|College community invited to comment on task force proposals||
February 4, 2004
Four task forces appointed by Interim President Ray Kieft to identify ways to streamline certain academic processes have submitted their recommendations for the college community to review. The task forces examined budget, curriculum, hiring and retention/promotion/tenure.
forces were charged to look at ways that will move the college to a
flatter, less centralized organizational structure and to increase shared
governance throughout the college," Kieft said. "Over the
last two months, I've been presented with four reports that outline
fresh ideas on how to streamline and simplify overall processes in these
four areas. In the spirit of shared governance, each report has been
forwarded on to the college community for input. Once the reports have
been properly vetted, and we determine what works and what doesn't,
I will make overall recommendations to implement some of the proposed
ideas," he said.
"I think it's been a wonderful process," said Bill Emerson, professor of mathematics and chair of the Curriculum Task Force. "We've needed to decentralize for a long time."
"It's a step toward taking down some of the barriers our faculty face," added John Schmidt, chair of the engineering technology/industrial design department, who chaired the Retention/Promotion/Tenure Task Force. "Our task force was able to complete its work quickly because everyone was on board with the need for change."
Interim Vice President Joan Foster was impressed with the recommendations. "The task force process is an excellent way to develop ideas about an issue or policy using the experience of those who are closest to the issue or policy," she said. "I am always amazed at the depth of the understanding and the quality of recommendations that come from faculty thinking together. Their collective wisdom is much greater than that of individuals, including interim vice presidents."
Key recommendations of the Budget Task Force, headed by Charlotte Murphy, chair of the Mathematical and Computer Sciences Department, include making it easier for departments to implement long-range planning as part of their budgeting process, improving the processes associated with procuring goods and services, and placing a greater emphasis on professional development for faculty.
"I think these recommendations can do a lot of good if implemented," Murphy said, adding that the input of two focus groups - one for department chairs and directors and the other for classified staff - was critical to the specific nature of the recommendations.
To view the report
of the Budget Task Force go to
The Curriculum Task Force submitted recommendations designed to reduce the number of curriculum committees and to streamline, quicken and open up the review process. "The goal is have faculty review courses that are close to their own discipline," Emerson said. The task force recommends more clearly defining the difference between a substantive and a non-substantive change in curriculum and establishing different review processes for each. The task force also recommends creating a new dispute resolution committee.
To review the report of the Curriculum Task Force go to
The Hiring Task Force believes that changes made to streamline the process of hiring faculty will improve the college's recruitment efforts. "There was significant concern on the part of the task force as to how cumbersome the hiring process is," said task force Chair Greg Watts, chair of the Art Department. "We lose candidates because other institutions have a less cumbersome process," he said.
The task force proposed shifting more responsibility for hiring of faculty to department chairs and school deans and streamlining procedures to speed the recruitment process.
To review the report
of the Hiring Task Force go to
Recommendations from the Retention/Promotion/Tenure task force could reduce the workload in these areas by 90 percent, believes Schmidt. "Our recommendations call for reducing the amount of redundant information required and adopting a system that more closely parallels that of other institutions," he said.
Recommendations include limiting to one the number of dossier/annual review documents faculty should be required to submit each year and requiring faculty to undergo a "full dossier" review in years four and six only, not in years two, three and five.
To review the report
of the Retention/Promotion/Tenure task force go to
Kieft will accept comments on these reports through the end of February via e-mail at email@example.com.
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