Provost Gives Academic Affairs Division Update

Monday 17, 2017

I hope this summer that you all are having many opportunities for time with family, friends as well as some much-deserved R&R. I also know many of you have been very busy as I see you pretty regularly on campus. Yes, it has been a busy summer! Because it is the middle of summer I thought it would be helpful to update you on what is happening in the Division of Academic Affairs.

Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU):

MASU held its annual Academic Affairs Officers retreat in June at Michigan Tech. NMU had a number of programs reviewed and approved for both elimination and as new offerings at this meeting. As many of you know, new programs and those identified for elimination go to MASU for review. All of these programs had already undergone our on campus required reviews as well as review by our BOTs.

The following NMU programs were approved for elimination:

Psychology/Graduate School Preparation – this program was eliminated because the courses and sequence of courses for this major were largely redundant with the proposed revision to the General Psychology major (renamed Psychology Major). Interdisciplinary Public Administration – The Department of Political Science eliminated this program due to its low enrollment. The program is being replaced with the public administration concentration in political science. Art History – Eliminated due to historically low enrollment. Accounting/Financial Planning – Eliminated due to trend of declining enrollment. The Accounting/Corporate Finance program remains as a viable option. Athletic Training (AT) – The BS degree program is being phased out because of a nationwide requirement for all AT programs to transition to a masters program. By the year 2020 there will no longer be any undergraduate degree AT program in the United States. A very big thank you to Julie Rochester and her team who have been revising curricula to meet this new degree requirement. Early Childhood – This program was suspended because of a continual drop in enrollment over a 5 year period.

The following new programs were approved at the June MASU meeting:

Anthropology major – Bachelor’s degree Applied Workplace Leadership – Bachelor’s degree Embedded Systems – Bachelor’s degree Insurance – Associates Degree Paralegal – Associates Degree

MASU requirement change to note:

Last fall MASU provosts voted to require a program be reviewed and supported by them prior to any advertising. As you can imagine, I found this to be problematic if the timing was off e.g. a new program that has received support at all of our university levels would be held back from advertising until MASU met. I am happy to say that at our summer retreat this requirement was reversed so it is now permissible to advertise prior to MASU approval once our BOTs have given support. The advertisement would include a note ‘pending MASU approval.”

HLC Site Visit

I am thrilled to announce that we received official notification from HLC that our accreditation was reconfirmed. A very big thank you to Kim Barron for her leadership on this effort and to the many faculty, staff and students who led, supported and helped throughout! If you would like to read the report or learn more about the processes and AQIP please go to:

Michigan Transfer Steering Committee

As I hope many of you recall, Kim Rotundo is a member of the Michigan Transfer Steering Committee. She recently attended the June meeting that was facilitated by MASU and the Michigan Community Colleges Association (MCCA). The two organizations put a request to the legislature to provide funding in the amount of $1,025,000 to build a replacement to our Michigan Transfer Network (MTN). The technology is old and is in need of replacement. At this time, there is support from both the legislature and governor to provide this funding.

The Transfer Steering Committee is focusing on four academic programs to build a transfer pathway (2+2 type program) between all institutions. The four programs are: Psychology, Business Administration (general business), Criminal Justice and Biological Sciences (general biology). I am updating you on this because Kim will be looking to faculty, advisors and students for input as this pathway is built. I am very grateful for the work Kim is doing on this committee and have to say at each MASU meeting I am told how valuable her contributions are to the goals of the committee. Thank you Kim!

Teaching Award Forms

The NMU TLC updated the application/nomination forms for the teaching awards and these changes are now updated on the website. The updates help to make the application process clearer and easier. Please see:

Many thanks to Amy Barnsley (TLC chair) and the TLC members for their work on this project.

New Template Developed for Tenure, Promotion and Continuing Contract Applications

Randy Appleton, FRC chair developed a template/guide for those faculty who will be submitting applications for promotion/tenure/continuing contract status. While it is not a requirement to use the guide, it certainly could be very helpful to those working on their application to be sure that all required criteria are addressed. I also think that using it will be helpful to those of us reviewing these documents. Thank you to Randy for all of the work devoted to developing this template.

Administrative Leadership Training

A request I have heard from deans and department heads is that they would like more formal leadership training. To that end, all of our Deans and Associate Deans/Department Heads will be attending a two day leadership workshop on our campus in August. The facilitators for the workshop are:

Howard Cohen, PhD who is Chancellor Emeritus and Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University Northwest and Senior Associate in the AASCU Penson Center for Professional Development, a consulting group that works primarily with public regional universities Sal D. Rinella, PhD, Senior Associate and former President, Austin Peay State University

Restructuring Updates

Last academic year the CHS&PS recommended shuttering their dean’s office for a number of reasons, including a reduction in budgets. A well thought out plan was provided to me for review. I recently approved their plan and the Schools and Departments in this (previous) college are moving forward to pilot a no dean model. We have been meeting to discuss impacts of this change both on the current leaders of each School/Department, and on the office of Academic Affairs. Additionally we have had meetings with the AAUP leadership to discuss and identify how to meet related issues that need to be addressed when there is no dean. An evaluation plan is under development to determine the success (or not) of this model.

Planning for Distinction: Strategic Resource Allocation

The Task Forces (TF) involved in the SRA project have met regularly throughout the summer. In addition, the chairs of each of the TFs have met biweekly with me and co-chair Gavin Leach.

Programs that will undergo review have been identified and are listed on the SRA website ( The Support TF has completed their reporting template, including examples of a properly and improperly completed template. The sample is available on the SRA website ( The Academic TF has completed a final draft of their template that will be ready for posting on the SRA site soon. Paul Mann, Associate Dean of CS has agreed to use some of his programs to test the templates.   The Facilitation TF has been working to identify data that will be piped into each template so that persons filling out the templates will not have to search for data. Qualtrics has been hired to pipe the data in to the templates to assure that it is done accurately. We all recognize the criticality of having the correct data in the correct places. This has been a significant job for both Jason (program related data) and Sherri (all financial data) as they worked with each TF to be sure data that are needed are available and accurate. Once Qualtrics has piped in the data, each template will be tested (including interrater reliability testing) prior to begin the process of completing the templates. This is in essence, piloting the templates. Each TF will then conduct multiple training sessions to ensure that everyone involved in writing and reviewing a template understands what is expected. Check-ins with our consultant, Larry Goldstein have continued with solid feedback received. An updated timeline for the project is available on the SRA website (

I cannot thank the members of these TFs enough for their dedication, commitment and hard work. They are pioneering a project that will enable our university to be strategic and support innovation.

As always, please do not hesitate to email me or Gavin if you have questions or suggestions about the Planning for Distinction: Strategic Resource Allocation project.

I hope you all are able to continue to enjoy the rest of the summer (as it does seem to come and go with our weather pattern)! Before we know it fall will be here and from the orientation sessions, I believe it will be an outstanding year! Thank you all so very much for ALL you do. It truly IS appreciated.

With kind regards,

Kerri Schuiling