UPG February 9, 2012 Summary Notes

Final Summary Notes UPC Meeting February 9, 2012
Meeting opened at 3:40 p.m. February 9, 2012 – adjourned at 4:37 p.m.


  1. Funding recommendations to the Cabinet for existing University Action Project;
  2. Review/recommendation on Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) vs Pathways approach to future HLC accreditation(2 attachments).

Funding Recommendations

There are three University Action Projects that require funding in order to move forward.  The UPC will consider a recommendation to the Cabinet to take action on these projects. 

University Action Projects Currently Requiring Funding Decisions

  • Development Officers (increase funding)– up to $174,000 in 2013, and some of this amount in 2012.
  • International University Action Project – International recruitment/meeting travel fund of $25,000 in 2012.
  • Funding $12,000 for Student Learning Outcomes Coordinators, and some reserve for the pending consulting services for the Plan to Reduce Carbon Footprint. 

AQIP and Pathways

NSU will choose one of two approaches to HLC accreditation for the future. Pathways is an evolution of the current approach. AQIP places substantial emphasis on annual major projects. Information was provided in two attachments prior to the meeting – Action Project Guide and Pathways Booklet 2011_12. The UPC plays an important role in recommending to the Cabinet one path or the other. Kathy Reese is heading a UPC team in evaluating the options. Dr. Tadlock will review these with the Academic Council next week. Dr. Deason-Toyne will review it with the Faculty Council. Staff Council will also be consulted. This is a major decision for the university and deserves your attention. If you cannot attend the meeting, any input through email would be appreciated. Note that both approaches require some level of funding for at least a part-time coordinator starting this spring.  



Actions taken

  •  Approved the following motion (unanimous): The University Planning Council supports adoption of AQIP by Northeastern State University, subject to review and concurrence no later than March 2, 2012 by Faculty Council, Staff Council, Student Government, Chairs Council and Academic Council. 
    Note that the Academic Council selected AQIP as their preference at the Feb 8 meeting. An outline of AQIP and Pathways will be provided to these organizations.

  • Approved the following motion (unanimous): The University Planning Council recommends to the Cabinet funding of the following University Action Projects from resources set aside to address approved University Action Projects:

    • Development Officers: initial action to fund a development officer in the College of Science and Health Professions as soon as possible, and to allocate the remainder of $174,000 for pending action in 2013, subject to the hiring of new deans.   
    • International University Action Project – International recruitment/meeting travel fund of $25,000 in 2012.
    • Funding $12,000 for Student Learning Outcomes Coordinators.. 

Rationale and Discussions relative to the two motions approved

  • AQIP: Kathy Reese reviewed the essential elements of the two options available to NSU as per HLC requirement, Pathways and AQIP. This summarized information that was provided in the attachments sent to the members prior to the meeting addressing both Pathways and AQIP. Both paths include an Assurance Process and an Improvement Process. Pathways is a transition from PEAQ, the current model, requiring a major Assurance Review in year 4 and again in year 10 (potentially with onsite visits for both), plus  a major, university wide improvement project over the last 6 years. As per the HLC home page, “The Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) provides an alternative evaluation process for organizations already accredited by the Commission. AQIP is structured around quality improvement principles and processes and involves a structured set of goal-setting, networking, and accountability activities. AQIP uses direct, cost-effective processes including AQIP’s Strategy Forums, Systems Appraisals, and various other services”. There is a Systems Portfolio review in the fourth year, a reaffirmation of accreditation review in the seventh year (both generally without an onsite visit), and a Quality Checkup Visit usually scheduled three years prior to the accreditation review. 

    Kathy also shared her discussions with Martin Tuck at Ohio State University and Dr. Jack Geller at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Both were very positive about their experience with AQIP, noting that both use a full time director; one uses a half time faculty member – the other a number of committees. Martin Tuck advised that the 4 and 7 year reviews under AQIP were very manageable – providing some evidence that the AQIP process will help avoid an extensive effort for those reviews.  

    Kathy also noted that the Academic Council reviewed and are recommending adoption of AIP.

    There was an open discussion involving a majority of the participants relative to the two options with both questions about the process and comments that supported the adoption of AQIP. The following summary of comments provided support for the motion:

    • The current HLC review will provide basic information for completing the Systems Portfolio Review with much of the information available.
    • The project orientation of AQIP fits well with the University Action Project approach currently facilitated by the University Planning Council with broad involvement of key stakeholder groups and open sessions for all university stakeholders.  Adoption of AQIP will likely enhance and improve this process. This would be an enhancement of what we are already doing.
    • The AQIP process represents a consistent and continuous process for improvement.  
    • The AQIP process provides very clear direction for the development of the Systems Portfolio and the Action Projects, including examples from other institutions. 
    • As a continuous process, AQIP is expected to encourage updated records to support accreditation reviews in the future without a major data accumulation effort, which tends to be concentrated into a short period of time. 
  • The University Action Projects recommended for funding were selected in a campus-wide process involving key stakeholder groups and open forums, and with close cooperation with the Cabinet. The final selections were made by the University Planning Group based on the established criteria. The intent is to drive major university decisions for funding through the strategic planning process. The three projects recommended for funding in 2012 and 2013 met these requirements. The action of the committee confirms their importance in supporting our strategic goals, accompanied by a request for funding to the Cabinet. 

    There was some discussion of the recommendation, primarily clarification.   


Craig Clifford
Laura Boren (cabinet)
Ron Cambiano (cabinet)
Christy Landsaw
Jerrett Phillips                 
Matt Cochran
Martin Venneman
Michelle Welch
Kathleen Reese                 
Roger Collier                  
Kevin Stretch
David Scott
Pamela Louderback
Martin Tadlock
Dilene Crockett
Dave Kern


Olaf Standley
Alyssa Buckley
Deb Hyde
Rick Williams                                    
Sheila Self                                                      
Megan Weaver
Sofia Price
Tierney Edwards