The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Megan Voorhees
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

Hi! I’m Megan Voorhees and I’m the Assistant News Editor at The Northwind! I was first introduced to journalism my sophomore year of high school and I’ve been in love with the profession and writing...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

NMU begins campus-wide assessment

Information-sharing and data-gathering sessions will kick off NMU’s new “Planning for Distinction” campus-wide assessment project from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 that looks to evaluate all academic and non-academic programs and services. The session will be held in the Michigan/Ontario rooms in the UC from 9 a.m. to noon and 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31; noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1; and 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Feb. 2.

NMU stakeholders, including staff, faculty, administrators and students, are encouraged to attend, Vice President of Academic Affairs Kerri Schuiling said.

“What will be developed initially, will be a set of criteria by which each individual program will be assessed. All programs are assessed in and of themselves against those criteria, so one program isn’t compared to another, all programs are compared to a predetermined set of criteria.”

There will be two 15 to 20-member task forces—academic program review and support functions review— created to look at both quantitative and qualitative data that will be used to assess the needs of the university. There will be no administrators on these task forces, though department heads will be able to apply.

Story continues below advertisement

“Part of the reason we are doing this is because of year after year where the state has cut our budget more and more. What a lot of universities—we’re not different from any other university— are doing is across-the-board cuts,” Schuiling said.

Across-the-board cuts mean every department gets the same percentage share of reduction in funding. In doing this, the university lacks a uniform criteria to assess department needs, she said.  “If you go through this kind of a process, you’re making more educated decisions based on best evidence that your [departments] need more resources.

You’re doing really well but you need more resources,” Schuiling said. “And, there might be other programs that aren’t in as much demand and maybe they need to change form to be more contemporary so that students look at it and say, ‘Oh that’s something I’m interested in. I think I can do something with that when I graduate.’”

Head of Campus Strategies, LLC, and Consultant for the project, Larry Goldstein, will run a mandatory day of training for each task force. There will be a half-day training where both teams come together. In this time a criteria for assessment that each task force plans to use will be identified.

A facilitation team will also be created to help the task force, said Schuiling. This team will be chaired by Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programming and Faculty Affairs Dale Kapla and will include the university’s director of institutional resources and analysis and director of human resources, along with a variety of other administrators.

The facilities team will assist in reviewing contracts during a committee training day. All contracts will be honored, Schuiling said.

“It’s a huge comprehensive assessment of our campus. I think we’ll know our campus better than we ever have,” Schuiling said.

The criteria for assessment developed will be specific to NMU, President of Academic Affairs and Provost Gavin Leach said.

“This is really not meant to be a cost-cutting exercise. It is meant to look at where the best resources are going forward,” Leach said.

Following the formation of the strategic plan and university core values, this project is the next step in looking at the long-term viability of the university, he said.

“It’s really trying to develop and ensure that we have the resources in the best place to achieve the overall university success and try and achieve our strategic plan as best as possible,” said Leach.

More to Discover