Academic Affairs Accomplishments 2009-2010
Academic Affairs is committed to enriching academic excellence and providing educational opportunities as outlined in the University's strategic plan Higher Values in Higher Education. In 2009-2010 colleges, departments, and schools continued to develop new degree programs in areas of demand and need, prepare for the University's re-accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, maintain and seek discipline-based accreditations, and increase the visibility of the Centennial Honors College.
New Program Development
- Art completed a feasibility study for a Graphic Design option within the B.A. and BFA degree programs and received approval to develop the curriculum.
- Biological Sciences developed a Medical Sciences option within the B.S. in Biology degree program.
- The Centennial Honors College launched the Interdisciplinary Studies degree program Renewable Energy concentrations in Wind Technology; Biofuels Technology; and Policy, Planning, and Management.
- Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies received approval to offer a new post-baccalaureate certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
- Educational Leadership began development of a new program proposal for its M.S.Ed./Principal Certification program. The changes are a direct response to a collaborative effort by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Board of Higher Education to transform principal preparation.
- Engineering redesigned the B.S. in Engineering degree with a new multidisciplinary engineering degree concept. At 121 hours, it distinguishes WIU as the leanest engineering degree in the region.
- English and Journalism developed a post-baccalaureate certificate in English with tracks in Professional Writing, Teaching Writing, and Literary Studies.
- The Environmental Science Ph.D. program received on-campus approval and the proposal is in preparation for state-level review.
- Geology's proposal for an Earth/Space Science Teacher Certification program received on-campus approval and the proposal is in preparation for state-level review.
- History completed a feasibility study for a History Pre-Law option and received approval to develop the curriculum.
- The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs initiated discussions with Arts and Sciences and Geography to develop a proposed M.A. degree in Sustainable Community Economic Development and received approval for a new course (IIRA 501: Principle of Community Development) that will serve as one of the core courses for the proposed program.
- Information Systems and Decisions Sciences received approval for the new Information Technology Systems option and Healthcare Information Technology Systems option within the B.B. in Information Systems. These options further differentiate the information systems major according to national trends and are expected to be in high demand.
- Instructional Design and Technology actively promoted the newly approved Technology Specialist emphasis in its graduate degree program.
- Marketing and Finance completed a feasibility study for the Certificate in Mobile Marketing Technologies, a value-added offering for marketing majors. The certificate will require a specific course sequence which will develop a particular set of technology skills useful in marketing and is in demand by employers.
- Museum Studies enrolled 31 graduate students during its second year.
- Philosophy and Religious Studies received approval for the Pre-Law option in the B.A. in Philosophy.
- Physics received approval for a substantially revised dual degree in Engineering Physics.
- Sociology and Anthropology's B.A. in Anthropology, newly approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, enrolled nine majors as of Fall 2009.
- Social Work began a feasibility study for delivering the Bachelor of Social Work degree in the Quad Cities.
Chemistry Chair and Professor Rose McConnell and three other WIU chemistry professors -- T. K. Vinod, Jin Jin, and Lisa Wen -- led a research project funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes for Health ($196,833) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ($122,781). The goal of the research is to develop inhibitors to slow the activity of cathepsins, which are protease enzymes that promote metastases in tumors. Above: Professor T.K. Vinod (L) oversees Western's senior forensic chemistry major Michael Bordowitz (R), who carefully handles a transfer of liquid.
In August 2009, the Caxton Block Building in Moline (IL) was dedicated as the temporary home for WIU's new Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree program. Officials from Western Illinois University, the City of Moline, Renew Moline, the Quad Cities Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and several other organizations attended the ribbon cutting.
- WIU continued preparation for re-accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. In Fall 2009, faculty and staff participated on the 10 working committees to draft and update the self-study report. Faculty governance groups and other campus constituencies reviewed the report during Spring 2010, and it was subsequently approved by the WIU Board of Trustees in June 2010. The self-study report will be submitted to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in Fall 2010. WIU will host the HLC visiting team in February 2011.
- Art obtained initial accreditation status (through 2016) from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) for its B.A. and BFA in Art degree programs.
- Business and Technology received AACSB International accreditation reaffirmation (through 2015) for the B.B., MBA, and M.ACCT degree programs.
- Communication Sciences and Disorders received notification of its continuing reaccreditation (through 2017) from the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASLHA).
- Counselor Education revised its Community Counseling graduate degree program to meet the newly revised Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards.
- Dietetics, Fashion Merchandising and Hospitality pursued accreditation for its Hotel/Restaurant Management option through the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA). The department is considering a site visit in two years.
- Education and Human Services continued preparation for the Fall 2011 National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) site visit; the interdisciplinary NCATE Steering Committee, comprised of faculty from two WIU colleges, developed a template of common ideas and objectives to facilitate preparation of teacher candidates for the Western Teacher Work Sample, the new unit-wide assessment.
- Engineering moved toward the initial stages of ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accreditation, with completion anticipated within the next three years; revised the Engineering curriculum to better align it with ABET standards.
- Engineering Technology solidified plans for the Manufacturing Engineering Technology and Construction Management degree programs to pursue accreditation from the Association for Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE); determined that the Graphic Communication degree program will pursue accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications (ACCGC).
- Kinesiology's Athletic Training program received reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education ( CAATE) through 2020.
- Military Science retained current academic program accreditation after its 2010 review by the 3rd ROTC Brigade of U.S. Army Cadet Command.
- The Museum Studies M.A. program received initial accreditation status (through 2016) from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
- Music continued assessment of student learning and maintaining program approval by its national accrediting agency, the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
- Nursing completed the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation self-study and hosted an on-site visit.
- Psychology's Specialist in School Psychology degree program received accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
- Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration's accreditation status was renewed with the Council on Accreditation/National Recreation and Park Association (COA/RPRLS) through 2013.
- Theatre and Dance attained initial National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) accreditation for its Theatre program.
WIU's College of Business and Technology and the accountancy department maintained their accreditation by AACSB International -- The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. WIU is one of only 174 universities worldwide to achieve dual accreditation in both business and accountancy by AACSB International. L-R: WIU College of Business and Technology Dean Tom Erekson, Provost Jack Thomas, CBT Associate Dean Jack Elfrink, and Department of Accountancy Chair Hassan Espahbodi.
WIU was designated as a "Military Friendly School" by G.I. Jobs Magazine. This honor ranks WIU in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to assist America's veterans as students. L-R: Director of the School of Distance Learning and Outreach Richard Carter and President Al Goldfarb.
Centennial Honors College
- Arts and Sciences co-sponsored the Ninth Annual Pre-Law Symposium.
- Business and Technology's MBA committee initiated a proposal for redesign of the MBA focused on more effective recruitment of Honors students.
- The Centennial Honors College increased enrollment in the college from 509 students in Fall 2008 to 551 in Fall 2009; expanded student recruitment for students from traditionally underrepresented groups and from the smallest regional high schools; in close cooperation with University Housing and Dining Services, successfully effected the transition of its residence hall sites to qualitatively better facilities beginning in Fall 2010; had honors students engaged in 203 in-course honors projects, with 23 students completing honors theses in the 2009 calendar year; held the Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research Day on April 28, 2010, where 250 students presented from 26 disciplines with 96 faculty mentors, for a total of 147 poster presentations and 39 podium presentations.
- Communication instructor David Zanolla developed a General Honors course, "Communication Around the World," which was approved and implemented by the honors college Spring 2010; Zanolla is in the process of developing an additional honors college offering for implementation during 2010-2011.
- Education and Human Services worked with under-enrolled departments to increase participation from 160 to 200 students.
- Extended Studies began a dialogue with the Centennial Honors College regarding an honors program for Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts students.
- Fine Arts and Communication academic units worked to identify courses applicable for honors course credit in order to establish an honors curriculum specific to each discipline; established a college honors committee to develop a new curriculum and create an attractive and effective curriculum for students.
- The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs helped to create the Renewable Energy concentrations, which are housed in the honors college.
Spring 2010 Honors Convocation speaker Michael Kwiatkowski was an outstanding scholar in the Centennial Honors College and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration and Psychology.
Other Learning Enhancement Highlights
- Academic Affairs provided $60,535 to support the Provost Awards for Faculty Travel -- faculty submitted 100 applications, resulting in 85 awards; created a Summer School Task Force to identify creative marketing strategies that would result in an enrollment increase (Summer 2010 enrollment was 3,752 students, up from 3,354 in 2009); awarded Provost's Awards of Excellence to: Dr. Jennifer McNabb - History (Excellence in Teaching), Dr. Leaunda Hemphill - Instructional Design and Technology (Excellence in Teaching with Technology), Dr. Robert Quesal - Communication Sciences and Disorders (Excellence in Scholarly/Creative/Performance Activity, Dr. J. Q. Adams - Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies (Excellence in Multicultural Teaching), Dr. John Miller - Communication (Excellence in Community and University Service), Dr. Shazia Rahman - English and Journalism (Excellence in Internationalizing the Campus), Ms. Diane Fullenwilder-Bracey - University Advising and Academic Services Center (Outstanding Academic Advisor).
- Art received approval to add six new courses to the Art curriculum.
- Arts and Sciences supported the First Year Experience (FYE) initiative by offering 120 sections of FYE courses; increased Fall 2009 undergraduate major enrollments by 2.68% over the previous year; provided 21 computers to faculty and 70 computers and 20 projectors for electronic classrooms, portable cart systems and discipline specific computer labs; added CODEC capability to two rooms (one a classroom; the other a seminar/conference room) to allow live interactive contact between the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses, and to allow an increased variety of course offerings in both locations while requiring no additional staffing; and sponsored 79 undergraduate research projects through March 1, 2010.
- Business and Technology continued the college Executive in Residence series for the fourth consecutive year with Caterpillar Vice President Rob Grove and hosted numerous special guests as on-campus speakers, including McDonald's Vice President Carol Koepke and international ethics expert Patrick Kuhse; all college departments supported experiential learning through faculty-led field trips, student attendance at industry conferences, and real-world interactions with practitioners; saw 391 students (from seven of its nine departments) complete academic internships during 2009-2010, which represents more than 15 percent of college majors.
- The Centennial Honors College expanded the Quad Cities honors programming by establishing relationships with the honors associations, advisors, faculty, and students at the community colleges in the region.
- The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research provided 176 workshops and programs on the Macomb campus and 19 on the Quad Cities campus for faculty; planned and hosted the Summer Academy; facilitated travel and planning for the Faculty Summer Institute hosted at the University of Illinois; administered the 2009-2010 Provost's Travel Awards.
- The Center for International Studies collaborated with Graduate Studies, the Graduate Council, and the University Advising and Academic Services Center to improve international student advising and registration presentations; expanded International Education Week to encompass a two-week period that featured 22 different internationally focused activities for 750 students, faculty and staff, and community members; collaborated with faculty members in nine different academic courses to include international students into classroom activities; had over 145 international and domestic student participants in Conversation Partners, which provides intercultural learning opportunities for students; continued to expand other cultural programs such as International Neighbors, Cultural Cafes, and Wednesday Activities; provided international students with cultural excursions to Springfield, Peoria, Iowa City, Burlington, the Quad Cities, and Chicago; improved WESL courses and curriculum to meet student needs and enhance the center's mission; fulfilled all requirements for maintaining Commission on English Language Program accreditation status throughl April 2017.
- Colleges and Other Units secured 130 externally funded projects totaling more than $13.1 million.
- Communication and Communication Sciences and Disorders chairs met with the dean and various technology advisers to discuss the technological needs and goals of faculty relevant to the Memorial Hall renovation and re-entry; department faculty attended demonstrations of the utilization of SMART board technology to ascertain the need for and proposed uses of this technology in Memorial Hall. This information will be used to make final decisions regarding state of the art technology purchases to outfit Memorial Hall for re-entry.
- Education and Human Services used one-time variance monies to fund the development of seven online courses.
- Educational Leadership, Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, and Social Work committed to a thorough review and revision of their respective curricula. In the case of Educational Leadership, the department's Program Advisory Committee met repeatedly with several area school superintendents and principals to articulate a redesign that coheres with emerging standards and the real needs of practitioners.
- Faculty engaged in academic excellence by completing 24 published books, 433 chapter/monograph/refereed article publications, 592 creative activities, and 733 conference presentations.
- Fine Arts and Communication achieved a 3.1 percent increase in student credit hour production from Fall 2008 to Fall 2009 (18,158 to 18,725).
- The First Year Experience Program (FYE) implemented the new FYE graduation requirement for students using the 2009-2010 catalog; conducted FYE faculty and department chair meetings at the beginning of each semester; revised and strengthened FYE peer mentor training; offered FYE courses (194 sections; 103 in Fall 2009 and 91 in Spring 2010); operated FYE academic help centers in freshmen residence halls during both semesters to provide tutoring in math and writing for freshmen; helped to support the Writing Center location in the Library; selected Robert Hironimus-Wendt to serve as a new one-year replacement faculty associate for FYE and Adam Busard (graduate assistant) as a new FYE peer mentor coordinator.
- The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs developed a computer mapping course for the Centennial Honors College and a graduate level course (IIRA 501- Principles of Community Development); worked with two law enforcement and justice administration faculty members to develop a co-taught course that focuses on the law, environment and ethics; initiated an internship program that pays WIU graduates to attend a 12-month internship at the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center, which is an operating ethanol plant and laboratory; partnered with the economics department to provide practical internship experiences for Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program students.
- Law Enforcement and Justice Administration offered one new online course in support of the IL Alliance.
- Marketing and Finance Professor Don Johnson was selected as the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer.
- Museum Studies formed a new student organization, Graduate Experience in Museum Studies (GEMS), to offer personal and professional levels of student leadership and participation in the museum community and the University.
- Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration linked its curriculum with that of the Eastern Iowa Community College District in the area of natural resources, resulting in the first accelerated, three-year program in the Quad Cities; working with the departments of Agriculture, Dietetics/Fashion Merchandising/Hospitality and Kinesiology and Campus Recreation, explored the creation of a Golf Operations minor that would be housed in the department.
- The Registrar implemented online final grade reporting; modified First Year Experience (FYE) programming to automatically track student compliance with the requirement that "upon initial full-time enrollment at Western Illinois University, students with 12 or fewer semester hours completed must enroll in and pass two FYE courses. Students with 13-24 hours completed must enroll in and pass one FYE course."
- Sponsored Projects finished work on a new Responsible Conduct of Research Policy; modified and renewed the Federal Wide Assurance for human subjects research; implemented new annual reporting measurements and techniques for research conducted with animals; created an Occupational Health and Safety Plan for research conducted with animals; in cooperation with WIU's office of Administrative Information Management Systems, began development of an in-house program that will generate the post-award basic effort certification report electronically; hosted the Faculty First Summer Grant Proposal Writing Program for 15 faculty members completing their first year at WIU; obtained an institutional membership in the Grants Resource Center (GRC); cooperated with the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education and Human Services to invite faculty members to the GRC fall and spring conferences; in cooperation with Dr. John Drea, Marketing and Finance, worked on a survey of faculty perceptions of the office and its services; teamed up with Arts and Sciences to help fund their faculty mentor program ($3,000) and their grant writing in the humanities program led by History professor Scott Palmer ($1,500); funded five Summer Stipends for faculty ($21,000) and 18 University Research Council grants ($83,800); and provided additional faculty assistance for travel and research needs ($6,478).
- Theater and Dance hosted four separate workshops presented by the four major lighting manufacturers (ETC, Middleton WI; Vari-Light, Dallas TX; Apollo, Fort Wayne IN; Rosco Laboratories, Stanford CT); 15 theatre students were certified in armed stage combat (rapier and dagger) by the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD), and two of the students were awarded the Examiners Award for Excellence by the SAFD; hosted the National Players, a touring Shakespearean company, who presented Much Ado About Nothing free of charge for two performances in Horrabin Theatre.
- The University Advising and Academic Services Center provided supplemental advising for fine arts students and registration assistance for international students.
- University Libraries offered 15.6 percent more librarian taught course sessions in 2009 than in 2008; provided internship and practicum experience to students in English and Emergency Management 323; conducted the LibQUAL+ survey and analyzed results to identify issues for improvement (results of the 2009 LibQUAL survey show improvements in all areas of service in the library); improved its computing environment, including relocation of Digital Studio and installation of Arc GIS software in Library computer labs; began digitizing regional oral histories and Sequel Annuals; added and expanded electronic resources such as JSTOR 7, ARTSTOR and CompuStat, and is currently providing access to over 56,000 journals and databases; cataloged e-serials, government documents and gifts, and added permanent URLs to improve accurate retrieval of information; added materials for specific collections such as Holocaust collection, Lueck collection, and materials from the Children's Literature Examination Center; continued work on Archives' projects such as the Lane Evans papers and Student Government Association papers.
- Women's Studies added the Women's Studies minor to those available in the Quad Cities.
Ashley Mason, a senior agriculture education major at WIU, was selected by the National Post-Secondary Agriculture Student Organization to participate in its Ag Day Leadership Summit in March 2010. Mason met with legislators' advisers, as well as with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, during her visit to Washington, D.C. during National Agriculture Week. Above: U.S. Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Ashley Mason.
WIU's exercise science program was recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) for meeting established criteria. NSCA is the only accredited national governing body for fitness and strength certifications. The NSCA recognition is valid through December 2012. Above: WIU senior exercise science students.
The WIU Jazz Studio Orchestra (JSO), under the direction of Dr. John Cooper, performed at Carnegie Hall in May 2010. JSO was the guest of internationally known "Italian Big Band" musicians: composer and conductor Marco Renzi and clarinetist Bepi D'Amato.
WIU Communication Sciences and Disorders Professor Robert W. Quesal was elected as a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The ASHA Fellowship recognizes professional or scientific achievement and is given to members who have made outstanding contributions to the professions. The award is one of the highest honors that ASHA can bestow and is retained for life.
At the College of Education and Human Services Eleventh Annual Tech Fest, WIU students and departments and area schools and businesses showcased their technological forays and innovations. Above: WIU Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research exhibitors Chad Dennis and Sara Settles.