This was a comprehensive examination of every unit (academic
and support functions) at West Georgia. The objectives, principles,
and calendar follow.
(presented in October, 1994 to the College
1) To help design a West Georgia College that is best suited to
meet the needs of the Twenty-first Century;
2) With a view to attaining Objective 1, to identify key programs
and activities that have the best potential to attract excellent
students, external recognition, and/or increased funding, and
so are deserving of enhancement.
3) To identify resources that may be used to support the enhanced
programs identified in Objective 2, through reallocation as a
October, 1994 to the College community):
- 1) Open and bottom-up process, with the idea that departments,
schools, and divisions are the best place to identify programs/activities/structures for enhancement, maintenance, consolidation, or as a possible source of funds.
- 2) Recommendations flow from faculty/staff committee to
administrator to the next higher level faculty/staff committee to administrator, etc. Every effort made to reconcile differences between the committee and the administrator; if not possible, the administrator forwards his/her recommendation along with the committee's recommendation on the most serious points of disagreement.
- 3) Committees encouraged to include student, alumni, and
community input in deliberations.
- 4) The bulk of resources saved by a unit normally available for
use to enhance programs or activities within that unit, unless
overruled by a higher-level process. Reports that recommend
enhancements of selected areas and corresponding identification of resources viewed with considerable favor by higher-level committees and administrators.
In addition to the preceding principles, another critical one
which, though not explicitly stated, was very obvious to all
constituencies, was that of involvement of the Chancellor and the University System. All through the process, from conceptualization to conclusion, the Chancellor was kept apprised of its progress, was consulted and invited to comment on early drafts. In fact, he made a campus visit close to the start of the process, and helped give it a
boost by addressing the faculty and staff. Clearly, there was
buy-in from the top and from the campus and external constituencies.
Process and Calendar:
- September and October, 1994: Series of open meetings with faculty, students, staff, and community to explain the process and solicit input.
- October: Draft of vision statement and review criteria developed with faculty/staff input.
- 10/17-20: Draft of vision statement and review criteria disseminated for comment.
- 10/23: Selection of Department, School or equivalent, Division Committees.
- 10/28: Department reviews start.
- 11/28: Department committees send recommendations
to Department Chair/Head and to all department faculty/members;
meetings start to resolve differences and consider appeals from
- 1/ 6: Final recommendations from the department sent to School (or equivalent) committees.
- 1/31: School (or equivalent) committee sends recommendations to Dean (or equivalent).
- 2/ 7: Dean's (or equivalent) draft recommendations disseminated to unit inviting requests for reconsideration; meetings start to resolve differences and hear any new appeals.
- 2/21: Final recommendations from the school (or equivalent)
sent to the Division committees, and disseminated to unit.
- 3/15: Recommendations from Division committees sent to the appropriate divisional VP or Director, and disseminated
- 3/21: VP/Director's draft recommendations sent to the division inviting requests for reconsideration; meetings start to resolve differences and hear any new appeals.
- 4/10: Final Division recommendations sent to College committee, and disseminated to unit.
- 4/30: College committee sends College recommendations to President.
- 5/ 5: Three open meetings for students, faculty/staff, and broader community to discuss (orally-presented) recommendations
of Committee and President's response.
- 5/ 8: College Committee and President disseminate draft report to entire College inviting requests for reconsideration.
- 5/15: Requests for reconsideration heard by College Committee and President. Final reports disseminated to entire College.
- 5/19: The Institutional Studies and Planning Committee (standing committee of the Faculty Senate) unanimously endorses report and passes commendation for the "comprehensive, participatory, and open process."
- 5/26: The Faculty Senate endorses report and passes commendation for the "comprehensive, participatory, and
open process" used in planning and prioritization at West Georgia College.
- 5/29: The General Faculty approves all the changes to the College Statutes recommended by the Committee and the President, each one with a very decisive margin.
Notes: As identified above, there were four major levels (department, school, division, and college), each of which consisted of three stages: a reviews by a committee, a review by an administrator, and a process for reconsideration of recommendations or "appeals" (not a formal process at the departmental level).
During this period, there were 39 open meetings and talks to campus groups, several written communications disseminated, and 21 talks given to civic groups, to apprise the College and broader community of progress and to solicit input.
Divisional and College Committee reports, the College budget, and minutes of College Committee meetings were placed for open public access in the Library.
Many committees included students and people from outside the unit being studied. The College Committee consisted of representation from each division of the College, the Student Government Association (President), and from the business/broader community; one-half of members were from Academic Affairs.