Skip to Main Navigation | Skip to Content

Academic Affairs / Provost

Administration 203
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4116

Academic Council Minutes


Tuesday, March 12, 2013
3:30 p.m.
U 237A

I. 3:30 Department Chair and Provost Curtis Discussions

A. Missouri Performance Funding Indicators
MDAG came forward with an idea for performance funding under Provost Wilson. It would only be funded by new money, not base funding. Then the conversation became serious. (See handout) Submitted some data for a non-funded pilot. Bottom line - within the recommendations provided we chose to go by improvement over a rolling three year average. Did not get recommended for funding for 1st year student improvement (retention and improvement went down). We are working on freshman retention. Met total degrees awarded goal and will receive funding. Improvements in Gen Ed we were able to meet their criteria. Percent of total education and general expenditures expended on the core mission met the criteria. Not meeting item 1b will cost us around $500,000 in our budget. One thing we can do immediately for us to improve this is to offer more midterm classes, to give kids that do not succeed in the first half of the term another chance. Just missed by 16 students this time.

Do we have any statistics that students do better in second half semester class? No, in the few classes we did look at they did a little worse. You will have to be selective on the courses you offer. What nature of courses would you want to have more of? Freshman level, existing curriculum courses.

Looking at #5 is it truthfully a statewide mission? It doesn’t seem to have been embraced by campus. Feel like we are in no man’s land. The identification of what our mission is was determined in 1992 and we agreed to it with our legislature. There is over $7 mil tied to this. We should engage in some sort of dialogue about this. It seems this was decided by a few individuals that this is our statewide mission.If the trend is going to be for monies to go to certain areas matched with the mission, then their should be a discussion. Southern is jumping ship on theirs and it will be interesting to see if dollars walk away with it.

Category - are we looking at outside the College of Science and Technology? Yes, we have asked the deans to identify those in their areas. They will run the list past the deans and then we will share it and take your input. We will put in on the institutional web page when it is finalized.

What kind of monies are we talking? What percent of our revenue? So far only on new dollars. We left $400,000 on the table for not meeting one of them. Just today in the COPHE meeting, there’s actually a house bill that is being proposed HB3 to move away from the performance based model to a equal based distribution. Tradition and historical number based. We will have to see where that goes. Not sure where that’s coming from, based on equal percent distribution. These are one time funds, will not be cumlative in our base budget. It could be none.

Can we change our options or if we are locked in for 3 years? It is possible, but we tried to pick what are worthy goals rather than what will get us the most dollars. It is locked in but we can petition.

With these indicators and our progress last year, what is it we are trying to change for next year? On 3a, CBASE scores have steadily declined the last 3 years institutionally. Our gen ed is the same way. Encouraging our students. There is no consequence for not doing well the first time around. Teachers telling students our funding dollars are linked to their success, something as simple as encouraging your students to do really well. Encourage and support on the CBASE and other tests. They are looking at average scores. 235 is not prohibitively high, it is below 50%. Students need to do their best. They will blow off the last piece because they can take it over. We need them to try to do their best. This is the last year for the CBASE. We need to encourage students to do their best not just pass. We’ve changed the instructions explaining that part of the university funding is directly related to how well they do. Should we include that this could affect the price of tuition? That is not too far off. We have new requirements for freshman- 2 years required in the dorm. It isn’t required, it is advised. Some of these pieces are trickling out before they are finalized by BOG. This is all a part of this performance piece. There is a lot of motion in the state and nationally for more accountability. Ed debt is second only to mortgages. Where are we as an institution? There is talk of base funding being tied to performance indicators. That’s what we’re here for, to give students affordable education that they complete. Got to get the word out to our students and parents. Average 15 hours a semester. Maybe 12 hours during a normal semester, then a summer course, or adding an interim session between fall and spring. SEMO has this model and has brought in many dollars.
The part this would mess with would be the gen ed requirements, not your core classes. Looking at when it is appropriate, looking at historical data on our successful completers to see what their pathway looked like. The other piece is the DFW report. This tells us we have students going into courses which they are not prepared. Make sure it is the right 15 and advising. We are committing permanent dollars from the Provost budget to get permanent advisors to get proactive with the students and their schedules/loads. We are going to get it closer to that load and set students feet on the path to success. The third piece is the advisement piece. Have to regularly connect with advisors. Looking at canned advising models and develop those kinds of opportunities for us to work with students. Varied shifts, advisors in dorms.
The fourth piece is plain old attendance. Freshman with attendance issues will not persist. We could have truant officers. Sometimes we believe that it is simply making that point clear that it is an important part for their to persist and succeed. Talked to Sodexho to try and get students to stay on campus. Looking at co-curricular transcript, which we already have. The more engaged students are the more likely they are to persist. Hiring another counselor.

The big one out there is the required 2 year residency in the dorms with the incoming freshman class this fall. By the time these students are juniors the new multi functional building will be open that will hopefully entice them to continue staying on campus.

As we are looking at some of these pathways, and students are not on the right path will there be some intervention? That is what the new system will give us. It is a color coded system that will be easy to show students and will include other degree options. Eliminate situations like the student who asked for the 4th time to retake intro to Biology and wanted to be a vet. We need to be able to show students that they are on the wrong path.

Does the pressure we put on Freshman to chose a major really help our students? The intention for completion is hindered if they are not really clear on their choice before they have had any classes. There is data that shows the earlier a student declares a major, the more likely they are to complete. There has to be a happy medium.

The student governor on the BOG, relayed that students see the Gen Ed as jumping through hoops. They do not understand the benefits of general education. Or that they are just here to get a job. That is how we are marketing ourselves right now. That’s the marketing hook, but once we get them here we are hoping to make some investments in these kind of measures to make it clear to students what gen ed is about and how it makes me a well rounded and fulfilled individual both in and out of the workplace.

The balance of increasing the number of students and growth can stop us from moving in the direction you are describing. We are talking about the academic achievement level of incoming students. Some of the conditional admits are not making it. We have a lot of investment already for those students on the lower end. Students with an ACT of 22-27 are not staying here or completing too. Rick Sluder can speak more about building that effort.

Sometimes people pick majors by parents or by a course. A career exploration course has been suggested. Do we track the number of our students coming in that need remedial coursework? With the number of seniors dropping and working with a shrinking pool, how far down in the barrel do we go? This is problematic.

Are we going to be held accountable for someone who declares as a freshman and then changes their mind? 78% of students who come here as a freshman graduate, but not all from here. It is very hard to get data on why. One of the things we are looking at are students with GPAs of 3.3 or higher, ACTE of 22 or higher. The number one schools that get our transfer are community colleges. Probably reflects students who either financially or academically need to improve.

B. Completion Agenda

C. New freshmen policies

II. Approval of Minutes from February 12th, 2013

Approved as distributed

III. Questions on Written Reports


IV. 4:00 Information Items


V. 4:00 Discussion Items

A. Blackboard - Mike Jeffries
(handout) One thing to remember when looking at the numbers provided that this is a broad stroke type of understanding and the use of BlackBoard. This is the totals since 2007.. Server hits, every time someone clicks on a page. Ever since we’ve gone to version 9.1 course hits are not recorded as accurately.

Approx 8000 of our faculty and students log in daily. It also shows the numbers of quizzes and tests taken on Bb. Generally the use increase is between 5-9%. Monday is by far the highest use day. Sunday is something that developed. Sunday is now the 4th largest uses although instead of being spread out throughout the day as the other top 3, the use is targeted between 7:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Used this data to minimize the impact for scheduled maintenance (Sunday morning). Bb pageviews, Friday and Saturday did not even make the elist. These large times of use were occurring when we had problems. Percent of courses using Bb for something, accessed at least one time. 10-15% are full blown online courses. Just under 90% of all sections use Bb for something. The average number of clicks per login per user is 41 and is increasing. Last year it ranged from 47 in summer to 41 in spring. We are already at 46 and expecting it to rise to 50. Not as many logins but they are using Bb more. Did contact Bb and had them run an audit on our uptime, not counting our scheduled maintenance time, it is 99.97%. There were a period of 4 Sundays the last part of February where we ran into performance issues as we did with the first 3 days. This is just an anecdotal thing, but I get a sense that there are a lot of assignments due on Sunday evenings and students start to panic. If a lot of people are using Bb on Sundays night, with lots of uploads and downloads, that grades due piece is compounding the problem. Have any changes been made to address these high need times? Bb did find through an audit around the 1st part of February they found a known bug that they thought had been patched on our system but had not.. They did patch that bug. Usage has not been as high as the previous four Sundays, so we are still waiting to see if this is corrected. If we continued with the increase of use, we may need to speak with Bb to address that.

Mike will share this document with Odin electronically to share with faculty with the caveat that these are very broad strokes and the actual numbers may not exactly match up to other data.
Those unused classes are still taking up valuable space, correct? I want to see the two that I am using this semester. Because of our contractual agreement, we do delete courses older than 3 semesters. We encourage faculty to notify us that you would like the courses off. If you are the only instructor listed in the course, put delete in the title and send a note or better yet send us a course list. Older courses left on the server more than 3 semesters they are archived, but are not easily retrievable. Plan on giving a few weeks for it to be retrieved. It is not there to go back and retrieve, and would much prefer faculty export those courses. Officially we do not archive in the traditional sense. We should save all the grading data? The checklist they send out at the end of every semester - one download gradebook, two download files, three archive the course.
The course copying function is no longer there correct? It is available but we discourage faculty from using it. Since 9.1 there is a bug with course copy, if you want to just move assignments over it will not just move the assignments, it will copy everything over and these courses become humongous. We now have over 40 courses that are over a gig in size and this impacts our performance piece too. If you do an export, it only exports those pieces you want and makes a cleaner copy. Bb is continuing to work on that patch but have not had much success yet.