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Advisory Panel Report

Advisory Panel Report

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Published by: The Dallas Morning News on Aug 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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NewUniversityModelAdvisoryPanelReport
EXECUTIVESUMMARY
The
New
UniversityModelAdvisoryPanel(NUMAP)findsthatRain
&
Company'sbestpracticesconsistof:
1.
Identifyingeducationalproblems.2.Proposingseveralwell-conceivedandinnovativesolutionsformeetingtheneeds
of
underpreparedstudents.3.FindingcertainviablewaysforUNTDallastocutcostswithoutsignificantlycompromisingquality.Thispanelhasidentifiedseveralsignificantomissionsfrom
Rain's
data.Theconsultantspresumeeducationalqualityandhaveengaged
in
narrowuniversitybenchmarkingthatfailstoconsiderthefollowing:
1.
Theparts
of
thetraditionaluniversitymodelthatareworthsaving.2.ESLstudentsandstudentsreturningtoschoolaspart
of
theUNTDallasstudentbody.3.AmajorinInternational/GlobalStudies,whichfitstheUNTDallasmission.4.Alternativesemestermodels.5.Cheatingandplagiarism,especiallyinon-linecourses.6.Therole
of
thefacultywithregardtocurriculumcontrol.7.Numeroussuccessfulupgrades
of
universitiesinurbansettings.Thispanelhasfoundnumerousotherproblemswith
Bain's
data,including:
1.
Analysisbasedonincomplete
data.
2.Selectivelybiasedbenchmarking.3.Afailuretoadvocateforseveralwell-researchedideassuchasafive-weeksummerbootcampandstudyskillssession.4.Thepresumptionthat
jobs
inprimaryandsecondaryeducationdependsolelyonamajorineducationratherthanoneducationcoursesanddiscipline-specificpreparation.5.Afailuretoconsiderthathighgraduationratesaredependentonthemaintenance
of
alowstudentfacultyratio,whichmeansaddingtenure-trackfacultyasthestudentpopulationgrows.6.Equatinghybridlearningandayear-roundacademiccycleto"winning."
7.
Privileginganurbanuniversity'slocationandpriceoverprogramavailabilityandquality,despitetheirownclear-cutdatasupportingthecontrary.
8.
AreferencetoequalfacultycompensationaspracticedatBYU-Idaho,towhichtheconsultantsneverreturn.
9.
Compromisingeducationalquality
by
advising"minimalself-fundedresearch,"forfaculty.PresidentPriceaskedthe
NUMAP
toprovideresponsestotwelvequestionsregardingthenewuniversitymodel,basedonanalysis
of
existingresearch,whichwaspreparedprimarilybyBain
&
Company,forthe
21
stCenturyCommission.
 
Asummary
of
thepanel'sresponsesareasfollows:I.UNTDallashasalreadydifferentiateditselfinthemarketplacebyreachingouttoabroadspectrum
of
studentsandprovidingthemaccesstohighereducationatanaffordablecost.Theuniversityshouldcontinueonthispathandemphasizeitsuniquecharacteristics:transformation,belonging,value,diversity,andlegacy.2A.UNTDallasshouldcontinuetorecruittransferstudentsaspart
of
itsstudentprofilebecause
of
itspastsuccessinthisarea.
If
atransitionismadetorecruitfirst-time-in-collegestudents,itshouldbegradualandincombinationwithgraduatestudentrecruitmentsothatwedonotlosethenumbersgame.UNTDallasshouldsimultaneouslyworktodevelopmorerobustretentionmethods,academicsupport,andsocialandpersonalsupporttostudents.2B.Thepanelbelievesstronglythatthere
is
notasingle"targetstudentprofile"foradrivenstudentbecause
of
widelyvaryingsocioeconomicfactorsamongpotentialstudentrecruitsandUNTDallas'sownstatusasacommuteruniversity.Weidentifythreetargetstudentprofiles:freshman,whomweshouldrecruitwithoutdistinction,transferstudentsage25-55whowilllikelyrequireremediation,andgraduatestudentsage25-55whoarecareerchangersorcareeradvancers.3A.Ourcriteria
in
determining
UNT
Dallas'sappropriatestudentmixarethatstudentsbeencouragedtograduateinfouryearsorless,switchtoneeds-basedratherthanincentive-basedfinancialaidpractices,expandcourseofferingsindaytimehours,incorporatehybridlearningmodels,andincreasestatefundingtotheuniversity.ThiswillallowUNTDallastomeetuniversityandstategoals
of
increasinggraduatesanddecreasingthetimeittakes
to
graduate,whileremainingfinanciallysolvent.3B.Thepanelrecommendsdevelopingalong-termplanoverthenext10-12yearstomovefromamajority
of
transferstudentstoamajority
of
traditionalfreshmanstudents.Tohelpencouragetransferstudentstoattendfull-time,werecommendthatUNTDallasprovidecreditforcareerservicetocompressthetimenecessaryfordegreecompletion.4A.UNTDallasshouldnotbaseitsteachingdeliverymodelsolelyonenrollmentgrowthandincreasedgraduationrates.Insteadfactorssuchasstudentreadinessandpreparedness,finances,accesstointernetandcomputer,workloadandavailability,anddesiredskillsetforcareerpathsmustbeconsidered.Facultypreparedness,workload,courselearningobjectives,universitybudget,andclassroomspaceareequallyimportantcriteria.4B.Therefore,asingleteachingdeliverymodel
is
amistake.Thebestonewillvarybydisciplinebasedontheabovecriteria.5A.Financial,academicandcareeradvisingshouldallbeconductedbytrainedprofessionals.Giventhecurrentworkload
of
full-timefacultyand
staff
members,theyshouldnotbeexpectedtoalsoserveasfinancialorcareeradvisorsonapart-timebasis,andadministrativeburdensshouldbeminimizedforfacultyservingasacademicadvisors.Academicadvisorscan
playa
2
 
limited,supportingrole
in
careeradvisingwithintheirowndiscipline;however,workplaceconnectionsshouldnotberegardedasacommonexpectationforfacultyandstaff.
58.
Financialadvisingshouldbehandledbyfull-time
staff
professionals.Generaleducationadvisingshouldbeconductedbyprofessionalstaffadvisorsandadministrativeassistants,andupper-leveladvisingshouldbedonebyfacultymemberswithintheirowndiscipline.Careeradvisingandthearranging
of
internshipsshouldbehandledbystaffprofessionalswithassistancefromfacultyand
staff
memberswhohaveworkplaceconnections.6.Thepanelbelievesthattheprocessforcollegegraduationcanbestreamlinedbyidentifyingclearlydefinedfirst-yearpathwaysthatmergeintoprogrampathwayssuchashealth,business,liberalarts,orSTEM.Thisstrategywouldincludelimitingthecommongeneraleducationcore,providinggreateracademicsupportforintroductoryprogramcourses,maintainingUNTDallas'sexistingfirst-yearexperiencecourse,andimplementingblockschedulingforstudents.Wealsobelieve
in
enhancedstudentadvisingandacademicsupporttohelpstudentsselecttheirmajorsearlier.Aspart
ofthis
strategyUNTDallasshouldofferhigh-touchadvising,continueearlyalert,placestudents
in
mathcoursesappropriatefortheirmajorsandcareers,offerhigh-qualitystudentremediation,increasecourseavailabilityandfinancialaidincentives,developmorepartnershipswithareahighschoolsandcommunitycolleges,andconsiderofferingmoreoncampus
jobs
andchildcaretostudents.7A.Facultyworkloadshouldbebasedonthemaintenance
of
high-qualityandproductiveteaching,research,andservice,includingcommunityengagement.FacultyteachingloadsandenrollmentcapsshouldbelimitedtoensurethatUNTDallas'sgraduatesmeetthegoals
of
itsmission.
78.
Theallocationamongteaching,research,andserviceresponsibilitiesshouldbeflexibleandtailoredtoeachindividualfacultymemberbasedontheirownstrengths,weaknesses,andinterests.Thecurrent10-percentserviceallocationdoesnotreflectthepercentage
of
timemostfacultymembersdevotetoservice,andadministratorsshouldconsideruppingthetheoreticalstandardto20%toreflectthis.7C.Theuniversityshouldadoptamoreflexiblestanceonfacultyworkloadthatwouldrecognizethatsome
of
themosttalentedteachingfacultyprefertodevoteamajority
of
theirtimetoteaching(80%teaching,10%research,10%service),whilethemosttalentedresearcherswouldprefertodevoteanequalamount
of
timetoteachingandresearch(40%teaching,40%research,20%service).8A.UNTDallas'sprogramsshouldbebasedonitscurrentmissionandvision.Thismeansitshouldcontinuetoemphasizeeducationalqualityratherthanefficiencyandprofitandbeengagedwiththecommunitysocially,culturally,andeconomically.Itshouldrecognizethatnewandexistingacademicprogramsshouldnotbeimplementedorretainedbasedsolelyonprojectedjobgrowth.Instead,thiscriterionshould
be
balancedwithaprogram'scosts,enrollmentpotential,andredundancy.Remedialhelpshouldbeofferedtohelpstudents
in
need,buttheuniversityshouldalsomaintainsufficientlyrigorousacademicstandardstoweedoutchronicallyfailingstudents.
3

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