University Planning

Criterion 4 - Research & Creative Activities

Criterion 4: focuses on research and creative activities and evaluates the extent to which Western Illinois University promotes a life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff, and students by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice, and social responsibility in ways consistent with its mission.

Core Component - 4a The University demonstrates, through the actions of its board, administrators, students, faculty, and staff, that it values a life of learning.

Examples of Evidence

  • The board has approved and disseminated statements supporting freedom of inquiry for the organization's students, faculty, and staff, and honors those statements in its practices.
  • The organization's planning and pattern of financial allocation demonstrate that it values and promotes a life of learning for its students, faculty, and staff.
  • The organization supports professional development opportunities and makes them available to all of its administrators, faculty, and staff.
  • The organization publicly acknowledges the achievements of students and faculty in acquiring, discovering, and applying knowledge.
  • The faculty and students, in keeping with the organization's mission, produce scholarship and create knowledge through basic and applied research.
  • The organization and its units use scholarship and research to stimulate organizational and educational improvements.

Core Component - 4b The University demonstrates that acquisition of a breadth of knowledge and skills and the exercise of intellectual inquiry are integral to its educational programs.

Examples of Evidence

  • The organization integrates general education into all of its undergraduate degree programs through curricular and experiential offerings intentionally created to develop the attitudes and skills requisite for a life of learning in a diverse society.
  • The organization regularly reviews the relationship between its mission and values and the effectiveness of its general education.
  • The organization assesses how effectively its graduate programs establish a knowledge base on which students develop depth of expertise.
  • The organization demonstrates the linkages between curricular and co-curricular activities that support inquiry, practice, creativity, and social responsibility.
  • Learning outcomes demonstrate that graduates have achieved breadth of knowledge and skills and the capacity to exercise intellectual inquiry.
  • Learning outcomes demonstrate effective preparation for continued learning.

Core Component - 4c The University assesses the usefulness of its curricula to students who will live and work in a global, diverse, and technological society.

Examples of Evidence

  • Regular academic program reviews include attention to currency and relevance of courses and programs.
  • In keeping with its mission, learning goals and outcomes include skills and professional competence essential to a diverse workforce.
  • Learning outcomes document that graduates have gained the skills and knowledge they need to function in diverse local, national, and global societies.
  • Curricular evaluation involves alumni, employers, and other external constituents who understand the relationships among the courses of study, the currency of the curriculum, and the utility of the knowledge and skills gained.
  • The organization supports creation and use of scholarship by students in keeping with its mission.
  • Faculty expect students to master the knowledge and skills necessary for independent learning in programs of applied practice.
  • The organization provides curricular and co-curricular opportunities that promote social responsibility.

Core Component - 4d The University provides support to ensure that faculty, students, and staff acquire, discover, and apply knowledge responsibly.

Examples of Evidence

  • The organization's academic and student support programs contribute to the development of student skills and attitudes fundamental to responsible use of knowledge.
  • The organization follows explicit policies and procedures to ensure ethical conduct in its research and instructional activities.
  • The organization encourages curricular and co-curricular activities that relate responsible use of knowledge to practicing social responsibility.
  • The organization provides effective oversight and support services to ensure the integrity of research and practice conducted by its faculty and students.
  • The organization creates, disseminates, and enforces clear policies on practices involving intellectual property rights.

A summary of the core components 4a-4d, institutional strengths, challenges, and next steps is also required.


  • Aimee Shouse, Associate Professor, Political Science, Co-Chair
  • Beth Seaton, Director, Sponsored Projects, Co-Chair
  • Gary Daytner, Assistant Professor, Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Sam Edsall, Associate Professor, Broadcasting
  • Michael P Godard, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology
  • Bill Howard, Associate Professor, Art
  • Bill Knox, Director, Centennial Honors College
  • Mary Margaret Harris, Director, Beu Health Center
  • *Inessa Levi, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Marty Maskarinec, Professor, Computer Science, Co-Chair
  • *Joan Maze, Assistant Director, Student Activities
  • Donna McCaw, Provost's Excellence in Scholarly/Creative/Performative/Professional Activities Award Recipient and Associate Professor, Educational Leadership
  • Nancy Parsons, Professor, Health Sciences
  • *Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah, Chairperson, African-American Studies
  • Phyllis Rippey, Associate Professor, Political Science
  • Jim Schmidt, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Tim Sheridan, Director, Student Judicial Programs
  • Emeric Solymossy, Professor, Management
  • Chris Sutton, Professor, Geography
  • Jeanette Thomas, Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Al Waters, Director, Placement
  • Linda Zellmer, Assistant Professor, University Libraries

*former member

    Meeting Schedule

    • 2008
      • September 23 - 3:00 pm - Full Committee - University Library Mary Lou Kent Room CODEC to QC Rm115
      • October 21 - 4:00 pm - Full Committee - SH205 CODEC to QC Rm114
      • November 4 - 9:30am - Subcommittee on Student Learning - University Library Rm180
      • November 7 - 10:30am - Subcommittee on Employee Learning/Development - HH60 CODEC to QC
      • December 9 - 3:30 pm - Full Committee - SH205 CODEC to QC Rm265A
    • 2009
      • March 12 - 2:00 pm - Full Committee - SH205
      • April 2 - 2:00pm - Subcommittee on Student Learning - Union Algonquin Room
      • April 2 - 2:00pm - Subcommittee on Employee Learning/Development - SH205
      • April 6 - 3:00pm - Subcommittee on Student Learning - Union Fox Room
      • April 7 - 2:30pm - Subcommittee on Employee Learning/Development - Union Capital Rooms CODEC to QC Rm 11r