I write to provide our third update of the semester on the progress of the Academic Master Plan. As we begin to head towards the last, frantic weeks of the semester, the three Working Groups will be creating drafts of their reports and giving the campus community various opportunities for feedback. Each Working Group will be handling this a bit differently. The Liberal Arts Identity Working Group will be getting feedback via several constituencies for pointed feedback on their statement of identity. The Strategic Scheduling Working Group will be gathering feedback from those who are directly involved in scheduling first and then will offer an opportunity for wider feedback on a draft report. The Current and New Programs Working Group will get feedback on their decided-upon program evaluation metrics before the end of the semester and will also be providing a draft. In early May, we will send out a detailed update for all three working groups and solicit comments and feedback from the campus community.
Next fall, we continue the work of Current and New Programs, and we also begin the work of our final two working groups: Learning Spaces and Academic Technology and Academic Support Services. Please consider nominating yourself or someone else for an elected faculty or staff position to those working groups or contact me if you have an interest in serving.
We have multiple change processes at work this semester, and that makes it hard to distinguish between them. Along with the AMP process seeks to position Sonoma State for the future. We are also dealing with reorganization processes, building consolidation, shared service planning, and other processes that are a result of our budget deficit and our need to align our resources, staffing, and services to the needs of a smaller campus. We are all feeling anxious and impatient, but changes are beginning to happen and they won’t all happen at once. Mike Ogg is convening a Shared Services Working Group, and I am working with faculty governance to design a process for reorganization at the academic department and school level. Monir Ahmed, Dana Twedell, Mike Ogg, and I are working with units, schools, and departments on building consolidation.
The Executive Committee, Steering Committee, and Working Groups are doing excellent work in supporting these changes and determining how we can be a better, more cohesive, and equitable campus moving forward. I so appreciate all of the time and effort they have been putting into this process and encourage everyone to continue to give co-chairs and members of these groups feedback as the Academic Master Plan process continues throughout the Spring and Fall semesters.
Liberal Arts Identity Working Group Updates
The Liberal Arts Identity Working Group meeting this week was spirited and productive. They went line by line through their draft Identity statement, making sure that they were well articulating their priorities for SSU's Liberal Arts Identity, including ‘What Is’ and ‘What Could Be.’ They are making good progress toward submitting our final deliverables document to the Academic Master Planning Steering Committee at the end of the semester. They also had discussions on the benefits of garnering feedback both during and at the completion of our process. While they had initially thought that an ‘all-employees’ survey would be a good way of discerning ‘What resonates?’ and ‘What might be missing?’ from their draft statements, they realized that a more effective route of pre-submission feedback would be to target specific groups for their responses, asking for a unified response from each group, after having been given an opportunity to more thoroughly discuss. They will be sending out the draft Liberal Arts Identity Statements this week to Associated Students, to discuss at their upcoming meeting; and to the HSI Council, for their discussion at their upcoming meeting. They then plan to integrate the more specific, pointed feedback into their final deliverables submission.
Strategic Scheduling Working Group Updates
The Strategic Scheduling Working Group is continuing to work on their recommendations document. Three subgroups presented their work on a low-enrollment guidelines, scheduling timeline, and multi-year planning process. These recommendations are being reviewed by the larger group so that the working group can finish their report by the end of the semester. There will be an opportunity to give feedback on these recommendations before the final report is released. The Working Group also met with Academic Programs to discuss block enrollment and pre-enrollment which is well underway for the fall semester.
Current/New Programs Working Group Updates
The Current/New Programs Working Group is making significant progress on refining a set of metrics that can be used for assessing our programs. The Working Group is looking for programs to be proactive in envisioning ways to strengthen their current program offerings and making connections with other programs to ultimately offer new interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary programs that will contribute to increase student enrollment, retention, and graduation. However, with the caveat that the campus needs to work within our current budget constraints. This group will also provide an interim report based on their efforts by the end of the semester.
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. 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.