Office of the Provost

Academic Affairs Priorities for 2016-2017

An Unprecedented University Commitment to Diversity and Global Engagement

  1. Assure that 100 percent of Elon students have access to a global experience either domestically or abroad by strengthening collaboration between the Global Education Center and campus partners including academic departments, Athletics, Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education (CREDE), Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life, and the Center for Access & Success.
  2. Evaluate and plan for the following targeted global engagement opportunities.
    1. Evaluate, identify and plan for an alternate first semester program abroad.
    2. Evaluate expanding Elon’s relationship with Academia Europa di Firenze (AEF) to become the “school of record.”
    3. Evaluate and plan for new Study USA sites.
  3. Continue robust efforts to make Elon a more diverse, inclusive, and culturally skilled community.
    1. Implement recommendations from university wide task forces and working groups specific to African American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, LGBTQIA, first-generation and high-financial-need students.
    2. Launch programs that explore cultural identities and promote constructive dialogue across diverse perspectives.
    3. Create programs that provide greater understanding of the development of race in America and its impact on social outcomes.
    4. Assess current faculty development programs around diversity and inclusion and create new programs as needed. 
    5. Refine mentoring programs for first-generation and high-financial-need students.
  4. Continue the second year of implementation of the Numen Lumen Multi-faith Strategic Plan:
    1. Implement the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Grant for Multi-faith Scholars.
    2. Pilot Inter Group Relations programming for faculty and staff.
    3. Create Hindu and Buddhist web presence.
    4. Establish a Truitt Center Advisory Committee.
    5. Plan for structured experiences of religious diversity for Study USA.
    6. Ensure the success of the Interfaith House Living Learning Community.
  5. Develop and implement strategies to encourage political and civic engagement by increasing student participation in the November 2016 elections and developing a robust schedule of voter awareness and civic engagement activities.
  6. Examine, enhance, and develop Elon’s programs to promote intercultural competence throughout the entire Elon experience, with opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.
  7. Advance excellence in global engagement through the Center for Research on Global Engagement and year two implementation of the Center for Engaged Learning Seminar, integrating global learning with the university experience.

Supporting a World Class Faculty and Staff

  1. Search for and hire an academic dean for the School of Health Sciences.
  2. Implement programming designed to support an integrated Teacher-Scholar development model that works across the span of a faculty career and responds to the distinct challenges and opportunities of different career stages.
    1. Implement a revamped new faculty orientation.
    2. Continue to study the needs of midcareer faculty and launch programs, including a pilot program launched in May 2016, to support the many aspects of mid-career faculty life.
    3. Establish a working group in collaboration with Academic Council to develop recommendations and a multi-year plan for supporting the scholarly engagement of students and of faculty in their work as teacher-scholar-mentors, with a focus on post-probationary faculty and implementing the Presidential Task Force on Scholarship recommendations.
    4. Hire an additional Associate Director of Mentoring for the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) to provide mentoring opportunities and programs to support the integrated Teacher-Scholar development model.
  3. Study and assess ways part-time faculty are oriented to their work at Elon and implement recommended changes.
  4. Collaborate with Academic Council on implementing select recommendations from the Role of the Chair Taskforce and providing enhanced guidance for department chairs on writing effective evaluations of teaching faculty (Unit III).
  5. Establish a working group in collaboration with Academic Council to explore ways of assessing and documenting effective, high quality teaching focused on the following faculty handbook definition:  “Evidence of effective, high quality teaching may be seen through peer and student assessments related to a variety of possible indicators, as well as goal-driven, evidence-based critical self-assessment.”
  6. Develop and implement plans to further strengthen Elon’s campus culture and community by enriching student, faculty, and staff connections.
    1. Pilot the Colleague Community Building program, to provide faculty and staff with opportunities to get to know a colleague who works in a different area on campus in order to better understand each other and build community.
    2. Grow the Global Engagement Program (GEP) to provide Elon University staff employees with opportunities to expand their global perspectives while assisting faculty and students during winter term global engagement experiences.
    3. Use data from the Great Colleges to Work For (sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education) to advance programs to enhance the Elon workplace experience for staff and faculty.
    4. Partner with Staff Advisory Council to continue implementing programs in support of themes identified by the Quality of Life Task Force.
  7. Develop a comprehensive and continuous quality assurance process for online courses with a focus on faculty development and course planning in partnership with the Provost’s Office and Academic Deans.

Attaining the Highest Levels of Achievement across our Academic Programs

  1. Continue Elon’s unparalleled focused, strategic commitment to enhancing intellectual climate, attending to the Intellectual Climate Strategic Plan’s four pillars of challenge, mentored experiences, student leadership opportunities, and community, and taking action on the twenty-plus action items for years one and two, including:
    1. Comprehensively assess the state of curricular challenge on Elon’s campus, including out-of-class academic experiences.
    2. Construct programming for full-time faculty and residential campus staff focused on enhancing high-quality intellectual engagement, deep learning, and high impact practices throughout the college experience.
    3. Develop competitive departmental grants focused on enhancing academic challenge in the senior year, and residential neighborhood grants to advance intellectual engagement within and beyond specific neighborhoods.
    4. Develop, publish, and distribute a “student operator’s manual” that offers guidance to students about how to make the most of their Elon undergraduate experience.
  2. Continue initiatives to enhance and assess integrative learning in the Elon Core Curriculum, residential learning communities, academic advising, and across the undergraduate experience.
  3. Implement curricular and training enhancements to the Elon 101 program identified in the self-study.
    1. Launch, monitor, and assess the pilot Elon 101 classes: inquiry based learning, design thinking, and social change model.
    2. Provide instructor training to reclaim a seminar model for all Elon 101 focused on holistic advising.
    3. Continue TA/OL training focused on mentoring.
  4. Implement year four of the Writing Excellence Initiative and develop first full overview assessment report.
  5. Implement year two of data access enhancements using SAS-VA and develop data collection and access procedures and policies.
  6. Implement the Smart Catalog Graduate Catalog and comprehensive Curriculum Management system component of the Smart Catalog system.
  7. Implement year two of the strategic plan for the Love School of Business including preparations for the proposed BS/MS Accounting program.
  8. Conduct a comprehensive study of introductory and upper level course enrollment patterns and number of majors and minors in low or declining enrollment academic programs to identify patterns over the last 5 years as well as factors contributing to low enrollments. Using the study results develop strategies, including:
    1. Establish course scheduling guidelines to support curricular offerings.
    2. Recommend curricular innovations.
    3. Develop impactful messaging about the programs to address student perceptions.
    4. Plan effective strategies to recruit students into courses, majors, and minors.
  9. Work with campus partners to identify and implement programs in Belk Library to support high impact practices for engaged learning.
  10. Continue development of the School of Law as the nation’s foremost innovator in legal education.
    1. Earn national recognition as one of the top law schools in the country for engaged learning and for the unique curriculum that requires the most practical experience.
    2. Create advisory boards and strategic plans for the Elon Law Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship Law and the Elon Law Center for Engaged Learning in Law (CELL).
    3. Review and update programs and accompanying materials for admissions, placement, communication, and development/alumni to reflect 2nd year of operation of innovative 2 ½ year, highly experiential curriculum.
    4. Initiate longitudinal assessment of new curriculum by designing research protocol, securing funding from Access Group, engaging independent researcher (RTI), and developing a research agenda from this assessment project.
    5. Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the School of Law.
    6. For fall 2017, enroll 138 students with an average LSAT of 150 and median LSAT of 149.
  11. With support from the Designing Thinking Fund, implement design thinking infused or focused pilot projects in Elon 101, an intensive semester program, and the Core Curriculum capstone.  Initial steps in creating a “Design Thinking Team” will include hiring a director of Design Thinking as well as a new director of the Doherty Entrepreneurship Center.
  12. Prepare for successful accreditation visits.
    1. Conduct self-study in the School of Communications and prepare a new five-year strategic plan in advance of a fall 2017 accreditation review of the school.    
    2. In preparation for the SACSCOC Fifth Year Report, conduct a review of Elon’s processes for institutional effectiveness with a focus on student learning outcomes.
    3. Complete the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) focused follow up report, establish new processes for assessment, and host the NCATE follow up site visit.

Launching Strategic and Innovative Pathways in Undergraduate and Graduate Education

  1. Establish an implementation team for the recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on Social Climate and Out-of-Class Engagement and develop the timeline, implementation strategy, responsible parties, and assessment metrics for the recommendations.
    1. Create university-wide process to examine progress since the 2007 report of the Presidential Task Force on Alcohol and Other Drugs, and update recommendations. 
    2. Collaborate with campus partners to emphasize a “We Are One Phoenix” notion as a unifying commonality for all students, faculty, and staff, including collaborative programming of student organizations, developing new campus-wide events and campus-wide traditions, and working with other campus partners to create, propose, and implement a comprehensive plan that will grow and enhance school spirit.
    3. Create and begin implementing a plan to support cohort opportunities to bring them to a level of visibility similar to fraternities and sororities; examples might include well-funded student-interest housing, dining clubs, enhanced club sport participation opportunities, and service and performance-based clubs.
    4. Investigate expanding the First-Year Summer Experiences (Adventures in Leadership, Engage, etc.) to include a greater number of first-year students.
  2. Continue to implement the academic/residential integration necessary to complete the Residential Campus Initiative (Living and Learning at Elon).
    1. Pilot and assess student-initiated, themed living learning communities, in addition to the existing faculty/staff-led living learning communities.
    2. Continue implementation of the Peer Mentoring Committee report and recommendations.
    3. Expand the faculty affiliate program piloted in the Historic Neighborhood to other residence hall neighborhoods.
    4. Implement new strategies for students to engage with faculty and staff through campus dining experiences and off campus locations.
    5. Extend pilots for neighborhood intellectual dinner discussions and academic programs to all neighborhoods.
    6. Audit common spaces on campus and propose clear polices and, as needed, approval processes for social and study use.
    7. Review the housing master plan and budget projection that addresses additional first- and second-year student housing needs, the academic-residential learning programs, and the feasibility of a third-year housing requirement.
  3. Finalize processes related to curricular approval for new graduate program curriculums:
    1. Higher Education Leadership
    2. BS/MS Accounting Program
  4. Develop a model for career programming and employment preparation for student-athletes in conjunction with the athletics department and coaches.
  5. Identify and implement programmatic and curricular initiatives in winter term that will enhance the intellectual and social climate.
  6. Host the Office of the Executive Director of the Colonial Academic Alliance and collaborate to identify and create programming that facilitates faculty, staff, and student learning and development.

Stewarding Elon’s Commitment to Remain a Best-Value University

  1. Develop and implement a plan to expand the Odyssey Scholars program for students with documented high financial need while increasing undergraduate Pell enrollment.

Significantly Enhance Elon’s Campus with Premier New Academic and Residential Facilities and a Commitment to Protecting our Environment

  1. Complete, open, and dedicate the Dwight C. Schar Hall and renovate McEwen to house all student media with staff support.
  2. Develop a comprehensive plan to evaluate and renovate traditional classroom space and computer laboratories across campus.
  3. Continue planning for new facilities to support excellence in the natural sciences.
  4. Complete design for the following projects:
    1. Facilities master plan
    2. Sankey Hall
    3. Historic Neighborhood Commons building
    4. Long renovation
    5. Powell renovation after communications facilities are completed
    6. Elementary School
    7. Study and design alternatives for future of the Koury Athletic Center spaces
  5. Complete construction for the following projects:
    1. Steers Pavilion
    2. McEwen JMC renovation
    3. Way-finding and signage project
    4. Law School refresh phrase 1
    5. Alamance 101/1st floor hallway refresh
    6. School of Education dean’s suite renovation
    7. Alamance 101/1st floor hallway refresh
    8. Center for the Arts classroom 165 renovation
    9. McMichael 117 renovation
    10. Physics classroom renovation

Continuing Work in Academic Affairs

The following lists provide for continuing awareness of important continuing work in academic affairs from previous priorities.

Continuing Priorities to be reviewed and/or implemented in 2016-2017

Reports to be received by Academic Affairs Advisory and/or Provost Advisory Committees and, as appropriate, evaluated with implementation planning.

  1. Based on the review of the current GAP program, begin implementing changes to the existing program.
  2. Complete, review, and plan for implementation of recommendations to enhance second-language proficiency, including enhancements to current curricular and co-curricular programs, increased integration with global engagement experiences, and new initiatives.
  3. Receive accreditation reports for Physical Therapy Education – Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education and Physician Assistant Education -Accreditation Review Commission on Physician Assistant Education (ARC-PA).
  4. Finalize and submit five-year plans for departments, academic programs, and academic affairs units, including, as appropriate, revision of student learning outcomes.
  5. Refine and submit a proposal to create a robust learning assistance program.
  6. Charge study group to review and refine the plan to move from a 3-digit to 4-digit course numbering system to support curricular changes, curricular innovation, and degree audit related process.

Continuing implementation from previous priorities

  1. Plan for implementation of the Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and submit proposal to SACSCOC after consideration by the Board of Trustees.
  2. Continue work on the Elon Institute of Learning focused on relevant existing programs.
  3. Implement plans to support, assess, and enhance interdisciplinary minors.
  4. Continue to implement the Academic Support and Advising strategic plan including addressing the definition of advising, issue of advising loads across campus and work with schools to create degree planning advising templates for their majors.
  5. Continue to support initiatives (Elon-Alamance Health Partners and Elon Community Engagement Fellowships) related to the Franklin Project’s goal of creating one million post-graduate paid National Service Year experiences.
  6. Continue assessment of current fellows programs with attention to programming, student learning, and admissions to ensure quality and competitiveness in a changing admissions landscape.
  7. Collaborate with University Curriculum Committee, the Experiential Education Advisory Committee, Core Council, and Global Education Curriculum Committee to refine processes related to GBL and ELR.
  8. Continue to implement plan to enhance the current 3+2 Engineering program based on the feasibility study for a four- or five-year major in Engineering.

Ongoing Work

Previous priorities that should be considered standard ongoing work.

  1. Make strategic recommendations related to emerging teaching and learning technologies in support of Elon's commitment to engaged learning, including flipped, blended, and online courses.
  2. Identify and pilot new, innovative learning spaces through a partnership between Instructional and Campus Technologies, Academic Affairs, and Planning, Design, & Construction.

Work in the Preliminary Stages

The following items refer to possible priorities for the future.

  1. Begin research and conversations to inform preliminary planning for future expansion of Belk Library including models for effective co-location of academic services to support student success.
  2. Begin planning for the 2020-2030 university strategic plan with respect to new programs to be considered including Speech-language Pathology, Occupational Therapy (possible future feasibility study), Engineering, Doctor of Health Sciences, and Ph.D. in Communications.

Steven D. House

Steven D. House
Provost and
Executive Vice President