Letter from the President
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
April 29, 2010
On Tuesday, April 20, the Faculty Assembly adopted a resolution presented by the Curriculum & Instruction Committee recommending that the College charge a working group to identify and examine various forms of instruction that are mission-consistent, demonstrate academic integrity, and promote the financial well-being of the College.
Pursuant to this charge, I am writing to share with you plans for the formation of a Task Force for Online Education and to invite those interested in participating to join in this effort. The Task Force will begin meeting in mid-May and will conclude its business by September 1. It will report to me and present its findings to the Faculty Assembly at the first meeting of that body in the fall semester.
Recognizing the value of your time during the summer as well as the varied schedules of all, I will encourage the task force leaders to schedule meetings as efficiently as possible. Given the nature of the task, I expect that the bulk of this summer’s work can be accomplished with a greater reliance on small groups and online collaboration rather than large group meetings. In view of the importance to the College of a thorough and inclusive consideration of our stance and strategy for online education, I appreciate your consideration of this commitment of your time and energies. The College will provide appropriate resources to support this initiative.
The Task Force is charged with identifying and analyzing options and opportunities for online education at Fisher and preparing a report that will allow the Fisher community to engage in an informed consideration of its online strategy. While the College is currently enjoying unprecedented success, we need to prepare now for an environment that will be characterized by changing demographics, economic uncertainty, and the likelihood of substantive structural change in the higher education market in order to ensure our continued success in the next decade. I believe that having an online presence that is mission consistent, possesses academic integrity, and contributes to our financial viability will be part of our future.
Our recent consideration of the relationship with Bisk Education served to capture much energy and interest in online possibilities. As recognized by the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, this year’s discussion also made clear that more information is needed for us to be able to proceed wisely. I thank C&I for their work in this regard and for their proposal charging the College to form a working group to gather needed information. For these reasons, I am establishing this Task Force to analyze and report on the items and issues listed below.
ELEMENTS OF TASK FORCE CHARGE AND REPORT
- Identify and create market profiles for the various types of online presence (local, regional, or national), online services (e.g. course, program, credit, non-credit, etc.), and credentials (degree or certificate) that could serve undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education populations;
- Identify and analyze internal and external options for instructional design, course development and creation, course hosting (learning management systems), student services (e.g. advising, BANNER/Registrar, OIT, library, and special needs, etc.), financial services (billing and financial aid), enrollment management, and marketing;
- Identify needs, current capabilities, and options for policies, practices, and guidelines addressing intellectual property, faculty load, compensation, assessment, and academic oversight;
- Identify models for the governance and administrative support of online programs and offerings;
- Propose a strategy for online education at Fisher, including a tactical plan for initial entry into the market;
- Recommend a process for community review and discussion of online options and identify steps needed to secure approval (e.g. faculty and college governance, notification of accrediting bodies, state approval, etc.) and implementation of an online strategy.
TASK FORCE MEMBERSHIP
Dr. Dave Pate and Dr. Gerry Rooney have agreed to co-chair this initiative and I extend my sincere appreciation to both of them for their willingness to shoulder this undertaking. The Task Force is to have representation from the functional divisions of the College, each of the Schools, and appropriate bodies of the Faculty Assembly. Membership will include faculty, professional staff, and administrators. (See below for suggested representation on the Task Force.) I will be working with the Vice Presidents to select participating staff members and administrators. Any member of the faculty wishing to participate should contact their school dean; interested staff should discuss participation with their director and vice president; C&I, GPC, and Faculty Council committee members are asked to speak with their committee chair. Questions are welcome and may be directed to either Dr. Pate or Dr. Rooney.
Finally, I ask that faculty committee chairs, deans, and vice presidents contact Dr. Rooney and Dr. Pate no later than May 12 with the names of individuals who will be serving on the Task Force so that we can ensure the representation of schools, faculty committees, and staff in this vital project. Please know of my support for this effort and my commitment to making certain that this process is inclusive, transparent, and diligently pursued.
Best wishes and kind regards,
Online Task Force
|Co-Chairs:||Dr. G. Rooney & Dr. D. Pate||2|
|Enrollment Management||Recommendation from President/VP||1|
|Recommendation from President/VP||1|
|Technology||Recommendation from President/VP||1|
|Technology-technical or user services||Recommendation from OIT||1|
|Academics||Provost||Recommendation from President||1|
|Student Life||Recommendation from President/VP||1|
|Development||Recommendation from President/VP||1|
|Student Representative||Student||Recommendation from President/VP||1|
|Trustee representative(s)||Trustee||Recommendation from President/VP||1+|
|Arts and Sciences||Dean or designate||Dean recommendation||1|
|Business||Dean or designate||Dean recommendation||1|
|Education||Dean or designate||Dean recommendation||1|
|Nursing||Dean or designate||Dean recommendation||1|
|Pharmacy||Dean or designate||Dean recommendation||1|
|*There should be at least one faculty representative from each school and representatives from C&I, GPC, and Faculty Council||3|