Rocket Nation Recover Part 33 – A few weeks ago the Part 25 post shared a message from a department chair at UToledo.

Rocket Nation Recovery Part 25

The message below is from another department chair in response to a question in that post – – “should UToledo trustees consider commissioning a third-party assessment to gauge the level of buy-in, alignment, and overall morale at all levels within UToledo?”

“I would recommend that trustees encourage administrators to do a critical assessment of the quality, marketability, and viability of academic programs. 

This assessment is distinctly different from the financial assessment of a program and the assessments that routinely occur in the context of accreditation of programs and the university. It’s also different from the buy-in, alignment, and morale assessment you mentioned.

Accreditation reports are intended to obtain accreditation or reaccreditation and thus, highlight strengths. These reports do not objectively assess the quality, marketability, and viability of academic programs. Furthermore, many undergraduate programs are not affiliated with an accrediting organization (e.g., programs that prepare students for graduate school; DPT, MD, etc..) and thus are not reviewed on a regular basis.  

The assessment of academic programs must involve the faculty. They are aware of the history, strengths, weakness, etc. of a program. This aspect would likely be lost in a third-party assessment. 

A critical and objective assessment of academic programs and feasible strategies to enhance, could then be viewed in conjunction with the assessment of program finances and the buy-in, alignment, and morale assessment. This approach would be a targeted cost-effective way to increase enrollment.

With the current culture of apathy and fear, this is easier said than done. 

Most administrators have minimal knowledge of academic programs and don’t provide the necessary leadership to assess them critically and objectively.

The constant turnover of Provosts, Deans and Chairs over the past 17-years has paralyzed decision making. Our academic administrators are not responding fast enough to the changing higher education market. They are internally focused on crisis management. Senior leaders are missing in action. There is no direction.

The major crisis is the budget deficit. Again, academic administrators attempt to manage this by random cutting cost, without considering the impact on academic programs and our customers (students).

Where is academic leadership? Which will prevail in the minds and actions of UToledo leaders and trustees – – continued apathy or swift accountability?”

It’s ok to feel uncomfortable in a crisis. Please pray for thoughtful, compassionate accountability and urgent actions to revitalize The Rocket Nation.

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