Directions: This sample is not complete but was developed to illustrate how the evaluative reports may be written. It is intended to be illustrative and as an informative guide for presenting data gathered during the self-study process. The department used in the self-study sample is fictitious. Thus, units should carefully consider their responses and not automatically pattern the narratives after the sample. Unlike the sample, entire tables, and figures should be included in the final report. Each unit is unique, and the information presented in each self-study report should reflect this uniqueness.
Department Rhetoric, Literacy and Technology
Criterion Two: The institution has effectively organized the human, financial and physical resources necessary to accomplish its purpose.
Governance (Secretary of the Board of Trustees only) NA
The Department of Rhetoric, Literacy and Technology was reorganized in 1991 when the undergraduate and graduate programs in literacy and rhetoric were reassigned to the newly formed Department of Rhetoric and Literacy. In 1996, the Illinois Board of Higher Education approved the program in technology. Since the technology program was developed by the faculty in the Department of Rhetoric, the three programs were merged into the Department of Rhetoric, Literacy and Technology. As a consequence of these changes and the reorganization, the department offers graduate programs in rhetoric and literacy for secondary and community college teachers and undergraduate programs for individuals who are preparing to work in a school or non-school settings and are already employed adult learners.
The department is organized with a department chair and one coordinator for each program in rhetoric, literacy and technology and a technical coordinator. There are also program assessment coordinators and coordinators for multiple section courses such as the coordinator for Rhetoric 101 and 102 and a coordinator for Technology 104. All of the coordinators report directly to the department chairperson. In addition, there are standing departmental committees such as personnel, curriculum and student recruitment and retention. The department chair assigns duties to program and course coordinators and committee chairs. A department organizational chart has been placed in Exhibit A.
Responsibilities for the department chair, program coordinators and the technical coordinator are determined with the dean's approval. Responsibilities for assessment coordinators are determined by Academic Affairs. Copies of job descriptions are located in Exhibit A. Job descriptions for course section chairs, committee chairs and committee members are explained in the department bylaws which are presented in Exhibit B. Faculty rights and responsibilities are explained in the contract between the University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100 and Chicago State University.
In the Department of Rhetoric, Literacy and Technology, the department chair assigns all teaching duties according to program needs and the faculty's credentials and expertise. The department chair also supervises clerical and graduate assistants. Job descriptions for clerical staff are provided in Exhibit F. Graduate Assistants are assigned according to the department's and individual program's needs, but they do not have formal job descriptions.
The Department of Rhetoric, Literacy and Technology provided instruction for 3,297 students and generated 21,506 credit hours during the 2000-2001 academic year. The same year, the department had 255 majors: rhetoric (50), literacy (70), and technology (135).
Ninety Rhetoric 101 and 102 sections were offered to 1,872 students while 36 sections of Technology 106 provided instruction for 900 students and generated 7,620 credit hours. Enrollment data and course offering for the undergraduate programs for the last five years are presented in Table 1. Finally, the department's graduate programs provided instruction to 250 students: 100 in literacy and 150 in rhetoric. Enrollment and course data for graduate programs for the same period are provided in Table 2.
Inserts: Table 1 Undergraduate Courses, Enrollment and Credit Hours
Table 2 Graduate Courses, Enrollment and Credit Hours
As an academic unit, the department generally acts as a committee of the whole in matters dealing with programs and curricula. This assures extensive faculty input into the evaluation and development of programs. Department bylaws (Exhibit B) have been formulated and provide directions for: 1) department membership and voting privileges, 2) department organization, and 3) department evaluation criteria.
In faculty personnel matters, the department has formed a Department Personnel Committee (DPC) with formal guidelines (Exhibit B). The DPC elects its chairman and secretary annually and functions according to the university's personnel calendar and guidelines and adopted departmental guidelines.
Mechanisms for planning and change do exist. The department has engaged in strategic planning since 1994 and long-range planning since 1999. Copies of the department's strategic plan and long-range plan are located in Exhibit C.
Annually, the programs of the department are reviewed according to guidelines established by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. A copy of the review guidelines and the most recent annual review for the department are presented in Exhibit D. Further, students annually assess instructors and courses in which they are enrolled and routinely rate faculty as "highly effective" or superior. Student evaluations of faculty are found in Exhibit B. Students graduating from the programs in a given year and those graduates of programs two years previously are also asked to assess the programs annually.
For example, student responses on the Spring 2000 alumni survey for the technology program were positive: 85% indicated satisfaction with the program, 87% were satisfied with instruction, and 91% indicated that the program prepared them for their chosen field. Responses for the literacy and technology programs are similar. The results of the three most recent alumni surveys for these items are presented in Table 3.
Insert: Table 3 Alumni Survey Results.
In addition, each program in the department has an assessment plan complete with program objectives, student learning outcomes and instruments. The assessment process is ongoing. Assessment results are analyzed and used for making program changes and are reported in program reviews.
Assessment findings and related program changes are fully explained in Criteria Three and Four. Copies of the assessment plan and all items related to the assessment of student learning are located in Exhibit D. The results of all assessments indicate that the department's organizational approach is sound.
Human Resources: Faculty / Staff
The department houses fifteen faculty members, who consist of three African Americans, one Hispanic and eleven Caucasians. Thirteen faculty members are male, and two are females. The utilization of part-time faculty varies from year to year. During the 2000-01 academic year, nine part-time faculty members were employed. Five of the nine part-time employees held doctorates and four held master's degrees with post master's work.
One faculty member serves as chairperson of the department. Ten faculty members have earned doctorates and have primary responsibility for teaching graduate courses . Five hold master's degrees with post masters' work. Eight faculty members are tenured. Four hold the rank of professor. Two hold the rank of associate professor and four hold the rank of assistant professor. Five are lecturers (full-time temporaries). The rank and degrees of faculty members are presented in Table 4.
Insert: Table 4 Faculty Personnel Summary
The department office is staffed by one full-time secretary. In addition, the department is assigned five graduate assistants, five tutors and two undergraduate student aides. The department also has two technical assistants who oversee the technology labs. Support staff is sufficient in number to meet the department's mission and objectives. A description of the department's staff for the last three years is found in Table 5.
Insert: Table 5 Non-Teaching Personnel Summary
The department has two vacancies: one to replace a faculty member who has taken another position, and the other for a faculty member who retired. It is anticipated that the department may not be permitted to replace current vacancies or those of faculty members who will retire over the next few years. However, the department's programmatic needs will be assessed prior to seeking replacements. Assessments will be based on enrollment and continued program viability.
All faculty assignments for retention, promotion and tenure are determined by the bylaws and the Department Application of Criteria (Exhibit B) which outline guidelines for all personnel matters. Support for faculty to earn appropriate credentials is not found among these documents. However, academic support professionals may be granted administrative educational leaves at the discretion of the president. Exhibits B presents copies of past faculty evaluations. The evaluation process, faculty responsibilities, assignment of duties, promotion and tenure procedures are explained in the university's contract with the University Professionals of Illinois.
Non-teaching staff is also evaluated. Academic support professionals are evaluated yearly using the guidelines established by the University Professionals of Illinois and the university; the contract is presented in Exhibit B. Secretaries and other clerical staff are classified as civil service employees and are evaluated annually and uniformly following procedures established by the Office of Human Resources. Copies of the evaluation instruments are found in Exhibit E. Graduate assistants, tutors and student aides are not evaluated uniformly and do not have job descriptions.
The unit's staffing planning is functioning properly and adheres to the mission and objectives of the department.
Changes and Improvements
Changes that need to be made in the ongoing program are outlined below.
A formal evaluation procedure needs to be developed for graduate assistants, tutors and student aides.
Job descriptions for the department chair, program coordinators, and the technical coordinator need to be updated.
Job descriptions need to be developed for graduate assistants. Student aides need to be assigned specific jobs. Currently their tasks are assigned informally; the secretary needs to establish specific tasks and guidelines for student aides. Graduate assistants and tutors also need written job descriptions which would contribute to the improved operation of the computer and technology labs.
Although the secretaries have classifications and job descriptions that are prepared by the Department of Human Resources, they need job descriptions with specific duties and responsibilities and expectations appropriate to the Department of Rhetoric, Literacy and Technology.
Financial Resources: Budget and Finance Operations NA
Research and Scholarly Activities
Faculty in the Department of Rhetoric, Literacy and Technology have been active in research and scholarly activities. During the last five years (1997-1998 through 2001-2002), faculty members published 50 articles, 23 book reviews, three textbooks, two chapters in books, and three monographs. In addition, department members have presented 61 papers at meetings of local, state and national professional organizations. An explanation of publications for this period is found in Table 6 . Presentations and professional memberships are listed in Table 7. During the same period, faculty members have received grants and research awards amounting to approximately $975,000. Sources of these awards include the U.S. Department of Education, The Illinois Arts Council, and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Table 8 contains a description of all grants, funding agencies and the amounts.
Inserts: Table 6 Research and Scholarly Activities
Table 7 Presentation and Professional Membership
Table 8 Grants, Grant Funding Agencies and Amounts
All graduate students must take a research course in which they are required to develop a proposal for a research project. In addition, all undergraduate students write a senior paper while graduate students write a thesis. Also, five faculty members have conducted research with students which have lead to publications. These publications are listed as Exhibit F. Students are encouraged to submit papers to ERIC; five graduate students' works have been listed in ERIC. Examples of these items are also listed in Exhibit F.
From the evidence submitted by faculty members, it is apparent that their research and scholarship are more than adequate within the framework of the mission of the university, colleges and department.
Future plans consist of involving more students in research as a way of supporting learning. Two faculty members serve as faculty mentors in the Ronald McNair Research Grants Program for Undergraduate Minority Students. In addition, the department has just been awarded a $200,000 grant that will give students small stipends for supervised research projects with faculty members.
Physical Facilities and Equipment.
The department has access to general classrooms across the campus. Three technology computer laboratories are also available to the department. While the laboratory facilities are adequate, there is a need for additional office and classroom space in the evenings. If additional space is not developed in evening, there will be inadequate services for graduate students. Faculty, of course, use space to complete their assigned responsibilities, one of which is conferencing with students. Inadequate office and classroom space means that both faculty and students suffer, and teaching and learning are both compromised. Usually, the request for additional space is initiated with the dean. Cleanliness of the department's facilities is a major concern; the labs and the department offices are not cleaned daily.
Professional Development Professional development activities for faculty are limited. Faculty do not have sufficient opportunities for travel to conferences and for research. Since the department does not have a travel budget, all requests for travel are made to the college's travel committee which fulfills requests based on the purpose of the faculty member's travel. Presentation of papers at conferences are given priority with the recipients receiving three hundred dollars. Faculty generally do not receive full support for their requests because the entire budget for the college with 300 full-time faculty is $20,000 per academic year.
Two or three faculty members have applied for and received the Faculty Enrichment Grants which are never more than $500 each. One faculty participated in a week-long summer seminar offered by the Faculty Resource Network at New York University. The Enrichment Grants and the Faculty Resource Network are offered through the university's Faculty Development Program. Despite these initiatives, professional development activities are inadequate.
The departmental facilities are inadequate. The facilities consists of a departmental suite which houses the chairperson's office, offices for the rhetoric, literacy and technology coordinators and an outer office for the secretary and student aides. Faculty offices are located nearby. Tenure track faculty have individual offices, but lecturers and part-time faculty share office space, which has become difficult since the department's growth.
Improvements, Modifications and Changes
The department's primary strengths lie in the quality of the faculty and the integrity of the program. Faculty publications and scholarly activities are more than adequate. In addition, the climate of the department is supportive and collegial. Despite the merger and reorganization, students' and graduates' assessment of faculty and programs support these strengths. Another strength is the unit's organization with a department chair, coordinators for the programs, technical coordinator and multiple section coordinators.
Actions Taken Since The Last NCA Visit
Since the last NCA visit in 1993, the department has accomplished the following:
- Faculty and student research activities as discussed in this section are documented in Exhibit E.
- Recent grants to faculty to support programmatic issues and student learning, research and retention give evidence of the quality of the faculty's involvement with student learning.
- Faculty members are readily available to students and the incidence of student complaints is minimal. Student evaluation of faculty and programs are routinely positive, characterizing faculty as "highly effective" or superior (Exhibit B).
- Recruited new students in the existing programs of the department. Tables 1 and 2 illustrate the department's enrollment growth.
- Designed and obtained Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) approval for technology program. Exhibit H contains the IBHE approved items.
- Completed a major review of the rhetoric and literacy programs and reorganized them to accommodate faculty and student concerns and to meet program accreditation requirements.
- Improvements that have occurred as result of assessment are listed in Exhibit D and explained in Criterion Four.
- Acquired program accreditation status for the literacy and rhetoric programs and candidacy status for technology. Letters from the accreditation agencies are located in Exhibit H.
- A formal evaluation procedure needs to be developed for graduate assistants, tutors and student aides.
- Job descriptions need to be developed for graduate assistants. Student aides must be assigned specific jobs. Currently their tasks are assigned informally; the secretary needs to establish specific tasks and guidelines for student aides. Graduate assistants and tutors also need written job descriptions which would contribute to better functioning computer and technology labs.
- Although the secretaries have classifications and job descriptions that are prepared by the Department of Human Resources, secretaries need job descriptions with specific duties and responsibilities and expectations appropriate to the Department of Rhetoric, Literacy and Technology.
- Job descriptions for department chairs and program directors need to be developed.
- Inadequate office space for faculty and an inadequate process for requesting space currently exist.
- Professional development activities are limited.
- Departmental facilities are not cleaned daily.
Actions To Be Completed by April 2002
Weakness Action Date Completion Date1.
Formal a.. Appoint February 2001 May 2001
evaluation faculty tofor developgraduates evaluations.assistants,tutors and Evaluate Fall 2001 December 2001 student these aides. groups.
2. Lack of a. Appoint a March 2001 October 1, 2001
formal committee toevaluations develop training of tutors, guidelines and a graduate schedule.
assistants and student aides.
Actions To Be Completed by April 2002 (Cont'd.)
Weakness Action Date Completion Date
- Job a. Initiate training. February 2002 May 2001 description
for b.. Develop a job March 2001 May 2001secretary description for
- Limited professional development activities.
- Job description Review and update March 2001 April 2002
for chairs, the job descriptions program directors, with the dean coordinators and the technical coordinator.
Actions To Be Taken After 2002
Implementation Completion Weakness Action Date Date
Documents to support the narrative in each criterion must be organized as exhibits. Only the exhibits used to support the sample (Criterion Two) are listed.
Exhibit A Job Descriptions
Exhibit D Assessment
- Department Chair
- Program Coordinators
- Technical Coordinator
- Course-section Chairs
- Department Organizational Chart
- Exhibit B Academic Personnel Matters
- Department Bylaws
Exhibit E Non-Teaching Evaluations
Academic Support Professionals Clerical
Exhibit F Student Research and Publications
- Personnel Committee Guidelines
- Department Application Criteria
- Faculty Evaluations
- Contract with the University Professionals of Illinois
- Students Evaluations of Faculty
- Exhibit C Planning and Review (most recent)
- Department Strategic Plan
- Department Long-Range Plan
- Program Review Guidelines
- Department Program Review
- Assessment Plan (old and new)
- Instruments (sample)
- Feedback to Students
- Department Curriculum Committee Actions
- Improvements (courses, faculty, teaching strategies).
- Catalog Insertion
- Budget Decisions Related to Assessment
- Long-Range Plan Related to Assessment/Budget Forms: Forms 207A. 207B, 207E
- Department (minutes) Feedback to Faculty
Exhibit G Faculty Research and Scholarship
Exhibit H Program Reorganization and Accreditation Status
- ERIC Documents
- Essays in Journal
- Approval for Technology Program
- Accreditation Letter for Rhetoric and Literacy
- Candidacy Status for Technology Program