NCA Monitoring Report Background

Introduction

In April 2000, Bemidji State was reaccredited through 2009-2010 by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Full accreditation was granted for the first time in several decades. A monitoring report from the University on two aspects of its 1999-2000 review, assessment and strategic planning , is due September 30, 2002.

Assessment

In its Site Visit Report, the NCA evaluation team gave the following Recommedations and Rationale for the assessment portion of the monitoring report:

The written report must specifically address what the team found to be an unevenness of implementing the University's approved Assessment Plan. While the campus culture pertaining to assessment is still evolving, it has not yet become an institutional priority of a way of life. Some programs have defined appropriate and measurable objectives for program educational goals; others are currently functioning at a more elementary stage in the process; and still other areas have yet to use the data collected in a manner that helps them determine if the measures are adequate and appropriate. The report will need to also address the University's need to develop a well articulated plan, or set of procedures to meaningfully integrate the experimental planning initiatives with other critical areas of the institution, i.e. program assessment plans, five year program review schedules, resource allocation, and the new committee and council infrastructure. Institutional operational plans (i.e. Information Technology Plan, a Campus Master Plan or a Financial Plan for the University), are not yet fully developed and must also be integrated into the overall University Plan. Failure to adequately address the above issues, within the monitoring report, could trigger a focused evaluation of those areas (Site Visit Report, page 50).

Strategic Planning

The team also gave the following Recommendations and Rationale for the strategic planning component of the monitoring report.

Bemidji State University is to be commended for its ambitious effort toward developing an Experimental Planning Initiative which has totally reorganized its internal decision making process supported the rededication to its core values, and reaffirmed the centrality of its academic mission, all within the past 12-18 months. Endorsement by the general faculty and staff, appropriate bargaining units and faculty Senate, along with a strong alliance with the community and business sector will serve to strengthen the planning initiative. While the newness of the restructuring plan has created an atmosphere of cautious optimism, there is strong support for the newfound empowerment of the Deans and their stronger involvement in the decision making process. The University should be encouraged to protect its reputation as a leader in technology innovations and promoter of economic development through partnerships with business and industry. While the current planning initiative at Bemidji State represents the culmination of adecad of preliminary planning efforts, it is far too early to speculate on the long tem effectiveness of the current Experimental Planning Initiative. There are positive indicators that the plan will succeed, but the University will need time and due diligence, along with remaining focused and committed to the overall plan (Site Visit Report, pages 50-51).


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