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Academic Affairs Division – Executive Summary

This report has been prepared as part of the comprehensive strategic planning effort initiated by President White in March, 2005. Stage 3 of that planning effort calls for strategic plans from each major administrative unit on all three campuses of the University of Illinois. UIS’ Office of the Provost is included among those units.

Over the past two decades, the responsibilities of the Office of the Provost have grown substantially owing to the merger with the University of Illinois and the maturation of the campus. In contrast to the Provost’s Office of twenty – or even ten – years ago, the current Provost’s Office provides campus-wide oversight or coordination in the areas of graduate education, undergraduate education, budget planning, academic human resources, and technology. Development of a strategic plan affords the opportunity not only to identify strategic goals goals and associated actions, but also to educate the UIS community about the scope of the office’s responsibilities.

The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is UIS’ chief academic officer. In addition to having responsibility for the campus’ academic functions, the position also entails budget planning responsibilities that extend across the divisions. Deans of the four colleges and the library, as well as the Executive Director of the Center for State Policy and Leadership and the Director of the Sangamon Auditorium, report directly to the Pprovost.

The responsibilities of staff in the Office of the Provost include activities related to general campus administration, instruction and research, and technology. The scope of these responsibilities is described in this report. Additionally, because of the placement of the Sangamon Auditorium in the Division of Academic Affairs, the Provost’s Office also has some responsibility in the area of campus-community relations.

Mission

The Provost’s Office advances the UIS vision, mission, and strategic goals  goals by providing coordination among units both within the Division of Academic Affairs and across the entire campus.   The Provost’s Office exercises leadership in the formulation of academic policies and ensures adherence to those policies.   It coordinates campus planning and budgeting activities and promotes innovation in education, research, and service.

Guiding Values

  • Pursue excellence
  • Foster cooperation, collaboration, and communication
  • Act ethically
  • Be responsive and timely
  • Be financially responsible and exercise good stewardship of resources
  • Be fair and consistent
  • Focus on what benefits students

Strategic Intent

The Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will work collaboratively with the other divisions, with the colleges, and with the faculty to achieve the goals  goals of the UIS Strategic Plan.

UIS’ Statement of Strategic Intent will be kept paramount by the Provost’s Office in all its planning activities. That statement is:

UIS will be recognized as one of the top five small public liberal arts universities in the United States.

The Provost’s Office will gather and disseminate information and develop strategies aimed at achieving UIS’ strategic intent. Earning recognition as a leading small public liberal arts university will require actions central to the responsibilities of the Provost’s Office. The office will identify strategies aimed at improving UIS’ reputation and visibility in the higher education community. These include:

  • Exploring the feasibility of membership in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC)
  • Building institutional understanding of the college ranking process
  • Encouraging faculty presentations on UIS’ educational innovations at national conferences
  • Building a culture of assessment of learning outcomes
  • Investing in faculty development related to teaching and scholarship
  • Developing a strong and widespread program of support for undergraduatestudent research

Key Strategic Issues

  • How do we reconcile the need for additional staffing with the realities of limited resources and scrutiny of administrative hires?
  • What is the proper balance between functions reporting directly to the Provost and functions with intermediate reporting lines?

Strategic Goals

This report identifies key strategic goals, goals, subgoals, action steps, and target dates in fifteen functional areas in the categories of: Administration;Instruction and Research;
Technology; and Campus and& Community.  The goals are:

Administration

General Administration

  • Increase access to information about campus policies and procedures
  • Mitigate risks associated with turnover and loss of institutional memory

Financial Operations

  • EnEnhance data availability by providing timely, accurate, and relevant standard data to campus constituencies via the web
  • Enhance the ability to identify deviation from budget plans and business practices
  • Automate the monitoring of fiscal operationsthe effectiveness and productivity of staff engaged in financial operations

Academic Human Resources

  • Provide Ensure the accuracy of appointments and contracts for faculty, academic professionals, and other academic employees
  • Enhance the accessibility of academic personnel policy and procedures by providing relevant information via the Academic Affairs website.
  • Support the compilation and analysis of institutional data.
  • Enhance support for professional development of academic professionalshigh-quality personnel-related service for academic employees and campus departments and committees

Institutional Research

  • Enhance the availability of institutional data by providing timely, accurate, and relevant data to campus constituencies via the web
  • Enhance the availability of benchmark data by routinizing the collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of these data to support the monitoring of progress toward campus academic goals  goals
  • Capitalize on capabilities of Ddecision Ssupport system to strengthen enrollment planning, staffing, scheduling, and resource allocation decisions

Instruction and Research

Academic Planning

  • Identify opportunities for new curricular activities
  • Monitor progress in achieving the  goals goals that are included in the UIS Strategic  Plan
  • Improve the effectiveness of the program review process
  • Provide useful and timely information about UIS’ programs, activities, and accomplishments to internal and external entities
  • Explore the feasibility of membership in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges

Undergraduate Education

  • Implement and maintain the quality of the new general education curriculum
  • Insure communication and coordination at all levels of undergraduate education, for the betterment of teaching and learning
  • Help majors offer the highest quality education to students

Graduate Education

  • Improve graduate student recruiting and admissions
  • Promote and support high-quality graduate education
  • Research Administration, Grants and Contracts
  • Appoint a faculty-rank administrator over this area, and secure staff support for the office
  • Efficiently and effectively support the scholarly and public service   agendas of UIS faculty, staff, and students
  • Develop a mechanism to encourage and support faculty presentations on UIS’ educational innovations at national conferences
  • Develop a strong, widespread program of support for undergraduatestudent research

Faculty Development

  • Plan for and lead the effort to organize aAssess the advantages and disadvantages of creating a Faculty Development Unit
  • Coordinate faculty development opportunities on campus
  • Replace antiquatedEvaluate current system for allocating faculty development funds

Online Education

  • Enhance communication and coordination among on-lineonline programs and between on-lineonline programs and various campus units

Assessment

  • Develop an organizational structure for campus-wide assessment of student learning
  • Work with the Higher Learning Commission Re-accreditation Self-Study Team to insure that campus assessment materials meet standards

International Programs

  • Strengthen study abroad programs on the UIS campus
  • Facilitate the development of program assessment plans that use data for reflection and change

Technology

Banner Support

  • Increase support for Banner/administrative computer application users

Information Technology

  • Leadership in planning, management, and direction of technology initiatives in support of both academic and administrative operations
  • Ensure that systems and networks are secure, reliable, and easy to use
  • Improve student life through technology- related initiatives
  • Provide outstanding technology support in all areas
  • Provide an environment that encourages the use of technology to facilitate and enhance learning

Campus  &and Community

Sangamon Auditorium

  • Ensure the financial viability of the auditorium, while offering a rich array of programs
  • Create experiential learning opportunities for students, in support of the campus’ ‘ academic divisions and continuing education
  • Upgrade the proprietary ticket system
  • Create procedural manuals that integrate industry standards of the performing arts with UIS policies

Resource Needs and Sources of Funding

Several of the key goals key goals of the Provost’s Office Strategic Plan, such as those related to faculty development and support for scholarship, involve the implementation of action steps contained in the UIS Strategic Plan. The resources needed to support these activities are contained in the Supplement to the UIS Strategic Plan, and are not included in this plan. Resources needed for initiatives identified in this plan, but not included in the campus plan, are estimated at $291,000 recurring funds and 4 FTE in new positions. The sources of funding are those identified in the UIS Strategic Plan.

Implementation Timetable

Target dates for completion of actions steps are included under each goal. goal

Performance Metrics

Although there are specific outcomes and, in some cases, metrics associated with each of the goals goals of the fifteen functional areas identified in this report, considerable weight needs to be given to a more limited set of metrics, specifically those associated with the statement of strategic intent.

UIS will know that it has achieved the goal  goal of being recognized as one of the leading small public liberal arts institutions in one of several ways:

  • Acceptance into the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges
  • Inclusion (or favorable ranking) in a national guide to colleges
  • Awards or other recognition from national educational associations such as AASCU or AAC&U

Some metrics from the UIS sStrategic pPlan and from the annual UIS Performance Report will be central to achieving the strategic intent of becoming recognized as a leading small public liberal arts institution. These metrics track actions that will produce recognition and include:

  • Proportion of degree programs with active programs of assessment of learning outcomes
  • Annual number of student presentations at campus, regional, and national scholarly and professional conferences
  • Annual number of   faculty presentations at national conferences on UIS’ educational innovations

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