Self-Study Report - Ferris State University

ferris.edu

Self-Study Report - Ferris State University

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FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY

Shaping the Future

a report of the 2011 self study conducted as part of the

HLC continuing accreditation process

Submitted by

Ferris State University

January 2011

to the Higher Learning Commission


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Section One: About the University

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction .............................................................................................................................1

Chapter Two: Progress since the 2001 site-visit ........................................................................................ 13

Chapter Three: The self-study process ...................................................................................................... 19

Section One: List of Figures and Tables

Table 1.1: Leadership Changes, Since 2001 ................................................................................................5

Table 3.1: Criterion Perception Surveys: Schedule and response rates.................................................... 21

Table 3.2: Listening Session Schedule, 2009-10 ....................................................................................... 23

Table 3.3: Focus Group Sessions, Fall 2010 ............................................................................................. 23

Table 3.4: Self-Study Update Sessions, Fall 2010 ..................................................................................... 24

Table 3.5: Self-Study Report, Writing/Editing Process ............................................................................... 25

Table 3.6: Strategic Planning Goals ........................................................................................................... 27


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ACADEMIC PROGRAM CHANGES SINCE 2001

New degree programs

COLLEGE DEGREE PROGRAM

Allied Health Sciences

(CAHS)

Arts and Sciences (CAS)

Business (COB)

Education and Human

Services (COEHS)

Engineering Technology

(CET)

Professional and

Technological Studies

(CPTS)

Changes at Ferris Since 2001

At a Glance

• Allied Health Sciences, BS

• Nursing, BSN

• Nursing, MSN

• Molecular Diagnostics, BS

• English, BA

• Applied Speech, BA

• Mathematics, BA

• Chemistry, BA

• Dietary and Food Service Management, AAS

• Music Industry Management, BS

• Business Data Analytics, BS

• Computer Information Technology, BS

• Elementary Education, BS

• Architecture and Sustainability, BS

• Energy Systems Engineering, BS

• Digital Animation and Game Design, BS

• Information Technology Management, BS

• Doctorate in Community College Leadership, EdD

FACILITIES REMODELING & MAJOR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS SINCE 2001

Remodeled spaces

• Campus Quad

• Card Wildlife Center

• Smith Greenhouse

• Upgraded smart classrooms and classroom renovations

• Timme Center for Student Services (CSS)

• “The Rock” dining center

• Kendall facility renovations

• Federal Building (in Grand Rapids, to become part of Kendall facilities)

New Construction

Ferris Library for Information, Technology, and Education (FLITE)

• Granger Building

• IRC Connector (between College of Business and Interdisciplinary

Resources Center)

• East Campus Suites

• Wheeler Pavilion

• Women’s softball facility

• General Services Annex

• Michigan College of Optometry


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Chapter One: Introduction

Overview of the self-study report

History of Ferris State University

SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

Ferris State University is named for its founder, Woodbridge N. Ferris (1853-

1928), a respected Michigan educator and politician who served two terms as

the governor of the State of Michigan and was elected to the United States

Senate. Begun in 1884 as a private institution under the name of Big Rapids

Industrial School, the school soon changed its name to Ferris Industrial School.

In 1899, the School became Ferris Institute. Ferris Institute joined the state’s

higher education system in 1950. In 1963, by an act of the Michigan Legislature,

the school became Ferris State College and, in 1987,the Michigan legislature

granted Ferris university status.

In 2009-10, the University celebrated its 125 th year as an institution of higher

education with events and activities highlighting Ferris’ rich institutional history.

In the more than 125 years that Ferris State University has existed as an

institution of higher education, the University has been committed to effectively

teaching its students and preparing them for their futures.

Accreditation history

W. N. Ferris founded Big Rapids Industrial School based on his vision of

educating students “to make the world better.” When Ferris Institute was first

accredited by the North Central Association (NCA) in 1959, its educational

philosophy stressed that “Ferris Institute has long been known for the manner in

which it has opened the doors of educational opportunity for serious-minded

students regardless of their previous educational background and attainments.”

Since its first regional accreditation in 1959, Ferris has completed the self-study

process under three organizational names: first as Ferris Institute, then,

beginning 1963, as Ferris State College, and since 1987 as Ferris State

University. The most recent reaccreditation self-study process was completed in

2001, when the NCA team granted the University a positive ten-year

continuation of its accreditation, identifying three areas to address in the coming

years. Subsequent visits in 2004, 2006, and 2010, in response to universityinitiated

change requests, also resulted in positive assessments by NCA/HLC.

The University’s required progress report on the merger of Kendall College of

Art and Design was accepted in 2004. The University has also requested

changes that resulted in additional visits since the 2000-01 comprehensive visit:

• In 2003, a new degree site was added in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

• In 2006, the University was granted permission to offer any of its

existing programs online

• In 2007, as a federal requirement, three of the university’s other

locations were visited to confirm the quality of extended offerings

• In 2010 the University was approved to offer its first non-clinical

doctorate, an EdD in Community College Leadership

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ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

In 2008, in response to a change request submission for new online programs

(Nuclear Medicine and Dental Hygiene), Commission staff changed the

University’s status to include any Ferris programs under the online umbrella,

negating the need for the University to seek permission for any future online

programs.

Each of these change visits has resulted in very positive endorsements of the

University’s systems and capabilities with no required follow-up required.

Organization of this report

This report is comprised of three main sections:

A changing educational environment

• Section One discusses Ferris’ institutional history, the progress the

University has made since the last self-study and HLC reaccreditation in

2000-01, and significant changes at the University. This section includes

the following three chapters:

o Chapter One: Introduction

o Chapter Two: Progress since the 2001 site-visit report

o Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process

• Section Two reports the results of the current self-study activities,

responding to the five criteria for accreditation, and consists of the

following five chapters:

o Criterion One: Mission and Integrity

o Criterion Two: Preparing for the Future

o Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching

o Criterion Four: Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge

o Criterion Five: Engagement and Service

• Section Three contains the Institutional Snapshot and Federal

Compliance information.

In the initial stages of planning for the current self-study research process and

2011 HLC site team visit, the Steering Committee considered the many changes

that have taken place in the ten years since the University completed its last

comprehensive self-study. As the group reminisced about these changes, a

group member noted that, when considered together, these changes reflect a

significant environmental change for the Ferris community, as well as anyone

involved in higher education. These changes are summarized here, and

presented as a preview to many of the discussions that follow in Section Two:

The Self-Study Results.

Significant changes in higher education: 2001-10

In the ten years that have elapsed since Ferris’ last self-study process and site

visit, U.S. higher education has seen many significant changes that have

affected the way the University achieves its mission. Given the steadily

increasing centrality of higher education to the economic success of individuals,

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SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

the state, and the nation, universities and colleges have received

unprecedented scrutiny from multiple stakeholders. Governmental agencies,

accrediting bodies, employers, and professional organizations have placed an

emphasis on accountability, assessment, and transparency. The linchpin of this

shift in higher education institutions has been a focus on measurable student

learning across the institution. Emphasis on assessment of student learning

outcomes by HLC, USDOE, and accrediting agencies more generally has not

only changed the University’s tracking and record-keeping processes, it has also

pushed the University to make student learning — and our success in achieving

significant gains in their learning — more transparent and consistent across

Ferris programs and the colleges.

Stakeholders are holding institutions accountable for demonstrating their

success in efficiently and effectively achieving institutional goals, maintaining

cost-effective operations, and in assisting students in achieving defined learning

outcomes. Distinct from accountability is an emphasis on assessment. All

divisions of an institution are expected to employ systematically collected data to

enhance the functions of the institution and improve student learning. While an

earlier model of higher education emphasized the use of established practices,

institutions are now expected to evaluate processes, curriculum, and services

and make changes based on data to achieve the goals of the institution more

effectively.

Individual and collective security issues have also dominated attention and

efforts over the past ten years. The attacks of September 11, the subsequent

wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and several violent disturbances on college

campuses, while focusing national attention on protecting our country’s security,

also focused attention on local security efforts, including each individual’s

physical safety and security as well as data and information security. The

nation’s colleges and universities felt the effects of the military actions, too, as

increasing numbers of service veterans returned to continue their educations.

Economic changes clearly have also been a dramatic change since 2001 as the

country faced a major recession in 2008, affecting all students’ ability to pay for

a college education and all graduates’ ability to locate gainful employment

following graduation. In a rapidly changing world, higher education is called

upon to be more adaptive and responsive to new knowledge, careers,

pedagogies, and technologies. At the core, higher education institutions are

expected to more fully articulate their goals, have measurable expectations, use

data for more critical self-evaluation, be more adaptive, appropriate changes to

improve their effectiveness, and be more transparently accountable to

stakeholders.

Significant changes in Michigan: 2001-10

The events shaping the nation and higher education across the country have

also shaped the state of Michigan. Some of these events — especially the

country’s economic woes — were felt earlier and more intensely in Michigan.

Michigan’s economy, for example, began to show significant signs of decline in

2006. As several hundred thousand manufacturing jobs disappeared,

unemployment rates hit double digits, and people who once held iron-clad,

lifetime jobs were looking for new skills and new jobs.

State colleges and universities were hit with the same two-edged sword that

accompanies all economic downturns: decreasing tax revenues mean

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SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

decreasing support from the state, while increasing unemployment means

increasing numbers of Michigan residents looking for retraining and educational

opportunities. Since 1999, as the state’s colleges and universities struggled with

shrinking state appropriations, they all responded with higher tuition and room

and board rates. Ten years later, in 2009, Michigan’s higher education

environment changed again with lower numbers of high school graduates in the

recruitment “pool,” and, at the same time, these high school students being held

to higher graduation standards.

Significant changes in the Big Rapids area: 2001-10

In the geographic area surrounding Ferris’ Big Rapids campus, the early 2000s

brought growth and development. Several new apartment complexes were

added, expanding student housing options beyond the traditional home-to-rental

units that had dominated the city previously. Retail options also increased

significantly with large chains moving into the Big Rapids area: Wal-mart, Meijer,

Lowes, Menards, RiteAid, Walgreens, MC Sports, Peebles, and Staples all

joined the one K-Mart store that had previously operated in Big Rapids.

Restaurant chains also moved into the city, joining Pizza Hut, Wendy’s,

McDonald’s, Big Boy, and Burger King are Applebee’s, Bennigans, and Ruby

Tuesday’s, and three new coffee houses — Seattle’s Best, Starbucks, and

Biggby’s — are now on, or near, the Big Rapids campus. The area also gained

several new locally owned dining options, including Peppers, the Blue Cow,

Vivo, and the Gate.

Not all of the changes were additions, however. As some of the large chains

entered the area, the locally owned options disappeared. Woody’s, Casey

McNabb’s, the Ferris Inn, CitGo Gas, Denny’s and Village Market grocery

stores, Carter’s, and Southland Pharmacy are no longer operating in Big

Rapids.

Significant changes at Ferris: 2001-10

Administrative and leadership changes

In 2001, at the time of the last NCA/HLC site visit, Ferris was led by William A.

Sederburg, the 16th president of the University. With Dr. Sederburg’s departure

in May 2003, Scott Hill-Kennedy, Ferris’ vice president for governmental

relations and general counsel, served as interim president. In October 2003,

David L. Eisler was inaugurated as Ferris’ 18 th president.

The president’s office is not the only administrative post to experience change in

leadership since 2000-01. The table below summarizes these changes in vice

president and dean positions (note: only those divisions and colleges that

experienced a change in leadership from 2000-present are included in the table.

The table also reflects two new vice presidential positions established in 2010.

The first position, vice president of Diversity and Inclusion, was initially

established in 2007 as a cabinet-level position titled Chief Diversity Officer. To

further emphasize the importance of diversity issues at Ferris, the position was

changed to vice president level in 2010. The second vice president position was

also established in 2010 as the University expanded its focus on international

and global educational initiatives. The new position, vice president for Extended

and International Operations, allowed the University to combine these expanded

outreach activities with the online, virtual, and off-campus operations.

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TABLE 1.1: LEADERSHIP CHANGES, SINCE 2001

VICE PRESIDENTS

Academic Affairs

Administration and Finance

University and Advancement

Governmental Relations and

General Counsel

Diversity and Inclusion

(estab. in 2010)

Extended and International

Operations (estab. in 2010)

COLLEGE DEANS

Allied Health Sciences

Arts and Sciences

Business

Education and Human Services

Engineering Technology

Ferris Library for Instruction,

Technology, and Education

(FLITE)

Optometry

Pharmacy

Professional and Technological

Studies (estab. in 2008)

University Center for Extended

Learning (later part of CPTS)

• B. Chapman, 1998-2002

• T. Oldfield (interim), 2002-04

• M. Harris, 2004-07

• T. Oldfield (interim), 2007-08

• D. Burcham (interim), 2008-09

• F. Erickson, 2009-present

• R. Duffett, 1997-2008

• R. Christner (interim), 2008-09

• J. Scoby, 2009-present

• C. Duckworth, 2000-03

• R. Duffett, 2003-08

• S. Armstrong (interim), 2008-09

• J. Willey, 2009-present

• S. Hill-Kennedy, 1994-2005

• M. Postema, 2005-present

• D. Pilgrim, 2010-present

• D. Green, 2010-present

SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

• I. Barnes, 1986-2001

• G. Frazer, 2001–02

• J. Hooper, 2002-06

• E. Haneline, 2006-10

• J. Coon (interim), 2010-present

• S. Hammersmith, 1987-2002

• M. Klein, 2002-10

• R. Hill (interim), 2010-present

• J. Maas (interim), 1999-2001

• D. Nicol, 2001-present

• N. Cooley, 1998-2001

• W. Potter (interim), 2000-01

• M. Johnston, 2002-present

• G. Waldheim, 1999-2001

• C. Matrosic (interim), 2001-02

• W. Chang, 2002-03

• C. Matrosic (interim), 2003-05

• T. Oldfield, 2005-10

• R. McKean (interim), 2010-present

• R. Cochran, 1998-2008

• L. Monger (interim), 2008-present

• A. Uniacke (interim), 1999-2000

• K. Alexander, 2000-08

• N. Peterson-Klein (interim), 2008-09

• M. Cron, 2009-present

• I. Mathison, 1977-2010

• S. Durst (interim), 2010-present

• D. Green, 08-present

• B. Forintos, 1998-2002

• D. Thalner (interim), 2002

• R. Teahen, 2002-07

• D. Green, 07-present

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ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

While the change in leadership roles appears significant, the continuity of Ferris

established processes and procedures, as well as the consistent leadership of

support staff and interim leaders have provided a foundation of stability. Faculty

and administrative leadership and their commitment to the processes and

procedures have served the University well.

Over these past ten years, the University has also experienced changes to its

faculty base: as increasing numbers of tenured faculty have retired, new hires

reflect higher degree levels, a wider range of demographic characteristics, and

an increasing interest in pursuing ongoing research and scholarship. Faculty

development opportunities have also increased dramatically with the Faculty

Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) providing a wide range of activities

and support for effective teaching in traditional, blended, and online

environments, as well as extensive training in effective use of Ferris’ online

course platform, educational software, and related technologies. All of these

features are discussed in detail as part of the self-study results.

Organizational and structural changes

As an institution of higher education, Ferris State University of 2010 is bigger,

broader, and more complex than the Ferris of 2001. At that time, the merger

with Kendall College of Art and Design had recently been effected, and the

merging of many of the structural and procedural components had yet to be

completed. Over the past ten years, these processes have become increasingly

combined, including admissions, financial aid, customer relationship

management (CRM) processing, course evaluation data analysis, graduate

follow-up and post-graduation surveys, and IPEDS federal reporting. Concurrent

with the changes in Grand Rapids with the Kendall acquisition was the

expansion of the regional office of FSU-GR to become College of Professional

and Technical Studies (CPTS) in 1999. In 2007, the University Center for

Extended Learning (UCEL) also became part of CPTS, combining all non-Big

Rapids centers combined into one unit.

The University’s instructional and operational technology has also undergone

significant changes, moving from a primarily paper-dependent operation into an

almost completely virtual system. In 2005, the University moved its student,

operations, and financial data from the SIS system to the Banner system. Since

the installation of Banner, Ferris has upgraded with multiple add-on systems,

including additional business-related and fund-raising software. Ferris

information technology has transformed in other ways as well. In 2005, Ferris

began use of Web-CT for its online platform, transitioning in 2007 to

FerrisConnect. A similar move from the existing Campus Pipeline email and

announcement system to MyFSU consolidated resources and information

access. In 2006, the University also extended its wireless network to cover the

entire Big Rapids campus.

Changes in the student body composition

The Ferris student body has also seen dramatic changes over the past ten

years. In the early 2000s, the University made the decision to increase its

academic standards, moving from an “open-admissions” model to an

established admissions standard. In 2002, 2004, and 2006, the University

implemented gradual increases in this standard. Since then, not only have mean

ACT and HSGPA scores increased, but the University has also seen increases

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SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

in retention and graduation rates. The Honors Program also increased in size

over the past ten years; by 2010, over 10% of the student body at the Big

Rapids campus began as part of the Honors Program. This increase in Honorslevel

students has also contributed to the increased credentials, retention, and

graduation rates of Ferris’ students. One related statistic is the retention rate of

FTIACs. Ferris’ retention rate from first to second year has increased from 59%

(1999 cohort) to 75% (2007 cohort) and the degree completion rate has

improved from 34% (1999-2005 cohort) to 40% (2002-08 cohort).

The decade has also seen steady enrollment growth with a fall headcount

increase of more than 43% since 1999 and a fall SCH increase of more than

36%. At the beginning of this time period, while enrollments increased, racial

and ethnic diversity within the Big Rapids student body initially declined by a

couple of percentage points, including a decrease in international student

enrollments (also affected by increased scrutiny of international travel following

9/11). These decreases in racial and ethnic diversity prompted the University to

increase focus on diversity efforts, as noted earlier. Off-campus and online

enrollments at all locations have also increased significantly over the past ten

years, showing increases of nearly 200% since 2001 and headcounts increasing

from approximately 1,300 students to over 4,000.

Ferris students’ financial need has increased over this time as well, with the

country’s and state’s economic hardships significantly affecting college students.

Ferris has responded with increased scholarship opportunities, including merit,

transfer, and geographic-based scholarships. These opportunities are also

discussed in detail in Section Two.

Changes in academic degree programs

As an academic institution, Ferris’ educational programs have shifted over the

past ten years in response to market and economic needs. While associate’s

degrees were once commonplace at Ferris, since the mid-1990s, the overall

trend has been to discontinue associate’s degrees and build upon our strengths

to provide more in-depth education at the bachelor’s degree level. The higher

admissions standards have also enabled these baccalaureate programs to

expand and improve. One significant change was expanding the University’s

focus on offering only bachelor of science degrees to include offering bachelor

of arts degrees within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

In addition to the bachelor of arts degrees, the University has also established

several new degree programs in all of the academic colleges (these are listed

on this chapter’s “At a Glance” page). The College of Allied Health Sciences

(CAHS) added new nursing degrees at both the bachelor’s and master’s degree

levels. The College of Business (COB) introduced new programs in Music

Industry Management, Information Security, and an MBA program. In 2008, the

COB also successfully attained status as an accredited college of business

through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

In the College of Professional and Technological Studies (CPTS), several

degrees were added, including its first bachelor of science degree in Digital

Animation and Game Design and new degrees in Information Technology

Management. The College of Education and Human Services (COEHS)

reintroduced the Elementary Education degree in 2000, and also later

developed a master’s degree in Criminal Justice. In 2009, the College of

Technology became the College of Engineering Technology and reorganized its

department structure into four combined “schools” while adding two new

bachelor’s degrees in Architecture & Sustainability and Energy Systems

Chapter One: Introduction page 7


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ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

A list of all significant

construction projects

completed from 1991present

is available on the

Physical Plant website:

Physical Plant

Engineering. University College re-introduced the General Studies Program to

assist new students who meet the new admission standards, but who are not

yet eligible for admission to the degree program of their choice. In 2002,

University College also developed the Ferris State University Seminar (FSUS)

course, required for all new freshmen, which has contributed to Ferris’ increased

retention rates.

Ferris’ professional colleges have also undergone significant changes. The

Michigan College of Optometry (MCO) added a required summer session to the

curriculum to meet the changing professional standards and also increased its

annual quota from 32 to 36 students. In 2002, the College of Pharmacy (COP)

also responded to changing professional standards and requirements by

introducing the PharmD program. COP also increased its annual quota for the

Pharm-1 cohort year from 120 to 150 students.

Ferris’ educational and academic outreach efforts have evolved since 2001 with

several new initiatives and programs, including participation in the American

Democracy Project and Political Engagement Project. Increased professional

and student interest in community outreach and involvement has led to an

expansion of Ferris’ strong internship and externship program into additional

service learning activities and, recently, the establishment of the Academic

Service Learning initiative. These activities are housed in the University College

and also supported and coordinated by the efforts of the Student Volunteer

Center. New educational centers on the Big Rapids campus include the Jim

Crow Museum, the Card Wildlife Museum, and the expanded International

Center, all of which broaden the opportunities and experiences available to the

University community.

Changes in campus environment

In addition to administrative and programmatic changes, Ferris’ campus

environment has also undergone many changes since 2001. Construction and

renovation projects have changed the face of the institution in many ways. The

construction of the new library, the Ferris Library for Instruction, Technology,

and Education (FLITE) not only changed the appearance of the Big Rapids

campus, but also resulted in a redesigned entrance to the University and a rerouting

of the campus roads. The Campus Quad, the center of the Big Rapids

campus, situated between FLITE and the Rankin Center, forms a clear central

hub for campus activities. The Granger Building, which houses several CET

programs, is a working lab for the Construction Technology & Management

(CTM) and Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, & Refrigeration (HVACR)

programs. Several buildings on the Big Rapids campus and at Kendall have

been upgraded and improved, in classroom and laboratory space, but also in

infrastructure improvements.

Quick Fact

s QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE BIG RAPIDS CAMPUS

• 3.5 million square feet maintained within approximately 100 buildings

• 485 acres maintained within 785 total acres, including:

• 330 acres of lawn

• 54 acres of parking (7,000 spaces)

• 30 acres of sidewalks (23 miles)

• 21 acres of trees, shrubs, and flower beds

• 4.3 miles of roads

• 1.61 miles of underground utility tunnels

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ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

With the addition of FLITE, the old library was gutted and remodeled in 2002.

Now the Timme Center for Student Services, it houses admissions, financial aid,

as well as administrative offices. Improvements to the Interdisciplinary

Resources Center (IRC) also included the IRC Connector, which provides a

physical connection to the Business Building (COB) and an open meeting and

collaborative space. In 2000, a portion of the Arts and Sciences Commons

building was remodeled to house the Card Wildlife Center, and plans continue to

redesign another portion of the building to house the Jim Crow Museum in the

near future. The most recent major construction project on the Big Rapids

campus is the new Michigan College of Optometry building on State Street.

Construction was completed in the fall of 2010 with classrooms and clinic

facilities opening in January 2011. Kendall College of Art and Design has also

recently added to its physical space with the University purchase of the old

Federal Building in downtown Grand Rapids. Plans are underway to restructure

and remodel the building to house several Kendall programs by fall 2012.

Another recent expansion in Grand Rapids includes the relocation of the College

of Pharmacy's clinical sciences center which supports the third professional year

of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. The new facility is located in the heart of

Grand Rapids’ "medical mile," providing an unparalleled opportunity for clinical

instruction and inter-professional education.

Additional renovations have been completed in several student housing, dining,

and athletic spaces as well. Both the Wheeler Pavilion and the Katke Clubhouse

and driving range, which support the Professional Golf Management (PGM)

program, were updated. An innovative dining hall, The Rock, was opened in the

fall of 2009, and a new housing center, the East Campus Suites, were

completed and opened in fall 2010.

Many of the improvements to the campus over the past ten years were in the

building infrastructure, including improvements to the electric grid (in 2009) and

the HVAC system in the ASC-Science-Starr complex (summer of 2010). Another

infrastructure improvement was made to the campus entrances, which included

the Michigan Department of Transportation involvement.

Changing educational environment: Conclusion

As the self-study process progressed and the Steering Committee looked back

at the many changes at Ferris since the last self-study research efforts and team

visit, it became clear to the group that change has been continuous and

constant. Looking back at these changes — and detailing them here — was an

eye-opening experience for all of the Steering Committee members. As the

group shared its initial list with the University community, more and more

changes were added, until the list resulted in this chapter. These changes,

especially when considered together, reflect a significant environmental change

for the Ferris community. These changes, then, are at the foundation of the

research findings and discussion that follows in Section Two: The Self-Study

Results.

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ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

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Progress at Ferris

At a Glance

BUILDING ON OUR PROUD TRADITION AND HISTORY

In 2007-08, Ferris evaluated, revised, and adopted its current mission statement that

preserves its historic values, while recognizing its place in and responsibilities to the

global community in which its graduates function. At the same time, the University

adopted its Vision Statement and Core Values.

BUILDING ON OUR STRENGTHS

Mission Statement

Ferris State University prepares students for successful careers, responsible citizenship,

and lifelong learning. Through its many partnerships and its career-oriented, broadbased

education, Ferris serves our rapidly changing global economy and society.

Approved by the Academic Senate, Spring 2008; Adopted March 21, 2008

Vision Statement

Ferris State University will be the recognized leader in integrative education, where

theory meets practice throughout the curriculum, and where multi-disciplinary skills

important in a global economy are developed with the result that Ferris State University

will also be:

• The preferred choice for students who seek specialized, innovative, career- and lifeenhancing

education

• The premier educational partner for government, communities, agencies,

businesses, and industries through applied research and joint ventures

• A stimulating, student-centered academic environment that fosters lifelong

engagement, leadership, citizenship, and continuing intellectual development

• A university that aligns its practices and resources in support of its core values of

collaboration, diversity, ethical community, excellence, learning, and opportunity

Core Values

• Collaboration

• Diversity

• Ethical Community

• Excellence

• Learning

• Opportunity

STRENGTHS IDENTIFIED IN 2001 DEVELOPMENT SINCE 2001

• An inclusive planning process

that is well conceived and

executed

• Enrollment management

initiatives, including a strategic

marketing plan

• A comprehensive, integrated

array of support services

• Dynamic opportunities

available through the

University Center for Extended

Learning (UCEL)

• An organization “positioned to

become a regional, national,

and international leader in the

delivery of career-oriented,

technical, and professional

education”

• Redesigned strategic planning process,

focusing on six organizational goals,

coordinated by the Strategic Planning and

Resource Council (SPARC)

• Redesigned marketing and recruitment plan

based on changing image of Ferris students,

programs, and state-wide presence

• Ongoing improvements to Ferris’ support

services that reflect the changing student

body, including veterans and international

students

• UCEL programs, including online and offcampus

programs, expanded and now part of

the College of Professional and Technological

Studies (CPTS)

• Development of new degree programs that

address the needs of the region, state, and

nation

• Revision of current programs to reflect

changes in market and professional area

needs


(This page is intentionally blank.)

page 12 Chapter Two: Progress Since 2001


Chapter Two: Progress since the 2001 site-visit

Introduction: 2001 self-study results

SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

In March 2001, the NCA/HLC team visited Ferris as the culmination of the

University’s continuing accreditation self-study process. The team identified

many strengths in the University’s organization, processes, and procedures.

2001 site-visit report: Identified strengths

Among the strengths were these:

• An inclusive planning process that is well conceived and executed

• Enrollment management initiatives, including a strategic marketing plan

• A comprehensive, integrated array of support services

• Dynamic opportunities available through the University Center for

Extended Learning (Note: now College of Professional and

Technological Studies)

• An organization “positioned to become a regional, national, and

international leader in the delivery of career-oriented, technical, and

professional education”

2001 site-visit report: Identified concerns

See Criterion Three, core

component 3A, for

extensive discussion of

the University’s GE

program.

Ferris GE program

website:

General Education

Concern 1: General Education Program

2001 NCA Visiting Team comment

While there has been considerable improvement, there continues to be

inconsistency in administration and expectations across departments related to

general education requirements, particularly in regard to rigorous application of

criteria to designate general education courses.

University response

General education criteria are consistently administered. The earlier concern has

been addressed in multiple ways:

• First, to make more clear and consistent the application of stated criteria

for general education course designation, several General Education

Outcomes Assessment Committees have clarified and refined their

stated criteria.

• Second, to improve consistency in administration and expectations for

general education requirements across departments, any requests for

general education waivers or substitutions must be considered by the

associate provost. This second change, in particular, is further evidence

of a general education strength noted by the NCA team in 2001: “[t]here

is strong support … for GE by the Vice President for Academic Affairs

….”

• Third, general education committees continue to function actively in

Chapter Two: Progress Since 2001 page 13


SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

See Criterion Three, core

component 3A, for

discussion of Kendall’s

GE requirements.

Information about

Kendall’s GE program is

available on the college’s

website: Kendall

See Criterion Three, core

component 3D, for

extensive discussion of

Ferris’ IT structure and

continuing improvements.

reviewing criteria and the possible inclusion of additional offerings.

Current emphasis focuses on the assessment of learning for the

identified general education outcomes.

• Fourth, general education is front and center in the attention of the Office

of Academic Affairs with emphasis upon documenting learning

outcomes.

Concern 2: General Education at Ferris and Kendall

2001 NCA Visiting Team comment

The University needs to resolve differences that exist in the general education

requirements between Ferris State University and Kendall College of Art and

Design.

University response

Although Kendall College is accredited under the umbrella of Ferris State

University, it also maintains a separate identity because of its distinctiveness as

a nationally recognized art school. A part of this differentiation is the fact that

Kendall College of Art and Design has a different general education program

than that of Ferris. Kendall also hosts its own assessment procedures and has

independent structures dedicated to the evaluation and implementation of

effective general education in keeping with its semi-autonomous position within

the university. Kendall is also planning to pursue international programs,

consistent with the expansion of the global market for design, among other

services.

Concern 3: Technology infrastructure

2001 NCA Visiting Team comment

The University should develop an institutional replacement cycle for its

technology infrastructure as well as provide resources for maintenance and

upgrades of its software programs, staffing, and training/development to keep

technology personnel current.

University response

Technology enhancement and the development of replacement plans have

taken a prominent position in institutional planning. Efforts to update equipment

to meet standards have resulted in great improvements in the currency of

technology in classrooms and at staff workstations. Further, restructuring in the

services area for Information Technology has resulted in highly favorable results

in improved service levels.

Most university computers are running the latest versions of supported software.

Part of this attention to technology has come from the technology interest of the

University president. Under his leadership, reorganization, renewed planning,

and budget commitment toward implementation of new campus IT systems have

been achieved and new administrative and learning content systems have been

implemented in the past two years. While the technology infrastructure has

improved in many ways, one area that continued to challenge the University is

replacement of classroom technology.

page 14 Chapter Two: Progress Since 2001


Progress since 2001: Conclusion

SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

Since the 2001 visit, the University has addressed these three areas of concern

and reported its progress to the NCA/HLC at regular intervals as a part of its

university-initiated change requests.

Note:

Ferris State University is one of only 212 institutions that received approval from the HLC

for “expedited” organizational changes. This streamlined approval process enabled the

University to add sites or locations within the state of Michigan by completing a simple

online form, in contrast to having to file a narrative document providing rationale for the

addition. This status was given to all institutions that had previously had a “no prior

commission approval required” status for the addition of in-state sites.

Recent federal changes have made it impossible for any entity to acquire that blanket

approval status. More recent changes in HLC processes have designated Ferris as a

“notification only” institution. This status is similar to our prior status but is now consistent

with the new HLC processes.

Chapter Two: Progress Since 2001 page 15


SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

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page 16 Chapter Two: Progress Since 2001


SELF-STUDY TIMELINE

2007

2008

2009

Nov

Steering Committee co-chairs appointed

Criterion Committee co-chairs appointed

Dec Criterion Committees appointed

Self-Study Process

At a Glance

Jan-Apr First meetings of Criterion Committees

Apr Steering Committee and Criterion Committee co-chairs attend HLC annual meeting

Dec Criterion Committees present preliminary findings to Steering Committee

Jan-Aug Criterion Committees review evidence and draft report

Aug Criterion Committees submit drafts to writer/editor who begins assembling report

Jan-April Steering Committee reviews revised drafts

Apr-Aug Writer/editor compiles draft of complete report

2010

Aug-Dec

University community responds to report findings

Board of Trustees provides feedback

2011 Apr HLC Site Team Visit

GOALS OF THE SELF-STUDY PROCESS

Expanded focus on Ferris’ mission and goals, including student success and our

Mission Focus values of collaboration, excellence, diversity, ethical community, learning, and

opportunity.

Enhanced knowledge among all stakeholders concerning our services,

Awareness

programming, strengths, challenges, and opportunities.

Increased emphasis on the use and transparency of data and information to inform

Data Use

planning, service, and program improvements.

Movement to address identified challenges through existing or ad hoc University

Action

processes.

Successful continuing accreditation effort, with multiple areas of commendation

Celebration and recognition of exemplary practices and programs with no follow-up

requirements.

SELF-STUDY STEERING COMMITTEE

Coordinator Roberta Teahen, Academic Affairs

Chairs Mike Cairns, Student Affairs Christine Vonder Haar, CAS

Mike Cooper*, COB

Criterion One chairs Paul Blake, COEHS Abdollah Ferdowsi, COB

Criterion Two chairs Carol Quigley, Academic Affairs Melinda Isler, FLITE

Caroline Stern*, CAS Mike Hughes*, Physical Plant

Criterion Three chairs Ron McKean, CET Cheryl Cluchey CPTS

Christine Vonder Haar*, CAS

Criterion Four chairs Steve Durst, COP Doug Haneline, CAS

Julia Rodriguez Burke*, FLITE

Criterion Five chairs Wendy Samuels, CAS Jennifer Hegenauer CPTS

Leroy Wright*, Student Affairs

Data Committee chairs Katherine Manley, COEHS Kristen Salomonson, Student Affairs

Area representatives Rick Christner, Admin/Finance Rick Griffin, Academic Senate

Oliver Evans, Kendall Max Shangle, Kendall

Jeff Boochard, AFSCME Glenn Zobel*, AFSCME

Sue Walz, Board of Trustees

ex-officio members Michelle Johnston, COEHS Tom Oldfield*, CET

Writer/Editor Sandy Balkema, CAS

* Indicates change in role during self-study process (includes retirements,

changed responsibilities, and departures from the University)


(This page is intentionally blank)


Chapter Three: The self-study process

An overview of the self-study process

Board resolution for

reaccreditation:

Resolution

SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

In the fall of 2007, the office of Academic Affairs responded to the HLC call for

its continuing accreditation visit by developing a plan of action with the

University president. This plan resulted in the following initial decisions:

• Assign the associate vice president for Academic Affairs (now associate

provost) to serve as the coordinator of the self-study process and the

University’s liaison with the HLC office

• Request a tentative fall 2010 or spring 2011 date for the HLC Site Visit

• Develop broad-based, University-wide representation on the Steering

Committee, reflecting all divisions and colleges, as well as balanced

faculty and administrative representation

By November 2007, the Steering Committee structure, charge, guiding

principles, and committee responsibilities were drafted and approved by the

president. The Steering Committee was formed, with the president issuing

invitations to University members, requesting their participation and support.

In July 2008, at its summer retreat, the Ferris Board of Trustees approved a

resolution entitled: “Resolution for Pursuit of Reaccreditation with the Higher

Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and

Schools.” This resolution provided the official University commitment to the

continuing accreditation process.

Steering Committee structure

The coordinator, in discussion with members of the University with accreditation

experience, determined that the Steering Committee would be organized using

the five HLC criteria for accreditation as sub-committee responsibilities. The

coordinator, co-chairs, and report writer/editor would serve as the key “core”

organizing group. The following committees were defined, each with a co-chair

leading research efforts (this chapter’s “At a Glance” page contains a list of the

Steering Committee members):

• Criterion One: Mission and Integrity

• Criterion Two: Preparing for the Future

• Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching

• Criterion Four: Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge

• Criterion Five: Engagement and Service

• Data Committee

• Communications Committee (convened later)

Guiding principles and responsibilities

The coordinator called the first meeting of the Steering Committee and identified

Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process page 19


SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

See the Self-Study

website for the original

list of responsibilities and

outcomes

Steering Committee

Self-study goals

the following principles to guide the group’s work:

• Introspective/Reflective

• Meaningful

• Value-adding

• Proactive

• Efficient

• Inclusive

• Critical

• Fun

• Professional

Also defined at this preliminary stage were the responsibilities of the Steering

Committee, including these five key functions:

• Serve as the organizing entity and monitor for the entire self-study,

serving as a cheerleader and champion as required, to encourage

engagement and thoughtful input to make the process valuable for

participants and the University.

• Keep a global focus on the examination of the University and

secondarily on its component parts.

• Facilitate a thoughtful, thorough review of Ferris’ documentation of its

achievement of the HLC criteria for accreditation, including each of the

core components.

• Participate in learning opportunities relevant to the self-study, including

on-campus meetings and the annual meeting of the HLC, as possible

• Ensure that all Ferris primary stakeholders (alumni, students, faculty,

staff, administrators, etc.) have the opportunity to provide input and to

react to draft documents throughout the process and for each critical

component.

During an early meeting of the Steering Committee, the group drafted a list of

the primary outcomes expected for the self-study process. At several points

over the next two years, this list was revisited, resulting in the following five key

goals (also listed on this chapter’s “At a Glance” page):

Mission Focus

Awareness

Data Use

Action

Celebration

Expanded focus on Ferris’ mission and goals, including student

success and our values of collaboration, excellence, diversity,

ethical community, learning, and opportunity.

Enhanced knowledge among all stakeholders concerning our

services, programming, strengths, challenges, and opportunities.

Increased emphasis on the use and transparency of data and

information to inform planning, service, and program improvements.

Movement to address identified challenges through existing or ad

hoc University processes.

Successful continuing accreditation effort, with multiple areas of

commendation and recognition of exemplary practices and

programs with no follow-up requirements.

page 20 Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process


Planning process

Research and investigation process

Note: The Criterion Five

Perceptions Survey was

revised and readministered

in the fall of

2009 for two reasons: (1)

the original format did not

provide a “don’t know”

response option and (2)

the original survey had a

very low number of

responses. However, the

second survey elicited

even lower responses;

thus the original data

were used for this selfstudy

report.

SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

A preliminary charge, outlined for the Steering Committee by the University

president, was to develop a plan for the self-study process by April 30, 2008.

Thus, between November 2007 and April 2008, the Criterion Committee cochairs

worked with the coordinator to identify and invite sub-committee

members best able to contribute to the research activities for the criterion. The

University community was also invited to participate and asked to identify the

areas of the research and self-study process in which they would most like to

participate and contribute.

On April 18, 2008, the Steering Committee held its first organizational meeting

to discuss committee responsibilities, meeting schedule, and preliminary

research and self-study timeline. Several members of the Steering Committee

had just attended the annual HLC meeting and presented their insights.

Criterion Perceptions Surveys

As part of the early data collection process, the Steering Committee developed

five brief online surveys, each one focusing on the components of a specific

HLC accreditation criterion and asking University community members to share

their perceptions of Ferris’ current practices, policies, and procedures. The

surveys, available to all Ferris faculty, staff, and administrators, were advertised

through University-Wide Notices (UWN). The surveys were distributed and

administered individually, beginning with the Criterion One Perceptions Survey

in February 2009, and concluding with the Criterion Five Perceptions Survey in

April 2009. The table below provides the number of survey participants, from

each of the respondent groups, for each of the surveys.

TABLE 3.1: CRITERION PERCEPTION SURVEYS: SCHEDULE AND RESPONSE RATES

RESPONDENTS

SURVEY DATE

ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

ADMINISTERED possible n = possible n = possible n =

492

869 †

683

Criterion One Feb. 2009 102 191 169

Criterion Two* Feb. 2009 71 105 112

Criterion Three* Feb. 2009 47 113 77

Criterion Four Mar 2009 59 125 93

Criterion Five** Apr./Sept 2009 60/57 105/77 75/59

*Role was not indicated: Criterion Two: 1 respondent; Criterion Three: 17 respondents

**Survey re-administered. See marginal note.

† Faculty surveys were distributed to full-time, part-time, and adjunct faculty

The table illustrates two key issues with the Perceptions Survey data:

• Response rates to all five surveys were very low; however,

demographic data indicate a representative sample of the University

community.

• Response rates for later surveys were lower, which resulted in a readministration

of the Criterion Five survey.

As the Criterion Committees reviewed the survey data, members voiced these

concerns and questioned their usefulness as significant evidence for the self-

Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process page 21


SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

Complete survey results

are available on the

Ferris Self-Study website:

Self-Study Website

Minutes from the listening

sessions are available on

the University’s self-study

website:

Self-Study Website

study research questions. Steering Committee discussions concluded that while

the number of survey respondents was lower than expected, the data do

provide a useful and valuable insight into University perceptions. Thus, the

results of the Perceptions Surveys are used throughout this report, providing

views of the effectiveness of current practices, policies, and procedures. Each

survey also provided ample opportunity for individuals to include comments and

suggestions. Many of these comments are included, as well, when they provide

additional insight into a dominant viewpoint or concern.

Criterion Five: Community Survey

As a supplement to the Perceptions Survey, the Criterion Five committee

conducted an online survey of the community for three weeks in May and June

of 2010 to gather information about how the community at-large views the

services and programs available from Ferris. The committee emailed invitations

to various groups including members of the local Chamber of Commerce,

program advisory board members, the Human Services Coordinating Body, and

University employees. Additionally an article about the survey was published in

the local paper, the Big Rapids Pioneer, requesting local residents to

participate. In all, 141 responses were collected. As noted with the other

surveys, while the response rate was lower than expected, these data, too,

provide valuable insight into the Big Rapids community’s views of Ferris’ local

service and value. Results from this survey are included in the Criterion Five

chapter.

Alumni Survey

Another significant source of perceptions data was collected from Ferris alumni

through an emailed survey distributed in the summer of 2010. Using the email

list from the Ferris Alumni Office, a request for participation was circulated to

over 4,400 alumni, focusing on graduates who completed their degrees

between 2005-10. Questions asked respondents to evaluate the preparation

their degree provided for workplace challenges, whether they would repeat their

college experience at Ferris and within their degree program, and to offer

comments on their collegiate experiences. Surveys were available for June and

July 2010. In all, 225 alumni responded to the survey. While response rates

were low, the data and comments provide valuable and useful insights into

alumni perceptions. Results from this survey are included throughout the report,

where applicable.

University listening sessions

In December and January 2008-09, as part of the self-study research process,

the Academic Affairs division, with active participation of the Steering

Committee, initiated a series of University listening sessions to elicit

participants’ views on the HLC Criteria for Accreditation and their observations

on both the strengths and opportunities for improvement related to each

criterion. A schedule of these sessions is included below.

Each of the listening sessions followed a similar methodology:

• Held in locations across campus to encourage attendance and

participation

• Facilitated by a member of the Steering Committee

page 22 Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process


A copy of the Discussion

Summary is available on

the HLC website:

Report drafts

SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

• Handouts included (a) a summary of the HLC criteria for accreditation,

including the core components (b) a page for recording notes, identified

strengths, opportunities, and personal comments

• Agenda:

o Introduction of attendees

o Overview of the accreditation process

o Reading of the criterion to be discussed

o Discussion of related strengths and evidence supporting these

strengths

o Discussion of related opportunities for improvement

o Request for additional written comments

o Closing

TABLE 3.2: LISTENING SESSION SCHEDULE, 2009-10

Open sessions (2009-2010)

DATE TIME DATE TIME DATE TIME

Criterion One Dec. 1 3-4 pm Dec. 2 12-1 pm Dec. 5 11-12 am

Criterion Two Dec. 8 3-4 pm Dec. 9 12-1 pm Dec. 12 11-12 am

Criterion Three Dec. 15 3-4 pm Dec. 16 12-1 pm Dec. 19 11-12 am

Criterion Four Jan. 28 9-10 am Jan. 29 2-3 pm Jan. 30 12-1 pm

Criterion Five Feb. 4 9-10 am Feb. 5 2-3 pm Feb. 6 12-1 pm

Special sessions (2009-10)

GROUP DATE

Physical Plant employees Jan. 7

Student Government representatives Jan. 20

Academic Leadership Council members Jan. 13

World Cafe (for Big Rapids community members and leaders) Dec. 3

Self-study “Reflections”

In the summer of 2010, the Steering Committee prepared a summary of the

report draft (Discussion Summary) to encourage university-wide discussion and

reflection on the self-study process. During the 2010 fall semester, members of

the University community were invited to participate in several focus group

sessions (listed below) to discuss the evidence collected during the self-study

process. The comments gleaned from these sections will be collected in a

separate report addendum, entitled Reflections on the Self Study, which will

also be available to the HLC visiting team and the University committee in April

2011.

TABLE 3.3: FOCUS GROUP SESSIONS, FALL 2010

DATE TIME

Big Rapids campus

• SPARC July 12 10 am

• Academic Senate Aug. 24 1:30 pm

• Academic Leadership Council Sept. 7 8:30 am

• Alumni Association Board Sept. 11 11 am

• Board of Trustees Sept. 14 11:30 am

• President’s Council Sept. 15 11 am

• Deans’ Council Sept. 28 8:30 am

• Student Government Sept. 21 5 pm

• Residential Life Sept. 20 11 am

• International Students Sept. 15 7 pm

• Athletics (students) Oct. 10 7 pm

• RSO Leadership (session 1) Sept. 21 11 am

Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process page 23


SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

Collecting, evaluating, and writing

• RSO Leadership (session 2) Sept. 23 11 am

• Student Affairs, divisional meeting Sept. 16 3 pm

• Admin and Finance, divisional meeting Sept. 27 1 pm

• Open session: faculty, staff Aug. 25 10 am

• Open session: faculty, staff Sept. 9 11 am

• Open session: faculty, staff Sept. 17 3 pm

• Open session: students Sept. 16 11 am

• Open session: students Sept. 20 4 pm

• Open session: students Sept. 22 6 pm

Off-campus locations

• Kendall: faculty Nov. 8 11:30 am

• CPTS / Flint: faculty, staff Sept. 29 4 pm

• CPTS / Flint: students Sept. 29 5 pm

• CPTS / Grand Rapids: faculty, staff Sept. 22 12 pm

• CPTS / Grand Rapids: students Sept. 22 5 pm

• CPTS / Lansing: students Sept. 27 5 pm

• CPTS / Traverse City: faculty, staff Sept. 13 12:30 pm

• CPTS / Traverse City: students Sept. 13 5 pm

Self-Study Update Sessions

In addition to the Focus Group sessions, during late August and September

2010, members of the Steering Committee visited many University groups to

provide an update on the progress of the self-study process, encourage

participation in the Focus Group sessions, and invite comments on the selfstudy

report drafts. The table below lists the groups who participated in the

update sessions.

TABLE 3.4: SELF-STUDY UPDATE SESSIONS, FALL 2010

• SPARC

DATE

July 12

• Academic Senate Monthly updates,

2009-present

• Board of Trustees Sept. 14

• President’s Council Sept. 15, Oct. 6

• College of Allied Health Sciences Sept. 14

• College of Arts & Sciences Sept. 28

• College of Business Sept. 21

• College of Education and Human Services Oct. 14

• College of Engineering Technology Sept. 28

• College of Optometry Sept. 14

• College of Pharmacy Aug. 25

Collecting the self-study evidence

Early in the organization process, the Criterion Committee co-chairs met to form

their research committees. All five of the Criterion Committees formed

subcommittees around the core components, identifying potential committee

members who could offer appropriate expertise, complementary skill sets, as

well as a breadth of university representation. Some members were invited to

participate; others offered their services based on self-identified interests. By

January 2008, all committees were formed and began identifying their key

research questions and appropriate sources of evidence.

page 24 Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process


SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

The research process continued from early 2008 through the summer months.

By fall 2008, the Criterion Committees had identified appropriate “constellations”

of evidence centered on their core components and had collected, categorized,

and made preliminary assessments of these data. In late 2008, each of the

Criterion Committees presented their preliminary findings to the Steering

Committee. The primary purpose of these reporting sessions was to identify

possible areas of overlap, in order to coordinate data collection and minimize

duplication of effort.

Evaluating the self-study evidence

With the co-chairs of the Criterion Committees providing guidance and

connection with the Steering Committee, the core component groups began

evaluating the wide range of data they had collected, from email responses and

interview content to area/department reports and survey data. The research

cycle continued as the committees assessed available data, and then identified

missing, under-represented, or unavailable evidence. By summer 2009, the

core component research groups began assembling their evidence into their

report draft and compiling a single Criterion chapter draft. In early fall 2009, the

Criterion Committees submitted their chapter drafts to the self-study

writer/editor.

Writing the self-study report

A central goal of Ferris’ continuing accreditation process has been to involve the

community at every step, encouraging participation and contribution in the entire

self-study process. Assembling and compiling the University’s report has also

involved the community as much as possible, with an iterative writing, editing,

and revision cycle. The writing process consisted of these steps:

TABLE 3.5: SELF-STUDY REPORT, WRITING/EDITING PROCESS

Writing /

editing step

Participants / Focus Output

First draft Report editor revised each chapter for: Editor identified:

• Consistency (across chapters): • Overlapping (or

terminology, approach, style

redundant) data

• Organization: core component • Missing information

content; chapter content

• Completeness: depth and breadth of

content and information

(“holes”)

“Holes” • Editor and Criterion Committees Editor incorporated data

meetings and discussed draft

and content supplied by

second draft • Team developed strategy for

locating missing information

Criterion Committees

Chapter Steering Committee and add’l invited Reviewers identify:

review reviewers review chapter drafts for: • Additional corrections

sessions • Accuracy of data, information, and • Missing information

assessment conclusions

• Strengths and

• Completeness of data and

opportunities for

information

improvement, based

• Preliminary discussion of strengths

and areas needing improvement

on the research data

Report review “Core” team, Steering Committee, and Editor incorporated final

sessions add’l reviewers review final drafts for: edits into report and

• Accuracy of identified strengths and prepared the report for

opportunities for improvement distribution

Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process page 25


SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

Communication process: Keeping the community informed

Ferris’ self-study website:

Self-Study Website

Note: This report includes

links to Ferris website

URLs for all key

resources in these

marginal notes. In

addition, at the end of

each of the Criterion

chapters, a list of the key

resources is available.

How are we doing?

Early in the self-study process, the Steering Committee recognized the need to

inform the University community of the focus of the HLC continuing

accreditation process, inform them of the self-study activities, and encourage

their participation. One aspect of the early communication activities was a

brochure circulated widely across the University. The brochure invited readers

to reflect on the HLC criteria and asked “How are we doing?” The brochure

elicited comments and suggestions, as well as offered volunteer opportunities,

through the self-study email address and contact information.

Self-study website

During the lengthy self-study research process, while a core of Ferris

community members were keenly aware of their responsibilities as committee

members and contributors, a large percentage of the University community was

involved in the process only through isolated events and discussions. Early in

the self-study process, the Office of Academic Affairs constructed a self-study

website as a repository of all self-study activities and updates. Details about the

self-study process and the HLC accreditation criteria, Steering Committee and

Criterion Committee meeting minutes, group presentations, self-study

newsletters, and other self-study resources are collected here.

Self-study newsletters

To keep the entire University community aware of the activities of all of the

research groups, as well as their opportunities for continuing involvement, the

Self-Study Coordinator published a newsletter, which was circulated through the

University-wide email distribution list, published on the University self-study

website, and advertised through the weekly University-Wide Notice (UWN).

Self-study research materials and data

As the Criterion committees and core component groups began collecting

evidence, the question of how to manage and organize the data became critical

to their work. A database was constructed to serve as a repository for these

collected materials, accessible by all Steering Committee members. During the

research process, the research teams were pleased to discover that most of the

materials, data, and other evidence were already collected and readily available

on the area’s or group’s website. To increase transparency and accessibility for

the entire University community, research team members encouraged

University groups to make all appropriate data and reports available on their

area’s website. The database, however, is still available and contains additional

documents and data not available on the public website.

Self-study awareness campaign

During the fall of 2010, the Communications Committee began its efforts to

increase awareness of the goals of the HLC self-study process and continuing

accreditation among Ferris a broader University community. Two of the efforts

that focused on increasing awareness among Ferris students were a video

competition and “potty poster” campaign.

page 26 Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process


SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

The video competition was announced in September 2010, encouraging

students to produce brief (under 3 minutes) videos that “educate the Ferris

communities about the purposes of the upcoming visit and/or the Ferris selfstudy

findings.” The competition was advertised across the University through

University-Wide Notices, class announcements, and MyFSU notices. A Film

Fest was held on November 22, 2010, to show the videos and announce the

winning entries.

Another campaign, the HLC self-study Potty Posters, supported the awareness

efforts by posting brief informational posters in all public restrooms on the Big

Rapids campus. Students in the Technical & Professional Communication

Program (College of Arts & Sciences) designed five posters, each one focusing

on one of the five University Goals for the self-study process.

Additional awareness efforts extend beyond the self-study process to highlight

the University’s mission and core values and increase their visibility across

campus. For example, the Steering Committee led efforts to circulate Core

Value pens to the University community and to distribute Ferris Mission mouse

pads to computer labs. The Communication and Steering Committees have

planned numerous awareness and celebration activities for the spring of 2011 to

focus the University’s attention on the HLC Team visit and the work of the selfstudy

process.

Self-study process: Aligned with Strategic Planning

See Criterion Two, Core

Component 2D for

discussion of Ferris

strategic planning

process

Strategic Plan website:

Strategic Plan

As the HLC self-study process was beginning in the fall of 2007, Ferris was also

beginning a new strategic planning process. The new process, built on Ferris

tradition of participatory decision-making processes, resulted in the forming of

the Strategic Planning and Resource Council (SPARC) and the Strategic

Alignment Planning process.

In early 2008, the two teams began their independent work. While each group

used very different “lens” to examine Ferris’ processes, procedures, areas of

strength, and areas of weakness, their efforts uncovered many similarities.

SPARC’s efforts resulted in a Strategic Plan with six goals, each with several

preliminary initiatives. The table below presents the six goals.

TABLE 3.6: STRATEGIC PLANNING GOALS

Goal 1

Become a demonstrable center of excellence in educational quality and

student learning

Goal 2

Develop a university community where all are valued, welcomed, and

informed

Goal 3 Enhance the financial position of the institution

Goal 4

Provide a state-of-the-art, sustainable, and safe learning, living, and

working environment

Goal 5 Foster collaborative internal and external working relationships

Goal 6 Foster innovation and improve processes to move the University forward

As the Steering Committee was concluding its research, compiling its results,

and generating the self-study report, it found that many of the areas identified as

opportunities for development and improvement at Ferris were analogous to

many of the SPARC initiatives. This overlap reinforced the group members’

view that these research processes were both significant and relevant. To

highlight the steps taken to identify and respond to these important issues, this

report includes references to applicable Strategic Goals within the conclusions

to the Criterion chapters.

Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process page 27


SECTION ONE

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

Self-study process: Conclusion

As the self-study process was drawing to a close in the spring of 2011, the

coordinator asked members of the Self-study Steering Committee to evaluate

the self-study process in terms of the group’s original guiding principles.

Steering Committee members will be rating their work, both the self-study

research activities of the group since 2007 and the plans to use and apply the

results as well as the group’s success in meeting each of the self-study goals.

The results of this assessment will be included in the Reflections on the Self

Study document planned for the spring 2011, along with University comments

from the focus group sessions, as well as updates on changes at Ferris State

University following the publication of this report.

page 28 Chapter Three: The Self-Study Process


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page ii Section Two: The Self-Study Results


Section Two: The Self-Study Results

Table of Contents

Criterion One: Mission and Integrity ....................................................................................................... 1

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

Core Component 1A ...................................................................................................................... 12

Core Component 1B ...................................................................................................................... 22

Core Component 1C ...................................................................................................................... 25

Core Component 1D ...................................................................................................................... 33

Core Component 1E ...................................................................................................................... 42

Criterion One: Conclusion .............................................................................................................. 42

Criterion One: List of key resources and references ..................................................................... 45

Criterion Two: Preparing for the Future ................................................................................................ 47

Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 53

Core Component 2A ...................................................................................................................... 53

Core Component 2B ...................................................................................................................... 66

Core Component 2C ...................................................................................................................... 73

Core Component 2D ...................................................................................................................... 82

Criterion Two: Conclusion .............................................................................................................. 89

Criterion Two: List of key resources and references ..................................................................... 93

Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching .................................................................. 95

Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 101

Core Component 3A .................................................................................................................... 101

Core Component 3B .................................................................................................................... 119

Core Component 3C .................................................................................................................... 124

Core Component 3D .................................................................................................................... 136

Criterion Three: Conclusion ......................................................................................................... 146

Criterion Three: List of key resources and references ................................................................. 151

Criterion Four: The Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge ....................................... 153

Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 159

Core Component 4A .................................................................................................................... 159

Core Component 4B .................................................................................................................... 173

Core Component 4C .................................................................................................................... 184

Core Component 4D .................................................................................................................... 197

Criterion Four: Conclusion ........................................................................................................... 203

Criterion Four:: List of key resources and references .................................................................. 208

Criterion Five: Engagement and Service ............................................................................................ 208

Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 214

Core Component 5A .................................................................................................................... 217

Core Component 5B .................................................................................................................... 228

Core Component 5C .................................................................................................................... 237

Core Component 5D .................................................................................................................... 246

Criterion Five: Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 254

Criterion Five: List of key resources and references ................................................................... 258


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page iv Section Two: The Self-Study Results


Criterion One: Mission and Integrity


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page vi Section Two: The Self-Study Results


Ferris’ Mission, Vision, and Core Values

At a Glance

FERRIS’ MISSION STATEMENT

Ferris State University prepares students for successful careers, responsible

citizenship, and lifelong learning. Through its many partnerships and its careeroriented,

broad-based education, Ferris serves our rapidly changing global

economy and society.

Approved by the Academic Senate Spring 2008; Adopted March 21, 2008

FERRIS’ VISION STATEMENT

Ferris State University will be:

The recognized leader in integrative education, where theory meets practice

throughout the curriculum, and where multi-disciplinary skills important in a

global economy are developed with the result that Ferris State University will

also be:

• The preferred choice for students who seek specialized, innovative,

career- and life-enhancing education

• The premier educational partner for government, communities,

agencies, businesses, and industries through applied research and joint

ventures

• A stimulating, student-centered academic environment that fosters

lifelong engagement, leadership, citizenship, and continuing intellectual

development

• A university that aligns its practices and resources in support of its core

values of collaboration, diversity, ethical community, excellence,

learning, and opportunity

Adopted March 21, 2008

FERRIS’ CORE VALUES

• Collaboration: Ferris contributes to the advancement of society by

building partnerships with students, alumni, business and industry,

government bodies, accrediting agencies, and the communities the

University serves.

• Diversity: By providing a campus that is supportive, safe, and

welcoming, Ferris embraces a diversity of ideas, beliefs, and cultures.

• Ethical Community: Ferris recognizes the inherent dignity of each

member of the University community and treats everyone with respect.

Our actions are guided by fairness, honesty, and integrity.

• Excellence: Committed to innovation and creativity, Ferris strives to

produce the highest quality outcomes in all its endeavors.

• Learning: Ferris State University values education that is careeroriented,

balances theory and practice, develops critical thinking,

emphasizes active learning, and fosters responsibility and the desire for

the lifelong pursuit of knowledge.

• Opportunity: Ferris, with a focus on developing career skills and

knowledge, provides opportunities for civic engagement, leadership

development, advancement, and success.

Approved November 8, 2007 by SPARC;

Endorsed December 7, 2007 by the Board of Trustees


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page viii Section Two: The Self-Study Results


Criterion One: Table of Contents

Criterion One: Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 1

Mission and integrity at Ferris State University ................................................................................... 1

Core Component 1A ...................................................................................................................................... 1

Articulation of Ferris State University’s mission ................................................................................... 1

Continual evaluation and assessment of the mission.......................................................................... 2

Key components of mission documents .............................................................................................. 2

Alignment of mission components across University documents ........................................................ 2

Alignment of the mission across the University ................................................................................... 4

Public articulation of the University’s mission ...................................................................................... 6

“Distinctiveness” highlighted in Ferris’ mission and vision statements ................................................ 7

Perceptions of Ferris’ mission .............................................................................................................. 9

Conclusion to Core Component 1A ................................................................................................... 11

Core Component 1B .................................................................................................................................... 12

Increased focus on diversity .............................................................................................................. 12

History of diversity at Ferris ............................................................................................................... 12

Diversity reflected in mission documents .......................................................................................... 13

Diversity reflected in organizational goals and activities ................................................................... 14

Diversity reflected in University policies and practices ...................................................................... 15

Diversity reflected in course and program offerings .......................................................................... 16

Diversity reflected in the student population ...................................................................................... 17

Diversity reflected in the University’s faculty and staff ....................................................................... 18

Diversity reflected in the teaching and learning practices ................................................................. 19

Perceptions of diversity at Ferris ....................................................................................................... 19

Conclusion to Core Component 1B ................................................................................................... 21

Core Component 1C .................................................................................................................................... 22

Support for the mission pervades University strategic planning ........................................................ 22

Support for the mission across the organization ............................................................................... 23

Support for the mission enhances teaching and learning.................................................................. 23

Support for the mission scholarship, research, and campus dialogue .............................................. 23

Perceptions of support for the mission .............................................................................................. 24

Conclusion to Core Component 1C ................................................................................................... 24

Core Component 1D .......................................................................................................................... 25

Institutional governance ..................................................................................................................... 25

University structure ............................................................................................................................ 25

Kendall’s administrative structure ...................................................................................................... 26

College and division governance ....................................................................................................... 26

Governance and advisory bodies ...................................................................................................... 26

Communication practices .................................................................................................................. 29

Perceptions of governance issues ..................................................................................................... 30

Conclusion to Core Component 1D ................................................................................................... 32

Core Component 1E .................................................................................................................................... 33

The activities of the organization are congruent with its mission ...................................................... 33

Fair and honest operations procedures ............................................................................................. 35

Fair treatment of internal constituencies ............................................................................................ 37

Fair treatment of external constituencies ........................................................................................... 37

Accurate and honest representation of the institution ....................................................................... 37

Timely response to complaints and grievances ................................................................................. 37

Perceptions of Ferris’ honesty and integrity ...................................................................................... 39

Conclusion to Core Component 1E ................................................................................................... 41

Criterion One: Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 42

Mission and Integrity: Examples of excellence in practice ................................................................ 42

Mission and Integrity: Discoveries from the self study ....................................................................... 43

The Ferris Mission: Foundation for the future .................................................................................... 44

Criterion One: List of key resources and references ................................................................................... 45


List of Figures and Tables

Figure C1.1: Alignment of mission components ........................................................................................... 3

Figure C1.2: Ferris’ President’s Council ..................................................................................................... 28

Table C1.1: Alignment of CAHS and CAS mission statements ................................................................... 5

Table C1.2: Unique programs at Ferris ........................................................................................................ 8

Table C1.3: Perceptions of Ferris’ mission, vision, and core values ............................................................ 9

Table C1.4: History of diversity at Ferris .................................................................................................... 12

Table C1.5: Selected university diversity activities ..................................................................................... 14

Table C1.6: General education learning objectives .................................................................................... 17

Table C1.7: Student enrollment by race/ethnicity, even years, 2000-10 .................................................... 17

Table C1.8: Honors Program: diversity goals 2008-09 .............................................................................. 18

Table C1.9: Full-time faculty and staff by race/ethnicity and gender for even years, 2000-10 .................. 18

Table C1.10: Perceptions of diversity at Ferris .......................................................................................... 20

Table C1.11: Perceptions of support for University mission....................................................................... 24

Table C1.12: University planning initiative, Fall 2010 ................................................................................. 26

Table C1.13: Perceptions of University’s governance ................................................................................ 30

Table C1.14: Alumni perceptions of their preparation as aligned with the University mission ................... 33

Table C1.15: Perceptions of Ferris’ honesty and integrity.......................................................................... 39

Key to abbreviations used frequently in this chapter

APR / APRC Academic Program Review / Academic Program Review Council

CAHS College of Allied Health Sciences

CAS College of Arts and Sciences

COB College of Business

COEHS College of Education and Human Services

CET College of Engineering Technology

COP College of Pharmacy

CPTS College of Professional and Technological Studies

FLITE Ferris Library for Information, Technology, and Education

KCAD Kendall College of Art and Design

MCO Michigan College of Optometry

DIO Diversity and Inclusion, office of

OMSS Office of Multicultural Student Services

SPARC Strategic Planning and Resource Council

TIP Tuition Incentive Program

UAM University Advancement and Marketing

UCC University Curriculum Committee


Introduction

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and

processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.

Core Component 1A

Mission and integrity at Ferris State University

In the more than 125 years that Ferris State University has existed as an

institution of higher education, the members of its community have shared a

commitment to teaching its students and preparing them for their futures. While

the words that comprise the University’s philosophy and mission statement have

been discussed, debated, and revised over the years, this essence has not

changed.

Are the organization’s mission documents clear and do they articulate publicly the organizations’

commitments?

See “Mission at a

Glance,” Criterion 1, p3

For a timeline of Ferris

past 125 years,

Ferris 125th

See the 1959 Ferris

Institute catalog, p 37:

1959 catalog

Articulation of Ferris State University’s mission

At the University level, three documents constitute the set of University mission

documents: the Mission Statement, the Vision Statement, and the Core Values.

For the past 125 years, Ferris State University has maintained both strong

clarity and public articulation of its mission. Across the state and the nation, the

perception that the institution is a “career-oriented,” “teaching institution” is

widely held and widely shared.

Even though the institution’s mission has a long and stable history, over its 125year

history, Ferris has continued working to articulate both clearly and publicly

its mission, vision, and core values. When Woodbridge N. Ferris founded Big

Rapids Industrial School in 1884, he had a vision of educating students “to make

the world better.” When Ferris Institute was first accredited by NCA in 1959, its

educational philosophy stressed that “Ferris Institute has long been known for

the manner in which it has opened the doors of educational opportunity for

serious-minded students regardless of their previous educational background

and attainments.” At the time of the last NCA/HLC self-study process in 2001,

Ferris’ mission stated:

Ferris State University will be a national leader in providing opportunities for

innovative teaching and learning in a career-oriented, technological, and

professional education (Revised, 1997)

These revisions have reflected the often-subtle shifts in the University’s

development and growth as an institution, from W.N. Ferris’ early vision of reeducating

out-of-work lumbermen, to the needs of an expanding global

community, Ferris’ mission has consistently emphasized career preparation and

teaching excellence. These revisions also reflect the institution’s commitment to

a clearly articulated and recognized mission statement.

Core Component 1A page 1


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

SPARC initiative:

SPARC

Links to all university,

college, and department

mission documents can

be found in the

Resources page at the

end of this chapter.

Continual evaluation and assessment of the mission

In recent years, as part of its strategic planning process, the University

community evaluated, revised, and adopted its current mission statement that

preserves its historic values while recognizing its place in and responsibilities to

the global community in which its graduates function. This evaluation process

began with town hall meetings, targeted task force research, and communitywide

discussions. After careful deliberation and crafting, in the spring of 2008,

the Academic Senate voted unanimously to accept the revised wording of Ferris

mission statement.

On March 21, 2008, the Board of Trustees adopted the revised University

Mission Statement. As part of the 2008 Strategic Planning and Resource

Council (SPARC) Initiative, colleges and departments were encouraged to

evaluate, revise, and clarify their own mission statements aligned with the

University’s mission. Since that time, colleges and departments have been

engaged in creating and shaping properly aligned statements.

This ongoing work demonstrates the organization’s commitment to regular

evaluation and revision of its mission and the mission documents. The

documents are aligned and confirm the University’s commitment to defining and

recognizing both current and future constituencies that it serves, to sustaining

high academic standards and advancing excellence, and to stating its goals for

student learning and accomplishment clearly and accurately.

Key components of mission documents

The University’s Mission Statement clearly addresses four themes:

1. Career preparation

2. A general education component focused on lifelong learning and

responsible citizenship

3. Multiple partnerships

4. Preparation for a rapidly changing global society

Both the University Vision and the Core Values statements clearly address the

same four themes. The Vision Statement builds on these four themes and

establishes the University’s goals for the future. The Core Values are intended

to guide the University in fulfilling its mission and vision by defining foundational

building blocks.

Alignment of mission components across University documents

The Mission Statement clearly defines the University’s learning goals, its

responsibility to its constituencies, and the breadth of democratic responsibilities

to which it holds itself accountable. Learning goals reflect academic content

(successful careers) as well as personal and social objectives (responsible

citizenship and lifelong learning) achieved through a curriculum that both is

“career-oriented” and focused, yet “broad-based” and accountable to

“responsible citizenship” and “lifelong learning,” and fosters the type of personal

growth that ensures continued “career success” and “responsible citizenship.”

page 2 Core Component 1A


FIGURE C1.1: ALIGNMENT OF MISSION COMPONENTS

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

1. Career preparation

Each of the University’s documents focuses on the institution’s responsibility to

provide “career-oriented” education and on “career skills and knowledge.” The

key to this responsibility is the application of theory (classroom research and

scholarship) to practice (up-to-date skills for today’s careers):

• The University’s mission is to prepare students for “successful careers”

through a “career-oriented, broad-based education.”

• The Vision Statement reinforces the importance of Ferris’ goal to

provide ”career- and life-enhancing education.”

• The Learning and Opportunity sections of the Core Values also identify

Ferris’ foundation of “career-oriented … lifelong pursuit of knowledge …

career skills.”

2. General education foundation stressing lifelong learning, and responsible

citizenship

The Mission’s emphasis on “Career- and life-enhancing education … continuing

intellectual development…” is reflected in both the Vision and Core Values:

• Vision Statement: “successful careers, responsible citizenship, and

lifelong learning.”

• Learning and Opportunity sections of the Core Values: “career-oriented

… lifelong pursuit of knowledge … career skills …civic engagement …

leadership development, advancement, and success.”

Core Component 1A page 3


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

The Mission Statement’s emphasis on “responsible citizenship …” is both

reflected and interwoven in multiple ways within the other documents:

• The Vision Statement not only clarifies that the University values

“lifelong engagement, leadership, citizenship…” but also aligns with the

Core Values.

• The Diversity and Ethical Community sections of the Core Values

recognize embracing “a diversity of ideas, beliefs, and cultures” as well

as recognizing the “inherent dignity” of everyone and promoting “…

fairness, honesty, and integrity.”

3. Multiple partnerships

The recognition of “partnerships” in the Mission Statement is clearly replicated

and valued in both the Vision Statement and the Core Values:

• Vision: “premier educational partner for government, communities,

agencies, businesses, and industry….”

• Core Values: “… building partnerships with students, alumni, business

and industry, government bodies accrediting agencies, and the

communities the University serves.”

4. Preparation for a rapidly changing global society

The mission documents also stress the University’s responsibility to broadly

educate its graduates for responsible citizenship and leadership roles that

recognize and appreciate a “global perspective,” a diverse world, and the need

to function in that world with “fairness, honesty, and integrity”:

• Mission: “Through its many partnerships and its career-oriented, broadbased

education, Ferris serves our rapidly changing global economy

and society.”

• Vision: [Ferris will provide its students with an]“integrative

education”…and the “multi-disciplinary skills important in a global

economy.”

• Core Values: “Ferris embraces a diversity of ideas, beliefs, and

cultures.”

Alignment of the mission across the University

The recursive and interdependent nature of the mission, vision, and values of

the institution are not only apparent in its documents but also in alignment with

college, department, and program mission, vision, and values.

Alignment of Ferris’ mission from the University level through the college and

department/program level shows clearly the commitment to academic

excellence to both the career content area and also to general education. At the

department and program level, the logical emphasis on career content

knowledge and professional development is also clear. The more focused,

narrowed mission within departments and programs reflects their commitment to

preparing students for specific professions.

The following table illustrates the alignment of the mission within two of the

University’s colleges, the College of Allied Health Sciences and the College of

Arts and Sciences.

page 4 Core Component 1A


TABLE C1.1: ALIGNMENT OF CAHS AND CAS MISSION STATEMENTS

UNIT MISSION

UNIVERSITY MISSION

STATEMENT

ALLIED HEALTH SCIENCES

COLLEGE MISSION

STATEMENT

DEPARTMENT MISSION

STATEMENT (EXAMPLE)

PROGRAM MISSION

STATEMENTS (EXAMPLES)

UNIT MISSION

UNIVERSITY MISSION

STATEMENT

ARTS AND SCIENCES

COLLEGE MISSION

STATEMENT

DEPARTMENT MISSION

STATEMENT (EXAMPLE)

PROGRAM MISSION

STATEMENTS

(EXAMPLES)

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Ferris State University prepares students for successful careers, responsible citizenship,

and lifelong learning. Through its many partnerships and its career-oriented, broadbased

education, Ferris serves our rapidly changing global economy and society.

Building upon the mission, vision and values of Ferris State University, the College of

Allied Health Sciences’ mission is to prepare students for successful careers in the

programs contained therein, to foster responsible citizenship and to promote lifelong

learning. The college will partner with healthcare providers and facilities to prepare

students for rapidly changing careers.

Building upon the mission, vision, and values of the College of Allied Health Sciences,

the Nuclear Medicine Technology program prepares highly qualified and competent

professionals for successful and rewarding careers as Nuclear Medicine Technologists.

Health Information Technology (HIT) Program:

To provide leadership in the education of health information professionals to meet the

current and emerging needs of the state and region.

Clinical Laboratory Science Programs (Medical Laboratory Technician and Medical

Technology):

The mission of the Clinical Laboratory Science programs at Ferris State University is to

prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors needed to

function effectively in a wide range of laboratory settings..

Respiratory Care AAS Program:

Prepares highly qualified and competent professionals for successful and rewarding

careers as respiratory therapists.

Health Care System Administration:

In collaboration with our healthcare partners, prepares and supports ethical leaders who

are equipped to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing environment.

Ferris State University prepares students for successful careers, responsible

citizenship, and lifelong learning. Through its many partnerships and its career-oriented,

broad-based education, Ferris serves our rapidly changing global economy and society.

Through academic programs, general education, and outreach activities, the College of

Arts and Sciences provides a learning-centered education that prepares students to

contribute to a complex and diverse world.

The Department of Languages and Literature provides a strong and broad-based

education in writing, literature, linguistics, and modern languages through an array of

majors, minors, and general education courses. We cultivate an appreciation of

languages and literatures, enriching the communities we serve and preparing students

to thrive in an increasingly complex and diverse society.

English BA Program:

The English BA prepares students for an array of career opportunities and provides a

solid foundation for continuing study in English, business, law, public service,

government, teaching, or communications. The program emphasizes strong

communication and analytical skills that enable students to be adaptable and prepared

for the workplace. Moreover, the program encourages creativity, willingness to consider

multiple interpretations of texts, and engagement in critical thinking.

Technical and Professional Communication BS Program:

The Technical and Professional Communication Program is committed to preparing

students for careers in communication in various government and business settings

where they can serve as intermediaries between scientists, researchers, and technical

specialists and specialists in other field or the general public.

Core Component 1A page 5


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Current and past issues

of Ferris Magazine and

Crimson & Gold:

Ferris Magazine

Kendall’s Portfolio

newsletter

Kendall

Samples of current ad

campaigns:

PR materials

Public articulation of the University’s mission

Beyond the work of meaningfully crafting, shaping, and aligning the University

mission and purpose, the institution has also worked to communicate the

mission, vision, and values clearly and effectively. Communicating the mission,

vision, and values is not simply a matter of repeating the words, but also

demonstrating the results of living and demonstrating these concepts as well.

Stakeholder communication

The mission, vision, and values are featured prominently on the University’s

website, banners, brochures, and incorporated into the themes of materials

featured in the Ferris Magazine, Points of Pride faculty/staff newsletter, Faces

of Ferris web feature, Bulldog Bytes alumni e-newsletter, and Diversity and

Inclusion Office publications, as well as University signature events.

The former Crimson & Gold alumni magazine was renamed Ferris Magazine

and redesigned to place greater strategic emphasis on the University’s

mission, vision, and values and showcase Ferris’ principles in action through

success stories of current students, faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni. A

recent issue, for example, highlighted a Kendall faculty member, four alums,

and Ferris’ first Humanitarian Award winner.

College mission statements may also feature prominently in stakeholder

communication. For example, Kendall displays both its college mission and the

University’s mission prominently on the college’s “About” website and in its

main recruiting publication, the view book. Additionally, Kendall’s Statement of

Purpose is included on the first page of Portfolio, the college’s news magazine.

Kendall communicates the work and successes of students, alumni, faculty,

administrators, and staff in Portfolio as well as on the News section of the

college website. Portfolio is printed and mailed three times each year, and is

also available from the website.

Recruiting and PR materials

The mission’s main points are contained in recruiting materials and marketing

key messages. These materials also all include the University’s tagline:

Imagine More. Banners located on the Big Rapids campus and off-campus

locations as well as numerous billboards placed across the state contain visual

images and messages that feature University mission and core value “key

words.” In addition, the University’s graphic standards — readily available on

the University’s website — explain the appropriate use and application of Ferris

State University’s signature line, logos, official colors, and layout for University

publications.

Graphic Standards The University Advancement and Marketing (UAM) department emphasizes

that

…through consistent application of these standards in all University

communications — from publications, advertising, video productions, and

Web sites to signage and vehicles — we will be able to focus and

strengthen Ferris State University’s brand identity among our broad

audiences.

page 6 Core Component 1A


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

The Imagine More tagline appears in Ferris State University marketing

materials, in advertisements, and other communications. The Imagine More

tagline is a platform for messaging that distinguishes Ferris State University

from other public universities in both image and recruitment marketing. Imagine

More invites multiple audiences to view Ferris State University in a new way —

to explore the degrees, programs, and opportunities that extend beyond what

an external audience might expect when they think of Ferris State University.

Imagine More also invites students, alumni, faculty, administrators, and staff to

extend their vision to new possibilities and to the University’s future.

Kendall communicates its Ferris affiliation by consistently using its full name,

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, in all materials. In

most cases, the University’s tagline, Imagine More, is also included. Kendall

publications and materials that are not specifically related to recruiting typically

follow University graphic standards; however, Kendall strives to honor its

history and identity with the use of its own logo, website design, and recruiting

materials. These materials use the current Make It tagline and teal/silver/brown

color standards. The Make It tagline invites potential and current students, as

well as alumni, faculty, administrators, and staff to be literally involved in the

creation of art, design, and academic materials while taking advantage of

resources that lead to professional success.

“Distinctiveness” highlighted in Ferris’ mission and vision

statements

In one of its first planning sessions, the Strategic Planning and Resource

Council (SPARC) was given the charge to identify the University’s “distinctive

features.” The committee as a whole promptly identified one primary distinctive

feature: the institution’s long history of maintaining its original mission and its

pride in having done so.

A subcommittee was then given the task to complete the list. In its discussions,

the Distinctiveness Subcommittee readily identified a long list of distinctive

programs, events, and University activities. However, the group decided that,

rather than highlighting specific academic programs, a few select events, or a

handful of activities – and potentially neglecting other equally distinctive

features, it wished, instead, to offer the following features as considerations for

“most distinctive” traits. The following list, then, does not reflect priority or

importance.

1. Ferris State University is named for its co-founders and celebrates that fact.

Ferris is the only state institution in Michigan named for its founders. Each

year, in its Founders’ Day celebration, Ferris honors the principles of

Woodbridge and Helen Ferris who based the curriculum of Big Rapids

Industrial School on the Pestalozzian philosophy. This philosophy has evolved

into the “hands-on, career-oriented” education at Ferris State University.

2. Ferris offers a unique and broad scope of programs.

Complementing its heritage and mission, Ferris State University provides a

unique and broad scope of programs, offering an equally diverse range of

certificates and degrees providing flexibility in meeting student and employer

needs at the state and national levels:

Core Component 1A page 7


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

TABLE C1.2: UNIQUE PROGRAMS AT FERRIS

Certificates and

degrees

available

Ferris’ unique

degrees

nationally

Ferris’ unique

degrees within

the State of

Michigan

• Certificates

• Associates

• Bachelor of Arts

• Bachelor of Science

• Bachelor of Fine Arts

• Masters

• Masters of Fine Arts

• Professional Doctorate

• Educational Doctorate

• Heavy Equipment Service Engineering Technology, 4-year

• Product Design Engineering Technology, 4-year

• Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology, 2-year

• Automotive Management, BS

• Community College Leadership, EdD

• Computer Networks and Systems, BS

• Digital Animation and Game Design, BAS

• Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration, BS

• Information Security and Intelligence, BS

• Music Industry Management, BS

• Optometry, doctorate

• Professional Golf Management, BS

• Professional Tennis Management, BS

• Welding Engineering Technology, BS

3. Ferris houses the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia

Jim Crow Museum Ferris State University houses the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia,

the largest publicly accessible collection of racist memorabilia in the nation,

thus providing unique teaching and learning resources for Ferris faculty and

students. The mission of the museum is to promote racial tolerance by helping

people understand the historical and contemporary expressions of intolerance.

The museum’s traveling exhibits and website make the museum accessible to

the faculty at other universities, high schools, and middle schools throughout

the nation and internationally. The museum serves as a base for quality

scholarship addressing the complexities of race relations, encouraging

collaborative work with high schools, universities, government agencies, and

human rights organizations, including producing original research, planning

and hosting conferences, and conducting anti-racism training sessions.

4. Ferris houses the Card Wildlife Education Center

Card Wildlife Center The Card Wildlife Education Center at Ferris State University serves as a

unique avenue for educational outreach to Ferris students, K-12 school

children, and members of the Michigan community. The mission of the Card

Wildlife Education Center is “to educate visitors, especially young visitors, in

the areas of wildlife biology, ecology, and environmental biology.”

Four freshman recipients of the Card Scholarship receive four-year

scholarships; in return the student scholars help to staff the Wildlife Education

Center by giving tours and contributing to the maintenance of the collection and

its functions. Visitors experience “up-close and personal” contact with the

specimens, and the majority of visitor contact is with Ferris undergraduate

students who serve as tour guides and docents.

page 8 Core Component 1A


Perceptions of Ferris’ mission

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

During its self-study research, the Criterion One committee determined that the

visibility of the University’s mission, vision, and values could be improved. For

example, the Mission Statement did not appear on the main web page. The

committee also found that there was some difficulty in finding college and

department mission statements on the University’s website. In some cases, the

mission statements were still being revised and were not yet posted. In other

cases, they were embedded more deeply in the website and required several

“clicks.” A search for “mission,” however, located college and program

statements easily. Partly in response to the self-study inquiry, the University’s

mission is now a direct link on the Ferris website’s home page.

Perceptions from Criterion One Survey

Several questions from the Criterion One Perceptions Survey addressed

issues specifically related to the University’s mission and its visibility to the

University community. The following table summarizes results from three of the

key questions.

TABLE C1.3: PERCEPTIONS OF FERRIS’ MISSION, VISION, AND CORE VALUES

QUESTION ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

possible n possible n possible n

=492

=869

=683

n = number of valid responses to Q.

Mission statement and core values

n % * n % * n % *

clearly and broadly define Ferris

mission

98 99.0 176 89.2 128 94.5

The goals of the academic units of

Ferris are consistent with the mission

84 89.3 164 86.6 110 84.5

The activities of the organization are

congruent with its mission

96 85.4 165 75.8 122 82.0

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree,

agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

Perceptions of the mission and its articulation

In response to the Criterion One Perceptions Survey:

• 94.2% of 402 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that Ferris

mission and core values clearly and broadly define the University’s

mission

• 86.8% of 358 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the goals of

academic units are consistent with the University’s mission

• 73.0% of 383 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the activities

of the organization are congruent with its mission

These strongly positive responses indicate a clear acceptance of the revised

mission documents. Many of the written comments, as these samples indicate,

reflected this view:

“The development of the mission and core values as guiding documents for

the University allows for a one-dimensional direction for all to focus on. It

has been wonderful to see their creation/clarification…”

Core Component 1A page 9


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

See Section One,

Chapter 3: The Self-

Study Process for the

schedule and description

of listening session

methodology

Data from

Listening sessions

“Visiting and revisiting issues and concerns regarding core values and

behaviors should continue to be intelligent, timely, and critical responses to

global issues…”

“The new mission and core values have raised the bar for higher

standards. …”

Several of the comments, while expressing a positive view of the mission and

its acceptance, have included cautions and concerns:

“…The only limitation I have seen was directly related to having enough

money (budget).”

“They are nice ideas, but putting them into practice and communicating

how these ideas affect our actions is the difficult part.”

Perceptions from Criterion One listening sessions

In the winter of 2008-09, over eighteen listening sessions were held with the

University community (open sessions), as well as with three specific University

groups (representatives of the student government, the Academic Leadership

Council, and physical plant employees), and with the Big Rapids community

(event called the “World Café”).

These listening sessions were held as part of the self-study research process

to elicit participants’ views on the HLC Criteria for Accreditation and their

observations on both the strengths and opportunities for improvement related

to each criterion. Comments from these groups included several related to the

University mission and overall image.

Academic Leadership Council (formerly Chairs’ Council) and open session

comments, for example, included several emphasizing the value and integrity

reflected in the process used to revise and develop the University’s mission,

vision, and core values documents. One Academic Leadership Council

comment noted that an important outcome of these discussions was the

increased shared definition of the term “career-oriented.”

The physical plant group emphasized the heightened sense of community on

campus and the pride of ownership that students, faculty, administrators, and

staff share for the University. These participants, however, also noted that, as

the University’s academic standards have increased, they felt that the

“opportunity” aspect of Ferris’ mission has been reduced. These participants

also stressed the importance of having the mission statement and the

University’s core values clearly visible to “everyone who comes near campus.”

Student government representatives also included several similar comments

on their list of University strengths, such as the clarity and visibility of the

mission statement. Student perceptions also included suggestions for

increasing this visibility, such as requiring the mission to be included on all

course syllabi.

page 10 Core Component 1A


Conclusion to Core Component 1A

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

As this section indicates, Ferris’ mission, vision, and core values are well

defined and accepted, communicated broadly and consistently, and supported

by activities that are consistent with the mission. The University’s diverse range

of program levels and distinctive programming also reflect the institution’s

commitment to its mission. Integral to the University’s mission, vision, and

values is a commitment to diversity. The next section will address Ferris

engagement with promoting and supporting diversity.

Core Component 1A page 11


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Core Component 1B

In its mission documents, does the organization recognize the diversity of its learners, other

constituencies, and the greater society it serves?

Autobiography of W.N.

Ferris (online version)

WN Ferris Autobiography

Historical catalogs:

Ferris catalogs

Increased focus on diversity

Since the last NCA/HLC visit, the University has made significant gains in

becoming an institution that recognizes the importance of diversity. As

highlighted in the discussion of mission, vision, and values, at the governing

levels the institution adopted language and provided a baseline to develop an

organizational culture that embraces diversity. University activities show that

the institution in theory and practice is embedding an appreciation of diversity

into the core of its operations.

In April 2004, Ferris State University’s president presented his thoughts on

diversity in his speech “A Vision for Ferris and Its Future.” He stated,

“Our society is one that is global, connected, and diverse, and our efforts

must help foster understanding, tolerance, and acceptance of differences

in ethnicity, culture, religion, preference and abilities. We must look within

and honestly assess how we are fulfilling our role as an academy that both

values and embraces diversity as it relates to students, faculty, staff,

curriculum and values. As part of this commitment we need to reexamine

our approaches to the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and

students, and determine how we can create a truly diverse campus. In

short we must become the model we hope our students will become.”

History of diversity at Ferris

From its inception, Ferris State University was envisioned as an institution for

all people. W. N. Ferris believed that education should be “for all people, all of

the time” (Autobiography, p.193). W. N. Ferris decided to locate Big Rapids

Industrial School in Big Rapids, Michigan, as he believed it “was sufficiently far

enough away from other colleges and normal schools” (Autobiography, p.131).

At this time, Michigan’s ancestral heritage was largely of German, Irish,

English, Polish, African-American, and Dutch descent. W.N. Ferris described

the institution in its school catalog as “a school for the many” which gave “a

practical education” for “the ambitious person, youth or maid, man or woman”

(1898 course catalog, p.8).

Historically, diversity at Ferris has been addressed in both positive (proactive)

and sometimes negative (reactive) ways.

TABLE C1.4: HISTORY OF DIVERSITY AT FERRIS

1900s In 1906, W.N. Ferris provided printed material that stated, “Ferris Institute

is thoroughly democratic, that is to say, it is a school for all people

regardless of race or station.”

1910s Historical records at Ferris indicate a population of male and female

students since its inception and the inclusion of African American

students around 1910.

page 12 Core Component 1B


University Diversity Plan

Diversity Plan

For additional information

about current diversity

activities at Ferris, see

the DIO website:

DIO website

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

1930s In the 1930s the admissions office guidelines stated “Ferris welcomes as

a student any sincere man or woman regardless of his/her race, age or

previous educational experience” (1938 course catalog, p.10-11).

1950s In the 1950s the Board of Control repeated this idea in its Statement of

Purpose. The University’s prior mission statements emphasized

opportunity and education for all, with open enrollment policies that

provided opportunities to a broad population.

1960s In the late 1960s racial tensions on campus led to sit-ins, protests, and

finally resolutions to live in unity with one another.

1980s Again in the late 1980s Ferris students organized sit-ins to protest the

lack of services and opportunities for black students. These actions and

conversations led to the establishment of what is now the Office of

Multicultural Student Services (OMSS).

Diversity reflected in mission documents

The University has adopted official language in its mission, vision, and values

to reinforce the importance it places on reaching a diverse population and

transforming itself into a truly diverse institution.

According to the mission, “Ferris State University prepares students

for…responsible citizenship, and serves our rapidly changing global economy

and society.”

In its statement of values, the institution highlights Diversity as one of its six

core values. Statements of diversity and acceptance of the differences in

others are woven in all aspects of the six core values.

Diversity: By providing a campus that is supportive, safe, and welcoming,

Ferris embraces a diversity of ideas, beliefs, and cultures.

The Ferris community also adopted a vision statement that ties its mission and

values to how the organization may be viewed in the future. Ferris’ vision

emphasizes the importance of being recognized as

…a university that aligns its practices and resources in support of its core

values of collaboration, diversity, ethical community, excellence, learning,

and opportunity.

In an important step toward the fulfillment of its mission for diversity, the Ferris

State University Board of Trustees approved the first University Diversity Plan

on March 21, 2008. The plan had previously been endorsed by the full Ferris

State University Academic Senate, the Academic Senate’s Diversity

Committee, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, the Academic

Leadership Council, the Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS), the

Coalition of African American Leaders in Education, the Dean of Student Life,

the Office of Student Conduct, and the President’s Council.

In 2007, Ferris’ president strengthened the University’s commitment to

diversity by providing additional authority to the existing position of Special

Assistant to the President for Multicultural and Community Affairs, renaming

this position the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) and establishing the Diversity

Office, later renamed the Diversity and Inclusion Office. In summer 2010, to

emphasize the importance of diversity issues to the University, the president

renamed the CDO position, the vice president for Diversity and Inclusion. The

Core Component 1B page 13


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Jim Crow Museum

Note: links to several of

the events noted in this

table are included at the

end of this chapter.

vice president maintains seats on the President’s Council and the Leadership

Council, and is charged with being an advocate for diversity, a resource and

monitor of diversity initiatives, and a leader in efforts to introduce diversity into

systems that will establish and maintain a culture of diversity at Ferris State

University.

Diversity reflected in organizational goals and activities

Ferris’ goals for diversity are based on recognition of the needs of our

increasingly multicultural society. To succeed and flourish in this multicultural

society, all of the members of the University’s community — students,

administrators, faculty, staff, and alumni — must be willing to learn about,

understand, and accept the perspectives of others. A wide range of activities

supports the goals of the University to encourage and enhance diversity.

The Diversity Plan has four major goals:

1. Create a University culture that is welcoming to diverse populations

2. Recruit, retain, and graduate a diverse student population

3. Hire and retain a diverse workforce

4. Create environments for student learning that are inclusive of and

sensitive to a diverse student population.

The Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO) has led significant activities to educate

the University and the general population on issues of intolerance, differences,

and inclusion. The current vice president is a leading expert and frequent

speaker on issues relating to multiculturalism, diversity, and race relations and

is sought after nationally to facilitate dialogue and educate others on topics of

diversity and inclusion.

The vice president is also the founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum of

Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University. The museum uses objects of

intolerance to teach tolerance and is visited by hundreds of people each year.

The vice president initiated a series of university-wide lectures to set the tone

on diversity and provide needed education to the campus on areas of

tolerance and inclusion. Additional articles of diversity were featured on the

Ferris web page to encourage discussion and dialogue.

The DIO works closely with campus departments — including the Office of

Multicultural Student Services (OMSS), Residential Life, Human Resources,

the Office of Equal Opportunity, and each divisional area of the University — to

accomplish diversity goals. DIO monitors university-wide diversity efforts and

summarizes those accomplishments in an annual report. A sample of such

accomplishments for 2008 is highlighted in the following table.

TABLE C1.5: SELECTED UNIVERSITY DIVERSITY ACTIVITIES

Residential Life staff members have hosted diversity

Diversity programs

programs in each residence hall.

Spanish-language

publications

International student

events

Orientation material was written in Spanish for Hispanic

parents and students.

The University hosts an international student orientation

and welcoming picnic/dinner each year.

page 14 Core Component 1B


See the Expect Diversity

newsletter, Issue 2, fall

2009, page 5:

Diversity newsletters

Disability services

First Lady’s Attic

Ferris Youth Initiative

(FYI)

Diversity events and

community activities

MLK, Jr. Week activities

Special diversity

activities

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,

and Transgender

(GLBT) initiatives

OMSS office visibility

International student

support, recruiting, and

support services

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

A special session is held during orientation for students

with disabilities and their parents explaining or identifying

unique needs and services available.

A resource of professional attire to help prepare students

for success in the business world, the First Lady’s Attic

provides students with clothing for job interviews or class

presentations.

For Ferris students who have aged out of the foster care

system and those who are impoverished orphans. FYI

provides support and learning opportunities that promote

academic success, character development, and lifeenhancing

skills.

The Annual Pig-Nic occurs each spring and is one of the

most diverse student and community activities.

The annual Martin Luther King week activities are a

central part of Ferris’ diversity programming.

Each year the University host activities regarding Black

History Month, Women’s History Month, Hispanic Heritage

Month, and Native American Month.

New initiatives were implemented to address GLBT issues

and concerns at Ferris. Additionally, the Alliance of Ferris

Employees was created by concerned faculty members.

The Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS) was

moved to a more central location, in FLITE, to increase

campus accessibility and visibility.

The Office of International Education (OIE) was created in

FLITE. Full-time staff members assist with the admission

of new international students and provide support

services. Recruiting visits were made to the Middle East,

Asia, Europe, the Soviet Union and Latin America. A task

force was created to address issues of housing and meals

for international students during University holiday breaks.

Diversity reflected in University policies and practices

In 2007, the Diversity and Inclusion Office received formal letters of support

from vice presidents in each University division. These letters demonstrated

the university-wide support for, and awareness of, the need for increased

acceptance and encouragement of diversity. Each division has made efforts to

establish diversity work teams within the division and to report on their plans at

regular intervals.

At the end of 2009, these work teams were asked to “list and describe their

major diversity-related activities, identify diversity successes and challenges,

propose solutions, offer a major diversity initiative to be led by the division or

college.” Since this time, all divisions, colleges, and major offices of the

University have adopted a diversity plan, and the diversity teams continue to

work on their area’s initiatives.

As part of its efforts to provide education and support for the University on

diversity issues, the website for the DIO includes teaching and learning

resources for the University and links to University offices that provide services

to meet a wide range of related student, faculty, administrator, and staff needs.

Central to the DIO’s mission is a goal to be a strong advocate for diversity and

inclusion across the University, guiding efforts to conceptualize, assess, and

Core Component 1B page 15


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

TIP website

For more information on

the Michigan Tuition

Incentive Program, see

Criterion Three, core

component 3D.

cultivate diversity as an institutional and educational resource. Among the

challenges that the DIO is addressing are these:

• Developing an effective process for responding to intolerance and

conflicts at all levels, and between and among all University groups

• Encouraging a climate of openness that is able to address the root

causes of conflict

• Providing a voice for those at the University who feel unrepresented or

without an effective means for presenting their concerns, issues, and

needs

The University has demonstrated clear recognition and support for diversity

efforts with the movement of the OMSS to a more visible, central site and the

re-location of the Office of International Education (formerly: International

Center) in the same building. The location of both offices in FLITE, the

University library, highlights the importance the University places on access to

services and integration of student learning activities.

In 2007, a collaborative effort led by the Diversity and Inclusion Office created

the Tuition Incentive Program Scholarship (TIPS) Office to provide

programming to help need-based students with information about scholarship

requirements, eligibility to receive TIP awards, strategies to succeed as

university students, and approaches to networking with other TIP scholars,

faculty, administrators, and staff. These services, now housed in the University

College, provide specific help in filing financial aid forms, understanding how

work-study and student employment functions relate to their financial aid, and

providing assistance in career placement activities.

During their July 8, 2009, regular session, the Ferris State University Board of

Trustees approved “Other Eligible Adult” health benefits to University

employees. This action resulted in part from collaboration between the DIO

and the Alliance of Ferris Employees, a University organization for lesbian,

gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees and allies.

Diversity reflected in course and program offerings

The University’s general education (GE) program provides a foundation of core

requirements for all associate and bachelor degree programs. Ferris’ GE

requirements endow students with the academic skills, analytic ability, and

general knowledge necessary to flexibly meet the challenges of their personal,

civic, and professional lives. Awareness of diversity is a component of four of

the University’s GE categories:

• Social Awareness

• Cultural Enrichment

• Global Consciousness

• Race/Ethnicity/Gender

The learning objectives for all of these areas, in fact, clearly address diversity

as a component.

page 16 Core Component 1B


Ferris Fact Book

Complete results of the

survey are available on

the DIO website:

Climate Survey

TABLE C1.6: GENERAL EDUCATION LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Social

Awareness

Cultural

Enrichment

Global

Consciousness

Race/Ethnicity/

Gender

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

In a culturally diverse nation and a changing world, social

awareness is essential to graduates' interpersonal relationships,

professional competence, and responsible citizenship. Therefore,

graduates should be able to understand and address issues

involving social institutions, interpersonal and group dynamics,

social tradition and change, cultural diversity, and human

development behavior.

Graduates should be able, through the humanities, arts and

literature, to enrich their own lives, to increase their understanding

of themselves and their culture, and to expand their understanding

of the experience and cultures of others, including the experience

and cultures of other nations and cultural traditions.

In an increasingly interdependent world and global economy,

graduates should be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of

the world, its diverse cultures, and the geographic, economic,

cultural and historical relationships among nations and peoples.

In a society and work environment where issues of diversity are

recognized as important towards social awareness and working

conditions, graduates should be able to demonstrate working

knowledge and understanding of issues surrounding race/ethnicity

and/or gender.

Diversity reflected in the student population

Ferris State University draws students from all counties within the State of

Michigan, from almost every state in the country, and beyond the United

States to 26 countries (Fact Book 09-10). Additional work is planned to

strengthen international programs and increase the number of international

students attending Ferris. The table below presents Ferris enrollment by

race/ethnic origin from 2000-10 (even numbered years).

TABLE C1.7: STUDENT ENROLLMENT BY RACE/ETHNICITY, EVEN YEARS, 2000-10

RACE/ETHNICITY F 00 F 02 F 04 F 06 F 08 F 10

American Indian/

Native Alaskan

83 76 98 107 108 120

Asian/Pacific Islander/

183 203 203 236 259 227

Native Hawaiian

Black 984 881 755 677 843 957

Foreign 309 291 239 186 163 176

Hispanic 121 134 150 177 259 340

White 7,682 8,714 9,156 9,683 10,857 11,352

Unknown 485 775 1,202 1,509 1,043 1,035

Multi-racial n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 174

Total 9,847 11,074 11,803 12,575 13,532 14,381

In 2007, Ferris conducted an extensive Diversity Climate Survey to assess

students’ prior experiences with diversity, their awareness of diversity

programs, and their knowledge of prejudice existing at Ferris. Developed by

Educational Benchmarking, Inc. (EBI), the 182-question survey was

administered online to Ferris students. Of the 3,156 students who started the

survey, 2,804 completed it. Three major findings from this survey showed that,

that prior to attending Ferris, a majority of Ferris students come from

environments with very little diversity (data are rounded to the nearest whole

number):

Core Component 1B page 17


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

TIPS program

GEAR-UP website

Ferris Fact Book

Additional measurements

of diversity are available

on the DIO website:

Diversity measurements

• 64% indicated that 85-100% of their close friends and members of the

community, school, or work environments were similar to them in

race/ethnicity

• 66% indicated that 57-71% of their close friends and members of the

community, school, or work environments were similar to them in

political/social ideology

• 53% indicated that 57-71% of their close friends and members of the

community, school, or work environments were similar to them in

religious identification

• 65% indicated that 57-71% of their close friends and members of the

community, school, or work environments were similar to them in

financial standing

Partially in response to these survey responses, Ferris has allocated resources

to recruit the under-represented students to the University through two

programs, the Tuition Incentive Program Scholars (TIPS) program and Gaining

Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR-UP). In

addition, all University divisions are including diversity as a key goal for its

student populations. For example, in 2008-09, the Honors Program (University

College) set a goal for achieving more diversity through its recruiting efforts.

The University College’s sixth goal states: “identify ways to increase

race/ethnic, geographic, and programmatic diversity of students enrolled in the

Honors Program.” Action steps include the following.

TABLE C1.8: HONORS PROGRAM: DIVERSITY GOALS 2008-09

ACTION STEP DESIRED OUTCOME

Consider modification of admission criteria*

Use new international student scholarships

to recruit international students

To increase racial and ethnic diversity

by 5 new students per year

To enroll 3 new international students

each year

Diversity reflected in the University’s faculty and staff

To support a diverse faculty and staff, the University added a section to its

administrative employee evaluations that asks each manager to describe

efforts made regarding diversity and inclusion. In 2008-09, more resources

were allocated to place job advertisements in strategic markets and magazines

to reach a more diverse population.

Ferris’ faculty and staff, while predominately white/Caucasian, reflect a modest

increase in level of ethnic diversity from 2000 to the present. Over the past ten

years, the faculty and staff have also been almost evenly balanced between

male and female; thus, efforts to increase a diverse faculty and staff population

have focused on race/ethnicity.

TABLE C1.9: FULL-TIME FACULTY AND STAFF BY RACE/ETHNICITY AND GENDER

FOR EVEN YEARS, 2000-10

RACE/ETHNICITY F 00 F 02 F 04 F 06 F 08 F 10

American Indian/ Native

8 8 10 10 15 10

Alaskan

Asian or Pacific Islander 24 24 31 30 35 40

Black or African 32 32 34 31 35 35

page 18 Core Component 1B


For the complete report,

see the DIO website:

Diversity at Ferris

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

American

Hispanic or Latino 12 12 8 9 12 16

White 1,486 1,486 1,336 1,259 1,625 1,730

Unknown 0 0 0 0 5 100

Two or more races n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 8

Non-resident alien n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Total 1,562 1,562 1,419 1,339 1,721 1,939

GENDER

Male 729 717 685 692 682 665

Female 682 685 658 691 732 728

According to the Diversity at Ferris 2008 report, Ferris ranked near the bottom

of Michigan’s 15 public universities in terms of diversity among its full- and

part-time faculty and staff. Recognizing the University’s need to attract a more

ethnically and racially diverse faculty and staff, division Diversity Committees

were established in early 2009 with four charges, including these:

• By October 15, 2009, identify tangible and implementable ways to

market the University to diverse populations that will lead to more

diverse applicant pools. This effort may well include collaboration with

other divisions, and the focus should be on strategies that can be

implemented this fiscal year.

• By March 1, 2010, identify best practices to be shared with all

divisional (and potentially all University) search committees on

practical and tangible ways to attract qualified candidates from

underrepresented groups.

These committees’ efforts resulted in several changes to hiring practices for

the University. For example, the University became a member of the Michigan

Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (MiHERC) in 2008. This affiliation

provides unlimited employment advertising for national, regional, and state

higher education markets. Additional follow-up steps were taken in May 2010

with the development of a university-wide task force charged to continue these

efforts and enhance and assist efforts across the University.

Diversity reflected in the teaching and learning practices

In addition to the more traditional definitions of “diversity” representing cultural

differences, diversity is also reflected at Ferris in university-wide awareness of

effective teaching and learning practices that meet the needs of all students

and all learning styles. Criterion Three and Four describe and discuss many of

these practices and approaches in detail.

Perceptions of diversity at Ferris

Administration, faculty, and staff perceptions

Several questions from the Criterion One Perceptions Survey addressed

issues specifically related to diversity issues at Ferris. The following table

summarizes results from three key questions.

Core Component 1B page 19


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

NSSE results

Additional discussion of

the NSSE results is

contained in various

locations throughout this

report, where applicable.

TABLE C1.10: PERCEPTIONS OF DIVERSITY AT FERRIS

QUESTION ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

possible n possible n possible n

=492

=869

=683

n = number of valid responses to Q. n % * n % * n % *

In general, Ferris supports diversity in

the workplace

101 95.0 186 88.7 155 82.6

Ferris is committed to enhancing

diversity on campus

Ferris provides a safe environment for

100 94.0 186 90.9 153 88.9

the free and open expression of

ideas, opinions, and beliefs

101 88.1 186 76.3 156 75.0

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree,

agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

Ferris State University continues toward its vision of maintaining more diverse

populations and a culture of inclusion. Overall, the results of the Criterion One

Perception Survey indicate a positive and strong awareness of Ferris

commitment to enhancing the diversity within the University. Of the 442

respondents to the question, “Ferris supports diversity in the workplace,”

88.8% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

The Ferris community also believes that the University is “committed to

enhancing diversity” within the University, with 91.3% of the 439 respondents

indicating agreement or strong agreement with the question. And 79.8% of the

443 respondents feel that Ferris provides a “safe environment for the free and

open expression of ideas, opinions, and beliefs.”

Student perceptions of diversity

As reflected earlier in this chapter, the Diversity Climate Survey provided the

University with important information about Ferris students’ prior experiences

with, and awareness of, diverse environments and perspectives. In addition to

these data, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), conducted

bi-annually at Ferris, includes questions assessing students’ engagement and

participation in “diversity experiences,” such as holding “serious conversations

with students of a different race or ethnicity than your own,” and “serious

conversations with students who are very different from you in terms of their

religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values.”

NSSE data from 2010 indicate that, on these Enriching Educational

Experience (EEE) items, Ferris seniors were less engaged than their selected

class peers in diversity conversations and experiences. In response to these

two diversity experience questions, combined “often” and “very often” results

for Ferris seniors were 39% and 48% compared to the Selected Peers results

of 49% and 52%. These 2010 results reflect similar results seen in previous

Ferris NSSE data; for example, the 2008 results on the same questions were

39% Ferris Seniors compared with 50% Selected Peers and 45% Ferris

Seniors compared with 53% Selected Peers. These results, combined with

other University indicators, have been central in driving the ongoing work of

the DIO.

page 20 Core Component 1B


Perceptions from Criterion One listening sessions

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

The 2009 listening sessions included discussion of diversity activities and

community “belonging.” The physical plant group provided several positive

comments about the numerous multicultural activities, the dominant sense of

community among employees and between students and staff, and even the

attractive signs that emphasize the University’s diversity.

Student government representatives noted that students appreciate the many

activities sponsored by the DIO and would like to become more involved in

planning and participating in similar activities and events.

Conclusion to Core Component 1B

Ferris State University desires to be a truly diverse institution by providing a

University community that is supportive, safe, and welcoming, and by

embracing a diversity of ideas, beliefs, and cultures. Over the past ten years,

Ferris has made significant strides in supporting diversity in its faculty,

administration, staff, and student populations. Initiatives, such as the

establishment of the Diversity and Inclusion Office, have brought greater focus

to this commitment. With the ongoing efforts and the commitment and

guidance of the DIO, continuing improvements are expected. As a community,

Ferris’ commitment to be an open and diverse environment appears to be

without question.

Core Component 1B page 21


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Core Component 1C

Does an understanding of and support for the mission pervade the organization?

See Criterion Two, Core

Component 2B for

additional discussion of

Summer University

Planning guidelines and

templates:

Planning documents

Support for the mission pervades University strategic planning

As stated in the previous sections, the adoption of the revised Mission

Statement, Vision Statement, and Core Values by the University community,

Academic Senate, Strategic Planning and Resource Council (SPARC),

President’s Council, and Ferris State University Board of Trustees in March of

2008 represents strong support and acceptance of these. The process leading

to the approval of the current mission, vision, and core values by all key

stakeholders occurred over the course of a year and involved both internal and

external communities in the highly inclusive process.

A president-appointed Commission for the Future, comprised of a diverse group

of business leaders, key administrators, and SPARC representatives, was also

invited to engage in discussions about the future of the University and to react

to the mission and vision statements. Conversations with these stakeholder

groups ensued through January 2008, culminating with SPARC’s approval of

the mission and vision statements on January 25. Their work over the ensuing

months transitioned into the refinement of University goals and initiatives, which

the University community had the opportunity to respond to during Summer

University 2008 and at other venues. Since this time, discussions continue

across the University to implement and complete the goals and initiatives.

Coinciding with these constituent-based meetings that actively engaged

hundreds of people, the president formed an Annualized Planning Task Force.

The president gave this task force, led by the SPARC chair, the charge to

develop a more effective, valuable, process-driven, and accessible planning

process. The task force’s actions included the creation of revised planning

templates and a timeline for Strategic Alignment Planning and Unit Level

Planning. Deans and department heads provided feedback and revisions to the

template drafts in order to produce a template that would better meet their

needs.

In November 2008, a draft of the instructions, guidelines, and templates for

planning were distributed to SPARC members, followed by the circulation of

these materials to University’s vice presidents for implementation. One key

recommendation from the task force is that unit planning should align more

clearly with the mission of the institution. This means that goals, action steps for

achieving those goals, and funding requests should clearly align with the

University Strategic Plan and Mission. The Annualized Planning Process also

encouraged all divisions and colleges the opportunity to review and revise their

mission statements or statements of purpose, values, and vision statements in

response to the University Strategic Plan.

According to the Planning Task Force chair, the new process has created a

more formalized structure to align planning with the University Strategic Plan,

facilitated more long-term planning, identified action steps leading to specific

goals, fostered a greater degree of responsibility and accountability, and

resulted in a better system for evaluating the progress that units make in

meeting their plans.

page 22 Core Component 1C


Minutes from the listening

sessions:

SS Listening Sessions

See Criterion Two, Core

Component 2C, for

additional discussion of

academic program

assessment

Support for the mission across the organization

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

At the beginning of the 2009 Spring Semester, as part of the continuing

accreditation self-study process, the Academic Affairs division, with active

participation of the Self-Study Steering Committee, initiated a series of

university listening sessions that uncovered some recommendations for making

the mission statement more publicly visible. On January 8, 2009, all Ferris

custodial employees were invited to attend a listening session to share their

views. Thirty-five individuals attended the session and offered their observations

on both the strengths and opportunities for improvement related to each of the

accreditation criteria. One of the suggested areas for improvement included

providing more clarity and visibility of the mission statement for all employee

groups as well as visitors.

A similar listening session was conducted with representatives from the Student

Government Association on January 20, 2009. Student participants believe the

mission statement is adequately visible across the University and on the Ferris

website homepage and that is clearly understood by most. They did suggest,

however, that it be included in course syllabi for all colleges.

Support for the mission enhances teaching and learning

Further evidence of support for the University’s mission is demonstrated in the

work of the Academic Senate’s Academic Program Review (APR) process that

has been in place since 1988. Identifying a clear program mission and defining a

clear relationship to the University’s mission are among the seven APR goals

and key categories of data analysis:

• Assist programs in identification, evaluation, and assessment of their

mission and goals

• Assist programs in determination of their relationship to the Mission of

Ferris State University

The coordinated efforts of faculty and administration in the APR process produce

benefits for all stakeholders of the University community. Students benefit from

the instructional and facility improvements that degree programs make as a

result of the information from the review process. This information also enables

faculty to make the kind of necessary curricular changes that keep the degree

programs current and rigorous.

Support for the mission enhances scholarship, research, and

university dialogue

The widespread understanding and acceptance of the University’s mission and

core values is evident across university policies and procedures. From program

review, faculty evaluation, and support for professional development and faculty

research, to university-wide diversity, planning, and budgeting initiatives, the

University mission provides underlying guidance for all decisions. Each of these

processes and procedures is discussed in detail elsewhere in this report, with

additional description of the centrality of the mission.

Core Component 1C page 23


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Perceptions of support for the mission

Several questions from the Criterion One Perceptions Survey addressed issues

related to the University’s mission and the structures and processes that support

its ability to fulfill this mission. This table summarizes results from four questions.

TABLE C1.11: PERCEPTIONS OF SUPPORT FOR UNIVERSITY MISSION

QUESTION ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

possible n possible n possible n

=492

=869

=683

n = number of valid responses to Q. n % * n % * n % *

The board supports the mission and

core values of Ferris

84 92.9 136 86.8 110 91.8

The faculty understand the mission

and core values of Ferris

85 70.6 171 77.2 104 76.0

The staff understand the mission and

core values of Ferris

93 73.1 146 76.7 127 74.8

The students understand the mission

and core values of Ferris

88 58.0 149 59.1 100 62.0

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree, agree,

disagree, strongly disagree).

The survey data reflect the University’s view that Ferris’ Board of Trustees

supports the mission and core values in their activities and decision-making. Of

the 330 respondents providing valid responses, 90.5% agreed or strongly agreed

that the Board supports the mission.

In gauging their peers’ understanding of the mission and core values, 77.2% of

faculty responding to the question strongly agree or agree that their colleagues

understand the mission and core values. A majority (76.0%) of the staff

respondents credit the faculty for having a strong understanding of the mission

and core values, while only 70.6% of the administration respondents agreed or

strongly agreed with this statement. All three groups share an uncertainty that

students understand the mission and core values, with only 59.7% of the total

337 respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement.

The survey data and listening session results indicate that, overall, the University

has improved efforts to communicate its mission clearly and that the community

is recognizing the importance of the mission, vision, and values as foundational

to decision making.

Conclusion to Core Component 1C

Over the past five years, the University’s mission and core values have benefited

from intense scrutiny and discussion. While it is important that the wording of

these statements has been examined in careful detail and revised using the

contributions and ideas of the entire University community, even more important

is the fact that the revision process has led to increased visibility and increased

transparency of the processes that must rely on a clear organizational mission.

With the University’s mission and core values positioned in central locations and

in every day practices and procedures, all members are encouraged to reflect on

their significance. While the revision process may have been completed in 2008,

the process of applying the mission across the University and communicating it

across constituencies continues.

page 24 Core Component 1C


Core Component 1D

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Do the organization’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support

collaborative processes that enable the organization to fulfill its mission?

Organizational charts for

all University divisions:

Fact Book, pgs 85-107.

Organizational Charts

Institutional governance

Having a clearly accepted and communicated mission statement is essential for

organizational planning and long-term development. Not only does Ferris have

appropriate organizational structures and policies in place to provide guidance

for effective institutional governance, but these governance policies and

procedures are also clearly supported by the mission. The Mission Statement is

embedded in Board of Trustees Policy Part 1 Subpart 1-1, and is reiterated in

Part 3, Subpart 3-1.

University structure

Ferris State University has a traditional university structure, with five major

divisions: academic affairs; administration and finance; university advancement

and marketing; governmental relations and general counsel; and student affairs.

The academic affairs division is led by the University provost, a position

established in 2009. The remaining four divisions are each led by a vice

president who reports directly to the University president. In addition, the vice

president for diversity and inclusion and the director of the office of budgetary

planning and analysis also report directly to the president.

The divisions of student affairs as well as administration and finance are also led

by associate and/or assistant vice president(s) who report directly to the vice

president. The division of academic affairs is also led by two associate provosts,

and the deans of nine colleges and FLITE who report directly to the provost/vice

president.

As noted above, in 2009, the administrative structure of the academic affairs

division was amended with the title change from associate vice presidents to

associate provosts to better align with the provost/vpaa title change. In addition,

the Omnibus Resolution of November 20, 1998, defining the relationship

between Ferris State University and Kendall College of Art and Design, was

rescinded and replaced with a new Resolution.

The original 1998 resolution provided for an organizational structure allowing for

the local administration of certain academic, financial, student affairs, and

advancement and marketing functions of the FSU-GR campus subject to the

continuing authority of the Ferris president and Board of Trustees. Because of

significant reorganization and merging of responsibilities of FSU-GR and the

University Center for Extended Learning (UCEL) into the College of Professional

and Technological Studies (CPTS), a new resolution was drafted in 2008 to

reflect the reporting structure for Kendall and CPTS. According to the revised

resolution, CPTS and Kendall were established as separate reporting entities,

with the dean of CPTS reporting to the provost on academic issues and the

president of Kendall reporting to the Ferris president.

Core Component 1D page 25


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

The full Board policy:

Kendall Resolution

Kendall organizational

chart: Ferris Fact Book:

Kendall org. chart

For progress and action

plans, see the Strategic

Planning website:

Strategic Plan: progress

For additional information

about the Senate,

including a complete list

of the Academic Senate

committees, see the

Senate website:

Academic Senate

The revised resolution delegates authority to develop, implement, and change

courses of study, curricula, policies and procedures, as well as purchasing,

administration, and finance policies and procedures to the president of Kendall,

subject to the continuing authority of the Ferris president and Board of Trustees.

The resolution also replaced the original vice chancellor titles with those of vice

president.

Kendall’s administrative structure

The administrative structure of Kendall College of Art and Design reflects the

needs of the College’s semi-autonomous status. Led by the Kendall president,

the College is organized into 14 programs, each led by a program chair. Kendall

also has nine directors (administration and finance; physical plant; gallery;

information systems; graphic design; enrollment management; career services;

continuing studies; and library) as well as a college counselor and registrar who

report directly to the college president. Kendall’s vice president reports directly to

the college president and is responsible for Kendall’s division of administration

and finance.

College and division governance

Within each of the academic colleges, departments and/or offices are led by

department heads (administrative position) or department chairs (faculty

position). Over the years, the University has shifted toward department head (vs.

chair) positions, as administrative personnel are able to complete functions that

cannot be handled by faculty within a collective bargaining environment, such as

faculty evaluation. Across the colleges, a strong participative management

process is supported by an active committee structure with elected membership,

in some colleges, and well-defined roles and responsibilities.

The participative management process, while encouraging involvement at all

levels of the University, also results in a multitude of committees, often with

overlapping charges or unclear reporting structure. SPARC recently addressed

this issue by proposing a planning initiative to the sixth University goal:

TABLE C1.12: UNIVERSITY PLANNING INITIATIVE, FALL 2010

Goal 6 Foster innovation and improve processes to move the University forward

Initiative 3

Review and enhance committees, committee structure, reports, and

procedures. Initiate Fall 2010

Governance and advisory bodies

Academic Senate

The Ferris State University Academic Senate serves as the legislative body of

the faculty and as the official representative of the faculty to the president and

the Board of Trustees on matters relating to academic policies and programs.

The Senate’s membership is elected to two-year terms and represents the nine

academic colleges, as well as the counselors/librarians, and part-time faculty.

The Senate is led by a six-member executive committee and also supervises the

work of seventeen university-wide faculty committees, including the Academic

Program Review Committee (APRC), Distinguished Teacher Award Committee,

page 26 Core Component 1D


See Criterion Four, Core

Component 4C for

additional discussion of

the APR process.

See Criterion Three, Core

Component 3A for

additional discussion of

the UCC process.

UGPC information:

Grad Council

SPARC meeting minutes:

SPARC

Deans’ Council meeting

minutes:

Deans' Council

Academic Leadership

Council meeting minutes:

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

University Curriculum Committee (UCC), and the University Graduate and

Professional Council.

One of the standing Senate committees is the Academic Program Review

Council (APRC). APRC is responsible for directing and monitoring the Academic

Program Review (APR) process. APR functions effectively through the

collaboration of faculty and administration. On a seven-year cycle, faculty-led

teams conduct a study of academic programs, certificates, and minors. The

teams’ reports are submitted to and reviewed by the all-faculty APRC. APRC

presents its recommendations to the Academic Senate, which then forwards

them to the provost/vpaa, the University president, and Board of Trustees for

action.

Another standing committee is the University Curriculum Committee (UCC),

which is responsible for reviewing all curricular development, revisions, and

closures. UCC’s recommendations in all curricular matters are provided to the

Provost’s Office for consideration and response.

The University Graduate and Professional Council (UGPC) is taking on

increasing importance as the University is moving toward offering more graduate

degrees, including the recently approved doctorate in Community College

Leadership. UGPC has provided significant input to the curriculum development

process and is working directly with program directors to craft appropriate

policies and standards.

SPARC

The membership of the Strategic Planning and Resource Council (SPARC) was

appointed by the University president and consists of the president, vice

presidents, and representatives from across the University, including

administration, faculty, staff, and students. With the leadership of a long-time

faculty member, the guidance of an external consultant, and the appointment of

several work groups, SPARC facilitated the crafting of the new mission, vision,

and values statements as well as establishing the strategic initiatives for the

University.

Kendall Senate

Through recommendations to the college’s president, Kendall’s College Senate

maintains the integrity of the college’s undergraduate and graduate curriculum,

the college’s academic policies, and its academic procedures, which are vested

in the faculty and are the primary responsibility of the faculty.

Deans’ Council

The Deans’ Council is an administrative council comprised of the deans of the

nine academic colleges, the dean of FLITE, the associate provosts of academic

affairs, and is led by the provost/vpaa. This committee meets at least twice a

month and provides advice and feedback to the provost/vpaa on curricular and

academic matters as well as engaging in topics relevant to the academic

purposes of the university, including recruitment, grade processes, assessment,

and academic planning.

Academic Leadership Council

The Academic Leadership Council (formerly: Chairs’ Council) The Academic

Core Component 1D page 27


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

AL Council Leadership Council is an academic affairs work group consisting of assistant and

associate deans and academic administrative department heads and faculty

chairs. This council meets monthly and advises the provost/vpaa and the Deans’

Council on operational considerations within the academic enterprise. The

Academic Leadership Council is a newer entity (about three years, replacing the

Deans/Department Heads group) and its activity has served to enhance

communications across colleges and to promote collaboration. Agenda items

may be brought from any members or suggested by the Provost’s Office.

Charter Schools Office

website: CSO

Leadership Council

meeting notes:

Leadership Council

President’s Council

meeting minutes:

President's Council

FIGURE C1.2: FERRIS’ PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL

Charter Schools Office (CSO)

Ferris State University holds oversight authority for 18 charter schools across the

state of Michigan. Ferris’ first charter school was first begun in 1997. As an

authorizing body, Ferris provides oversight through its Charter Schools Office

(CSO). The CSO is responsible for monitoring compliance in accordance with

the terms and conditions of the Contract, all applicable state and federal law, and

assists the academies in all aspects of their operations, planning, and

development. The CSO’s board, consisting of four field representatives, reports

to Ferris’ associate provost.

Leadership Council

The Leadership Council consists of the University president, vice presidents,

union presidents, president of the Academic Senate, and the president of the

Student Government. The council meets two-three times per semester to share

important information and provide updates concerning their areas and members.

President’s Council

The President’s Council consists of the University president, the provost, the vice

presidents, and the president of Kendall. The President’s Council is advisory to

the president, generally meets twice each month, and is responsible for making

strategic decisions and providing oversight of operations for the University. The

president convenes this group, and his executive assistant produces the meeting

summaries. The organizational chart below depicts the top tier of the University’s

administrative structure.

page 28 Core Component 1D


Board of Trustees

policies:

Board policies

For a list of trustees, see

Board members

Guidelines for an

Improved Faculty-

Administration

Relationship:

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Board of Trustees

Members of Ferris’ Board of Trustees serve eight-year staggered terms, as

appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate.

Several Board of Trustees policies outline the responsibilities of the governance

structures, processes, and activities. Sec. 2-105 outlines the Duties of the Board

of Trustees:

The Board shall have general control, supervision, and management of the

University and control and direction of all expenditures from the funds of the

University

Board Policy 3-201 further defines the Board’s responsibility for academic

programming. Section 3-202 specifies the matters delegated to the president or

his/her designees, and 3-204 and 3-205 delineates responsibilities of the

president, provost/vpaa, college deans, and Academic Senate for curricular

matters.

Board of Trustees Policies Subpart 3-3 delineates responsibilities for Admissions

Policy, and 3-5 explains the role of the Academic Senate. The University’s

organization charts found in the University Fact Book further delineate

administrative and governance functions of the institution. Early in 2011,

following the 2010 gubernatorial election, Michigan’s new governor appointed

two new board members to replace two trustees whose terms had expired.

Following their confirmation by the legislature, the new trustees’ terms will run

through December 31, 2018.

Although governed by Ferris’ Board of Trustees, as an accredited college of Art

and Design, Kendall retains a separate foundation board whose mission is “to

generate and receive contributions of property of any kind, both real and

personal, and to administer such a property exclusively for charitable, scientific,

literary, or educational purposes by making contributions and providing financial

support to Kendall.”

Communication practices

The University values effective communication structures. For example, the

recent strategic planning process involved constituencies from throughout the

University to arrive at the current mission, vision, and values statements. The

committees were broad-based, with all divisions of the University represented,

and meetings were open and announced well in advance. The University used

the University-Wide Notices (UWN) system to disseminate meeting notices, as

well as personal appeals, presentations to groups, such as the Administrative

Leadership and Chairs’ Councils, and Presidential Memoranda to the University

community to encourage participation. These practices have continued with

other important University issues such as budget updates and discussions.

Ferris has a history of contentious relationships between the administration and

the various bargaining units, especially the Ferris Faculty Association. In recent

years, the University administration and bargaining unit leaders demonstrated a

willingness to improve upon communication and to build better relationships. The

administration led these efforts by retaining outside consultants to provide

training and to serve as intermediaries in a relationship-building process. The

process led to open meetings, relationship plans, and changes in approaches to

Core Component 1D page 29


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Guidelines: Fac-Admin collective bargaining. The outline of the process and agreement is contained in

the document “Guidelines for an Improved Faculty-Administration Relationship”

dated August 8, 2008. In addition, minutes from all negotiation meetings were

posted on the Ferris intranet to increase transparency and visibility. Among the

goals included in the agreement was early settlement of the contract. Although

the current faculty contract was approved in late 2010, by the time the existing

contract expired in June 2010, the improved working relationship and negotiation

process was challenged. Both sides acknowledge that the process continues to

need improvement.

Minutes of the President’s Council, Deans’ Council, Academic Leadership

Council, and Academic Senate are typically posted either on the website or

available on the University intranet (links to each are provided earlier in this

chapter). Each of the division and administrative units also post their meeting

summaries or minutes on their area’s website. In addition, Kendall follows the

same communication practices by publishing the agendas and minutes of

College Senate. The work of these administrative and governance committees is

open and transparent.

The administrative and governance policies and practices of the University

clearly promote effective leadership practices and support collaborative

processes that enable the University to fulfill its mission, to assess the policies

and practices, and to improve its efforts in these directions.

Perceptions of governance issues

The Criterion One Perceptions Survey included several questions related to the

University’s governance structure and communication processes. The table

below summarizes results of four key questions from this section of the survey.

TABLE C1.13: PERCEPTIONS OF UNIVERSITY’S GOVERNANCE

QUESTION ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

possible n possible n possible n

=492

=869

=683

n = number of valid responses to Q. n % * n % * n % *

Faculty and other academic leaders

share responsibility for the curriculum

The board enables the chief

95 89.5 177 91.0 120 87.5

administrative personnel to exercise

effective leadership

87 87.4 139 74.1 114 79.8

Effective communication facilitates

governance processes and activities

Ferris’ planning and budgeting

96 75.0 177 76.3 134 73.9

priorities flow from and support the

mission

89 65.2 149 64.4 111 67.6

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree, agree,

disagree, strongly disagree).

Overall, governance issues received moderate agreement ratings on the

Perceptions Survey. Of the questions that dealt with governance and

responsibility, the question receiving the highest agreement rating asked

respondents if “faculty and other academic leaders share responsibility for the

curriculum.” Of the 392 respondents to this question, approximately 90% agreed

or strongly agreed with the statement.

page 30 Core Component 1D


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

The remaining questions related to governance and communication of

governance processes:

• 80.4% of the 340 total respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “the

board enables the chief administrative personnel to exercise effective

leadership.”

• 75.1% of 407 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “effective

communication facilitates governance processes and activities.”

Another question from this section, “Ferris’ planning and budgeting priorities flow

from and support the mission,” received a lower 65.7% agreement from the

respondents. The responses to this question may reflect, in part, a frustration

many across the University are feeling. As budgets are being driven increasingly

by economic realities in the state and nation, many feel that it has become

increasingly difficult to keep the University’s mission at the center of planning

and budgeting priorities. Many of the written comments, as these samples

indicate, reflect these concerns:

I would like to see more done to instill the importance of using the

University’s mission and core values to guide decision making and planning

at the college and department levels.

A large number of ‘interim’ administrators limits the… administrative team.

While they may do a good job as interim leaders, the large number ultimately

contributes to a sense of instability in the long-term implementation of the

University’s mission.

The mission and values are still pretty fresh, so they are just beginning to

find their way into the day-to-day planning and decision-making processes. I

do think we are making progress. I would like to take the survey again in

three years.”

Perceptions from Criterion One listening sessions

A comment that was voiced in multiple listening sessions supported and

applauded the president’s practice of encouraging personal contact and

information from individuals, including meeting regularly with smaller groups

across the University, the regular budget forums, and the “email the president”

and “President’s Suggestion Box” links on the President’s Office website.

Summary of perceptions data

The Criterion One committee feels that, while governance is generally seen as a

strength, the complexity of its many structures also contribute to some

communication challenges, as there is occasional lack of clarity about which

groups should be involved in different projects, resulting in both occasional gaps

and overlaps. The level of agreement captured by the Criterion One Perceptions

Survey, however, reinforced the perception held by the Criterion One committee

that communication practices between and among our governance bodies has

improved significantly over the past ten years and continues to improve as all

groups are encouraged to make their activities and practices visible and

publicized across the University and recorded on publicly-accessible websites.

Core Component 1D page 31


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Conclusion to Core Component 1D

As this section has discussed, the many governance entities are both a strength

and a limitation, with several often overlapping groups involved in University

decision making, and with an occasional lack of clarity about which of these

groups has responsibility. Nevertheless, the University’s long history and

practice of participative management and governance continues to reinforce this

structure. One clear strength of this approach is that there is great opportunity for

all interested stakeholders to participate in the governance of the University. The

challenge, however, is maintaining a workable balance between an open,

transparent participatory process and a clear delineation of tasks and

responsibilities.

page 32 Core Component 1D


Core Component 1E

Does the organization uphold and protect its integrity?

Ferris Fact Book

See Chapter Three for

description of the Alumni

Survey methodology.

Complete results are

available on the selfstudy

website,

SS surveys

See Criterion Four for

discussion of internship

requirements and

advisory boards (Core

Component 4A).

Internships and advisory

board percentages taken

from TracDat, fall 2010.

For a summary of the

CSS findings, see “Ferris

State University-Report

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

The activities of the organization are congruent with its mission

Since its founding in 1884, Ferris has prepared students for successful careers.

The strength and consistency of Ferris’ mission has provided the foundation of

the University’s integrity as an academic institution, guiding the community’s

adherence to high principles and professional standards. While the mission of

the University has been updated throughout the years, the basic underlying tenet

has remained the same: preparing students for successful careers, responsible

citizenship, and lifelong learning.

Preparation for successful careers

The alignment of the University’s activities with the mission is documented in the

breadth of career degree offerings, the significant addition of facilities to support

these career programs, and the resulting 97% placement rate for graduates.

Additional measures of this alignment were the responses to the Alumni Survey.

The survey asked respondents to assess the preparation provided by their

earned Ferris degree, using the components of the University mission statement.

The table below indicates the strong positive responses – and the clear

alignment between Ferris degrees and graduate preparation.

TABLE C1.14: ALUMNI PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR PREPARATION AS ALIGNED WITH THE

UNIVERSITY MISSION

% AGREE AND

MY DEGREE PREPARED ME:

STRONGLY AGREE

• for a successful career 86.2

• for responsible citizenship 91.5

• for lifelong learning 91.9

• for a changing global economy and society 72.2

• to think critically, problem solve, and engage in inquiry 94.6

• to appreciate diversity 81.5

MY DEGREE:

• encouraged me to provide service to others 85.7

I RECEIVED:

• a career-oriented education 85.3

• a broad-based education 87.4

Over 70% of Ferris programs require an internship, which further helps students

prepare for a successful career in their chosen field, as well as providing

valuable networks for future employment opportunities. Lastly, most programs

(more than 108) have advisory boards that include industry representatives so

that program curricula stay current with industry needs. Ferris’ assessment

database, TracDat, includes a list of all programs that require internships and

that have active advisory boards.

In November 2008, Community Counseling Service (CSS) conducted a

feasibility study exploring fundraising options at the request of UAM. This study

of 104 faculty, trustees, foundation board members, alumni, staff, and

administration found that the strengths of Ferris most often mentioned were

Core Component 1E page 33


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Presentation.ppt”

available from the UAM.

See Criterion Four, Core

Component 4C, and

Criterion Five, Core

Component 5D for more

discussion of the Political

Engagement Project.

Business Policy Letters

hands-on education, unique programs, job placement, and faculty/student

relationships. These perceived strengths of hands-on education and successful

job placements are indicators that Ferris’ goals and objectives are clearly in line

with its mission for preparing students for successful careers.

Responsible citizenship

Ferris offers a unique opportunity for creating responsible citizenship by creating

a population of politically engaged college graduates. Our primary charge is to

inculcate the ideas of a politically engaged populace throughout the curriculum,

in a manner that creates in students a sense of “having a stake” in the political

institutions of the society. This pedagogy is included in many non-traditional,

non-classroom areas and beyond the expectations of General Education course

requirements. The Political Engagement project, for example, has been part of

many courses for several years.

In addition, Ferris students are outstanding in their involvement in community

volunteer work, such as the annual “Big Event,” when almost 700 students

volunteered to help at 100 local homes; the yearly student fundraising efforts for

United Way; the optometry clinic run by student volunteers in Baldwin; the

HVACR yearly free furnace repair in the Big Rapids community; and many other

outreach efforts by students.

Lifelong Learning

The Criterion Four chapter discusses the many ways that Ferris prepares its

students for a life of continuing personal and professional development. Not only

does Ferris provide an atmosphere that encourages lifelong learning, but the

University is also a state-wide leader in offering opportunities for lifelong learning

in over 19 locations throughout the state. The Ferris state-wide system brings

educational opportunities to place-bound working adults and retirees, and our

online courses reach students both in-state and beyond Michigan’s borders.

Fair and honest operations procedures

As discussed in the previous section, the University operates under a clear set of

Board of Trustees policies and procedures that govern most aspects of the

University’s operations, from admissions policies to policies governing the

appropriate use of funds. Many of the University’s procedures are in place to

ensure that Ferris operates honestly. Contracts must be subjected to legal

review and/or risk management review, and all purchases require more than one

level of review and approval. Policies also exist regarding the level of approval

entrusted to different levels in the purchasing policies as well as when bids are

required.

To supplement the board policies, the Administration and Finance division also

has policies and procedures in place to ensure the appropriate use of Ferris

funds (see Business Policy Letters). To further ensure compliance, Ferris

contracts annually with external auditors to review the University’s financial

procedures, as well as the financial documents of the institution to ensure that

Ferris employees are adhering to all policies. In addition, Ferris has an office of

Budgetary Planning and Analysis as a part of the Executive Division, which has

responsibilities for the central coordination of budgeting, as well as all reporting

on state and federally mandated information.

page 34 Core Component 1E


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

University policies As part of the University’s effort to increase transparency about operations and

policies, a website was designed to provide access to a wide range of University

policies. These include Board of Trustees Policies, Business Policies, Human

Resources Policies and Procedures, Academic Affairs Policy Letters, Student

Affairs Policies, and miscellaneous policies that cover everything from graphic

standards to parking rules and regulations. The site also provides access to

policies that are currently under consideration and a feedback option allowing

community members to provide comments and suggestions.

Student Handbook

Acad. Affairs policies

Disabilities Services

DIO

Student Conduct

Fair treatment of internal constituencies

Ferris adheres to many policies and procedures that ensure the fair treatment of

students and employees.

Students

The “Code of Student Community Standards” (the student handbook) details a

student’s rights and responsibilities as a member of the Ferris community. In

addition, many policies govern student rights, such as grade change appeal

policy, repeating of course policy, and requirements for an incomplete grade

policy. These policies are in place to ensure that students know their rights and

are treated equitably.

Several offices within the University community, in addition to providing key

student services, are in place to ensure that all students know their rights and

responsibilities and are treated fairly by the organization:

• The Disabilities Services Office ensures that consideration is given to

equitable treatment for students with disabilities. This office provides

students with adaptive technology and other services to ensure they can

access the same high quality education as their peers.

• The Diversity and Inclusion Office meets the needs of the University’s

diverse student population through educational programming and

advocacy.

• The Office of Student Conduct helps “educate students about their rights

and responsibilities as community members.” The website for the office

maintains several resources for students, parents, and faculty on student

conduct issues.

Kendall: Student Hndbk Kendall, too, complies with and follows the University’s procedures and

standards for fair treatment of students. Kendall’s student handbook is available

from the University website.

Human Resources

policies and procedures:

HR Policies

Employees: Administration, faculty, and staff

The University has many policies and procedures to ensure equitable dealings

with its employees. These include procedures such as the employee dignity

policy; nepotism and favoritism policy; and the consensual relationship policy. In

addition, all University employees are responsible for understanding their rights

and responsibilities through the various academic and administrative policies

found on the web, and through the policies found on the Human Resources

webpage. All personnel policies are covered under Part 6 of the Board of

Trustees’ policies.

Core Component 1E page 35


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

For copies of the current

contracts, bargaining unit

members, and current

activities, see the

Governmental

Relations/Labor

Relations website:

Bargaining Unit contracts

Administration

Under Part 6 (Section 6-110) of the Board of Trustees’ Policies, “All

administrative employees and other employees who are not designated as ‘just

cause’ under Sec. 6-110(2) of Board policy or collective bargaining agreements

are employed with the University on an ‘at will’ basis.” At Ferris, while the “at will”

policy means that both the employee and the University may terminate his/her

employment “at any time with or without notice, and with or without reason,” for

employees who have completed their probationary period, the University has

committed to providing each with a year’s notice or a year’s pay, depending

upon individual circumstances. This provision within the University’s policies is

rarely exercised, but employees appreciate the University’s commitment to

continuing pay, even in these circumstances, for its administrative personnel.

Collective bargaining agreements

In addition to the policies described below, Ferris is also governed by six

separate collective bargaining agreements that ensure equitable treatment of

their members:

• AFSCME Local 1609-Custodial, Maintenance, Dining, Skilled Trades

• Clerical-Technical Association (MEA-NEA) CTA

Ferris Faculty Association (MEA-NEA)

• The Kendall Faculty Association (KFA) (in agreement with the Kendall

College of Art and Design of FSU)

• Michigan Faculty Association (MFA)

• Teamsters Local 214 – Registered Nurses

• Police Officers Labor Council – Public Safety Officers (POLI I)

• Police Officers Labor Council – Public Safety Supervisors (POLI II)

• American Federation of Teachers (negotiations in process, Jan. 2011)

The University also maintains ongoing contract maintenance sessions as part of

its continuing efforts for honest and open relationships with the various

bargaining units. For example, the FFA president and grievance officer meet

monthly, or more often if needed, with the provost/vpaa and a representative

from the General Counsel/Labor Relations office to discuss any contract items or

emerging issues.

Faculty

The rights and responsibilities of Ferris faculty are detailed in the collective

bargaining agreement referenced above and reflected in the Human Resources

personnel policies. The Ferris Faculty Association (FFA), which represents

faculty in all bargaining efforts, has structures and processes that allow it to

ensure the integrity of its co-curricular and auxiliary activities.

The current bargaining unit contract provides a process for effective definition

and awarding of promotion and merit increases based on a balanced peer and

administrative evaluation. In addition, the contract stipulates fair and regular

performance evaluation of all bargaining unit members, describes processes and

policies covering potential misconduct issues, and provides a prompt and

efficient procedure for investigating and resolving grievances.

page 36 Core Component 1E


Fair treatment of external constituents

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Many of the policies and procedures that protect the rights and outline the

responsibilities of internal constituents also protect the rights and responsibilities

of external constituents. Board of Trustees policies and University business

policy letters define the University’s fair and consistent behavior with external

constituents in such areas as contracts and grants; legal review and risk

management; purchasing policies, use, rental or leasing of University facilities;

investments; banking and cash management; as well as disposal of University

property and possessions.

The University is a member of the Big Rapids Chamber of Commerce with the

Alumni Director formerly serving as Chamber president. UAM staff members

serve as primary liaisons with the Chamber, by attending and supporting

meetings and special events, as well as with the Downtown Business

Association in an effort to further enhance town/gown relations. Outside of Big

Rapids, the University president visits communities throughout Michigan and

makes presentations at Rotary Clubs; participates in business roundtables and

task forces; meets with community college partners and legislators; engages

with print, television, and radio media; and connects with association leaders.

The goals of this initiative have been to learn what is on the mind of business

and industry leaders in terms of reanimating the Michigan economy; to articulate

Ferris’ heritage, active mission, and differentiating features; and to determine

areas of possible partnership involving various enterprises around Michigan.

Accurate and honest representation of the institution

As discussed earlier in this chapter, marketing materials such as the Ferris

website and recruiting materials are aligned with the University’s mission, and all

point to the career-oriented philosophy of the organization. This use of a

consistent message throughout the organization ensures that faculty, staff, and

administrators are all focused on a similar mission, and that Ferris’ public image

is consistent with its internal message.

All of the University’s marketing and advertising materials are reviewed for

consistency of branding as defined by Ferris’ graphic standards and for inclusion

of content that is welcoming to diverse audiences. All information is based on

data collected for the Ferris Fact Book, which is updated yearly by the

Institutional Research and Testing office.

Timely response to complaints and grievances

The University is responsive to all employee and student complaints and applies

consistent policies and procedures to all issues, from informal complaints to

formal grievances.

Employee complaints and grievances

Employee grievances related to work issues are processed through the

employee’s bargaining unit, or processes identified for non-bargaining unit

employees follow established procedures and resolution processes. For faculty,

the Grievance Procedure is addressed in Section 9 of the CBA. In contrast,

Core Component 1E page 37


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Academic Affairs Policy

Letter:

Complaint Policy

Copies of the log are

available from the office

of Academic Affairs.

Student Handbook

The student complaint

log (Student Affairs’

division) is available in

the office of the vice

president for Student

Affairs.

HRPP 04:07 Corrective Action Guidelines addresses administrative personnel

policy and procedures. Clerical employees’ Grievance Procedure is addressed in

Article 9 of their CBA. Sometimes personal issues are involved, and the

University provides Employee Assistance programs, as addressed under Part 8

(Section 8-805) of Board Policy, to support these needs.

Student complaints related to academic issues

The University has always considered student complaints to be serious matters,

and, until recently, left the responsibility for developing and enforcing student

complaint policies to the individual colleges. It was not until the University was

engaged in this self-study process that it determined that the University would be

better served by an Academic Affairs division-level policy. Thus, as part of policy

coordination efforts, newly revised Academic Affairs policy and procedures were

developed and are (at the time of the publication of this self-study report) being

reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee of the Academic Senate. The

policy and procedures are expected to be accepted and endorsed by the full

Senate at its January 2011 meeting. The proposed policy provides that

complaints must be written (including email) and reach the level of the dean’s

office for the complaint to be recorded as part of the annual reporting maintained

by the Provost’s office. The new policy and procedures maintain the current

standard which states that the decision of the dean is final in resolving any

matters associated with the respective college.

Academic complaints that are initially presented to the provost or president’s

office are received and processed by an associate provost. The associate

provost will forward the complaint to the student’s college or to the appropriate

division/unit. Any complaints that initiate at the provost’s or president’s offices

are logged, including the resolution and follow-up actions. The details of this

process are contained within the Federal Compliance section of this report.

According to the Provost’s Office, special efforts have been made in the past two

years to ensure that all complaint processes are accessible to students in

prominent locations on the University’s website and that they are handled

consistently.

Student complaints related to non-academic issues

Several Board of Trustees and Human Resources policies relate to student

complaints of a non-academic nature. For example, affirmative action, smoking

policies in university facilities (including university living spaces), treatment of

communicable diseases, and confidentiality issues. Each of these policies

includes procedures for responding to, and resolving, complaints and concerns

in a fair and consistent way.

The Code of Student Community Standards contains an in-depth description of

the University’s Disciplinary Procedures, including students’ rights and

responsibilities, jurisdiction, conduct proceedings, and University policies. The

handbook also includes clear descriptions of the administrative and housing

policies and regulations that apply to students. Due process and timely response

are guaranteed in all procedures.

In most cases, the Office of Student Conduct is responsible for receiving and

processing complaints of student misconduct. The office collaborates with the

Student Leadership and Activities to process any complaint related to hazing and

student organizations. All complaints and their resolutions are clearly

documented. The Student Affairs division maintains a log of all complaints filed

page 38 Core Component 1E


Office of Student

Conduct:

Possible sanctions

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

by students, including all of the formal, signed, written complaints that come to

areas of responsibility within the division. Each year a summary of these

complaints is presented to division heads so they can investigate any complaint

patterns or trends. The complaint policy, form, and annual report are also posted

on the Student Affairs division website.

Through conversation and sanctions, the Office of Student Conduct ensures that

each student has the opportunity to consider the impact of their decisions. In

addition, students receive pertinent information regarding future consequences

so as to empower them to make positive, informed choices regarding their

behavior. Students are offered the opportunity to seek out those University

support services that will assist them in becoming positively re-invested in their

community. The office may implement a variety of educational sanctions in order

to help students be successful at Ferris. These may include the following:

• Official reprimand • Community Service

• Disciplinary probation • Mediation

• Suspension • Restitution

• Dismissal • Housing Transfer

• Program participation • Parental Notification

• AOD Online Education • Harm Reduction Program

• Counseling/Individual

Assessments

Perceptions of Ferris’ honesty and integrity

• Educational and Career

Counseling Referrals

Several questions from the Criterion One Perceptions Survey addressed issues

specifically related to the University’s fair and honest treatment of its internal and

external constituents as well as the integrity reflected in its structures and

processes. The following table summarizes results from four key questions from

this section.

TABLE C1.15: PERCEPTIONS OF FERRIS’ HONESTY AND INTEGRITY

QUESTION ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

possible n possible n possible n

=492

=869

=683

n = number of valid responses to Q. n % * n % * n % *

Ferris State’s strategic decisions are

mission-driven

95 73.7 158 71.5 123 77.2

The Board ensures that Ferris

operates with fiscal honesty

Ferris understands and abides by

86 89.5 136 75.0 110 85.5

local, state, and federal laws and

regulations

Ferris implements fair policies

93 96.8 142 89.4 134 93.3

regarding the rights and

responsibilities of faculty,

administrators, staff, and students

100 89.0 171 80.7 145 80.7

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree, agree,

disagree, strongly disagree).

Perceptions of fair and honest policies and decision-making

Overall, questions on the Criterion One Perceptions Survey that related to

Core Component 1E page 39


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Complete results of the

Diversity Climate Survey

are available on the DIO

website: Climate Survey

NSSE results

Preliminary results are

available, upon request,

from the Office of

Student Conduct.

honesty and integrity elicited consistently strong agree or strongly agree

responses. All four questions received agreement levels in excess of 74%.

Three of the survey questions, “The board ensures that Ferris operates with

fiscal honesty,” and “Ferris understands and abides by local, state, and federal

laws and regulations” received strong agreement from all three groups, receiving

83.3% and 93.2% agree and strongly agree responses. The question addressing

Ferris’ approach with internal constituents, “Ferris implements fair policies

regarding the rights and responsibilities of faculty, staff, and students” received

similar levels of agreement across all three groups of respondents, averaging

83.5% among the 416 respondents.

This consistent level of agreement may reflect the widespread awareness and

visibility of Ferris’ HR policies, Board policies, and community practices related

to individual rights and responsibilities. Related to this question is a newly

adopted policy (December 2009) expanding faculty health care eligibility to

“Other Eligible Adults.” Because the survey was conducted prior to the adoption

of this policy when university discussion on the possible policy was active,

survey numbers may be lower than they would be if the survey were circulated

again.

Students’ perceptions about fair and equitable treatment

To obtain a quantifiable view of students’ perceptions of the University’s fair

treatment, several data-gathering initiatives have recently been started. For

example, the DIO’s Diversity Climate Survey (discussed previously in this

chapter), asked several questions about the University’s inclusiveness and

fairness. A key question from this survey asked respondents to provide an

overall evaluation of the University in terms of their personal experiences at

Ferris. Approximately 63% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that

their experiences at Ferris have been positive in the areas of perceived

“belongingness” to the University community, the excellence of academic

programs, the degree to which the Ferris environment allows for free expression

of ideas, the degree to which diversity improved their education, and their

willingness to recommend Ferris to others. The students’ perception of their

individual fair and equitable treatment is inherent in these positive responses of

“perceived belongingness” and an environment that allows free expression of

ideas.

Recent 2010 NSSE data provide some additional support to these perceptions

about student interaction and comfort level within the University community.

Compared to seniors at Selected Peer institutions, seniors at Ferris are more

likely to ask questions in class or contribute to class discussions (78% vs. 75%),

work with classmates outside of class to prepare class assignments (68% vs.

53%), talk about career plans with a faculty member or advisor (48% vs. 39%),

discuss ideas from readings or classes with faculty members outside of class

(28% vs. 25%), and work with faculty members on activities other than

coursework (22% vs. 20%).

Another assessment effort began during the 2009-10 academic year when the

Office of Student Conduct began sending “exit surveys” to all students who

participated in the conduct process. The survey explored a variety of topics, but

in particular students were asked to provide feedback on their perceptions

regarding the fairness of the process, the appropriateness of their sanctions, and

their level of satisfaction with the overall experience.

page 40 Core Component 1E


Conclusion to Core Component 1E

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Over the 125 years that Ferris has educated students and operated as an

institution of higher education, the University has developed policies,

procedures, and practices that reflect its high standards and professional

principles. From the Board policies that direct overall operations to the student

and HR policies that focus on individual rights and responsibilities, Ferris

continues to complete its tasks and meet its mission of preparing students for

successful careers, responsible citizenship, and lifelong learning. The

University’s commitment to increasing visibility and transparency in all of its

actions will help to ensure that Ferris can continue to be well respected.

Core Component 1E page 41


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Criterion One: Conclusion

Mission and Integrity: Examples of excellence in practice

This chapter has addressed the mission and integrity of Ferris State University.

As the Self-Study Steering Committee reflected on the chapter draft, the breadth

of evidence that the Criterion One committees amassed and assessed, as well

as the comments provided by the University community, the members identified

these examples of excellence in practice:

Visibility and alignment of the University mission

Ferris has a strong historical consistency in its mission statement and

core values.

Ferris’ mission is aligned across the University’s colleges, units, and

divisions.

• The focus of the University’s mission on career preparation and

readiness is demonstrated in external licensing and accreditation

processes.

Ferris’ public image is consistent and focused clearly on the University’s

mission and values

Reflection and appreciation of diversity

Ferris encourages recognition of, appreciation for, and reflection on the

value of diversity through a visibly diverse institutional persona, a public

image that illustrates the University’s diversity, and student

organizations (RSOs) that celebrate and support the student body’s

diversity.

• The strong leadership of the Diversity and Inclusion Office and the

efforts of the vice president ably facilitate the activities and the

community’s positive focus on the values of diversity.

Ferris’ academic programs address and adapt to diverse learning styles

and methods.

Ferris offers programs and educational opportunities to meet the needs

of an increasingly diverse audience at locations across the state.

Understanding and support of the mission

• Support for the mission promotes a valued historical emphasis on

teaching and learning at Ferris.

• The University mission drives assessment, experiential learning, handson

education, a strong general education program, and the curricular

development process.

• Advisory committees and external collaborative partners support the

University’s mission and goals.

• The University enjoys national recognition of “what we do” (our mission)

through program accreditations, student activities, alumni successes,

and faculty professional involvement.

page 42 Criterion One: Conclusion


Strategic Plan:

Goals and Initiatives

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

Institutional governance and administrative structures

Ferris implements a clear, systematic approach through well-defined

institutional structures to maintain the University’s mission, including the

program review process, the Diversity and Inclusion Office activities, and

the planning process.

• The collaborative, highly participative groups, policies, and procedures

of Ferris’ organizational structures advance the University’s mission.

Ferris enjoys extensive faculty involvement — including full-time,

adjunct, and part-time faculty — within all levels of University

governance.

Mission and Integrity: Discoveries from the self study

In the process of identifying the many institutional strengths that encompass the

University’s mission and integrity, the Steering Committee also recognized these

opportunities for development and improvement:

• The mission statement has become increasingly visible across the

University. What can Ferris do to maintain this level of visibility while

keeping the message fresh?

Ferris has made significant strides in diversity efforts, image, activities,

and awareness. What additional actions can lead the University to an

even broader diversity among students, faculty, administrators, and

staff? What steps can we take to significantly increase the diversity of

our University communities?

Ferris’ mission emphasizes the importance of responsible citizenship. As

it continues to refine its mission, how can the University identify effective

ways for practicing, articulating, and demonstrating “responsible

citizenship”?

Ferris continues the process of aligning the mission from the University

level to its divisions, colleges, offices, departments, and academic

programs. As a University with strong program- and college-level

identification, how can Ferris continue to unify its vision as a

comprehensive university?

Ferris is proud of its established governance structures and procedures

deriving from its mission. What internal assessments and improvement

mechanisms can the University build in that will ensure transparency

and efficiency while maintaining the balance between participatory

governance and effective decision making?

Ferris has well developed leadership structures and processes that

provide assurances and overall continuity in University governance. How

can the University meet the challenges that result from recurrent

changes in leadership?

Alignment with Strategic Plan

In reviewing the findings from this research, the Steering Committee identified

significant overlap with the University’s Strategic Plan. For example, the first and

second goals of the Strategic Plan direct the University’s attention to the

components of the mission and identify areas for ongoing development. Goal 6

Criterion One: Conclusion page 43


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

focuses on innovation and improvement in the University’s processes. The list

below highlights some of the key initiatives from the plan that reflect these

concerns:

• Goal 1, initiative 5: Review the curriculum and increase the emphasis on

preparing students for a global society and leadership roles

• Goal 2, initiative 1: Implement and sustain Ferris’ Diversity Plan

• Goal 2, initiative 2: Enhance the quality of external and internal

responsiveness across the institution

• Goal 2, initiative 5: Enhance the sense of community for everyone at

Ferris, including those attending or working online and at all Ferris sites.

• Goal 2, initiative 6: Enhance sharing of information among the University

community

• Goal 6, initiative 3: Review and enhance committee, committee

structure, reports, and procedures

The Ferris Mission: Foundation for the future

Dissecting the Mission Statement, Core Values, and Vision Statement and

examining the elements of each provides a view of each of the components that

underlie the everyday actions and decisions at the University. Ferris has a long

history of encouraging, supporting, requiring, and maintaining high standards for

its academic programs; its governance structures and policies; its awareness

and reflection of the diversity of the region, the state, and the world; and its fair

and honest dealings with employees, students, and external constituents. The

processes, procedures, and practices that are in place today will continue to be

assessed and adjusted as part of the University’s dedication and commitment to

continual improvement. The next chapter addresses the planning and

forecasting that ensure the University’s ability to continue to do so successfully

and efficiently.

page 44 Criterion One: Conclusion


Criterion One: List of key resources and references

CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

SECTION RESOURCE NAME LOCATION / URL

Ferris’ 125

1.A

Articulation of

mission

th -year celebration http://www.ferris.edu/125/

1959 Ferris Institute catalog http://www.ferris.edu/admissions/registrar/1959.htm

Strategic Plan: SPARC initiative

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/str

ategic/

Ferris mission documents

College mission statements:

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/ferrisfaq/mission.htm

• CAHS http://www.ferris.edu/cahs/missionvision.htm

• CAS http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/colleges/artsands/index.cfm

• CET http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/colleges/technolo/index.cfm

• COB http://www.ferris.edu/cob/mission_vision.cfm




COEHS

COP

CPTS

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/colleges/educatio/link_desc.

cfm?LinkID=88

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/colleges/pharmacy/link_des

c.cfm?LinkID=16

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/colleges/cpts

• Kendall http://www.kcad.edu/about/

• MCO

http://www.ferris.edu/colleges/michopt/link_desc.cfm?Li

nkID=1

Ferris Magazine (Crimson & Gold) http://www.ferris.edu/alumni/ferrismagazine/

Kendall’s Portfolio magazine http://www.kcad.edu/alumni/alumni-news/

Marketing campaign examples http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/advance/

Ferris Graphic Standards

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/advance/stan

dards/

Jim Crow Museum http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/jimcrow/

Card Wildlife Education Center http://www.ferris.edu/card/

Self-study listening session data http://www.ferris.edu/hlc/progress.htm

Autobiography of W.N. Ferris http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/ferrisfaq/woodbridge/

Ferris historical catalogs

http://www.ferris.edu/admissions/registrar/HISTORICA

L CATALOGS MAIN.HTM

University Diversity Plan

http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/administration/president/

DiversityOffice/progress.htm

Diversity and Inclusion Office

Sample of Diversity Activities

http://www.ferris.edu/diversity/homepage.htm

• Multicultural activities

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/academicaffa

irs/international/currentstudents/multiculturalorgs.htm

• GLBT initiatives http://www.ferris.edu/vwc/LGBTA/

• MLK, Jr. Week activities

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/studentlife/minority/homepa

ge.htm

1.B

Diversity at

Ferris

• Annual “Pig-Nic”

Expect Diversity newsletters

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/studentlife/minority/photo/O

MA-Pig-Nic-2007/index.htm

http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/administration/president/

DiversityOffice/newsletters.htm

Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/colleges/university/TIPS/

Ferris Fact Books

http://www.ferris.edu/admissions/testing/CLEPPages/C

LEPPagesHTML/factBook.htm

Diversity Climate Survey

http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/administration/president/

DiversityOffice/ClimateSurvey.htm

GEAR-UP website

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/studentlife/minority/GearUp/

What-is-Gear-Up.htm

Diversity measurements / data

http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/administration/president/

DiversityOffice/Measurements.htm

Diversity at Ferris reports

http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/administration/president/

DiversityOffice/reports.htm

National Survey of Student

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/academicaffa

Engagement, Ferris results

irs/assessment/NSSE/

1.C Planning guidelines and templates http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/uni

Criterion One: Resources page 45


CRITERION ONE

MISSION AND INTEGRITY

SECTION RESOURCE NAME LOCATION / URL

Support for the

mission

http://www.ferris.edu/president/budget-office/mission.htm

Ferris organizational charts (Fact http://www.ferris.edu/admissions/testing/CLEPPages/C

Book)

LEPPagesHTML/factBook.htm

Board policy related to Kendall http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/trustees/boar

College of Art & Design

dpolicy/3sub3-2.htm - sectionC

Kendall organizational charts (Ferris http://www.ferris.edu/admissions/testing/CLEPPages/C

Fact Book)

LEPPagesHTML/factBook.htm

Strategic Plan: Progress reports

http://www.ferris.edu/strategic-planning/meetingsummary.htm

Academic Senate

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/academicaffa

irs/vpoffice/senate

University Graduate and

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/academicaffa

Professional Council (UGPC) irs/vpoffice/senate/gradcoun/homepage.htm

SPARC information and meeting http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/str

minutes

ategic

Deans’ Council minutes

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/academicaffa

irs/DDH.html

Academic Leadership Council http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/me

minutes

etingnotes.htm

Charter Schools Office http://www.ferris.edu/charterschools/index.cfm

Leadership Council

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/me

etingnotes.htm

President’s Council minutes

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/me

etingnotes.htm

1.D

Organizational

structures

Board of Trustees policies

Board of Trustees, membership

“Guidelines for an Improved Facultyhttp://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/trustees/boar

dpolicy/

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/tru

stees.htm

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/me

Administration Relationship” etingnotes.htm

Ferris Self-Study website http://www.ferris.edu/hlc/

Business policy letters http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/buspolletter/

University policies http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/staff/policies/index.htm

Code of Student Community http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/StudentAffair

Standards (Student Handbook) s/Studenthandbook

Academic Affairs policies

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/academicaffa

irs/policyLetters.html

Disabilities Services (Univ. College)

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/colleges/university/disability

/

Office of Diversity and Inclusion http://www.ferris.edu/diversity/homepage.htm

Office of Student Conduct

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/StudentAffair

s/judicial/judicial.htm

Kendall: Student Handbook

http://www.kcad.edu/uploads/docs/Student_Handbook

_2010_11.pdf

Human Resources policies

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/adminandfin

ance/human/HRPPs/homepage.htm

Labor Relations: collective

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/ge

bargaining agreements

neralcounsel/laborrelations.html

Student Complaint Policy: Academic http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/academicaffa

Affairs policy letters

irs/policyLetters.html

Office of Student Conduct: possible http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/StudentAffair

sanctions

s/judicial/possiblesanctions.htm

Conclusion Strategic Plan: Goals and Initiatives

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/president/str

ategic/Goals-Initiatives.htm

page 46 Criterion One: Resources


Criterion Two: Preparing for the Future


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The Future of Ferris State University

At a Glance

STRATEGIC PLANNING GOALS: 2008-11

Goal 1 Become a demonstrable center of excellence in educational quality and student learning

Goal 2

Develop a university community where all are valued, welcomed, informed, and

engaged

Goal 3 Enhance the financial position of the institution

Goal 4

Provide a state-of-the-art, sustainable, and safe learning, living, and working

environment

Goal 5 Foster collaborative internal and external working relationships

Goal 6 Foster innovation and improve processes to move the university forward

STUDENT ENROLLMENT: EVEN YEARS 2000-10*

Actual enrollments Actual enrollments

Fall 2000 9,847 Fall 2006 12,575

Fall 2002 11,074 Fall 2008 13,532

Fall 2004 11,803 Fall 2010 14,381

*Total headcount from all Ferris locations (Sources: Ferris Fact Book and Office of Institutional Research

and Testing)

STUDENT FYES, FACULTY FTE, AND STUDENT–FACULTY RATIOS: EVEN YEARS 2000-10*

FYES

FTE

Faculty

Ratio FYES

FTE

Faculty

Fall 2000 8,977 541.55 15:7 Fall 2006 11,098 720.39 15:4

Fall 2002 9,841 653.82 15:1 Fall 2008 11,667 749.72 15:6

Fall 2004 10,548 692.37 15:2 Fall 2010 11,791 749.75 15:7

*Total headcount (from all Ferris locations (Sources: Ferris Fact Book, State of Michigan HEIDI Database,

Ferris Budget Office)

FACULTY: EVEN YEARS 2000-10*

Actual Faculty

Actual Faculty

Full-time TT Adjunct/P-T Full-time TT Adjunct/P-T

Fall 2000 480 37 Fall 2006 537 327

Fall 2002 530 204 Fall 2008 533 324

Fall 2004 525 299 Fall 2010 561 327

*Full-time tenure-track and adjunct/part-time (full-time equated positions from all Ferris locations), Fall

Semester counts (Sources: Ferris Fact Book and Office of Human Resource Development)

GRADUATE PLACEMENT/EMPLOYMENT RATES: EVEN YEARS 2000-10*

Placement

Rates

Grads in

job mkt/

found jobs

Grads

empl. in

their field

Placement

Rates

Grads in

job mkt/

found jobs

Ratio

Grads

empl. in

their field

Fall 2000 98% 97% 90% Fall 2006 87% 94% 88%

Fall 2002 96% 97% 90% Fall 2008 97% 93% 89%

Fall 2004 95% 97% 91% Fall 2010 88% 82% 82%

* Placement rate includes graduates who are continuing their education or are employed (Sources: Ferris

Fact Book and Office of Institutional Research and Testing)


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Criterion Two: Table of Contents

Criterion Two: Introduction....................................................................................................................... 53

The Future of Ferris State University .................................................................................................. 53

Core Component 2A ................................................................................................................................ 53

Facing the challenges and opportunities of the future ........................................................................ 53

Current and projected societal and economic challenges ................................................................... 53

Strategic and financial planning .......................................................................................................... 55

Forecasting student and staff needs ................................................................................................... 58

Responding with a commitment to diversity ........................................................................................ 60

Meeting the programmatic and economic development needs of the state and region ..................... 61

Forecasting equipment and facility needs ........................................................................................... 62

Responding by building a Technology Culture .................................................................................... 63

Perceptions of Ferris’ ability to plan and prepare for the future .......................................................... 65

Conclusion to Core Component 2A ..................................................................................................... 65

Core Component 2B ................................................................................................................................ 66

Supporting academic priorities ............................................................................................................ 66

Supporting academic priorities with resource improvements .............................................................. 67

Supporting a strong, dedicated faculty ................................................................................................ 67

Supporting personnel development ..................................................................................................... 69

Perceptions of Ferris’ support for maintaining and strengthening educational resources .................. 71

Conclusion to Core Component 2B ..................................................................................................... 72

Core Component 2C ................................................................................................................................ 73

Ongoing evaluation and assessment processes ................................................................................. 73

Evaluating the University’s academic effectiveness ............................................................................ 73

Evaluating the University’s organizational effectiveness ..................................................................... 78

Supporting evaluation and assessment processes ............................................................................. 79

Perceptions of Ferris’ ongoing evaluation and assessment processes .............................................. 80

Conclusion to Core Component 2C ..................................................................................................... 81

Core Component 2D ................................................................................................................................ 82

Efficient and effective planning ............................................................................................................ 82

A clear Strategic Plan .......................................................................................................................... 83

Effective strategic alignment and planning .......................................................................................... 83

Checks and balances within the planning process ............................................................................. 84

Perceptions of Ferris’ planning processes .......................................................................................... 87

Conclusion to Core Component 2D ..................................................................................................... 88

Criterion Two: Conclusion........................................................................................................................ 89

Preparing for the Future: Examples of excellence in practice ............................................................. 89

Preparing for the Future: Discoveries from the self study ................................................................... 90

Alignment with Strategic Plan .............................................................................................................. 90

Criterion Two: List of key resources and references ............................................................................... 93


List of Figures and Tables

Figure C2.1: Online SCH Enrollment by Semester .................................................................................... 76

Table C2.1: State appropriations, % of general funds, 1980, 2000-11 ...................................................... 55

Table C2.2: Key financial ratios, 2006-10................................................................................................... 55

Table C2.3: Ferris enrollment even years, 2000-10: Counties with highest enrollments ........................... 59

Table C2.4: Support for student needs....................................................................................................... 60

Table C2.5: Programmatic revisions, responses to state and regional needs ........................................... 61

Table C2.6: Initiatives to build and support a Technology Culture ............................................................. 64

Table C2.7: Perceptions of Ferris’ ability to plan for the future .................................................................. 65

Table C2.8: Enhancements and improvements based on academic priorities .......................................... 66

Table C2.9: Full-time faculty profile, by rank and degree level, 2008-10 ................................................... 67

Table C2.10: Ferris full-time faculty comparison by rank to national averages, Fall 2008 ......................... 68

Table C2.11: Perceptions of Ferris’ support for maintaining and strengthening educational resources .... 71

Table C2.12: Ferris programs and units that receive accreditation ............................................................ 76

Table C2.13: Perceptions of Ferris’ evaluation and assessment processes.............................................. 80

Table C2.14: Ferris State University planning elements ............................................................................ 83

Table C2.15: Perceptions of Ferris’ planning processes ............................................................................ 87

Key to abbreviations used frequently in this chapter

APR / APRC Academic Program Review / Academic Program Review Council

CAHS College of Allied Health Sciences

CAS College of Arts and Sciences

CET College of Engineering Technology

COB College of Business

COEHS College of Education and Human Services

COP College of Pharmacy

CPTS College of Professional and Technological Studies

DIO Diversity and Inclusion Office

EMAT eLearning Management Advisory Team

FCTL Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

FLITE Ferris Library for Information, Technology, and Education

IRC Interdisciplinary Resource Center

KCAD Kendall College of Art and Design

MCO Michigan College of Optometry

OIR Office of Institutional Research

OMSS Office of Multicultural Student Services

RSO Registered Student Organization

SPARC Strategic Planning and Resource Council

UAM University Advancement and Marketing

UCC University Curriculum Committee

UWN University-wide Notices


Criterion Two: Introduction

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

The organization’s allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate its

capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and

opportunities.

Core Component 2A

The Future of Ferris State University

Ferris State University’s Mission Statement, Core Values, and Vision Statement

provide a foundation for the activities and decisions made each day at the

University. Maintaining high standards in every aspect of the University’s

academic programs, governance structures and policies, and interactions with

employees, students, and constituents is a part of Ferris’ long history. To face

the future challenges with confidence, the University must be able to rely on solid

planning and forecasting processes.

Does the organization realistically prepare for a future shaped by multiple societal and economic trends?

Facing the challenges and opportunities of the future

The challenges that Ferris State University is currently facing are not new. Ferris

has faced challenges before. From the early years of its existence over 125

years ago, the institution has faced political and economic turbulence. In 1950,

only months after the governor had signed the bill that would convert Ferris into

a state institution, Ferris experienced tragedy when a fire destroyed all but one of

its academic buildings. Within a week, however, using dormitories for

classrooms and donated supplies, books, and laboratory equipment, Ferris

students were back in classes.

WN Ferris autobiography Economic challenges have faced the nation, the state, and the University over

the years as well. Through all of the economic and political ups and downs, the

University has stood strong in its dedication to providing an education for

students who, as W.N. Ferris said, have “the willingness to work early and late”

(W.N. Ferris, Autobiography, online version).

Reference citations are

included at the end of the

chapter.

Recently, as Ferris leadership looked ahead and considered the challenges in

the future of higher education, the University community responded in many

significant ways. From developing creative and proactive financial alternatives to

recognizing the changing “faces” and needs of Ferris students, the University

has responded with clear approaches and strategies for today’s immediate

concerns and tomorrow’s less certain future.

Current and projected societal and economic challenges

Record-high unemployment rates and additional layoffs expected throughout the

state, high rates of outward migration, and continued decreases in state funding

for higher education are some of the significant societal and economic trends

facing the University today. These current trends demand the same effective,

Core Component 2A page 53


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

The Employment

Situation: September

2009, U.S. BLS

“US Census 2000 to

2030”; “Knocking at the

College Door,” (WICHE,

3-08); “Enrollment

Projections,” Decreasing

birth rates “State Notes–

Topics of Legislative

Interest” Jan/Feb 2009;

“Gongwer Report,” 3-6-

09

“Outward Migration in

Michigan”

future-focused leadership and thinking that Ferris has always endeavored to

employ.

Increases in state-wide unemployment rates

Over the past several years, Michigan has faced severe economic challenges.

While the rest of the country faced signs of an economic recession in late 2007,

Michigan had already been experiencing these signs for many months. And, in

mid-2009, when the rest of the nation recorded unemployment rates of 9.8%,

Michigan’s unemployment rates topped 12.6%. By late 2009, as signs of

economic recovery started showing within the banking industry, the commercial

sectors, and even in the manufacturing sectors, Michigan’s trends were less

secure and less promising (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Increases in outward migration and decreasing student populations

According to U.S. Census figures and a paper published by the Senate Fiscal

Agency, Michigan’s birth rate has been on a continuous decline since 1990. This

decline could have a major effect on the number of students entering the state’s

public universities if the percentage of high school seniors entering college does

not increase. According to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher

Education (WICHE), in 1991 the number of students graduating from high school

in Michigan stood close to 96,000. In 2010, this number had slightly increased to

around 111,000. While projections estimate this population will decrease by 5 –

10% over the next ten years, these numbers are also affected by additional

factors such as employment opportunities after graduation and availability of

financial aid.

As employment opportunities decrease in the state, Michigan has been

experiencing increasing numbers of “outward migration,” with the younger

members of the population leaving the state to find employment opportunities

elsewhere. According to a recent article, 67.1% of interstate moves are actually

leaving the state.

Higher Ed in Michigan Adding to these employment and resource issues, historically Michigan had an

economy-based mindset that often devalues education. A belief held by many

during the heyday of the automotive industry was that a college education was

not necessary to obtain and maintain a good paying job in Michigan. This

attitude explains, in part, the state’s overall low education level when compared

to all other states.

Budget presentation '09

Mich. Senate, funding

Decreases in state funding

With a projected state budget deficit of over $1.8 billion for FY12, and $24.2

million in cuts to higher education from 2001 through 2011, higher education in

Michigan is projected to experience continuing cuts beyond 2012. From 1999-

2009, Michigan experienced a 10% change in appropriation of state tax dollars

for higher education while the average change among the 50 states averaged

48.5% and ranged between 124.5% and 6.2%. Thus, Michigan is among the

bottom three states in the change in state appropriations for higher education.

This shift can be seen even more dramatically in this figure: in 1980, the state

provided 68% of the higher education funding for Ferris compared to only 26.5%

in 2011.

page 54 Core Component 2A


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

TABLE C2.1: STATE APPROPRIATIONS, % OF GENERAL FUNDS, 1980, 2000-11

YEAR STATE APPROPRIATIONS *

% OF FERRIS STATE’S

GENERAL FUND

1980 68

2000-01 54,716 53

2002-03 55,520 45

2004-05 48,969 37

2006-07 50,045 34

2008-09 50,228 29

2010-11 48,619 26

Speech, MI House 2009 *in thousands

Source, various articles: “Tuition Trends,” “How Ferris State’s Tuition Increase Stacks Up

to Other MI Schools,” Annual Tuition & Required Fees History 1974-2005” “Grapevine”

chart: 1999-2009 Appropriation of State Tax Dollars

See Core Component

2D, for additional

description of the

University’s planning

processes

Strategic and financial planning

Because of these continuing trends toward decreased state funding and

increased challenges across the state, Ferris has understood the importance of

maintaining a dynamic planning process that links the University’s mission and

goals to its commitment to its students while applying available financial

resources realistically. Over the past five years, the University’s planning

processes (described in more detail later in this chapter) have evolved to

address the economic challenges in a more proactive, strategic manner.

Maintaining a sound, solid financial base

Over the years, as the financial base has shifted, moving the University from

being a state-supported institution to its recent levels of diminishing stateassistance,

Ferris has developed a model of financial stability that relies less and

less on these unclear state funds. All of the University’s key financial ratios have

remained healthy (see the table below) illustrating an increasing dependence on

student enrollment to drive budgets and expenditures. Central to the University’s

continued success, then, are its academic programs that meet the career and

professional needs of its graduates, ensuring entry-level employment and

lifelong learning and development.

TABLE C2.2: KEY FINANCIAL RATIOS, 2006-10

KEY HLC FINANCIAL RATIOS 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

1. Primary Reserve 0.550 0.591 0.526 0.435 0.445

2. Net Operating Revenue 0.050 0.044 0.027 (0.059) 0.038

3. Return on Net Assets 0.046 0.057 0.035 (0.046) 0.056

4. Viability 1.296 1.477 1.461 0.855 0.943

Total Composite Financial

Indicator (CFI) score

3.7 4.0 3.3 1.6 3.1

Addressing decreasing higher education funding

Over the years, the University’s planning actions have been effective in

proactively addressing the state’s steadily decreasing higher education funding.

The University has worked collectively in seeking ways to cut spending so that

future tuition increases are minimized while meeting growing student needs.

Ferris has a history of carefully considering the impact of tuition increases to

students and has developed methods to ensure that a college education remains

affordable and the University remains on solid financial footing. For example, in

Core Component 2A page 55


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Budget plan:

Phased reductions

For discussion of

planning meetings and

the planning processes,

see section Core

Component 2D.

Source: audited financial

statements general fund

student aid spending.

2007, Ferris identified and assessed students a contingency fee, in the event the

state withheld payments or reduced its allocation to higher education. When the

state completed its budgeting process and determined its allocations for higher

education, the fees were refunded to students the following semester. In 2010,

Ferris received $1.4 million in Federal Stimulus Funds (AARA funds) to partially

offset the state reduction in appropriations. Instead of applying these funds to

operations expenses, Ferris applied them to the financial aid program, replacing

funds cut from the Michigan Promise Grant program, Michigan Work Study

program, Part-time Independent Student Program, Michigan Education

Opportunity Grants, and Nursing scholarship program.

Over the past three years, the University president has requested and

implemented university-wide general fund budget reductions. Institutional budget

reductions have, to date, followed these four phases:

• Phase 1: 1% central reductions, plus 1% reductions within each division:

$2.5 total

• Phase 2: 2% reductions within each division: $2.5M total

• Phase 3: 1% central reductions, plus 1% reductions within each division:

$2.5M total

• Phase 4: 2% reductions within each division

Phase 1 was incorporated in the approved FY2010 budget; Phases 2, 3, and 4

are reflected in the FY2011 operating budget plan. These reductions were

developed as state budget cuts are predicted to be significant as the state deals

with the $1.8 billion funding deficit for FY 2012. Phase 2-4 reductions have been

identified by vice presidents and are being held in central divisional accounts

until called for when the state’s plan to eliminate the projected budget deficit is

developed in early 2011. In FY2011, base cuts to higher education were 2.8%,

representing approximately $1.4 million reduction for Ferris.

The entire University has participated in budget discussion and generating

suggestions for cost reductions. The president and the Strategic Planning and

Resource Council (SPARC) review all cost reduction suggestions and develop a

prioritized list of recommended actions. SPARC has made academic quality a

statement of priority in its early reviews of cost reduction options. To maintain an

open communication process about all budgeting decisions, the president’s

office maintains a budgeting and planning website.

Responding with increased scholarships and financial aid sources

One of the approaches that Ferris has taken to respond to decreases in state

funding for higher education has been to provide increased financial aid

opportunities and scholarship monies. Students must again, as they did in the

past, take responsibility for a greater portion of their higher education bill. In

2008-09, the University increased support in the form of scholarships to students

by over 17%. For FY 2011, the University increased financial aid allocation by

11.4% to $16.3 million. In the past five years (FY06 to FY10), University general

fund spending for student financial aid has almost doubled from $7.4 million in

FY 06 to $14.6 million in FY 10.

Great Lakes scholarships Two of the programs that illustrate Ferris’ two-pronged approach are, first, the

Great Lakes Scholarship for incoming freshmen and transfer students and,

second, “consortium” financial aid for students at off-campus sites.

page 56 Core Component 2A


Ferris scholarships

See Section Three of this

report: Institutional

Snapshot

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

The Great Lakes Scholarship was established in 2009, targeting students who

reside in specific counties within Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Formerly

known as the Chicago Initiative, the revamped scholarship is equivalent to the

difference between non-resident tuition rates and Michigan resident tuition rates.

Because of its success, this scholarship has been expanded to a wider

geographic area. All out-of-state, prospective students who reside or go to

school in these designated geographic areas can apply for these scholarships.

The second program was developed in direct response to the increasing number

of students who are opting for a less-costly approach to their college education

by completing their first two years at a local community college. Ferris has

financial aid agreements, known as “consortium agreements,” with 16

community colleges within the state of Michigan. Students who participate in the

consortium program earn their bachelor’s degree from one of Ferris’ consortium

sites. Because federal regulations prevent students from receiving financial aid

from two colleges during the same semester, the consortium program allows

Ferris to award financial aid to students who are attending both Ferris and a

community college within the same semester and are pursuing a Ferris

undergraduate degree program. When a student is admitted to a Ferris

consortium program, Ferris manages and awards the student’s financial aid.

These examples are only two of the many ways that Ferris has responded to the

shift of the financial burden from state funding to the individual student and

institutions. Ferris has recognized that its per capita scholarship support still lags

behind other public universities in the state. The Ferris Foundation, an operating

unit of the University that is under Ferris Board of Trustees’ guidance, also

provides scholarship support for students, as well as supporting some faculty

research efforts. Additional efforts are in process for expanding scholarship

availability for CPTS students, many of whom are not eligible for some of the

traditional scholarship opportunities.

In 2010, over 84% of Ferris students attended the University supported by

financial aid, compared to 70% in 1999. Because this figure — as well as the

costs of receiving a higher education — is expected to continue to increase and

state support will continue to decrease, Ferris must continue to examine new

ways to assist its students in accessing financial aid, scholarships, and loans.

Responding with operational and organizational changes

As a result of the challenging financial issues facing the state and the University,

Ferris responded with several significant operational changes. First, in the spring

of 2008, the position of vice president for university advancement and marketing

/ administration and finance (which was combined in 2003) was once again split

into two vice presidential posts: vice president for administration and finance,

and vice president for university advancement and marketing. This division has

allowed the office of the vice president for advancement and marketing to focus

more exclusively on developing, delivering, assessing, and improving the

resources of the University and the vice president for administration and finance

to focus more exclusively on the University’s growth in operations.

Also, in the fall of 2009, as part of its 125 th anniversary celebration activities, the

University began the Ferris Cares@125 campaign to raise funds for students

who have been impacted directly by layoffs and other financial hardships. At the

same time, when the state budget removed and/or reduced funding for two

important state scholarship and financial aid programs in October 2009, the

Michigan Promise Grants and the Michigan Competitive Scholarships, the

Core Component 2A page 57


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

University responded by replacing these funds for the fall semester. As much as

$1.15 million was lost in revenue from these sources for the fall semester. The

Board of Trustees voted to replace these funds using one-time federal economic

stimulus funds for the Big Rapids campus; at Kendall, operational funds covered

the losses.

University leadership has recognized that, in order to respond to the shifting

financial drivers of higher education, Ferris must consider and implement

changes to its organizational structure as well as many of its practices. One

effort to support these changes began in the spring of 2010 when the president

and the Board of Trustees offered administrators and staff an early retirement

option. The retirement incentives have allowed the University to reap financial

savings as well as to make organizational changes, either by using lower-cost

replacements or, in many cases, not replacing the retiring employees but

restructuring offices and divisions. These incentives were approved for 59

University staff and administrators, including three academic deans.

Forecasting student and staff needs

Responding with long-range enrollment and staffing forecasting

In order to prepare for the needs of the future, in both academic and nonacademic

areas, Ferris must be able to anticipate and plan for the number of

students who are expected to enroll in classes in the coming years. This number

will affect many academic aspects of the University, from the number of classes

offered each semester, to the number of faculty and staff needed to teach the

classes and manage the University offices. Beyond the academic classrooms

and offices, this number will also affect student services, University housing,

parking, and dining facilities. While the available number of graduating high

school seniors provides one piece of information that helps the University with its

forecasting and planning, each office has its own indices for measuring longrange

enrollment and resulting office and University needs.

To forecast enrollment trends, the admissions office considers a variety of

factors, beginning with applications, offers, and enrolled students for several

years to explore patterns and trends. In addition, the admissions office calculates

a variety of ratios (apply-to-accept, accept-to-enroll, and apply-to-enroll) and

performs logistic regression analysis on current prospects (may include those

who have applied, visited, or names purchased from testing groups such as

ACT) to explore what factors make them more or less likely to enroll at Ferris.

Many variables feed this analysis, leading to a “prospect score” predictive of

possible enrollment: demographic variables, county or geographic region, test

scores, HSGPA levels, school preferences, number of visits, scholarship

eligibility, and paid enrollment deposits. This complex process is an on-going

forecasting effort, which then feeds the University’s student services, housing,

and other facility forecasting.

Forecasting faculty and staff needs is handled by the individual colleges as part

of the annual planning process. As academic departments and programs

prepare schedules for the next academic year, they rely on student demand and

programmatic needs, particularly in regard to the semester course offerings as

indicated in the catalog, to determine the selection and number of classes to

offer. A review of previous year’s schedules in relation to productivity also guides

this process, as heads and chairs balance students’ access to courses for timely

progression through programs and fiscal responsibility. As course needs

increase or decrease, and as faculty positions become available, departments

page 58 Core Component 2A


Data from Ferris Fact

Books, 2000-10

Ferris Fact Books

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

adjust their offerings as needed. Faculty and staff openings are filled, based on

budget availability, demonstrated need, and forecasted trends.

Responding with a new image

In 2005, an external marketing firm was hired to partner with UAM to help the

University define its verbal and visual identities. The outcome was the creation of

a new tagline, Imagine More, and new graphic standards and identity system, as

well as an integrated marketing plan. Campaign objectives included providing a

platform for messaging with these aims:

• To distinguish Ferris from other universities that can be used for both

image and recruitment

• To increase awareness of Ferris statewide through strategic messaging

and media placement

• To build on Ferris’ strengths to promote the image of the university-atlarge

• To present a clear and cohesive image of a university dedicated to

excellence in all areas

To accomplish these objectives, Ferris launched a comprehensive marketing

campaign to build awareness of Ferris State University throughout the state, to

make the case for choosing Ferris, and to describe Ferris’ unique features.

Advertising included outdoor, transit, print, public radio, and web. Additional

efforts to project Ferris’ new image include the following:

• Increased exposure through billboards, public and commercial radio,

media releases, print advertising, sponsorships, and parade participation

• A strengthened graphic identity

• National exposure through appearances on the Today Show in New

York City and Jimmy Kimmel Live in Los Angeles for the national

championship-winning Rube Goldberg team

• Celebration of the accomplishments of faculty, administrators, staff, and

students through a new Points of Pride quarterly print publication

Responding by expanding geographic reach

Throughout its history, Ferris’ Big Rapids residential campus has drawn students

from across the state, although the majority of its student body has come from

Kent, Mecosta, Ottawa, Wayne, and Oakland counties. Over the past ten years,

the percentage of students from these five counties has remained relatively

stable, while the other fastest growing area includes Genesee county (with an

average student count of 450 per year). A snapshot of Ferris’ reach across the

state of Michigan is presented in the table below.

TABLE C2.3: FERRIS ENROLLMENT EVEN YEARS, 2000-10: COUNTIES WITH

HIGHEST ENROLLMENTS

Kent Mecosta Oakland Ottawa Wayne

2000 761 1,028 435 288 823

2002 1,198 986 505 382 686

2004 1,422 968 503 425 614

2006 1,650 934 533 531 504

2008 1,893 865 602 653 530

2010 2,184 905 634 683 604

*Fall enrollment figures, even years 2000-10 (for Big Rapids residential campus, only)

Core Component 2A page 59


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Task Force Charge and

Report:

Task Force 2004

See Criterion Four, Core

Component 4B, for

discussion of student

organizations and

support services.

Transfer Students

International Students

Minority Students

Military veterans

Disability services

Under-prepared students

Developing a clear vision of the University’s enrollment projections and

addressing recruitment efforts have been the focus of planning discussions for

many years. In 2004 and 2006, the president established research task forces

with specific charges related to key planning issues.

One task force focused on ways to increase recruitment within a 300-mile radius.

The task force’s recommendations included these activities that are now central

to the University’s recruitment efforts:

• Recruiters visit, at a minimum, the 300 top-yielding high schools in

Michigan

• Recruiters attend all MACRAO-sanctioned College Night Events

To increase satellite campus enrollments, the Admissions office has partnered

with the College of Professional and Technological Studies (CPTS) to place two

recruiters/financial aid officers at off-site locations. In addition, Admissions has

placed a recruiter in the Metro Detroit area to enhance relationships with those

districts. To address the need to reach beyond the Michigan state border,

Admissions has expanded the Parents and Alumni Working with Students

(PAWS) network to recruit at out-of-state college fairs that cannot be covered by

professional staff.

Responding by increasing support for student needs

One of the challenges that will face Ferris increasingly in the future is meeting

the needs of a broader constituency of students. Over the past ten years, Ferris

proactive response to changing student needs has been demonstrated in the

creation or expansion of various student service centers. For example, since

2000, Ferris has developed or expanded in the areas listed on the following

table.

TABLE C2.4: SUPPORT FOR STUDENT NEEDS

Services and website information specifically for transfer

Transfer students

students

International

students

Minority students

Veterans

Special needs

students

Student interests

Distance learning

students

Under-prepared

students

The resurging International Education Center with increased

advising, University events, and recruitment activities

The Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS) responds

to the needs of the University’s minority students

Expanded services for veterans receiving educational benefits

through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Disabilities Services provides assistance and advocacy for

students with disabilities

210+ Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) meeting the

needs of multicultural, faith-based, service, political,

media/entertainment, and many other student interests

Expanded FLITE, tutoring, and Writing Center support for offcampus

and online students

Expanded tutoring, study skills, advising, and support services

for under-prepared students

Responding with a commitment to diversity

Closely linked to its awareness of student needs is the University’s commitment

to diversity. As described earlier in this chapter, Ferris’ commitment to diversity

can be traced throughout the University’s history, is demonstrated by the goals

page 60 Core Component 2A


See Criterion One, Core

Component 1A, for

discussion of diversity in

Ferris’ Core Values.

Diversity and Inclusion

See Criterion Four, Core

Component 4B, for

additional discussion of

Ferris’ degree programs

and the University’s

curricular development

process.

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

and initiatives of the Strategic Plan, and is illustrated by the allocation of

resources essential to meet the specific needs of the student population.

As a means to improve access, services, and opportunities that will engage and

empower special student populations in attaining a quality education, the

University identified diversity as a core value to implement and sustain. The

University has hired dedicated professionals and established the Diversity and

Inclusion Office (DIO) to support community where all are valued, welcomed,

and informed.

Meeting the programmatic and economic development needs of

the state and region

Over its 125-year history, Ferris has responded to the economic needs of the

state and region by offering courses, degree programs, training, and certification

in a wide range of professional fields, each focusing on specific career or

professional needs. In the past few years, while these curricular enhancements

reflect many new challenges facing the state, they also reflect changes in course

delivery and student demographics. The list below highlights a few of these

recent programmatic revisions.

TABLE C2.5: PROGRAMMATIC REVISIONS, RESPONSES TO STATE AND REGIONAL

NEEDS

Critical state-wide need

for nurses

Corporate & Professional

Development (CPD)

Center

Energy Center

Information Security and

Intelligence program

Computer Information

Technology BS

Honors / Business

Administration BS/MBA

Digital Animation and

Game Design program

Resort and Event Mgmt

certificates

Ferris / Kendall (joint

degree) MBA in design

Doctorate in Community

College Leadership

• Accelerated 3-semester nursing degree for students w/

an earned bachelor’s degree in another field

• Online master’s degree in nursing

• Collaborative programs w/ community colleges

• Provides training, certification, testing, and technical

services for workforce development and industrial

development opportunities

• Housed within the CET’s CPD Center

• Sponsors annual Michigan Energy Conference to

foster change through energy, energy innovation,

technology, and sustainability opportunities within

Michigan

• Directed by Energy Coordinator

• Combines Ferris’ expertise in Criminal Justice and

information technology

• Addresses significant needs in both federal and private

sectors

• Includes major industry certifications, including

CompTIA's: A+, Network+, Linux+, Security+, and

Microsoft's Systems Administration Certification

(MCSA)

• Combines 3-year BS Business Administration (honors)

accelerated degree with option for MBA in 4 th year

• Includes 2 internships and study-away requirement

• Provides expertise to develop entertainment, but also

visual simulations for business and industry

• Combines resources from PGM, PTM, Hospitality

Management, and Music Industry Management

• Provides a design and Innovation Management

Certificate in collaboration with Ferris’ business

program

• Combines a business core and uses an

interdisciplinary approach to prepare future leaders of

Michigan’s community colleges

Core Component 2A page 61


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

See Core Component 2D

for additional description

of the strategic planning

process.

To view a PDF or PPT of

the current Facilities

Master Plan, see the

budget office website:

Master Plan

Forecasting equipment and facility needs

Responding with a clear master plan for facilities development

Since the late 1960s, Ferris has had a master plan for facilities and campus

development. The current plan, the Facilities Master Plan: Big Rapids Campus,

was first developed and presented to the University community in August 2000,

and updated most recently in March 2009 following a series of University

planning and discussion sessions. The plan was previously updated in 2001,

2003, and 2005. The Master Plan provides an overall vision for the Big Rapids

campus so that future changes can be made in accordance with that vision. The

plan assists in using the University’s assets more efficiently by looking at the big

picture, instead of each project as an entity by itself. The plan assists in

prioritizing expansion and renovations based on overall goals of the University.

Finally, the Master Plan assists in procuring funds from the State of Michigan

through the University’s capital outlay requests.

The 2009 update of the Master Plan continues the vision of the previous

updates, with these additional principles:

Sustainability

• Incorporate Sustainable Design planning principles throughout the

campus to acknowledge global climate challenges.

• Consider established macro and micro principles for all improvements to

the campus. These principles range from the macro scale of

repositioning parking and roadways, to encouraging walking and biking

with expansion of greenways and intramural sports fields, to the micro

level of storm water retention strategies (permeable paving,

bioremediation, etc.), rain gardens, building energy conservation, and

adapting alternative energy sources

• Strive to reach LEED goals: LEED Silver rating (and minimum LEED

certification) for all new campus buildings and major renovations

• Explore opportunities to enhance the campus recycling program

Facility and Land Use

• Concentrate academic and student services activities at the Central

Academic Core with relocation of existing housing to the south and west

Housing Districts

• Emphasize the “sense of community” in the existing campus Housing

Districts, including expansion of desirable amenities and services, new

housing types, and increased quality

• Increase locations around campus for informal gathering and study

areas, both interior (similar to the IRC-COB Connector) and exterior (in

expanded green spaces)

Open Space

• Expand campus green spaces to maximize continuity of natural areas

• Improve number and location of intramural sports fields to best fill

students’ needs

Circulation and Parking

• Improve circulation paths to provide efficient, flexible, desirable means

page 62 Core Component 2A


See Core Component 2D

for the Planning

Summary

For in-depth description

of these planning

processes, see Core

Component 2D

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

for students, faculty, and visitors to walk, jog, bike, drive, and be

shuttled, throughout the campus community

• Enhance campus transportation and parking systems

• Consider opening the central ring road on campus for daytime bicycling,

skateboarding, rollerblading circulation, to separate these wheeled

conveyances from pedestrian walkways (also to allow access for

emergency vehicles and campus service vehicles to all facilities), while

maintaining automobile access during nights and weekends

Infrastructure

• Integrate all infrastructure changes (all new buildings, major renovations,

and site developments) into the Campus Utility Master Plan

The Master Plan is divided into three sections:

• Existing Plan illustrates and analyzes current conditions of the campus

• Grand Vision provides an overall goal for the campus (formerly called

the 20-year plan)

• Five-Year Plan shows the steps to be taken toward the Grand Vision in

the next five years

The University has 3,483,298 square feet of building space on the Big Rapids

campus, with 1,764,658 square feet in academic use. In addition to the main

campus site, Ferris has a number of programs offered at over 17 off-campus

locations including Traverse City, Muskegon, Dowagiac, Flint, and Grand Rapids

(at Kendall College of Art and Design and the Applied Technology Center). The

responsibility for the maintenance of the Master Plan, including securing

consulting services and implementing the actual plan for the Big Rapids campus,

lies with the associate vice president for the physical plant.

Proposals for new development, renovation, or enhancement typically originate

from the unit or division requesting the change. The proposals are submitted as

part of the budget and planning process and must show their connection to the

Master Plan before they can be considered. The policy and procedures for

Capital Projects was reviewed and revised in 2009-10. A table describing the

various planning elements is included later in this chapter.

Responding by building a Technology Culture

Providing a strong technological foundation is essential for the sustained growth

and success of the University. The University has consistently invested in

technology to lay the building blocks of a culture that is accepting of technology

advances. The two major processes used to launch these investments include

the University’s Strategic Alignment Planning and Task Force Initiatives. The

following table lists the major university-wide initiatives from the past six years

facilitating the University’s commitment to a sound, growth-enabled technology

environment.

Core Component 2A page 63


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

TABLE C2.6: INITIATIVES TO BUILD AND SUPPORT A TECHNOLOGY CULTURE

INITIATIVE PROCESS / GOALS KEY BENEFITS

Convert mainframebased

service and

software applications to a

24/7 web-access

database system

Provide wireless access

to cover the entire

campus footprint

Consolidate desktop and

server technology

support departments and

resources in the

Information Technology

Services (ITS)

department

Create “smart rooms” in

University learning

environment

Initiate a systematic

Personal Computer

replacement plan

Create and implement

the Information

Technology Assistance

Program

Provide technology

support for the

University’s Emergency

Preparedness Plan

Initiate an ongoing

network infrastructure

replacement plan

Upgrade the University’s

online instructional

delivery system from

WebCT to FerrisConnect

• A multi-year, customer-driven project,

touching every aspect of the University

• All departmental processes were reviewed

and revised where necessary

• Training, a key part of the project, was

customer-led in finance, admissions,

financial aid, and human resources areas

• Multi-year project to provide wireless

access to University web-based services

• Over 500 access points implemented in

academic, administrative, cafeteria,

residence hall commons, and green

spaces

• Reduce administrative overhead and

improve customer service via consistent

and reliable services

• Solidify Technology Assistance Center

(TAC) as the University’ help desk; adjust

resources to support this focus

• Consolidate 95% of support and

resources under one department

• Multi-year initiative to improve classrooms

with new lecterns, projectors, screens,

audio systems, computers, and other tools

• Laboratory learning spaces are renovated

• Refresh aging desktop computers in

faculty/staff offices

• Replacement criteria based on CPU,

memory, and disk space

• Replacement criteria evaluated annually

to maintain minimum levels

• Create a bank of trained technology

student workers to assist and train faculty

and staff

• A multi-channel strategy for emergency

communications that includes safety

projects via technology

• Ensure that Ferris provides a robust,

reliable, and secure IT infrastructure,

supporting current and future needs

• The project’s first 3 years required higher

funding levels; a regular refresh schedule

created for main campus

• Multi-year, academic-driven project

required cross-divisional support

• Implementation required collaboration of

faculty, FCTL, instructional designers,

academic administration, and ITS

• 3 rd -party software tools added, including

Tegrity, CPS Clicker Response System,

Respondus, StudyMate Class Server,

Lockdown Browser, SafeAssign, Scholar,

and McGraw Hill Course Connectors

• Ongoing management/support continue

with multiple guidance committees

• A major shift the University’s use of

technology to provide services,

access student information, and

provide instruction and counseling

• Dramatically improves students’

access to academic information.

• Allows for mobility and ubiquitous

access to University resources and

the World Wide Web

• New support teams providing

assistance closer to customers

• Expanded ITS support responsibilities

to include business office,

enrollment services, and classroom

technology support (through Media

Distribution Dept.)

• Deans selected targeted rooms

through college planning process

• Over 61 rooms completed between

2008 and 2011

• From 2005-11, over 1,000 PCs or

laptops were replaced

• Funding, designed to minimize

department costs, provides 50% at

the University level and 50% by the

division or department level

• Used successfully during the 2007-

09 transition to FerrisConnect

• Program and services constantly

upgraded to meet current needs

• This project has focused on

supporting emergency plans with

effective, reliable technology

• This project is prerequisite for the

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

phone services in classrooms for

emergency communications

• The project was successfully

completed in the fall of 2008

• Support committees include the Elearning

Management Team

(budget/mission), FerrisConnect

Advisory Board (technical support,

training, operational issues),

Advancing Online Task Force

page 64 Core Component 2A


See Section One,

Chapter 3: The Self-

Study Process for the

schedule and description

of listening session

methodology

For complete data, see

the self-study website

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Perceptions of Ferris’ ability to plan and prepare for the future

Several questions from the Criterion Two Perceptions Survey addressed issues

related to the University’s ability to prepare and plan effectively for the future.

The following table summarizes results from four key questions from this section.

TABLE C2.7: PERCEPTIONS OF FERRIS’ ABILITY TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

QUESTION

possible n possible n possible n

=492

=869

=683

n= number of valid responses to Q. n % * n % * n % *

The University’s planning incorporates

aspects of its history it wishes to

preserve

Planning documents demonstrate

awareness of emerging factors, such as

technology, demographic shifts, and

globalization

Our planning processes include

effective environmental scanning

Ferris’ planning processes are flexible

enough to respond to unanticipated

needs for program reallocation,

downsizing, or growth

55 94.5 85 89.4 66 90.0

53 94.3 74 85.1 55 94.5

48 83.3 66 68.2 50 80.0

54 70.4 77 51.9 64 76.6

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree, agree,

disagree, strongly disagree).

Perceptions of Ferris’ ability to prepare and plan for the future

The level of agreement reflected in the Perceptions Survey responses appears

to reflect a university-wide awareness of effective planning for future needs,

including diversity, multicultural awareness, technology, as well as demographic

shifts in student populations.

Listening session perceptions

The Criterion Two Listening Session provided some additional insights into the

University’s community’s perceptions about these issues. For example, across

all of the sessions, several of the same areas of strength were identified.

Participants identified the inclusive planning processes, budget discussions, and

increasing emphasis on fund raising and resource development as important

developments and strengths for the University. Session participants also noted

that resource allocation is built into the academic curriculum development (UCC)

and evaluation (APR) processes where programs must address market needs

and forecasting for graduates.

Conclusion to Core Component 2A

While the University has faced, and will continue to face, significant social,

financial, and operational challenges, the existing systems and processes have

been designed to respond effectively and immediately to ensure the University’s

long-range success and viability. The rest of this chapter describes these

systems and processes in more detail, including the evaluation and assessment

processes that keep them current and responsive.

Core Component 2A page 65


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Core Component 2B

Does the organization’s resource base support its educational programs and its plans for maintaining and

strengthening their quality in the future?

See Core Component 2D

for a description of the

planning process.

Supporting academic priorities

For over the past decade, the University has continued its strategic efforts to

provide resources to support and improve its academic mission. The University

uses a combination of methods to develop academic priorities including the new

planning initiative process that ties divisional plans to the overall University

strategic planning priorities. Funds are allocated to initiatives that directly relate

to the University’s strategic goals. As discussed previously in this chapter, the

University has completed a campus facility master plan, which has involved the

University community and is used to plan for educational and facility priorities.

These efforts guide Ferris leadership in resource allocation decisions. For

example, in recent years, the University has allocated funds for ongoing

improvements relating to classrooms and labs. The following table identifies

some of the resource allocations made over the past several years to enhance

and support the University’s educational mission.

TABLE C2.8: ENHANCEMENTS AND IMPROVEMENTS BASED ON ACADEMIC PRIORITIES

AREA / DIVISION IMPROVEMENTS

FERRIS LIBRARY FOR FLITE opened in March 2001. FLITE houses a print

INSTRUCTION, TECHNOLOGY collection of 355,000 volumes, nearly 900 periodical

AND EDUCATION:

subscriptions, and 119 online educational databases

Construction project provide access to over 28,000 periodical titles.

The Honors program began in 1997 with 132 students

HONORS PROGRAM:

Program expansion

living in one residence hall and has grown to nearly 600

students living in 4 residence halls. The University has

increased its support services to accommodate Honors

program activities.

University College has expanded beyond its tutoring and

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE: academic support programs to include resources for

Program expansion students covering all aspects of college life such as

financial aid deadlines and incentive programs.

GRANGER CENTER for

Construction and HVACR:

Construction project

The Granger Center, completed in 2004, showcases the

internal heating, mechanical, and structural portions of

the building. All building systems are partially or fully

exposed providing an active learning lab.

IRC was remodeled in 2007, providing new learning

INTERDISCIPLINARY

spaces and common study areas. Updated classrooms

RESOURCE CENTER: and innovative learning environments feature 54,700 sq.

Remodeling project ft. of updates to teaching, seminar, group, and individual

study space.

MICHIGAN COLLEGE OF

OPTOMETRY:

Construction project

In 2009, the University began construction of a new MCO

building. The new facility will combine clinical and

learning elements and create updated learning spaces for

the University’s health programs.

FACULTY CENTER FOR

TEACHING AND LEARNING:

Program expansion

FCTL continues to develop its curriculum to provide

relevant development activities in new teaching and

learning approaches, building effective online courses,

and using effective assessment methods.

page 66 Core Component 2B


See Ferris’ annual Fact

Book publication (p. 34)

for a history of studentfaculty

ratios.

UNIVERSITY CLASSROOMS

AND LABORATORIES:

Upgrades and renovation

project

CAMPUS SAFETY INITIATIVES:

Program enhancement

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Over 60 university classrooms or laboratory learning

spaces have been renovated, improving functionality, as

well as learning and technology capabilities. Renovated

rooms gained new lecterns, projectors, screens, audio

systems, computers, and other technology tools.

Essential safety initiatives have been completed to

provide emergency messaging capabilities in the

classroom and campus areas to notify the entire campus

community of serious threats or emergencies. Updated

phone systems now provide emergency information, as it

is available.

In addition to the significant resource allocation represented by the

improvements noted in the table, Ferris supports its academic mission in its

ongoing, foundational approach to academic excellence. Ferris has a tradition of

being a strong teaching institution and supports this mission keystone with

significant allocation of resources. For example, Ferris’ average student per

faculty ratio is less than 16:1. The University continues to focus its resources in

teaching students through a hands-on approach with smaller classroom sizes.

The University also prides itself on its use of faculty to instruct its students at all

levels, with no graduate assistants teaching courses. Another measure of the

University’s quality and effective use of resources is graduate placement rate.

Supporting academic priorities with resource improvements

As noted in the previous section, Ferris has continued to allocate significant

resources to improve, enhance, and maintain its facility, technical, and computer

systems. Each of these allocations is vetted and evaluated through the strategic

planning process to support the University’s strategic goals and, thus, its

academic mission.

Supporting a strong, dedicated faculty

Much of the University’s ability to move into the future, facing new challenges

with confidence and assurance rests squarely on the shoulders of the faculty

who direct the academic programs and continue to teach and prepare the

University’s students. Ferris’ faculty are the backbone of the strong careerfocused

academic programs, representing their professions with both the

practical and theoretical expertise required to prepare the next generation of

professionals. The table below presents a demographic profile of the University

faculty.

TABLE C2.9: FULL-TIME FACULTY PROFILE, BY RANK AND DEGREE LEVEL, 2008-10

YEAR DEGREE LEVEL RANK

2008-09

2009-10

Doctorate

First Professional

Masters

Bachelor/Other/None

Doctorate

First Professional

Masters

Bachelor/Other/None

Not avail

Not avail

Not avail

Not avail

238

0

231

43

Professor

Associate Professor

Assistant Professor

Instructor

Full-time Temporary

Other: Counselor

Professor

Associate Professor

Assistant Professor

Instructor

Full-time Temporary

Other: Counselor

Core Component 2B page 67

166

140

126

10

51

9

162

137

138

10

56

9


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

NCES data from:

“Employees in

Postsecondary

Institutions, Fall 2008,

and Salaries of Full-Time

Instructional Faculty,

2008-09”

NCES report 08-09

For college-by-college

FCTL funding, see

FCTL funding

Discussion of FCTL

programs and activities:

FCTL website

and Criterion Four, Core

Component 4A.

Doctorate

232 Professor

2010-11

First Professional

Masters

0

255

Associate Professor

Assistant Professor

Instructor

Bachelor/Other/None 71

Full-time Temporary

Other: Counselor

Source: Institutional Snapshot and Office of Human Resources

page 68 Core Component 2B

189

155

139

14

52

9

Overall, the professional ranks of Ferris faculty compare well with national

statistics as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics. The table

below provides a comparison of Ferris data from 2008-09 with NCES data from

the same time period. While the causes are not known, the higher percentage of

faculty with the rank of professor at Ferris could, in fact, be the result of many

factors, from a promotion system that supports upward movement within rank, to

a faculty dedicated to the institution with longevity in rank.

TABLE C2.10: FERRIS FULL-TIME FACULTY COMPARISON BY RANK TO NATIONAL

AVERAGES, FALL 2008

NATIONAL* FERRIS*

RANK TOTAL PERCENTAGE TOTAL PERCENTAGE

578,302 502

Professor 149,714 25.9 166 50.2

Associate Prof. 124,653 21.6 140 27.3

Assistant Prof. 134,169 23.2 126 25.0

Instructor 94,573 16.3 10 2.0

Lecturer 28,299 4.9 N/A N/A

No rank 46,894 8.1 N/A N/A

Full-time Temp. N/A N/A 51 10.1

Counselor N/A N/A 9 1.8

*Comparisons based on the number of full-time instructional staff at Title IV degreegranting

institutions compared to the number of full-time faculty employed at Ferris State

University in Fall 2008

While the expertise reflected in this table stresses earned academic degrees,

another significant characteristic of professional expertise is not reflected here.

Because of the career-preparation focus of Ferris’ mission and degree programs,

a majority of the faculty with a master’s degree or first professional degree as

their terminal degree also have years of extensive field and professional

experience.

A key support for the faculty at Ferris is the Faculty Center for Teaching and

Learning (FCTL). The mission of the FCTL is to work with and support Ferris

faculty and the greater educational community in their efforts to affect deep,

positive, lasting, and profound student learning. The Faculty Center provides a

wide range of training, discussion groups, and workshops, as well as financial

support for professional development activities. Funding for Faculty Center

activities from 2002-10 has exceeded $470,000, averaging more than $52,000 a

year.

Supporting and enhancing appropriate and effective use of instructional

technology is one of the Center’s ongoing efforts. In addition to providing handson

training in effective use of the FerrisConnect platform, FCTL also provides

workshops in Best Practices in Online Delivery for Instruction, Online Instructor

Certification, and an active eLearning Wiki and blog.


Supporting personnel development

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

The University employs approximately 1,400 full-time employees. Of this total,

over 900 are non-teaching employees. With an annual labor budget of close to

$85,000,000, and an employee benefit budget of nearly $34,000,000, the

University’s human resources is one of its greatest assets. As part of that

commitment, the University initiates and/or supports a variety of professional

development opportunities for its employees. Two examples of these are

Summer University and the Ferris Employee Leadership Development Program.

Summer University

Summer University In June 2009, the University’s “Summer University” program celebrated its 10 th

anniversary. Because all University employees are invited to participate, this

three-day program provides a unique professional and professional development

opportunity. Each year, the Summer University theme varies. Past themes have

included topics such as:

FELDP

Residence Hall Director,

professional

• The history of Ferris and the challenges and opportunities in its future

• Campus safety and security

• Technical training

• Personal health and wellness

• Strategic planning

According to the Conference and Professional Programs Department, which

handles the registration for Summer University, nearly 450 employees attend

Summer University each year.

Ferris Employee Leadership Development Program (FELDP)

According to the associate vice president for Human Resources, the objective of

FELDP is to “develop and improve the leadership skills of Ferris employees and

to familiarize them with important aspects of leadership at every level of the

University.” The program includes nine half-day training sessions over the

academic year. Topics include Ferris’ budget and budget planning, team

building, administrative issues, dispute resolution techniques, and contemporary

issues within higher education. Employees self nominate themselves for the

program, which each year has a class enrollment of approximately 25. These

two programs were nationally recognized in 2001 when Ferris State was

awarded a Best Practices award from the Midwest Region of the College and

University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).

Recognizing the importance of preparing Ferris’ faculty and staff for a changing

future, in 2001, Ferris crafted an agreement with Western Michigan University to

offer its Ph.D. on the Ferris campus. Several Ferris employees enrolled in the

program and have completed their doctoral degrees. Ferris personnel have

served as adjunct faculty for the program, and some have also served on

dissertation committees. This program has served the University well by

preparing its leaders to meet the challenges facing higher education.

Nationally-recognized Hall Director professional development

The Residence Life Office at Ferris is committed to establishing and maintaining

inclusive communities of citizen-scholars built on five mission-driven foundations:

Core Component 2B page 69


CRITERION TWO

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development

opportunities:

ResLife Prof Dev

academics, healthy living environment, holistic development, diversity, and

global awareness. Because Residence Hall Directors are expected to facilitate

and guide these efforts, Ferris is committed to their professional development

and provides extensive resources and support. This program encourages crosscampus

involvement as well as individual development, including opportunities in

Student Activities, Career Services, Office of Student Conduct, Minority Affairs,

International Affairs, the Counseling Center, Greek organizations, as well as

working with orientation activities, advising, and teaching FSUS courses

Professional and community involvement

The University encourages employees to be active and involved, not only in their

area’s professional associations, but also in their community. The University

supports these activities with travel and conference support, as well as

professional development time.

Tuition Waiver In addition to maintaining active memberships in professional associations, many

employees participate in the University’s Tuition Waiver program, which allows

full-time employees to register for up to eight credits of academic courses at

Ferris State each semester. This program has extensive participation from

across the University. The Office of Human Resources reports that, on average,

between 125-140 employees take Ferris classes each semester through this

program.

See Criterion Three,

Core, Component 3B, for

discussion of the faculty

post-tenure review and

promotion / merit

Ferris continues to improve its resources and methods for developing employee

skills. For example, FerrisConnect, the University’s course management system,

used primarily for student learning and distance education, is also used to

provide employee training, resource libraries for academic departments, and

communication centers for committees or special-interest groups. Online training

has become a valuable development resource, allowing employees to integrate

training seamlessly into their work schedules and to reference previous training

sessions.

University committees also provide a valuable option for professional

development opportunities. Committee participation provides employees with

opportunities to serve a vital need for the University while interacting with

employees from across the University. Committee participation may also expose

the employees to new ideas and processes. In addition to appointed committees,

many committees have volunteer memberships. A few of the university-wide

committees with faculty and staff membership include these:

• Strategic Planning committees

• History Task Force

• Pat-on-the-Back Award

University Committee on Discipline

• Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award

• Distinguished Staff and Team Selection Committee

Performance appraisals

The University encourages completion of annual performance appraisals for

each (non-faculty) employee. This not only allows for feedback on employee

performance but also allows a forum for the employee and supervisor to discuss

the employee goals for the upcoming year. In addition, the faculty collective

bargaining unit agreement defines the process for pre- and post-tenure reviews

page 70 Core Component 2B


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

processes. for tenured and tenure-track faculty. The Office of Human Resources estimates

that between 600–800 performance appraisals and tenure and post-tenure

reviews are completed annually.

See HR policy website:

HR policies

Promotion and transfer policies

While the University has a strong commitment during the hiring process to

affirmative action principles, we also recognize that at times it is more efficient

and productive to fill open positions from within the pool of internal University

employees, without going through the typical hiring process. The University’s

Hiring Process Exception Policy and the Promotions/Transfer Policy provide a

structured opportunity for promotions or transfers, subject to specific conditions

and reviewed by Human Resources and Equal Opportunity.

Perceptions of Ferris’ support for maintaining and strengthening

educational resources

Several questions from the Criterion Two Perceptions Survey addressed issues

specifically related to the University’s support of its educational resources and its

ability to maintain and strengthen them in the future. The following table

summarizes these results.

TABLE C2.11: PERCEPTIONS OF FERRIS’ SUPPORT FOR MAINTAINING AND

STRENGTHENING EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

QUESTION ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

possible n possible n possible n

=492

=869

=683

n = number of valid responses to Q. n % * n % * n % *

Our resources are adequate to ensure

educational quality

The University’s financial decisions

61 72.1 93 52.7 74 68.9

demonstrate concern for ensuring

educational quality

62 75.8 90 57.8 72 73.6

The University uses its human resources

effectively

63 50.8 90 44.4 77 61.0

Ferris intentionally develops its human

resources to meet future changes

60 60.0 85 43.5 72 58.3

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree, agree,

disagree, strongly disagree).

Perceptions of Ferris’ support of educational programs and resources

All four of the questions dealing with this topic from the Perceptions Survey

received moderate levels of agreement, with the administrative and staff

respondents averaging 65% agreement, and faculty respondents averaging 50%

agreement. Responses to these questions may reflect a concern recognized and

addressed at Ferris over the past several years. In fact, many professional

development efforts – through FCTL as well as HR — have been significantly

enhanced over the past five years to address the need for increased

professional development. While these efforts and the University’s financial

support of them have steadily increased, awareness of their availability and

benefits may be lagging.

Listening session perceptions

As with the first core criterion, the Criterion Two Listening Session provided

Core Component 2B page 71


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

some additional insights into the University’s community’s perceptions about

these issues. For example, while the survey responses reveal only moderate

awareness of professional development activities and opportunities, all of the

listening sessions identified the multiple sources of development activities and

funds — such as FCTL activities, extensive support for professional travel,

Faculty Research Grants, Foundation Grants, and Professional Development

Initiative (PDI) support — as a major strength. One expressed concern, however,

suggested that Ferris needs to develop a more equitable process for distributing

its professional development funds.

Conclusion to Core Component 2B

Supporting and enhancing its academic priorities is essential for any institution of

higher education. Not only must a university provide financial resources and

support to develop its faculty, administration, and staff, but it must also inculcate

a culture of professional development. Ferris’ commitment to providing and

increasing professional development activities and resources is best

demonstrated by the work of FCTL. Discussion of these activities, as well as the

University’s support for lifelong learning and personal growth, is contained

throughout this report.

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Core Component 2C

Does the organization’s ongoing evaluation and assessment processes provide reliable evidence of

institutional effectiveness that clearly informs strategies for continuous improvement?

Ongoing evaluation and assessment processes

Ferris has several ongoing evaluation and assessment processes to collect and

disseminate data about the University’s institutional effectiveness, both

academic and organizational. Some of the key academic processes include the

Academic Program Review (APR) process, Academic Assessment, online

assessment, career planning assessment, and academic program accreditation.

The Office of Institutional Research, the Office of Budgetary Planning and

Analysis, the Banner system, and LibQual provide key organizational evaluation

processes.

Evaluating the University’s academic effectiveness

Academic Program Review (APR) Process

Acad. Prog. Review The Academic Program Review (APR) process, monitored by a standing

committee of the Academic Senate, is a faculty-driven process that, every six

years, evaluates every academic degree program, minor, and certificate program

offered through nine of the University’s academic colleges (Kendall programs are

evaluated through a separate process). Each year approximately 20 programs

complete a self-study of their effectiveness, including current, past, and

anticipated student enrollment; curricular revisions and evolution; administrative

structure and support; facilities, technology use, and projected needs; alumni

feedback; placement rates and satisfaction surveys; employer feedback; and

labor market trends.

Copies of the provost’s

recommendations based

on APR findings are

available on the

Academic Affairs

website:

Provost: APR recs

The APR Council carefully considers each self-study report to determine the

validity and value of the academic program. This six-year cyclical study is

required for all academic programs and is accomplished through an effective

collaboration of faculty and administration. The self-study reports are researched

and written by faculty-led teams and reviewed by the all-faculty Academic

Program Review Council (APRC). The APRC’s recommendations are forwarded

first to the Academic Senate, and then to the vice president for Academic Affairs,

the University president, and eventually the Board of Trustees. The Board then

decides to expand, maintain, merge, or eliminate programs based on the

APRC’s recommendations.

The commitment to program excellence and ongoing assessment is reflected

both in the dedicated response of the faculty leading Ferris’ academic programs

and in the time and energy expended by the APRC members in the review

process. The academic programs understand and appreciate the importance of

the APR process in maintaining academic standards and in supporting the needs

of the students and eventual graduates. The APR process at Ferris may be

unique in the level of engagement and commitment seen across the University

consistently year after year.

Kendall’s Program Review Process

Mirroring the APR process is the Kendall program review process. Every four

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CRITERION TWO

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years, each of Kendall’s majors completes a rigorous program review process.

Responsibility for leading the design and implementation of a specific program’s

evaluation rests with the chair of that program. Kendall’s College Senate is

responsible for monitoring the program review process, receiving and approving

program review plans, receiving and reviewing formal reports of each program’s

review, and for recommending curricular actions to the college president.

Kendall’s program review process builds on ongoing program evaluation

activities, which reflect the specific goals of each program. The formal program

review process addresses 14 key research questions, including significant

changes since the previous review, processes for assessing student learning,

enrollment history, relevancy of the curriculum, application and awareness of

professional standards and views, adequacy of resources, and future plans for

development. Because of Kendall’s accreditation by the National Association of

Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the college’s program review process also

includes appropriate research questions indicating program consistency with

NASAD requirements, the program’s effective use of studio and independent

practice requirements, and the program’s effective integration of liberal arts and

art history. Following the completion of its program assessment, the program

identifies an external evaluator to review the program and the final program

review report.

Academic Affairs Assessment Committee (AAAC)

The Academic Affairs Assessment Committee facilitates and enhances

assessment at Ferris and supports assessment efforts at the college level. The

AAAC is responsible for the following:

• Articulate clear guidelines for assessment based on HLC expectations

• Provide current information about effective assessment

• Oversee the Assessment web page to insure its currency and

usefulness

• Serve as a resource for areas seeking to enhance their assessment

efforts

• Represent the concerns of the different constituencies regarding

assessment to the provost and to adapt the University assessment effort

to be responsive to those concerns

• Insure that assessment processes are owned by the program and

faculty members who collect the relevant data and can make the

appropriate changes based on that data

• Provide direction for and stimulate productive assessment activities such

as assessment fairs, assessment training, and the recruitment of guest

speakers

• Regularly audit assessment practices to help the institution achieve

greater efficiencies

The AAAC is appointed by the provost, is chaired by the Assessment

Coordinator, and reports directly to the associate provost and vice president for

Academic Affairs. The committee membership includes a representative of the

College of Allied Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and

Human Services, University College, and Engineering Technology.

Representatives of FCTL, Pharmacy, Optometry, the College of Professional

and Technological Studies, and Kendall College of Art and Design or other units

may be included. The committee members represent both faculty and

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CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

administrators across the University. Based on the early efforts of the AAAC, all

of the academic colleges at Ferris established college-level Assessment

Committees whose representatives now serve on the AAAC and coordinate

assessment efforts across the University. Many areas also have identified

assessment mentors who work to support and enhance assessment efforts.

The AAAC identifies both exemplary programs and programs that need to

enhance their assessment activities, assists programs in enhancing their

assessment activities, coordinates assessment educational activities, leads

teams in assessment efforts, and provides educational resources on assessment

to the University community. In 2008-09, the AAAC recommended that the

University adopt a centralized database system, TracDat, for its assessment

efforts. During the 2009-10 academic year, all degree programs, units, and

colleges began using TracDat for this data.

Another aspect of the University’s assessment efforts are the ongoing activities

through the HLC Academy on Assessment. Ferris’ Academy Team, chaired by

the associate provost is comprised of ten members of the Ferris community,

representing faculty and administration, as well as the Faculty Center for

Teaching and Learning. These invigorated assessment efforts began with the

appointment of an assessment coordinator, the expansion of the AAAC, and the

assignment of specific assessment responsibilities to the associate provost. In

2008, Ferris’ Academy Team went to Lisle to participate in the HLC Academy

Roundtable. The team focused its early efforts on course assessment, as

program assessment efforts were well established. Since then, the team’s

activities have overlapped and enforced other campus assessment initiatives,

including the implementation of TracDat and the appointment of college

assessment mentors. In 2010-11, the team’s work is being integrated with the

AAAC.

eLearning Management Advisory Team (EMAT)

EMAT Because of the tremendous growth in online instruction over the past five years,

the University recognized the need to evaluate the effectiveness of online

courses, programs, and technology used for instruction. The eLearning

Management Advisory Team (EMAT) was established in 2008 and given a

charge to set strategic direction for online initiatives. EMAT is primarily a prioritysetting

group, representing the perspective of the entire University community in

terms of setting strategic directions (mission, vision, annual goals); establishing

policies, standards, and procedures; prioritizing financial investments (often

based on recommendations from other groups); and determining roles and

responsibilities in broad terms. EMAT’s goals include establishing benchmarks

for the student learning data in reference to other schools nationally, state

schools, and peer institutions. The information achieved from this analysis is

reported to the provost/vpaa.

One of the key issues facing EMAT is the tension surrounding the University’s

plans for developing its online presence. While online courses have increased

significantly over the past ten years, many across the University question the

extent to which the institution intends — and desires — online courses and

programs to expand. Conversations continue as the University further defines its

online identity. The chart below illustrates Ferris’ online growth from 2002-10.

Core Component 2C page 75


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Ferris’ Online Growth:

“online-growth.pdf”

Online SCH growth

See Ferris’ annual Fact

Book publication, p. 4.

Fact Books

FIGURE C2.1: ONLINE SCH ENROLLMENT BY SEMESTER

Career Planning Assessment

Another source of ongoing evaluation information is the Office of Career

Services that gathers data from the National Association for Colleges and

Employers, Michigan Association for Colleges and Employers, along with the

Midwestern Association for Colleges and Employers in order to report

employment trends and demands to the faculty and administration. Through this

data gathering and reporting process, the University gauges specific targets,

including students’ career objectives and employers’ views of the traits of

exceptional candidates, to prepare students for employment. Career services

also interacts with program advisory boards and community groups, and uses

multiple survey instruments — such as the Annual Career Services survey,

Customer/ Employer Focused Survey, and Faculty/Student surveys — to gather

additional data that can improve the methods and processes used to aid

students in career placement.

Program accreditation

Ferris has four colleges that receive accreditation from credentialing boards

(Kendall, Business, Pharmacy, and Optometry) as well as numerous programs in

most of its academic colleges. Each of these academic units completes

systematic evaluation and self-assessment to meet the requirements of these

accreditation and credentialing bodies. A complete list of academic units and

programs, and their credentialing organization, are listed in the table below.

TABLE C2.12: FERRIS PROGRAMS AND UNITS THAT RECEIVE ACCREDITATION

COLLEGE ACCREDITING ORGANIZATIONS

Kendall College of Art and National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Design

(NASAD)

College of Pharmacy

American Council of Pharmaceutical Education

(ACPE)

page 76 Core Component 2C


College of Business

Michigan College of Optometry

Xx

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Accreditation Council for Business Schools and

Programs (ACBSP)

Accreditation Council on Optometric Education

(ACDE)

COLLEGE/PROGRAM

College of Business

ACCREDITING ORGANIZATIONS

Legal Studies American Bar Association

Music Industry Management NAMM Affiliated Music Business (NAMBI)

Professional Golf Management Professional Golfers’ Assn of America (PGA)

Professional Tennis

United States Professional Tennis Assn, Inc

Management

College of Arts and Sciences

Social Work, BSW Council on Social Work Education

College of Allied Health Sciences

Dental Hygiene American Dental Association (ADA)

Clinical Lab Sciences, Medical

Tech, and Medical Laboratory

Tech.

Medical Records Admin. and

Medical Records Technology

Nuclear Medicine

Nursing, BSN and MSN

Radiography

Respiratory Care

College of Education and Human Services

Criminal Justice

Recreation, Leadership, and

Management, BS

School of Education

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Lab.

Sciences (NAACLS)

Commission on Accreditation for Health

Informatics and Information Management

Education (CAHIIM)

Joint Review Committee on Educational

Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology

National League for Nursing Accrediting

Commission (NLNAC)

Joint Review Committee on Educational

Programs in Radiography Technology (JRCERT)

Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care

(CoARC)

Michigan Commission of Law Enforcement

Standards (MCOLES) and MI Correctional

Officers’ Training Council (MCOTC)

National Recreation and Parks Association of

Leisure and Recreation Accreditation Council

Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

and MI Department of Education (MDE)

College of Engineering Technology

Automotive Engineering Tech,

BS; Surveying Tech, BS;

Electrical / Electronic

Accreditation Board for Engineering and

Engineering Tech, BS;

Technology (ABET)

Mechanical Engineering Tech,

AAS and BS

Automotive Service Technology

Construction Mgmt, BS

Facilities Management

Heavy Equipment Technology,

AAS

Printing Management, BS

Michigan College of Optometry

Residency programs in Ocular

Disease; Cornea and Contact

Lenses

National Automotive Technicians Education

Foundation

American Council for Construction Education

(ACCE)

International Facility Management Association

(IFMA)

Associated Equipment Distributors Foundation

(AEDF)

Accreditation Council, Collegiate Graphic Comm.

Inc (ACCGC)

Accreditation Council on Optometric Education

(ACDE)

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CRITERION TWO

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College of Pharmacy

Residency programs in

Managed Care; Community

Pharmacy

American Society of Health-Care systems

Pharmacists

Ferris supports all of its assessment and continuing accreditation efforts,

including ongoing research and data collection efforts tied to HLC accreditation,

with a designated line item budget exceeding $50,000 annually. An associate

provost for Academic Affairs is responsible for coordinating and facilitating these

continuing accreditation efforts.

Evaluating the University’s organizational effectiveness

Office of Institutional Research (OIR)

The Office of Institutional Research is an area of the University that is

responsible for collecting all University data and information to support strategic

planning and budgeting, policy formulation, and decision-making. The OIR is

also responsible for collecting and analyzing comparative data with other state

and national universities. Other data supplied by the OIR for strategic decision

purposes includes facility usage summaries, expenditure reports and analysis,

alumni support documentation, degree summaries by program, student retention

and graduation rates, and enrollment projections.

Each year, OIR compiles and updates the Ferris Fact Book. This resource

records student demographic data organized by (for U.S. students) county, state,

region, and (for international students) by country, as well as residency status.

These data are used across the University for planning and evaluation purposes.

For example, Ferris’ admission counselors can use this information to provide

optimum assistance according to student demographics. By tracking student

demographics, counselors, program directors, faculty, staff, and administrators

can prepare their offices and divisions to best serve students. Colleges also

track enrollment data in order to prepare faculty for surges in enrollment by

specific programs and allow administrators to plan programming and resources

that are responsive to Ferris’ actual and projected populations.

Office of Budgetary Planning and Analysis

The Office of Budgetary Planning and Analysis, under the direction of the

president, guides the process of translating academic and administrative plans

into the University’s budget, and in cooperation with operating units, develops a

common basis for assessing performance in terms of those plans through a set

of indicators of the University’s health and success.

The Banner System

As noted earlier, as part of its continual improvement process, in 2005, Ferris

transitioned all financial, student records, and human resources data to the

Banner Systems Software across the University. This data warehouse, a

relational database, is a backbone of information about Ferris academics,

advising, purchasing, and hiring processes and is managed by the Enterprise

Technology services along with external support from SCT SunGard

Corporation. The University’s Business Office provides secure access to

institutional information for conducting business, supporting centralized data, and

easy-to-access information for planning, decision-making, and reporting. Eligible

page 78 Core Component 2C


Student Affairs

Assessment Reports:

S.A. assessment

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

users have the capability to access real-time data from all areas of the University

in order to make calculated, informed, and strategic decisions based on reliable

and valid quantitative and qualitative measures. Users also have the flexibility to

access corporate reports or have customized reports designed in Web Focus,

report creation software compatible with the Banner System. Additional add-on

software applications have increased the accessibility to and usefulness of the

University’s institutional data.

LibQual

Ferris’ Information Literacy Program also collects valuable literacy data through

LibQual, a national library survey of students and faculty. These data provide

support for critical decisions to enhance information literary skills for students

while supporting faculty in developing instruction that effectively uses technology

to teach critical thinking skills. This program also uses facility assessments to

monitor the usage of study rooms and conference rooms and aids in determining

hours of library operations, specific equipment needs to enhance student

learning, and faculty preferences when conducting distance learning.

Planning processes and continuous improvement

Throughout all of Ferris’ planning processes and procedures is the commitment

to continuous improvement and enhancing efficiency. While the University

applies specific TQM tools to a limited set of processes, the philosophies are

present in Ferris’ approaches to planning and ongoing assessment.

Supporting evaluation and assessment processes

As mentioned earlier, Ferris provides financial support for accreditation,

assessment, and ongoing academic evaluation processes with a designated

Academic Affairs line-item budget. In addition, many of these efforts are

supported with leadership positions that are filled by faculty with reallocated time.

The GE Coordinator and the APRC chair positions, for example, include

reallocated time to facilitate the evaluation and assessment processes. Over the

years, Ferris has spent considerable effort and resources on assessment,

striving to inculcate assessment into the overall “culture” of the University.

Assessment and evaluation is also a key component of activities within the

Student Affairs division. For example, in the Student Leadership and Activities

office, student employees regularly complete self-assessments, which are

reviewed with the office directors. The Volunteer Center sends a survey to each

student, faculty, administrator, or staff member who completes hours of

community service. Also, all students who complete Student Development

Records are surveyed annually about the process and their satisfaction levels.

One recent specific assessment activity, a summer assessment retreat, focused

on helping student affairs groups develop and write accurate student learning

outcomes. Support for these efforts ranges from one-time financial expenses,

such as the assessment retreat, to ongoing daily activities that are deeply

embedded within the day-to-day operations. Each year, the Student Affairs

division collects and reports these assessment efforts from each of its offices

and activities, indicating the results and the effect of the evaluation for each.

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CRITERION TWO

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Perceptions of Ferris’ ongoing evaluation and assessment

processes

Several questions from the Criterion Two Perceptions Survey addressed issues

specifically related to the University’s ongoing evaluation and assessment

processes. The following table summarizes these results.

TABLE C2.13: PERCEPTIONS OF FERRIS’ EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT

PROCESSES

QUESTION ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

possible n possible n possible n

=492

=869

=683

n = number of valid responses to Q. n % * n % * n % *

Ferris maintains effective systems for

collecting, analyzing, and using

organizational information

Ferris State provides adequate

support for its evaluation and

assessment processes

Appropriate data and feedback loops

exist throughout the University to

support continuous quality

improvement

54 72.2 77 62.3 56 78.6

58 75.9 87 60.9 66 78.8

57 63.2 81 48.1 71 62.0

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree, agree,

disagree, strongly disagree).

Perceptions of support for ongoing evaluation and assessment

The questions on the Criterion Two Perceptions Survey that address ongoing

evaluation and assessment received moderate agreement from the three groups

of respondents. The Criterion Two committee feels that these agreement levels

may reflect some of the discussions being held across the University at the time

the Perceptions Survey was distributed. The difficulties tracking, maintaining,

and recording assessment results were being discussed within many of the

college, program, and division assessment groups. Also, because most of these

efforts are faculty driven, these discussions would be reflected more strongly in

the faculty responses. At the time of this research, the University was

considering several methods and tools to support these efforts and had not

widely implemented the TracDat system (discussed earlier in this chapter).

The last question in the table, “Appropriate data and feedback loops exist

throughout the University to support continuous quality improvement,” also

received low agreement responses. Again, faculty agreement levels were more

below 50% and more than 10% lower than administrative and staff responses.

These responses may reflect an awareness of the need for increased application

of the extensive and valuable data that are collected through the various

assessment instruments. The Criterion Two committee feels that the increased

transparency of the University’s planning processes, which are discussed in

more detail in the next section, address some of these issues.

Listening session perceptions

The Criterion Two Listening Session once again provided some insights into the

University’s community’s perceptions about these issues. For example, as in the

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CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

previous section, while the Perceptions Survey results indicated low agreement

levels about Ferris’ continuous improvement efforts, the participants in the

listening sessions listed the University’s progress in this area as an important

strength. Comments expressed in the listening sessions, in contrast to survey

responses, were able to specify strengths (the existence of the assessment

processes, data reporting mechanisms including TracDat, and planning

processes linked to assessment) separate from recognized weaknesses (need

to apply collected data more directly and visibly; “close the loop” more clearly).

Additional comments repeated in several of the listening sessions included:

• The Student Affairs Division has made significant efforts to “close the

loop” through its annual assessment reporting process

• TracDat has improved data collection and reporting, but is currently

focused on academic programs. A continuing challenge will be to apply

TracDat across the University.

Conclusion to Core Component 2C

To ensure continued success in delivering strong, viable academic programs

that prepare students to be successful in their future profession, the University

community is aware that it must maintain effective and efficient systems for

assessing academic consistency and quality. While extensive credentialing and

accreditation efforts ensure that Ferris’ academic programs meet or exceed the

requirements of the professional areas, assessment of program, course, and

operational outcomes must support these larger assessment and evaluation

efforts. At Ferris, assessment is a part of everyday activities in all divisions and

offices. The challenge is making this assessment information part of a

transparent “loop” that feeds continual improvement and awareness of future

needs.

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CRITERION TWO

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Core Component 2D

Do all levels of planning align with the organization’s mission, thereby enhancing its capacity to fulfill that

mission?

Efficient and effective planning

As the state revenues have decreased, the need for more extensive long-term

planning and new ways of managing the University’s financial resources has

increased. Responding to this recognized need for improved communications

and decision-making processes, University leadership introduced new strategic

planning processes in 2007. These processes were built on Ferris’ tradition of

open, participatory, and transparent decision-making and communication

processes and resulted in the establishment of SPARC and Strategic Alignment

Planning process.

Strategic Plan The implementation of a new University strategic plan began in 2008 when the

administration and faculty joined to develop the Strategic Planning and Resource

Council (SPARC). Formed in 2007 and approved by the Board of Trustees in

November 2008, SPARC has led the university-wide process of defining and

updating the University mission, vision, and core values, and also in identifying

goals and initiatives in the University Strategic Plan.

SPARC is charged with the leadership role in making recommendations for

University goals and initiatives to the President’s Council as well as monitoring

and directing the work of the Strategic Plan. Membership in SPARC represents a

diverse group comprised of faculty, administrators, staff, and students. To

ensure advancement of the Strategic Plan, SPARC is empowered by the

University president to monitor progress, provide input on the initiatives,

recommend additions or changes, and act in an advisory role.

In order to communicate across the University and reinforce its participatory

governance structure, SPARC maintains transparency both in its decisionmaking

and in communicating its decisions. Through university-wide, open

invitations to the University community, all members of the University are

encouraged to participate in the planning processes, and ideas are presented to

the University through a variety of venues including the Council website, email,

University-Wide Notices (UWN), meeting notices, and Council meeting minutes.

The SPARC process has allowed for a collaborative review of the institutional

mission and has subsequently created a planning process that has linked back

to that mission. Through the strategic planning process, Ferris has greatly

increased the connection of the planning process to the mission, goals, and

strategic priorities of the University. Each goal in the institutional plan has

initiatives attached to it. Each initiative is assigned to a particular year and

responsible division. Vice presidents from those divisions are responsible for

making sure the initiatives are completed. Initiatives can be shifted or changed

based on the surrounding environment. For example, in the first year of the plan,

initiatives were shifted to the second year because of complexity of completing

some of the other initiatives adequately.

page 82 Core Component 2D


A clear Strategic Plan

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Strategic Plan The Strategic Plan was established to guide the University in meeting the

changing needs of Ferris students, Ferris employees, employers, the State of

Michigan, and the mid-west region. The Plan identifies specific goals and

initiatives to enhance the University students’ educational experience, ensure a

welcoming community, sustain the financial position of the institution, provide

quality learning and living facilities, enrich collaboration, and foster innovation.

A summary of these

goals is available on

Ferris Future at a

Glance,” of this chapter.

The Strategic Plan not only identifies the University’s goals, but it also details the

area holding leadership for each goal, the status of progress toward meeting the

goal, and detailed objectives for meeting the goal. The plan is available on the

SPARC website, describing the current progress for each goal by division.

Paralleling the planning process at Ferris, Kendall also responded with a similar

strategic plan beginning in 2008. As an ongoing committee of the College

Senate, Kendall’s SPARC is charged with the leadership role in making

recommendations for college goals and initiatives as well as monitoring and

directing the work of the college’s Strategic Plan. Membership in Kendall’s

SPARC represents a diverse group comprised of faculty, administrators, staff,

and students. To ensure advancement of the Strategic Plan, SPARC is

empowered by the College Senate. Recommendations of the SPARC pass

through the Kendall College Senate to the college president.

Effective strategic alignment and planning

These newly established inclusive and comprehensive processes value

university-wide, cross-sectional participation and proactively seek out areas of

expertise across the University. The new planning processes extend beyond a

new University strategic plan by providing direction for all divisional and college

goals through the annual, Strategic Alignment Planning. The University’s

Strategic Plan guides unified actions across the University affecting curriculum,

physical plant, infrastructure, student recruitment, and University employees

using quality-improvement approaches.

Annual Plans The University’s annual planning process was revised in 2009-10 and aims for

direct alignment with the University Strategic Plan. Each of the divisions and

colleges, in addition to establishing their own long-term goals through a

collaborative process, now aligns these goals with the University Strategic Plan.

As a result, planning at all levels involves realistic decisions about future

priorities rather than generation of long “wish lists” or emphasis on past

accomplishments. The table below summarizes the planning elements for the

University.

TABLE C2.14: FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY PLANNING ELEMENTS

ELEMENT

PLANNING

HORIZON

PRIMARY

DEVELOPMENT

GROUP

PLANNING PERIOD LAST UPDATED

Mission and

Vision

Long term

SPARC,

President’s

Council, broad

University input

Varies (not

expected to be

rewritten in the

foreseeable future)

Approved by

BOT on March

2008

Core Component 2D page 83


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

See SPARC website for

progress report and

evaluation metrics.

Goals and Initiatives

University

Strategic Plan

Divisional

Strategic Plans

(includes 3-4

vp-level

initiatives)

Annual

Planning

Annual

Operating and

Capital Budget

Minor Cap

projects

Master Plan

3-5 yrs, w/

periodic

updates

Rolling 3-5

yrs, w/

periodic

updates

Establish

annual

goals

Annual

(current

focus is

base

reductions)

SPARC, with

significant input

from

stakeholders

Divisional faculty,

staff, and admin

through vp level

Heads of units

through vp level

Board of

Trustees,

President’s

Council, heads of

units, and budget

director

Varies, progress

updated annually,

full re-write

expected in

several years as

goals are met

Varies

(typically January-

March in years

with updates)

Goals

approved April

2008;

Last updated

July 2010

May 2009

February – April April 2009

Reductions as

required; when

applicable, onetime

funding

decisions near end

of fiscal year

One-time

resource

allocations

made May

2009

Discontinued – see Annual Operating and Capital Budget (above)

5-10 yrs,

w/ periodic

updates

Appropriate

stakeholders with

significant

University input

Varies by cycle

Recent plan

updates

approved

March 2009

Kendall’s planning process

At Kendall, the planning process operates at the college level, unit level and

program level through all-college meetings, Dean’s Council, College Senate, and

program meetings.

Checks and balances within the planning process

Ferris State University ensures institutional effectiveness through cyclical and

informed review of its infrastructure as part of its annual budget and planning

analysis. Divisional and college or equivalent planning is established using well

articulated, broad-based, and collaboratively developed goals that are generated

by each unit and submitted to the governing division for review on the basis of

their consistency with the University Strategic Plan, divisional goals, and each

unit’s mission and purpose statement.

As an intrinsic assessment measure, Ferris State University’s Strategic Planning

process provides statistical and qualitative indicators of institutional effectiveness

through annual reports and progress measures. Strategic Planning is monitored

by SPARC, which tracks the alignment of each unit’s goals to the University

goals. SPARC, in consultation with the President’s Council and the Board of

Trustees, develops the directional vision for the University and assists

stakeholders in developing long-term, realistic, and rational strategic goals. The

strategic planning and budget planning processes and procedures are evaluated

and re-assessed regularly with the result that continual improvements are

adopted to increase institutional effectiveness that filters down to each planning

unit.

SPARC’s monthly meetings are aimed at assessing the University’s progress

toward stated goals and initiatives with attention also being given to emerging

page 84 Core Component 2D


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

and reactive goal setting that is responsive to immediate needs. Progress results

are posted on the Strategic Planning website to keep stakeholders current with

improvements to and completion of the Strategic Plan.

Alignment of academic goals with Strategic Plan

As part of the established planning process, each academic college submits an

annual proposal for funding approval, along with a written rationale, to its

divisional head. This process ensures budgets are aligned with the long-term

strategic goals and initiatives while maintaining funding for current initiatives that

are responsive to more immediate budget demands. A summary by the

divisional leadership to the president of the University listing long- and short-term

goals, progress made, and budget compliance are a part of this process for each

unit, which also contains a prioritized list with rationale of new initiatives requiring

funding support outside of the divisional funding. This process provides a

continuous feedback loop involving all stakeholders and ensures financial

support that is based on the University’s Strategic Plan.

At Ferris, planning has come together in many ways across divisions that allows

for alignment with the University’s mission. In some cases, it may be through an

individual department, or perhaps through an objective such as online learning.

While the methods and processes are not all identical they all share the same

idea of inclusiveness and are evident in the operations of Ferris State University.

Academic planning includes several innovative and ongoing projects for

improving processes. This allows Ferris to more successfully complete its

mission to prepare students for successful careers, responsible citizenship, and

lifelong learning. It is clearly evident in the daily operations of curriculum and

academic planning that involves internal and external constituents where

appropriate.

In October 2008, the Academic Senate approved an Academic Plan, the first

created by the faculty Senate. It was written in conjunction with the Strategic

Plan and, again, has a similar structure of goals and initiatives. Progress on this

report is reported annually to the Senate and to the provost/vpaa. In addition,

there are well defined, faculty-inclusive processes for the approval, change, and

dissolution of curricula. As discussed earlier in this chapter, curriculum review is

handled initially by the Academic Program Review Council (APRC). Among their

recommendations are the need for the global context for programs, advisory

boards, and viability. This demonstrates the organization’s awareness of the

relationships among educational quality, student learning, and the diverse,

complex, global, and technological world in which the University and its students

exist.

Alignment of planning and budgeting processes

A clear example of linking planning processes to the budgeting processes is the

process followed by the University Advancement division. As the primary

fundraising arm of the University, this division must be cognizant of the actual

needs of the other parts of the University and the ways to best further the

University mission. While a separate division, they have worked well to integrate

with other areas. As part of University plans between 2005 and 2008,

development officers were embedded within the academic colleges. Plans are

under consideration by the associate vice president for Advancement for other

areas within the University who also may benefit from such development officers,

such as FLITE.

Core Component 2D page 85


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Ferris Foundation:

Annual Reports

Annual Operational

Efficiencies Reports are

posted on the Planning

and Budget Information

website:

Operational Efficiencies

Implementation of these plans has resulted in an increase in the number of

donors who have contributed to the University. The Ferris Foundation invests

close to 30 million in total assets and received cash and cash equivalent

donations in FY09 of $505,882 and $528,679 in FY08. In FY06, cash and cash

equivalent donations totaled $565,256. While FY09 and FY08 each witnessed a

slight decrease, the donations represent a loyal and giving donor base, even in

tough economic times in Michigan. Pledge receivable gifts have increased

significantly from $152,198 in FY06 to $560,392 in FY08 and $453,515 in FY09.

The Advancement division has also invested significantly in technology to allow it

to more easily track alumni and target donations. In 1998, the division purchased

the web-based SAGE/Millennium constituent data system. With the increase in

staff use, they increased the seat license to 50 seats in 2006. An advantage to

this system is not only the ability to track financial data, but also the efforts

associated with building and stewarding donor relations.

One area in which divisional staff is still working is the aligning of institutional

philanthropic priorities within the new strategic planning process. The University

Advancement division, in anticipation of a capital campaign, has put together

processes and research to make sure that a campaign aligns with the goals of

the University, including greater integration with Academic Affairs. The division

retained CCS, an outside consulting firm, to conduct a feasibility study about the

preparation for broader fund-raising efforts. They conducted 104 personal,

private interviews including trustees, board members, alumni, staff/administration

faculty and other constituent groups. The division also commissioned a study by

Pace and Pace that has resulted in a more consistent branding and messaging

campaign to position Ferris.

Alignment of resource and facility goals with Strategic Plan

Annual progress reports and an effective Academic Action Plan are used to build

and inform the University’s Facilities Master Plan (discussed previously in this

chapter). Continuous evaluation of the Master Plan’s effectiveness is maintained

through open community forums, collaboration between the University with

architectural and construction consultants, and careful analysis of building

evaluation surveys and building condition surveys. In addition, the Annual

Operational Efficiencies Report, which is compiled each year by the Office of

Budgetary Planning and Analysis, reports efforts made by each division, college,

and area for the previous academic and fiscal year. The 2009 report was the 11 th

annual reporting of these efforts. The information collected for this report is

submitted annually to the Michigan legislature as evidence of good stewardship

of public resources, and it is used internally as a means to improve efficiencies.

The University also receives external reviews of its financial position by its

auditors and by bonding agencies as it issues additional debt. In 2009, Standard

& Poors reaffirmed its rating of “A” for the University, highlighting good liquidity

for its rating category, steady enrollment growth, and manageable debt levels.

Moodys rating agency affirmed Ferris’ financial strength at A2 as well,

commenting on favorable operating performance despite volatile funding

environment, good average debt service coverage, healthy growth of net tuition

revenue, which has contributed to the University’s decreasing dependence on

state appropriations. In summary, the University must balance the management

of its financial resources with a focus on maintaining its financial health and

viability, maintaining and enhancing the quality of its programs and maintaining

affordability for its students.

page 86 Core Component 2D


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Key performance indicators are also assessed within the Computerized

Maintenance System (CMMS) that the Physical Plant is implementing. This

system allows the Physical Plant to manage and monitor many key functions,

including Stores Inventory and Work Order processing and completion. The

Energy Assessment Plan is one example of Ferris State University’s planning

process effectiveness. The data, for example, from the EAP audits are used to

monitor the facilities’ management and then inform SPARC so that the

committee can continue to allocate resources effectively. The Physical Plant is

also implementing the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) module to monitor and

increase efficiency in delivering services across the University.

Perceptions of Ferris’ planning processes

Several questions from the Criterion Two Perceptions Survey addressed issues

specifically related to the University’s planning processes The following table

summarizes these results.

TABLE C2.15: PERCEPTIONS OF FERRIS’ PLANNING PROCESSES

ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

QUESTION

possible n possible n possible n

=492

=869

=683

n = number of valid responses to Q. n % * n % * n % *

Ferris’ environment is supportive of

innovation and change

Ferris clearly identifies authority for

63 77.8 95 64.2 74 68.9

decision making about organizational

goals

54 77.8 85 60.0 68 69.1

Ferris’ planning processes are linked

with the budgeting processes

55 70.9 67 68.7 56 83.9

Implementation of the University’s

planning is evident in its operations

Long-range strategic planning

56 71.4 81 66.7 68 76.5

processes allow for reprioritization of

goals when necessary because of

changing environments

57 87.7 73 69.9 65 86.2

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree, agree,

disagree, strongly disagree).

Perceptions about the new planning processes

While the new strategic planning processes are relatively new and are continuing

to be revised and adjusted, based on the survey results, the University

community feels that the planning processes allow for innovation, have clear

channels of authority, and allow for reprioritization of goals when necessary

because of changing environments.

During the research process, it became evident to the Criterion Two committee

that the University’s leadership is also continuing to monitor and improve

communication to increase awareness and involvement in these planning

processes. Some of the communication methods being considered and added

include university-wide messages from the president, open forums presented by

the president and the budget office, as well as open SPARC meetings.

Core Component 2D page 87


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Listening session perceptions

The Criterion Two Listening Session provided additional significant insights into

the University community’s perceptions about the planning processes. For

example, participants in every session emphasized that the University has good

planning processes with multiple channels for individual input. In these open

sessions, however, individuals also commented that, while the rationale for

decisions were not always as well communicated as they could be, great

progress has been made. Listening session participants also identified specific

areas of recognized improvement, including:

• Departments monitor enrollments and adjust course offerings based on

planning data.

• Academic planning is more thoughtful, systematic, and data-driven than

in the past.

• Several University efforts at reorganization and enhancement reflect

careful planning, such as restructuring of UAM, evolution of the Ferris

Foundation, implementation of Banner, FerrisConnect, emergency

readiness plans, and coordination of advising and admissions

processes.

Conclusion to Core Component 2D

Ferris has addressed the challenges of a tightening economy and a diminishing

pool of potential students with more extensive long-term planning and new ways

of managing financial resources. Planning effectively and efficiently also requires

improved communications and decision-making processes. The University’s

strategic planning processes, built on Ferris’ tradition of open, participatory, and

transparent decision-making and communication processes, while still being

improved, are providing the University with focused and directed leadership. The

clear linkage and alignment between the goals of the strategic plan and many of

the areas of improvement identified through the self-study process reinforce the

steps being made to address these ongoing challenges.

page 88 Core Component 2D


Criterion Two: Conclusion

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Preparing for the Future: Examples of excellence in practice

This chapter has addressed Ferris State University’s preparation and readiness

for current and future challenges. Based on the self-study research as well as

university-wide discussions and forums, the Self-Study Steering Committee and

report reviewers identified the following areas as examples of excellence in

practice.

Realistic preparation for and awareness of future challenges

Ferris maintains healthy, fiscal stability in a challenging economic

environment.

Ferris’ planning and forecasting processes are increasingly data-driven,

allowing units, departments, and divisions to better analyze current and

future needs.

Ferris builds on a realistic vision of the successes and lessons of its past

to plan for the future.

Ferris’ planning and forecasting processes are broad and inclusive,

including analysis of the current and future needs of its student body,

faculty, staff, administrators, technology resources, and facilities.

Resources to support and maintain academic excellence

Ferris’ planning and development processes support up-to-date physical

facilities.

Ferris’ academic programs maintain strong industry and alumni

connections through advisory boards and University structures, leading

to equipment donations, scholarship support, mentoring, and internships

for current students as well as employment opportunities for graduates.

Ferris maintains, supports, and recruits qualified faculty who are

dedicated to their students, their programs, and their ongoing individual

professional development.

Ferris’ technology area and support services provide the University with

reliable, up-to-date technological resources and services.

• The University provides all faculty, staff, and administrators with

extensive opportunities for upgrading skills.

Evaluation and assessment processes that provide reliable evidence

Ferris has a proud history of effective, deeply established assessment

processes that support development and ongoing evaluation of

academic programs and that involve faculty, staff, and administrators at

all levels.

Ferris’ assessment processes reflect sound, professionally accepted

methodologies that require the participation and input from both internal

and external constituencies.

Ferris is building on its established assessment processes with

increased transparency, centralized data collection, and more effective

application of collected data for continuous improvement.

Criterion Two: Resources page 89


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

Strategic Plan:

Goals and Initiatives

Planning processes aligned with the University mission

Ferris’ planning and evaluation processes are directly aligned to the

University’s mission, goals, and core values.

Ferris’ strategic planning goals necessitate an ongoing, direct, and clear

focus on maintaining the core principles of the University’s mission.

Ferris is increasing transparency and accessibility of planning and

assessment data through mechanisms such as TracDat, SPARC’s

coordination of planning efforts, budget and planning forums, and

university-wide communication.

Ferris’ established planning, assessment, and evaluation processes all

rely on internal evaluation mechanisms to ensure their continuing

effectiveness.

Preparing for the Future: Discoveries from the self study

Identifying the significant strengths that support the University’s preparation for

future challenges also provided the Steering Committee and University

community with the opportunity to reflect on the following opportunities for

development and improvement:

• How can the University ensure that data-driven decisions continue to be

emphasized and valued throughout its strategic planning processes?

• As the data-driven model becomes increasingly central to the planning

processes, what actions can the University take to ensure that the

staffing and resources available for these efforts are aligned to meet

data needs?

• Similarly, as the University’s data collection efforts increase and the data

become more widely available, how can Ferris effectively enhance and

extend communication and analysis efforts, enabling use of these data

for broader decisions?

• As the University faces current budget restraints, what actions can the

institution take to ensure the consistency of its established evaluation,

assessment, and planning processes?

• What actions and efforts can the University make to reinforce and

support SPARC and the new strategic planning processes to enable

these to become more established, more thoroughly integrated, and

increasingly effective?

• How can the University ensure the institution’s clear focus on its Mission,

Goals, and Core Values as it strives to meet essential goals, face new

and existing challenges proactively, thrive, and grow, despite diminishing

resources?

Alignment with Strategic Plan

In reviewing the findings from this research, the Steering Committee identified

significant overlap with the University’s Strategic Plan. For example, the third

goal of the Strategic Plan directs the University’s attention to financial planning,

and the fourth goal to maintaining a “state-of-the art, sustainable and safe

learning, living, and working environment.” Goal 6 also reinforces the importance

of continuing improvement in the University’s processes and procedures. The list

page 90 Criterion Two: Conclusion


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

below highlights some of the key initiatives from the plan that reflect these

concerns:

• Goal 3, initiative 2: Expand the Marketing Campaign to support the

University’s positive image

• Goal 3, initiative 4: Increase University and college budget transparency

• Goal 4, initiative 1: Finalize and implement a plan to renovate or replace

student living space

• Goal 4, initiative 3: Upgrade lab spaces and classrooms based on the

identified needs of the users

• Goal 4, initiative 6: Develop and implement an environmental

sustainability plan

• Goal 6, initiative 5: Identify the appropriate levels for budget

responsibility and change the budget process accordingly

Criterion Two: Resources page 91


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

(this page is intentionally blank)

page 92 Criterion Two: Conclusion


Criterion Two: List of key resources and references

CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

SECTION RESOURCE NAME LOCATION / URL

W.N. Ferris, Autobiography

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/ferrisfaq/wood

bridge/21foundi.htm

The Employment Situation: December

2009, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

http://www.bls.gov/data/ - employment

“ FSU General Fund Revenue

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

Perspective,” May 2009

“Higher Education in Michigan: Over-

president

coming Challenges to Expand Access” by

A. Cunningham, et al, Mar. 2008, a report

by Institute for Higher Education Policy &

Supported by W. K. Kellogg Foundation

http://www.ihep.org/Publications/publicatio

ns-detail.cfm?id=107

Budget Presentations, 2009

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

president/BudgetF09.htm

Budget office

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

president/budget.htm

Michigan Senate, funding history for http://www.senate.michigan.gov/sfa/Depar

higher education

tments/FundHistory/FHhed_web.pdf

President Eisler’s speech to the Michigan http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

Senate, 2009

president/speeches/house2009/Chart4.pdf

Financial Aid, Great Lakes Scholarships

http://www.ferris.edu/admissions/financial

aid/greatlakes.html#freshman

2.A

Preparing for the Future

Financial Aid, Scholarships

http://www.ferris.edu/admissions/financial

aid/scholarships.html

http://www.ferris.edu/admissions/testing/C

Ferris Fact Books

LEPPages/CLEPPagesHTML/factBook.ht

m

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

Recruitment Task Force, 2004

president/planningTF2004/planchargeenro

ll04.htm

Services for transfer students

http://www.ferris.edu/admissions/Transfer/

homepage.htm

Services for international students http://www.ferris.edu/international/

Services for minority students

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/studentlife/min

ority/

Services for students with military status

http://www.ferris.edu/admissions/Transfer/

WebPages/military.htm

Disability services

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/colleges/univer

sity/disability/

University College programs and services http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/colleges/univer

for under-prepared students

sity/

Diversity and Inclusion Office http://www.ferris.edu/diversity/

Facilities Master Plan (Budget office http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

website)

president/budget-office/masterplans.htm

Self-study listening session summaries http://www.ferris.edu/hlc/progress.htm

“Employees in Postsecondary Institutions,

Fall 2008, and Salaries of Full-Time

Instructional Faculty, 2008-09”

http:/nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp

?pubid=2010165

2.B

Providing a Stable

Resource Base

College-by-college FCTL funding

FCTL programs and activities

Summer University

http://www.ferris.edu/fctl/About/Reports.ht

ml

http://www.ferris.edu/fctl/

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

adminandfinance/human/training/homepa

ge.htm

Ferris Employee Leadership Development

Program (FELDP)

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

adminandfinance/human/training/homepa

ge.htm

Criterion Two: Resources page 93


CRITERION TWO

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

2.C

Ongoing Assessment for

Continuous Improvement

2.D

Planning for the Future

Residence Hall Director: professional

development opportunities

Tuition Benefit Program

Promotion policies

Academic Review Process (APR)

APR findings / Provost recommendations

e-Learning Management Advisory Team

Ferris’ online growth (pdf)

Student Affairs Assessment Report

Strategic Planning and Resource Council

(SPARC)

Planning Processes

SPARC planning report and evaluation

metrics

Ferris Foundation, Annual reports

Annual Operational Efficiencies Reports

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/studentlife/resli

fe/employment/hall_director_recruitment/w

elcome.htm

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

adminandfinance/Human/HRPPs/

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

adminandfinance/human/HRPPs/

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

academicaffairs/vpoffice/senate/progrevie

wcounc/

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

academicaffairs/vpoffice/senate/progrevie

wcounc/minutes/index.htm

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

academicaffairs/online/E-Learning/

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

academicaffairs/online/

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

studentaffairs/assessment/processAssess

ment.html

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

president/strategic/

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

president/budget-office/annualplanning.htmhttp://www.ferris.edu/strategicplanning/Goals-Initiatives.htm

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/foundation/rep

orts.htm

http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/

president/budget-office/annualplanning.htm

page 94 Criterion Two: Resources


Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching


(this page is intentionally blank)

page 96 Criterion Three


Teaching and Learning

At a Glance

FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY’S SUPPORT OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING

RICK GRIFFIN, Professor of Political Science

My faculty research grant on the politics and culture of the Texas-Mexican border

has positively impacted classroom and student learning in my class in very

important ways. The course that I teach most often is PLSC 323: International

Organizations. This course focuses upon the political, social, economic, and

cultural issues of globalization. The research grant allowed me to put together a

Study Away program in which I took a number of students to the Texas-Mexican

border and into the Mexican interior to Monterey, Mexico. It was a very beneficial

learning experience for Political Science and Criminal Justice students.–R. Griffin

AVESH RAGHUNANDAN, Associate Professor, Michigan College of Optometry

My research grant is subsidizing costs associated with my research, which entails

the study of the processes utilized by the human visual system to localize targets

in space. I have recruited optometry students who are in their 1 st year of study to

participate in this study. In essence this study has allowed them to engage

intimately with formalized research process, which will assist them as they

prepare to embark on their own research projects required in their 4 th year of

study. The research project deals with advanced concepts in vision science,

which exposes these students to higher levels of learning in this area and how this

information impacts visual processing in abnormal visual experiences. –A.

Raghunandan

FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY’S SUPPORT OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING

RANDY HOLT, Ferris Foundation Scholarship Recipient

Randy Holt, a native of White Cloud, Michigan, is a senior majoring in Integrative

Studies with a specialty in Music Industry Management and a double minor in

Philosophy and French. After graduating, Holt hopes to establish non-profit

organizations that help under-privileged youth experience music and what it can

do for the mind, body, and soul. “Through music, I believe I can stimulate youth to

get involved with each other and the community in a fun, creative, and positive

way. It has been proven that music stimulates the mind, and there is no doubt that

music can provide a creative outlet…a gateway to a positive and bright future.” –

R. Holt

NICHOLE WIERS, Ferris Foundation Scholarship Recipient

Nichole Wiers, an accountancy/finance major from Allendale, Michigan, is a hardworking

student-athlete on Ferris’ track and cross-country teams. “Being an

athlete in high school and now college has taught me to stay focused and make

good decisions. Taking 15 credit hours each semester while my weekends are

filled with cross country and track meets can be exhausting, but I know I am

developing a good work ethic that will stay with me for the rest of my life,” says

Wiers who plans to be a forensic accountant upon graduation. Paying her own

way through college provides a challenge, one that more and more students are

facing. “It’s been a challenge and at times a struggle to pay for everything, but I

know that it will all be worth it in the end.” –N. Wiers


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Criterion Three: Table of Contents

Criterion Three: Introduction .................................................................................................................. 101

Student learning and teaching effectiveness..................................................................................... 101

Core Component 3A .............................................................................................................................. 101

Effective assessment at Ferris .......................................................................................................... 101

Assessment procedures and processes ........................................................................................... 102

University assessment plan ............................................................................................................... 107

University assessment database ....................................................................................................... 107

Assessing program effectiveness ...................................................................................................... 108

Assessing student learning using external measures ....................................................................... 109

Assessing student learning through course assessment .................................................................. 111

Leadership commitment to and support of assessment .................................................................... 112

Ferris’ Mission, Vision, and Core Values support assessment ......................................................... 113

University-wide assessment .............................................................................................................. 113

Assessing learning in non-credit settings .......................................................................................... 114

Assessing student learning within the Student Affairs Division ......................................................... 114

Applying assessment data................................................................................................................. 115

Perceptions of assessment at Ferris ................................................................................................. 117

Conclusion to Core Component 3A ................................................................................................... 118

Core Component 3B .............................................................................................................................. 119

Faculty recruiting, hiring, and mentoring practices ............................................................................ 119

Faculty professional development ..................................................................................................... 119

Encouraging classroom innovation ................................................................................................... 121

Recognizing excellence and innovation ............................................................................................ 121

Perceptions of Ferris’ support of teaching excellence ....................................................................... 122

Conclusion to Core Component 3B ................................................................................................... 123

Core Component 3C .............................................................................................................................. 124

Advising and mentoring of students .................................................................................................. 124

Learning and teaching spaces .......................................................................................................... 125

Experiential learning .......................................................................................................................... 129

Evaluating experiential learning ........................................................................................................ 131

Evaluating online learning ................................................................................................................. 132

Students’ perceptions of effective learning ........................................................................................ 132

Perceptions of Ferris’ support of effective learning environments .................................................... 133

Conclusion to Core Component 3C ................................................................................................... 135

Core Component 3D .............................................................................................................................. 136

Facilities and technology for teaching and learning .......................................................................... 136

Evaluating the effectiveness of technology resources ...................................................................... 136

Facilities and access to information resources.................................................................................. 137

Evaluating the effectiveness of reference facilities and access to information resources ................ 138

Resources supporting learning and academics ................................................................................ 139

Resources and programs to encourage enrollment .......................................................................... 140

Resources, programs, and activities supporting retention ................................................................ 142

Perceptions of the University’s support of resources for effective learning ...................................... 144

Conclusion to Core Component 3D ................................................................................................... 145

Criterion Three: Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 146

Teaching and learning: Examples of excellence in practice ............................................................. 146

Teaching and learning: Discoveries from the self study .................................................................... 148

Alignment with Strategic Plan ............................................................................................................ 149

Criterion Three: List of key resources and references .......................................................................... 151


List of Figures and Tables

Table C3.1: Assessment activities for the GE Learning Outcomes Areas ............................................... 104

Table C3.2: Academic Profile Subscores, 2009-10 .................................................................................. 105

Table C3.3: University Assessment Plan: 2011-12 .................................................................................. 107

Table C3.4: In-direct assessment methods used by academic programs ............................................... 108

Table C3.5: Academic programs and professional areas requiring credentialing and/or licensure ......... 109

Table C3.6: Certification test pass rates of selected Ferris CAHS programs .......................................... 110

Table C3.7: Assessment activities within Student Affairs Division ........................................................... 115

Table C3.8: Sample of curricular and programmatic changes effected by assessment results .............. 115

Table C3.9: Perceptions of Ferris’ assessment efforts ............................................................................. 117

Table C3.10: Recognition of effective teaching, advising, and service .................................................... 121

Table C3.11: Perceptions of Ferris’ support of effective teaching ............................................................ 122

Table C3.12: Special-purpose laboratories, clinics, and teaching facilities.............................................. 126

Table C3.13: Ferris and Kendall studio, gallery, and lab space ............................................................... 127

Table C3.14: Non-classroom learning “spaces” and activities ................................................................. 129

Table C3.15: Selected non-internship experiential learning experiences ................................................ 130

Table C3.16: Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL), Ferris Seniors, 2010 ......................................... 133

Table C3.17: Perceptions of Ferris’ support of effective learning environments ...................................... 134

Table C3.18: Pass Rates, Math 110-SLA, Spring 2010 ........................................................................... 140

Table C3.19: Retention Rates of Freshman-to-Sophomores, Full-Time FTIACS, 2000-10 ..................... 142

Table C3.20: Activities supporting retention ............................................................................................. 143

Table C3.21: Perceptions of Ferris’ support of resources for effective teaching ..................................... 144

Key to abbreviations used frequently in this chapter

CAHS College of Allied Health Sciences

CAS College of Arts and Sciences

CET College of Engineering Technology

COB College of Business

COEHS College of Education and Human Services

COP College of Pharmacy

CPD Corporate and Professional Development Center

CPTS College of Professional and Technological Studies

DIO Diversity and Inclusion Office

GE General Education

FLITE Ferris Library for Information, Technology, and Education

KCAD Kendall College of Art and Design

MCO Michigan College of Optometry

OMSS Office of Multicultural Student Services

RSO Registered Student Organization

SGID Small Group Instructional Diagnosis

SPARC Strategic Planning and Resource Council

TAC Technology Assistance Center

UAM University Advancement and Marketing (office of)

UWN University-wide Notices


Criterion Three: Introduction

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Does the institution provide evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates

it is fulfilling its educational mission?

Core Component 3A

Student learning and teaching effectiveness

Central to Ferris State University’s mission is a goal to prepare students for

successful careers by offering career-relevant programs and relying on strong

external partnerships. An institution that strives to provide students with

immediate job-market skills and to prepare graduates for successful lifelong

careers must begin assessing student learning by focusing on programmatic

goals and professionally defined outcomes.

Ferris’ assessment and evaluation processes, then, are focused on program

assessment that uses ongoing and continuous interaction with professional

organizations and working professionals who know the current needs of the

field, as well as trend-setters and visionaries in these fields. Evidence of

effective preparation for these professional areas is captured on one level in

the placement and employment rates of the University’s graduates and, on

another level, in student scores on licensing and credentialing tests. Before

students become employable graduates, however, the assessment and

evaluation processes must be used to continuously improve student learning

and effective teaching.

Are the organization’s goals for student learning outcomes clearly stated for each educational program

in order to make effective assessment possible?

Effective assessment at Ferris

Since the last NCA/HLC visit in 2001, Ferris State University has

implemented several new processes to track assessment of student learning

outcomes. By the early 1980s, many University programs had established

clear course and program learning outcomes and had begun systematic

program assessment. While these data were collected and supported through

several college-wide initiatives, the full process became centralized in 2007

with the forming of the Academic Affairs Assessment Committee (AAAC).

This group has led the way for better-defined and implemented assessment

strategies in the colleges, programs, and courses across the University.

The AAAC helps coordinate assessment efforts and serves as a steering

committee and resource body for assessment activities across the University.

The committee is comprised of members from the colleges of Allied Health

Sciences (CAHS), Arts and Sciences (CAS), Business (COB), Education and

Human Services (COEHS), Engineering Technology (CET), and University

College and is chaired by the University Assessment Coordinator.

Core Component 3A page 101


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Additional information on

each of these efforts

follows in this section.

APR website

See Criterion Two, Core

Component 2C, for

additional description of

the APR process.

Some of AAAC’s coordination efforts have led to these improvements:

• Each college, as well as the Ferris Library for Information,

Technology, and Education (FLITE) and the Faculty Center for

Teaching and Learning (FCTL), has an assessment mentor who is a

resource for curricular assessment efforts.

• The rigorous focus on assessment measures has resulted in some

individual departments assigning an assessment “mentor” to assist

faculty members with assessment methods and tools.

• During the 2008-09 academic year, Ferris implemented a new data

repository system called TracDat, which provides a mechanism for

continuous assessment of individual programs and competencies

that extend across curricula.

Assessment procedures and processes

Additional drivers of learning assessment efforts at Ferris are the Academic

Program Review (APR) process, the University’s General Education (GE)

Committee, and the curriculum development and revision processes, led by

the University Curriculum Committee (UCC).

Academic Program Review (APR) Process

Ferris State University implemented a formal process for academic program

review process in 1988. In conjunction with student outcomes assessment,

program assessment, and accreditation self studies, APR enables the

University to maintain a high level of degree program quality and to ensure

the relevance and viability of its academic programs. The mission of the APR

process is “to ensure that the academic programs of the University achieve

and maintain the highest possible standards of academic excellence.”

APR is one of several means by which academic excellence and learning

outcomes are measured at Ferris. Broadly defined, academic program review

involves the study of all aspects of a degree program — students, curriculum,

administration, facilities, alumni, employers, and labor market. At Ferris, this

study, which takes up to a year to prepare, is done on a cyclical basis and is

required of all degree programs.

APR at Ferris functions effectively through the collaboration of faculty and

administration. On a six-year cycle, faculty-led teams research and write

degree program self-study reports. An all-faculty committee, the Academic

Program Review Council (APRC), reviews the reports and makes

recommendations to the Academic Senate. These recommendations are

presented to the provost/vpaa, the University president, and the Board of

Trustees for action.

Academic excellence is dependent on a talented, knowledgeable, dedicated,

and highly motivated faculty and staff. The coordinated efforts of faculty and

administration in the APR process produce benefits for all stakeholders of the

University community. Students benefit from the instructional and facility

improvements that degree programs make as a result of the information from

page 102 Core Component 3A


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

the self-study. This information also enables faculty to make the kind of

necessary curricular changes that keep the degree program current and

rigorous. The University can make sound policy and allocation decisions

based on this self-study information. Employers, as well as the state and

nation, benefit from graduates who are prepared to excel in the workplace.

University General Education Committee (UGEC)

The UGEC is a university-wide committee appointed by and reporting to the

provost/vpaa. The committee is chaired by the GE Coordinator and consists

of one representative from CAHS, CAS, COB, COEHS, CET, FLITE (library)

staff, and academic counselors. An associate provost also sits on the UGEC

as a non-voting member.

Ferris State University is committed to general education assessment. Only

by gaining a more complete picture of the knowledge and skills of both

entering and exiting students can the University understand what students

need, what they learn, what they don't learn, and what the University needs to

do to improve general education learning opportunities.

UGEC website The UGEC monitors the effectiveness of the General Education program at

Ferris, guides the work of the GE “area” committees, and completes regular

assessment of the learning outcomes of the University’s students. While

classroom assessment is regularly performed by faculty to enable

improvement of their teaching and curriculum, general education assessment

is concerned with the broader impact of the general education curriculum

over the students’ educational experience.

GE Learning Outcomes

Area Committees

website:

GE outcomes

The General Education Learning Outcomes Area Committees, which report

to the UGEC, serve the dual function of approving courses for inclusion in a

specific learning outcomes area and conducting assessment of student

learning for that outcome area. The Area Committees monitor and assess the

effectiveness of the courses that meet their area’s GE requirement. Area

Committees exist for each outcome area:

• Communication Competence:

o Writing, including Writing Intensive Courses

o Speech

• Scientific Understanding

• Social Awareness

• Cultural Enrichment

• Global Consciousness

• Race/Ethnicity/Gender

GE assessment The University has developed outcomes criteria for each GE area and course

where appropriate. These criteria help to clarify the educational goals for

general education, serve as a basis for assessment, and help to identify what

content courses must include in order to satisfy a particular general education

outcome. Assessment activities for the GE Learning Outcomes Areas include

measures of student learning, summarized in the table below.

Core Component 3A page 103


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Calendar of major

assessment activities:

Assessment calendar

TABLE C3.1: ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES FOR THE GE LEARNING OUTCOMES AREAS

Writing

• Direct measure: Portfolio assessment at all levels

• Indirect measure: Ferris student survey

Speech

• Direct measure: pre/post test (COMM 221)

• Indirect measure: Ferris student survey

• Direct measure: Assessing course outcomes in READ106;

Reading

beginning assessment in READ 176

• Indirect measure: Ferris student survey

Quantitative Skills

• Direct measure: Locally developed tests for students entering

and exiting courses

Scientific

• Direct measure: Experimentation with locally developed pre-

Reasoning

and post-tests administered via FerrisConnect

Social Awareness

• Direct measures: Experimentation with locally developed

multiple-choice test for entering and exiting students

Cultural

• Indirect measure: Experimentation with survey to students

Enrichment

entering and exiting CE classes

Global

Consciousness

• Direct measure: Experimentation with locally developed test

Race/Ethnicity/ • Measures: Under development/some discussion of a pre- and

Gender

post-test instrument

Life-long

Learning

• Indirect Measure: Student survey of learning

The GE Coordinator monitors the assessment efforts of each of the GE area

committees and provides guidance for each area committee as it develops

appropriate assessment measures. The GE Coordinator is also responsible

for additional learning outcomes assessments; key among these are the

Academic Profile (AP) assessment (now ETS Proficiency Profile) and the

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

Academic Profile (AP) assessment

Acad.Profile / Prof.Profile Although the Academic Profile (now the ETS Proficiency Profile) has been

administered at Ferris for a number of years, the question of how to apply the

data to drive curricular improvements is a subject of continuing conversation.

In 2009-10, a total of 173 students completed the assessment, and data from

154 students are reflected in the University statistics (summarized in the table

below). This standardized test assesses Ferris students' progress towards

meeting the learning outcomes in the following areas:

• Critical Thinking

• Reading

• Writing

• Mathematics

• Humanities

• Social Sciences

• Natural Sciences

In early December 2010, the General Education committee members, deans,

and department heads convened to review the 2009-10 results.

As is apparent from the data presented below, Ferris students score nearest

the 50 th percentile in all categories. For the first time, the 2009-10 report

included a value-added report that compared students’ expected performance

page 104 Core Component 3A


NSSE results

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

with their ACT scores and their actual performance on the test. With options

of “well above expected,” “above expected,” “below expected,” and well below

expected,” Ferris students achieved mixed results (also indicated in the table

below).

TABLE C3.2: ACADEMIC PROFILE SUBSCORES, 2009-10

SKILLS SUBSCORES FERRIS MEAN

SCORE

50 TH

PERCENTILE

75 TH

PERCENTILE

Critical Thinking 111.47 111 117

Reading 117.79 118 123

Writing 114.23 114 119

Mathematics 115.09 116 119

Humanities 114.32 114 119

Social Sciences 113.35 114 118

Natural Sciences 115.38 116 119

Note: the possible range of scores for all subscores = 100-130

SKILLS AREA FRESHMEN SENIORS

Critical Thinking At expected Below expected

Writing Below expected At expected

Standardized Test Score 986 1042

The General Education committee feels that, with the limited number of

completed exams, it is premature to make judgments about the effectiveness

of education in these critical general education outcome areas. That Ferris

students, as seniors, perform below expectations in critical thinking would be

of concern; however, it is unclear that these data are an accurate reflection.

The GE committee intends to increase efforts in the next administration of the

test to engage a larger and more representative population of test takers,

applying similar strategies and approaches used to obtain useful and

representative NSSE results.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

Another external measure of student learning that applies to students across

the University is the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Every

even-numbered year the Office of Institutional Research and the Office of

Academic Affairs sponsors the NSSE as a tool for continuous improvement.

NSSE assesses student engagement in five areas:

• Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL)

• Enriching Educational Experiences (EEE)

• Level of Academic Challenge (LAC)

• Student-Faculty Interaction (SFI)

• Supportive Campus Environment (SCE)

Recent 2008 and 2010 data indicate that Ferris seniors rated their education

higher in four of the five NSSE areas as compared to the selected peers.

However, only one of the four areas, Active and Collaborative Learning

(ACL), had positive practical significance for both first-year students and

seniors. Discussion of the NSSE results is contained in various locations

throughout this report, where applicable.

Core Component 3A page 105


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

For add’l information

about Kendall’s GE

program, see the KCAD

NASAD self-study report

University Curriculum

Committee (UCC):

UCC website

General Education at Kendall

Following the requirements established by its accreditation body, the National

Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), Kendall has clearly

defined general education requirements for all of its BFA programs: 10-15%

art history (12-15 credits) and 25-35% general studies (30-42 credits).

Kendall offers a full range of general education courses in Social Science,

Humanities, and Science, meeting the general education requirements

appropriate for students in arts and design curricula.

University curriculum development and approval process

Ferris has a formal, well-defined process for curriculum additions and

revisions. The University curriculum approval process ensures program

integrity and uniqueness for undergraduate, graduate, and postbaccalaureate

programs. This process has been structured with the express

purpose of encouraging creative development and renewal of the University’s

curriculum, programs, and offerings. The University Curriculum Committee

(UCC), a standing committee of the Academic Senate, leads this process at

the university level. Before proposals reach the UCC, however, they must be

initiated, reviewed, and approved by curriculum committees at the

department and/or college level.

All course changes require course descriptions, course outcomes, and

assessment methods prior to approval. The approval process includes review

and approval by program faculty, the initiating department and college, the

University, and the faculty Senate. In addition, program consultation forms

must be sent to any affected programs outside of the discipline.

The UCC requires all new program proposals to include an assessment plan.

New programming also requires state-wide approval through the President’s

Council. In addition, the UCC screens proposals for curriculum additions and

revisions to ensure that they are consistent with the best interests of the

University. Each new or significantly modified program will be subject to a

review by comparing the expected results with the program’s realized

performance within six years of implementation. Thus, the curricular

development process is directly linked to the APR process.

Kendall’s curriculum development process

Mirroring Ferris’ UCC responsibilities and process, Kendall’s curriculum

development and assessment process begins with faculty involvement either

within a given program or across disciplines. As the development proceeds,

the efforts are vetted at the program level, through the Dean’s Council, and

finally moved forward to the College Senate for approval. The development

and review process for curricular changes follows the same path, with final

evaluation as part of the formal Program Review process.

page 106 Core Component 3A


Univ. Assessment Plan

University assessment plan

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Ferris seeks to use assessment effectively to enhance student learning.

Driving the University’s assessment efforts are five assessment goals,

established in 2008 by the Academic Affairs Assessment Committee (AAAC).

Each year, the AAAC reviews these goals and our progress toward meeting

them. Revisions and updates to the Assessment Plan are initiated by the

AAAC, voted on by the AAAC, and, if approved, wrapped into the

Assessment Plan. Each goal has several specific objectives that drive

assessment actions and initiatives across the University. The table below

reflects the current assessment goals.

TABLE C3.3: UNIVERSITY ASSESSMENT PLAN: 2011-12

College assessment committees will review programs within their

Goal One college and create action plans to progress programs to the next

level within reasonable timeframes.

College assessment committees will review courses within their

Goal Two college and create action plans to progress courses to the next level

within reasonable timeframes.

The Academic Affairs Assessment Committee (AAAC) will continue

Goal Three to support college-wide and university-wide committees in efforts

related to assessment.

There will be strong professional development programs in place to

Goal Four

engage faculty in increasingly effective assessment practices.

Goal Five Assessment will be an integral part of regular institutional practices.

University assessment database

To support assessment efforts and improve the structure for assessment

within colleges, departments, and academic programs, Ferris adopted and

implemented the TracDat software application in the fall of 2008. TracDat

provides the University with a common data repository for assessment data

as well as allows an accessible mechanism to track, monitor, and benchmark

best practices in assessment. All colleges and academic programs have

entered their assessment plans and are continuing their efforts to capture

evidence, assessed outcomes, and improvement measures for entry into the

system.

The TracDat system, although a new addition to the assessment efforts, is

quickly providing the University with central access to important assessment

and programmatic information. For example, in addition to capturing each

academic program’s specific goals, objectives, and student learning

outcomes, the database also includes each program’s mission, ongoing

Advisory Board activities, and detailed curricular map linking program goals

to specific course requirements.

Core Component 3A page 107


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Assessing program effectiveness

Assessing learning within academic programs

Ferris’ academic programs have, for many years, worked toward defining

program outcomes and learning objectives, and then mapping these to

individual course requirements. Assessment efforts and initiatives, as early as

the 1980s, have focused on defining clear learning outcomes and identifying

appropriate assessment measures.

As part of the current University’s Assessment plan, outcomes for all

academic programs are now entered into the TracDat repository system. The

programmatic outcomes collected in TracDat clearly show the differentiation

in learning outcomes as students move from an associate’s to a bachelor’s

degree, as well as into master’s and doctoral degree programs.

The TracDat system also allows programs to “map” their curriculum clearly,

identifying specific course requirements that fulfill specific program learning

and/or behavioral outcomes. These curricular maps provide a visual

representation of the students’ progress through the program, as they gain

skills and knowledge to meet the ultimate program goals. These maps also

allow programs to determine that they are constructed and sequenced

appropriately, so that, as a student progresses, pre-requisite skills — as well

as baseline levels of ability — are obtained in preceding courses. For

example, a student must pass Principles of Accounting 1: ACCT 201 with a

C- or higher in order to move on to Principles of Accounting 2: ACCT 202.

Assessment of student learning includes multiple direct and indirect

measures of student learning such as capstone course projects, senior

portfolios, clinical laboratory internships, internship evaluations, and national

or state referenced examinations. Each of these assessment measures is tied

to the program outcomes, and, now, captured in the TracDat system. The

following table summarizes the value of some of the in-direct assessment

methods used by Ferris’ academic programs.

TABLE C3.4: IN-DIRECT ASSESSMENT METHODS USED BY ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

Capstone

courses /

Senior

projects

Portfolio

Capstone courses provide a concentrated opportunity for students to

demonstrate the learning outcomes expected by the program. For

example, Integrating Experience: BUSN 499, required of all bachelor’s

degree students in the College of Business (except Graphic Design),

requires students to work in multidisciplinary teams to develop a global

corporate strategy including production operations, procurement,

distribution and marketing, pricing, research and development,

employment levels and compensation, and operations financing.

Several programs use a senior portfolio, often presented to a

professional audience for review and/or discussion, to demonstrate

learning outcomes. These professional portfolios allow students to

demonstrate the skills they have mastered within their college career,

including practical skills gained through internship opportunities.

Programs use the portfolios to help students transition from their

academic work to professional job opportunities and interviews, as well

as graduate school admissions.

page 108 Core Component 3A


See the current

Institutional Snapshot for

additional information on

these certification and

licensure tests, as well as

pass rate data.

Internships

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Through program internships, students gain new knowledge, an

awareness of their field in action, and behavioral skills necessary to

function in the work environment. Internship evaluations provide

employers the opportunity to report on students’ ability to master

stated outcomes. Over 70% of Ferris’ programs require an internship

or practicum.

Assessing student learning using external measures

Certification testing

Most academic programs at Ferris use both internal and external assessment

data to measure student learning and, potentially, determine changes in their

courses and curricula. Also, because of Ferris’ career-oriented focus, many of

the University’s graduates must pass credentialing and/or licensure testing in

order to become an active, practicing member of their profession. The table

below identifies several of Ferris’ academic programs and their related

professional areas requiring credentialing and/or licensure.

TABLE C3.5: ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND PROFESSIONAL AREAS REQUIRING

CREDENTIALING AND/OR LICENSURE

COLLEGE PROGRAM CERTIFICATION (FOR PRACTICE IN MICHIGAN)

CAHS Nursing/BSN

National Council Licensing Examination-

NCLEL-RN

CAHS Dental Hygiene/AAS

American Dental Association’s Dental

Hygiene National Board Certification

CAHS Respiratory Care/AAS National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)

COB

Professional Golf Mgmt./

BS

Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA)

COB

Professional Tennis

Mgmt./ BS

United States Professional Tennis Association

(USPTA)

COEHS

Recreation Leadership

Management/BS

Certified Park and Recreation Professional

(CPRP)

COEHS Education/BS

Michigan Test for Teaching Certification

(MTTC)

COEHS Criminal Justice/BS

Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement

Standards (MCOLES)

COP Pharmacy/PharmD

National Association of Boards of Pharmacy

(NABP)

MCO Optometry/OD

National Board of Examiners in Optometry

(NBEO)

Certification testing provides, at base, an indicator of overall program success

in meeting defined learning outcomes. Programs receive pass-rate data,

allowing them to compare their students’ success in demonstrating

professional knowledge with data from other institutions and programs. For

example, the BSN nursing program receives information on their pass rates

on the national board exams. National data indicates that Ferris BSN

graduates consistently surpass the national pass rate. In 2009, for example,

the national pass rate was 86% while Ferris’ pass rate was 92%. In 2010,

Ferris BSN pass rate was 89.5% compared to the national average of 87.4%.

Additional 2010 CAHS program pass rates, as compared to national rates,

are listed below.

Core Component 3A page 109


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

See Criterion Two, core

component 2C for a

discussion and list of

accredited programs

Advisory groups, meeting

minutes, and related

information can be found

in TracDat

TABLE C3.6: CERTIFICATION TEST PASS RATES OF SELECTED FERRIS CAHS

PROGRAMS

PROGRAM NAME /

DEGREE LEVEL

FERRIS PASS RATE

page 110 Core Component 3A

(%)

NAT’L PASS RATE

(%)

Health Information Tech (AAS) 90.6 86

Health Information Admin (BS) 67 69

Medical Laboratory Tech (AAS) 100 76

Medical Technology (BS) 88 81

The School of Education (within the COEHS) uses data from the Michigan

Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) to measure the effectiveness of its

curricula. These data are also distributed to academic partners in the

University who contribute to the education curriculum.

An example of the value of external assessment data was the revision of the

History Education program to include World History courses after students

performed poorly on the MTTC exams in History. The curricular revision

made a positive impact on pass rates of the MTTC tests in History. The threeyear

pass rate average for History, from September 2004 to August 2007,

improved to 86.8%. Overall pass rates for Ferris graduates have increased

from a three-year average of 88.2% to 90.5%.

Accreditation

In several of Ferris’ academic colleges, program-specific accreditation plays a

key role in the development and revision of curriculum, as well as the

assessment of student learning. These accreditation requirements define

expected learning outcomes based upon standardized sets of skills and

require demonstrated continuous assessment and improvement plans.

Advisory Boards and professional feedback

Because of Ferris’ career-focused mission and academic degree programs,

external assessments and data are often the most important drivers of

program revision. Program Advisory Boards provide an external reference on

curricular matters and tie to current skill needs in the job marketplace. More

than 108 of Ferris’ bachelor’s and associate degree programs have active

advisory boards that meet at least once a year.

At Kendall, advisory boards are maintained for each program and play a

significant role in program and curricular planning, program support, and

evaluation. Each program uses their advisory board uniquely; for example,

the Interior Design Advisory Board provided support in the Council for Interior

Design Accreditation (CIDA) process. The Furniture Design Advisory Board

served as the student “Career Day” panel and conducted the Program

Review.

Ferris’ dental hygiene department made curricular changes based upon

surveys of students and faculty, data from other dental hygiene programs,

and program graduates’ scores on national and clinical board exams. As a

result of this information, Ferris added more opportunities for students to

practice their clinical skills. The increased clinical practice has had a


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

significant effect on the first-time pass rate for dental hygiene students on the

clinical portion of their licensure exam from 86% (49 candidates) in 2004 to

92% (56 candidates) in 2008.

Another example of external assessment results driving curricular revision is

the CAHS Sonography Program. Surveys of advisory board members and

employers indicated that a current course, Hemodynamics — Doppler Lab:

SONO 132, needed to include information on the topic of Lower Extremity

Venous and Carotid Doppler Imaging. This content had become an

expectation for entry-level positions in rural Michigan and, thus, was directly

tied to the program’s career-focused outcomes.

Assessing student learning through course assessment

While the GE Program Area Committees are responsible for approving

courses that meet the area’s learning outcomes and for assessing student

learning within that area, the academic departments lead and coordinate

learning assessment efforts across courses and within sub-areas. These

efforts began with individual departments defining course outcomes for every

course, recording them in TracDat, and then holding faculty accountable for

meeting the stated outcomes. As a step toward increased transparency, most

departments encourage faculty to communicate the defined learning

outcomes to their students by including them within the course syllabus.

Course assessment plays a significant role in our efforts to measure and

enhance student learning. Some assessment activities include gathering data

on multi-section courses to determine whether the course is consistently

meeting students' needs and that students are acquiring the skills or

knowledge at the levels we expect.

Other efforts to increase the transparency of learning outcomes and

consistency in assessing student learning across sections include faculty

colloquia and area meetings. These open discussions allow faculty who teach

the same course to discuss the course’s defined learning objectives, identify

best practices for enhancing student learning, share effective teaching

methods and strategies, and allow critical ongoing review of the learning

outcomes.

FSUS goals For example, the Freshman Seminar, FSUS 100, which is required of all

Ferris freshmen and, thus, each fall semester consists of more than 100

sections, has ten objectives that each section and instructor is expected to

meet. Assessment of these learning objectives is measured consistently

across all sections through an online course evaluation.

Other courses with multiple sections each semester, such as Freshman

Composition: ENGL 150, have well-defined course outcomes and learning

objectives that guide course development, program assessment, and

individual faculty assessment efforts.

Some classes, such as Introduction to Micro Systems-Software: ISYS 105,

US History to 1877: HIST 121, and US History-1877 to Present: HIST 122,

use a pre-test to determine readiness level, and the same test at the end of

the course to determine added value of the course and attainment level of

Core Component 3A page 111


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Online outcomes / FAQs

Academic Affairs:

Assessment website

Overview of assessment

strategies:

Assess. Strategies

specified course outcomes for the student. Course assessment information

in TracDat will indicate those courses with pre- and post-testing.

Over the past few years, as the number of online courses being offered at

Ferris has increased, the University has focused specific attention on

appropriate and effective methods for assessing the consistent quality of

these online courses, the overall success rates in terms of completion and

student grades, and, most important, the learning outcomes of the courses

as compared to their face-to-face equivalents. The Office of Academic Affairs

has begun collecting comparative completion rate data, which are discussed

in more detail later in this report.

Leadership commitment to and support of assessment

The provost/vpaa and Office of Academic Affairs lead assessment efforts at

Ferris. The commitment of Ferris’ academic leadership to a strong

assessment approach is evidenced by these excerpts from the division’s

website:

When done well, learning assessment will advance learners’

achievements. That’s why Ferris is committed to expanding our

knowledge of good assessment practice and our implementation of a

comprehensive, value-adding assessment system.… Assessment

means much more than testing or grading. Assessment is not an add-on

to instruction but is in fact integral to effective instructional design.

Ferris is compelled (both ethically and politically) to respond to the

changing expectations for our graduates, with the increasing global and

career complexity, and as the calls for accountability have accelerated.

We must assure that our students get the best education we can

provide, and we must be able to document that success for various

stakeholders. We must also assist students to articulate and

demonstrate the capabilities they have as they leave our programs.

Assessment is important because it lets us know where we can make

changes that improve student learning. It is about taking effective

action. Many are already working hard at assessment. Ferris is

committed to supporting these efforts, to facilitating quality assessment,

to coordinating assessment activities and results, and to encouraging

the movement from data to effective action.

The University’s support of these assessment efforts is varied and significant

in terms of resources, allocation of funds, and development of a universitywide

culture of assessment. While this section has discussed the

assessment processes and their impact on the University the following list

highlights these assessment efforts in terms of their leadership support:

• To coordinate and re-invigorate the assessment process at Ferris,

an assessment coordinator position was created in the spring of

2005.

University leadership has focused assessment efforts on a key

purpose and driver: To maintain academic quality and to continually

page 112 Core Component 3A


Assessment:

Points of Contact

Assessment Committee

website:

Assess. Committee

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

improve the educational environment at all levels.

• The provost/vpaa allocated a separate budget line to emphasize the

importance of outcomes-based assessment.

• The University’s Assessment homepage provides references and

resources for faculty, administrators, staff, and students.

• To assist others in assessment, points of contact have been

identified for their areas of expertise.

• The FCTL has increased training and activities focusing on effective

methods for assessing student learning.

• The University has established an Academic Affairs Assessment

Committee.

• The University has established an Assessment Plan.

• Each of the academic colleges identified mentors to assist faculty,

staff, and administrators in developing, implementing, and

maintaining an effective assessment program, including support for

the assessment database, TracDat. The Office of Academic Affairs

supported these efforts with training.

Ferris’ Mission, Vision, and Core Values support assessment

As discussed in Criterion One, the Ferris Mission Statement, Core Values,

and Vision Statement all emphasize the value and importance of a lifelong

commitment to intellectual development, social engagement, and leadership.

The University not only believes in their importance for our students, but also

supports and reinforces these values through rigorous academic program

requirements and General Education requirements, and thus, also through

assessment efforts to measure learning outcomes.

Ferris’ Mission Statement claims that the University “prepares students for

successful careers, responsible citizenship, and lifelong learning.” The

University’s Vision Statement emphasizes that Ferris will provide “a

stimulating, student-centered academic environment that fosters lifelong

engagement, leadership, citizenship, and continuing intellectual

development.” Ferris’ Core Values emphasize that the University “values

education that is career-oriented, balances theory and practice…and

fosters... the desire for the lifelong pursuit of knowledge.” In order to uphold

and support our Mission, Vision, and Core Values — and demonstrate their

achievement — each of these statements reinforces the need for active,

ongoing evaluation and assessment of our students’ learning outcomes.

University-wide assessment

One of the strengths of Ferris’ assessment program is its broad, universitywide

reach and application. Ferris’ satellite campus and off-campus

programs are an extension of the University in that they are subject to the

same assessment measures. For example, the instructors are approved by

the appropriate colleges and departments, the syllabi, as well as the textbook

and materials, are provided by the department; thus, all classes have the

same learning outcomes. All adjuncts teaching off-campus are subject to the

same evaluation process as on-campus with a student assessment of

Core Component 3A page 113


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

See Criterion Two, Core

Component 2A, for a

description of CPD

activities

instruction instrument (the SAI) administered for all courses taught offcampus

by adjuncts.

Online courses and programs are also held to the same high standards as

both on- and off-campus face-to-face courses. Over 75% of all online

courses are taught by full-time faculty and are evaluated using an online SAI

if the course is one selected by the faculty member for evaluation. Adjuncts

who teach online are encouraged to complete FerrisConnect training.

Support for their work, including course syllabi, textbooks, and materials, is

also forthcoming from colleagues in the departments and the FCTL.

Assessing learning in non-credit settings

Teaching and learning take place in many environments and settings at

Ferris State University. Degree-granting academic programs, classrooms,

and activities are not the only locations where “student” learning takes place

and, thus, must be assessed.

Assessment of non-credit training programs offered to business and industry

normally involves custom assessment tools developed for, or by, the client.

Many of Ferris’ customized training programs involve pre- and post-testing of

participants to measure the knowledge gained. In these cases, the client and

instructor review data to evaluate the performance of the participants and

determine steps to improve aspects of the training program, including course

implementation, content, and administration. In a few cases, industry

performance measures may follow training. For example, maintenance

welders from Yoplait/Colombo complete training in Food Grade Welding

procedures, offered both onsite and using Ferris facilities. These welders

must accurately demonstrate correct welding procedures to maintain

certification that qualifies them to make such repairs in a food facility.

Training programs are also followed by an instructor’s report that covers any

difficulties that were encountered during the time of training that need to be

addressed in future deliveries. Participants provide feedback through their

evaluation form, which is analyzed and reviewed by the Corporate and

Professional Development (CPD) Center, the instructor, and the client for

any needed improvements.

DACUM website In developing workforce certification programs, Ferris’ CPD follows the

DACUM process (Develop A CurriculUM process) to create valid

assessment tools. This program facilitates a group of field experts through a

detailed analysis of tasks, creation of task-linked assessment items, field

pilot testing, distracter analysis, assessment item correction, and cut-score

analysis to develop accurate testing methods. Because all items are linked to

specific tasks, CPD can also use these test data to develop individual

training plans or client workforce training plans.

Assessing student learning within the Student Affairs Division

Assessment of student learning at Ferris is not limited to academic or training

page 114 Core Component 3A


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

settings. The Division of Student Affairs has more than 100 employees who

work collaboratively with students, faculty, administrators, staff, community

members, and others to provide services that support the core function of the

University – student learning. These employees are engaged in providing

activities, programs, and “behind-the-scenes” services that offer real

educational benefits to Ferris students. A genuine commitment to advance

student learning and personal and career development has always been at

the heart of Student Affairs work at Ferris. The table below highlights several

of the learning assessment activities within Student Affairs.

For additional description, TABLE C3.7: ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES WITHIN STUDENT AFFAIRS DIVISION

see Student Affairs AREA / OFFICE ASSESSMENT FOCUS

assessment website:

S.A. assessment

University

Recreation

Assesses student employees to determine what they learn on

the job, including development of leadership skills, personal

responsibility, and life skills.

Student

Leadership and

Activities

Assesses student employees to determine what they learn on

the job, including goal setting and attainment over the year.

Assesses student orientation leaders to evaluate what skills

Orientation Office they learned and success in meeting established learning

objectives.

Office of Student

Conduct

Surveys students who have interacted with them to determine

what they have learned, such as the implications of their

behavior and Ferris’ expectations for good citizenship

Evaluates student experiences at the Ferris Job Fairs,

Office of Career

Services

including effectiveness of newly gained networking

opportunities. Also evaluates the extent to which students

demonstrate resume writing skills, appropriate interview

techniques, and the ability to dress professionally.

Office of

Multicultural

Student Services

Surveys students who participate in the annual Bus Tour to

determine the extent to which they have developed various

skills, including public speaking, working with others, meeting

deadlines, and managing time

Birkam Health Surveys patients to determine what they have learned about

Center

improving their health

Applying assessment data

Ferris uses its assessment strategies, processes, and feedback from its

many constituencies to make changes to existing programs and processes.

The following table highlights some examples of changes made as a result of

the assessment processes in place at Ferris.

TABLE C3.8: SAMPLE OF CURRICULAR AND PROGRAMMATIC CHANGES EFFECTED

BY ASSESSMENT RESULTS

PROGRAM EFFECT OF ASSESSMENT

Social Work

(BSW) in CAS

• Learning outcomes data, shared with faculty and

Program Advisory Board, drove extensive curricular

changes in 2006.

• 2003-05 outcomes data were used to refine assessment

protocols and instruments and re-set benchmarks for

student achievement based upon national norms.

• Learning outcomes data and University emphasis on

student engagement are driving discussions to include

academic service learning across the program

curriculum.

Core Component 3A page 115


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Mechanical

Engineering

Technology (BS)

in CET

Master of

Business

Administration

Business (MBA) in

COB

Plastics and

Rubber

Engineering

Technology (BS)

in CET

Kendall College of

Art and Design

University Eye

Center (UEC) in

CAHS and

MCO

• PDET 422 Finite Element Analysis was dropped from the

program and replaced by MECH 311 Finite Element

Analysis/Modeling.

• This revision was based on feedback from students and

faculty that the content of the two courses overlapped

and that PDET 422 assumed student exposure to Pro-

Engineering software, which MET students had not. The

revision also reduced program requirements by two credit

hours.

• Developing a clear program assessment process had

been difficult because teaching responsibilities were

shared by two full-time program faculty and 7-8 full-time

faculty from another program.

• Using the program’s 18 learning outcomes, each faculty

member identified the outcomes that his/her class directly

impacted. These efforts generated a list of one primary

and secondary class linked to each Learning Outcome.

Each class is primary for at least one learning outcomes.

• Course assessments are now connected directly to

program outcomes, and faculty “own” the process, the

data, the results, and the ongoing improvement for their

class.

• Pre- and post-exams, administered to all incoming

freshman and outgoing sophomores, assess key

knowledge areas within the first two years of the

curriculum. Faculty and Advisory Board members review

these results annually and make curricular adjustments,

as needed.

• In practical laboratory finals, students demonstrate

acquired knowledge at the end of the course by operating

a given piece of equipment, one-on-one with a professor.

Lab courses have shifted from experience to knowledge,

where the students demonstrate that they have learned.

In 2009-10, the following programs completed Kendall’s

program review process. Each course reviewed and revised

course descriptions, outcomes, and sequence alignments as

part of the review process.

• Art History

• Digital Media

• Furniture Design

• Graphic Design

• Illustration

• Painting

• In collaborative assessment projects, students in the

CAHS, Medical Records Information Systems (MRIS

209) evaluate the effectiveness of the University Eye

Center (UEC).

• MRIS 209 students perform quality improvement projects,

using the UEC to conduct assessment activities. MCO

uses the results to improve its clinical training program.

• MRIS assessments have included these features:

o HIPPA Compliance

o Patient Satisfaction Surveys

o Comparison of medical records to computer invoices

and route slips

o Comparison of MCO to other colleges of optometry

o Comparison of spectacle prescription forms to

dispensary orders

o The time UEC takes to complete an eye exam

page 116 Core Component 3A


See Section One,

Chapter 3 for a

description of the

Listening Sessions

methodology, scheduling,

and attendance.

See the Self-Study

website for survey data

and event summaries.

Perceptions of assessment at Ferris

Perceptions from Criterion Three survey

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Several questions from the Criterion Three Perceptions Survey addressed

issues specifically related to learning outcomes and the University’s

assessment of student learning. The following table summarizes the results

from four of these questions.

TABLE C3.9: PERCEPTIONS OF FERRIS’ ASSESSMENT EFFORTS

ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

QUESTION

possible n possible n possible n

n= number of valid responses to Q.

=492

n % *

=869

n % *

=683

n % *

Assessment includes multiple direct

and indirect measures

39 84.6 105 84.8 44 84.1

Assessment results are available to

interested parties

The University integrates the data

32 71.9 87 60.9 38 78.9

reported for purposes of external

accountability

36 77.8 88 87.5 41 87.5

Assessment of student learning

extends to all educational offerings

31 64.5 75 76.0 37 81.1

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree,

agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

As these data support, the Ferris community believes that Ferris has made

significant progress on implementing assessment across the University.

Based on these responses, the University community feels that the

assessment efforts have significant strengths, as well as areas for

improvement. The questions pertaining to assessment received strong

agreement in most areas, especially reinforcing the belief that assessment

efforts are clearly tied to learning outcomes, include multiple measures, and

that faculty are directly involved in defining student learning outcomes. Areas

for improvement include the need to increase communications to convey to

the University community the current institution-wide assessment status and

activities for continuous improvement.

Perceptions from Criterion Three listening sessions

The Criterion Three Listening Sessions provided some insights into the

University’s community’s perceptions about these issues. Comments from

the groups included several related to assessment of student learning and

effective teaching. All of the sessions, for example, included comments about

the benefits that ongoing use of TracDat will provide to the University in both

collecting and sharing assessment data. Participants across groups also

cited the wealth of learning outcome data provided to many of Ferris

programs by accreditation and certification bodies.

Student government representatives also included several key assessment

issues on their list of University strengths, such as clearly stated program

requirements and the use of instructor evaluation forms in every class, every

semester. Student perceptions, however, also included several comments

Core Component 3A page 117


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

about the effectiveness of the instruments, and the perception that evaluation

comments may not be tied to instructor accountability or improvement. The

physical plant group, as well as student affairs participants, emphasized their

commitment to supporting student learning in non-classroom settings.

Participants from these groups stressed that they also define and reinforce

clear objectives — for quality, effective time management, and teamwork —

from their student employees while encouraging them in their academic

work.

Conclusion to Core Component 3A

Evidence supports the conclusion that the majority of Ferris programs have

clearly stated learning outcomes that make effective assessment possible.

Assessment continues to be a high priority for the University to promote

effective student learning.

The continuing use of TracDat will enhance the University’s ability to

collaborate on best practices for student learning. It will also facilitate

tracking the results of outcome measurements for improvement

opportunities. TracDat will also become a communication tool for

disseminating assessment results and best practices for programs.

While many programs collect data for assessment measurement and

improvement, the University is providing incentives to ensure that all

programs are using evidence to drive their programmatic decisions. The

thoroughness of the University’s APR process, which requires outcomes and

assessment measures, will continue to enhance programs through

evidenced-based analysis of curricula. Additionally, increased programmatic

efforts for achieving and maintaining external accreditation standards

continue to drive ongoing development. Therefore, student learning will be

effective for all programs because of clearly stated outcomes, assessment

measures, and data collection that drive continuous improvement.

page 118 Core Component 3A


Core Component 3B

Does the organization value and support effective teaching?

See Criterion Two, Core

Component 2B, and

Criterion Four, Core

Component 4A, for

additional discussion of

FCTL programs.

Faculty recruiting, hiring, and mentoring practices

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

The University demonstrates its value and support of effective teaching by

recruiting and hiring faculty with teaching experience using standard guidelines

for recruiting and interviewing protocols. University advertisements for faculty

appointments regularly include explicit language emphasizing the University’s

value and support of effective teaching. Although the interview evaluation

process is not identical across departments and colleges, all the academic

colleges require a teaching demonstration with an evaluation process for

position candidates. In some colleges, candidates are evaluated only by

faculty members; in other colleges, students, staff, and administrators also

provide evaluation feedback.

Faculty mentoring programs

To help new faculty adjust to the University, identify valuable resources, and

learn procedures and policies that affect them within their specific department

and college, many areas informally pair new faculty with a tenured faculty

department mentor. Over the years, this first-year mentorship experience has

been supported in part by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

(FCTL) as well as the Office of Academic Affairs. Most colleges and

departments, however, support department mentors less formally, with

volunteer participation and activities. Although funding for this program has

been reduced in recent years because of budget reductions, mentorship is

common practice in most colleges and departments because faculty feel

strongly about the value of the program and have continued the practice

without financial support.

Faculty professional development

Professional development activities for Ferris faculty are supported through the

FCTL, numerous development programs, and several funding opportunities.

As noted previously in this report, the University has continued to support and

augment services in the FCTL. Within the last two years, the FCTL increased

its staff with an instructional designer and an additional instructional

technologist. This allowed the FCTL to be able to increase its offerings in

workshops, learning communities, and support for face-to-face and online

instruction. FCTL also supports effective teaching by supporting faculty

involvement in professional development activities, such as professional

conferences, with Timme travel grants (Note: the Timme Travel Grant Program

represents a portion of monies derived from an endowment established by

Abigail Smith Timme and designated for the Timme Center for Teaching

Excellence, now known as FCTL).

Core Component 3B page 119


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Sabbatical Leave Prog.

Additional discussion of

Sabbatical Leave

Program: Criterion Four,

Core Component 4A.

Ferris Foundation Merit

Grants:

FF Merit Grants

DIO mini-grants:

Diversity Grants

The University supports new faculty’s participation in FCTL’s new faculty

development program that has existed since 2006. In addition, over the same

period, most colleges were represented in the Lilly North Teaching and

Learning conference and in the Spring Institute, both of which are sponsored

by the FCTL.

The University’s Sabbatical Leave Program encourages faculty to pursue

special studies, investigations, and research that will contribute to their

professional development and competence. Sabbatical Leaves are granted for

special study, research, and/or other projects that will enhance the value of the

person to the institution; perform service on the local, state, national, or

international level; and/or bring prestige to the University. Since 2003-04,

Ferris has awarded approximately 90 sabbatical leaves to faculty members,

ranging from eight to 18 annually. A copy of the report is submitted to the

faculty member’s department head and dean, provost/vpaa office, and

available in FLITE. Each year, Kendall also awards approximately one-to-three

sabbatical leaves to its faculty, based on the number of applicants and the

stipulations of the faculty contract (Article 14). All faculty who participate in the

program document and assess the success of their leave in a post-sabbatical

report.

The Academic Senate also assists faculty in their professional development by

offering grant opportunities for faculty through the Faculty Research Grant and

Faculty Professional Development Grant programs. From 2007-09, the

Academic Senate provided grants to 16 faculty members for a total of $36,962.

Two additional grant opportunities are available for faculty and staff

development through the Ferris Foundation and the Diversity and Inclusion

Office (DIO). Ferris Foundation Exceptional Merit Grants support “projects that

represent the innovative and collaborative spirit of Ferris State University.”

These merit grants support pilot programs, matching grant expenses, research

or special projects that involve students, programs that enhance faculty

expertise, or equipment dedicated to specific programmatic objectives. Grant

awards do not exceed $7,500 and are not renewable. In the fall of 2008, a new

program, the Faculty and Staff Diversity Mini-Grant Program, was piloted by

the DIO to provide financial assistance for projects, workshops, and activities

that strengthen excellence in diversity.

In addition to university-wide professional development efforts, each college

supports professional development efforts, covering expenses for workshops,

seminars, and conferences. Some colleges offer college-sponsored research

grants for faculty and students. For example, in the CAS, Dean's Initiative

Grants provide students the opportunity to work closely with faculty on

research within their disciplines. In addition, some departments also offer

monthly colloquia, newsletters, or mentoring for professional development. For

example, the Applied Statistics Program (in COB), the Mathematics, and the

Languages and Literature Departments (in CAS), CET, and the MCO, all

provide in-service activities or materials supporting their faculty’s professional

development.

page 120 Core Component 3B


See Criterion Two, Core

Component 2A for a

discussion of Ferris

technology

improvements.

See the Academic

Affairs website for

additional details and

award winners for many

of these awards:

AA Awards

Encouraging classroom innovation

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

In its support of innovative teaching, the University continues to support

upgrading classrooms with state-of-the art instructional technology. As

discussed earlier in this report, from 2005-09, the University upgraded more

than 60 classrooms and developed a scheduled cycle of renewal for faculty

personal computing. Despite the extreme economic setbacks experienced by

the state, the University has continued to invest and grow in its instructional

technology. For example, the course management system received a major

upgrade in the fall of 2008 when it went “live” after a year of training and

piloting the product. The two-year effort resulted in a successful

implementation with more than 400 faculty trained in the FerrisConnect course

management system. In the same academic year, the University invested in

two recording technologies, Tegrity and WebEx. In 2009, Ferris moved from its

WebEx contract to Adobe Connect. Since the implementation of these

technologies, faculty have increasingly incorporated them in their instructional

practices.

Recognizing excellence and innovation

To support effective teaching, the University continues to recognize faculty

who demonstrate innovation in face-to-face teaching with the Distinguished

Teacher award. A standing committee of the Academic Senate selects an

award recipient for this award each year. Award recipients are recognized for

their excellence in teaching, interest in students outside the classroom or

laboratory, participation in professional development activities, and their

distinction as a member of the University community as it impacts teaching. In

addition, in the academic year 2009-10, the University reinstituted the

Exceptional Online Teaching award with a learning community that allows

more faculty to compete and become more innovative in their teaching and

learning online.

Each year, faculty are recognized for their service to the University at the

Faculty Recognition Reception held in late April. At this time, the president,

representatives of the Board of Trustees, and representatives of the Academic

Senate recognize the recipients of the Distinguished Teacher Award, as well

as those meeting service milestones (5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, 30-, 35-, and 40year

service to the University).

Several divisions, colleges, and departments across the University support

effective teaching with awards and other forms of recognition. The table below

lists several of these recognitions.

TABLE C3.10: RECOGNITION OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING, ADVISING, AND SERVICE

Sytsma Award, COB

To promote, encourage, recognize, and reward faculty

performance excellence and improvement

Adjunct Teaching To recognize a member of the Ferris faculty who is classified

Award, Academic as adjunct and who has demonstrated excellence in

Affairs

teaching

Core Component 3B page 121


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

International

Educator Award,

Academic Affairs

Outstanding

Academic Advisor

Award

Academic Scholar

Award, Academic

Affairs

Diversity

Enhancement

Award, DIO

Outstanding First-

Year Advocate

Award, University

College

Faculty/Staff

Appreciation,

Student Affairs

Distinguished Staff

and Distinguished

Team Awards

Image Awards,

OMSS

To recognize faculty and staff who demonstrate a significant

level of involvement in international activities, including

student-oriented, curricular, and scholarly activities

To recognize up to five academic advisors each year who

have demonstrated excellence in such areas as providing

excellent service to students and/or developing innovative

advising strategies and tools.

To recognize a member of the academic community who

has demonstrated excellence in research, inquiry, and/or

scholarship

To recognize a faculty or staff member who demonstrates a

significant commitment to enhancing diversity and

harmonious relationships at Ferris

To recognize an individual who has made significant

contributions to the academic and/or personal lives of firstyear

students

To recognize faculty and staff from outside Student Affairs

who have gone "above and beyond the call of duty” in

helping to recruit, assist, and/or provide services to Ferris

students

To recognize Ferris employees (five staff and one team

award annually) who have demonstrated exemplary service

to the University, its students, and the community

To recognize the achievements of students, faculty,

administrators, and staff while highlighting the

accomplishments of famous African American leaders

Teaching excellence is also recognized in college and department newsletters

as well as in the Ferris Magazine (formerly, Crimson & Gold), University-Wide

Notices (UWN), the Ferris website, the Academic Affairs newsletter, and

Ferris in the News” publications with articles focusing on effective teaching

practices as well as profiles of Ferris faculty.

Perceptions of Ferris’ support of teaching excellence

Perceptions from Criterion Three survey

Several questions from the Criterion Three Perceptions Survey addressed

issues specifically related to the University’s support of effective teaching. The

following table summarizes results from some of the key questions in this area.

TABLE C3.11: PERCEPTIONS OF FERRIS’ SUPPORT OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING

ADMIN FACULTY STAFF

QUESTION

possible n possible n possible n

n= number of valid responses to Q.

=492

n % *

=869

n % *

=683

n % *

Qualified faculty determine curriculum

content and instructional strategies

Ferris supports professional

35 80.0 110 90.9 48 87.5

development of faculty to ensure

instructional quality in varied learning

environments

38 94.7 111 83.8 52 86.5

Ferris evaluates teaching and

recognizes effective teaching

40 77.5 111 72.1 54 70.4

page 122 Core Component 3B


Ferris supports faculty in keeping

current in research on teaching and

learning

Faculty members actively participate

in professional organizations relevant

to the disciplines they teach

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

41 92.7 109 81.7 51 94.1

35 82.9 108 84.3 50 90.0

*Percentages are sums of “agree” and “strongly agree” percentages based on

respondents who provided a valid response for the question (valid=strongly agree,

agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

As a whole, these survey results indicate that Ferris administration, faculty,

and staff believe that the University supports effective teaching. However,

administrators feel more strongly than faculty that this support is adequate

(92.75% admin vs. 81.7% faculty) and that the University’s support ensures

instructional quality in varied learning environments (94.7% admin vs 83.8%

faculty). Similarly, faculty respondents feel more strongly than administrative

respondents that qualified faculty determine curriculum content and

instructional strategies (90.9% faculty vs. 80.0% admin).

Perceptions from Criterion Three listening sessions

The listening sessions also provided some additional perceptions about the

University’s support of effective teaching. Faculty participants identified the

breadth of support for effective teaching as a significant strength, including the

first year faculty and new faculty development activities; development, travel,

and research grant opportunities; as well as college-level support of

professional development. Student participants stressed the value of Ferris

experienced educators whose backgrounds are pertinent to the professional

area, as well as of having teaching professors as instructors, instead of

graduate assistants. Physical plant employees, too, emphasized the

dedication and expertise of the Ferris faculty, counselors, and advisors.

Conclusion to Core Component 3B

Ferris’ support of effective teaching extends throughout faculty members’

careers, from early mentoring activities to ongoing professional development

opportunities. The University’s support is apparent, not only in the financial

support of these programs, but also in the culture of effective teaching that is a

part of the University’s history and evident in the breadth of recognition and

support for effective, innovative teaching.

Core Component 3B page 123


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Core Component 3C

Does the organization create effective learning environments?

Advising and mentoring of students

The organizational environment for advising and mentoring resonates with the

University's evolution from Big Rapids Industrial School, to Ferris Institute,

Ferris State College, and finally in 1987, Ferris State University. The result of

this evolution is a model that offers college-specific advising designed to meet

the needs of each college's disciplines and students. Ferris uses a faculty

model for academic advising, assigning students to a faculty member within

their chosen program. In addition, the University has a staff of educational

counselors — licensed professional counselors — assigned to the individual

colleges who coordinate academic counseling activities and assist program

advisors.

The University’s educational counselors meet weekly to discuss policies,

enrollment, retention, and graduation within each of the colleges. Educational

counselors work as members of their college’s dean’s office, but their rank as

faculty allows them to work as colleagues with teaching faculty, many of whom

are assigned students to advise. The educational counselors within the various

academic colleges develop materials to assist faculty advisors, hold training

sessions, and promote effective advising. Additionally, some colleges have

faculty program coordinators who guide their faculty colleagues in their

advising assignments.

Academic advising begins with summer orientation and registration when

educational counselors and advisors from each college help incoming students

develop an appropriate schedule and curricular plan. Students lacking one or

more of the requirements for direct admission to a degree program are

enrolled in “pre” programs and are assigned to a general advisor within their

college. For students who are granted conditional admission to the University

(because they did not meet admission standards for a specific program),

academic counseling is provided by University College counselors who also

work with these students on additional transitional issues or pre-requisite

courses.

Many of the responsibilities for coordinating university-wide advising rest with

the University College and the Educational and Career Counseling Center

(ECCC) counselors. The ECCC supplements specific program-specific

academic counseling by helping students explore academic and career

options, examine personal strengths, and set academic, career, and life goals.

The ECCC offers confidential counseling sessions with licensed professional

counselors.

Several representatives from University College lead the Academic Advising

Implementation Team, which was implemented in the spring of 2008 to

coordinate advising efforts across the University. Prior to the establishment of

the Advising Team, an advising task force, charged by the vice president for

academic affairs (now provost/vpaa) to review academic advising, met from

2005-07. The advising task force’s goals were to:

page 124 Core Component 3C


Acad. Advising Guide

“About Advising” website

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

• Recommend a University-wide advising mission statement and goals

• Build a university-wide academic advising leadership team

• Develop and offer appropriate advisor training materials and

processes

• Plan for the assessment of advising outcomes based on mission and

goals

• Identify ways to recognize and reward academic advising at Ferris

• Create a web presence for academic advising at Ferris

The Advising Team was created as a result of the task force’s work and

continues the coordination, support, and assessment efforts. For example, one

of the focuses of the Advising Team is to increase the consistency and

thoroughness of the training of academic advisors. To support this effort,

University College sponsors a one-day workshop intended to address the

needs of new academic advisors, including the counselors/advisors from

Ferris’ off-campus sites. One of the Advising Team subcommittees is

developing a systematic plan for advisor training, which will be offered in

collaboration with the FCTL.

Coordinating and strengthening academic advising is one of the key goals of

the Ferris State University Seminar (FSUS) program. All first-year students at

Ferris are required to complete the one-credit Ferris State University Seminar:

FSUS 100 class. FSUS 100 is designed to provide all first-year students with

personal connections, knowledge, and resources to enhance their potential for

learning. Among the course’s key goals are facilitating student transition from

high school to university life and improving student academic performance and

retention. Many sections of FSUS 100 are taught by the students' academic

program advisors. This arrangement helps to establish the advisor-advisee

relationship in a meaningful way based on the required weekly contact. The

mentoring role of the advisor can then expand and emerge as the student

enters the upper division work and gets ready to think about internships and

placement. In addition, all FSUS 100 sections must include a session devoted

to preparing for registration.

Assessment of the advising model and its durability is in its early stages. The

Advising Team is developing a comprehensive assessment plan that maps the

model’s goals, objectives, and learning outcomes. Another Advising Team

subcommittee researched and identified a degree-auditing tool for universitywide

use. In the fall of 2010, the University launched MyDegree, a degreeauditing

software program (Sungard’s DegreeWorks), which allows students

and faculty advisors to run audits of the student’s completed coursework to

determine a student’s progress toward degree completion, identify open

requirements, and identify possible options for degree completion in other

degree minors, certificates, or academic programs.

Learning and teaching spaces

A factor contributing to effective learning and teaching are the physical spaces

available for these efforts. The University has ample learning and teaching

spaces spread over 23 buildings and 660 rooms on the Big Rapids campus

Core Component 3C page 125


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

See Criterion Two, Core

Component 2A.

alone. Facilities in off-campus sites add to Ferris’ breadth of teaching and

learning space. Teaching and learning also extend outside traditional

classroom spaces into clinical laboratories, computer facilities, music and art

studios, resource and reference facilities, as well as informal meeting and

seminar rooms, in addition to employer-based settings.

Classroom and laboratory technology

As discussed earlier in this report, the University’s support for effective and upto-date

classroom technology is ongoing and extensive. In 2005, a presidential

initiative was launched to renovate and standardize the teaching technology

available in learning spaces across campus. At an average cost in excess of

$100,000 per classroom and $150,000 per lab, over 60 classrooms, and 15

lab spaces have been renovated to date. This commitment demonstrates that

the institution takes seriously its mission to prepare students for success by

improving students’ learning environment.

Clinical laboratories

From the University Eye Center at the Michigan College of Optometry to the

Dental Hygiene Clinic in the College of Allied Health Sciences, Ferris offers its

professional degree students state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and

learning. The list below highlights several of Ferris’ additional special-purpose

laboratories, clinics, and teaching facilities.

TABLE C3.12: SPECIAL-PURPOSE LABORATORIES, CLINICS, AND TEACHING

FACILITIES

Low Vision

Rehabilitation Clinic

Dental Hygiene

Clinic

Nursing skills lab

Core curriculum

skills lab

Respiratory care lab

Clinical laboratory

sciences lab

Health Information /

Health Care

Administration lab

Radiography lab

Nuclear Medicine

labs

Carries portable and electro-optical devices for individuals

who are visually impaired or legally blind. The clinic is the

only low vision clinic within 60 miles.

Contains 30 functioning dental units (5 with computerized

capabilities for specialized skill development and direct

patient care).

Has 5 fully functional hospital patient units, high-fidelity

simulators, and current equipment that nurses use in the

acute care setting.

Designed for competency development in clinical skills used

in all CAHS clinical programs.

Houses equipment for skill development for respiratory care

students, including a variety of ventilators and high fidelity

simulators.

Includes 3 distinct areas that replicate a hospital laboratory

for preparation of medical technologists and medical lab

technicians.

Houses 24 computers and software to support medical

records programs as well as simulation software to support

health care systems administration program.

Contains 4 digitized X-Ray rooms, two computer radiography

systems, and a picture archiving and communication system

(PACS) with 6 viewing stations.

Contains 3 gamma scintillation cameras, numerous uptake

probes, well counters, and nuclear cardiology instruments for

clinical skill development. A separate hot lab houses 3 dose

calibrators for radiopharmaceutical preparation. Both areas

include radiation safety equipment and instruments.

page 126 Core Component 3C


See Criterion Three,

Core Component 3D

For description of all of

Kendall’s facilities, see

the Kendall website:

Kendall facilities

Diagnostic Medical

Sonography lab

Dental Hygiene

Materials lab

Dental Hygiene

local anesthesia

lab/ clinic

Dental Hygiene

Radiography lab

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Contains 5 imaging bays with ultrasound equipment and

simulation models for student skill development.

Houses basic equipment and anatomic models for oral and

head/neck anatomy, and dental materials for laboratory and

clinical skill development.

Includes 6 fully functioning dental units and chairs for

specialized laboratory and clinical instruction.

Contains 6 intra-oral radiography units (4 with digital

capabilities and 1 digital extra oral radiographic unit for

student instruction and patient care).

Resource and reference facilities

As is discussed later in this report, Ferris State University has state-of-the-art

facilities and online resources providing extensive resources and references

supporting classroom learning, research, and other academic activities. From

FLITE and the Kendall Library to discipline-specific reading and resource

rooms, Ferris provides comfortable physical facilities with appropriate

technology and staffing support. Ferris’ online resources and references, too,

are extensive and continually updated to provide the support necessary for

effective learning.

Studio, lab, and gallery facilities

Music and art classes, including a majority of the classes taught at Kendall,

rely on studio space for effective learning and teaching. Studio facilities at

Kendall range from drafting stations to furniture detailing studios and life

drawing studios. Galleries and art “labs” also are important to effective music

and art education on Ferris’ Big Rapids campus.

Non-traditional classroom facilities are also essential for many of Ferris

Engineering Technology programs. From the Granger Center with its openwalls

and visible electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems to the Swan

Building with its state-of-the-art welding and printing labs, the University

provides extensive learning facilities that extend beyond traditional classroom,

computer labs, and science labs. The table below describes several of the

alternative classroom spaces at Kendall and Ferris’ Big Rapids campus.

TABLE C3.13: FERRIS AND KENDALL STUDIO, GALLERY, AND LAB SPACE

FERRIS (BIG RAPIDS CAMPUS) STUDIO, LAB, AND GALLERY SPACES

The Music Center provides practice facilities for Ferris’ music

Music Center programs and activities as well as multi-media classrooms for a

variety of music performance and cultural enrichment classes.

Located within the Rankin Student Center, the Rankin Art

Art Gallery Gallery houses several permanent collections and sponsors

exhibitions each academic year.

Located in the Creative Arts Center, three functional, flexible

art studios are used for teaching basic art and art education

Art Studios courses, two- and three-dimensional creative arts courses,

covering still life drawing, sculpture, papermaking, and

concept-based drawing.

Provides automotive classroom and lab facilities, including

Automotive Center service floors, engine laboratories, and machining shops. One

lab includes a recently installed chassis dynamometer.

Core Component 3C page 127


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

A complete listing is

available in Kendall’s

Self-Study Report to

NASAD.

Granger Center

Swan Technical

Building

National Elastomer

Center

Heavy Equipment

Center

Graphic Design

Labs

Science Labs

The building itself is designed as a working lab with plumbing,

mechanical, electrical, structural, and other building systems

exposed and marked. Also includes a 2-story construction

projects lab, 4 computer labs, a heating lab, a cooling lab, a

refrigeration lab, a soils lab, and electrical labs.

Includes a welding facility (with new destructive/non-destructive

test facility); manufacturing labs and fabrication facilities;

multiple architectural studios; 7 labs for electronics and

computer technologies; 3 labs for mechanical technologies;

multiple labs and computer-design facilities for printing and

media production; specialized computer labs for digital

photogrammetry, GIS, surveying, mapping (for surveying

programs); and several computer labs supporting computer

drafting, fabrication, automated machining, design, and

analysis.

Houses state-of-the-art labs for the plastics and rubber

technology programs, including elaborate manufacturing and

testing equipment.

Houses heavy equipment labs and equipment to train heavy

equipment service technicians, fleet managers, and test and

research engineers.

Two computer and design labs in the IRC provide studio

space, collaborative work areas, and client meeting areas.

The Science Building houses laboratory space for chemistry,

biology, biotechnology, horticulture, and physical sciences

classes.

KENDALL STUDIO, LAB, AND GALLERY SPACES (SELECTED LISTING)

Baker Furniture A 1,500 square foot museum of period furniture and decorative

Collection arts covering more than three centuries of style.

Digital Fabrication

Lab

Assists students and faculty in the use of CAD modeling, 3D

scanning, vinyl cutting, laser cutting, CNC milling, and many

different Rapid Prototyping, or 3D printing, technologies.

Furniture Design Houses drafting/drawing tables, sample products, and study

Studio collections of veneers, carvings, and ornaments.

Furniture Detailing Contains workstations with AutoCad and printing capabilities,

Studio plus sample products and drafting stations.

One of four galleries at Kendall; focuses primarily on graduate

Gallery 114

thesis exhibitions and featured exhibitions by visiting artists.

Features competitions for painting undergraduates and select

Gallery 602

juried exhibitions.

Established 1982, focuses on work by visiting artists as well as

Kendall Gallery

Kendall faculty. The gallery hosts the annual Studio Excellence

Awards Exhibition, featuring the work of the Studio Excellence

Award winner from each of the studio programs.

Life Drawing Life drawing studios for Illustration, Drawing, and Painting

Studios students.

Two metals/jewelry design studios provide work space and

Metals and Jewelry

Studios

resources for metals/jewelry production processes, including

forming and fabrication tools, goldsmithing benches, electrochemistry,

enameling, silversmithing equipment, laser welding,

finishing technologies, and studio space for senior students.

Painting and These spaces feature natural lighting, taborets, drawing desks,

Drawing Studios easels, and storage space for student canvases.

Photography Facilities for black and white and color film developing, a

Facilities shooting studio, and digital lab.

Forty-four on-site and 13 off-campus studio spaces provide

Private studio

space

access to electricity, utility sinks, wet media work area with

hotplate and large worktables, and a large critique space.

Spaces can be arranged to suit the needs of Drawing,

Illustration, Painting, and Printmaking students.

page 128 Core Component 3C


See Criterion Three,

Core Component 3D.

Writing Center

Acad. Support Center

RSO information

Birkam Health Center

Counseling Center

Athletic Department

Residential Life

IRC (news article)

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Non-classroom learning “spaces” and activities

Learning occurs at many non-traditional spaces on and off campus. As

discussed in more detail later in this report, between 2005 and 2008,

approximately 40 Study Abroad courses were offered. As the table below

indicates, many activities take place across the University that focus on nonclassroom

“extra-curricular” learning.

TABLE C3.14: NON-CLASSROOM LEARNING “SPACES” AND ACTIVITIES

Provides help with all aspects of the writing process, as well as

help with writing business letters, applications, and resumes

Writing Center and with spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. Provides

one-on-one on-site tutoring with paraprofessionals and student

tutors, as well as online/email tutoring and online resources.

Provides all Ferris students access to a variety of academic

skill-building opportunities from tutoring services for specific

Academic Support

courses, study skills assistance, speakers and workshops on

Center

special topics (such as academic integrity and time

management), and an annual “Success Fair.”

Student- or RSO- Over 50 learning events sponsored by student groups were

sponsored activities held in University facilities from June 2006 to April 2009.

In addition to offering patient services for physical and mental

Birkam Health

health, provides seminar or guest lectures on topics from

Center

preventative health to STD awareness.

Provides a wide range of educational resources, events, and

presentations for students, faculty, administrators, and staff

Counseling Center

covering mental health issues, personal and relationship

concerns, and alcohol/drug issues.

Central to the AD mission is a commitment to academics.

Ferris athletes are recognized by the NCAA as scholars; they

Athletic Department

also provide countless hours to the local community, tutoring,

guest teaching, and offering sport and citizenship camps.

Through a joint project between Academic Affairs and

9 living and learning Residential Life, Ferris learning communities bring structured

communities learning to the residence halls and provide spaces for 24/7

collaboration.

The recently remodeled space in the IRC-COB “connector”

Interdisciplinary provides an informal learning space with moveable lounge

Resource Center chairs, tables, white boards, and small meeting rooms

available for impromptu team and collaborative learning space.

Experiential learning

The University provides numerous opportunities for students to learn in an

adult learning environment through an experiential learning andragogy.

Colleges have formulated specific experiential learning programs based on

their specific areas of focus. This individual approach creates an environment

where faculty have the freedom to be flexible to best meet the needs of

students in creating effective learning environments. A majority of Ferris

degree programs require at least one internship as part of the graduation

requirements, and all programs require a capstone course, many of which

incorporate hands-on projects and real-world experiences.

The following table describes a few of the non-internship experiential learning

experiences — from client-based projects to study abroad opportunities — that

are available for Ferris students by college.

Core Component 3C page 129


CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

TABLE C3.15: SELECTED NON-INTERNSHIP EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING EXPERIENCES

College of

Business

(COB)

College of

Engineering

Technology

(CET)

College of

Allied Health

Sciences

(CAHS)

College of

Education and

Human

Services

(COEHS)

Michigan

College of

Optometry

(MCO)

College of Arts

and Sciences

(CAS)

College of

Professional

and

Technological

Studies (CPTS)

• Seniors in the Graphic Design program complete a semesterlong

design project for an external client

• The PR program also requires all seniors to create and

present a PR campaign for an external client

• Marketing majors participate in conducting a "real world"

market research survey study

• CET students participate in several experiential projects

related to their degree programs, including the SAE Baja and

Formula racing teams, the Rube Goldberg competition, the

Human Powered Vehicle competition, and the annual

Michigan Energy Conference

• All of the Allied Health programs use a problem-based

approach to assist students’ development of critical thinking

skills to solve clinical problems.

Study Abroad opportunities are also available for students in

the nursing and health care systems administration programs.

• The Television and Digital Media Production (TDMP) program

uses assignments that include planning and producing

television programming related to University activities and

marketing Ferris’ academic programs.

• The Recreation and Leadership Management (RLMG)

program focuses on planning and enacting activity programs

for groups, community agencies, and schools.

• The School of Education focuses on planning, assessing,

implementing, and practicing theoretical constructs in all three

of its pre-service teaching opportunities.

• The Criminal Justice program hosts a Justice Learning

Community (JLC) for incoming freshmen.

• The CJ Law Enforcement track uses a police academy setting

for the senior year, with students completing coursework in a

learning community that incorporates community involvement.

• Students gain clinical training through externships in over 30

extern sites across Michigan and the midwest.

• Students can volunteer for clinical experiences in third world

countries. The Student Volunteer Optometric Services to

Humanity, a student branch of Michigan VOSH (Volunteer

Optometric Services to Humanity), provides vision care to

areas of the world that would otherwise not receive care.

• The Social Work BSW program requires multiple fieldwork

experiences (in addition to an internship).

• Several programs, such as the Technical and Professional

Communication (TPC) program, include client-based projects

within senior-level capstone courses.

• Numerous CAS faculty members lead regular Study Abroad

trips to Germany, Greece, Italy, France, Martinique, and

Vietnam.

• Within the Junior Project class in Digital Animation and Game

Design, students work on a client-based project, managing the

project and meeting with company representatives. For a

recent project with Rescue 1, a non-profit company, students

created animations to educate children about what to do in the

case of a fire.

Study Abroad and international experiences

Many Ferris faculty participate in international experiences that enrich their

courses with increased global awareness and awareness of diversity issues,

and thus help to create more effective learning environments. The Fulbright

page 130 Core Component 3C


See Criterion Four, core

component 4C for

additional discussion of

the Office of International

Education

See Criterion Two, Core

Component 2C, for a

discussion of the data

reported as part of the

APR self-study process.

CRITERION THREE

TEACHING AND LEARNING

program, study abroad opportunities, and the Globalization Initiative are a few

examples of these experiences. According to the Study Abroad Office,

approximately 36 faculty members bring international experiences to their

students by offering study abroad courses each year. In 2009, a new initiative

was started as a grass-roots effort to enrich the Ferris community’s

understanding of globalization and its impact on the University. Panel

discussions, a speaker series, a media project, and a student organization

were part of the coordinated efforts of the Globalization Initiative.

In early 2010, as interest in the Globalization Initiative grew and spread across

departments, colleges, and student organizations, several faculty, staff, and

administrators active in promoting the early activities began envisioning a

permanent center within the Ferris community for dialogue and exploration of

global issues. Efforts and discussion expanded to include the DIO and a Vision

20/20 group, focusing on exploring ways that knowledge will be gained and

transferred in the future. From these efforts, the Office of International

Education (OIE) was developed, combining the student services tasks of the

International Office, the travel and learning options supported by the Study

Abroad Office, and awareness and educational efforts of the Globalization

Initiative. Coordinating these related efforts on campus is expected to enrich

the Ferris community’s ongoing awareness of — and interaction with — global

issues in the areas of education, business, science, and technology.

Evaluating experiential learning