FacEx Meeting Minutes
- Ani Kokobobo
- Justin Blumenstiel
- Kristin Villa
- Nate Brunsell
- Samuel Brody
- Victor Gonzalez
- Jeff Chasen
- Caty Movich
- Suzanne Scales
Approval of Previous Minutes —
Kristin Villa made a motion to approve the minutes from Jan. 24, Feb. 7, Feb. 21, March 7, and March 21, 2023. Justin Blumenstiel seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Guest Speaker Presentation —Guest Speaker: Neil Kingston
Neil Kingston joined as a guest speaker to give an update on competency-based efforts.
Neil said it was important to get Faculty Senate involved in this from the early days.
Neil said the time seemed right to start developing the underlying infrastructure that would allow competency-based education at KU. There are some programs that want to go in this direction, and we are not able to allow them to move in this direction. They thought we would have several years to think about this. A school contacted the School of Education last year and they had developed two competency-based programs. They developed this, but then realized they did not have the critical mass to make this successful. They were looking for someone to take this over. KU acquired them and renamed it. We believe KU can harness its research expertise to move forward higher education making it more affordable and accessible, without sacrificing quality. Limited research shows there is modest improvement using competency-based approaches.
To define competency based, we are talking about the curriculum for a program designed around specific competencies. Advancement through the program depends on competences in the program. People have to show what they have learned. It is not a statement but showing what you know. Backwards design is another buzzword. Start with competencies that the program faculty have determined are the appropriate competencies for a program. Specialized expertise will be brought in, as necessary. Neil stated he is driven by equity and accessibility. KU has tried to make our traditional settings more accessible. Neil said they are not expecting traditional education to change. This is in addition to traditional. Some are priced out of higher ed. The hope is students will see these benefits. This will allow higher pay for faculty and investment in research. Faculty input is needed. He discussed what is it going to take to support this. In the first column there is equity for students, but for the university, we are positioning ourselves in that we are advancing equity. KU is the only relative open access AAU university. KU takes pride that we are available to a large group. If you cannot get students to where you want, it does not help to bring them in. Our completion rate needs to increase. The third group is external constituencies. We suffer from those outside of higher ed that they do not know what we do. Businesses do not know what they are getting with a graduate. They feel they are not listened to.
Neil said his expectation is that there are programs that do not need to change at all. There are new programs that are trying to be responsive to market needs that the University might want to support. …. Critical is that the faculty voice be heard throughout the entire process. We are being bold for an RO1 university.
Neil pointed out what KU is doing that is different than the University of Mayland, University of Michigan, Purdue, and University of Wisconsin. They are setting up their competency-based education in a separate unit. KU is setting up a structure that resides within the Lawrence campus that involves faculty who want a competency-based program. The delivery will be through Jayhawk Global. There are some unknowns currently.
Question. Nate asked for an update on where they are in the process, implementation?
Answer. The first important thing is that we decided that we do not have enough expertise. There is an organization-CBEN (Competency-Based Education Network). We joined them and brought them in as consultants. They recommended that we put together a design charrette. You get your internal constituencies together and decide how to move forward with any barriers. A recommendation that came out of the design charrette was that we should have five teams to help us move forward. Teams are focusing on different issues: accreditation, financial aid., Student Support services, business processes and policies, and technology.
Question. Can you talk about the committee’s plans for communication?
Answer. We need to put together a communication plan. A plan was drafted. We hope to have a plan we feel comfortable with. We need a plan to engage faculty in multiple ways.
Question. In terms of timeline for implementation, when do you think this will be fully in place and integrated into departments.
Answer. Optimistically, we want the infrastructure at KU to offer competency-based education by August of 2024.
Question. Nate. Some of the logistics. How does this play into residency requirement, junior/senior hours. What are the logistical issues there?
Answer. There are three kinds of competency-based programs: undergraduate programs, not for credit programs and master level programs, low hanging fruit. There is usually a year of work associated with master’s programs. There are fewer things outside of the curriculum that must be dealt with.
He concluded with remarking it is important to get faculty engaged.
Faculty Senate Report
COACHE. We heard back from the recommendation committee. We are getting ready for public release of the information. The public forum is April 27th. It is important that people attend in person. We are hoping the Chancellor and Provost will have a timeline for the recommendations. It will be good for the trust in the program the level of their engagement.
Next week is a KBOR meeting. They should be doing the rpk recommendations, it was delayed. Nate thanked everyone for the feedback if they submitted. The reason it was delayed is because of additional feedback they received.
University Senate Report
COACHE. Ani reported the following. She said she has been busy with COACHE. We passed different policies, and we are working on the reorganization. We will vote for that in University Senate.
Ani reported they are taking steps in Shared Governance. We have a value statement, and they are deciding how that will be disseminated. We are working on roles and responsibilities. Phase 4 is being addressed by having the CFO to a public forum which we hope to have as a continuous thing. The CFO will talk about the University finances. A campus email will go about that.
New Business —
FacEx petition form. Caty Movich shared the form Exceptions to University Policy Form.
Recently we have had issues seeking approval from the deans slowing down the process.
Caty suggested that the language on the FacEx form be changes to “Requirements for Graduation (USRR 3.13.1) requires letter of explanation and approval from the School.
Motion. Kristin Villa made a motion to approve the form to the suggested language. Justin Blumenstiel seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.