Monday,  J une  1 7,  2 013  1 1:22:10  A M  C entral  Daylight  Time

Subject: Annual  Evaluation Date: Thursday,  June  13,  2013  7:27:56  PM  Central  Daylight  Time From: To: CC: Shirvani,  Hamid Steve  Shirley Espegard,  Duaine

Dr. Steve Shirley, In accordance with SBHE Policy 604.1, below is my evaluation of your progress for the goals that you submitted for July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013. Goal One - Implement recommendations/suggestions of the HLC following the Fall 1011 visit of its site team and the granting in 2012 of a ten-year reaccreditation. In response to the issues raised by the HLC during its reaccreditation visit in 2012 concerning assessment--an issue which is common across the country—you were successful in hiring Dr. Greg Carlson as your new Director of Institutional Research. Let us hope that he, along with your support, will have the skills and the experience to strengthen student learning assessment. Under your leadership, guidance, and the work of the campus’s Assessment Committee, you should be able to initiate a robust data collection system capable of launching the “eFolio” assessment program which you plan to test-pilot in 2012-13 and formally implement Fall 2013. From what I understand, you and your campus leadership are on schedule with department chairs and various other groups and are scheduled for training workshops. Your goals for next year look to be thoughtful and potentially effective. Development of written assessment plans for at least five academic units; Dissemination plan developed for communicating various types of assessments to campus; Revision of the VCSU Academic Assessment plan to incorporate updates and clarify specific assessment purposes as they relate to budget and curricular changes; Implementation of assessment module in the eFolio system; first set of data gathered and pilot assessment process implemented using this system; and Preliminary materials collected and organized for HLC Report on Assessment, due November 1, 2014. Goal Two - Explore all options ensuring that student-athletes have opportunities for meaningful athletic experiences in a cost-effective and realistic manner. This includes the re-establishment of an NAIA regional athletic conference in which the campus can participate.
 

I am pleased to learn of the formation of the newest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) conference, the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) and that it will officially be launched in Summer 2013 with five institutions (VCSU, Mayville State University, Jamestown College in North Dakota, Presentation College, and Dakota State University, both in South Dakota) and that you plan in Summer 2014 to include Dickinson State University as the conference’s sixth member. Clearly your leadership in NAIA’s Council of Presidents and chairmanship of the NSAA conference has contributed significantly to the success of the conference. Hopefully the efforts of you and your colleagues will result in a more consistent scheduling
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as well as a more competitive experience for your student-athletes and for your supporters. I would hope that, at some future date, you and your NDUS colleagues will make a presentation to the Board on the new conference as this type of information and practices are things that have been sorely missing in discussions among Board members.
 

Goal Three - Secure new revenue streams geared toward supporting the scholarship programs at Valley City State through the recently created “Corporate Donors Task Force.” Expect to obtain at least $50,000 during the first year of activity. With the help of your newly-formed Corporate Donors Task Force in the VCSU Foundation it appears that you are on track to identify new revenue sources for the Foundation and an increase in your student scholarships. I am heartened to know that these efforts are bringing positive outcomes as well as new business and industry partnerships. Your efforts to identify niche sectors of academic focus are most certainly on target with some of the best practices around the country today. Your strengths in teacher education and STEM education are already well recognized. The same applies to your Prairie Waters Education and Research Center. That you have strong partnerships with various outside support groups and companies is indicative of the campus’s strong potential and of your continued leadership. I encourage your robust efforts to expand your scholarship dollars. That you now have a participation rate of 96% of VCSU employees contributing to the Foundation is outstanding if not record-breaking. Goal Four - Fulfill the implementation deadlines of the Pathways to Student Success Plan.
 

I applaud your implementation of the Pathways plan. As you have indicated in your report: All developmental Math and English courses at VCSU have been moved to the responsibility of Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB) beginning with August 2013 classes. VCSU has worked with DCB officials on this transition, and they have been hiring faculty in Valley City to support these new course offerings. I am glad to know that this change now provides some new opportunities in the years ahead for both institutions, including a more focused effort on your part to develop your niche programs. My congratulations to you and your colleagues for coming together earlier this year and agreeing to a common rate of $156.13 per credit hour. The fact that you have already merged many of your fees into the tuition structure is yet another sign of your effective leadership. By implementing these changes and eliminating a number of unnecessary fees, you have created much greater transparency for students and parents. With the new Pathways Admissions “Calculator” appearing on VCSU’s webpage along with further information and other admissions materials in Fall 2013, I have no doubt that you will continue to recruit strong prospective student into your programs. I have little doubt that VSCU will be in the forefront of its sister institutions in improving student retention and graduation rates. The sensitivity of the campus to this issue and the several changes you have implemented this past year, including the Starfish Retention software system, will prove to be very positive elements. In addition, your hiring of a Retention and Diversity coordinator, Dr. Nadja Johnson, will no doubt prove beneficial. Goal Five - Work with the high schools to ensure that all dual credit courses meet the established criteria. That you met in November 2012 with your high school partners to discuss the changes required with
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the new criteria for dual credit is admirable. As you know it is important from both your perspectives that the curriculum allow for one-semester courses rather than offering the curriculum over two semesters. These are important internal curricular discussions as they will ensure syllabus alignment. No doubt, too, a big change with the new criteria will be your working relationship with the high school teachers. I respect your honesty in noting that VCSU currently lacks good follow through on aligning and checking assessments, nor are the appropriate professional development opportunities in place for the high school teachers. Improving upon these areas will be important for Fall 2013. I understand that you intend to initiate half-day workshops for the high school teachers to map the courses, curriculum, and assessments appropriately. Doing it right trumps speed. Your delay to ensure that quality dual credit courses are offered to VCHS until Spring 2014 is understood. So, too, is your perceived need to transition teachers from their current pay. This discussion (about pay) is also planned for Fall 2013, so the dual credit teachers are engaged in the conversation and assist in plans moving forward. Possible outcomes regarding dual credit for next year may include: Organize faculty development program for dual credit adjunct faculty Align assessments and map curriculum to assure the courses are providing the same content and the same depth of learning; develop a review process for assessments in the courses to support annual course review Transition to the newly agreed-upon dual credit tuition plan; revise faculty pay in light of new budget for this program. Overall: What I hear consistently from persons I meet across the state is that, in addition to your being one of the youngest presidents in the history of the NDUS, you are well liked, demonstrate good interaction with your numerous constituencies, and keep the institution focused on attracting good students into your programs. What I particularly find heartening is the reputation that your institution carries within the K-12 community. To be specific, your graduates in teacher education are among the finest and are preferred over all other NDUS institutions. The institution’s reputation in STEM s recognized nationally and justifiably so. I am recommending for the coming academic year a salary increase of 5% and continuing appointment which represents my admiration for your past work, your leadership abilities, and trust in your future accomplishments. Thank you. H. A. Shirvani, Ph.D. Chancellor North Dakota University System 600 E Boulevard Ave, Dept 215 Bismarck ND 58505-0230 Ph: 701.328.2974 Fax: 701.328.2961 Email: ham.shirvani@ndus.edu Web: ndus.edu
 

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