Senate Document Number 0399F

Date of Senate Approval 11/11/99

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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:

IDC: 2 Institutional Development Committee

14 October 1999

Proposal to Establish an Institutional Effectiveness Committee


In the early 1980s, UNCA established an academic program review or self-study process. Approximately every ten years, each academic program undergoes a comprehensive self-study that often involves the use of external consultants. The self-studies follow standardized guidelines and are reviewed by the University Planning Council (UPC), which makes recommendations to the Chancellor, VCAA, and Faculty Senate. The UPC process has worked reasonably well, but there are several limitations to current practice. One, the self-study process takes a lot of time (3 meetings per academic unit reviewed) and limits UPC time spent on larger strategic planning and budgeting issues.

Two, the concept of institutional effectiveness is a primary focus of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) philosophy of accreditation. The SACS MUST statements on institutional effectiveness apply to both academic and administrative units. Specifically, all academic programs MUST:

Establish a clearly defined purpose appropriate to collegiate education.

Formulate educational goals consistent with the institution's purpose.

Develop and implement procedures to evaluate the extent to which these educational goals are being achieved.

Use the results of these evaluations to improve educational programs, services, and operations.

Similarly, all administrative and educational support services MUST:

Establish a clearly defined purpose which supports the institution's purpose and goals.

Formulate goals which support the purpose of each unit.

Develop and implement procedures to evaluate the extent to which these are being achieved in each unit.

Use the results of the evaluations to improve administrative and educational support services.

During 1998-99, Academic Affairs met with each academic department to discuss the SACS requirements for institutional effectiveness. Every academic unit submitted an assessment plan and is expected to complete the full assessment cycle during 1999-2000. While our institutional effectiveness efforts for academic programs and majors are in reasonably good shape, we have not developed mechanisms for documenting institutional effectiveness for general education or for the general institutional level.

On the administrative side, there is no systematic process for assessing the effectiveness of non-academic units. This function is in the purview of each Vice Chancellor and there is a great deal of variation in how well the 44+ administrative units understand and implement institutional effectiveness processes. Currently, only a few units are in compliance with the SACS MUST statements on institutional effectiveness. The Perceptions of Administrative Office Survey conducted by the Office of Institutional Research in 1986, 1989, and 1995 is a Gallup type poll of campus perceptions of how well administrative units are performing their functions. UPC has recommended that this survey be conducted every five years. While this project provides many administrative units with useful feedback, it does not link individual office goals with assessment results.

Institutional Effectiveness Committee

In order to respond to the SACS institutional effectiveness requirements, many institutions have established a University-wide committee to oversee the institutional effectiveness process. Such a committee could provide the following advantages:

Ensure a consistent level of quality and documentation in institutional effectiveness across all academic and administrative areas.

Provide assessment information to the University Planning Council for its use in reviewing institutional-level goals.

Raise campus consciousness about the importance of assessment.

Provide a forum for the sharing of assessment techniques and practices.

Replace the existing self-study process for academic departments with ongoing institutional effectiveness reports. Departments that wish to conduct a comprehensive self-study, make major changes in curriculum, and use external consultants, can conduct these activities on a voluntary basis. IEC may recommend to UPC that a department conduct a comprehensive self-study.

Purpose of the Committee

The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) will review the assessment plans, results, and feedback processes of all academic and administrative units on a rotating basis. The IEC will make recommendations through the UPC to the Chancellor, appropriate Vice Chancellors, and the Faculty Senate.


The committee will be composed of thirteen members, two of which will be permanent based upon their regular duties and connection to assessment efforts. The members are as follows:

Dean of Curriculum (permanent member)

Director of Institutional Research (permanent member)

Two members of the University Planning Council, at least one of which must be a member of the Institutional Development Committee (IDC). The Chair of the IEC must be a member of the IDC.

Academic department chairs (three, one each from Humanities, Natural Science, Social Science; recommended by FWDC to the Senate and the Senate elects)

Administrative representative appointed by Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Administrative representative appointed by Vice Chancellor for Financial Affairs

Administrative representative appointed by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Administrative representative appointed by Vice Chancellor for University Relations

One member of the Chancellor's Staff Advisory Committee

One student (appointed by the Student Government Association)

Membership Terms

The Dean of Curriculum and the Director of Institutional Research are permanent members, while all other members have two-year terms. At the inception of the IEC some members will serve one-year terms to provide for continuity.