September 28, 2017: Academic Affairs Board of Trustees Report

In my September report to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, I gave updates about recent accolades and accomplishments, first-year student progression, and enrollment.  I also updated the Board on four major initiatives that will significantly inform what we do for the next five years, 2017 – 2022. These initiatives are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Frontier Set project; the UNC Undergraduate Degree Completion Improvement Plan; the United Negro College Fund Career Pathways Initiative, and the UNC Strategic Plan.  My report provides information on each of these initiatives.  See attached.  AA_BOT_September 2017_Final

Enrollment Management Committee – Clearing Away Obstacles and Roadblocks

Pathways Slides

Attached are two slides I shared at Bronco Kickoff.  The first one depicts the obstacles and roadblocks students often encounter on their pathway to degree completion.  Moreover, career planning occurs on a separate pathway.  The second slides show our goal: remove unnecessary obstacles and integrate career planning into our curriculum.

FSU provides students with many resources to help them address academic challenges that can lead to their dropping out.  A recent review identified more than 40 programs that help students address academic reasons for student attrition.

Freshman Seminar helps first year students improve time management and study skills; Students have abundant opportunities for tutoring and supplemental instruction to strengthen academic skills; Bronco Connect makes it easy for faculty members to warn students about excessive absences or missed assignments

With the help of the Office of Faculty Development, many faculty have implemented techniques and technologies to increase student engagement, which has been shown to have an especially positive impact on student learning.

Academic support programs are very important. Yet, students confront a variety of obstacles on the pathway to degree completion that are not explicitly academic. These obstacles frequently arise from miscommunication about guidelines and requirements.  None of this miscommunication is intentional – in fact, all of our offices and staff work diligently to provide important and accurate information to all students.

Yet, despite our good intentions, a number of communication gaps persist.

Over the next several weeks, the Enrollment Management Committee will strive to identify and correct some of these communication gaps. We are looking first at the questions most frequently asked to the Enrollment Service Call Center, assuming that these questions arise from these communication gaps.   Students are often confused about the messages they receive about the admissions process, their bills and financial aid.  The challenge is making sure we communicate information in a manner that is understandable to students.

Academic advisement is another source of much confusion and frustration among students. We need to look at every aspect of advisement process and determine which are and are not contributing to student enrollment.  The implementation of Acalog and Degree Works will offer opportunities for revising current processes.

One of our most important goals for this academic year is to remove unnecessary obstacles to degree completion.  The work of the Enrollment Management Committee is just one of many similar efforts that we will use to achieve this goal.

FSU – Open House, March 25

Thinking about college? Hoping for a better future?

I’m true to my Blue! And Fayetteville State University is proud to be the University for you!  FSU offers:  a quality education at affordable costs; nationally ranked undergraduate and graduate academic programs; teaching excellence and innovative, experiential learning options; convenience and flexibility through on-campus and online classes; a supportive and “family-like” environment; the rich legacy of an HBCU and the prestige of the University of North Carolina system.

Visit to register for Open House on Saturday, March 25.

Can’t come to campus on March 25, then visit to schedule a personal tour.

Or you may want to take a virtual tour.  Go to and select the virtual tour on the home page.

Take the first step toward a better future!

Faculty Development Call for Proposals: Fostering Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Core Courses

Fostering Innovations in Teaching and Learning in University College Core Curriculum Courses (FITL – U4C)

All too often, faculty members consider lower division, core curriculum classes a low priority and reserve their innovative ideas for courses in the major.  As a consequence, course design and instruction in core courses often preserve precedent and conform to the status quo. The primary aim of the grant is to encourage faculty to try innovative teaching and assessment techniques that address critical thinking and written communication skills.

Up to 10 grants of $5,000 each will be awarded to support this project.  Each grant recipient will receive a stipend of $4,000 and an additional $1,000 for supplies, software, workshops, and/or travel related to the teaching and learning project.

This project builds upon FSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for SACS, Making Evidence-Based Decisions (MEBD), conducted from 2011 – 2016. The QEP supported faculty development pathways that helped faculty incorporate critical thinking and written communication skills into 300- and 400-level courses.  We used the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and faculty developed rubrics to assess the impact of the QEP on the development of critical thinking and written communication skills.

While students showed progress on these skills on all of our assessments, the impact of the QEP was not as significant as we originally envisioned.  One conclusion of the QEP was that MEBD instructional strategies should be incorporated into University College core curriculum courses.

Rather than prescribe specific strategies to be incorporated into courses, this project encourages faculty to propose their own approaches, such as incorporating digital courseware or other technology tools, developing a “flipped” class, increasing engagement (inside and/or outside of class), integrating required academic support activities, developing new assessment methods, linking learning activities to career goals, developing alternative meeting times, or other strategies.

Proposals must explain why the proposed innovation(s) are expected to improve critical thinking and written communication skills.  While faculty are encouraged to incorporate multiple assessment methods to measure impact, the proposed course must include at least one CLA-like assessment.

Teams of two or more faculty who teach the same University College Core Course are encouraged to work together to redesign the course.  Faculty working together to redesign a commonly-taught course will expand the potential impact of the redesign.  Faculty teams may submit a single proposal.  Such proposals will be given priority in the selection process, with each member receiving the full award.

The grants will be awarded as follows:

  1. March 17: Deadline for submitting proposal
  2. April 7: Recipients notified
  3. May 15 – August 15*: Recipient will be paid $3,000 for redesign of the course upon submission of report on course redesign.
  4. September 30: Deadline for spending the $1,000 for travel, supplies, and equipment.
  5. August – December 2017: Recipient teaches redesigned course
  6. December 18, 2017 – Final report due – $1,000 paid to recipient upon receipt of final report

*The contract for this project does not preclude faculty members from teaching a full load in summer school.

Grant recipients must agree to each of the following:

  1. Employ Dee Fink’s “Self-Directed Guide for Integrated Course Design” in redesigning the course. The required report for grant recipients will be based on this framework.
  2. Meet all reporting deadlines.
  3. Provide assessment data that shows the impact of the course redesign on students’ critical thinking and written communication skills. The assessment plan must include at least one CLA-like assessment.
  4. Be willing to share the results of the project with colleagues at FSU or at professional conferences.
  5. Continue to employ in future semesters innovations that prove to be effective.

Proposal Guidelines:  Proposals must address each of the following.

  1. Faculty member(s) submitting proposal:
  2. Course to be redesigned (This course must fulfill the requirements of the University College Core Curriculum.):
  3. Approximate number of students to be affected by the redesign:
  4. Detailed description of innovation(s) to be incorporated into the course:
  5. Requested support (e.g., training, software, equipment, travel) to redesign the course:
  6. Explanation of how course redesign will improve critical thinking and written communication skills:
  7. Assessment data to be provided to demonstrate that the innovation(s) had a positive impact on critical thinking and written communication skills; (Remember that at least one assessment must be a CLA-like assessment.):
  8. Potential for redesign to be adopted by other instructors in the department:
  9. Description of the results of any previous course redesign efforts you have carried out:
  10. A letter of support from the department chair is required.

Proposal Submission Deadline:  March 17, 2017.  Submit proposals via email to Jon Young,

Administrative Fellowships – Past Application Deadline


The Fayetteville State University (FSU) Administrative Fellowship Program provides opportunities for tenured Associate Professors and Professors to lead institutional initiatives that serve important goals of the Division of Academic Affairs and the FSU Strategic Plan.  The program is designed especially for tenured faculty members who seek experience in higher education administration.  Administrative Fellows will increase their understanding of factors that influence higher education policies and practices at the national, state, and institutional level.  They will also gain first-hand experience in working with faculty, staff, and other administrators in implementing specific institutional projects.

Conditions of Appointment – Administrative Fellows will:

  1. Devote five to seven hours per week to the administrative project.
  2. Receive a ten-month, extra-duty contract to serve in the role.
  3. Maintain their regular teaching schedules.
  4. Participate in a monthly seminar conducted by the provost and other academic affairs leaders.

Application and Selection Process

Eligible faculty members must submit each of the following:

  1. A recent copy of applicant CV
  2. A letter specifying desired project(s) and stating reasons why applicant wishes to serve as Administrative Fellow (maximum length: 350 words)
  3. Statement acknowledging that the Administrative Fellow will: a) devote five to seven hours per week to the administrative project; b) receive a 10-month, extra-duty contract; c) maintain his/her normal teaching load (Administrative Fellows do not receive a reduced teaching load); and d) participate in monthly seminar.
  4. Statements from department chair and dean expressing support for the applicant’s participation in the Administrative Fellows Program.


Application deadline: March 3, 2017

Notification to applicants selected:  March 30, 2017

Duration of appointment:  August 1, 2017 – May 31, 2018 (Administrative Fellow may be approved for a second year appointment.)

Instructions for Submission of Application:

The Application Package must include the following:  1) Applicant’s CV, 2) Letter of interest, including desired project; 3) Acknowledgement of the Conditions of Appointment outlined above; and 4) statements of support from the applicant’s department chair and dean.

The complete Application Package must be scanned and submitted via email to Jon Young, by 11:59 pm on Friday, March 3.

Administrative Projects: 2017-18 Academic Year – Administrative Fellow Projects

  1. Office of Academic Affairs – This position will work with Dr. Perry Massey, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, to develop a Faculty Mentoring Program. The Administrative Fellow will review and visit programs at other institutions and propose guidelines and structure for the program at FSU. This Administrative Fellow will help improve the transition of new faculty into FSU.
  2. Office of Academic Affairs – This Administrative Fellow will work directly with the Provost to develop strategies and guidelines for increasing faculty-student research projects. The individual selected will review all existing strategies for supporting faculty-student research projects and based on this research develop recommendations for increasing such projects.  The recommendations may consider student recruitment, curricular revisions, evaluative criteria, financial support, and any other factor that would help increase the number faculty-guided research projects for students.
  3. Office of Continuing Education and Summer School – The Administrative Fellow will assist in all aspects of planning and implementing summer school and continuing education programs and will serve as a liaison between the director and deans, department chairs, and faculty to develop schedules, plan programs, and recommend practices and procedures to improve efficiency and increase revenue.
  4. Office of Faculty Development (OFD)– This Faculty Fellow will assist the Office of Faculty Development in administering the COACHE survey and encouraging campus-wide participation in the survey. The position will advise the COACHE Advisory Committee about developing recommendations for improvement based on the survey findings.  The COACHE survey, is conducted by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, is used by universities throughout the nation to assess faculty satisfaction with working conditions.  The results from previous COACHE surveys have guided various changes at FSU, such as implementation of professional advisors and the revision of the workload policy.  It is essential to make sure we have widespread participation in the survey and that we develop a plan for addressing the results.  This Faculty Fellow would be responsible for all of these aspects of the COACHE survey.
  5. Office of Institutional Research (IR) – This Administrative Fellow will serve primarily as a liaison between IR and deans, department chairs, and faculty to increase campus awareness of the reports IR provides to UNC, North Carolina, and the federal agencies and to assist IR in identifying and meeting departmental and faculty needs for data. This Administrative Fellow will help shape the future of IR at FSU.
  6. University College (UC)–The Administrative Fellow will assist faculty in the use of new technologies to promote student success.  Using BroncoConnect (Starfish), Hobsons Retain, PAR Framework, EAB Guide, and other technologies, the Fellow will help develop a plan to share data with faculty to identify areas for improvement.  The Fellow will help develop ways to streamline curriculum and redesign courses to improve student success and lead efforts to implement these solutions across the curriculum.
  7. Other – Faculty members are encouraged to recommend other Administrative Fellow projects. Applicants who seek to recommend another project will be required to provide detailed information in the application.

Open House – Fayetteville State University – Saturday, March 25

Thinking about college? Hoping for a better future?

I’m true to my Blue! And Fayetteville State University is proud to be the University for you!  FSU offers:  a quality education at affordable costs; nationally ranked undergraduate and graduate academic programs; teaching excellence and innovative, experiential learning options; convenience and flexibility through on-campus and online classes; a supportive and “family-like” environment; the rich legacy of an HBCU and the prestige of the University of North Carolina system.

Visit to register for Open House on Saturday, March 25.

Can’t come to campus on March 25, then visit to schedule a personal tour.

Or you may want to take a virtual tour.  Go to and select the virtual tour on the home page.

Take the first step toward a better future!

2017 National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE) has launched

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is currently being administered to first-year students and seniors.  Students received their first email invitations to participate on February 15 and February 23.  They will receive three more invitations on March 7, March 21, and March 27.  I hope this blog will help you see why NSSE results are important to us and will lead you to encourage first year students and seniors to complete the NSSE.  In previous years, our response rate has around 25%, which is very close to the response rate at our regional and national peer institutions. Continue reading

Student Success – Follow Up

Please send me updates on your student success efforts.  I would like to highlight your efforts in my blog.

Dave Griffie, in the area of Theater, has had success with the strategy he cited at the midyear conference. The strategy is to re-enroll students who need minimal credits to graduate.  He has helped two such students re-enroll; one has finished degree requirements by completing electives online and another has returned for the semester and will in an upcoming theater production.

Dr. Su Dong has fulfilled his new years’ resolution.  To inform students of career options and the expectations of employers, he invited December 2016 MIS graduate, Jason Smith, who is employed as a cybersecurity analyst with Duke Power.  See picture below.

He will also take MIS students to the 5th Annual Technology Day hosted by the City of Fayetteville Information Technology Department on Friday, March 24.

Student Success – Your Comments

Student Success – Your Comments

I am grateful for the many resolutions you made at the midyear conference about how you will contribute to the two big goals:  1) increase the number of students completing degrees, and 2) make sure that our graduates are well-prepared for lifelong success, including success in careers, responsible citizenship, leadership roles, and personal, financial, physical, and social well-being. I am sharing a few of the especially noteworthy comments.

Christy Thomas-James made the following commendable resolution. “Demonstrate Bronco Pride and legacy in all that I do so that students will feel as if they are part of something and someplace great.  When students have a sense of belonging, they make greater achievements.  Thus, graduation is a must.”

Kimberly Tran, from the Psychology Department, resolved to “…follow up personally with seniors mid semester to see how they are doing.”  To support recruitment, Dr. Tran will make presentation for the FTCC Psychology Club.

Chu-Chun Fu, from the Psychology Department resolved to “increase personalized feedback to each student regarding progress in the course, strengths, and suggestions for future improvements.”

Whitney Wall, also from the Psychology Department, resolved to “follow up with a phone call to students who are not attending (undergraduate face-to-face) classes.”

Whitney Wall, Department of Psychology, resolved to “follow up with a phone call to students who are not attending (undergraduate face-to-face) classes.”

A simple and practical suggestion came from Vicki Bannon, Department of English, who resolved to “contact majors every semester to make sure they are registering for the next semester.”  It would be great if other departments would make the same commitment.

Wes Brown resolved to “Answer the phone on the first ring and give superior customer service.”

Many staff members made commitments to improving student services.  Tavoria Freeman, from the Enrollment Services Call Center, resolved to “work on ways to further streamline student services to make sure we are providing the best service to prospective and current students.”

Miriam DeLone resolved to “… help CAS departments implement new strategies for working with Admissions; assist CAS professional advisors improve advising effectiveness with newly admitted and enrolled students; and assist CAS departments develop career pathways and mentoring plans.”

From the Department of Middle Grades, Reeshemah Johnson resolved “to coordinate with public schools to establish a presence in neighboring schools,” and “to use Bronco Connect for early alerts and kudos; follow with students who are at risk of failure.”

Nicole McFarlane in the Department of English resolved to “provide individual conferences with students in which I will ask them how I can help them become lifelong learners.”

Phil Senter, Department of Biological Sciences, made a resolution that will help improve students’ writing skills, “I will allow more than one draft on written assignments so that students who ‘don’t get’ the assignment at first have a chance to learn how to do it before getting a final grade.”   Dr. Senter added one of the most insightful of all comments, “School is about learning new things, not punishing students for not already knowing the new things.”

Ali Siamaki, Department of Chemistry and Physics, resolved to “provide my students with more advice and feedback throughout the semester in their course work.”  He will also “encourage students by providing them with information about their next step in their career and job search after graduation.”

Beth Bir, Department of English, offers a strategy that I would encourage all faculty teaching senior seminars to adopt. She writes, “I’m going to incorporate connections to post-graduation success into the senior seminar by inviting Careers Services to class revising students’ resume.”

Burcu Adivar, Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, states, “I will motivate my students by exposing them to real life problems through field trips, guest speakers to help them make better career decisions.”

Murat Adivar, Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, “I will prepare students for SAP-TERP 10 certification which will help them find jobs with high salaries and good conditions.”  Certificate programs can add significant value to a students’ education; I encourage all faculty to develop and offer such programs.

Su Dong will try the following strategies: “Invite successful MIS graduates to come back and talk to students and take MIS students on field trip to one of the top IT firms in North Carolina.”

As you can see from this small sampling of comments from midyear conference, our faculty and staff are fully committed to helping our students complete degrees that prepare them for lifelong success.

Thanks and good luck!

FSU, Higher Education, and Social Mobility

I am indebted to Dr. Angela Taylor, Department of Criminal Justice, for making me aware of this NY Times study.

A recent study by the New York Times uses millions of anonymous tax records to measure the impact of university attendance on social mobility.  These are immensely important data since most students and their families invest in college in hopes of a better future.

I encourage each of you to explore the wealth of data at this site to arrive at your own conclusions.  If you compare FSU to other North Carolina institutions, it is clear that we are having a positive impact on social mobility of our students.  FSU ranks 4th among 101 institutions in North Carolina in terms of the percentage (30%) of students who move up two or more economic quintiles.

Yet, despite the good work of FSU and other institutions that serve low-income students, significant income gaps continue to exist among graduates of different institutions. Continue reading