Strategic Planning Goals Report 2012-2014
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater presents a two-year strategic plan at the beginning of each biennium which recognizes key priority areas and goals to advance campus strategic mission and values.
This process is in line with the Higher Learning Commission's guidelines requiring institutions to engage in effective strategic planning on a regular cycle. The 2012-2014 strategic progress report, herewith, highlights goals and progress on each of the five strategic priorities, celebrates accomplishments on several benchmarks, and outlines future recommendations and action plans for consideration in the subsequent biennium and beyond for continuous institutional effectiveness. As such, the five broad strategic themes are tied with clearly defined goals and benchmarks which have been the campus road map for planning and achieving success. The campus has embarked on an ambitious, outcome-based, plan to achieve goals in the current 2012-2014 biennium related to: Programs and Learning, the Scholar Educator Community, Diversity and Global Perspectives, Regional Engagement and Professional and Personal Integrity. During the course of two years, several university-wide working teams, comprised of representatives from multiple campus units, have been at work planning and undertaking various initiatives in an effort to advance the goals. Thus, the report is a collaborative effort of team leaders and a broad array of campus constituents.
The content is organized into four sections under each goal: executive summary, measures and accomplishments, future themes/goals/recommendations, supporting material and links to navigate easy reading.
Strategic Priorities - Programs and Learning
GOAL 1: The academic community within all four colleges and the school of graduate studies has been in discussions from fall 2012 through spring 2014, reviewing their academic program array. The Academic Affairs Staff had a retreat in August 2013 to address these issues, with each of the five Deans issuing short summaries of their program array analysis and planning. Enrollment data for the last ten years were available for each major, emphasis, minor, and graduate program, and these data were reviewed within the academic departments and considered in relation to the campus mission, student demand, market analyses, regional needs and other available information. Summaries (measures and accomplishments) from each college are provided below. Overall, the largest areas for potential growth are in health-related fields (health science, health management, and health education), and the trends indicate further development and growth of academic programs that are interdisciplinary in nature and/or represent global or international issues. FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 1 »
GOAL 2: Advising, like learning, is a broad and complex construct that can occur in many places and forms from admission to graduation. An integral mission of the university is to serve its diverse student population achieve their educational goals through effective advising. Aspects of advising are integrated throughout a student's educational experience beginning with recruitment, orientation, student services and activities as well as in the formal advising structures with the institution. The institution strives to provide well-balanced, holistic academic advising to its students, nonetheless. FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 2 »
GOAL 3: The institutional approach to assessment includes formation and development of the Essential Learning and Assessment Review Committee (ELARC). Formed prior to the development of SPBC Goal 3, this administrative committee considers data from direct or indirect assessments of student learning, receiving reports from both curricular and co-curricular units across campus (Students Affairs, Andersen Library, each academic college, Multicultural Affairs and Student Services, Audit and Review Committee, Degree Qualifications Profile Project, General Education Review Committee, Writing Still Matters Rubric Group). Its annual report of highlights and recommended actions is distributed to the corresponding units (colleges/departments). Thus far, ELARC's recommendations have addressed two broader areas of need, 1) enhance a positive culture of assessment that facilitates active faculty, staff, and student engagement along with resource issues; and, 2) areas that directly impact teaching, learning, and curricular and co-curricular goals and methods. Some examples include: UW-W Writing Matters Rubric, assessments of critical thinking and information literacy skills. Based on feedback from the data, curricular changes have been made and professional development opportunities were made available. At this point, however, there is no campus-level process for reporting data to use other than a 5-year Audit & Review (A&R) process. A&R asks programs to describe the process for considering assessment data in making changes to the curriculum, student learning outcomes, and other aspects of the program, but not to catalog changes made and specific data on which they are based. Programs report data on student learning and most provide some interpretation of the data, but do not adequately address how the data could effectively be used for program improvement. We need, institutionally, to do a better job of chronicling and cataloging efforts to use assessment data. FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 3 »
Strategic Priorities - The Scholar Educator Community
GOAL 4: Support for research, creative, and scholarly activity is defined as gift/grant/contract or other funds leveraged to facilitate research, creative, and scholarly activity by faculty, staff, and students. Support may also include in-kind contributions (access to equipment, for example). The group conducted an inventory of "support for research, creative, and scholarly activity" based on definitions, and began to review literature, previous grant programs/mechanisms, and best practices to determine model support mechanisms. The institutional inventory indicated strong commitment to enhance faculty/staff and student research activities; (1) Research and scholarly activity support is available for faculty and staff at both the college and institutional level. Support is provided through course releases/reassignments, publication charges, and travel/collaboration development. (2) Support for research and scholarly activity is available at both the formal (grant programs, college research releases, etc.) and informal (mentoring/networking opportunities, etc.) level. (3) Ample opportunities exist to support research by undergraduate students across campus, either through the Undergraduate Research Program or other mechanisms (individual faculty/staff awards, Office of the Provost funds, etc.). (4) With the exception of the College of Business and Economics, there are no formal mechanisms to incentivize research and scholarly activity by faculty/staff. There are, however, other methods to incentivize, but not at the level utilized by College of Business and Economics. (5) Faculty/Staff professional development in grant writing and proposal development has been centered on developing applications to internal grant programs as a method to develop skills and establish a research track record. The group identified a list of key strategies as potential mechanisms to increase research capacity along with clear assessment strategies (to view the recommendations, scroll down to section c, looking forward). FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 4 »
GOAL 5: In the Fall 2012, the UW-Whitewater Strategic Planning and Budget Committee formed a committee to review "High Impact Practices" (HIPs). In addition to the HIPs articulated by George Kuh in High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter (2008), the committee split the Diversity/Global Learning category into the two subareas of diversity and global learning. Further, the committee the areas of co-curricular activities, honors, and on-campus employment. The committee categorized the HIPs into three groups: Course-based, classroom-based and program-based. FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 5 »
Strategic Priorities - Diversity and Global Perspectives
GOAL 6: The committee focused its work on two key areas: the development and expansion of "Inclusive Excellence" through the Chancellor's Committee on Inclusive Excellence, the creation of Inclusive Excellence Committees at the College Level (The College of Business and Economics and College of Letters and Sciences now have a college IE committee), and the development of a "Diversity Learning Rubric." The plan was to assess student growth and comprehension of both domestic multiculturalism and international perspectives. As part of this work, a subcommittee has developed a diversity learning rubric to test competencies in evaluating the knowledge and attitude of UW-W students towards issues of "diversity." Beginning with an expanded definition of "diversity," a three day summit, "Defining & Assessing Diversity" workshop, was held during Winterim 2013 to develop a draft of the diversity learning rubric. Over the course of Spring 2013, the rubric was revised and tested. Though it was originally intended for measuring student learning on diversity issues, it has also been identified as a training tool by some campus organizations, such as the LGBTQ Office. Members of the Chancellor's Committee on Inclusive Excellence held question and discussion sessions across campus with units of all types during the 2012-13 academic year on issues of diversity and inclusive excellence. In addition, a group of UW-Whitewater's Inclusive Excellence members attended a two-day workshop at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in August and have identified clear operational goals for inclusive excellence at UW-Whitewater, the main objective being "graduating students who are able to thrive in a diverse environment." The annual Campus Diversity Forums have been held during September 27-28, 2012 and November 7-8, 2013 bringing together people from across the campus units for rich discussions. The themes were "Student Leadership and Inclusive Excellence", in 2012 and "It Gets Better Live Pre-Show" in addition to guest lectures and discussions and other campus events. Also, the COBE and the College of Letters and Sciences have formed college-level IE committees. The L&S IE Committee includes one or more members from each of the 13 academic departments and has been in operation since the fall, 2013. This August (2014), the L&S IE Committee is inviting a Fall Retreat speaker to address IE-related issues in the classroom. COBE will be hosting the Fall 2014 Diversity Forum. FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 6 »
GOAL 7: Diversity has the potential to increase the quality of learning. Diversity in the college classroom can foster intellectual development, reduce students' level of racial prejudice, increase tolerance towards racial and gender differences, and facilitate students' explorations of diverse perspectives (http://www.asha.org). In 2000, racial/ethnic minorities comprised 30% of the U.S. population and were projected to represent approximately 50% of the total U.S. population by 2050 (U.S. Census Bureau 2000). Thus, UW-Whitewater must become a leader in recruiting and retaining students of opportunity to grow and succeed in the future. FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 7 »
GOAL 8: The committee reviewed the changes made to improve campus policies, procedures, and practices within colleges, Student Affairs, and other units. There are several great examples of measures in the colleges. The College of Business & Economics has joined the KPMG Ph.D. project, which provides scholarships to minority students studying for PhDs in business fields. Members are given access to students as they enter the job market via receptions and e-mail notifications of program completion. The college discussed this issue of student diversity during the last five years at its strategic advisory group meetings, generating annual goals to help us improve numbers. FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 8 »
Stratgic Priorities - Regional Engagement
GOAL 9: The committee discussed operational terms like "improve" and "community and regional needs." Civic/Community Engagement has become somewhat of a catchphrase in higher education, and thus, it is difficult to define one size fits all; it could mean various things to various people bringing diverse set of ideas and perspectives to the table. Moreover, the practice of community engagement has become, for many, though not all students, obligatory and perfunctory. Indeed, several schools are mandating a certain number of service learning/community engagement hours as part of undergraduate curriculum for their students. FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 9 »
GOAL 10: Over the last two years, the group has defined and operationalized "service engagement, entrepreneurship, and economic development" and "community and regional partnerships" for the purposes of campus activities, as well as conducted a thorough literature review and asset mapping for the campus. Much of this work has informed the campus' application to the Carnegie Community Engagement Certification (completed in April 2014), and has generated an invaluable list of key institutional strengths and weaknesses for further development. Additionally, group members have developed institutional strategies to increase community engagement and outreach activities across campus, leveraging or reallocating existing programs/resources to increase the institution's visibility in the areas of engagement, entrepreneurship, and economic development. FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 10 »
Strategic Priorities - Professional and Personal Integrity
GOAL 11: The SPBC Workload and Compensation team brought together members from different constituency groups to determine how a fair and reasonable structure for workload and compensation could be developed and implemented at UW-Whitewater. The groups represented included Academic Staff Assembly (Instructional & Non Instructional); Exempt Classified Staff; Faculty Senate Executive Committee; Non-Exempt Classified Staff; and the Student Employment Advisory Committee. The group developed a set of definitions, key measures and objectives (outlined under measures and accomplishment section) to guide its work on "workload and compensation". FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 11 »
GOAL 12: During the 2013 spring semester, an ad-hoc committee (Beaver, Bronson, Bucholz, Kumpaty, Mackin, McPhail, Pinkerton, L. Yu) met every other week to discuss team's charge. The work focused on defining relevant terms, identifying and reviewing existing campus documents and policies relevant to campus culture, and formulating recommendations for continuous improvement. Key definitions include "Respect": Recognizing and demonstrating the worth or value of persons, property and community; "Civility": Demonstrating respect by behaving towards others as you would desire them to behave towards you; "Honesty": Sincere expression of the truth; and "Personal Responsibility": Fulfilling individual and organizational obligations and commitments with equity, integrity, accountability, and acceptance of the consequences that come from our actions as well as an understanding of how those actions affect others. FULL REPORT FOR GOAL 12 »