Effective Feb. 1, a reorganization inside the Office of the Provost will officially establish the new Office of Academic Effectiveness (OAE), a move that shifts academic assessment, academic program review and planning, and accreditation duties into a stand-alone office reporting directly to the provost. The reorganization centralizes the coordination and oversight of these initiatives and is part of an overall academic-effectiveness strategy devised after the Institute’s Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) reaffirmation of accreditation last year.
The OAE will be led by the associate provost for academic effectiveness — a new position — who will work with and support the academic leadership and administrative units on items including SACSCOC requirements and reporting, program accreditation, Course Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS), assessment of student learning outcomes, Academic Progress Rates, new program development, and long-term planning, among others. Through the use of vacant positions and currently allocated resources, OAE is being established with very limited additional resources.
“The partnership and dedication of many — including Dean Catherine Murray-Rust and the library staff and Sandi Bramblett and her Administration and Finance colleagues — helped to expertly carry us through the recent monitoring and reporting requirements,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs and the K. Harrison Brown Family Chair. “The recent reaffirmation process revealed opportunities for improvement. Having dedicated staff to oversee these assessment activities will ensure a focused, centralized effectiveness strategy moving forward.”
Two councils will also be established in support of the mission of the OAE. The Faculty Council for Accreditation will comprise the faculty leads charged with accreditation in each of the academic units and will be co-chaired by the associate provost for academic effectiveness and the assistant vice president for Institutional Research and Enterprise Data Management, Sandi Bramblett. Additionally, the Council for Assessment will consist of assessment professional staff from academic units, as well as assessment professionals in the nonacademic units and IRP. The councils will create opportunities for collaboration, sharing of best practices, and standard setting for quality and consistency across the Institute
A search committee is currently working to fill the new associate provost position. A search to fill the vacant director of assessment position will follow.