Meet self-study’s Chap. 2 author Jeffrey Alexander
Jeff Alexander has become an expert on university policy almost by default. Although he freely admits: "Policy is not the sort of thing people read for fun," he said in the course of researching and writing Chapter two of the Higher Learning Commission self-study, his team earned a university education.
"A lot of that was very informative. And by answering the questions the HLC chapter required, it was an excellent, two semester-long study of the way the university functions on a policy level," Alexander stated.
Criterion 2 reads, in part: "The institution establishes and follows fair and ethical policies and processes for its governing board, administration, faculty, and staff in its financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions."
"HLC wants to know: do you have policies on these things? If so, are they published? And, in certain instances, they want to know how you implement or act upon these policies," Alexander said. "But chiefly, they're interested in 'is the university independent from corporate oversight or oversight by a body that would interfere in any way with the management of the university either on an academic or an administrative level?' Given that we're a state university that has very clear oversight by a board of regents, this concern is not as urgent for our university as it is for for-profit and private colleges."
Alexander said it was tougher to find information that couldn't be found simply by checking on a web site: auditing arrangements for Financial Aid and Business Services and the like. He thanked Randy McCready in Financial Aid, Registrar Rhonda Kimmel, Gary Wood in governance, and Heather Miles of Academic Staff for providing important input on their offices and constituencies.
The chapter is not complete and it may not be possible to furnish the policies on what Alexander called the "moving parts"?Department of Public Instruction approval of the new Institute of Professional Educator Development and the employee relations changes coming as a result of the new University Personnel System (UPS). However, the Chapter Two team is pleased with the progress they've made so far.Alexander said they have received some good feedback but that more would be helpful, even if it's just to report web link changes or other detail work. He urged the campus to access Commentpress to suggest edits or changes for Chapter Two.