Dean’s Council Meeting Held: March 1, 2012

Dean’s Council Meeting
Held: March 1, 2012
Attendees: B. Barnett, E. Daffron, L. Siecke, L. Chakrin, S. Perry, E. Saiff, H. Nejad, S.
Rosenberg, J. Skrzynski, M. Unger, and C. Romano.
Student Engagement
The meeting opened with J. Skrzynski and M. Unger discussing student engagement and
school events (Key Points of Engagement or KPIs) especially as it related to sophomore
students. School related events are defined as housed within the school. They are targeted
towards sophomore students, some towards majors and careers, they should address
Outcomes 2.2 and 3.4 (see Sophomore Year Map on the Student Engagement website) and
they can overlap. Some of the school related events could include opportunity fairs,
internships, coops or anything related to opportunities specific to the school –this will help
increase identity with the school and help students with experiential opportunities. Other
ideas include student research with students working across majors on projects such as data
It was stressed that inundating students with activities can reap dismal returns. Instead,
resources should be focused on those activities that address the stated outcomes.
Additionally, students must be made aware of the purpose (outcomes related to) these
activities so their participation and learning is more intentional.
There was a suggestion to run focus groups or surveys to see what it is that sophomores
E. Daffron asked for names of faculty who might be interested in working on these
projects in student engagement.
Strategic Plan Update – S. Perry gave an update on the Strategic Planning Taskforce. The
first goal was to rewrite the mission statement. This goal was addressed over the past
weekend. The proposed wording was reviewed again the following Monday.
Subcommitties are working on strategic goals.
He asked for suggestions for planning for the next five years that could be incorporated into
the plans. One member pointed out that we do not have good clarity on who is responsible
for identifying capital improvement needs (such as furniture and equipment) and who is
responsible for paying for these improvements
Another member mentioned that overall enrollment should be addressed in the strategic
plan, particularly graduation and adult learning. He also mentioned reputation and
visibility of Ramapo, importance of solid institutional data and growth opportunities and
jobs for graduates.
There was a question on how Ramapo came to be considered NJ’s public liberal arts
institution. One answer was an act of legislature that was enacted in the past that designated
this title; B. Barnett said it was also reinforced by COPLAC. S. Perry agreed to bring it up
with the strategic planning committee and get a confirmation on this status.
Another membermade a point about the Ramapo teaching structure and delivering the
curriculum differently by changing to a 3 time per week course schedule. This could
provide more classrooms and course offerings in the future and would better facilitate
student learning
Another member brought up the issue of the organizational structure of academics –
particularly for the convening groups. Conveners are becoming overburdened with labor
and remain uncompensated. It was noted that the college cannot afford to pay conveners
and there are no resources at this point in time to support department chairs -- there would
have to be a dramatic reshifting in resources for this to happen.
A member asked if comparable institutions in NJ have the same type of class scheduling.
Chris Romano is asking the registrar to query other institutions about their college teaching
CEC Assessment – E. Daffron distributed a handout on WEAVE online. He explained
that there was a lot of data on campus – however, much has been circulated without a lot of
context or information. This sheet can help with abbreviations and can be shared with
There is also an assessment website that CWAC has put together. E. Daffron will send
URL of website to all deans.
CEC Assessment – the assessment working group and CWAC have joined forces to
assess CEC; they are looking at syllabi and actual student work.
Last fall 100 syllabi were reviewed; results indicated there are challenges with integration
and outcomes in the ARC manual. E. Daffron was hoping that after conversation and
dissemination of results last fall, the syllabi would improve – but virtually the same
numbers remain for the spring 2012 review.
Faculty may need to revisit current procedure after April 1, 2012, to see if it is really
operational. There was a question on whether faculty are being asked to put too much
detail on CEC in the syllabi. There is a need to communicate more effectively to faculty
about why they need to include these things in their syllabi; deans and conveners need to
monitor the syllabi. Each dean was asked to develop a systematic method of reviewing
syllabi each semester. This method should be shared with the Provost and Vice Provost.
B. Barnett expects there will be feedback from Middle States on whether or not they think
policies/procedures and goals listed are sufficient.
E. Daffron – asked about immediate reactions to these results and how best to convey them
to faculty.
A member asked if those faculty members who did not meet standards in syllabi were told
about the inaccuracy, as some faculty could be unaware of what was needed. E. Daffron
answered that because it was a blind review, he did not know who the faculty are. He
suggested that deans or conveners could monitor or review the syllabi that come forward
every semester.
A member – stressed that there are 200 to 300 syllabi in his unit each semester. B. Barnett
restated that each unit must create a plan to review a sample of syllabi each semester for
CEC compliance. All syllabi don’t have to be completely reviewed each semester but
syllabi review will be a practice. She stressed that concern for lack of CEC has to come
from the Dean.
E. Daffron reviewed the CEC Direct Assessment Results, which will be included in the
Middle States Report. Most students appear to be meeting CEC outcomes with
improvement from lower-level to upper-level courses.
Final Exam Policy/Procedure – Review of draft that occurred in 2004. E. Daffron
updated that draft to conform to the recently approved policy and procedure on credit
hours. Policy states that all Ramapo college courses must meet for the entire duration of
the term or 15 weeks. Not all courses need to have final exams but all courses must meet
during the final exam period.
Point 6. – Repercussions for failure to abide by the policy was deleted from procedure.
Minimum and Maximum Course Enrollment
Change to policy, comma inserted between pedagogy and space. Procedures – discussion
on cap for online courses. B. Barnett would like to see justification for lowering caps.
Suggestions on wording and deletions to procedures. Corrected policy/procedure will
move on to Provosts’ Council.
Honors Convocation – No more than 2 students or a team of students should be nominated
for the student research award from each unit
B. Barnett closed the meeting by mentioning that she has remaining funds that can be used
for faculty/student research. Deans should let her know ASAP if they have any projects
that need funding.