Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas
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Self Study Process and Committees

Washburn University developed a self study process which was appropriate for the culture of the institution but was informed by the best practices of peer institutions. The process began with the appointment of the Self Study Steering Committee including the co-chairs: Dr. Nancy Tate, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Donna LaLonde, Dean of Honors and Director of the Center for Undergraduate Studies and Programs (CUSP).  The members of the Steering Committee, representative of curricular, co-curricular, and administrative units across campus, were identified and invited to serve by President Farley. Once the committee was constituted, the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) conducted a workshop on the self study process.

Based on knowledge acquired through participation in Higher Learning Commission Annual Meetings, the Steering Committee, in consultation with the VPAA, decided to form five subcommittees, each assigned primary responsibility for developing the initial institutional response to one of the five criteria for accreditation. These subcommittees were chaired by members of the Steering Committee. One academic Dean was assigned to each of the five subcommittees.  In addition, Drs. Tate and LaLonde were assigned as ex officio members of the subcommittees. Finally, Melodie Christal, Director of Institutional Research, Chris Leach, Director of Finance, and Rhonda Thornburgh, Director of Budget Planning, were designated as research assistants for the subcommittees.

The subcommittees were constituted with membership from all areas of campus and met regularly to draft responses to the criterion subcomponents. The Steering Committee held regular meetings, including summer retreats, to review the entire self study and to design, implement and analyze required campus-wide data gathering initiatives.

A working draft of the document was reviewed by Executive Staff, Deans, and Directors, and their comments were valuable in refining the self study to prepare the final draft.  A “Roll Out” Committee consisting of faculty, staff, administration, and students was formed early in Fall 2007 to formulate a strategy to increase awareness of the self study findings and participation in open forums and site visit activities.  In addition, two marketing classes and a public relations class were assigned class projects to assist in identifying strategies to increase student awareness and participation. The draft self study was reviewed by the entire campus community throughout the month of October 2007.  After receiving comments through e-mail and through open forums will be held at the end of October, the self study draft will be finalized.

Throughout the self study process, the Steering Committee made presentations to groups on campus (General Faculty, Faculty Senate, Staff Council, Washburn Student Government Association) to ensure the community was informed and involved.  In March, 2008, the University will publish third party comment notices on the Washburn web site and in the local newspaper. These initiatives will continue throughout the entire self study process, culminating with the site visit in May 2008.

The goals :which have guided Washburn’s participation in the accreditation process included the following

  • To provide an opportunity to assess Washburn’s effectiveness as an institution;
  • To serve Washburn students who may wish to transfer or pursue further education; and
  • To provide a mechanism for the Institution to document compliance with Federal mandates.

The Steering Committee members are:

Patricia Joyce, Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Denise Ottinger, Vice President for Student Life
Laura Stephenson. Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and Professor, Department of Psychology
Rhonda Thornburgh, Director of Budget and Planning
Michael Stoica, Professor, School of Business
Brian Ogawa, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Human Services
Melodie Christal, Director of Institutional Research
Chris Leach. Director of Finance
Nancy Tate, Co-chair and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Donna LaLonde, Co-Chair, Dean University Honors Program and Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
CJ Crawford, Administrative Support

The Sub Committees are:
Criterion 1 - Mission and Integrity
Denise Ottinger, Chair
Bill Rich, Professor, School of Law
Deborah Moore, Director of Human Resources
Howard Falukner, Professor and Chair, Department of English
Pat Munzer, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Allied Health
Richard Donner, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work
Caren Dick, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Lynn Bailey, Secretary, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Jeanne Kessler, Director of Student Services
Criterion 2 - Preparing for the Future
Patricia Joyce,Co-Chair
Rhonda Thornburgh, Co-Chair
Cynthia Hornberger, Dean, School of Nursing
Andrew Evans, Law Librarian
Tim Peterson, Dean, Division of Continuing Education
Jack Decker, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Information Science
Kandi Ockree (Kanalis), Associate Professor, School of Business
Russ Jacobs, Professor, Philosophy Department and President, Faculty Senate
Nelda Gaito, Project Manager, Facilities Serivces
Becky Wilber, Assistant Director, Student Recreation and Wellness Center
Heidi Staerkel, Office Of International Programs

Criterion 3 - Student Learning and Effective Teaching
Laura Stephenson, Chair
Gordon McQuere, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Sarah Cook, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Jennifer Ball, Associate Professor, School of Businees
Jane Carpenter, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Dianne Graves, Research Analyst, Institutional Reserch
Dan Petersen, Associate Dean, School of Applied Studies
Judy Druse, Public Service Librarian
Pamela Erickson, Coordinator, Academic Advising

Criterion 4 - Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge
Michael Stoica, Chair
David Sollars, Dena School of Business
Jeannette Luedke, Accountant, Finance
Kristi Wilson, Grants Officer
Gary Schmidt, Interim Dean, Mabee Library
David Feinmark, Acquisition Librarian
Joanne Altman, Professor, Department of Psychology
Jay Memmott, Professor and Chair, Department of Social Work
Shirley Dinkel, Associate Professor, School of Nurising

Criterion 5 - Engagement and Service
Brian Ogawa, Chair
Willie Dunlap, Dean, School of Applied Studies
Jeannie Cornelius, Academic Advisor
Kris Hart, Center for Community Service and Engagement
Bill Roach, Professor, School of Business
Annie Collins, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Meg Hawthorne, Associate Director, Leadership Institute
John Paul, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Michelle Shipley, Assistant Professor, Department of Allied Health

Return to Self Study Introduction

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