Department Heads Meeting -- Oct. 9, 2007

Department Heads Meeting
October 9, 2007

Dean Weidemann's Notes


Undergraduate enrollment increased about 3 percent but does not include biological engineering this year due to the new freshman program in the College of Engineering. Largest increases were in Food, Human Nutrition and Hospitality, Environmental Sciences and Animal Science. Graduate enrollment was down over 5 percent. Discussion followed regarding the decline in graduate numbers in recent years. Reasons appeared to be unit specific.

2010 goals

We have some real positives to report. Freshman retention remains above our 2010 goal. Minority enrollment is the highest ever. Graduation rate increased to 59 percent. On the negative side, student quality was down slightly. Freshman enrollment was down significantly and graduation rate was still well below our goal. The low freshman enrollment and graduation rate reinforce our need to remain focused on recruitment and retention.

Curriculum review

Over the short term we need to reduce instructional loads slightly for 2009. Departments should recommend changes in November so that we can address any changes at the college level. Over the longer term we need a broader evaluation of our college curriculum. The college administration will appoint a task force in consultation with the department heads, faculty council and college curriculum committee.

Textbook deadlines

Faculty must submit textbook orders to the bookstore by October 15 in order to meet the November 1 deadline required by ACT 175. Faculty not meeting the deadline will need approval from the department head and dean. The dean must report all late adoptions and name of the instructor along with an explanation to the campus administration.

Dr. Graham's Notes

Three reports are due in the fall: RAR, Assessment Plans revisions, and Assessment Reports.

RAR Report

All departments have submitted the RAR report templates. A chart of ethnicity of students in each degree plan was included in the packet for review in case there may need to be a revision to 2010 goals for the RAR report. Enrollment charts contained on each plan list were distributed earlier. Departmental enrollment maps will be completed in the next week and distributed to each department.

Assessment Plans/ Reports--Refer to Academic Policy 1630.10

Each unit is to submit an assessment summary each November. The assessment summary (report) should be a mirror image of the assessment plan. This is the first year of writing the summary, so an extension was granted for the final version of the assessment plan, if revision to the plan was desired after writing the enrollment summary. Each degree program is required to complete an assessment summary annually. When writing the summary, it should contain a section that matches each section of the assessment plan, e.g. discipline specific skills, communication skills, etc. The department will need to keep documentation for the annual report summary compiled each November and for a 10-year history for the accreditation visits. A template was distributed as an example of documentation. Faculty members are to review the results of assessment activities and provide recommendations each year as part of the report.

Departments were reminded that the assessment plan should contain a matrix of all of the courses offered in the department outlining how each course fits under each learning outcome.

It is suggested that departments create a special place in the office for program reviews, exit interviews, list of students who have completed degrees, thesis or dissertations, copies of portfolios.

The end result is to have a revised collegewide assessment plan for 2007-2017, have a standardized method of collecting evidence, and develop an assessment summary template for reporting.

New Form for Course Fee Submission

A new form has been created for submission of expenses for courses with specified fees. This will assist the auditing of expenditures for these courses. These are to be submitted with other budget forms.

Scholarship Awards Unfilled

There was approximately $65,000 in scholarships that were not awarded this year. Each department will be receiving a letter from Laura Gamble of department specific scholarships not awarded. There are many deserving students so I ask that you to help monitor this. Also need to reelect or select scholarship members to this committee.

Laura will be working with the committee to establish some operating procedures so we need to select representatives soon.

Course Enrollment Data

A CD was provided to each department that contained the department enrollment detail and the enrollment distribution report for the past four years. This is to be used as departments study enrollment trends and help recommend efficiencies in the instructional program.

Degree Information Sheet

Departments were asked to review and revise a one-page handout previously developed. This handout will be made available on the web site for potential students and career counselors.


a. January Classes- Two classes have been confirmed in Veterinary entomology and cow-calf management.

b. Courses with no enrollment for five years. A list was distributed of course which had not been taught in the past five years. A response must be received within two weeks or these will be deleted from the course catalog.

c. Career Day will be held on FRIDAY, November 2. Please work with PSRC committee member or have faculty ready to work with potential students who attend on this day.

d. SURF and undergraduate research grants due October 23. Consult the Honors College web site for links and information.

e. Essays for the USDA scholars program and Outlook program are due in the office by October 15 for final selection of nominees from the college.

f. Reminder that PRE-Registration begins soon and that all graduate students should be advised to pre-register for the spring semester during the priority registration period the last week of October.

g. Curriculum changes- submit this next month to make the catalog deadline. Catalog Revisions- Due February 1. Please have anyone who knows of an error to mark up a catalog page and send it to us.

Please note: Handouts from this meeting are available upon request from Donna Graham at or Carmen Alessi at