Minutes of the AQIP Quarterly Meeting
December 15, 2003

Present: Kathie Gilbert, Rick Johnson, Duane Elms, Chris Casey, Barbara James, Marcia Bourdette, Marie Leck, John Counts, Curtis Hayes, Gwen Cassel

I. AQIP Team Reports

A. Communications Team: Marie reported that this team has been researching what other universities do in the way of an ombudsperson position. They found that generally the person is selected by a committee and reports to the president’s office. The team is considering the benefits of having a committee operate as an oversight committee to this position. They envision that the ombudsperson would informally handle complaints of all types and would not take the place of the AA/EEO officer because the position would handle concerns not related to AA/EEO or would handle AA/EEO type concerns in an informal fashion in an effort to prevent them going to that level. The team plans on having a specific formal proposal in January. Dr. Counts stated that he is supportive of mechanisms that improve communications but that costs will obviously be a consideration along with other position needs.

There was discussion concerning the status of the information station. Running the information station is part of Virginia Manzano’s job duties and she operated the station for two weeks at the beginning of the semester. Duane asked if she keeps a log of questions and said that he could prepare a FAQ page for the website if she does.

B. Advising Team: Curtis reported that this team has three goals for this year: complete the advising handbook, develop a mechanism for students to evaluate faculty advisors, and assist with improving the Early Alert program.

Currently, Marcia is the “keeper of the handbook” and all revisions are going through her to make to the master copy. The handbook is available on the Web. Kathie suggested that it be made available in pdf. The team’s plan is to have the Academic Support Center take over the handbook and be responsible for keeping it current, but this can’t be done until there is a permanent director.

The team had developed a survey instrument and a draft policy for student evaluation of faculty advisors. The policy envisions that departments will administer the survey instrument in the Fall semester. The team has not worked on the Early Alert system yet. The team feels that this should be their last year since it has met it is purposes and its work is being institutionalized through established processes.

C. Funding Team: Kathie reported for this team. They have narrowed their focus this year and will deal with external, non-governmental funding sources. Dan Tressler, who is the acting Foundation Director, will serve on this team. This team will probably finish up its activities this year as well.

II. Systems Portfolio Forums

Kathie outlined the schedule for the systems portfolio forums that will begin in January and rum through March. Four forums will be held this spring each tied to two different AQIP Criteria. The purpose is to gather information on how we address each criterion and determine what should be happening, but isn’t, as to each criterion. Kathie asked if these forums should be used to help determine two new Action Projects to replace the two that will probably be completed this year. Gwen suggested that the forums should be a starting point and that input from the forums should then go to the Senates to decide what the new Action Projects will be. After some discussion it was decided that the best idea would be to have a joint faculty/staff forum on April 2 to decide what the two replacement Action Projects should be. This forum will consider the ideas suggested at the previous AQIP criterion forums.

III. NCA Meeting Showcase material

Kathie said we should think about presenting something at an NCA meeting and asked the co-chairs to meet and discuss how best to pursue this. She also encouraged team chairs to consider attending the NCA meeting if possible.

IV. Strategy Forum

The next Higher Learning Commission AQIP Strategy Forum that Western will be required to participate in will be in February of 2005. They are all held in Chicago now and a regent is required to be part of the team.

V. Quality New Mexico Zia Award feedback

Kathie distributed the Continuous Improvement Scorecard and SWOT Analysis prepared recently from Cabinet input during the Strategic Planning Retreat. She then briefly reviewed the feedback from the QNM Zia Award Team. They noted as outstanding practices Western’s use of SCT Banner, the community involvement, the student friendly environment, and the use of technology across most operations. They cited as a concern that senior leadership could better use information to improve organizational performance. Finally, they cited as opportunities for improvement the need for more proactive budget control, the need to improve both student and employee satisfaction levels, and that enrollment of some minority groups is declining.

VI. Systems Portfolio

The Systems Portfolio is the document that must be prepared for AQIP accreditation. It outlines the systems and processes that Western utilizes to address the nine AQIP criteria and begins with an Institutional Overview. A first draft of the Institutional Overview will be completed by January. Using Mustang Express, it will be distributed campus wide for feedback/comment as will other sections of the Portfolio as they are completed. The four forums mentioned above will then be used to gather information on eight of the nine criteria. Process charts must be developed for some processes. Kathie cited the advising system as an example of the kind of process that could be charted. Academic departments will be asked to provide information on the criterion concerning how students learn. The AQIP Teams will provide information on the three Action Projects.

VII. Plus/Delta Evaluation

Plusses: Tightly run, well focussed meeting.
Good food provided
Deltas: Short notice