Chapter 5: Criterion One, Mission and Integrity

The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the Board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.

 

Core Component 1a. The organization’s mission documents are clear and articulate publicly the organization’s commitments.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 1a

 

The NSCS mission, vision, and core values along with the campus Vision 2011 provide the ongoing mission of the college. As Chadron State College approaches its centennial in 2011, it continues its leadership in educating and serving the citizens of Nebraska and the High Plains region. CSC has been productively involved in the development and implementation of its new strategic plan since the spring of 2003. Its ambitions are articulated in this eight-year plan, titled Vision 2011. The process of developing Vision 2011 resulted in the refinement of the college’s mission statement and the creation of a vision statement, along with six focus areas and thirty-four objectives distributed among the foci. The mission and vision statement are publicly shared via the college’s website and major publications.

 

Evidence Cited

1. NSCS mission, vision, core values

2. Vision 2011 documents

3. Public dissemination of CSC mission

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence NSCS mission, vision, core values

The NSCS mission, vision, and core values (RR77) define the direction of the campus.

Mission: The Nebraska State College System offers high quality, accessible undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and programs that serve the state, benefit individuals, and promote the public good.

Core Values:

Provide a stimulating, caring, and enriching learning experience

Meet the changing needs of our students and the state

Assure financial, programmatic, and geographic access to NSCS institutions

Maintain affordable tuition and fees

Foster cooperative ventures among NSCS institutions and other agencies and organizations

Emphasize participation in public service

Recruit and retain quality faculty and staff

 

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence Vision 2011 documents

The Vision 2011 strategic planning process included faculty and staff from across the campus and resulted in the following refined vision and mission statements which have been distributed widely in Vision 2011 brochures (PRR3), on the college’s website and in its publications. Framed versions of the vision and mission statements along with the six focus areas of the plan were also distributed to all faculty and staff of the college for display in their offices and work areas.

Vision: Chadron State College aspires to be a premiere institution of higher education in the western High Plains states, innovatively pursuing excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.

Mission: Chadron State College will enrich the quality of life in the region by providing educational opportunities, research, service, and programs that contribute significantly to the vitality and diversity of the region.

A campus-representative Strategic Planning Committee (RR78) initiated strategic planning in the spring of 2003. Membership included faculty, professional staff, support staff, students and administrators. Exhaustive environmental scanning fortified the planning process, as members of the Strategic Planning Committee met with every unit on campus, as well as external constituents to conduct SWOT (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats) analyses and gather ideas.

In the spring of 2003, CSC contracted with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) of Boulder, Colorado, to assist the college with its new strategic planning process. For six months, NCHEMS collected information about CSC and its region from CSC’s Office for Institutional Research and other key campus and national sources.

At the initial fall 2003 all-campus meeting, Dr. Donald Jones, President of NCHEMS, presented his findings about CSC and its rural region. In addition, Dr. Jones related NCHEMS’ findings to national and regional trends in post-secondary education. In August 2003, the Strategic Planning Committee had produced an initial planning draft. After Dr. Jones’ presentation, the Strategic Planning Committee draft was extensively discussed by faculty, administrators, and staff across “round tables”. The Strategic Planning Committee collected comments and suggestions to edit their draft.

Many edits and lengthy meetings later, the final version of Visions 2011 surfaced by the beginning of the fall 2004 semester. The two-year effort resulted in a vision statement, a refined mission statement, six focus areas, and 34 objectives within those foci that support strong academic standards (RR14). This Vision 2011 framework allows each individual and unit on campus to invent strategies to accomplish the college’s vision and mission. These ideas are submitted each year for funding using substantial resources earmarked for this purpose.

Vision 2011 Focus Areas include:

Institutional Community – achieve a collegial institutional environment that encourages and assists students, faculty, and staff in realizing their potential and reaching their aspirations

Public Relations – build strong public and political support

Regional Services – improve the quality of services to the western High Plains states

Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity – achieve higher levels of scholarly, creative, and research activity

Resources and Facilities – expand resources and improve efficiency and effectiveness of resource and facilities use

Teaching and Learning – improve effectiveness of teaching and learning

The Strategic Planning Committee evaluated the proposals according to feasibility, relevance to Vision 2011 goals, degree of impact, and level of college involvement. Proposals addressed four campus priorities: student recruitment and retention, marketing, and the campus environment.

Since the 2004-2005 academic year the college has provided $702,501 in funding for projects developed by faculty, staff and students that address the Vision 2011 focus areas and objectives.

At the January 2007 all-campus meeting, President Park unveiled her plan for enhancing the strategic planning and budgeting based on institutional effectiveness. (RR66)

 

Discussion of 3 rd item of evidence - Public dissemination of CSC mission

The CSC 2007-09 catalog or bulletin is being distributed during the 2006-07 academic year. It was developed during the 2005-06 academic year and its contents were approved by the Faculty Senate’s Academic Review Committee. This is the normal process and timeline that is followed for the update of the college’s catalog every two years.

The 2007-09 catalog has a section devoted to Vision 2011 and includes both the vision and mission statements. (RR39) In addition, the academic programs have student learning outcomes that are articulated with each of the programs’ requirements within the catalog and most of the programs have mission statements as well.

The catalog is distributed both as a hardcopy manual (PRR4) and in CD-ROM (PRR5) version. In addition, the catalog is available in downloadable pdf format on the CSC website. It is available in hallway racks in the Administration Building and Crites Hall, which houses the offices for student services. It is given to each student who attends new student orientation, both on the road and on campus, and it is mailed to prospective and current students upon request. The Graduate Office and the Office of Extended Campus Programs mail numerous hardcopies to distance learners across the region.

The 2006 Faculty Handbook, Professional Staff Handbook, and Staff Handbook include the Vision 2011 vision and mission statements in the front of these publications.

The CSC homepage includes access to the Vision 2011 website (RR79). This site describes the Vision 2011 plan, along with the college’s vision and mission statements. It also provides a description of the planning and implementation process that led to Vision 2011, along with lists of projects that have been funded in support of Vision 2011 since 2004.

The Vision 2011 website is linked not only to the college’s homepage, but is also linked to the pages for the public, current students, faculty and staff.

Core Component 1b. In its mission documents, the organization recognizes the diversity of its learners, other constituencies, and the greater society it serves.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 1b

 

The Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE), Chadron State College, and the Nebraska State College System have developed strategic plans that emphasize the diverse needs of the state’s students and service region and the commitment to these constituents. Since 1998, CSC has had a Diversity Committee that is charged with planning and implementing a variety of activities to meet the needs of a diverse student body, and to expose the college’s staff and students, as well as community constituents, to a variety of cultural experiences and points of view. The CSC General Studies core curriculum includes twelve required areas of study including the area of Global and Social Awareness. In addition, the college was the recipient of a Title III planning grant to strengthen its efforts to recruit and retain Hispanic and Native American students, and continues to explore funding sources for the plan that was developed under this grant.

 

Evidence Cited

1. CCPE, NSCS, and Vision 2011 documents

2. Diversity Committee annual reports and activities

3. Title III developmental grant and formal proposal for recruitment and retention of Hispanic and Native American students

4. General Studies sections of 2005-07 and 2007-09 catalogs in Global and Social Awareness section of General Studies

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence CCPE, NSCS, and Vision 2011 documents

Nebraska has a Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education established in 1990 by a vote of the people. The CCPE collaborates with the state’s public colleges and universities to implement a state-wide comprehensive plan to guide Nebraskas higher education system. The Comprehensive State-wide Plan for Postsecondary Education, approved by the CCPE in November, 2000, includes major statewide goals related to diversity. The plan may be accessed at http://www.ccpe.state.ne.us/publicdoc/ccpe/compplan.asp (RR80) Specifically it states that:

Nebraska institutions and policy makers will seek methods to increase participation and success in higher education, including low income and under-represented populations, and to ensure that access to higher education institutions’ programs and services is not restricted by factors such as geographic location, economic status, age, culture, disability, color, national origin, or gender.

The NSCS strategic plan (RR77) emphasizes service to the region by strengthening individuals, meeting the changing needs of students and the state, and increasing global understanding. Goals include strengthening programs for leadership, global connectedness, and service learning. Each year the Board of Trustees reviews its strategic plan at one of its five yearly meetings, and discusses the implementation of activities and initiatives that will strengthen its responsiveness to the plan.

The CSC Vision 2011 strategic plan has specific objectives that address the diversity of learners and the college’s service region as follows:

Focus Area: Institutional Community – Objective: Under-represented Populations – Recruit and retain under-represented populations.

Focus Area: Public Relations – Objective: Community Relations – Create a positive relationship between the College and local and regional communities.

Focus Area: Regional Service – Objective: Leadership – Assume a leadership role in regional educational, economic, social, and cultural development.

Focus Area: Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity – Objective: Funding – Provide support for research, scholarship, and artistry that address local, regional, state, national, or international issues and needs.

Focus Area: Teaching and Learning – Objective: Broad Perspective – Introduce and promote global awareness, multicultural perspectives and regional relevance.

Recent funding of Vision 2011 of projects (RR15) in support of these objectives include: Native American Welcome Day, *Native American Recruitment Fair, Multicultural Resource Center, Gender Equity Review, First Year Programming, Student Mentorship Project, Creating Inclusive Classrooms, Recruitment and Retention of Adult Learners, Diversity Immersion, Business & Economics Regional Issues Forums, CSC Student Leadership Conference, High Plains Exhibit.

 

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence Diversity Committee annual reports and activities

During the fall of 1998 representatives from the entire campus drafted the first CSC Diversity Plan (RR81) patterned after the college’s five year strategic plan developed in 1997-98 and implemented in the 1998-99 through 2002-03 academic years. This provided both a consistent framework for campus planning and an articulation of the campus commitment to the inherent value of diversity to the academic environment. A Presidential committee, the Diversity Committee was formed to develop and implement the diversity plan, and provide a yearly report on progress toward the goals of the diversity plan.

In 2003, during the next strategic planning cycle that resulted in Vision 2011, diversity objectives and strategies were retained within the main document, rather than a separate plan. The Diversity Committee was retained and continues to implement activities and initiatives that support the Vision 2011 objectives.

The CSC Human Resources website at http://www.csc.edu/hr/docs.htm (RR82) has annual reports on diversity activities from the Diversity Committee.

Recent activities during the past year are typical of the efforts that have taken place since the inception of the diversity plan. The activities from the 2005-06 academic year include: monthly cultural celebrations for Hispanic heritage, disability awareness, Native American heritage, African American history, Women’s history, and Asian Pacific Islander heritage; exhibits at the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center on Native American games, Native American art, Native American influences, and Chinese New Year; National Resource Center teleconferences on “Cultivating Campus Cultures,” “The Forgotten Student,” and “Shattering Barriers: Transforming the College Experience for Students of Color;” Women’s Leadership series; Lakota Drum Beats Elderhostel; Native American Symposium; “Piece by Peace” diversity training; International Food Tasting dinner; annual CSC Powwow and annual Chadron Community Powwow; Trios Los Plumas Performers; Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Walk; International Coffee Hours; Native American Welcome Day *; Native American Scholarship Program; presentation by Kibbe Conte on Traditional Native American Foods; presentation by Dr. Jack Levin on Hate and Violence on College Campuses; and Lori Whiteface speaking on the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Tribal Police.

  • A presidential committee for campus facilities safety and ADA compliance assesses the campus and makes recommendations for special needs students and employees.

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence Title III planning grant results

In 2003, the college received a Title III planning grant (RR46), titled “Reducing Barriers to Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation of Native American and Hispanic Students at Chadron State College.” Dr. William Roweton, at that time the Director of Institutional Research and Assistant to the President, wrote the planning grant and provided the leadership and coordination for the grant activities.

A major goal of the planning grant was to create a comprehensive development plan to identify interventions to enhance recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of Hispanic and Native American students. The results of this goal were used to develop a five-year Title III grant application, which was submitted in 2005-06. That application was not funded, but did lead to the development of a series of initiatives for which individual funding is currently being sought by Dr. Roweton.

In the fall 2006, Dr. Roweton was named Director of Sponsored Research and Funded Initiatives for Minority Student Achievement and Retention. He is actively working on additional grant applications to support implementation of the important initiatives developed by the Title III planning grant.

Discussion of 4th item of evidence General Studies Changes

For more than ten years CSC has had a General Studies core curriculum that included Social Cultural and Global Studies as two separate areas of required study. Each area required an upper division course of at least three credits from the list of approved courses to fulfill the requirement. In the 2005-07 catalog these two areas were combined into a single area called Global and Social Awareness. (RR83) The requirement became six credits with at least three credits in an upper division course. Both courses must be selected from the list of approved courses to fulfill this requirement.

During the past three years, the Faculty Senate Academic Review (FSAR) committee has reviewed the General Studies requirements and each of the courses in the General Studies offerings. During the 2005-06 academic year the committee worked with faculty who teach courses in each of the twelve areas to develop student learning outcomes and measurable performance criteria for each of the twelve areas. These improvements were approved by the FSAR committee in spring, 2006. A general studies steering team has been created to assist in removing obstacles and arrange doable timelines to maintain the momentum and capitalize on CSC’s participation at an HLC academy workshop in November, 2006.

During the 2006-07 academic year, faculty teaching the General Studies courses are in the process of incorporating the learning outcomes and performance criteria into their syllabi. These faculty are meeting regularly with Dr. Charles Snare, Dean of Arts & Sciences, who has oversight for General Studies and its assessment period. The student learning outcome and measurable performance criteria are included in the General Studies section of the 2007-09 catalog and are listed below.

Student Learning Outcome for Global and Social Awareness: Students will understand and be sensitive to cultural diversity and attain knowledge of an appreciation for various cultures and societies.

Performance Criteria for Global and Social Awareness: Depending on the course selected, students will meet one of the following performance criteria.

Students should be able to:

         Demonstrate understanding of the values and lifestyles of various cultures

         Demonstrate understanding of the contributions of various cultures to the human enterprise

         Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of human behavior in different spatial or temporal or institutional contexts

 

Core Component 1c. Understanding of and support for the mission pervade the organization.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 1c

 

The Chadron State College Mission states that it will “enrich the quality of life in the region by providing educational opportunities, research, service, and programs that contribute significantly to the vitality and diversity of the region”. This ideal permeates the planning and delivery of the college’s academic programs, the modality of program delivery, and the outreach activities that the college provides to the students and residents of its service region in rural western Nebraska. The college regularly visits with constituents to determine the ever changing needs of the region and develops programs to address those needs. The CSC legislative mandate involves applied research that strengthens the outdoor environment and the agricultural roots of the area. Its service activities contribute to rural economic development through the sustaining of entrepreneurship, quality schools, and cultural programming. The vision of the college’s new president strives to increase distance and alternative learning opportunities for the region’s place-bound adults and to become a more publicly engaged college serving the western High Plains. Her vision of priority objectives within the Vision 2011 framework currently drives the strategic planning and budgeting process. Faculty, staff, and students develop strategies for Vision 2011 funding, which reflects the deep commitment by the college’s people to its mission.

 

Evidence Cited

1. Academic programs and initiatives in teaching

2. Regional service and applied research initiatives

3. Distance learning outreach and programs

4. Vision 2011 priorities and strategic planning

5. Co-curricular activities and outreach

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Academic programs and initiatives in teaching

The college offers a wide array of undergraduate programs to meet the needs of a diverse service region. There are programs in twenty-six different academic disciplines in thirteen academic departments, distributed in three academic schools. Programs of study include subject majors of 30 to 36 credits, comprehensive majors of 48 to 57 credits, teaching endorsements that include subject and broad field, minors of 18 to 21 credits, and certificates of 12 to 21 credits. Currently the college offers undergraduate programs in seventy-one majors or endorsements, fifty-eight minors, and twenty-one certificates.

In the past four years, CSC has addressed the needs of adult learners and full-time professionals around the region by implementing a number of new certificate programs. Prior to that time, the college did not offer certificate programs that would allow those who are not currently pursuing a full degree or already have a bachelor’s degree to participate in a short-term, coherent plan of study in a specialized area. In addition, current undergraduate students may add certificates to their plan of study to enhance future employment. New certificates include: Wildlife Resource Management, Plant Sciences, Water Resources Management, Geographic Information Systems, Alternative Energy, Occupational Safety, Quality Assurance, Outdoor Environmental Planning, Construction Planning, Family Life, Fashion, Hospitality, Parenting, and Wellness.

Extended Campus Programs personnel based in Alliance, McCook, North Platte, Scottsbluff, and Sidney regularly conduct surveys and focus groups to determine the needs of off-campus constituents. Based on this input they suggest special topics courses as well as strategies to increase the availability of academic programs throughout the region.

In collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, Nebraska, CSC offers the Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP). The program was designed to address the shortage of healthcare professionals in rural Nebraska, by recruiting and educating rural students who will return to practice in the rural areas of the state. RHOP currently has options for undergraduates in medicine, dentistry, dental hygiene, pharmacy, medical technology, physical therapy, nursing, physician assistant, and radiography. Admission into each option is competitive. Upon successful completion of the appropriate curriculum at CSC participants accepted into RHOP receive automatic admission into a designated professional program at UNMC. The college funds a full-time professional staff position in the Health Professions Office to coordinate the logistics of this and other health professions programs, as well as a faculty member with reassigned time as Director of Health Professions. A similar program with Creighton University exists in Occupational Therapy and Pharmacy, and is known as the High Plains Health Opportunities Program (HPHOP). Currently student enrollment in HPHOP is nine and 83 are enrolled in RHOP. During the 1996-1997 academic year enrollment in the Health Professions was 92, whereas during the 2006-2007 academic year the enrollment has grown to 227.

 

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - Regional service and applied research initiatives

The Faculty Senate Research Institute Committee (RIC) distributes $23,000 per year in seed money for research projects to faculty. (RR42) Grants may be used for operations, equipment, travel, and student research assistant stipends. The RIC funding has been constant at $23,000 for the past five years, despite the several years of severe budget reduction due to decreases in state appropriations. As state funding stabilizes and increases, efforts will be made to increase this support. The projects funded by RIC involve a variety of applied research that impacts the region. Faculty and students who participate in these research projects are funded by EPSCoR and CSC to attend the annual Nebraska Academy of Sciences conference to present their results. Recent projects funded include the following:

Phytogeography of Boreal and Eastern Disjunct Species in the Nebraska Sandhills

The Identity of Lappula cenchrusioides A. Nels. (Boraginaceae) and Related Species in the Northern Great Plains

Taphonomy and Taxonomy of Fossil Turtles in the White River Group – Year 2

Effect of Breed and Nutritional Status on Metabolism of Leafy Spurge Toxins in Goats

Vascular Plants New to Nebraska and Surrounding States

Issues Addressing the Teaching of Pre-service Secondary Education Majors

The Effect of Fructooligosaccharide on Fecal pH and Microbial Activity in the Broodmare

Instructional Styles used by Secondary Career and Technical Education Teachers

Nebraska Statewide Plant Database Project

Validation of Habitat Association of Birds as Predicted by the HABCAP Model

An Analysis of Blackboard Student Teacher Supervision

Ecological Monitoring of Lakes and Streams in Northwestern Nebraska

Preliminary Analysis of Bighorn Sheep Home Range at Fort Robinson, Nebraska

Diagnostic Techniques and Epidemiological Surveillance of Bovine Intestinal Dysentery Diseases

Analysis of Travel Patterns of Bison and Cattle on Native Nebraska Sandhills Rangeland

Conservatism on the Great Plains

Preservation of the High Plains Herbarium and Pharmacognosy Collection

Conservation of the Claude A. Barr Herbarium

Chadron State College and the U.S. Forest Service are partnering to provide research opportunities at the Hudson-Meng Bison Kill site in northwestern Nebraska (RR43). The Forest Service, which supervises this site, has created a scientific research advisory board and the CSC Vice President for Academic Affairs chairs this board. In this role the college solicits and the board reviews research proposals for each field season.

In order to promote rural economic development, CSC has, after a three-year hiatus due to budget cuts, reopened its Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) in the spring 2006. The center which receives funding from the Federal Small Business Administration, as well as from the college, is located in the Burkhiser Complex in the Department of Business & Economics. The NBDC director is a full-time faculty member at CSC who receives reassigned time for directing the center. He is assisted by other faculty, graduate assistants in the CSC MBA program, and an office assistant. The services of the center are provided at no charge to small businesses throughout western Nebraska. In addition, the college sponsored a three-day Home Town Competitiveness Academy (HTC) in 2006 and solicited teams from communities around the region to attend (RR44). The HTC Academy provided training in the four pillars that are essential to rural economic development, and is currently providing technical assistance to those communities who are working to implement the HTC principles.

As mentioned in Chapter One, the college partners with the regional Education Service Unit #13 in Scottsbluff to provide college credit for teacher workshops and short or long-term professional development courses. In addition, CSC offers a series of one-credit online professional development courses for teachers to improve their understanding of students’ needs, classroom management, and pedagogy. The college also offers annual conferences for area teachers, as well as CSC students and staff, in the areas of Native American education and early childhood education. A number of one-day workshops are hosted for school personnel along the Highway 20 corridor. Summer short courses offered in blended format, with both an online and on-campus component, are offered by faculty to meet the needs of teachers who are striving to become “highly qualified” based on the No Child Left Behind standards.

CSC regularly hosts the Western Nebraska Administrators Association (RR45) on campus. This group also serves as an advisory board to the Education faculty as they seek to provide appropriate programs for students and assist schools and students with teacher placements. The chair of the CSC Education Department attends the monthly meetings of the ESU #13 staff and superintendents of the Panhandle school districts. These interactions allow the college to be aware of emerging issues in K-12 education and to provide timely responses to those needs.

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Distance learning outreach and programs

Chadron State College has a long tradition of serving the needs of learners located across the vast region of the High Plains with the first distance learning course being offered in 1930. The college embraces its role as a regional institution, offering courses on the residential campus in Chadron, at select sites within western Nebraska via interactive television and on-site instruction, as well as online programs throughout the nation. Offices in Alliance, McCook, North Platte, Sidney, and Scottsbluff are staffed by Extended Campus Programs (ECP) personnel to facilitate awareness of and response to regional needs, student enrollment and advising, and public outreach efforts.

In 2002 CSC applied to the HLC (RR36) and was approved for a change in its Statement of Affiliation Status (SAS) to include online programs for the Baccalaureate in Mathematics and the Master of Business Administration

In January 2006 the college participated in an HLC one-time “Special SAS Reconciliation for Distance Learning Degree Programs”. (RR37) This resulted in the approval of five additional undergraduate programs and five additional graduate programs.

In the spring of 2006 the CCPE approved an online degree, (PRR1) the Master of Science in Organizational Management, as a shared, cooperative degree among the three state colleges – Chadron, Peru and Wayne. At the time of its April 2007 HLC site visit, CSC is seeking an expansion of its SAS to include this new degree.

A complete array of student services is available online for students enrolled in the college’s twelve distance learning programs. These services are also available to the college’s residential students who work, on average, thirty-two hours per week according to the Carnegie Corporation (PRR6) student survey done several years ago. CSC Online was created to provide a web-based learning environment second to none. Chadron States Online College is designed for learners who are not able to attend on-campus, learners needing more flexibility for work and family, and those seeking the convenience and freedom that CSC Online can afford them. The online programs and courses of CSC are developed and taught by the same high quality faculty members who teach on the CSC campus in Chadron. Through the website, www.chadronstateonline.com, students are able to learn more about CSC’s online program offerings and provided links to apply for admission, register for courses, communicate with advisors, review financial aid information and apply for assistance, access an array of student services, take a Readiness for Online Learning Quiz, visit a demonstration course, take a browser test, and participate in class.

Prior to the fall, spring, and summer semesters, ECP distributes approximately 7,000 brochures detailing degree completion programs, degree-leading courses, and professional development courses for distance learners, who are primarily place-bound adult learners located throughout the college’s service region. This information is also provided at CSC Online. Beginning in summer 2007 distance learners register for online courses two-weeks prior to opening all online and residential courses for registration by students located at the main campus in Chadron.

In the summer of 2006, CSC collaborated with Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) to institute the Cabela’s Initiative (PRR7). This program seeks to provide extensive employee education to Cabela’s Inc. by offering six undergraduate degree completion options in Business Administration based on the transfer of associate degrees from community or technical colleges. The programs lead to a corporate version of the CSC Bachelor of Applied Sciences (BAS) and includes options in management, marketing, management information systems, leadership, and pre-MBA. A Baccalaureate degree in general business, mathematics, or psychology is also available. In the future CSC and WNCC may partner to provide these professional development opportunities to other businesses in the High Plains region or to individual students with the appropriate associate degrees.

During the 2005-06 academic year, the faculty in the department of Business & Economics laid the groundwork for the implementation of the “The Business Academy at Chadron State College.” (RR49) The academy is an innovative adaptation of a traditional business education that reflects the realities of the business world. It is uniquely designed to accommodate both campus-based and distance learners in time-efficient courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. All courses are offered in time-effective eight-week formats that are offered either completely online or in blended formats. The blended formats include three hours per week of classroom instruction on-campus, supplemented with online learning. The faculty has spent considerable time designing the cycle of course offerings in the first and second eight-week sessions each semester, so that students will ideally enroll in one or two business courses each session. These are then overlaid with traditional sixteen-week courses offered by the other departments on campus. The faculty is also closely monitoring the student learning outcomes data to ensure that the new format, while providing greater flexibility for students, also results in appropriate learning. The Business Academy was first begun two years ago at the graduate level with the MBA. It was discovered that the new format greatly increased enrollments by graduates who were employed full-time and appreciated the one or two course focus. Based on this success the academy was implemented in the current academic year with a group of undergraduate and graduate courses offered in eight-week format in the fall semester and the entire complement of courses offered in the eight-week format in this spring semester. Careful monitoring of the format during this year and next will be used to determine its continuance at the undergraduate level. The Business Administration program at both the graduate and undergraduate level is accredited by Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

In March 2006, CSC issued a formal request for proposals to migrate the college’s basic Blackboard platform to the enterprise level. The higher level enterprise platform provides a substantial increase in services for students and faculty, including a 24/7 technical hotline, ExamGuard for online testing, and online Smarthinking tutoring. Three companies came to campus to demonstrate their enterprise platforms. Open meetings with faculty and staff were held by company representatives, including written satisfaction surveys completed by those who attended to ascertain which platform was favored by faculty and staff. In May 2006, based on the proposals and input from the campus, CSC selected eCollege for its new enterprise platform. In the summer faculty were provided with small group training sessions as well as one-on-one mentoring in order to master the nuances of the new platform. These training opportunities were in addition to the full-time service provided by the CSC online instructional design coordinator who has been employed by the college for the past seven years. In addition, eCollege migrated existing Blackboard courses onto the new platform to reduce the work required by faculty to prepare courses for the 2006-07 academic year. During the fall semester numerous dialog sessions were held with faculty to identify continuing issues associated with this massive change in online platforms and to trouble-shoot new problems. The CSC Instructional Design Coordinator also continued to offer workshops on eCollege and online pedagogy. By the beginning of the spring 2007 semester the platform appears to be working well and faculty and student problems associated with the migration have been significantly reduced. Additional faculty training will be offered on a continuous basis.

 

Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Vision 2011 priorities and strategic planning

In August 2004, CSC President, Dr. Thomas Krepel, made initial funding competitively available for Vision 2011 projects. Forty-eight funding requests and twenty-two “self-funded” applications were submitted. Following a detailed appraisal the Strategic Planning Committee sent their recommendations to the President and sixteen projects were funded in the first round of Vision 2011 funding. (RR84)

        Since the 2004-2005 academic year the College has provided $702,501 (RR15) in funding for projects developed by faculty, staff, and students that address the Vision 2011 focus areas and objectives. Some of the projects have been so productive that permanent funding has been incorporated into the college biennial budget. These projects provide important opportunities for Chadron State College to fulfill its vision and mission as it prepares for the next century of service to the region. This demonstrates the college’s commitment to “grassroots” planning and implementation of the CSC mission by the people who study and work at the college.

  • For 2006-07 the Strategic Planning Committee reviewed 31 funding proposals totaling $311,506 during the spring, summer, and fall 2007 semesters. Of the submitted proposals 24 were selected for funding (RR85). While not all of the submitted projects could be funded using Vision 2011 money, those that were not may be funded using other resources on campus.

At the January 2007 all-campus meeting, President Park unveiled her plan for enhancing the strategic planning and budgeting based on institutional effectiveness. (RR66)

At the inauguration of the college’s new president in April 2006, and again in her state-of-the-college address at the opening of the fall semester, Dr. Park discussed those objectives within Vision 2011 that she has chosen as priorities. Those objectives include: becoming a destination campus for residential students; serving off-site students through expanded distance and alternative learning opportunities; improving the college’s environment for students, faculty, and staff; and becoming a publicly engaged campus serving the western High Plains.

Each month the President hosts an all-campus meeting for faculty and staff. At these meetings important updates are shared and interactive formats are used to obtain feedback from the campus. In January of 2007 President Park used the all-campus meeting for a two-hour workshop on Vision 2011. Faculty and staff were invited to join into “table talks” (RR86) about the priority objectives identified by the president in Vision 2011. Tables brainstormed ideas for activities and initiatives to advance the college in accomplishing those objectives during the 2007 calendar year. Standardized forms for each idea were completed by table participants. The President’s Council along with the Strategic Planning Committee reviewed the ideas (RR87) in order to include some of them in the upcoming biennial budget process for the college this spring.

An additional call for proposals across the entire spectrum of Vision 2011 objectives was held in December 2006. Those proposals were reviewed in January, 2007 and $151,165 was earmarked to fund the projects selected by the Strategic Planning Committee (RR88).

Discussion of 5th item of evidence - Co-curricular activities and outreach

Students at Chadron State College can participate in a wide variety of co-curricular activities provided by the more than 70 student clubs and organizations. A complete listing with descriptions of these organizations is available at www.csc.edu/clubs. The Campus Activities Board (CAB) employs a full-time professional staff Director of Student Activities who assists CAB with the coordination and logistics of numerous student events and activities, including freshmen orientation, Homecoming, and Spring Daze.

The college fields NCAA Division II teams in football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, track and field, wrestling, women’s golf, and women’s softball. CSC athletes have earned 125 All-American and 64 Academic All-American/Scholar-Athlete honors since 1980. Chadron State has an excellent rodeo team that hosts a regional collegiate rodeo each year, and boasts several national collegiate champions in individual events. This year junior student-athlete Danny Woodhead received the NCAA Division II Harlon Hill award as the top football athlete in the nation. (RR89)

This year the college has added women’s softball to its NCAA Division II teams. A new state-of-the-art softball complex was opened and dedicated this fall 2006 at a cost of $235,104.57.

The Chadron State College Galaxy Series provides students, faculty, staff, and community members learning opportunities through the arts. The series focuses on the visual and performing arts. Selected highlights include: The Moscow Circus; SONOS bell choir; Ebony Embers; The Mystical Arts of Tibet; Flamenco Dancers; Carlota Santana; and film actors Anthony Zerbe and Roscoe Lee Brown. The emphasis of programming is eclectic presenting works that are outside the realm of pop culture that can broaden the scope of experiences for the region. The Director of Cultural Programs and Public Relations is responsible for the performance selections. Choices are made by direct contact with artists, through agents and audition materials sent directly to the director. A broad view of the experiences a student should have in an expected four-year stay includes: organizations representing world-wide cultural experiences; orchestra; chamber music; choral groups; jazz; major theatre productions; comedy; dance (ballet, jazz, and modern dance); and spectacles (Moscow Circus and Chinese Acrobats). Though not every event will attract 700 people to fill Memorial Hall Auditorium, it is essential that a large array of performing arts is represented.

The Department of Visual & Performing Arts and the Department of Music provide an extensive array of performances each year including four major theatre productions, senior student art exhibits and music recitals, faculty art exhibits and music recitals, and concerts by the college’s thirteen instrumental and vocal ensembles.

In addition to the performing arts, Chadron State College houses three gallery spaces on campus, two of which are programmed by the Director of Cultural Programs with the Exhibit Design Specialist. Two to three exhibits are chosen for the season to be featured and funded by the Galaxy Series budget. Current practice is to find an historical exhibit available and affordable for the Main Gallery. In addition, the Galaxy Series sponsors a nationally advertised juried exhibit and another exhibit for popular attraction. For 2006 the popular attraction is a western art exhibit and sale programmed to coincide with the Cowboy Poetry Gathering. (RR90)

The Distinguished Speaker Series at Chadron State College features speakers addressing topics of concern. Themes are often chosen for an academic year including such topics as women’s issues, immigration, and American poetry. A sampling of presenters includes noted educational writer David Berliner, Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams, Morris Dees from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Colorado Governor Bill Owens, Cheyenne Indian Chief Wilma Mankiller, environmental writer Bob Reiss, and a panel of Nebraska leaders and ranchers discussing the Use and Conservation Water in Western Nebraska. The theme of the 2006 season is immigration. Representative speakers are: Betty Nguyen (CNN co-anchor) “Diversity: Don’t Hide From it, Celebrate It. Roland Fryer “A Unified Theory of America and a debate Dan Stein vs. Enrique Morones. Dan Stein is President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform and Enrique Morones is the founder of the humanitarian organization Border Angels.

The Chadron State College and Community Powwow is a Native American gathering with drum groups and dancers. It was suggested in the fall of 2001 by Native American students in the White Buffalo Club. The first powwow was held in 2002. It is now an annual event at Chadron State College. Funding for this event comes from the Helen Peterson Bequest, the Dean of Arts & Sciences, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Multicultural Services on campus. On average fifty to one hundred students benefit from this initiative every year and between 250 and 350 individuals have participated in the festivities annually. This appears to be one of the stronger outreach programs directed at Native Americans in Chadron, other communities in the vicinity, and the Pine Ridge Reservation. This is one way that the college is attempting to increase Native American enrollment rates. If Native youth attend the college powwow on an annual basis, then perhaps the college will be an attractive choice for them if they decide to pursue a degree after high school.

Chadron State College sponsors a series of special thematic days for high school students. These events provide an opportunity for students to explore a variety of careers or co-curricular activities. These include: Health Professions Day (200 – 400 students), Theatre Day (250 – 300 high school students and 900+ elementary students), Law Day, Native American Day of Welcome, *and Art Day. The college also sponsors interactive events that require students to display research projects or participate in academic contests. These include: Scholastics Day (attended by over two thousand high school students each year), History Day, High Plains Band and Choir Festival, High Plains Jazz Festival, and Summer Athletic Camps. Numerous tours and presentations are also provided each year to K-12 students by the Eleanour Barbour Cook Geology Museum, the High Plains Herbarium and Greenhouse, and the CSC Planetarium.

 

Core Component 1d. The organization’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the organization to fulfill its mission.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 1d

 

Chadron State College subscribes to a shared governance model that includes the NSCS Board of Trustees, the CSC Faculty Senate, the CSC Student Senate, and the college administration, including the president’s cabinet, and the president’s council. Recent changes in the administrative structure and personnel have improved the campus climate, and increased the interaction among internal and external constituents. A new president, three new vice presidents, and three academic deans have been hired and commenced duties between August 2005 and August 2006. In addition, the Board of Trustees has become a strong influence in molding the three state colleges into a partnership that shares courses and programs of study, as well as marketing and enrollment initiatives.

 

Evidence Cited

1. NSCS Board of Trustees meetings and initiatives

2. Administrative re-structuring

3. Presidential Committees

4. Faculty Senate

5. Student Senate

6. SCEA, NSCPA, NAPE, campus personnel organizations for faculty and staff

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - NSCS Board of Trustees meetings and initiatives

CSC is governed by the Board of Trustees of the NSCS and the statutes of the state of Nebraska. The President of Chadron State College reports to the Chancellor of the NSCS. The NSCS mission, vision, core values, strategic plan, and policy manual are available on its website at www.nscs.edu. (RR2) The Board of Trustees includes student trustees, one from each state college, who serve for one year as ex-officio members. Board members are appointed by the governor and serve six-year terms. The members are selected to provide geographic balance based on the colleges’ service regions.

The Board of Trustees meets five times each year, including one at each of the state college campuses. At these campus meetings the Board holds open meetings with students, faculty, and staff to ascertain emerging issues and overall satisfaction with the campus and educational experience. In addition, at each Board meeting the student trustees and the presidents from each campus provide reports that provide Trustees with valuable information concerning campus activities and initiatives.

The Chancellor of the NSCS and the Board strive to promote greater collaboration among the state colleges. Several initiatives in this area include the recent creation of a NSCS Faculty College and the new shared online Master of Science in Organizational Management. The Faculty College is a two-day conference to be held each May at one of the state college campuses. At the conference, faculty from all three campuses conduct breakout sessions to share innovative teaching ideas and update their colleagues at the other campuses about new teaching and learning initiatives.

The Master of Science degree is a Nebraska State College System-wide online degree that was approved in the spring 2006 by the CCPE. There is a single program of study in Organizational Management with four separate options in Human Services, Natural Resources, Sports Management, and Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. Courses are offered online by the three state colleges and students may take courses from any of the campuses for the degree. Admission to this degree program is seamless among the three state colleges, which share student information among the registrars. During its current reaccreditation process, CSC is seeking the addition of this degree to its Statement of Affiliation Status.

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - Administrative restructuring

In the past ten years, Chadron State College has undergone two major administrative restructurings and three major changes in senior administration including the president, vice presidents, and academic deans. The presidents have included Dr. Samuel Rankin (1986-1998), Dr. Thomas Krepel (1998 – 2005), and Dr. Janie Park (2005 to present). Four academic vice presidents have served during this ten-year period including Dr. Merlyn Gramberg (until 1997), Dr. Thomas Krepel (1997), Dr. Joyce Hardy (1998-2005), and Dr. Lois Veath (2005 to present).

The three college presidents during the past decade have had their own individual management style and organization. Each have undertaken administrative reorganization that reflected environmental influences of the period and their individual priorities. During these reorganizations, professional staff positions have been eliminated and switched around in terms of the reporting chain of command, and administrative positions have been reduced. The current breakdown for college employees is 36 percent faculty, 27 percent professional staff 30 percent support staff, and 8 percent graduate assistants. For the first time, under Dr. Krepel, two assistant vice president positions were created for enrollment management and extended campus programs. These positions elevated in importance the college’s attention to the needs of students throughout its service region and have been retained by the present administration.

Under the leadership of Dr. Samuel Rankin, the college changed the organization of academic departments from seven divisions to four schools (RR51) with academic deans. Under Dr. Krepel, this structure was continued for five years until severe budget cuts required a reduction from four schools to two schools (RR52) and two academic deans. This change proved to be problematic and during the 2005 search for a new president, the Faculty Senate, along with other faculty, asked the NSCS Chancellor to explore the possibility of increasing the number of schools and academic deans. This request was based on faculty desire to have greater access to their academic deans and more attention to detail than was possible with the two-school model.

Dr. Janie Park assumed her duties as Chadron State College’s tenth president on August 1, 2005. She was joined by an interim Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs, who was the former Dean of Arts & Sciences for three years at the college. Dr. Park held a retreat for mid-level and senior managers to explore administrative reorganization options. She was also instructed by the Chancellor to explore the option of additional academic schools. At the same time the Dean of Students resigned, which provided the president with greater flexibility in terms of options. At the January 2006 all-campus meeting, President Park unveiled her plans for restructuring to the campus, which included an increase to three academic schools with three academic deans and the elevation of the Dean of Students position to cabinet level as the Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Services. During the 2006 spring term, search committees were formed to conduct national searches to fill the positions for a permanent Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), a new Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services, and three new academic deans for the three new schools. During this time, the long-standing Vice President for Administration & Finance (VPAF) accepted a position at the NSCS office in Lincoln and the CSC Comptroller was appointed as the interim VPAF. All of the positions were filled by July 1, 2006. The interim VPAA became the permanent VPAA and one of the new academic deans was also an internal candidate who was serving as an interim dean. All other positions were filled by external candidates. (RR53)

The new permanent administrative team has been working together since August 2006 and has made very good progress in learning about the campus and the needs of its internal and external constituents. Dr. Park has spent extensive time on the road visiting many of the communities within the college’s service region and conducting conversations with community residents and businesses to ascertain their needs. While campus morale and climate has improved dramatically, the team is still relatively “green,” and is continually striving to fulfill the important responsibilities it has to the students, faculty, and staff.

President Park meets on a weekly basis with her cabinet that includes the three vice presidents. She also meets weekly with her council that includes the three vice presidents, the three academic deans, the two assistant vice presidents, the director of computer services, the director of cultural programs and public relations, the director of the Chadron State Foundation, the athletic director, and the assistant to the president for special projects. She also holds a monthly all-campus meeting for all the college’s faculty and staff and uses interactive formats at these meetings to receive input from the campus.

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Presidential Committees

During the past decade, each of the college’s presidents has examined the list of presidential committees and has strived to limit the number. The charges for various committees have also been examined in light of the college’s changing environment and strategic planning.

At the end of her first year as president, in the summer 2006, Dr. Park worked with her cabinet to examine each and every committee, its charge and membership. This effort was designed to eliminate or combine committees and revisit the charge of each committee in order to make better use of faculty, student, and staff time. The number of presidential committees has been reduced from twenty-two to sixteen by combining several committee charges. Charges have also been revised to better reflect the needs of the college in terms of continual improvement. In addition, the membership of the committees was examined to include broad representation of faculty, staff, and students.

One of the major changes in the committee structure was the transformation of the Assessment Committee into the Institutional Effectiveness Committee. (RR91) The charge has been expanded to include the review of a broad range of institutional data, assessment reports from the campus units and departments, yearly reports on outreach activities, and special initiatives, and yearly reports from other presidential committees. The committee will aid the president in generating a yearly report on the institutional effectiveness of the college. This report will then assist the president, her council, and the strategic planning committee in accomplishing administrative, academic, budget, and facilities planning for the short and long-term goals of the college, and its improvement efforts.

Current presidential committees include the following: Admissions and Scholarship Appeals; Awards and Recognition; Campus Facilities, Safety and ADA Compliance; Commencement; Diversity and Affirmative Action; Emergency Response; Homecoming; Honors Program; Institutional Effectiveness; Institutional Review Board; International Students; Retention and Student Development; Scholastic Day; Technology Fee; Technology Planning; Vision 2011 Strategic Planning.

Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Faculty Senate (RR92)

For decades the college has followed a shared governance model with the Faculty Senate and its committees. The Faculty Senate consists of a president, vice president, and secretary all elected from the membership. Senators include one from each of the thirteen academic departments and one at-large from each of the three academic schools. Ex-officio members include the president of the faculty association, SCEA, the president of the professional staff association, NSCPA, the president of the Student Senate, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).

The Faculty Senate meets twice each month. The meetings regularly include discussions among the senators and the VPAA with regard to creative initiatives or problematic issues. These discussions lead to the resolution of problems in a timely manner or to the study of and recommendations for new initiatives. The VPAA keeps the president of the college apprised of these discussions. Recent issues have included faculty office hours and release time for scholarly endeavors.

Faculty Senate has nine committees that provide important input to the administration with regard to a variety of issues including academic programs and policies, faculty research and development, graduate studies, promotion and tenure, study abroad, student academic affairs, and budget. Most committees generally include two or three at-large faculty from each school, two student senators, and an administrative ex-officio representative. If none of the committee members are senators, then a faculty senator is appointed to serve as an additional member of the committee. The Academic Review committee and the Promotion & Tenure committee include one faculty member from each academic department. While student senators are ex officio members, they retain voting rights on Academic Review, Information Infrastructure, Student Academic Review, and Graduate Council.

The Faculty Senate committees are: Academic Review, Budget, Information Infrastructure, Research Institute, Student Academic Review, Faculty Development, Study Abroad, Graduate Council, and Promotion and Tenure.

 

Discussion of 5th item of evidence Student Senate (RR93)

The Student Senate is the principal entity for student participation in the decision-making process at CSC. It is a genuine representative organization of the student body and provides a forum for the expression of student views and interest. The senate works to improve student culture and social welfare and ensure the existence of student rights.

Each semester, Dr. Park holds a luncheon and discussion of issues for student senators and the members of the Presidential Council. She also meets once a month with the Student Senate president. In addition, there are two faculty sponsors, along with the vice president for enrollment management & student services, who meet with the Student Senate at their weekly meetings. These sponsors ensure that student concerns reach the administration and the faculty of the college.

Student Senate is comprised of fifteen student senators representing the three academic schools, five student senators elected at-large representing the entire student body, eleven junior senators, and the Campus Activities Board president, who serves as an ex-officio member.

Officers include: President who must serve as a senator for one full term prior to running for president; vice-president who must serve as a senator for a half term prior to running for vice-president; secretary; treasurer; chief justice; and parliamentarian.

Student Senate meets each week on Mondays, throughout the fall and spring semesters. Elections are held each semester.

One of the major projects recently undertaken by the Student Senate is the Student Leadership Seminar. The senate developed this project for Vision 2011 funding last year and it was awarded the full amount requested. The senate hosted the two-day leadership seminar on the Chadron State College campus to develop leadership skills in high school students from the surrounding region. Student senators recruited high school students from Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado by mailing brochures and by direct phone and e-mail contact. The senators personally contacted their former high school principals and student leadership organization sponsors to ask that they nominate students to attend the seminar. The seminar was designed to heighten high school students’ awareness of Chadron State College, familiarize them with the campus and student organizations, and provide incentive for future attendance. Student leaders who are more active on campus are more likely to succeed and complete their college education. The senate seeks to aid in the development of leadership skills in high school students as well as its own members through involvement in this seminar. Based on the success of the first seminar, the Student Senate has applied for continuation funding through Vision 2011 to hold this seminar again in the spring 2007.

Standing committees of the Student Senate include the Finance Committee and the Campus Activities Board. The Finance Committee regulates the active, inactive, and newly created clubs on the campus. It is responsible for establishing and implementing guidelines for the creation of clubs and ensuring that all current clubs follow the guidelines to remain active on campus. The Senate Finance Committee also distributes the student activity fee. All allocations of the Student Activity Fee must be approved by the Student Senate.

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) provides multicultural, educational, and social events that benefit the entire student body. CAB membership includes an elected representative from each club and organization on campus, and independent students who volunteer to serve. Independent membership is limited to 25 percent of the total CAB membership. The standing committees of CAB include Student Events, Special and Cultural Events, Publicity, and Constitution.

Each year CAB organizes events that include a Super Bowl party, international coffee houses, Spring Daze activities, Homecoming activities, celebrations for cultural holidays, concerts, movies, dances, speakers, and performers such as comedians.

The CAB advisor is a full-time professional staff employee of the college who is integral to the mentoring of students and the implementation of CAB activities. She attends all CAB board and executive meetings, attends events and ensures security at all events, acts as a guide and mentor to the students, keeps in close contact with the treasurer about the budget, provides overall leadership and management to the board, provides leadership and guidance in creating a high standard of operation for the board, negotiates contracts, and accepts final responsibility for all decisions of CAB.

 

Discussion of 6th item of evidence Faculty, Professional Staff and Support Staff Unions; Campus Personnel Organizations: Faculty Senate, Professional Staff Association (PSA), and College Support Staff Association (CSSA)

         The faculty, professional staff, and support staff at CSC each have union representation. These are the State College Education Association (SCEA), Nebraska State College Professional Association (NSCPA), and Nebraska Association of Public Employees (NAPE). Membership in unions is voluntary in the state of Nebraska. Those who choose not to participate and pay dues are still covered by and receive equal consideration in the respective contracts for their classification.

         Every two years, all three unions and employee representatives from each campus enter into negotiations of the contract agreements with administrative representatives from the three state colleges and the NSCS office in Lincoln. These negotiations coincide with the biennial budget cycle for the state of Nebraska and its agencies, which allows for new two-year budgets to include consideration for increases in salaries and benefits.

         Time is set aside for meetings of the faculty union and the three campus personnel organizations. These groups meet at least once a month on either Tuesdays or Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. No classes are held during these times to accommodate various committee, unit, and department meetings. The fourth Thursday is exclusively reserved for the local faculty union meetings and no other faculty meetings are allowed at that time.

         The campus personnel organizations are active on campus and the presidents of all three organizations serve on the presidential committee for Vision 2011 Strategic Planning. Additionally, the presidents of the SCEA and PSA serve as ex-officio members of the Faculty Senate. The SCEA President meets when necessary with the vice president for academic affairs and the relationship between the union and the administration is cordial.

 

Core Component 1e. The organization upholds and protects its integrity.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 1e

 

Chadron State College has worked diligently in the past decade to protect its institutional integrity by creating transparency in all of its procedures and by increasing publication of policies and procedures for internal and external constituencies. In 1999, the college created a separate Human Resources office and employed for the first time a Director of Human Resources. The director provides counseling and information to faculty, staff, and students with regard to Board of Trustees policies, campus policies, employment issues, and grievance procedures. Upgrading of the college’s website in the past decade has greatly increased the ready availability of policy manuals, handbooks, and information for students, parents, campus employees and the public. The student handbook and the college catalog include sections on academic honesty, civility, and class attendance. The student handbook also includes an extensive discussion of the CSC Student Code of Conduct. (RR94) Orientation of new faculty over an extended period of time allows them to become familiar with academic and personnel policies and procedures. Workshops for faculty who are applying for promotion and tenure are conducted to increase the quality of faculty portfolios. Administrators and unit heads participate in annual workshops to ensure compliance with policies and procedures with regard to supervision and evaluation of employees. Administrators, faculty, and professional staff have annual personal goals that promote professional development, and annual evaluations are viewed as opportunities for coaching and mentoring. Faculty evaluation of academic deans, the academic vice president, and the president has been instituted using the online IDEA evaluation system (RR95). All student, faculty, and staff handbooks are updated each year during the summer and revised handbooks are posted on the CSC website. Any policy changes in the faculty and staff handbooks are provided in hardcopy to all employees on opening day of the fall semester. New students are provided hardcopies of the student handbook and relevant information with regard to FERPA. Discussions of academic and social behaviors are provided at new student orientation and throughout the semester by resident assistants. Academic handbooks are provided for Graduate Studies and for some of the more complex undergraduate programs such as Education, Music, and Theatre, in order to provide better support and clearer pathways for students seeking degrees in those areas.

 

Evidence Cited:

1. Human Resources Department and CSC website

2. Student handbooks and log of formal student complaints

3. Faculty and staff handbooks

4. Board of Trustees Policy Manual

5. Evaluation of faculty, staff, and administration

6. Athletic policies and NCAA self-study

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Human Resources Department and website

Since the previous North Central Association (NCA) reaccreditation self-study and site visit in 1999, the college has created a separate office of Human Resources and employs a full-time director. This has allowed the college to provide support for faculty, staff, and students, communicate clearly policies and procedures, answer questions regarding those policies and procedures, and ensure that the college follows its published policies and procedures.

The Director of Human Resources is available to students, faculty, and staff to answer questions and provide information with regard to policies, procedures, employment, benefits, retirement, and grievance procedures. She serves as liaison for the campus to the NSCS office in Lincoln and regularly discusses issues and procedures with them when questions arise. This ensures that the college operates consistently and fairly. The director arranges for annual workshops for supervisors to update them on employment law and to review Board and campus employment policies and procedures. The director also oversees the professional development budgets for faculty, professional staff, and support staff. These funds are provided to individuals who seek financial support in order to attend conferences and workshops related to their positions at the college. The director also has oversight of all searches and hiring of new employees. She meets with search committees at the commencement of a new search to make sure that participants understand Federal and State employment policies including EEO and to ensure that searches are conducted in a fair and professional manner. The director co-chairs the Diversity and Affirmative Action committee, as well as serving on the Campus Facilities, Safety, and ADA Compliance Committee and the Emergency Response Team.

If a formal grievance is filed by a student or employee of the college, the Human Resources Director conducts the investigation. This involves interviewing all parties involved, determining the facts of the matter, reviewing findings in previous, similar grievances for consistency, and developing a written statement of findings and recommendations for resolution. Determinations by the director may be appealed to the president of the college. The number of formal grievances is quite small, and most issues are resolved informally through appropriate discussions by the parties involved and the immediate supervisors. As required by the Federal government, the college keeps a log of all formal grievances by students. This log resides in the office of the vice president for academic affairs.

The Human Resources Department has developed a website that is a critical communication link to internal and external constituents. This site is available from the main page of the college’s website or can be logged on directly via www.csc.edu/hr. The site includes: updated copies of the student, faculty, professional staff, and support staff handbooks; the campus-wide diversity reports; professional development grant applications; tuition waiver applications for employees and their families; annual evaluation forms for faculty, professional staff, and support staff; vacancy and employment information; a link to the Board Policy Manual; copies of the negotiated agreements for faculty, professional staff, and support staff; and general information about the campus, the community of Chadron, and the NSCS.

 

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - Student Handbook and log of student formal complaints or grievances

The Student Handbook is available on the college’s publication website (www.csc.edu/publications) for prospective students and parents, for current students, and for faculty and staff, and is also available on the Human Resources website. Copies of the handbook are placed in publication racks in the Administration building and Crites Hall. In addition, copies are distributed each fall to all new students and as well as students living in the college’s residence halls. The student handbook is updated each summer by the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services.

The Student Handbook covers a wide range of topics in the areas of academic policies, student rights and responsibilities, due process and grievance procedures, student welfare information, drug and alcohol policies, student support and academic services, student involvement opportunities, residence halls, and campus facilities. The handbook gives particular attention to academic honesty, civility, class attendance, and the student Code of Conduct. Deans and directors in academic and student affairs refer to the handbook when counseling students and are careful to follow the procedures outlined in the handbook with regard to misconduct and academic due process.

As required by federal policy, the college keeps a log of all formal grievances by students. As described above, the Director of Human Resources conducts investigations of all such grievances. The log of formal grievances by students is kept in the office of the vice president of academic affairs. In the past seven years (1999 – 2006) there have been only eight formal grievances by students. (PRR8)

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Faculty and staff handbooks

The Director of Human Resources works with the NSCS system office in Lincoln, and the vice presidents of the campus to update the faculty, professional staff, and support staff handbooks. The handbooks are reviewed and updated as needed each summer. Any substantive changes in policy are provided in hardcopy to all employees on the opening day all-campus meeting at the beginning of each new academic year in the fall. Complete copies of each current handbook are accessible on the Human Resources website.

Important sections of the handbooks that deal with harassment and drug-free workplace are not only included within the handbooks, but also published separately on the Human Resources website. This is done to make sure that critical policies such as these are clearly displayed and available.

Recent changes to the handbook this past year include a clarification on consensual, romantic liaisons which may not be considered as harassment by the individuals involved. In addition, when the union agreements are re-negotiated every two years, any changes that affect policies and procedures in the handbooks are updated to reflect compliance with the new agreements.

The Faculty Handbook (RR96) gives detailed information regarding the service and performance requirements for promotion and tenure. It also includes instructions and suggestions for items to be included in the faculty portfolio that is reviewed by peers, the academic dean, the academic vice president, and the president in making recommendations and decisions regarding promotion and tenure.

Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Board of Trustees Policy Manual

The Board of Trustees Policy (BP) Manual is available online through the CSC Human Resources website (RR97). This manual, along with the negotiated agreements, the regulations of the CCPE, and the statutes of the state of Nebraska, form the basis for policies and procedures at Chadron State College. The BP manual is divided into sections: governance and administration; student affairs; academics; personnel; fiscal operations; business management; facilities; and revenue bond. Ready availability of the BP manual is extremely important to the transparency of policies and procedures to all college employees.

One of the major policies of the Board that protects the academic integrity of college programs is BP 4140. This policy sets the standards for credit hours in majors, minors, and degrees, as well as the General Studies core curriculum. It also outlines the requirements for upper and lower division courses for graduation.

Board policies 5100-5113 cover standards for performance evaluations for all classifications of employees, as well as promotion, tenure, and non-renewal of contracts. Board policies in the 5200’s address resignations, dismissals, and terminations, and the 5300’s outline the grievance procedures. These policies are followed carefully on each campus, and questions regarding these policies are directed to the Director of Human Resources and the NSCS attorney.

Board policies in the 6000’s and 7000’s outline the regulations regarding fiscal operations and business management, including budgets, contracts, and purchasing. The Vice President for Administration and Finance ensures that these policies are strictly followed. He also oversees the college’s annual audits, along with the college’s comptroller.

 

Discussion of 5th item of evidence - Evaluation of faculty, staff and administration

Each spring, employees of the college participate in an annual, personal evaluation with their immediate supervisors. This includes all faculty members regardless of full-time or part-time status, tenured or non-tenured, or academic rank. All administrators, professional staff, and faculty have annual goals that they have developed as part of their professional plan and the annual evaluations examine progress toward these goals, along with performance on tasks and responsibilities related to each person’s job description.

All faculty, professional staff, and administrators provide a professional activities report to their immediate supervisor prior to the evaluation. The report summarizes progress toward professional goals and additional discussions of yearly activities, including for faculty a reflective section with regard to the results of student ratings of teaching.

In addition to evaluation by their immediate supervisor, the college President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services, and all three academic deans are evaluated each year in the spring by the faculty. Four years ago the college administration asked the Faculty Senate to design a plan for faculty evaluation of administrators. The senate adopted the IDEA system from Kansas State University, which allows an extensive online survey by faculty for each administrator. (RR95) The results of these evaluations are given to the President who reviews the results and discusses them with the vice presidents. The IDEA results are given to each administrator for use in their personal improvement plan. Because these are confidential employee evaluations, similar to student ratings of faculty, these are not published or shared with third-party individuals, nor are the student ratings of faculty.

Evaluation forms for all classification of employees are available on the Human Resources website. This allows each employee to become familiar with the basis on which they will be evaluated each year. The evaluation forms were updated several years ago to make the process more transparent and explicit.

Evaluation forms (RR68) for faculty include a section on progress toward promotion and tenure, in which the academic dean can give a candid assessment. Student ratings in two of the professor’s classes are also part of the annual evaluation process. Performance is rated as satisfactory, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory, and those areas rated as “needs improvement,” or “unsatisfactory,” require a performance improvement plan to be attached to the final evaluation. This improvement plan is developed collaboratively between the faculty member and the academic dean. The annual evaluations become part of the faculty portfolio for promotion and tenure. Faculty may file an addendum or rejoinder to the evaluation forms within ten days after meeting with the academic dean if they disagree with any part of the dean’s evaluation.

Ratings for professional staff, administrators, and support staff include four categories: exceeds expectations, satisfactory, needs improvement, unsatisfactory. The areas rated as “needs improvement,” or “unsatisfactory,” require a performance improvement plan to be attached to the final evaluation, which is developed in collaboration with the immediate supervisor. Staff may file an addendum or rejoinder to the evaluation forms within ten days after meeting with their supervisor if they disagree with any part of the evaluation.

All evaluations by the immediate supervisors are forwarded to the appropriate vice president and then to the president who makes the final determination of the employees’ annual evaluation ratings.

 

Discussion of 6th item of evidence - Athletic policies and NCAA self-study

Chadron State College is a member of the NCAA Division II for athletics. The NCAA requires each member institution to conduct a self-study every five years (PRR9). The purpose of this self-study is to enhance the integrity of intercollegiate athletics. During the past academic year, the Athletic Director completed this significant benchmark for CSC athletic programs.

The NCAA self-study process and results sensitize senior administrators and key campus constituencies to commonly occurring problems, identify potential problems within local campus athletic programs, aid in the development of plans for improvement, and guide institutions through the documentation process.

The self-study requires the college to comply with all requirements in nine different areas. Any requirement that is not fulfilled requires a statement regarding how compliance will be implemented.

The self-study examines compliance with Title IX, graduation rates of athletes compared to all students, and suggests plans to improve athletic academic performance and graduation rates. About 50 percent of student athletes graduate as compared to about 46 percent of the general student population. The college is in compliance with Title IX gender equity, and has recently added women’s softball to its athletic offering. A new softball facility was completed in the fall 2006 at a cost of over $235,000.

 

Findings on Criterion One

 

Strengths

1. The Chadron State Colleges Vision 2011 process is comprehensive and inclusive. It has created refined mission and vision statements that are widely communicated.

2. The Coordinating Commission for Post Secondary Education (CCPE), Nebraska State College System (NSCS), and Chadron State College (CSC) have strategic plans that emphasize the diverse needs of the state’s students and service region.

3. The college has a strong diversity committee that provides both a consistent framework for campus programming and an articulation of the campus commitment to the inherent value of diversity in the academic environment.

4. A new position has been created, the Director of Sponsored Research & Funded Initiatives for Minority Student Achievement and Retention. The director is actively working on additional grant applications to support implementation of the important initiatives developed by the Title III planning grant, “Reducing Barriers to Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation of Native American and Hispanic Students at Chadron State College.”

5. The General Studies core curriculum for all students requires study of Global and Social Awareness, and includes a student learning outcome that values sensitivity to cultural diversity and an appreciation for various cultures and societies.

6. The CSC mission and vision permeate the planning and delivery of the college’s academic programs, the modality of program delivery, and the extensive outreach activities provided by the college to the students and residents of its service region in rural western Nebraska.

7. Recent changes in the administrative structure have improved the campus and increased the interaction among internal and external constituents. Presidential committees have been extensively revised and reduced in number making their charges more mission critical.

8. The Faculty Senate and Student Senate interact regularly with the CSC administration and are proactive as issues or concerns arise.

9. Policy manuals and student, faculty, and staff handbooks are readily available on the Human Resources website. The Director of Human Resources ensures that the college follows its policies regarding all internal constituents.

10. Administrators and unit heads participate in annual workshops to ensure compliance with policies and procedures with regard to supervision and evaluation of employees.

11. All college employees are evaluated every year. Administrators, faculty, and professional staff develop yearly professional goals that are part of the evaluation process, and administrators are evaluated by faculty each year using the IDEA online survey system. Student ratings are an important part of faculty evaluation.

 

Areas for Improvement

1. The mission and vision statements need to be more visible on the college’s website, and need to be more extensively shared with external constituencies.

2. Although documents are readily available students, faculty, and staff still are not aware of many policies and procedures.

3. The college needs to continue to strengthen internal and external communication.

 

Plan of Improvement

1. Revise the CSC website.

2. Explore ways to improve communication both internally and externally by engaging the campus in brainstorming at an all-campus meeting.

3. Increase awareness of campus policies and procedures through workshops, orientations, and additional communication strategies.

 

Progress thus far:

1. Through an RFP process that began last summer, the college has signed a contract and begun work with Virtual Atlantic, Inc. to redesign and update the CSC website. All units on campus have submitted needed changes for their individual sites. The design process is expected to be completed in May, and the updated website will go live in June of 2007.

2. Two all campus meetings this year have focused on brainstorming ideas for meeting the goals and needs of the institution.

3. Academic deans, who meet weekly with department chairs and monthly with faculty, are focusing more discussion on policy and procedure.