It’s been roughly a month since I started as Provost, which makes it about time that I write my first communication to the College. I’ve spent most of the month meeting people, and learning about individual units. Each meeting gives me an opportunity to learn a little more about the institution and gain a perspective on the many important activities underway that I’ve inherited.
New Instructional Assessment System (IAS)
On June 9th, my first day on the job, Interim Provost Delene announced an agreement with the UUP on a new IAS. During this past month, I’ve met with Susan Orr and Jason Morris to gain background on the original proposal, understand the work of the committee that was engaged in developing the new instrument, and identify the mechanism by which it can be implemented. As we announced earlier, the new Instructional Assessment System (IAS) form becomes effective with the fall 2022 semester. College Senate will have the opportunity early in the fall to hear from UUP about the new instrument and help faculty and academic programs better understand its implications so that they can update their APT documents as needed.
General Education Requirements
I’ve spent time becoming familiar with the ongoing discussions on modifying our general education requirements in response to changes imposed by SUNY system. The committee, under the leadership of Donna Wilkerson-Baker, is making excellent progress and should have a proposal for Senate early in the fall semester. I met with Donna recently to get a sense of what the committee is considering, and to share some thoughts and ideas about how we might distinguish Brockport through creative use of the general education requirements, and was pleased to learn that my ideas seem to be consistent with some of those being considered in committee. However, being new to the College, I rely on their expertise to identify the greatest opportunities for modifying our curriculum to meet the SUNY requirements and our own expectations. We are required to be compliant by fall 2023, which means early action will be desirable.
Academic Strategic Plan
I have also worked to familiarize myself with the Academic Strategic Plan. During my interview in February, I talked with several people who alerted me that the plan was being developed and discussed some of the key tenets within the draft plan. These conversations helped me to decide that SUNY Brockport was moving in the right direction and a College that I would like to become a part of. The hard work of those who helped formulate the plan, and all those who contributed, further demonstrates the commitment of college faculty and staff to making SUNY Brockport successful now and in the future. During my discussions with the Deans, I have tried to reinforce my support for the plan, even as we have discussed specific implementation opportunities. Alignment with the Academic Strategic Plan is an important aspect of our growth. I am looking forward to working together to achieve success within the context of the plan.
Strategic Planning Assessment
President Macpherson has requested that I lead the Strategic Planning Assessment committee, and I am excited to begin that work as we approach the fall semester. We will work with our institutional research and assessment teams to define specific key performance indicators and identify mechanisms through which we can measure our progress towards attaining those goals. This will be a regular and ongoing conversation, as these KPIs need to be reviewed to ensure that they are responsive to changing conditions. And, of course, the college strategic plan and the Academic Strategic Plan need to come together seamlessly so that we can have the greatest success.
Finally, I have also had the opportunity to meet with our enrollment management and student success teams. It is my belief that the academic division needs to be deeply engaged for us to reverse the trend of declining enrollment. The Academic Strategic Plan process identified programs with opportunities for growth and new programs that can lead to new enrollment. I have undertaken preliminary discussions helping us to identify new enrollment pathways, including transfer and graduate opportunities, and other strategies to impact student retention. I have been invited to join the Strategic Enrollment Management Team and will use that platform to represent the academic division in our forthcoming strategies. I welcome your ideas and input.
It’s been an exhilarating first month, and while I don’t intend to send weekly updates, I will continue to work to keep you informed on a regular basis. As a final thought, I encourage you to reach out to me to share your thoughts on how we can be successful. I intend to get out to meet each department during the fall semester, and will look forward to hearing from you.