant student-centered principles and service philosophies within respective units.

This outcome, initially, raised important questions concerning quantifiable accountability for key decision making among faculty and staff. The Cabinet decided that the best approach to more concise outcome results was to have the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellors establish a process within their divisions to ensure that direct reports consistently incorporated student-centered principles and service philosophies into their key decision making. The achievement engaged unit personnel and provoked input into the formulation of all processes submitted.

Outcome 8:

IU Northwest has established a comprehensive plan for outreach including instruction and service, focused on our unique identity, which identifies and works with appropriate external partners in the regions we serve.

Status Summary:

Statements of purpose for delivery of both instruction and service off-campus were developed. This was followed by the development of goals for outreach in both areas. Data was collected on academic units already engaged in outreach activities, and deans were advised of available opportunities. Goals and objectives were set for relevant off-campus service activities, and appropriate timelines have been established. A business plan has been established for off-campus instruction, and timelines have been developed for implementation of the plan.

Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP)

The Academic Quality Improvement Project Team made the following recommendations which received approval from the Strategic Planning Team:

  1. The following outcome should be added as a 2010 Outcome:
    • IU Northwest systematically measures effectiveness in its organizational structures and processes, and uses data derived from these measures for continuous improvement.
  2. The 2007 Outcome # 2 should be revised with one change:
    • The Faculty Organization has approved the learning experience that delivers principles two and three of the General Education Program.
  3. The following action with respect to current AQIP Action Projects:
    • The General Education Reform, to help student learn, be retained, but divided:
      • General Education Reform
      • Student Learning Outcome Assessment
    • Keep the Commitment to Diversity
    • Retire the Student-Centered Decision Making
    • Increasing our Capacity for Measuring Effectiveness & Planning Continuous Improvement will be retained, but divided:
    • a. Increasing Our Capacity for Measuring Institutional Effectiveness
      b. Planning Continuous Improvement (examining the structure and mapping the processes of SPCIT and AQUI Coordinating Committee, etc.)

NOTE: All other remaining Category Working Group Action Areas not covered in the above recommendations will be prioritized and discussed at the May 2007 Strategic Planning Retreat.

Spring STP Update

Toni Lieteau