SEPTEMBER 2013 | ISSUE: 7
Updates from Provost Pallavicini
Dear Members of the Academic Division,
Welcome back! Much has been going on in the Academic Division over the summer and into the beginning of the fall 2013 semester.
The Academic Division
The mission of the Academic Division is to provide the highest quality academic experiences for Pacific students and to promote student, faculty and staff success. The priorities for the Academic Division are to:
1) Strive for excellence in all that we do
2) Develop well rounded and successful students
3) Promote a vibrant academic environment
4) Be relevant to students
5) Enhance sustainable revenue streams
During the forthcoming year there will be a number of opportunities to discuss what these priorities mean to all of us, to note successes, to identify barriers, and then to find solutions to overcome these challenges. Please go to the Office of the Provost homepage to learn more.
Academic Planning and Alignment
The top priority for the University this year is to focus and align our programs to ensure all that we do is high quality, effective, and clearly connected to our mission and strategic directions.It is clear that higher education is moving into a new era. Scrutiny is increasing from a variety of stakeholders: students and their families, employers, and the federal government, to name just a few. Much of this scrutiny surrounds the value of a college degree and the quality of degree programs. Pacific is engaging in the process of Academic Planning and Alignment to address these questions in a meaningful way across the entire institution, but the most important goal of this university-wide process is to improve the quality of our programs.
Faculty, staff, and administration need to understand better how their programs work, what data associated with their programs mean, and how to use these data to inform and improve the educational effectiveness of their programs. As it is with many other critical functions in the academy, it is also important that the results of this undertaking be evaluated by people within programs and also by peers in the institution external to the program in order to assure that each program is properly understood and that criteria are applied equally across programs. The tasks we have before us this academic year are in some ways unprecedented for Pacific; however, it is vital that we address them to build and sustain high quality programs and provide experiences to current and future Pacific students that deliver on our promise to prepare them for lasting achievement and responsible leadership in their careers and communities.
Please read the Institutional Effectiveness section in this newsletter for more information.
Planning for new Academic Programs
A number of new academic programs are in the works and are planned to go to the Board of Regents for approval in either January 2014 or April 2014: a Doctorate of Audiology, a Master of Arts and certificate in Food Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science, and a Master of Science in Data Analytics.
John Jones, Interim CIO, has joined Pacific for the next 6-9 months after the departure of former CIO, Malik Rahman. John has a long and celebrated technology career. He has led technology organizations internationally and in geographically dispersed locations. For the past 16 years, John has held executive roles at the CIO, COO, and CEO levels.
John has overall responsibility for computing services and initiatives delivered by and through the Office of IT. He has begun working with key campus constituents, stakeholders, and leadership to create the 2020 Pacific IT Plan. This plan will define the IT vision, strategies, roadmaps, and priorities for Board approval. He will work to ensure that the information technology infrastructure and services are integrated into and meet the current and near-term needs of the academic and administrative functions of the University's three campuses. John has also started working with the various technology groups across the three campuses, schools/colleges and within the central Office of IT to identify opportunities to optimize the delivery of technology, systems and tools needed to support the current and emerging needs of Pacific. Read more: Interim CIO Appointed.
With support from Eileen McFall and Nadine Pappas, Cyd Jenefsky and Berit Gundersen will lead both the academic planning and alignment process and the assessment of university-wide learning objectives to align with the Five WASC Core competencies. Berit Gundersen is the point person for questions regarding academic planning and alignment, Focusing on our Future, and assessment. During the next few months, the structure of institutional effectiveness will be assessed before searching for a new director of Institutional Effectiveness. We all wish Dave Chase the best as he starts his new position in LA. He will be sorely missed. Read more: David Chase to Become American Film Institute Conservatory Vice Dean.
Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)
It is essential that we have visionary leadership in the CTL with strong integration with IT. We will restart the search for a director for CTL to create a deep pool with multiple viable candidates to ensure that we select the best fit for Pacific.
Important Dates: Academic Administrative Schedule 2013-14
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Institutional Effectiveness at Pacific
What's going on this year?How does one define an effective institution of higher education? There was a recent online conversation among faculty and administrators who responded with the following ideas: an effective institution develops the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of its students over the course of their engagement in the enterprise; it continually engages in self-reflection to improve all aspects of its educational mission, and it is responsive to the changing needs of its students. Other pressing questions are emerging from a national conversation about higher education effectiveness: How well do institutions perform? Do students who enroll persist to graduation? How many students who enroll earn a degree, and how long does it take? What are the outcomes for students who earn their degrees - in terms of both knowledge and skills and post-graduation employment or continued study?
In order to address these questions and engage in meaningful systematic reflection and self-inquiry, Pacific established a pilot Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) in 2011. An Office of Institutional Effectiveness, reporting to the Provost, was created in 2012. Academic Council approved the IEC as a standing committee in the spring 2013 semester. The IE office is responsible for coordinating the work of the IEC and others for the continual improvement of quality across all of Pacific's academic, administrative, and co-curricular programs.
In 2013-2014, the Institutional Effectiveness Committee will work to finalize a new set of policies and practices for program review that will provide guidance for the kind of reflective inquiry necessary to understand how programs work and how they can improve, and that also reflect the changing landscape of higher education today.
New Accreditation Requirements
On July 1 of this year, the new WASC 2013 Handbook of Accreditation went into effect. Among changes to the process of accreditation documentation and how visits work, there are some important new requirements. All WASC accredited institutions must demonstrate the achievement of five core competencies:
- Written Communication
- Oral Communication
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Information Literacy
- Critical Thinking
Ensuring that all of our undergraduate students learn these competencies at Pacific also means documenting how this development occurs through learning assessment. This is a new and significant change from past practice, and as such, Pacific is sending faculty to WASC-sponsored retreats about how to assess these core competencies. Teams of 3-4 faculty members from the schools and College will attend two retreats in late September and October and will develop a plan for addressing these competencies across the curriculum. One member from each team will be designated as a lead and will coordinate with colleagues to deliver a plan for assessment that can then be discussed and operationalized across all undergraduate programs. These plans will play a role in Pacific's assessment of learning across the institution and will help to address issues surrounding systematic assessment in an interim report due to the WASC commission in spring of 2015.
Academic Planning and Alignment
Pacific is engaged in two important institutional efforts this year: Academic Planning and Alignment, and the establishment of a Strategic Investment Fund to both create new programs and enhance existing programs in light of Pacific 2020. It is important to note that the Academic Planning and Alignment process is not linked to budget reallocations; rather, the results of Academic Planning and Alignment will provide a contemporary snapshot of all programs across the entire institution and will be used as the basis for ongoing annual reporting and program review efforts. The Provost will provide an update on the Strategic Investment Fund planning underway in the Strategic Planning Committee in a future newsletter.
Cyd Jenefsky, Mike Rogers, and David Chase have been visiting with Planning and Alignment report writers in the academic division to discuss the process and accompanying templates and rubric in detail. The meetings that have already taken place have provided important feedback that is being used to refine and improve both the process and materials. These modifications will allow for programs to develop the best possible reports to serve the Planning and Alignment process this year; they are also intended to provide utility to programs in the future as ongoing quality improvement efforts are developed and refined. WASC has tasked the University with strengthening systems of assessment and program review, and the Academic Planning and Alignment process will play a significant role in accomplishing this task. WASC has approved our Focusing on the Future endeavor as part of our planning process, and we'll resume program review next year.
For additional information please visit: Focusing on our Future Process Overview and Academic Planning & Alignment.
Office of Enrollment Management
Tim Nacarrato, Interim Associate Provost for Enrollment Management
What is the state of Pacific enrollment in Fall 2013?
Total university enrollment for Fall 2013 is trending somewhat lower than last year, due to a smaller entering class at the law school and fewer undergraduate transfer students. The university expects about 6,400 students across all three campuses compared to 6,652 last year.
Undergraduate students will likely exceed last year's class of 3,867, largely due to a robust freshmen class of about 960 when the target was 900. Last year's freshmen class was 852. Academic quality is down slightly with an average SAT of 1177 versus 1199 last year (highest in recent history) and an average GPA of 3.46 versus 3.53 last year. Women make up 53%; men 47%, a ratio similar to the past several years. International students total 5% of the entering class, down from 8% last year as a result of stricter academic requirements. Hispanic students increased to 17% of the entering class compared to 15% and 11% the previous two years confirming a nationwide trend.
New transfer students will total about 190, below last year's 259, but the average GPA increased slightly from 3.22 to 3.25. The decrease is the result of fewer applications and some departments increasing their prerequisite courses and academic standards.
The number of new graduate students who have confirmed for fall is 258 compared to 287 at this time last year.
Total enrollment for the Doctor of Pharmacy program remains steady at 632 students while the number of DDS students at the Dugoni School of Dentistry remains stable at 490. Pacific McGeorge School of Law will enroll a new class of 163 (132 Day, 31 Evening), the lowest number in many years because of the nationwide downturn in applications. Last year's entering class totaled 255. The total JD class will be about 644 compared to 829 last year, a decline of 22%.
Faculty Affairs' Happenings
Berit Gundersen, Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs
Please join us in congratulating the following faculty upon their tenure and/or promotion. The full list can be viewed here.
New Faculty OrientationA special welcome to our new faculty. Please join us in welcoming these new faculty to the Pacific Family.
Kris Alexanderson, History; Jacqueline Austin, Psychology; Benjamin Carlston, Business~Finance; Janice Chen, Business~Accounting; David Collum, Pharmacy Practice; Vusal Eminli, Business~Finance; Helene Flohic, Physics; Jessica Grady, Psychology; Shelly Gulati, Bioengineering; Justin Hicks, Economics; Jennifer Hoenig, Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences; Anett Jessup, English; Osvaldo Jimenez, Computer Science; Rui Ma, Modern Languages & Literature; Sara Malec, Mathematics; Susan Mannon, Sociology; Joan Meyers, Sociology; Casey Nesbit, Physical Therapy; Preeti Oza, Physical Therapy; Douglas Risser, Biology; Kylie Rowe, Physical Therapy; Marie Scott, Pharmacy Practice; Rachel Stark, Library; Tara Thiemann, Biology; Tien Tran Roehling, Mechanical Engineering; Teresa Vail, Education~Curriculum & Instruction; Theresa Wilksen, Speech-Language Pathology; James Wyant, Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences.
When: Thursday, October 3, 2013, 1:00-4:00 pm
Where: Center for Teaching and Learning, Suite 230, Library
All faculty are welcome. Please RSVP to Nadine Pappas (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can plan accordingly.
If you are not currently receiving the Monday Motivator and accessing the additional development opportunities from the NCFDD and would like to, Pacific has an institutional membership.
If you are not familiar with the NCFDD, please take a moment and explore the development opportunities available to you. How to activate your institutionally sponsored membership
Academic Affairs' Happenings
Lou Matz, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs
Last spring, new guidelines and a new process were approved for new academic program proposals. The materials are available on the Academic Affairs' webpage.
The fundamental skills (developmental) writing program has been streamlined, with students formerly placed in WRIT 19 and WRIT 21 receiving weekly supplemental writing instruction in new Pacific Seminar 1 Plus sections. Developmental writing is now overseen by the Director of University Writing Programs, and Eileen Camfield has been appointed as the Interim Director for 2013-14.
In April, approximately 300 students participated in the 13th annual Pacific Undergraduate Research Conference, which is organized by the Director of Undergraduate Research, Dr. Lydia Fox.
Led by Dr. Cindy Ostberg and Dylan Zorea, J.D. and M.A., the Pacific Legal Scholars program has enrolled its largest incoming class, with a 1319 average SAT and a 3.7 high school GPA.
There are 80 new entering students in the University Honors Program, with a 1386 average SAT and a 3.78 high school GPA. The program is led by Dr. George Randels and Dr. Lisa Wrischnik.
The Fellowship program, led by Dr. Susan Weiner, produced two Goldwater scholarships (Brittany Klemm, Geology, and Sarah Wong, Biology and Pre-Dentistry), one Fulbright award (Emma Luther, Economics), one Boren scholarship (Caitlin Denton, Sociology), one Northwestern University Summer Research Opportunities Program award (Danielle Procope, English and Philosophy), and one Truman Scholarship finalist (Shannon Chapman, International Studies and Economics).
Faculty Compensation Stockton Campus
The Faculty Compensation data is now available for the Stockton campus. This report describes compensation comparisons for the faculty on the Stockton campus using CUPA data for those institutions that submitted salary levels to the American Association of University Professors. The report and data can found on InsidePacific.
Faculty Governance Office
Harriett Arnold, Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Past-Chairperson Academic Council
The Academic Council completed the 2012-13 academic year with its final meeting and a reception for Past-Chairperson, Chris Goff, on May, 2, 2013 in the Community Room of the Library for his three years of services to faculty governance.
Marlin Bates, Communication, was elected as the Academic Council Chairperson for 2013-14, and Courtney Lehmann, English, is Chairperson-Elect. I will continue to serve as a member of the Executive Board of Academic Council as the Past-Chairperson.
We are looking forward to the 2013-2014 academic year. The Academic Council will continue to work closely with Administration this year and be the voice of the faculty. We welcomed our new faculty at the New Faculty Orientation in late August, just prior to the beginning of the fall semester. There will be issues and concerns of the faculty this year and we hope that you will contact your faculty representative or members of the Executive Board. Academic Council Committee Membership.
Office of Sponsored Programs
Bhaskar Jasti, Interim Associate Provost for Research, Collaborative Programs
Do you know about Pacific's success this year in landing prestigious external funding?
Thus far this fiscal year, the University of the Pacific has received $4,697,925 in external funding for its faculty scholarship. A significant portion of that -- $1.1 million -- has been received by the Physics and Chemistry departments within the College of the Pacific.
Dr. Jim Hetrick, Professor of Physics, is a prolific researcher involved in several projects, including the Delta Sierra Science Project, which is funded by the University of California's California Subject Matters Project. This unique project, which uses a combination of state and federal funds totaling over $2 million in the past 12 years, seeks to improve student achievement and learning by providing comprehensive, content-focused professional development for K-12 teachers. Delta Sierra is a professional development network for teachers of science in Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties.
Dr. Hetrick is also the Principal Investigator for an NSF-funded project that supports the research activities of the Pacific Lattice Group, consisting of Professors Hetrick, Kieran Holland, and Keisuke Juge. This project is advancing knowledge of the fundamental constituents, structure, and interactions of matter and the universe by looking at the Standard Model of particle physics, the interaction of quarks and leptons, and the explanation of all known accelerator data.
The faculty in the Department of Chemistry has been consistently successful in obtaining external funding in the last several years. The following are the most notable:
- Dr. Balint Sztaray recently received an award from the National Science Foundation for
measuring the high-accuracy thermochemistry of small organic, inorganic, and organometallic molecules. The work of Dr. Sztaray's research group aims to generate important breakthroughs in the research of complex biological systems and biochemical reactions.
- Dr. Jianhua Ren's NSF funding is allowing her research group, using mass-spectrometry methods, to develop better models for understanding the acid-base properties of proteins. Her group has a large number of undergraduate and graduate (MS) students who will eventually enter the technological and medical workforce.
- Dr. Ryan Moffett has received Department of Energy funding over the past two years to support his work focused on determining the chemical and physical properties of aerosol particles. Understanding the detailed characteristics of these particles is essential to enable advances in the understanding of atmospheric pollution and climate change.
- Dr. Jerry Tsai has been highly successful in obtaining external funding for his work in computational proteomics -- the application of informatics techniques to understanding the structure, function, and interaction of the protein universe.
Upcoming Assessment Workshops
General Education Assessment: Breadth Areas 1A and 1B
When: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 from 12-1:00 pm
Where: Center for Teaching and Learning
Facilitators: Jon Schamber, Sandy Mahoney, Eileen McFall
This is a working lunch to finalize your assessment plan and methods for your Fall or Spring General Education course.
Information Competency: What is it, and how do you know?
When: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 from 12-1:00 pm
Where: Center for Teaching and Learning
Sponsored by: Learning and Academic Assessment
Facilitators: University Librarians
Information competency is one of the university-wide objectives and one of the WASC core competencies. By the time of our next accreditation visit in 2019, University of the Pacific must set performance standards and assess the extent to which undergraduates meet those standards in five areas: information competency, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and written and oral communication. We believe that in order to be useful for program improvement, the skills we assess must be meaningful to the faculty, so we invite you to come help define and describe information competency and its relation to the other core competencies. In one of a series of lunchtime meetings and discussions, we will discuss our definitions, examples, and expectations around information competency within and beyond our disciplines.
Lunch will be provided for workshop sessions. Please RSVP to Nadine Pappas (email@example.com) and include any dietary restrictions.
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