University Planning

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Quality Academic Environment and Sense of Campus Community

From the working group "Quality academic environment and sense of campus community" (J. Seiple, C. Pilgrim, S. McCaffray, R. Roer, K. Ward) for the 3/3/04 Planning Council meeting

GOAL I: Maintain and improve the quality of UNCW's academic environment.

Objective 1: Maintain close student-faculty interaction in the face of increasing enrollment and maintaining reduced teaching loads for research.

Strategy 1: Provide small class experiences.

Maintain or restore small class size (= 20) for upper division, esp. senior-level, classes

Provide freshmen with some small class experiences through seminars and learning community courses.

Strategy 2: Address the increase in student/faculty ratio.

Restore faculty positions lost through budget cuts and reduce number of
positions reserved for covering operational costs.

Re-establish a 16:1 ratio.

Strive toward a goal of 14:1.

Strategy 3: Ensure the quality of instruction by non-permanent faculty.

Reduce the reliance on part-time faculty to 25%.

Ensure that part-time and full-time lecturers are incorporated into the UNCW culture through orientation, training, and regular assessment, as well as by their provision of meeting space and other means of access to students outside the classroom.

Establish a cadre of part-time and full-time lecturers with a long-term commitment to UNCW.

Establish a salary base of $30,000 per year for full-time lecturers and a
sliding scale for pay per course that reflects the education, teaching experience, and special skills or professional distinction of part-time lecturers.

Strategy 4: Increase opportunities for student-faculty interaction outside the formal classroom.

Implement workload incentives for faculty to direct independent studies,
Honors projects, field experiences, study abroad, and research groups.

Increase distribution of trust funds to support student-faculty interactions at social gatherings associated with orientation of new majors, with departmental clubs and organizations, and with special events.

Provide funding support for students to co-present papers at professional with faculty.

Objective 2: Provide adequate space, equipment, and other resource support for various types of classroom experiences (lecture, lab, seminars, etc.) appropriate for each discipline

Strategy 1: Continue to seek capital funds for new buildings from internal and external sources.

Strategy 2: Institute and fund preventative and regular maintenance of the physical plant.

Strategy 3: Increase the number and scope of equipment grants.

Strategy 4: Institute a renewal cycle for key pieces of equipment that wear out or become obsolete.

Strategy 5: Allocate funding to maintain currency in library holdings, subscriptions, and services appropriate to each discipline.

Objective 3: Ensure regular and relevant review of curricular content and delivery.

Strategy 1: Provide funding and other incentives for faculty participation in short courses, professional institutes and conferences, and other opportunities to learn about and to implement the most effective and up-to-date modes of pedagogy and course delivery.

Strategy 2: Regularly review the basic studies experience for content and scope to reduce duplication of high school content, to address contemporary issues and concerns, and to incorporate writing, speaking, thinking, and other skills necessary for lifelong learning.

Strategy 3: Encourage faculty development of novel interdisciplinary approaches to learning and/or their participation in interdisciplinary programs and courses by adapting the departmental reward structure to accommodate such work.

Strategy 4: Implement a regular schedule for curriculum review.

Objective 4: Improve transition experiences for students at crucial junctures in their education.

Strategy 1: Complete the study of and implement the recommendations for the first-year experience for new students.

Strategy 2: Develop and implement a transition program for community college students transferring to UNCW.

Strategy 3: Develop and implement a transition programs for seniors - for those entering the workplace, for those entering graduate/professional schools.

Objective 5: Increase the sense of campus community

Strategy 1: Increase and improve on-campus housing and activities to promote interactions among students.

  • Investigate entrepreneurial public/private partnerships to develop additional housing.
  • Provide the kind of upper-end housing and independence that students seek.
  • Provide entertainment opportunities and socializing venues for students on campus.

Strategy 2: Make the campus a center for faculty and staff beyond their professional relationships.

  • Establish a faculty club or an equivalent space for faculty interaction and socialization.
  • Schedule several events each year that bring together faculty and staff as a university, division, or college/school to recognize and celebrate their collective efforts.

Strategy 3: Engage the entire campus-administration, faculty, staff, students-- in innovative campus master planning.

Strategy 4: Be more effective and aggressive in advertising and promoting campus events to draw greater participation among administrators, staff, faculty, and students.

Quality Academic Environment and Sense of Campus Community