University Council Minutes: November 18, 2014

University Council Notes: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

 "Academic Alignment and Innovations Update"

UM Provost Perry Brown introduced Andrew Ware, chair of the Academic Alignment and Innovations Program (AAIP) task force. Ware provided an update on the program and then turned it over to the audience for questions.

Background: Faculty Senate has been collaborating with the Provost’s Office to:

  • Convey the importance of a liberal arts education to a prospective student audience.
  • Communicate the outcomes of a strong liberal arts education to prospective students.
  • Identify challenged programs at UM and programs ready for growth.
  • Determine what steps can be taken to help these programs.
  • Seek out potential new programs.
  • Assess new or expanded opportunities for interdisciplinary, international and online offerings. 

Membership & Activities: The AAIP task force has 14 people:  half faculty, three administrators, three students and one staff member. The group meets weekly to review broad input from the following campus constituents:

  • Office of Planning, Budget and Analysis
  • Graduate School
  • Every department chair and dean
  • The President's Advisory Council

The group also plans to hold forums during spring semester, which will be open to the entire campus community.

AAIP has begun its review of all current UM academic programs. Members are:

  • Reviewing existing data and sent out a survey to collect new data from each academic department.
  • Meeting individually with each dean.

AAIP is ready to start the discussion of which new programs UM should consider in the next 3-5 years.

Discussion: Andrew presented AAIP discussion questions and then asked for questions from the audience.

  • What is a 'first class liberal arts education?'
  • What are perceived benefits and pitfalls of AAIP as you understand it?
  • What metrics will we use to assess challenged programs and programs that are ready to grow?
  • How do we identify the best return on investment for potential new programs?

CIO Matt Riley asked if the task force has requested input from other universities that have undergone similar evaluations.

Ware: University of New Orleans has been used as an example. However, UM and AAIP aren’t conducting program prioritization. We want to know what steps we can take to help grow the

Download Academic Alignment and Innovation Program presentation slides here.