Pillar 1: Academic Excellence

Complete

Priority:  1=Highest,  2=High, 3=Medium, 4 = Low, 5= V. Low

Goal 1.1 Create the most personalized, transformative educational experience possible.

 

2

OBJECTIVE 1.1.1 Develop and support discipline specific plans to make possible personalized educational experiences and mentoring.

 

1.1.1.A

Annual program review process.

 

Completed

College Deans

8/8/19 - A schedule for comprehensive program reviews has been created and the cycle has been started. These comprehensive program reviews have been coordinated with special accreditation reports as well. Annual Reports for academic programs have also been put into regular operation. (Reassigned to College Deans form assignee Tom Reed)

 

1.1.1.B

Develop an Academic Master Plan.

 

In Process  80% Draft finalized, needs a conclusion, and review

Donna Breault

7/30/19 -During Fall of 2017, a committee was formed with representatives from each academic unit. This committee developed a framework for the academic master plan. In January of 2018, a Faculty College Week half-day session was dedicated to the academic master plan. Dr. Jim Henderson spoke regarding curriculum planning in higher education, and members of the academic master plan committee facilitated round table discussions based upon the framework. During Fall of 2018, members of the academic master plan committee and other key internal stakeholders worked to develop the body of the academic master plan based upon the feedback from the faculty college week session. In addition, Colleges began to develop their contributions to the plans within their units. In addition, the faculty senate undergraduate curriculum committee provided a statement for the plan. During Spring of 2019, the committee assembled the varied contributions of the academic master plan. The one remaining section addresses the nature of the AU student. The committee is waiting for data from Institutional Research in order to complete this section. By Fall of 2019, the draft will be reviewed by the Academic Master Plan Committee as well as with Faculty Senate Executive Council before it is published on the AU Portal for general feedback. The plan should be complete by December of 2019.

 

OBJECTIVE 1.1.2 Develop and support discipline specific plans to make possible personalized educational experiences and mentoring.

 

1.1.2.A

Each program and department will need to make specific recommendations about correct course sizes and implementation strategies

In Progress

College Deans and Chairs      

8/1/19An analysis system at the college level is used as each personnel request for academic programs is brought forward internally. This includes chair and dean analysis which considers number of sections, enrollment caps per section and student-to-faculty ratios in the academic program. Course section sizes are monitored. Budget constraints and adjustments have restricted the implementation any more standardized system. Finite numbers of faculty also impact the amount of personalized mentoring. Some academic programs have very personalized learning experiences by the nature of curriculum and discipline.

7/12/19 An informal system is used as each personnel request for academic programs includes data on student to faculty ratios in the academic program. Course section sizes are monitored each semester. Budget constraints and adjustments have restricted the implementation any more standardized system. Finite numbers of faculty also impact the amount of personalized mentoring. Some academic programs have very personalized learning experiences by the nature of curriculum and discipline.

 

OBJECTIVE 1.1.3 Ensure that graduates can articulate their opinions orally and in writing at a high level appropriate to their degree.

1.1.3.A

Accent on Writing program

In Progress  50%

Maura Grady, Megan Connor

 This objective has been combined with Accent on Communicating (AoC) (see below). The Accent on Writing (AoW) Year 1 Pilot began in Fall 2018. 195 students were enrolled in pilot AoW classes for fall 2018 from the seven designated programs (CJ, ENG, Creative Writing, AYA ILA, Business Administration, Nursing, Religion area of the Core Curriculum). As a transition began from the AoW initiative to the AoC initiative part way through Fall 2018, the emphasis on specific pilot programs was replaced with a focus on identifying faculty from various colleges who would be interested in teaching writing-enhanced classes and could become advocates for the initiative across campus. Additional AoW courses were offered for Spring 2019 to expand the range of courses available. Faculty from Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 courses generally responded positively, stating that the enhanced use of writing benefited their students. Moving forward, these courses will be identified as AoC-W. We also began increasing faculty support and development opportunities. See more details on addendum page.

 

1.1.3.B

Accent on Communication program

 

In Progress  25%

Shawn Orr, Megan Connor, Lorna Condit

 The mission of the Accent on Communicating initiative is to work collaboratively with faculty and students across disciplines to improve the development of students’ written and oral communication, to encourage the use of written and oral communication as learning tools in all disciplines, and to support the integration of written and oral communication into all departments.There are three parts to this initiative: one-on-one student support, faculty development and support, and curriculum enhancements. The task force, made up of faculty from every college, worked in the 2018-2019 academic year to complete the white paper, to create the three key initiative areas, the criteria for speaking and listening courses, and timelines. In the 2019-2020 academic year the task force will be changed into a steering committee, and based on funding the plan will be implemented over the next 5 years. 

 

OBJECTIVE 1.1.4 Increase the opportunities for students to engage in critical cultural inquiry

1.1.4.A

Expand opportunities in study abroad, study of foreign language research, scholarship, and creative activities.

In Progress

22.5% had extensive discussion

Richard Gray & Rebecca Parillo

8/15/19  The Study Abroad Office promotes learning opportunities for Ashland University students to gain an understanding of other regions, countries, languages and cultures through educational travel in the US and abroad. Through a wide variety of programs, there is an opportunity for every student. The options include: 1-4 week faculty led tours, AU summer programs, intensive language programs, student teaching abroad and in the southern USA, summer and semester study, international mission trips, AU Choir & Jazz Orchestra performance tours, international athletic tours, internships, and volunteering.

During the 2018-19 academic year, 188 undergraduate students participated in a study abroad program. Including the international MBA program, 303 students went abroad in total. Of the 188 undergraduate students, 97 participated in programs that could fulfill the CCI requirement. The Department of Foreign Languages serves as the Primary Department of the Core Curriculum area called “Critical Cultural Inquiry” (CCI). The faculty of this Department maintain strongly that the study of language is the key to unlocking in-depth cultural understanding. Assisted by the Study Abroad Office, we currently offer two language-intensive summer programs: AU in Costa Rica; AU in France. The AU in Costa Rica program, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, is a six-week summer intensive culture and language immersion normally sends approximately a dozen students each year. This year, our Department added an internship component to the AU in Costa Rica experience. Modeled after AU in Costa Rica, the AU in France program is a 6-week intensive culture and language immersion program based in Annecy, France. Students live with host families, take classes, and participate in local and regional excursions. The AU in France program routinely sends two to three students per year. When appropriate, the Department of Foreign Languages also sends students on semester-long programs in France and Spain to universities with which Ashland University has signed memoranda of understanding.

  

Goal 1.2 Expand online offerings that reflect exemplary practices.

 

OBJECTIVE 1.2.1 Ensure that all faculty teaching online are prepared to utilize the best practices in online teaching.

 

1.2.1.A

Establish a professional development course for online pedagogy, andragogy, technology, and teaching techniques.

 

Complete (100%)

Shawn Orr Brandy Ramsey Dean Goon Mary Deloe

 Phase One of the Orientation is complete with 98% of the faculty teaching online completing the two-hour orientation course. The Correctional Education program also has a required orientation program for faculty teaching online. Two Online Learning Virtual Conferences are offered remotely at AU each year, in addition to several CITE programming sessions, OLC/EduCause/BlackBoard webinars, and Magna publications. BlackBoard training, ZOOM training and technology training is also offered throughout the year. Finally, the CITE; Resources for Full-Time and Adjunct Faculty BlackBoard organizations has been created as a "one stop shop" for finding pedagogy and teaching resources. Continued training, especially in advanced techniques in necessary.

 

OBJECTIVE 1.2.2 Continually improve all online content and delivery.

1.2.2.A

Establish a schedule and budget for the regular review of all online courses.

 

In process (25%)

Provost & Peter Slade

 Delayed but back on track with new staffing and assignment of duties.

1.2.2.B

Develop Blackboard delivery platform for expanding correctional Education program.

Complete (100%)

Todd Marshall

 This was completed in 2017 and prototyped in spring of 2018. AU has been using Blackboard in correctional education settings since the spring semester of 2018. The percentage of CE courses offered via Blackboard continues to increase semester by semester.

OBJECTIVE 1.2.3 Develop a defined pedagogy for online learning that emphasizes conversation between students and faculty.

In Process (80%)

Dean Goon & Mary Deloe

Many aspects of this have been completed including: standardized training for online faculty, regular reviews of online courses, use of Quality Matters (QM) for some programs, COAS policy manual including best practices, presentations about conversational pedagogy at Faculty College, and pedagogical training at the CITE summer institute.

OBJECTIVE 1.2.4 Offer nationally ranked online programs.

Completed

Dean Goon & Program Directors

A number of programs are ranked. Program directors, Dean Goon, Brandy Ramsey, and Larry Bunce work to complete ranking surveys. When AU receives the results, relevant stakeholders are informed and marketing incorporates rankings into various marketing materials.

Goal 1.3 Recruit, retain and develop exceptional faculty.

1

OBJECTIVE 1.3.1 Hire and retain an appropriate number of full-time and part-time faculty to develop, implement and support each program offered through the university.

1.3.1.A

Conduct a benchmarking study to determine appropriate student to faculty ratio for each program.

 

 In Process (25%)

 College deans and department chairs

 A general benchmarking study for overall undergraduate student to full-time faculty ratio has been conducted by the Faculty Senate

1.3.1.B

Review tenure and promotion policies to ensure they reflect the meaning of "teacher-scholar," with clearer guidelines for scholarship based on expectations for service, scholarship, and teaching load.

Completed

Provost & Faculty Senate Leadership

Clarity of T&P guidelines varies by academic department. If guidelines are to be revisited given increases in course load and class caps, that instruction should be made clear by leadership

1.3.1.C

Develop recruitment and hiring policies and timelines based on standard practices of peer institutions.

 

In Process 15%

Provost, Academic Council, Council of Chairs

HR has developed a flow chart and training for the recruitment and hiring process. Obtaining internal recruitment and hiring practices of peer institutions continues to need work. It is recommended this be modified to be based on generally accepted best practices conducted by the Faculty Senate.

1

OBJECTIVE 1.3.2 Ensure that faculty are compensated in a fair and equitable manner.

1.3.2.A

Establish a process for benchmarking the equity of faculty compensation.

 

Complete

Salary Equity Model & Faculty Welfare Committee

 We have an established process for benchmarking faculty compensation (the SEM). The Faculty Senate intends to continue to use that metric. Changing our benchmark at this point would dilute our ability to examine trends over time.

1.3.2.B

Establish a continual process to collaboratively monitor and adjust faculty salaries in relation to benchmarks.

Complete

Administration & Faculty Welfare Committee

We have an existing process for monitoring faculty salaries (the SEM, which was developed by Administration and adopted by FWC). We need a plan that demonstrates a commitment to salary increases.

Goal 1.4 A demonstrated commitment to teaching excellence through the development of teacher-scholars. (HLC 2D,3D,3E)

2

OBJECTIVE 1.4.1 Develop and support an innovative faculty by optimizing teaching and scholarship.

 

1.4.1.A

Establish a Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence along with appropriate funding and curriculum development.

 

In Process (75%)

Shawn Orr, Brandy Ramsey

 The Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence has been established and has completed the following activities: Fall and Spring Faculty College, New Faculty Orientation, Summer Faculty Institute on High Impact Teaching, administer all five faculty professional development existing grants, created an established an additional mini-grant for teaching and learning, creation of monthly CITE faculty development programming and programming guide, creation and leading of Kathryn Venditti Learning Community, implementation and support of the Teaching and Learning in the online Environment Faculty Orientation Course, presentations at national conference, maintain the CITE classroom, creation of a CITE library of teaching and scholarship resources, promote and provide support for the Magna 20-minute mentor series available to all faculty, promote session and maintain 68 faculty memberships in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, creation of the CITE: Resources for Full-time and Adjunct Faculty BlackBoard Organization, promote and sponsor webinars OLC/EAB/EduCause

1.4.1.B

Establish internal grants for scholarship that focus on teaching or teacher scholarship.

 

Complete

Provost & Faculty Development Committee

Current faculty development grants include: Teaching Load Reassignment Grant, Study/Writing Grant, Maude V. Rutt Grant, Senior Faculty Study Leave Grant, Faculty Development Conference Grants, Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence Teaching and Learning Mini-Grants

OBJECTIVE 1.4.2 Expand support for faculty engaging students in independent scholarship.

1.4.2.A

Utilize Morgan Foundation support for entrepreneurial initiatives.

In Process (75%)

Tom Sudow

The largest challenge facing the effective use of the grant, is the willingness of Colleges, beyond COBE, to take any interest involvement in the center. For the program to be successful, the Morgan Center must be a campus-initative and that has been hard to achieve. This will impact the abilty of the Morgan Center to receive additoinal grants in the future from the Foundation, as cross campus activites is a high priority of the fFoundation

1.4.2.B

Support faculty/student collaborations in scholarship and creative activity

 

In Process (75%)

Chris Swanson

Since sending a faculty team to a Council on Undergraduate Research workshop in 2008 the College of Arts and Sciences has placed significant effort into growing and supporting our faculty-mentored undergraduate student scholarship. A key piece is the annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity symposium, first held in 2010, managed by a faculty director (currently Chris Swanson). The Math/CS and Natural Science departments have started endowments to support student research, and the Provost office provides a $500 Student Research and Presentation Grant, which supports student research and conference travel. Faculty-led grants to the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health continue to support student research efforts.

OBJECTIVE 1.4.3 Enhance faculty-peer mentoring.

1.4.3.A

Maintain and expand faculty-peer mentoring programs such as the Ashland University Research and Writing Community (AURWC).

 

In Process (75%)

Mason Posner

8/12/19 "All new full-time faculty at AU are assigned a faculty mentor. These mentors provide guidance, direction, support and help acclimate new faculty to AU systems. Mentors and new faculty meet during the academic year to discuss teaching, scholarship and service and have several scheduled events including a mentor luncheon during new faculty orientation, two new faculty in-service training's, a holiday and networking luncheon, and an end-of-the year celebration. Several colleges have formal new faculty mentor programs that include check-off sheets of training and professional development that the mentor and mentee work through together during the first year."

English Professor Sharleen Mondal began this faculty peer mentoring program in the Fall of 2013. The program was developed with mentoring from the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) to support faculty success, with a focus on effective and efficient scholarly production. The program has grown from one faculty small group in 2013 to seven in 2019, and also now includes a group for students. Faculty participants consistently provide very positive feedback for this data-driven mentorship program. Starting in 2018 the University brought a coach from the NCFDD to Faculty College for a workshop, with all faculty participants receiving 6 months access to online NCFDD resources. The director and participants of this program continue to encourage fellow faculty to join. This program is fiscally supported by the Provost Office.

1.4.3.B

Enhance new faculty orientation.

 

Complete

Center for Innovation & Teaching Excellence, Shawn Orr

 Full-time faculty currently have assigned mentors, attend a full-day new faculty orientation program during fall faculty college, and have four scheduled optional professional development sessions during their first year at AU. Online adjunct faculty have a required two-hour orientation program, and online correctional education faculty have a required orientation program. Adjunct faculty have a new faculty welcome and keynote at fall faculty college. The CITE: Resources for Full-Time and Adjunct Faculty Organization is available for further training for full-time and for adjunct faculty. Future opportunities include a more robust required professional development for new faculty, and the development of online training programs for adjunct faculty.

Goal 1.5 Enhance the visibility and academic profile of the university.

2

OBJECTIVE 1.5.1 Promote academic programs of distinction.

2

1.5.1.A

Support existing programs of distinction based on a plan developed with each program.

 

In Process

Provost, Academic Council, Rhonda Pember

Several exist with various levels of awareness. More defined standards and development is needed.

1.5.1.B

Identify and develop new programs of distinction.

 

In Process

Provost, Academic Council

 There is significant enthusiasm but a clear process of prioritization and implementation needs to be created and funding allocated.

1.5.1.C

Establish and Accent on Writing program which will lead to Ashland being recognized as a leader in the teaching of writing.

 

In Process  (50%)

Lorna Condit, Megan Connor

 The Accent on Writing (AoW) initiative has now transitioned to the Accent on Communicating (AoC) initiative. The AoW Year 1 Pilot began in Fall 2018. 195 students were enrolled in pilot AoW classes for fall 2018 from the seven designated programs (CJ, ENG, Creative Writing, AYA ILA, Business Administration, Nursing, Religion area of the Core Curriculum). In Fall 2018 the AoW Steering Committee began to study the feasibility and benefits of transitioning from AoW to a comprehensive initiative that would include both writing and speaking and listening. At the end of the Fall 2018 semester, the AoW Steering Committee and administration approved the new approach and we began to transition from AoW to AoC. A new AoC Task Force was created and began meeting in January 2019. As this transition began, the emphasis on specific pilot programs was replaced with a focus on identifying faculty from various colleges who would be interested in teaching writing-enhanced classes and could become advocates for the initiative across campus. Additional AoW courses were offered for Spring 2019 to expand the range of courses available. Faculty from Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 courses generally responded positively, stating that the enhanced use of writing benefited their students. Moving forward, these courses will be identified as AoC-W.  The mission of the Accent on Communicating initiative is to work collaboratively with faculty and students across disciplines to improve the development of students’ written and oral communication, to encourage the use of written and oral communication as learning tools in all disciplines, and to support the integration of written and oral communication into all departments. There are three parts to this initiative: one-on-one student support, faculty development and support, and curriculum enhancements. The task force, made up of faculty from every college, worked in the 2018-2019 academic year to complete the white paper, to create the three key initiative areas, the criteria for speaking and listening courses, and timelines. In the 2019-2020 academic year the task force will be changed into a steering committee, and based on funding the plan will be implemented over the next 5 years.

2

OBJECTIVE 1.5.2 Increase external constituent's awareness of the value of the Ashland experience.

2

1.5.2.A

Develop a comprehensive, strategic and integrated marketing plan that focuses on graduate outcomes, academic quality, campus environment and athletic accomplishments.

 

In Process  (25%)

Academic Council, Rhonda Pember & Al King

 Academic achievements such as obtaining external grants, national awards, and special accreditations are being collected and added by academic deans; see Addendum Tab for more details.

2

1.5.2.B

Develop a plan to raise the awareness of select programs at the state, regional and national levels.

 

In Process (25%)

 Rhonda Pember

in select programs. Additional updates in word.com