This memo provides our second update of the semester on the progress of the Academic Master Plan. I am deeply grateful for the sustained, deep work the Steering Committee and Working Groups are doing.
The Chancellor’s Office has offered their support for our process, and that includes providing resources. We have just been awarded a grant for $100,000 in one-time funds for a consultant, Gray Associates, Inc., who will support the work of the Current and New Programs Working Group (CNPWG). Gray Associates will use the metrics developed by the CNPWG to develop key data points that can be used to evaluate our portfolio of programs. They will also support the CNPWG by providing context about the labor market in Sonoma County and beyond.
Our membership in the COPLAC consortium is also helping us with our work on the Academic Master Plan. Executive Director Cole Woodcox has worked with the Liberal Arts Identity Working Group (LAIWG), and we are also getting data from COPLAC campuses that are assisting with our efforts. VisionPoint, our new marketing firm, will assist with honing our communication about the value of a Sonoma State education.
At the Spring Budget Forum on March 16, 2023, members of the various AMP groups will be happy to answer questions you may have about that process.
Bear with us as we let these groups think, operate, and recommend real solutions that will help us move Sonoma State forward. Change is hard, but I deeply appreciate the hard work all our faculty and staff are doing at every level and the commitment you have towards our institution.
Liberal Arts Identity Working Group Updates
The Liberal Arts Identity Working Group has developed both an internal identity statement and an outward facing student-focused identity statement. They have also created bulleted lists of the elements of our Liberal Arts Identity, for ease of discussion. This week they tackled the following topics:
Those features which make SSU a unique educational experience within the CSU
How the SSU experience contributes to the education of first generation and underrepresented minority students
How the SSU Liberal Arts Identity impacts all levels of our institution from classroom activities to leadership priorities (i.e., how it can and should reverberate throughout all units and divisions on our campus)
Each group member weighed in individually before the meeting, and then they had a very fruitful and critical discussion. They are finding common threads emerging through their discussions, and are arriving at a shared sense of our uniqueness and our potential here at SSU.
Strategic Scheduling Working Group Updates
The Strategic Scheduling Working Group has been engaged in surfacing information on various scheduling related processes, planning, and enrollment issues. They are starting to pivot toward writing recommendations for implementing a common course scheduling and planning timeline, as well as guidelines for managing low-enrolled classes and related registration management. We think that coordinating some of these activities across schools will help foster better transparency, result in potential collaboration across units, facilitate some challenging conversations around equity, and generally serve students better.
Current/New Programs Working Group Updates
The Current and New Programs Working Group has been focusing on reduction of the large number of potential metrics that will be used for assessing programs. Based on feedback representatives received from their constituents and our deliberations, the working group is combining related metrics, discussing how data for a metric will be generated, and whether a metric is applicable at a program level rather than at individual faculty or course level. Once a reduced list of metrics is ready, it will be shared with the University community for additional feedback.
Upcoming Events and Opportunities for Feedback and Participation
There are many opportunities to get involved in the Academic Master Planning process and give feedback. The call for faculty, staff, and student participants for the Fall Working Groups has been sent out to the Schools, Staff Council, and Associated Students. Please consider being a part of Academic Support Services or Learning Spaces and Technologies. The upcoming open forums will be listed on the Academic Master Plan website and emailed to campus. Recordings of the open forums have been posted to the Academic Master Plan website. An anonymous Google feedback form is available if you want to provide feedback on the process. There will be periodic email updates via a listserv if you would like to sign up for more frequent communications. If you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to reach out to any members of the Executive Committee, Steering Committee, or working groups, or you can email AMP@sonoma.edu.