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CSUB Lines of Inquiry (LOI) Update

CSUB Lines of Inquiry Campus Update: Spring 19’ Report

These 8 areas are a summary of institutional concerns expressed in the CSUB Institutional Report, referred to as the CSUB Lines of Inquiry.  Over the next 12 months, the Office of the Provost will lead the effort to address each of the below institutional concerns.  This document is the first of several reports of our most recent efforts.

Major themes for improvement emerging from Review Under WSCUC Standards (RUWS) Institutional Actions in Progress

Inclusive Institutional Planning  Develop a better system for collecting data, analyzing results, and communicating findings related to each goal and objective in the strategic plan to the university community.

An involved university community is central to designing and implementing a successful institutional planning process. At the start of the annual data collection cycle, emails are sent out to the institutional leads of the strategic planning objectives/measures. Prior data along with data definitions are communicated in this email. The data collection is handled through emails, spreadsheets and a SharePoint website. The Office of Institutional Research, Planning (IRPA) serves as the central office for the collection, analysis and reporting of the data. The annual ‘Success Indicator’ report is transmitted to the head of UPRC committee and made available on the University Strategic Planning website. The report is studied and discussed at the UPRC meetings. Important facets of the data are also communicated through Tableau and Infographics.

Data/Evidence-Informed Planning and Decision-Making  Improve organizational structures and data-generating practices to facilitate decision making in all matters within the context of the changing institutional and higher education landscape.

To facilitate this initiative a graduation and retention matrix have been developed on Tableau and Blackboard Analytics. These Business Intelligence analytic tools have helped CSUB address student success and accountability while better fulfilling its academic mission. The university has employed a coordinated, data-driven advising process that uses intentional intervention milestones for designated populations. In order to ensure lasting cultural change, this intervention solutions are conceived and implemented with full participation of the taskforce, Cabinet, Academic Council and senate. The dashboards were developed to allow staff and advisors the opportunity to employ the power of analytics to determine which students may face academic difficulty, allowing interventions to help them succeed.

The development of data analytics is an essential element to CSUB’s information management system. It is designed to support data driven decision-making and processes.  The development of the dashboard involves nurturing a new management culture more than establishing a data and information system.

Financial Transparency  Provide, publicly, timely information about the University’s finances; and share information regarding how financial resources are being managed in accordance with best business practices.

Over the last six months the Academic Affairs unit has made considerable efforts to improve financial transparency.  These efforts include: Working with our colleagues in Business and Administrative Services (BAS) on the campus budget book and providing timely, accurate data for inclusion on the campus Budget Central website.  Other work with BAS includes participating in and campus budget forums and supporting our Academic Senate faculty in their deliberations on the budget process. Within Academic Affairs we collected and posted the annual Assigned Time List to share with the campus community exactly how assigned time was being allocated and to whom within the Unit. One area in particular where the sharing of financial data was crucial included the discussion concerning upcoming tenure-track hiring.  It was incumbent that the Deans and Department Chairs understood how much funding was available for new hires and how School allocations were determined.

Student Learning and Teaching Effectiveness  Schedule additional recurring assessment workshops and training institutes to ensure that student learning outcomes are measured and that the findings are used to improve standards of performance across every department and program.

Funded through the Office of Academic Programs, a Graduate Program Assessment Institute will be held on February 15, 2019, featuring Dr. Kathleen Roe from San Jose State University. The day-long event will focus on differentiating between graduate and undergraduate learning outcomes within programs, strategically embedding assessments of graduate program learning outcomes throughout the curriculum, directly linking graduate-level culminating experiences (theses, projects, and comprehensive exams) to program learning outcomes, utilizing assessment date to drive program improvement efforts, and effectively engaging graduate program faculty in the assessment process. Dr. Roe will also offer one-on-one consulting with graduate program faculty to assist them in addressing their program needs with respect to assessment and quality improvement.

Educational Objectives and Graduation Rates  Begin implementing strategies for improving graduation rates by working with the Graduation Initiative Committee. The campus will also make public all data related to the graduation initiative, including student learning.

Beginning in Spring of 2019, the Office of the Provost created the Graduation Action Team (GAT).  The GAT’s role is to augment the work of the Graduation Initiative Task Force (GI2025 TF) by focusing directly on individual students who have the capacity to graduate in the current year.  The GAT pairs school advisors with enrollment management evaluators to assist students and remove barriers to graduation.  GAT members then work with department chairs to ensure that major requirements are met. The GAT is chaired by the Interim Provost with the help of the School Associate Deans.  The explicit goal of the GAT is to raise the 4-year graduation rate by 4 percentage points this year.

Student Success  Strengthen its efforts to promote the success of all students including international and transfer students. As a university that serves many transfer students, CSUB will provide a smooth and seamless transition for transfer students.

To improve the success of transfer students here at CSUB, President Zelezny and President Sonya Christiansen of Bakersfield College initiated a forward-thinking plan that will co-locate future Bakersfield College students on a site near the CSUB campus footprint.  In doing so, the BC students will participate in the culture and fabric of CSUB.  As described in a recent Bakersfield.com article, “A co-location model is a smart move for our students and our community. By creating the conditions for BC students to enroll in BC courses on the CSUB campus, we will streamline transfer pathways and create efficiencies that result in savings for the student and the taxpayer.”

Program Review  Close the loop on the program review cycle by completing outstanding MOUAPs.

During the 2017-2018 Academic Year, 4 Academic Programs completed the entire review cycle and were completed with signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU APs): Teacher Education, Criminal Justice, Economics, and English.  There are 3 with programs that had the initial meeting to develop the MOU AP; with the final MOU AP pending completion: Public Administration, Nursing, and Honors. Art & Art History completed the entire review cycle and were completed with signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU APs) during 2018-2019. In addition, there are 3 with programs that had the initial meeting to develop the MOU AP; with the final MOU AP pending completion: Kinesiology, Natural Sciences, and Environmental Resources Management.

Faculty Excellence  Intensify its efforts to promote and advertise faculty research and creative activities including those scholarly activities that involve students as co-participants.

Within the 2018-19 fiscal year, CSUB faculty and staff received 56 awards (14 new & 42 continuing awards) totaling $7.226M (expendable in this fiscal year) for sponsored projects through the Office of Grants, Research, and Sponsored Programs. These sponsored project activities support academic programming, institutional capacity building, research, public service, and instructional functions. In addition, they provide employment opportunities for students throughout the year. In the six months ending on December 31, 2018, 109 students involved in sponsored projects earned more than $241,690 through engagement in sponsored project activities. These on-campus employment opportunities contribute positively to students’ success through participation in research and extracurricular academic activities.