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  OCTOBER 2013     |      ISSUE: 8

Academic Planning and Alignment


Dear Members of the Academic Division,

Our Pacific 2020 plan calls for us to review our academic programs to build "quality, relevance and sustainability" as we adapt to changing student and workforce needs and provide an outstanding student learning environment. The Academic Planning and Alignment process addresses this strategic imperative. It is the first step in aligning school and college plans with Pacific 2020 and the Academic Division Priorities:  

  • Excellence in all that we do
  • Well rounded and successful students
  • Vibrant academic environment
  • Relevance to students
  • Financial sustainability

Faculty members currently are in the process of analyzing their data and writing reports. These reports will be evaluated by peers within each school or college. This peer review process is valuable for developing a shared understanding of program data, quality and mix within each unit. The analytical conversations within the rating teams and the school/college units will be vital for making transparent and informed decisions about our programs. 


Best wishes,

Maria Pallavicini
In This Issue
APA and Academic Administrative FAQ's
Faculty Retirement Incentive Program
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Academic Planning and Alignment (APA) and Academic Administrative Reviews FAQ's


Why are we doing this?

The Academic Division is undertaking the Academic Planning and Alignment (APA) process to ensure that Pacific programs are aligned with Pacific 2020, are high quality and sustainable and, importantly, provide an outstanding learning environment for Pacific's students. The vision for these efforts is that "Pacific will become known as one of the best teaching-focused universities in California - the first choice for students."


Who is the audience for my report?

This report has multiple audiences within the University and, as such, should communicate clearly with those inside and outside of your particular school/college. The following groups and individuals are the audiences for your report: the school/college faculty rating team, Comprehensive Academic Review Team (CART- see below), school/college dean, Provost and President. Their role in reviewing the reports is described below.


What are the changes to the process?

As we have worked with faculty, deans and report writers, we have listened to your suggestions and made the following improvements to the Academic Planning and Alignment process:

  • The scoring on the rubric has been modified to address concerns about the rating scale. It now reflects a 1-5 rating scale for each criterion.
  • The President has agreed that holistic scoring of the program is not needed and acknowledges the importance of scoring each independent criterion.
  • The report has been shortened. The two financial criteria, 7 and 8, do not need to be addressed in the written report. This change enables the unit to begin to analyze these complex data with your dean. Your dean will discuss the data for criteria 7 and 8 with individual programs, rather than disseminating university wide, to ensure these data remain restricted to those within the Pacific community. Therefore criteria 7 and 8 will not be rated. The page limit remains the same.

How will the reports be used?

The faculty rating team in your unit will be the first to review the reports. They will use the rubric to rate each of the seven criteria related to your program. The criteria are rated individually and ratings will not be totaled into a composite score for the program.


The school/college ratings will then go to CART, which is comprised of members from existing faculty bodies/committees with roles in assessment and program review -- Academic Affairs, Committee of Graduate Studies, Institutional Effectiveness Committee, and the Assessment Working Group -- plus two members from Academic Council. CART will review the reports for cross-school consistency in applying the rubric; they will not be conducting ratings.


Subsequently, your dean will use the reports and ratings to consult with faculty in the school/college about the future direction of the unit including its overall program mix. Your dean will make program recommendations to the Provost to enhance, maintain, consolidate/reorganize, reduce or eliminate to align unit level strategic plans with Pacific 2020 and the Academic Division Priorities.


The Provost will review the reports and recommendations from the Deans. Based on this information the Provost will draft recommendations and share with the leadership team and the university community. With input from these constituents, the Provost will make final recommendations to the President.


The President will be interested in the overall portfolio of the University's academic offerings. She expects that meaningful conversations about program quality, impact and future sustainability are happening across the University, as well as conversations about how the schools/college will align with Pacific 2020.

Will the Academic Planning and Alignment Process be used for reallocations?

No. These processes have been separated. The units are aware that the Academic Division must contribute a total of 6% to the Strategic Investment Fund. The deans have received their percentage and are working on those plans currently. Draft plans for the contributions from the academic units are due to the Provost on November 1, with final recommendations due on December 1, 2013.


Can the academic reports be rated without raters knowing the program identity?

Ratings will only be done by school-based teams. Since the data in the academic reports are program/degree specific, it is not possible to redact the reports for the rating process. 

Note that CART will not be rating program reports, only checking for consistency in ratings.


Program Data


Some of the data from IR don't relate to my program--what do I do with them? 

You should review all the data that has been made available to you and use those that are relevant to your program. If you are not sure if some data is relevant, contact IR since there may be ways of incorporating data that have not yet been considered. The important part is to connect with IR to have a conversation about any data about which you have questions. Most programs have already engaged in individual conversations and have found these extremely helpful for writing their reports.


What do I do if I do not agree with the data the IR provided?

Again, contact Institutional Research and talk with them about the differences. Sometimes the differences in the data depend on the semester the data is reported from or the method of calculation of certain data points. Whatever the reason for the difference, it is important that you are comfortable with the data and understand what they represent.


Can I provide additional data that the IR office does not have?

Yes, additional data can be appended. There are no limitations on length and number of appendices. Be sure to append only that data which is important to illustrating a criterion and is cited explicitly in your narrative.


Do I benchmark my data to that of programs internal to the University or to external peers?

Benchmarking against university wide figures Overview of the Data for Academic Program Reports informs you of the success of your program in relation to other University of the Pacific programs. External data is valuable and should be used when available. Knowing how your program is performing in relation to external peers will help you define the strength of your program. External benchmarks may not be readily available for all programs but are important to include when available. Programs may develop their own peer list specific to the discipline. If you have developed your own list of external peers, please append it to this report, along with any additional external benchmarking data you cite in your report.


Academic Administrative Reports


I have an (institute, center, clinic, admin department)--what data will I get and what rubric should I write to?

The reports for Institutes, centers, clinics and admin departments will receive basic budget and FTE data from institutional research. These reports will be completed using criteria for the academic administrative reports. Check the program list for your specific institute, center, clinic or admin department.


Who is engaged with the review of the academic administrative reports?
The process is the same that was followed by the administrative reviews completed during the summer. See the Academic Administrative Review Process



Report writing


My department has a BA and BS program--do I need to write a separate report for each?

Yes. In all cases the BS and the BA degrees must be reported independently. Even though some of the data for each may overlap, the discussions of the two degrees may be different for many of the criteria.


What do I do with criteria that are not relevant to my program?  

When the criteria are not relevant, simply indicate so in the template with a statement explaining why the particular criterion is not relevant.


Who do I go to for help or questions?

Please contact Berit Gundersen ( or x63158) for general questions and IR directly for data related questions (Mike Rogers,


Questions or concerns about using the data in your reports or writing your report?

Drop-in sessions with the Provost Office team (Cyd Jenefsky, Maria Pallavicini, Berit Gundersen and Mike Rogers) for Academic Planning & Alignment and the Academic Administrative Review processes. These will be open drop-in sessions for anyone with questions/concerns, seeking guidance on writing etc. They are scheduled as follows in the Provost Conference Room, Anderson Hall:

October 17, 3:00 - 4:00 pm

October 29, 2:00 - 3:00 pm

November 13, 12:00 - 1:00 pm

November 25, 2:00 - 3:00 pm      

December 4, 11:00 - 12:00 pm    

December 16, 10:00 - 11:00 am

Faculty Retirement Incentive Program

The information about the faculty retirement incentive program was distributed to all Stockton faculty. Some frequently asked questions include: 
Is the eligibility for the retirement incentive firm (tenured, age 60 and over, and at least ten years of service at Pacific)?

When will we know who is retiring?
All retirement decisions will be made by December 2, 2013 and final agreements will be signed by December 16, 2013.  

What will happen to the lines of faculty who retire?
When a faculty member retires the Dean and the Provost review the best way to use the line. The dean submits a proposal to the Provost, who considers the needs of the unit and university as a whole in determining line allocation.  Vacated lines may be retained by the unit if a clear need is demonstrated, or they may be redeployed to support other programmatic needs in the unit or elsewhere.  This process is consistent with current practice.  If the need to retain the line is compelling, the position initiation of a search can have a short turn around time depending on the urgency of teaching needs for the program.
Office of the Provost

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