Standard 1

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Institutional Mission and Goals,

Planning, and Effectiveness

Mission and Goals

Mission and Goals Define the Institution

“Every organization has a culture that is a persistent, patterned way of thinking about the central task of and human relationships within an organization. Personality is to the individual as culture is to the organization. It includes the predisposition of members, the technology of the organization, and the situational imperatives with which the agency must cope.”[1]

Forty years ago Charles McCann, the college’s first president, supported by the Board and a legislative mandate that encouraged innovation, articulated Evergreen’s basic principles:

· It would not be bound by any rigid structure of tradition

· It would unshackle our educational thinking from traditional patterns

· It would give the student confidence and ability to master difficult situations

· It would be free of the machinery of the traditional college including rigid administrative reporting lines, departments, and a plethora of courses

· It would not impose requirements

· It would equip the student for life-long learning

· It would focus on interdisciplinary study around themes and problems, on contracted study and on internships

· It would employ the seminar method

· It would enable the student to set an individual course of study closely advised by a faculty member (cite John McCann p5)

Evergreen’s founding faculty designed a college devoted to teaching and learning and, in doing so, created a culture of innovation and opposition. They were influenced by the ideas of Alexander Meiklejohn-that education should prepare students for a purposive public life within a democratic society. They created coordinated studies programs and processes to foster collaborative, team-taught interdisciplinary learning communities. McCann established the Four Nos: No academic departments, No faculty ranks, No academic requirements, No grades. Embedded in this set of negatives was his vision that the authority to determine what constitutes a liberal arts education should be centered on the individual relationships between faculty and students. Evergreen’s pedagogical practices evolved from this collective effort of the early faculty to create an innovative liberal arts education for its students. Since the founding, several core values evolved to guide the development of all college programs and services and to define Evergreen‘s distinctive competence. These include a focus on teaching students to think, student engagement and success (learning, satisfaction, graduation), opportunities for students to work with faculty and advisors to devise their own academic pathways, and a commitment to Evergreen’s Five Foci and The Six Expectations for all Evergreen graduates

Evergreen’s Five Foci: 1) Interdisciplinary education 2) Personal engagement in learning 3) Linking theory and practice 4) Collaborative learning and 5) Teaching and learning across significant differences

The Six Expectations for all Evergreen graduates: 1) Articulate and assume responsibility for your own work 2) Participate collaboratively and responsibly in our diverse society 3) Communicate creatively and effectively 4) Demonstrate integrative, independent and critical thinking 5) Apply qualitative, quantitative, and creative modes of inquiry appropriately to practical and theoretical problems across disciplines and 6) As a culmination of your education, demonstrate depth, breadth, and synthesis of learning and the ability to reflect on the personal and social significance of that learning.

Elizabeth Minnich’s recent work captures the essence of Evergreen’s pedagogy and purpose wherein she argues that the center of a liberal arts education especially one that is interdisciplinary is the act of reflexive thinking, not simply that the learner is reflecting on what it is that she has learned, but that she is reflecting on how they have learned and what they have become as they have learned.

There is a remarkable degree of congruence between: What the college purports to do (above); why students select Evergreen; alumni satisfaction; and what employers say about our graduates.

Why students select Evergreen:

Top three factors in their decision to attend Evergreen:

1) Opportunity to design their own education

2) Interdisciplinary learning

3) Integrated learning (cite)

Top four fields of interest:

1st year students:

1) Visual/performing arts

2) Natural Resources

3) Psychology

4) Social science

Transfer students:

1) Visual/performing arts

2) Education

3) Natural Resources

4) Public Administration and Social science. (cite)

Top three goals (importance) in earning degree

1) Personal success or satisfaction

2) Personal growth and development

3) Creative and effective communication skills (1st yr students)

3) Job or career change (transfer students) (cite)

Alumni satisfaction:

Evergreen’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment administers alumni surveys to assess student learning, find out more about alumni employment and advanced education, gauge the level of alumni satisfaction with their Evergreen experience, and to gather suggestions for improvements to the college. Key findings from their survey of the class of 1999, five years after graduation, include:

· 51% of the alumni had attended graduate or professional school.

· 17% of the respondents had earned a graduate degree (either a master's degree or doctorate).

· The largest categories of employment were: Education/Library (20% of reported jobs), Community and Social Service (12%), Business Management (7%), and Business Operations (6%). the college.

What employers say about Evergreen graduates.

Greeners at Work 2003 is a survey research project studying how Evergreen prepares its graduates for the workplace consisting of a survey of alumni who graduated in 1999-2000 and a survey of alumni supervisors. The key findings include:

- Alumni were asked to rate their level of skill on a series of work-related skills. Alumni were given a scale of 1 = Poor, 2 = Fair, 3 = Good, and 4 = Excellent. Most common alumni responses were good to excellent on all skills. Mean scores for alumni self-reported skill level were highest on ability to work in a culturally diverse environment (3.73), willingness and aptitude to learn new skills (3.71), and independence and initiative (3.69). Mean scores for alumni were lowest on ability to give presentations in the work environment (3.12), computer literacy (3.02), and math skills/numeracy (2.71).

- Alumni were asked to rate how well their education at Evergreen prepared them in particular skill areas on a scale of 1 = Not at All, 2 = To Some Extent, and 3 = A Great Deal (3). Alumni rated their preparation at Evergreen highest in ability to work cooperatively on team efforts, ability to critically analyze information, and creative thinking skills. Alumni rated their preparation at Evergreen lowest on leadership, computer literacy, and math skills.

- Supervisors were asked to rate the quality of work of the Evergreen alum that they supervise on a scale of exceeded expectations for the position, met expectations, or has not met expectations. More than 60% said that the alum's quality of work exceeded expectations for the position.

- Supervisors rated an alum's level of skill on a scale of 1 = Poor, 2 = Fair, 3 = Good, or 4 = Excellent. Most common responses for questions regarding alumni skill level were good to excellent in all skill areas. Supervisors rated alumni highest on their willingness and aptitude to learn new skills, ability to work in a culturally diverse environment, and ability to work cooperatively on team efforts. Supervisors rated alumni lowest on their ability to give presentations in the work environment, negotiating skills, and leadership.

- Supervisors' rated alumni's math/numeracy skills and computer literacy skills higher than alumni rated themselves.

- Ability to work cooperatively on team efforts, ability to organize and tackle work efficiently and independence and initiative were cited by supervisors as most important to alums' work.

The oppositional aspect of the founding culture was a response to both the dominant education paradigm and the political/economic culture operating in the late 1960s.[2] The founding faculty sought to eliminate traditional barriers to learning by inculcating a culture with a healthy distrust of administration. Academic administrative structures, established in the founding period, valued a flat non-hierarchical structure, a rotating deanery with close ties between academic administration and teaching, and semi-autonomous work groups (academic program teams) loosely-coupled to an administrative structure (deanery/provost).

Since its founding, Evergreen has attained a distinctive niche in the higher education community—an experimental college with an impressive track record of student engagement and success fostering and disseminating interdisciplinary teaching and learning, anchored by a vibrant community of scholars committed to providing an affordable education to Washington residents and nonresidents alike and to serving underrepresented and non-traditional students.

A Re-Founding Period

As it celebrates it 40th year, Evergreen is now in the midst of a re-founding era, a faculty generational turnover. During the ten-year period 1999-2009, about 75 faculty or 50% of Evergreen’s regular, continuing full-time faculty will retire or leave the college. One indication of the impact of this turnover is that, during the three year period 2005-07, nineteen faculty retired with a combined 598 years of service to Evergreen (an average of 31.5 years)! And, at the 2007 convocation, Evergreen recognized seven faculty members, each with 35 years of service to the college.

During this same three-year period (2005-07), Evergreen hired thirty new continuing faculty members (see appendix for a summary of the hires). Eleven continuing faculty positions are being recruited in the 2007-08 year. This has been an enormously time consuming, important, and fulfilling part of the work during this period. We had over 2,100 applicants for these thirty positions and in x of the 30 hired our first choice. An important overarching question has been how to retain Evergreen culture and core values while adapting to a rapidly changing external environment, a new generation of faculty, staff, and students, and a new faculty union and collective bargaining process. The oppositional nature of Evergreen’s culture is again fore-grounded as the external environment continues to move away from the public interest and more towards the private interests of global capitalism and market forces e.g., legislative calls for more efficient degree production; for the public baccalaureates to become the workforce educator for the new global economy; the commodification of knowledge; the increasing disparity of wealth which manifests itself in the disparity of resources between the private liberal arts elites and the publics such as Evergreen.

Evergreen’s culture of innovation must also be refreshed as it finds that its major innovations (learning communities, interdisciplinarity) are being marketed heavily by the other publics in Washington state and nationally. Faculty interest and involvement in the Curricular Visions work is an indication of their desire to maintain and strengthen Evergreen’s distinctive competence.

Evergreen’s Strategic Planning process

In May, 2004, the President directed the Provost to take the lead to update Evergreen’s 2000 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee engaged in a collaborative, multi-year strategic-planning process that reinforced Evergreen’s core values, articulated its mission, and provided a framework for the allocation of resources, a capital campaign, and the campus master plan.

During the three years leading up to the accreditation visit, Evergreen’s Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee collected and coordinated the work completed by multiple Disappearing Task Forces (DTF), work groups,[3] and faculty and linked several central themes: a dynamic and collaborative academic community, a focus on student learning, attention to the quality of faculty and staff work life, stewardship of our natural resources, community partnerships, and the reality that state accountability requirements would likely increase at the same time state operating support would likely flatten or decrease. The mission statement reiterated Evergreen’s core values and its distinctive niche….

As the nation’s leading public interdisciplinary liberal arts college, Evergreen's mission is to sustain a vibrant academic community and to offer students an education that will help them excel in their intellectual, creative, professional and community service goals.

The Strategic Plan established nine strategic priorities within three broad goal areas:

Educational Goal: Evergreen’s tradition as an experimental public liberal arts college devoted to scholarship, teaching, and learning, and strengthening its commitment to our original principles remains intact. At the same time we must adapt to growth, new students, and a new generation of faculty.

1a. Reinvigorate Evergreen’s interdisciplinary liberal arts mission

1b. Deepen the teaching and learning experience at Evergreen, focusing on student success

2. Improve student recruitment and retention

3. Recruit, retain, and revitalize faculty and staff

4. Provide institution-wide support for diversity and equity initiatives

Supporting Goal: We will continue to strive for an administrative culture that mirrors and supports Evergreen's pedagogy (interdisciplinary, collaborative learning environments) and uses human and physical resources to support teaching and learning. Two examples include cross-divisional collaborations around student success and campus sustainability.

5. Evergreen: A Place for Sustainability

6. The college’s physical resources will imaginatively enhance the learning and working environment

7. Use technology to enhance teaching and learning and administrative support at Evergreen

8. Evergreen’s local, regional, and national partnerships are a rich resource conduit to its unique mission. The college both contributes to these partnerships and learns from them

Financial Goal: Evergreen faces decreasing state support, prompting tuition increases yet remains committed to serving underrepresented students. Evergreen must, in order to sustain its mission and principles (small classes, an interdisciplinary team-taught curriculum, high degree of student-faculty interaction), augment and diversify revenue streams, improve net tuition revenue, control operating expenditures to sustainable levels, and make prudent use of existing resources.

9a. Diversify revenue streams

9b. Keep the growth of operating expenditures to sustainable levels

The Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee fore-grounded the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities 2003 interim recommendations during its planning process. Multiple assessment efforts continued-following the Commission’s 2003 visit-to strengthen and reinforce the emphasis on interdisciplinary learning at Evergreen. In this era of public sector cutbacks, legislators at the national and state levels increased their demands on colleges to be more accountable and to improve-and provide evidence of-student learning. Evergreen has responded to this challenge in a manner consistent with its mission by actively working in statewide and national efforts to develop interdisciplinary assessment tools and rubrics. Nationally, researchers rely on indirect quality indicators measures that directly address the epistemic dimension of interdisciplinary work. Evergreen, a college with narrative evaluations in lieu of grades devoted to interdisciplinarity and integrative learning, has had to develop its own set of interdisciplinary assessment rubrics (see Standard Two).

Curricular Visions DTF

Central to the Strategic Planning process was the work of the faculty that began in 2006-07 and is still in progress. The Agenda Committee and the Provost co-charged a

Governance Group DTF: Curricular Visions to guide faculty discussion of “what adjustments are needed to bring current curricula, structures, responsibilities, and practices into alignment” with Evergreen’s mission as a public, interdisciplinary liberal arts college.

Faculty governance group discussions during 2006-07 as well as several summer institutes in 2007 highlighted the central questions about what is meant by "public, interdisciplinary, liberal arts education" and about what obligations faculty have to offer curricula which provide this education. The DTF produced an interim report in May 18, 2007 wherein they cited three proposals that were “ready-to-go:” Thematic Planning Groups, Fields of Study, and First-Year Cohort and recommended that the provost provide summer funds for faculty to develop proposals for the next year. This occurred and the recommendations of the summer work groups were sent to faculty for review during the fall of 2007. Briefly, these recommendations include:

1) Fields of Study: In order to make the curriculum more transparent and accessible to students, to craft: web-based content descriptions of the fields of study available at Evergreen; offerings in the field affiliated with the field; news and discussion sections; on-campus resources that support the field; and some links to professional resources; web pages designed so that all faculty affiliated with a field can edit the page at will and, and offerings will be updated automatically to match the online catalogue.; brief profiles of alumni and students with examples of work done by those who’ve studied the field at Evergreen.

2) Thematic planning Groups: This speaks to the need to reinvigorate Evergreen’s curricular structures and invites faculty to form broadly interdisciplinary groups to explore topics and issues of high interest. Faculty would create and join groups on themes they genuinely want to teach students and study with colleagues over a sustained period of time keyed to matters of public significance, revisable on a regular basis, drawing together faculty from across the college who share common interests but might never realize it otherwise, these groups signal a fertile new direction in Evergreen’s life as an interdisciplinary institution.

3) First year cohort

This idea, originating in the First-Year Experience DTF report, calls for a more integrated academic experience that will give first-year students a sense of themselves as a cohort—and for multi-year commitments by faculty to teaching first-years e.g., an initial cohort model with a 3-year cycle wherein faculty commit to teaching core 2 of the 3 years. Each core program would be 12 credits and share a common 4-credit module which has a common reading list, lecture series, films, etc. and a faculty seminar. A group of faculty has committed to meet during fall ‘07 to begin the planning for a fall ’09 implementation date.

The Strategic Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in March, 2007. The senior staff held a retreat in March to use the Plan as a framework to guide budget priorities for the 07-09 biennium and finalize the development of “dashboard’ indicators or metrics to assess our progress towards the strategic plan priorities on an annual basis. The Strategic Plan set the stage for the Campus Master Plan (CMP) launched in March, 2007. The CMP process followed the Strategic Plan and used three core principles (learning, community, and sustainability) as its foundation.

Insert Dashboard Indicators chart here

Evergreen’s Public Service Centers

Evergreen, as a public liberal arts interdisciplinary college, honors the traditions of a liberal education: thoughtful, well-educated, ethical, and active citizens. The innovative work of our public service centers deepens Evergreen’s mission and extends the reach of the college outward from to local to international communities. Evergreen’s public service centers enhance our curriculum, facilitate better ways of teaching, and help prepare students and citizens for a lifetime of civic engagement.

Evergreen’s Public service centers have grown in number and scope since the last accreditation. The centers have broad mandates to assist in the sharing of Evergreen’s values in communities and institutions statewide and beyond. These Centers (List) are important vehicles for sharing central values of the college, community, diversity, interdisciplinarity, social justice and education with local, state, and national constituencies that complements the work of teaching and learning. Each of the centers has its particular focus, but they share important qualities that distinguish them as distinctly Evergreen in their approach to the issues they and communities they work with.

The centers position themselves in a reciprocal and collaborative relationship with the communities and organizations they work with. As one director put it, “We do not tell the native communities we are here to save you. Instead when we are invited to a community, we say we are here to assist you in figuring out where you want to go. And once we have said that, we are available to work collaboratively with the community to achieve their goals.” The assumption is that the centers will work in partnership with the communities in an egalitarian and respectful way to serve as catalysts for the changes the communities or institutions want to see happen.

Evergreen Centers are invited into communities and institutions because of the reputation the college has for social justice and respectful interactions, the reputation for the good work of each center, and the personal credibility of the centers’ staff. The work of each of the centers embodies a concern for social justice. The centers provide constructive, knowledgeable assistance to others to help them develop capacity for leadership and change. This practice involves the centers in sharing a variety of knowledge specific skills and capacities and in working to play a constructive role in the difficult dialogues that lead to change. As they intervene the centers give away their knowledge about thinking critically, share resources, provide respectful learning experiences. Simultaneously center staffs learn from the communities about their situation, about the complexities of other’s experience. This experience and knowledge is reciprocal. The knowledge that is gained as staffs learn and help in the world beyond the campus is brought back into the campus through widely disseminated scholarship, talks by the staff of the centers, by their work on campus committees, and in many instances direct work through internships and field experiences shared directly with students and faculty. As the work of the centers proceeds the skills and capacities of the centers develop and they come to take on more complex roles in the local, regional, national, and international work in their areas of focus.

The Center for Community-Based Learning and Action, the newest of our Evergreen’s public service centers, works with academic programs to integrate service-learning and community project work as an integral part of the Evergreen student’s experience. They provide connections for students to work with nonprofit and community-based projects such as trail maintenance, food banks, or low-income housing. One such project is the Gateway Program, managed by faculty member Carol Minugh, that helps incarcerated youth at Maple Lane and Green Hill obtain pathways to higher education while promoting the youths’ awareness of their own cultural identity.

The Evergreen Center for Educational Improvement works to improve teaching and learning in the K-12 system. Established in 1993, the Center partners with school districts and trains teachers on educational reform in math, science, and culturally appropriate curricula.

The Labor Education and Research Center opened in 1987 to provide a safe forum for workers, community members and students to examine their work and lives in the context of labor history and political economy. The Labor Center develops credit and non-credit educational programs for Washington state citizens, often contracting with Labor Unions to provide continued education for their membership.

The Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute, established in 1999, works with tribes to address issues important to the future of their communities such as cultural revitalization, tribal governance, resource management and economic sustainability. The Institute played a major role in the establishment of our MPA program in Tribal Governance, the first of its kind in the U.S.

The mission of The Washington State Institute for Public Policy, since1983, is to conduct practical, non-partisan research on issues important to Washington’ s citizens. Through the work of its own policy analysts, economists, and consultants, the institute works with legislators, government agencies and experts in the field to provide recommendations on relevant public policy questions in education, criminal justice, welfare, children and adult services, health, utilities, and government relations.

Since 1985, the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education has successfully fostered collaborative, low-cost, highly effective approaches to educational reform by conducting statewide and national workshops. In doing so, they have put Evergreen on the map as the nation’s top learning community. Each summer, teams of educators from all over the U.S. apply to attend their prestigious National Learning Communities Institute held on the Evergreen campus.

The Longhouse Education and Cultural Center celebrated its 10th anniversary in September 2005 as a gathering place for cultural ceremonies, classes, conferences, performances, art exhibits and community events. The Longhouse is a visible manifestation of the government-to-government relationship between Northwest tribes and the Evergreen State College. The “House of Welcome” is a venue to honor the wisdom, ways of knowing and worldviews of both indigenous peoples and the Western Academy. More recently, the Longhouse has evolved into one of the premier Native Arts management and promotion centers showcasing indigenous artists and helping then to market their artwork.

Washington State: Higher Education Master Plan

During the past five years, statewide enrollment pressures grew as the supply of seats increased (Washington state increased the supply of public baccalaureate college seats; the competition from private, on-line colleges and mega-universities intensified) and student demand decreased (the increasing cost of attendance[4] deterred more students from attending college; Washington ranks 49 of 50 states in college participation rates for 4-year colleges among 18-25 year olds). The state funded two new four-year branch campuses to the north (Tacoma) and south (Vancouver) of Olympia An important part of Evergreen’s strategic planning work over the past two years has been the development and implementation of a strategic enrollment plan (See link and Standard 3).

During the years 1991-2004, according to SHEEO data, Washington state total higher education funding per student decreased by 24% (the third highest percentage decrease of all fifty states- see chart). During that same period, Washington state and local tax appropriations to Higher education dropped by 28% (the fifth highest decrease of all fifty states-see chart).

Washington’s Higher Education Master Plan, published in January 2005, set two statewide goals: increased degree production and responding to employer needs. The state has sent a clear message: Evergreen is expected to contribute by growing its student population to 5,000 SFTE. Further, in the 07-09 biennia they provided increased funding growth in specific “high demand” degrees such as biological science, engineering, computer science, nursing, teacher education in math/science, etc.

This provides several challenges for Evergreen. First, the expectation for STFE growth, given Evergreen’s uniqueness as an alternative interdisciplinary liberal arts college with an emphasis on learning communities and student engagement, makes it more difficult to both preserve and adapt its culture and distinctive niche as an interdisciplinary learning community of scholars. Second, the emphasis on high demand degrees combined with increased competition for students challenges Evergreen to find ways to grow in areas that are less liberal arts oriented. Third, over the past three biennia, (2001-07) Evergreen experienced enrollment growth of about 500 new student full-time equivalents (SFTE) combined with budget cuts and a plethora of accountability requirements imposed by legislators and regulators upon the 4-year baccalaureate institutions. A summary of these state mandated accountability requirements is at [link]

Another challenge is that legislators expect the public baccalaureates to increase degree production in high demand math/science areas while at the same time four-year college participation rates in Washington are near the lowest in the nation, at least half of new students attending college need remedial work, the diversity of students is increasing (and with it the need for more student support services), and access to higher education is decreasing due to rising costs and lessened state support.

Table summary of requirements

Planning and Effectiveness

Positive Restlessness: A Culture of Evaluation

Evergreen has a rich culture of evaluation. At the conclusion of each academic program, faculty members write narrative evaluations of each student. Students write self-evaluations of their own work and a narrative evaluation of the faculty. Faculty teaching colleagues prepare and exchange written evaluations of each other. Each faculty writes a self-evaluation. At the end of the year, the academic deans write annual evaluations of faculty on term contracts. At of these evaluations are kept within each faculty’s portfolio which is reviewed annually by the deans until conversion to continuing status and then every five years hence by teaching colleagues and an academic dean. Feedback loops abound within the academic culture of Evergreen.

This culture of evaluation and continual feedback loops is now reflected within Evergreen’s institutional structures e.g., the Strategic Plan and dashboard metrics [insert] provide the Board of Trustees and management team with a rich institutional assessment tool that reflects the mission, nine strategic priorities, and state accountability requirements.

The most extensive external assessment of Evergreen during the past five years occurred with a visit from George Kuh and his team of educational researchers from the Documenting Effective Educational Practices (DEEP) program at Indiana University. Their report, dated December 31 2003, was a remarkable affirmation of Evergreen’s pedagogy and a clear, accurate depiction of Evergreen’s culture and practice, “the operating philosophy: innovation leavened with autonomy, personal responsibility, and egalitarianism.”[5] The DEEP team reported on Evergreen’s success in each of their five benchmarks of effective educational practice (academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences, and a supportive campus environment) and were effusive in their praise for Evergreen in all five areas, “Evergreen has created a structure for putting higher order mental skills into practice.”[6]

The DEEP team’s work is anchored by the concept “student engagement,” of which there are two elements: (1) the amount of time and effort students put into their studies and other educationally purposeful activities and (2) how an institution allocates its resources and organizes the curriculum and other learning opportunities and support services to encourage students to participate in activities that lead to student success (learning, persistence, satisfaction, graduation).

Subsequently, in their book, Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter[7], the DEEP researchers identified twenty “gemstone” colleges who share six features that foster student engagement and persistence.

1. A “living” mission and “lived” educational philosophy

2. An unshakable focus on student learning

3. Environments adapted for educational enrichment

4. Clearly marked pathways to student success

5. An improvement oriented ethos

6. Shared responsibility for educational quality and student success

The Evergreen State College was one of those twenty institutions wherein they cited several of our practices and characterized our culture as one of “positive restlessness” meaning:

· Restless in a positive way, never satisfied with their performance, continually revisit policies and practices to get better

· They simply want to be the best they can be

· Focused on the quality of their work and its impact on students and institutional performance

Student engagement is the overarching theme and guiding principle for Evergreen’s assessment work (see Standard Two). NSSE SCORES here?? It also infused our work on the Strategic Plan and the development of the Institutional Dashboard Indicators. Each division was involved in determining the metrics to provide comparable, realistic measures of divisional performance in support of the college mission and nine strategic priorities.

One of the challenges for Evergreen re: benchmarking with peers is the new Carnegie classification of colleges and universities, unveiled in 2006. Evergreen’s peer college rankings are based upon these Carnegie classifications e.g., the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) benchmarks, US News rankings, and HECB accountability measures, to name a few. Evergreen is no longer in the baccalaureate liberal arts college classification due to the fact that it awards greater than fifty graduate degrees per year. This bumps Evergreen into a different peer group entitled Masters, Smaller Programs (MSP). Given the MSP criteria (size, selectivity, residential, four-year, public/private, etc) various sub-groups can be delineated within the MSP universe. Interestingly, Evergreen is literally in a class by itself or “peerless” because no other college shares all of our characteristics. This forces Evergreen to merge sub-groups using one or two Carnegie characteristics in order to create an adequate peer comparison group. Whereas in the past Carnegie classification Evergreen had several legitimate peers, in the new MSP classification, there are only five legitimate peer institutions. Without a consistent set of peers Evergreen’s challenge is, find realistic benchmarks for the variety of data sets and indicators that are monitored and reported both internally and externally.

Washington state passed legislation that now requires all state agencies, including colleges and universities, to submit an application for the Washington state Quality Award a.k.a. Baldridge Award once every three years, which will provide another indicator to the degree that Evergreen’s planning, management, and evaluation efforts are reviewed and improved.

The Strategic Plan was used as the framework to guide the 2007-09 biennial budget allocations, the annual work plans, and (see Trotter’s memos) and the Campus Master Plan. Each year, the senior staff retreat sets the annual divisional and college goals for the year. The Strategic Plan was used to set those goals for the 2007-08 year and the Vice-presidents, in their annual self-evaluations, address these goals, send these self-evaluations to the entire community and the president as the basis for their annual performance evaluations.

Faculty Advisory Panel on the Budget: In date the faculty passed a series of resolutions re: faculty salaries and the budget. (attached) One of them was to establish a Faculty Advisory Panel on the Budget (FAPB) to “advise the president and vice presidents on the budget. The standing question shall be: Is the college’s budget so constituted and managed as to further the college’s academic mission?” The faculty elected FAPB members and worked closely with administration during the first year to make the budget process more transparent and inclusive. The FAPB reported their work at the date faculty meeting.

In order to strengthen the involvement of faculty and academics with college-wide budgetary processes, the faculty recommended the creation of a Faculty Advisory Panel on the College Budget (FAPCB). The charge to the FAPCB (11/9/06) by the Agenda Committee states that the FAPCB will ask a standing question of the president and vice-presidents: Is the college’s budget so constituted and managed as to further the college’s academic mission? Further, the “Panel will pose its standing question to the president and vice-presidents in public hearings. The president, vice-presidents and their budgeters will be invited to appear annually before the Panel to explain how their principal budgetary decisions further the college’s academic mission and to receive the Budget Advisory Panel’s advice, thanks and criticism.” The Agenda Committee further proposed that “the Panel meet regularly with the Associate Vice-President for the Academic Budget, and other administrators as appropriate, to keep apprised of current budget considerations as they arise, and to report as necessary to the faculty as a whole.”

The four elected members of the FAPCB began their work in Fall 2006. For 2006/07 this consisted mainly in gaining an understanding of the budget building process, in the particular context of the 2007/09 biennial budget being worked through the state legislature at the time. Thus extensive attention was paid to priorities already established in the budget request, with particular emphasis on how budget requests were being prioritized and how they related to institution-wide issues. The FAPCB presented a basic introduction to the budget process at a spring faculty meeting, fielding questions that would be asked at a subsequent meeting with the budgetary decision-makers of the college (President, Vice-Presidents, and their support staffs responsible for budget). This was a very preliminary process, limiting its focus to working only with new money requested from the Legislature, a process joined well after the budget request priorities were established. The responses to questions put forward by the FAPBC are being published to a Drupal web site, along with other information requested by faculty members.

The 2006/07 goals for the Panel are to 1) meet with administrative parties connected to budgetary decisions (President, Provost, Vice Presidents, division heads) as they begin planning for the 09/11 biennium in order to continue to build understanding and to bring faculty and academics to the process from start to finish; 2) move into analysis and understanding of the allocation of the base budget rather than just new allocations; 3) continue to respond to faculty questions and share information about the budget in order to increase transparency; and 4) organize the public forum identified in the charge.

Evergreen has a long history and culture of inclusive, participatory processes and decision-making. During the past ten years, Evergreen has experienced a steady growth [chart STFE, faculty, and staff). This, combined with increased complexity and faculty/staff workloads pressures, contributed to a sense that Evergreen’s shared governance model was deteriorating. The Enrollment Growth DTF galvanized this sentiment and resulted in an institutional re-commitment to experiment with new structures and participatory processes e.g., the Governance Groups convened by the Agenda Committee, the Provost and Agenda Committee co-charging DTFs, FAPB, and the United Faculty of Evergreen. Sustaining a participatory culture within the re-founding era is another challenge facing Evergreen. The Strategic Plan, the Campus Master Plan, and this accreditation self-study have used a combination of high-tech/high touch methods to increase participation. For example, the self-study process began three years prior to the accreditation visit, first with the Strategic Plan, followed by the Curricular Visions work, and the Campus Master Plan.

Much of their work begins with off-campus retreats, an integral part of Evergreen culture. Annual retreats include, but are not limited to: Management, Senior Staff, President-VPs, Faculty, Deans, Agenda Committee, Divisional retreats, and Unit retreats.

Broad based Steering Committee or DTF is convened to oversee the work. Community fora on campus and in the community are held, a WIki web site with summaries of iterative drafts of the works in progress is utilized. And, in the case of the self-study-in addition to the Steering Committee-the faculty member coordinating the writing of the document has convened a group of faculty readers to review and critique the self-study. The Agenda Committee is also providing faculty meeting time to review the self-study.

Evergreen consults with the Commission and requests approval whenever changes are necessary in its degree offerings e.g., the MPA/MES joint degree and the new MEd degree.

Exhibits: Enrollment trends

[1] James Q. Wilson. Bureaucracies: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It. (New York: Basic Books, 1989), 91.

[2] Arthur Schlesinger, Robert Reich, and Kevin Phillips have all written about alternating cycles of dominance throughout U.S. history wherein the country embraces the philosophies of two competing, dominant ideology-at the expense of the other, two being political/governmental/public interest on the one hand, business, capitalist, private interests on the other. Evergreen’s founding and re-founding center on the public-ness of its mission.

[3] Sustainability, First Year Experience, Campus Life, Curricular Visions , Enrollment Growth , Governance, Exempt Staff Work Group, Student Evaluation Process Review Study Group, Hiring Priorities, Information Technology Collaboration Hive (ITCH)

[4] In 1982, tuition payments covered 17% of Evergreen’s costs per SFTE. Today, it’s up to 47%. Put another way, state General fund support per Evergreen SFTE dropped from 83% in 1982 to 53% today.

[5] Jillian Kinzie et. al. Final Report: The Evergreen State College. (Bloomington: NSSE Institute for Effective Educational Practice, 2003),11.

[6] Kinzie, 22.

[7] 2005

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Standard 1.A - Missions and Goals

Standard 1.B - Planning and Effectiveness

Supporting Documentation

See Supporting Documentation for Standard One