UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Academic Program Review Drafts Under Review

022311Feature_ProgramReviewEvery academic program on campus will be subject to review in the coming months.

“The purpose of this review is to position UNCG to be as strong academically as possible while maintaining a sound and balanced educational program that is consistent with its mission, strategic plan and its functions and responsibilities as an institution of higher education – and to help us prepare for anticipated further budget reductions,” Provost David H. Perrin said. He provided introductory remarks at last week’s Faculty Forum on program review.

The forum offered an opportunity for the campus community to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback and suggestions. (Feedback was also solicited through the Academic Review web site, through Feb. 21.) In the first hour of the forum, nearly all seats were filled and the back of the Virginia Dare Room was two-deep and in some places three deep with people standing.

Perrin referred to an excerpt from Robert Dickeson’s “Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services: Reallocating Resources to Achieve Strategic Balance.” “The inescapable truth is that not all programs are equal. Some are more efficient. Some are more effective. Some are more central to the mission of the institution. And yet insufficient effort has gone into forthrightly addressing and acting on the efficiency, effectiveness and essentiality of academic programs.”

Perrin appointed a committee late last year, chaired by Dr. Rebecca Adams, to develop a process and the criteria for reviewing the academic programs. The drafts of their work, to that point, were on the web site and were referenced throughout the forum.

The university, as far as he was aware, had never done a university-wide program-by-program review, he noted in his introductory remarks, after Faculty Senate Chair John Gamble started the forum.

The timeline is ambitious, he said. The work should be finalized in October, and a timeline was created working back from that date. The review process will officially begin March 1. The first step is reviews on the academic unit level, which will occur during April and May. The goal of these unit reviews will be to sort programs within three groups: highest-performing programs, medium-performing programs and lowest-performing programs. (The provost noted at the forum that the terminology for these three headings had evolved.)

Next, a university-wide committee will make recommendations to the provost for what programs to:

  • Discontinue
  • Curtail
  • Combine with other UNCG programs
  • Recommend for combination with other UNC system programs
  • Continue with budget-neutral interventions to address program quality, functions and demand, or efficiency
  • Continue as is
  • Continue with additional resources to be allocated as available

Voting members of this committee will be appointed by the provost. A faculty member will be chair. The provost’s charge to this committee will include that they act as responsible university citizens, not as representatives of any unit or constituency.

The committee he had assembled to draft this process and criteria, chaired by Rebecca Adams, sat in the first row. Perrin acknowledged their “fantastic work” under a tight schedule and said, “They know what they’ve produced can be improved.”

Dr. Josh Hoffman moderated. A member of the current committee, he is chair-elect of Faculty Senate. More than two dozen faculty members asked questions and made suggestions from the floor.

Hoffman and Adams addressed some of these questions. Perrin did as well.

Adams, in response to a question, noted that the draft calls for a majority of the university-wide committee to be full-time faculty. All members of the committee would be university citizens. The draft calls for no two faculty members being from the same academic unit.

The chancellor rose from her seat alongside faculty more than once to speak about some of the realities our university faces and the importance of this process. “We stand still at the peril of our institution.”

She also spoke of shared governance, and said she thinks it’s critically important for faculty to be a majority of the university-wide committee. Referring to challenges the university faces, “We’re all in the same boat,” she said. “We’re all rowing and bailing furiously.”

There were about two dozen questions or suggestions. Some examples:

Has President Ross’ given a charge – and how will UNCG efforts coordinate with system’s approach? Will there be cross-university mergers of some sort? How much will cost-cutting be a consideration? When would this take effect – specifically, would this prevent current students from graduating? Do criteria in the draft reflect all of the UNCG Strategic Plan, particularly those of a liberal education? There was a concern regarding AOS (area of study) coding within departments. A concern that SAT scores should be considered inputs, not outputs. Is student learning not a factor in rating program quality? Is it fair to compare programs that have entrance requirements to those that take all comers? Will College of Arts & Sciences have fair representation, since it’s larger than other units? What exactly is the definition of the labels – one-third of each unit will be shown as being “low-performing”? The university will create a document that will say one-third of what we offer is “low-performing?”

One faculty member noted the large number of attendees and asked for one or more forums in the coming months.

The provost noted to CW on Friday the excellent suggestions for improving the process that were provided both at the forum and also in email messages afterward.

“The committee will consider each and every suggestion very carefully,” he said. “And I am confident the final process will be much improved as a result of this input from the faculty.”

To receive a message each time new material is posted on the Academic Program Review web page, sign up for the listserv.

To see the materials and information posted on the web page, visit http://opa.uncg.edu/programreview/.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris
Visual: Moments before forum began, John Gamble at the lectern

President Ross Pays Visit


Tom Ross, president of the UNC system, visited UNCG Friday, Feb. 18.

The EUC was just a couple of miles from where he grew up in Sunset Hills, he said.

He is visiting each of the system campuses, in the first months of his tenure. He anticipates completing the visits by the end of spring, according to his chief of staff.

Friday afternoon was filled with 45-minute meetings with Faculty Senate, then Staff Senate, then the Student Government Association.

John Gamble, chair of the Faculty Senate, provided an overview of what the Faculty Senate had done the past several years. Ross then told a bit about himself and fielded questions.

Ross commended the work in giving faculty credit for engaging in the community as part of P&T – that corresponds with UNC Tomorrow’s thrust, and he said that he’d like to see a copy of that work. He also commended UNCG getting out in front in looking at academic program review.

He told of the value the UNC system brings to the state. “It’s allowed our economy to grow.”

The jobs of tomorrow are going to take higher education, he said.

The state’s population with no high school diploma have 17.4 percent unemployment. Those with a four year university degree have 4.2 percent unemployment, he said.

He discussed the budget. “There’s going to be pain” for the universities, he said. “We need to minimize permanent damage.”

He talked about something he says does not get enough recognition: the teaching. “For students, it’s life-changing.”

He described how a faculty member in Classics changed his life when Ross was a student at Davidson.

In meeting with Staff Senate, chair Jason Morris introduced all the senate’s leadership, and presented its mission. Morris provided examples exemplifying that mission, such as soliciting hundreds of suggestions for improving staff morale.

Ross asked that Staff Senate send to his office the suggestions they’d received regarding staff morale.

He acknowledged the staff’s work. “We would shut down if it were not for you,” he said.

As in the Faculty Senate meeting, he talked budget realities. “I know you’re interested in budget. It’s going to be a hard year.”

But he anticipates that the coming fiscal year may be “the worst of the worst.” The following year may be better. The economy is improving.

He asked for questions. The topics ranged from efficiencies gained from not having to work through other state offices in purchasing, etc, to concerns about universities serving under-represented populations. From early retirement options as part of proposed budget to online education.

He noted that there’s more to education than content, but online education is “an important area where we can improve.” He mentioned the advantage that online courses can provide to the armed services, for example, as well as to individual students who may get deployed during a semester.

In his final meeting of the afternoon, with the students, he again discussed the budget. He spoke of fewer sections, larger classes, etc. He acknowledged that they were at UNCG at a far-from-ideal budgetary time. “You couldn’t choose when you were born,” he said.

Nevertheless, “You are all fortunate to be here at this place,” he said. “It’s really a strong place.”

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Chris English

Student Success Center Lives up to Name

022311Feature_ForemanStudy skills and time management are two things that often plague students who are new to the demands of college and UNCG’s Student Success Center offers a variety of services to between 1,400 and 1,500 undergraduates each year.

Through a trio of programs, the center’s goal is to make sure that the students – and many are first-generation college students – receive the assistance they need to perform academically. The center is part of campus efforts to boost student success and retention rates. UNC General Administration has mandated that all system institutions must raise retention percentages for undergraduates by 2013.

“Typically what we find is that many new students need their high school study skills and time management skills tuned up to college-level,” said John Foreman, the center’s director. “What we do on a one-to-one basis is help them refine those skills in order to get control of their studies.”

And several topics are available, including time management, listening and taking notes, reading and comprehending college textbooks, test taking and anxiety management.

Students come in during the first week of the semester to sign up voluntarily for one of the center’s three programs:

  • Learning Assistance Center, which is open to all undergraduates, LAC signed up almost 900 students this year – and has waiting lists for services;
  • Special Support Services, which is available only to 200 first-generation students from modest-income families and provides an array of support services that includes individual tutoring, academic skills instruction, writing instruction, counseling, graduate and professional school guidance and financial literacy counseling. It has been funded through the U.S. Department of Education since 1970.
  • Supplemental Instruction Program, which provides three weekly discussion and review sessions outside of class times for high-risk courses, which are defined as classes having an enrollment of 100 or more with a D-F-W grade rate of 30 percent or higher over four or more semesters.

“I think our programs and the services we offer the students are having a positive effect on student persistence and graduation,” Foreman said. “I think we play a role in some students’ retention, even though there are other components available on campus which can help students. We’re part of a larger campus-wide effort and an attitude that UNCG will provide help to any students who want assistance.”

The stats from Institutional Research show that participants in SSC programs outperformed non-participants in persistence, GPA, good academic standing and graduation each year.

Foreman, seen in the visual discussing time management skills with a freshman, was himself a first-generation college student. He says he would’ve been a candidate for the program he runs. ”I’m working my values; I believe students should receive the help they need to stay in school and graduate,” Foreman said. “I tell my students that if I can graduate, they can do it, too.”

By Steve Gilliam
Photograph by Chris English

‘Essentials of Severe Weather’ Workshops

The Office of Emergency Management poses this scenario: “Quick, what would you do? It’s 4 p.m. on a Tuesday in late April.   [Read more…]

Notes: February 23, 2011

NotesIconForums for early/middle college of health and human sciences at UNCG As many as 50 ninth-graders will attend class on the UNCG campus in the fall through a new partnership between the university and Guilford County Schools. Focused on health and human sciences careers, this early/middle college will serve students who may be disengaged or who may struggle to adapt to the traditional high school setting. To find out more about this new school and to discuss opportunities for collaboration, attend one of two upcoming forums – at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, and at noon Tuesday, March 1 – both in EUC’s Kirkland Room. Tom Martinek, professor of kinesiology, will serve as UNCG’s liaison to the school. He’ll be speaking at the forums, but he’ll also be listening. “We’re looking for partners to mentor these students and for innovative ways to introduce these students to health careers,” Martinek says. “We want to include all the different ways UNCG promotes health. Along with medical careers like nursing, we want to help these students learn more about counseling, gerontology, nutrition, therapeutic recreation and other opportunities in this rapidly growing field.”

Budget web site updates The governor’s proposed budget and the state’s general fund revenue forecast are among the recent updates, at http://fsv.uncg.edu/budgetcentral.

Community engagement in departmental P&T guidelines Have you been “volunteered” by your department to write community engagement into your promotion and tenure guidelines? Come and learn how others are surviving and thriving. Bring your lunch; dessert and drinks will be provided. Guest speakers will be Dr. Sherrill Hayes (Conflict Studies & Dispute Resolution), Dr. Benjamin Filene (History) and Dr. Patrick Lucas (Interior Architecture). The workshop will be Tuesday, March 1, noon, in the EUC’s Ferguson Room. Email sjhilemo@uncg.edu for details.

UNCG Dining has launched Balanced U, a new health and wellness program, within UNCG Dining operations. The Balanced U program is built on the belief that maintaining a balanced lifestyle is truly at the heart of staying healthy. Key motivating trends and interests of today’s students have been identified, and Dining Services has developed educational culinary topics to engage and influence the most finicky eaters about making healthier selections. With a focus on the immediate benefits of eating healthier foods, students will begin to make the connection and understand that how they feel, look and perform is a result of what they eat. For more information, visit www.dineoncampus.com/uncg.

Sophomore Hoadley national semifinalist for Sullivan Award Golfer Robert Hoadley, All-SoCon as a freshman last year, was named by the Amateur Athletic Union as one of 12 semifinalists for the Sullivan Award, presented annually to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. The Sullivan is “based on qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amateurism,” according to the AAU. It predates the Heisman Trophy by five years. Hoadley, who plans on majoring in marketing in the Bryan School, is a Dean’s List and Chancellor’s List student. He and other teammates volunteer in the First Tee program, bringing golf to boys and girls who may never have played the game, Rob Daniels and Phil Perry note. Hoadley won the Pinehurst Intercollegiate and had a 15th-place finish in the Southern Conference championship as a freshman.Vote for Hoadley at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/quickquestion/2011/february/popup47029.htm.

Men’s and women’s cross country teams were honored last week as they both earned All-Academic team honors. Junior Ashley Schnell also claimed All-Academic Cross Country status as an individual. Schnell, a music major, was one of just 99 female athletes from around the nation to earn All-Academic Cross Country honors. She became the first-ever Spartan to earn All-Region honors after finishing in 14th place at the NCAA Southeast Regionals. The men’s team was one of 152 teams in the nation to claim All-Academic Cross Country Team honors after the team had a cumulative GPA of 3.36. The women’s team wasn’t far behind as they had a 3.31 GPA and was one of 192 teams recognized.

Gaski hits 600 Men’s baseball won two games this weekend, with large crowds enjoying the warm weather. They also saw Coach Mike Gaski get his 600th win in the Spartans’ 21 season history, as they won Saturday over Delaware.

Physical inactivity, the biggest public health problem of the 21st century? That’s the topic of March 17 HHP Lawther Lecture. It will be in Bryan 160 at 7 p.m. It is sponsored by the School of Health and Human Performance and the Department of Kinesiology. Steven N. Blair, the speaker, is a professor in the Departments of Exercise Science and Epidemiology/Biostatistics at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Blair is a Fellow in the American College of Epidemiology, Society for Behavioral Medicine, American College of Sports Medicine, American Heart Association, and American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education; and was elected to membership in the American Epidemiological Society. He was the first president of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, and is a past-president of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education. His research focuses on the associations between lifestyle and health, with a specific emphasis on exercise, physical fitness, body composition and chronic disease. He has published more than 500 papers and chapters in the scientific literature, and is one of the most highly cited exercise scientists, with more than 25,000 citations to his work. He also was the Senior Scientific Editor for the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health.

Renovations at Jackson The Jackson Library renovation project has begun. The primary goal is to renovate the third floor to the main building in order to expand the University Archives and Special Collections area. To follow the progress of the renovations, visit the library’s blog at http://jacksonlibrenovation.blogspot.com/

For African-American boys The African American Studies Program was awarded a $2,500 grant by NCBS Community Education and Civic Engagement Grants Program to fund an enrichment program for African American boys. Workshops include: art workshop on March 27, finance workshop on April 30 and career development on May 21. Also, there will be a field trip to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Feb. 26. All workshops are at UNCG. For times and locations, visit www.uncg.edu/afs and click “AFS Calendar.” The program is free and the cultural workshops are presented by African American Studies faculty. Contact Tara T. Green at 4-5507 for more information.

In memoriam Dr. Laura G. Anderton died Feb. 19 at age 92. A former lieutenant in the military WAVES during WWII, she was on UNCG’s Biology department faculty from 1948 to 1987. She served as associate dean in three of those years, and received the Alumni Teaching Excellence Award in 1964. See Anderton’s obituary and see her entry in UNCG Archives.

Spring break for CW Campus Weekly will not publish on March 9, which is the week of Spring Break. CW will resume publication on March 16.

’50 Works for 50 States’ at Weatherspoon

022311EyeOnArts_MainVogelThe Weatherspoon Art Museum will present “The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States.” The exhibition will open Sunday, Feb. 26. [Read more…]

Faculty Music Showcase March 3

A music faculty showcase performance, to raise funds for scholarships, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, in Aycock Auditorium. [Read more…]

Campus People: February 23, 2011

012010CampusPeopleGraphicFeatured this week: Daniel Durham – Matt Barr [Read more…]

Announcements: February 23, 2011

Deadline for Science/Math Scholarships is March 14

UNCG’s STAMPS Science/Math Scholarship program offers scholarships averaging $6,750 per year to talented students majoring in science or math. Application deadline is March 14 for scholarships for 2011-12.

Interested students must major in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, computer science, geography (concentrations in Earth science, environmental science or GIS science only), mathematics and statistics or physics and astronomy. The scholarships are administered by UNCG’s STAMPS program (Science, Technology and Math Preparation Scholarships). They are funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The STAMPS program is currently supporting nine UNCG students this semester with scholarships totaling $20,250, and plans to expand the number of scholarships next year. The NSF grant seeks to encourage talented, financially needy science, technology, engineering or math students to pursue a career in science or math and enter the science workforce. The program reflects the national need to increase substantially the number of American scientists and engineers.

STAMPS Scholars in spring 2011 include Pablo Diaz, Adam Eury, April Frake, Max Graves, Kyle Gutierrez, Westley Moor, Anna Tuck, Jose Velasco and Brandon Yates. This group includes three seniors, one junior, three sophomores and two freshmen.

Additional information on the STAMPS program – as well as the application form for 2011-12 – is available at http://www.uncg.edu/phy/stamps.

See/hear: February 23, 2011

On Feb. 7, women’s basketball coach Lynne Agee became just the 14th active Div. I coach and 21st Div. I coach overall to reach the 600-win mark. If you missed the game (or want to relive the excitement), watch and listen to the highlights in a multimedia slideshow shot and created by University Relations photographers.

Just click the “play” button on the screen at the bottom.

Photographers Chris English and David Wilson post a great shot from campus life each week at “Through the Lens.” Check out some of their work from past weeks.

Looking ahead: February 23-March 1, 2011

Talk, “Getting Started on Your Garden Plot,” Karen Neil
Wednesday, Feb. 23, 5 p.m., Graham Building, Room 313

Lecture, “Social Movements and Social Networks in the Arab Region,” Michaelle Browers
Wednesday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., Weatherspoon Auditorium

Great Conversation, “The Sniper and the Lone Sentry,” Dr. Mike Matteson
Thursday, Feb. 24, 5 p.m., Faculty Center

Music, String Orchestra
Thursday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Music Building

Softball vs. Morehead State, followed by game vs. Kansas
Friday, Feb. 25, 3:30 p.m., Softball Stadium.

Music, Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Band
Saturday, Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Music Building

Theatre, “Pericles”
Sunday, Feb. 27, 2 p.m., Taylor Theatre

Talk, “Making Food Industrial and the World Hungry: U.S. Agricultural Policy in the World Economy”
Monday, Feb. 28, noon, Room 136, Petty Science Building.

Forum, on early/middle college of health and human sciences
Tuesday, March 1, noon, Kirkland Room, EUC

Talk, “Nanoscience in the Study of Biology,” Dr. Adam Hall
Tuesday, March 1, 7:30 p.m., The Green Bean

more at calendar.uncg.edu