Fall Leadership Assembly Update
Progress toward HLC reaccreditation; expanding digital communication; and retaining and graduating more UW-Parkside students were all on the agenda Wednesday during Chancellor Debbie Ford's fall leadership assembly.
Dr. Kim Kelley began by acknowledging the work of the Faculty Senate, which Tuesday passed a credit-hour policy. The action allows the university to remain in compliance with the U.S. Department of Education, requiring the university to have a policy matching the federal agency's definition of a credit-hour.
During the Higher Learning Commission visit in April, members of the peer review team will look carefully to confirm that university policies meet required federal standards.
Dr. Rob Barber stressed the importance of the next four to five weeks in the HLC reaffirmation of accreditation process. "HLC criterion committees will be requesting evidence from various areas of campus to support the self-study," he said. "We will greatly appreciate a timely turnaround on those requests."
He also encouraged everyone to review chapters three and four of the self-study before the end of the year.
John Jaraczewski, assistant chancellor for University Relations and Advancement, reported on future website updates and the search for efficiencies in the way we communicate on campus.
Jaraczewski said the digital communications initiative will involve an internal communications survey and review of email and listserv policies. "We want to find out how our current policies help us," he said, "and how they get in the way."
The UW-Parkside website and its relationship to the university's overall image and brand is another part of the digital communications effort. A number of focus groups and personal interviews currently under way will assist in developing a brand strategy that differentiates the university in the competitive higher-education marketplace.
The development of a Student Success Center (actually two, one virtual and one a physical part of the campus) is a key component of Graduate Parkside, a program focused on at-risk entering students. Graduate Parkside Director Cynthia Graham said the mission is simple: "We are here to retain and graduate students."
Graduate Parkside is part of a Title III federal grant aimed at offering increased support for first-generation students and those with low placement scores. Graham sees a need for Graduate Parkside to be sustainable delivering positive results to the university long after the grant expires in fall 2014. "It's important that we take what we know works, and broaden it," she said.
The immediate Graduate Parkside goal for fall 2013 is 34 students, a 5 percent increase in the number of freshmen retained when compared to fall 2012.
The Student Success Center is located in Wyllie Hall, across from Student Support Services.
Chancellor Ford told the group that at last week's Board of Regents meeting in Madison, the board gave its approval to the University Personnel System. Several of the resolutions approved by the board will provide the authority to administer the new personnel system; a new code of ethics for all UW employees; and governance rights for classified staff.
UW-Parkside Program Assistant Karen Grabher was part of the University Personnel System Task Force. Grabher said the resolutions approved by the Board of Regents, which now go to the state Joint Committee on Employee Relations, ensure university staff employees (formerly classified staff) of a more prominent role in university governance across the UW System.
Chancellor Ford also acknowledged the work of Human Resources to complete 14 projects associated with the new HRS. "You will see the benefits of those efforts next year," she said.