Meet self-study’s Chapter 5 author Dirk Baldwin
University of Wisconsin-Parkside business faculty member Dirk Baldwin isn't afraid to admit he's a university veteran.
"I'm starting to feel like I've been here awhile," said Baldwin, associate dean of the College of Business, Economics, and Computing. Even an old hand like Baldwin was surprised and impressed during the writing and editing of Chapter 5 of the university's Higher Learning Commission (HLC) self-study titled "Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness."
While he admitted to being "a bit surprised" by the complexity of the budget process, it was the campus-wide efforts to make constant improvement that made the greatest impression.
"One of the most impressive aspects?is the numerous initiatives that have been undertaken to improve the university. I was not aware of the complete history behind our initiatives related to improving student retention and graduation," Baldwin said.
As evidence of continuous improvement, he cited the 2004 study "Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year" that helped the university receive a major grant. The grant money, in turn, helped create programs like "First Year Experience," "Parkside Pathways," and others.
Although Baldwin is listed as the "author," he said Chapter 5 was a collaborative effort with many of the chapter's sections drafted by team members. Baldwin wrote some parts of the chapter and edited others so they would flow together.
If you haven't read the chapter, it describes the resources--budget, people, facilities--UW-Parkside uses to achieve its mission. It lists negatives that affect the mission (decreased state support) and positives (developing the academic plan, creation and updating of the strategic plan, changing to a four college-structure) that brings the university closer to achieving its mission.
Chapter 5 isn't "done." It won't be until it goes to the Higher Learning Commission with the rest of the self-study. When the November comment period comes around, Baldwin would like some help--your help--with filling in the chapter's details."I'd appreciate any feedback including corrections to examples, changes in wording, and activities I missed," Baldwin said. It's critical that what is written is accurate."