NAU Assessment Committee
Summary minutes for inaugural meeting, Fall 2002 (09-06-02)
Attending committee members: Casey Donoho (CBA), Thomas Paradis (CESM), Paul
Wiener (HRM), Marianne Nielsen (SBS), Peter Mangan (NAU-Yuma)
Also attending: Pam Eibeck (Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies), Paul Rowland
(Director, Office of Academic Assessment), John Norris (Assessment Specialist, Office
of Academic Assessment)
1. The meeting was called to session at 1:33 pm.
2. Attending Assessment Committee members and visitors introduced themselves.
3. Rowland identified additional members who were unable to attend (Bill
Culbertson-CHP, Gypsy Denzine-COE, Paul Helford-COM, Laura Rose-Library);
notified committee of the fact that three additional members would be joining
them, once elected (from CFA, CAS, CET).
4. Rowland explained that the NAU Faculty Senate had replaced the previous
appointed-membership Assessment Council with the current Assessment
Committee, members of which are intended to be elected by the faculty within
Colleges and Schools.
5. It was questioned what the Faculty Senate intended in constituting the Assessment
Committee, what the charge of the committee would be, and in what ways the
committee would interact with the Office of Academic Assessment. Rowland
explained that the general purpose of the Assessment Committee was intended to
be the development and dissemination of academic assessment policy across the
NAU campus and to provide input to the Office of Academic Assessment on
academic assessment priorities.
6. Eibeck and Rowland briefly addressed the upcoming North Central Association
focused site visit (October 21st and 22nd, 2002); the visit is a follow up to the 1997
accreditation review, and will have as one particular focus the status of
assessment of student learning outcomes at NAU.
7. Rowland suggested that an Assessment Committee chair be elected by the
committee; Marianne Nielsen was nominated, the nomination seconded, and
attending committee members unanimously elected Nielsen.
8. It was proposed that Assessment Committee membership status be extended to
include representative student members, the Student Affairs Assessment
Coordinator, and the Office of Academic Assessment staff. An extended general
discussion on the mission of the committee ensued, with all committee members
providing input. Following this discussion, the attending committee members
unanimously agreed on extending voting membership status to two student
representatives, one undergraduate and one graduate. In addition, the committee
extended ex-officio (non-voting) membership status to the Student Affairs
Assessment Coordinator and to the three staff members of the Office of Academic
Assessment. Rowland promised to follow up with ASNAU and the Student
Affairs Assessment Coordinator regarding these developments.
9. Eibeck congratulated the Assessment Committee members on participating in the
increasingly important academic assessment process at NAU, and she encouraged
the committee to begin developing a clear mission statement and a set of bylaws
governing committee procedures.
10. The Office of Academic Assessment attendees agreed that their office would
serve in a clerical function for future meetings of the Assessment Committee
(e.g., taking minutes).
11. The current hiring search for a new Assessment Coordinator in the Office of
Academic Assessment was addressed; one applicant’s resume and the position
description were distributed to committee members, and the committee was
encouraged to attend an open discussion with the applicant on Monday,
September 09, 2002.
12. The current organization and mission of the Office of Academic Assessment were
reviewed by Rowland and Norris; copies of two documents were distributed to
committee members (“Responsibilities of the Office of Academic Assessment”,
and “NCA Levels of Implementation”), in order to provide a more specific
introduction to the office and to the accreditation expectations of the North
Central Association in terms of assessment implementation at NAU. [Note: these
documents were subsequently distributed to non-attending committee members
13. Committee members discussed the general climate of assessment at NAU, the
investment of faculty and departments in the assessment process, and a variety of
strategies for encouraging participation and the development of a culture of
14. Attending committee members agreed to schedule the next meeting of the
Assessment Committee for Friday, October 4, 2002, from 1:30-3:00, in BAC(51)
Rm. 206. In addition, the committee agreed to reserve October 18 (1:30-3:00) for
a potential planning meeting to prepare for the North Central Association
accreditation team focused site visit, should such a meeting be deemed necessary
at the October 4th meeting.
15. Nielsen (Chair) asked the Assessment Committee to review the materials that had
been distributed by the Office of Academic Assessment and to think about the
mission and bylaws of the Assessment Committee in preparation for the October
4 meeting. She also promised to establish an agenda for the October 4 meeting,
and she requested that committee members submit items for that agenda prior to
16. [Note: the North Central Association focused site visit report was sent by e-mail
to attending and non-attending Assessment Committee members following the
17. The meeting was adjourned at 3:01 pm.
These draft summary minutes have been prepared and submitted by John Norris,
Office of Academic Assessment, September 9, 2002. Please write
John.Norris@nau.edu with to identify inaccuracies and/or suggest revisions.