CRITERION FOUR: ACQUISITION, DISCOVERY AND APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE
The organization 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.
UMD promotes a life of learning for members of its community by developing and supporting programs and activities that contribute to achieving the teaching, research, and service parts of the organization’s overall mission. The synergy of efforts and outcomes related to the three separate areas creates an environment that promotes and fosters the concept of a life of learning for all who are affiliated with UMD in any way. Although it is not explicitly stated there, the first section of the UMD mission and the “Philosophy” and “Purpose” sections of the University mission provide the basis for the organization’s goal of enabling its students, faculty, and staff to acquire, contribute to, and use knowledge in socially responsible ways to continue their life of learning. To fulfill this area of its mission, UMD provides and supports a variety of activities and programs designed to promote a life of learning. Examples of how the organization promotes and works to achieve this goal are identified and described in the following sections.
The organization demonstrates, through the actions of its board, administrators, students, faculty, and staff, that it values a life of learning.
The commitment of UMD and the University to a life of learning is demonstrated in many ways that are discussed throughout this report. However, the following sections related to this component concentrate specifically on identifying opportunities for professional development available to the organization’s employees; presenting information and data on program activities, levels of participation, and financial investment in providing professional development; how achievement is publicly acknowledged and recognized; levels of research, scholarship, and creative activity on campus; and organizational and educational improvements resulting from professional development as well as research, scholarship, and creative activity.
The core policy statement of the University indicating its support of a life of learning for its employees is the Board of Regents Policy on EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION, AND TRAINING (EDE&T). The commitment is explicitly stated as follows in Section III of the policy:
Sections IV through VI of the EDE&T policy identify specific types of leaves and other training and development opportunities available to University employees. As is true for many of the Board of Regents policies, the rules and guidelines for implementing the parts of this policy related to leave and other development opportunities are identified in Office of Human Resources administrative policies. Statements for some of the policies considered to be most important for faculty, P&A staff, administrators, civil service staff, and union-represented staff are identified in the next and following paragraphs of this section. Data related to the number of UMD employees participating in the various development opportunity programs is provided in the next section.
Section IV of the EDE&T policy identifies the following three types of Professional Development Leaves:
The administrative policy describing the faculty leave options, Granting Faculty Development Leaves, provides rules and guidelines for single semester and sabbatical leaves. As stated in the policy, “Single semester leaves provide opportunity for a development leave one semester in length at full salary and benefits,” and “Sabbatical leaves provide for a development leave up to one year at one-half salary and full benefits.”
The policy describing the P&A leave options, Granting Professional Development and Transitional Leaves for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees, provides rules and guidelines for the following three types of development leaves:
Section II of the Granting Professional Development and Transitional Leaves for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees policy statement provides rules and guidelines for “Administrative Transitional Leaves.” Following are statements from this section identifying the purpose, eligible employees, period of time, and salary and benefits related to this policy:
Section V of the EDE&T policy describes University-Offered Education, Training, and Development Opportunities as falling into the following two categories:
It is generally agreed that the Regents Scholarship Program is one of the most valuable and important benefits available to UMD and University employees. As indicated by the number of employees who use it, the program is most popular with civil service and union-represented staff. The administrative policy describing the rules and guidelines for this program state that the “Regents Scholarship Program for eligible employees is offered by the University in support of contributing to a culture of excellence through educational investments in its employees.” Some of the important rules and guidelines identified in the policy statement are the following:
Finally, Section VI of the EDE&T policy states the following about Other Education, Training, and Development Opportunities: “Time away from the workplace with pay may be granted to eligible employees to attend professional meetings or education, training, or professional development offerings outside the University.” In addition to providing opportunities for using time away from the workplace to attend such activities, UMD administrative units usually provide support for some or all of the registration, travel, lodging, and food expenses related to participation in these activities.
The policies identified above provide evidence that the organization (UMD and the University) promotes and values a life of learning for all members of the UMD community.
Examples of programs and activities that support the organization’s commitment to providing opportunities for a life of learning for its employees and students and the levels of participation in them are identified in the next sections. Additionally, information and data related to the estimated or actual cost of or investment to provide the programs is presented.
Development and Transitional Leaves. Single semester leave and sabbatical leave programs are recognized as major sources of support for UMD faculty participation in research, scholarship, and creativity activity as well as personal professional development activities. Table 7.1 reports the number of UMD faculty participating in these programs during fiscal year 2007 and the total number participating in the past decade.
Single Semester and Sabbatical Leave
Participation by Faculty
*Single quarter leaves for FY98 and FY99; University converted to semesters FY00
Faculty members who are on a single semester leave receive full pay and fringe benefits. The maximum number of faculty that can be awarded a single semester leave in any year is 4% of the number of tenure-tenure track faculty. Faculty members on a sabbatical leave receive 50% of their annual base pay plus full fringe benefits. In addition faculty members on sabbatical leave are eligible to receive a sabbatical salary supplement of approximately 10-20%. The direct salary cost for single semester leaves and sabbatical leaves is approximately $750,000 annually. Additional investment related to these leaves involves the cost of fringe benefits and the cost of hiring replacement faculty to teach their classes while they are on leave.
Table 7.2 shows the number of UMD P&A staff and administrators who participated in leave programs during fiscal year 2007, and the total number participating in such programs during the past decade.
P&A Staff Development Leaves
Administrative Transitional Leaves
As described in the policy, there are three different levels of P&A staff development leaves (Mini-Leave, Short-Term Leave, and Extended Leave); and each of them can be for varying periods of time. Similarly, varying periods of time for administrative transitional leaves are negotiated by the administrators involved. Given the varying levels of compensation and periods of time that may be involved, determining exact costs for these leave programs is notfeasible.
Chancellor’s Faculty Small Grants Program. The UMD Chancellor’s Faculty Small Grants Program was started in fiscal year 1996 to provide a small monetary award to faculty members to support activities that will contribute to improving teaching, research, or service for the institution while also contributing to the professional development of individuals. The intent of the program is to provide a small monetary award, currently $750, to stimulate further activity. The awards are granted on a competitive basis. Faulty prepare proposals that are reviewed and ranked at the collegiate unit level and then submitted to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Administration office where final decisions on granting awards are made. Table 7.3 provides summary data for this program from its inception through fiscal year 2007. As shown there, the program has awarded approximately $100,000 annually over the past 10 years and a total of about $1.1 million through fiscal year 2007. There have been a total of 1230 grants involving 1403 faculty members during the past 10 years, now averaging about 123 per year involving about 140 faculty members.
Chancellor’s Faculty Small Grants Program
Regents Scholarship Program. As noted in a previous section describing it, the Regents Scholarship Program is the most frequently used program for continuing a life of learning by UMD civil service and union-represented staff. The number of these participants taking advantage of this benefit during different periods of time is provided in Table 7.4.
Civil Service & Union-Represented Staff
Participation and Estimated Investment
Regents Scholarship Program
1For tuition only, assuming each participant registered for one 3-credit undergraduate course
2Using mean tuition rate for the 10-year period
As noted for the previous programs, calculating the exact direct cost or investment to provide this benefit is not feasible. While most participants enroll for only one course per term, some enroll for more than one; and the number of credits for a course varies. Therefore, the level of tuition benefit received per participant varies. However, one way to estimate the cost or investment for the tuition benefit is to assume that each participant enrolled for a three-credit undergraduate course. As shown in the last row, using this assumption, the estimated investment (direct cost only) the organization made in its civil service and union-represented staff by providing this benefit for each period of time was approximately $133,000 for the 175 participants during fiscal year 2007, and over $1 million for the almost 1900 participants during the past decade. While fewer faculty and P&A staff have used the Regents Scholarship benefit over the years, a total of 32 members of these groups were registered for courses using the program in fall 2007; and it has been a valuable benefit for the members of those groups who have used it over the years.
Transformational Leadership Program. As indicated in Chapter 5, “Transforming the U” is currently the major strategic positioning initiative for the University. One part of this initiative is the recognition that developing the people of the University is critical to achieving its goal, and one of the programs developed and implemented as part of this initiative is called the Transformational Leadership Program (TLP). As stated in the description of the TLP, “The University requires significant expertise and people power to run smoothly and ultimately achieve success. To marshal existing talent within the University to lead transformation efforts, the Transformational Leadership Program (TLP) was created in 2005.” Other information at the web site notes that the first phase of the program is a training series that “hones participants' skills in change management and process improvement tools” and that the program’s curriculum “equips participants with cutting-edge leadership skills to successfully engage in the challenging work of strategic positioning and beyond.” The second component of the program involves participants leading critical process improvement projects across the University system.
The second cohort in the University TLP consisted of 19 participants from UMD. The group started the program at UMD in October 2006 and celebrated the accomplishments of its graduates by presenting information about their TLP process-improvement projects to a campus audience in April 2007. Participants completed projects in the areas of information technology systems and services, finance and operations, facilities management, admissions, financial aid/registrar, health services, and collegiate student affairs. A majority of the projects related to efforts to improve retention and graduation rates. The names of participants, their unit affiliations, and information about their process-improvement projects are included at the TLP web site and in two reports included in the October 18, 2006, and April 11, 2007, issues of UMNews Brief.
In October 2007, UMD’s second cohort of TLP participants kicked off its training at the campus. This group composed of 15 talented UMD employees from 14 different campus units has set out to answer the following three questions:
This year, 11 of the cohort’s 15 projects are specifically aligned with and in direct support of the UMD Strategy Map for Improving Retention and Graduation Rates. The retention framework included in the strategy map, which was developed by the UMD Student Success Team in 2006, identifies numerous strategic priorities that influence student persistence. By focusing on processes that are aligned with campus strategies and priorities, UMD will be better able to accommodate students’ learning and support needs and positively impact student persistence and success, a major campus initiative. Additional information about UMD’s second cohort of TLP participants, including their names and unit affiliation, is included in an article published in the October 17, 2007, issue of UMNNews Brief.
Short-Term Training and Development Programs. The information provided above relates to professional development programs that are completed over a period of weeks or months. Supplementing these are the many short-term training and development programs of one or more hours provided by units at UMD. The UMD Department of Human Resources (UMDHR) provides a number of these programs on a variety of topics throughout the year. For example, during the last full year for which data are available, 2006, UMDHR offered a total of 52 workshops that were attended by 772 participants—22 workshops with 422 participants during spring semester, and 30 workshops with 350 participants during fall semester. In addition to the workshops provided by UMDHR in 2006, individuals from the University’s Twin Cities campus came to Duluth and presented a total of 12 workshops and training sessions that were attended by a total of 192 UMD employees. Among the other units most actively involved in providing training and development programs are the Center for Economic Development (CED), and as discussed in the previous chapter, Information Technology Systems and Services (ITSS) and the Instructional Development Service (IDS).
Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. In addition to the effort to develop and instill an interest in and appreciation for a life of learning among students that is a part of various courses and programs, UMD has an outstanding record of student and faculty participation and accomplishment in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). This is an all-University program that at UMD is administered and managed by the VCAA. Following is information about UROP that appears at the University web site for the program.
Table 7.5 provides summary data for the participation of UMD students and faculty in and expenditures for UROP for fiscal year 2007 and the decade since the last institutional accreditation visit in 1997. As shown, 165 students and faculty advisors participated and a total of just over $265,000 was invested in the program during the last fiscal year. For the past 10 years there were just over 1,250 participants, and a total investment of almost $2 million in UROP.
UROP Participation and Expenditures
In addition to supporting undergraduate research and artistic endeavors, UROP also provides support each year for students to attend the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). In fiscal year 2007, this conference was held at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, California, and 20 UMD students made presentations. Seven UMD faculty members attended the conference with the students. For the years, 2001-2007, over 90 students and 40 faculty members from UMD participated in these conferences. In addition to providing financial resources to make NCUR participation possible for so many students and faculty, UMD has also added over $150,000 of campus resources to the pool of University UROP funding in order to extend the opportunity for significantly more UMD students to gain the benefits of a UROP experience.
Lastly, reflective of the level of importance UMD places on undergraduate research and artistic activities, since 1996 the campus has held an annual Undergraduate Research/Artistic Showcase. This is a half-day campus event featuring student posters, computer demonstrations, art exhibits, and theatre productions, all providing information about projects completed by student UROP participants. In May 2007, the showcase included 83 student presentations related to projects that were completed with advice and mentorship from over 50 different UMD faculty members. For the years 2000-2007, the work of more than 475 students completed with advice and support from approximately 350 different faculty members was featured in showcases.
UMD is proud of the many achievements of its faculty, staff, and students. As is true for all higher learning organizations, promotion and the granting of indefinite tenure at UMD is a major way to recognize outstanding achievement by faculty members. In addition, however, a number of University and UMD programs have been developed and implemented to publicly acknowledge and provide recognition for outstanding achievements in the areas of teaching, research, and service or outreach. Those who have been selected for recognition by any of these programs have truly demonstrated success in acquiring, discovering, and applying knowledge related to one of the three areas. Information about teaching and advising awards was presented in the Chapter 5. Examples of some of the other programs that publicly recognize and acknowledge outstanding achievement by members of the UMD community are identified and described in the next paragraphs.
Research. The Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award is given to recognize a UMD faculty member for excellence in research. The award recognizes the recipient for scholarly contributions to their respective field and for exceptional contributions to student research in education. The program was initiated in 1999, and a total of 10 faculty members have been recognized to date.
The University’s highest recognition to a member of its faculty is selection as a Regent’s Professor. The criteria state this honor recognizes outstanding academic distinction based on research, teaching, and service contributions; and it is generally recognized that the order of the listing of those three areas indicates their rank and weighting in the selection process. The McKnight Land-Grant Professorship program was developed in 1987 to nurture the careers of the most promising young junior faculty members throughout the University. The program is designed to advance the careers of young faculty who are judged to have “the potential to make significant contributions to their scholarly fields.” The University’s McKnight Presidential Leadership Chair program was established in 2004 to recognize deans and other leaders who are recognized both for “extraordinary scholarly achievements and prominence in an academic field” as well as for their role as a respected leader and mentor. One UMD faculty member is a Regents Professor Emeritus, three current UMD faculty members have been recognized as McKnight Land-Grand Professors, and one UMD dean was among the first group recognized as McKnight Presidential Leadership Chair.
As its name implies, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), described earlier in this chapter, is a program that recognizes and rewards students for interest in research. Students applying for UROP grants must prepare a proposal describing the scholarly or creative activity they will complete, and selection of participants for the relatively limited number of grants is competitive. Thus, being selected as a UROP participant represents recognition of the value of the proposed activity.
Outstanding Service. UMD is proud of the many ways in which members of its community contribute to improving the operations of the campus and the environment in which the operations occur. Following are examples of some of the programs that have been developed to formally recognize outstanding service by members of the UMD community.
The UMD Outstanding Service Award program was developed to recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals in the following employee classifications: civil service (non-bargaining), AFSCME, Teamster, and Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) who do not hold faculty rank. A selection committee that includes former recipients of the award reviews nominations and recommends individuals for recognition to the chancellor who makes the final decision and announcement of winners. An awards ceremony is held each year to publicly recognize those selected to receive the award, and recipients are currently provided a monetary award of $2,500. A total of 171 individuals have been recognized as UMD Outstanding Service Award recipients during the 10 years since the last accreditation review; the number of recipients has been between15-21 for each of the years. Those who have committed time and effort to prepare nominations for individuals, serve on the selection committee, and be responsible for administrative and other activities related to the program have done so enthusiastically. The UMD financial investment or commitment for this recognition program is estimated to be $35,000 per year.
In addition to the outstanding faculty and academic advisor awards identified above, the Awards Committee under the auspicies of the UMD Kirby Student Center annually selects students and others to be publicly recognized as recipients of “Student Awards” for service provided to the campus. Following is a listing of the awards presented by this group:
A listing of the 2006-2007 “Student Award” recipients is included in the April 24, 2007, UMD Currents. Each of the collegiate units also presents annual awards to publicly recognize outstanding service by students, faculty, and staff of the college or school.
While it is not uniquely a UMD program, UMD has been very committed to and involved in National Student Employment Week (NSEW) activities for several years. There are approximately 1500 student employees at UMD; and as indicated at the UMD NSEW web site, “the organization encourages campus departments to take time during National Student Employment Week to let their student employees know how much their hard work is appreciated.” In addition to the general recognition provided to student employees during NSEW, the campus has been very actively involved in the "Student Employee of the Year" (SEOTY) contest developed by the National Association of Student Employment Administrators. Campus units nominate student employees for the “UMD Student Employee of the Year.” The individual selected as the campus SEOTY becomes the UMD nominee for recognition at the regional and national levels of the contest. A listing of the UMD SEOTY and the first and second runner up for the years 1999-2007 is included at the UMD NSEW web site. The campus community is very proud of the fact that the UMD SEOTY for 1999 and again in 2003 were recognized as National Student Employee of the Year for those years. In addition to the recognition associated with being nominated by those in their unit for UMD SEOTY, those nominated for this award are invited to attend a luncheon that culminates the week of recognition. There were a total of 20 students nominated for UMD SEOTY in 2006, and were publicly recognized at the luncheon; a total of 32 students were nominated for UMD SEOTY in 2007, and recognized at a luncheon.
The UMD commitment to producing scholarship and creating knowledge through research is explicitly referred to in the second sentence of the first paragraph of the mission statement, which reads “As a university community in which knowledge is sought as well as taught, its [UMD] faculty recognize the importance of scholarship and service, the intrinsic value of research and . . .” The single semester and sabbatical faculty development leave programs offered by the University and UMD Chancellor’s Small Grants Program that were described above are important to the increasing level of scholarship or research and artistic activity that has been occurring in the organization. As reported in Table 7.1, calculated by considering salary only, just over $1 million was committed in fiscal year 2007 and a total of $13.4 million was invested over the past decade to provide faculty members leave time to stimulate research activity. Table 7.3 indicates that the UMD Chancellor Small Grants Program provided over $1 million of seed funds for the same purpose during the past decade. Additionally, the Graduate School of the University provides strong support for UMD faculty and graduate students who are interested in pursuing research interests and activities. The level of sponsored project activity and funding is considered to be a primary measure of the level of research and artistic activity at universities. Using this measure, it is evident UMD is promoting and fostering inquiry and creativity in ways consistent with its mission.
University Graduate School. As indicated in the UMD organization chart, a unit of the system-wide Graduate School of the University located on campus. Administration of the Graduate School Office is the responsibility of an individual with a 75% appointment as associate dean of the Graduate School and a 25% appointment as a UMD faculty member. The administrative appointment for the Associate Dean was increased from 50% to 75% when the current associate dean was appointed in fiscal year 2007. Excluding salaries, the administrative budget for the UMD Graduate School was $21,000 for fiscal year 2007 and is $27,600 for the current 2008 fiscal year.
The associate dean and staff work closely with UMD graduate faculty members and students to provide information about and encourage participation in programs offered by the University Graduate School. As shown in Table 7.6, a total of 217 UMD graduate students were supported as UMD teaching and research assistants during fiscal year 2007. The funding for the 217 students during fiscal year 2007 was estimated to be almost $4 million. Finally, the table reports that the estimated total commitment of funding to support graduate teaching and research assistants at UMD during the 10-year period since the last accreditation visit is almost $23 million. The allocation of this level of resources for the periods reported clearly indicates UMD and the University value a life of learning for the graduate students and the members of the UMD community with whom they work.
UMD Graduate Student and Faculty
*Determined by using mid-range data for appointment levels and minimum salary and fringe rates in effect during the period covered
Related to providing a life of learning for graduate teaching assistants and in keeping with its mission to provide high quality instruction to undergraduate students, UMD requires all individuals appointed as graduate teaching assistants (GTA) to participate in an orientation session prior to the start of fall semester. Over a period of two and one-half days, the GTA orientation provides information about campus resources available to support teaching as well as teaching methods and classroom management, culminating in participants doing microteaching demonstrations that are critiqued by UMD faculty. There were a total of 79 participants in the fall 2007 GTA orientation session, 35 international and 44 domestic; and the estimated cost of providing the session was $9,000.
Table 7.6 above also shows that 17 UMD faculty members have received funding support from the Graduate School for research activity during fiscal year 2007. Additionally, the table reports that the total amount of grants and awards received by UMD faculty for fiscal year 2007 was about $336,000.
The funding for faculty identified in the table was derived from Graduate School faculty grants and awards programs such as the Faculty Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship program. The description for this program states that it “represents one important means by which this office is able to promote the scholarly and artistic activities of the faculty and their graduate students and to foster academic excellence within the University.” Proposals from throughout the University compete for funding from the program. Information for the spring 2007 period indicates that the average award was about $25,000, and the list of Spring 2007 Grant-in-Aid Awards indicates a total of 12 UMD proposals involving 14 faculty members were included in the total of 55 awards. One UMD faculty member received funding from the Faculty Summer Research Fellowship program which is offered “to encourage research and artistic creation by enabling members of the faculty to devote full time to intensive work on their projects during the summer.”
Sponsored Project Activity and Funding. Responsibility for administration of sponsored projects and contracts at UMD is vested in the Sponsored Project Administration (SPA) unit under the purview of the vice chancellor for academic administration (VCAA). The UMD SPA has a staff of 3.5 FTE and is a part of the University’s overall SPA operations. Although the unit reports and works closely with both the campus VCAA and the SPA Director in the Twin Cities, institutional approval for submission of proposals is vested in the UMD SPA.
Table 7.7 shows the level of sponsored research activity in terms of sponsored research expenditures. For the decade FY97-FY06 total sponsored research expenditures have increased approximately 40%. Expenditures in the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth and in campus collegiate units have increased greater than 50%. The sponsored research expenditures of over $15 million for FY06 is significant for a campus the size and with the mission of UMD and provides evidence that the organization promotes, fosters, and supports inquiry and creative activity.
UMD Sponsored Funds Expenditures
Fiscal Years 1997-2006
Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI). As indicated in Table 7.7 as measured by sponsored research activity and expenditures, NRRI is UMD’s most active research unit. Since its inception in 1983, the mission of NRRI has been “to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment.” This mission has served the institute and its constituents well. NRRI has become a prominent research and outreach arm of UMD, respected by industry and agency partners state-wide and around the world.
NRRI’s activities are three-fold:
With base support from the State of Minnesota, NRRI employs about 150 individuals on a full time equivalent basis and relies primarily on grants and contracts to accomplish its program objectives. Research activity on an annual basis is valued at close to $15 million and is accomplished within three centers: the Center for Applied Research and Technology Development, the Center for Water and the Environment, and the UMD Center for Economic Development (jointly managed with the Labovitz School of Business and Economics and the Swenson College of Science and Engineering).
During its almost 25 years of operation, NRRI has become a resource for the entire State of Minnesota. In many cases, however, impacts of its research are not only local and statewide in nature, but have regional and national implications. Further information about the scope of NRRI and specific examples of its activities and research can be found at the NRRI web site and in NRRI publications and updates such as the NRRI Now newsletters.
Minnesota Sea Grant. Minnesota Sea Grant is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a national network of 30 similar programs in coastal states throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Established in 1976, the unit works to facilitate research and outreach programs about Lake Superior and Minnesota’s inland waters. This system-wide program is administered by the vice chancellor for academic administration at UMD; the director and administrative office unit are located in Duluth. Minnesota Sea Grant’s operating budget of about $1.53 million is supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University, and University Extension. Sea Grant’s 13.5 full-time staff members are dedicated to seeking and communicating information designed to enhance Lake Superior and Minnesota’s inland aquatic resources and economies. While the scope and level of funding for its research activity is not at the level of NRRI, every two years the unit funds research projects that fit the program’s mission and thematic areas which include: ecosystems and habitats, coastal communities and economies, aquatic invasive species, biotechnology, and fisheries. Sea Grant funded seven projects collectively totaling about $607,000 led by University researchers in 2007 and provided more than $417,000 designated to support eight graduate research assistants. More information is available at the Minnesota Sea Grant web site.
Large Lakes Observatory (LLO). LLO was established in 1994 as a unit of the Swenson College of Science and Engineering (SCSE). It is part of a network of aquatic research programs within the University that includes several departments on the UMD campus and the Twin Cities campus, the Center for Water and the Environment at NRRI, and the University-wide Water Resource Science (WRS) program. The unit’s current operating budget is about $1.15 million of which about $450,000 is associated with operating the RV Blue Heron, the only University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) research vessel on the Great Lakes. There are currently 10 full-time faculty members associated with LLO, all with split appointments for research at LLO and for teaching in their home tenure/teaching departments in SCSE. At least two LLO faculty are from each of the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Geological Sciences. Additionally, there are 13 graduate students working at LLO while pursuing MS degrees within science departments at UMD or Ph.D. degrees in the WRS program or in cooperation with departments on the Twin Cities campus. Using oceanographic approaches and methods, LLO researchers focus on the global implications of their investigations in the areas of aquatic chemistry, circulation dynamics, biogeochemistry, acoustic remote sensing, plankton dynamics, sedimentology, and climate change/history. The unit has close ties with research institutes and universities in the United States and throughout the world. LLO is currently attracting about $1 million per year in external funding to support its research activity. More information about the unit is available at the LLO web site.
Dissemination of Knowledge and Artistic Creativity. In addition to sponsored project activity and funding, a second generally accepted measure of research and creative activity at higher education institutions is publication of the findings of research or showing of products of creative activity. Table 7.8 presents a summary of the dissemination of knowledge through traditional outlets by UMD faculty for the most recent calendar year for which data are available, 2006. It is important to note that the table only reports publication, presentation, and creative activity for faculty members, that it only reports data for the traditional outlets identified, and that the publication and conference data are for national or international outlets. Output by professional and administrative (P&A) and other staff is not included nor is activity in other outlet categories. Further, the data is based on self-reporting of information by faculty members on the Faculty Information Record they completed for 2006.
Dissemination of Knowledge
By UMD Faculty
The data in Table 7.8 substantiates that UMD faculty are active and productive in publication and creative activities. Further, based on almost 300 refereed journal articles and more than 100 refereed conference presentations or proceedings, peers of UMD faculty who serve as reviewers and referees recognize the quality of the research being completed and the manuscripts submitted that describe the findings.
While most interest is focused on faculty sharing information and findings of their research through conventional outlets such as those included in Table 7.7, it is also important to consider the level of sharing of research activity with the students with whom the faculty work. One measure of this type of sharing at UMD is found in the results of the 2007 University of Minnesota Student Experience Survey, which was described in Chapter 5. When responding to the question of whether they had “heard a faculty member talk about his or her research” since starting their current University degree program, 79.2% of the general sample of undergraduate respondents, 91.2% of the graduating senior respondents, and 90.6% of the graduate/professional respondents answered “Yes.” Based on this finding, it appears that UMD faculty are doing an outstanding job of sharing information about their research and artistic activity with the students with whom they work on a daily basis.
The activities and programs described in the paragraphs related to this core component provide evidence that UMD is committed to helping not only its students but also its faculty, administration, and staff, become educated people capable of a life of learning. The University and UMD have policies that clearly indicate professional development is an important component of life in the campus community, participation in the many professional development opportunities provided is high, and the organization has developed programs to recognize and celebrate outstanding achievement by students and employees. The level of financial and other resources committed to support and fund the programs and activities described above provides evidence that the UMD values and promotes a life of learning for all members of its community. Further, the level of annual sponsored project activity by UMD units and the level of dissemination of knowledge by the faculty are measures of the success the institution has had in increasing the level of acquisition, discovery, and application of knowledge in the organization.
The organization demonstrates that acquisition of a breadth of knowledge and skills and the exercise of intellectual inquiry are integral to its educational programs.
As noted in previous sections of the report, the UMD mission statement identifies a “firm liberal arts foundation” as an anchor of the organization’s degree programs and outreach offerings and the fact that it is “a university community in which knowledge is sought as well as taught.” By focusing on these two areas of the mission, UMD demonstrates that acquisition of a breadth of knowledge and skills and the exercise of intellectual inquiry are integral to its programs. Among the best examples of evidence that UMD is addressing these areas at the undergraduate level are the liberal education program and the international education programs. Since most graduate study programs concentrate on knowledge within a single discipline, “breadth of knowledge” assumes a different meaning than in undergraduate programs; and graduate programs engage students in inquiry at a deeper level than is true for undergraduate studies. The next sections present information on the UMD liberal education program, international education opportunities available to UMD students, UMD graduate programs, and other programs and activities related to this component.
The previous chapter describes and presents information related to the UMD liberal education program (LEP). The rationale for establishing and implementing the LEP was to impart common knowledge and intellectual concepts to students and to develop in them the skills and attitudes UMD’s faculty believe every educated person should possess. The LEP description implies that achieving the program’s overall objectives and the objectives stated for each of the 10 categories will not only allow students to live richer lives but also provide them a foundation for most careers and for the informed exercise of local, national, and international citizenship. Specifically, the LEP description states
In addition to requiring students to complete at least one course in 10 different categories, the LEP requires them to complete one course that “emphasizes cultural diversity within the United States” and one course that “emphasizes international perspective.” Cultural diversity courses focus on being sensitive to and understanding significant differences among people in the United States. International perspective courses focus on understanding contemporary issues from a global perspective or understanding cultures and societies different from those in the United States.
A brief statement of the objective for each of the 10 different categories is presented at the beginning of the category. A description of how the organization has gone about assessing the effectiveness of the LEP was presented in the preceding chapter. As indicated there, UMD has periodically reviewed and assessed the effectiveness of the LEP during the past 10 years and has made changes in the program based on the findings of the assessment process.
That all members of the UMD community recognize and appreciate the understanding of other cultures, economies, and political systems is critical for success in today’s “Flat World.” The LEP program requirement to complete a course emphasizing cultural diversity and a course emphasizing international perspectives is evidence of this belief and UMD’s commitment to preparing graduates for life and work in the global community. Another of the ways the organization helps its students to achieve this type of understanding is by providing opportunities to participate in international education through study abroad programs.
Students work with the UMD International Education Office (IEO) to learn about opportunities for and to participate in study abroad programs. The IEO was established in 1980 to coordinate programs and activities in international education. The IEO has an operating budget of approximately $2 million for fiscal year 2008 and is staffed by a director and five staff members.
A diverse and dedicated group of faculty, staff, administrators, and students were involved in creation of the IEO and have worked closely with its many programs since its inception. They and the campus community overall believe strongly that international education experiences contribute to the breadth of knowledge and skills, development of attitudes and skills requisite for a life of learning in a diverse society, and provide valuable intercultural experience for all participants. Information provided to prospective students and their parents by the IEO identifies the following related to the “cross-cultural learning” involved in study abroad experiences:
A total of 20 different UMD Study Abroad Programs are currently available to students. During the 2007-2008 academic year, students could choose from study programs in Australia, Bulgaria, China, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, and Sweden. The programs allow students to study everything from social sciences to the natural sciences, business to engineering, liberal arts to performing arts. The program lengths vary from short, intense programs offered during winter break or May term to summer, semester or academic year programs. A cross-cultural program, involving a Communication Practicum course, is also offered in Hawaii. Students in this program are immersed in intercultural activities with the indigenous peoples of Hawaii.
In addition to the study abroad programs offered by UMD, students have opportunities to participate in hundreds of cooperatively sponsored study abroad programs offered throughout the world by the Learning Abroad Center at the University’s Twin Cities campus and the Center for International Programs at the Morris campus. If they meet the program requirements, students enrolled at any campus of the University are eligible for participation in programs available from any campus in the system. UMD students are also able to study abroad through programs offered by other universities and professional study abroad program providers.
Table 7.9 identifies the level of participation in international education programs by UMD students and faculty members during selected periods and for the past decade. As shown, a total of 120 UMD students participated in international education programs during fall semester 2007, and 400 participated during fiscal year 2007. The totals row of the table indicates more than 2,600 UMD students and 90 UMD faculty members have gained the benefits of having an international education experience during the past decade.
Student & Faculty Participation
In 2001, the University system received a $900,000 grant from the Archibald Bush Foundation for Internationalizing Undergraduate Education. The work of the grant focuses on integrating study abroad into a major so students' progress toward completion of a degree is not delayed and integrating an international perspective into on-campus courses. Related to work completed as part of the grant and the generally increased recognition of the importance of preparing for life and participation in a global society, more students and other members of the UMD community are viewing study abroad as an integral part of the undergraduate experience rather than an add-on to degree programs. The almost doubling of student participation reported in Table 7.9 from fiscal year 2002 to 2007 (from 214 to 400) reflects this change in thinking and emphasis. UMD has established a campus goal that 50% of the graduates should have a study abroad experience.
Data for the Study in England Programme is reported separately in Table 7.9 because this has been the most popular UMD international education program by number of participants. The program was started in 1980 and is offered in conjunction with the University of Birmingham in Birmingham, England, located 110 miles northwest of London. It involves a full academic year of interdisciplinary studies in Great Britain for students, a full year appointment at the location for a program director from UMD faculty or administration, and a semester experience for a total of four faculty members each year. As reported, roughly 50 undergraduate students and five UMD faculty members travel to the Birmingham Selly Oak campus for an academically challenging and personally rewarding experience each year.
In addition to offering study abroad programs, UMD offers and actively supports on-campus programs and activities to provide understanding of other countries, cultures, and political systems for those who cannot leave campus for periods of time to participate in the study abroad programs. In addition to the LEP requirement that all students complete at least one course that emphasizes international perspective, content related to this area is being integrated into more courses on campus; and some departments and collegiate units require their students to go beyond the LEP international requirement.
The Royal D. Alworth Jr. Institute for International Studies is generally recognized as the leader in providing short programs with an international perspective to members of the UMD campus community as well as the external public. The Institute offers international lectures, forums, conferences, and other activities throughout the year. As noted at its web site, the Institute “aims to engage students, staff, and the wider public in open discussion, for educational, social, and democratic purposes, of a wide range of international issues and their domestic implications.” Some of its offerings include an Annual Memorial Lecture each spring, a fall International Lecture Series, and the International Brown Bag Series throughout the year. These programs are available to students, all other members of the campus community, and the broader Duluth community as well. They are well publicized, and attendance has generally been good.
As described above, UMD students and other members of the campus community are provided a variety of opportunities to expand their breadth of knowledge and develop attitudes requisite for a life of learning in a diverse society through participation in international education programs and on-campus activities. Findings reported for the 2007 University of Minnesota Student Experience Survey referred to previously indicate that 22.4% of the UMD graduating senior respondents reported they had participated in a study abroad program. Responding to the question “Have you attended a special talk, lecture, or panel discussion held on campus?” 78.4% of the general sample of undergraduate respondents, 89% of the graduating senior respondents, and 83.6% of the graduate/professional respondents answered “Yes.” Of course, since the topic of the activity is not identified, the percentages reported do not represent participation in on-campus lectures, panels, etc. with an international perspective however, the percentages do indicate that the level of student participation in lectures, etc. offered on campus is generally high for participation in internationally focused lectures.
Information presented at the about link at its web site states that the University’s Graduate School is a “coordinating college” functioning as an “administrative and support unit for the majority of the University’s graduate degree programs.” The information at this link also describes the unit as having responsibility for “development, support, and review of excellent graduate programs” among its many administrative and oversight activities. To carry out this responsibility, the Graduate School has adopted and carries out a relatively formal and structured review process prior to granting initial approval to start a graduate program and then periodically reviews programs after they are started. The criteria, policies, and processes for these reviews have been developed and are reviewed and updated by Graduate School committees consisting of a majority of graduate faculty members from the programs.
UMD has 18 graduate programs operating under the aegis of the Graduate School that have a director of graduate studies (DGS) appointed to work on program administration and oversight with the Associate Dean of the Graduate School located at UMD. All of these programs are at the master’s level with the exception of the Ed.D. program that enrolled its first students in fall 2007, and the Integrated Biosciences program which will begin in Fall 2008. In addition to the Graduate School programs, there are four programs designated as “collegiate master’s” degree programs offered on campus. Administration of these programs is the responsibility of a particular collegiate unit with ultimately responsibility and authority vested in the dean.
The “Protocol for Program Reviews Under the Aegis of the Graduate School” provides very detailed information describing the purpose and goals as well as the process to be used for the systematic, periodic evaluation of programs the Graduate School has developed and oversees. The review procedures for the collegiate master’s degree programs have generally been developed and implemented using the Graduate School protocol as a model.
An important part of the review of graduate programs is the review of the curriculum. However, because graduate study concentrates on knowledge within a single discipline or interdisciplinary area of study, “breadth and knowledge” in graduate program curriculum assumes a different meaning than it does for undergraduate programs. At the graduate level, breadth of knowledge involves obtaining a general knowledge of the student’s field to provide a context and expanse of understanding for more specialized study.
Based on findings from reviews of UMD graduate programs, the curriculums are structured and offered to provide the breadth of knowledge needed for advanced study and skills requisite to being creative and independent learners throughout their lives. The structure of graduate program governance at UMD provides almost complete responsibility and authority for curriculum to faculty members, and over 90% of the faculty teaching and advising in the graduate programs possess terminal degrees appropriate to the discipline their students are pursuing.
Supplementing and enhancing the required LEP and participation in international education programs or activities, UMD students’ breadth of knowledge and range of inquiry are expanded through the many arts, cultural, and intellectual events offered on campus. The Alworth Institute programs identified previously are one example of lectures and similar events related to expanding knowledge and the exercise of intellectual inquiry. Some of the other opportunities available on campus are identified in the next paragraphs.
The campus and broader Duluth community are fortunate to be able to experience numerous outstanding visual and performing arts events provided by the departments and units of the School of Fine Arts (SFA). For example, among its many programs, the Department of Theatre annually presents a “Season” of productions in the Marshall Performing Arts Center on campus. The productions are generally well subscribed and attended, and some have been selected as winners of the Region V American College Theatre Festival competition, (now the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival) in the past decade. “Dear Finder,” which was written by a UMD faculty member and undergraduate students, was selected as one of six winners from over 900 productions in 1999; and as a result of its selection was then performed at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Similarly, the theatre ensemble that performed the play "Movie Game" was one of four invited to perform at the Kennedy Center in 2002. "Movie Game" was written by a UMD graduate. The Department of Music also offers a variety of musical events each year. As indicated in the event calendar and other information available at the department web site, these events include performances by student groups, music faculty recitals, honor festivals and camps, and an “Ovation Guest Artist Series.” All of these events are performed in the acoustically and aesthetically exciting Weber Music Hall designed by internationally acclaimed architect Cesar Pelli which opened on campus in 2002. Finally, the Art and Design Department offers an “Art+Design Lecture Series” and an “Annual Student Exhibition” in conjunction with the Tweed Museum of Art on the campus. These events are free and open to the public.
In addition the programs identified above and others offered by SFA, there are many other events and programs offered on campus that expand the breadth of knowledge and skills and the exercise of intellectual inquiry of students and others who attend. These activities are presented by other units such as the Multicultural Center, the Disability Resources and Services unit, UMD Health Services; several of the Kirby Student Center groups such as the Kirby Student Program Board, the Kirby Leadership Institute, and Late Night Kirby; and the more than 200 active student organizations and clubs on campus. A review of the weekly calendar of events for the campus; the “Events” section of any issue of Currents, the newsletter for faculty and staff at UMD; and various sections of the Statesman, the official student newspaper of UMD, provides a macro view of the many and varied activities offered by many different units on campus during any given week. As anyone who reviews just these three sources will find, there are literally hundreds of activities, events, and programs designed to appeal to a wide range of interests and offered at a variety of times on campus each month. One indication of the level of participation at these intellectual and cultural events and programs is included in findings of the 2007 University of Minnesota Student Experience Survey referred to previously. Responding to whether they had “attended a performance, concert, or exhibit on campus” since starting their degree program, 89.1% of the undergraduates, 94.3% of the graduating seniors, and 68.3% of the graduate/professional students reported they had.
As evidenced by examples described above, UMD has developed and offers programs and activities designed to make the acquisition of a breadth of knowledge and skills and the exercise of intellectual inquiry an integral part of the education of its students. Completion of the required liberal education program by all students seeking a baccalaureate degree is the primary assurance that the intent of this core component is being met. However, participation in international education programs as well as the many arts, cultural, intellectual, and other events occurring on campus also provide members of the campus community with a breadth of knowledge and present opportunities to exercise intellectual inquiry in a variety of ways. As described in the previous chapter, the organization regularly reviews its liberal education program to determine its effectiveness and the relevance of its content and reviews its graduate programs to ensure, among other things, that there is a knowledge base on which students can develop depth of expertise.
The organization assesses the usefulness of its curricula to students who will live and work in a global, diverse, and technological society.
UMD has devoted considerable effort and resources to preparing its students for their careers and lives after graduation. One of the sentences in the current UMD mission statement describes this commitment as follows: “Active learning through internships, honors programs, research, and community service promotes the development of skills, critical thinking, and maturity sought by society.” As will be described in this section, UMD also has a commitment to prepare graduates to succeed personally and professionally in the global, diverse, and technological society in which they will live. Examples of how UMD is meeting this commitment are presented in the next sections.
UMD and similar comprehensive universities rarely include statements specifically identifying “job preparation” or “employment” as a major part of their institutional mission statements. However, “preparing for careers” or other terminology relating to the broader concept of a career is often included in institutional missions at what appears to be the same level of priority as preparing graduates for living a satisfied life, being a contributing member of society, or similar objectives. Career preparation, which includes preparation for employment, is a major objective of some of undergraduate programs offered at UMD. The professional programs in business, engineering, and education, offered by Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE), the Swenson College of Science and Engineering (SCSE), and the College of Education and Human Service Professions (CEHSP), respectively, are primary examples.
As is true at peer institutions, the professional programs at UMD are periodically reviewed by program accreditation bodies, which assess the usefulness and relevancy of the curricula. Findings of the most recent reviews of accredited programs are available for review from the VCAA office or from the programs involved. As described in the previous chapter, curriculum review is also part of the periodic review process for the other programs.
Two other important sources of feedback on the usefulness and relevance of a program’s curriculum, especially as it relates to preparation for employment, are external program advisory boards or committees and internship site supervisors. Each of the five collegiate units has an advisory group that meets at least annually to provide feedback to the dean related to activities and administration of the unit, including the development of new programs and curriculum revision for current programs. Additionally, some of the departments within a collegiate unit have advisory groups. For example, in SCSE, the departments of Computer Science, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Chemical Engineering all have department or program advisory groups.
As noted above, “active learning through internships” is specifically identified in the UMD mission statement as one of the ways the institution “promotes development of skills, critical thinking, and maturity sought by society.” Members of the campus community who have been most actively involved in developing, implementing, and supervising internship programs are in agreement with the findings of the 8th Annual Survey of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) completed in spring 2007. NSSE emphasizes that field placements or internships are one of four activities that promote what it calls “deep learning.” Clarifying this, the report from the survey indicates that “students who had field placements reported broader gains—in solving complex, real-world problems, for example, and working effectively with others” than did those completing other culminating senior experiences such as theses or capstone courses. Another important benefit from internship programs is the feedback received from intern supervisors at the job site. The supervisors not only provide feedback related to individual student performance while on the job; they also provide valuable information related to what knowledge and skills students should have to perform well in the positions involved and how well students are prepared to do so. This feedback is an important basis for making program curriculum changes and generally keeping the curriculum relevant and up to date.
It is recognized that the student teaching requirement and experience for all students seeking teaching licensure is perhaps the “internship” program that has been in place the longest, is the most recognized, and is the most formalized at UMD. While not described or discussed here, information about the student teaching experience is available for each of the teacher licensure programs offered from the UMD Department of Education in CEHSP.
In addition to student teaching, students can complete internships for academic credit to satisfy part of the requirements for their degrees in a number of other programs at UMD. Completion of an internship experience is a required component of the BA degree programs in both Criminology and Sociology, and the BS degree programs in Health and Fitness in Exercise Science, Community Health in Health Education, and Recreation-Outdoor Education. Some other programs require completion of a clinical experience or clinical practicum; and in other programs, completion of an internship for academic credit is an elective option. Additionally, many students in Computer Science and engineering programs complete what is identified as an “internship.” However, since students receive pay for virtually all of these internships, the experience is not recorded on academic transcripts because SCSE’s collegiate policy prevents a student from receiving both academic credit and pay for the same experience. The director of UMD Career Services, who was one of the members of the initial Transformational Leadership Program (TLP) group at UMD, started and continues to work with a group of three program internship directors on a project designed to improve student internship programs across campus and identify ways to increase internship participation. A total of 66 different internship opportunities with 35 different departmental designators were included in the list of courses in the UMD 2005-2007 Catalog. There is a broad range of policies, procedures, forms, and processes related to the different internship programs, so the work of the TLP group is timely. A total of 481 students were registered during 2006-2007 for an internship experience, 183 during summer, 86 during fall, and 212 during spring terms. As expected, the highest enrollment figures for the year were reported for courses with a Sociology designator reflecting the fact that an internship experience is a required part of both the Criminology and Sociology majors as part of the degree programs offered in the Department of Sociology - Anthropology. Other programs for which there were relatively high enrollments in the internship offerings include the following: Accounting, Communications, Environmental Studies, Management Studies, Marketing, and Psychology. Approximately 3500 UMD students have completed internships for academic credit since 2000..
The preceding paragraphs describe two examples of how academic programs at UMD obtain input from representatives from business and industry regarding curriculum. These examples show that faculty and others at UMD believe representatives from business and industry are valuable sources of advice on the fit between program curricula and the work world in which graduates will be employed.  Advisory groups and internship programs are two key sources of curriculum review.
Previous sections of the report describe and discuss UMD’s commitment to preparing students for living and working in the global society of the 21st century. This commitment and the curriculum and other components put in place to achieve it are regularly assessed by various groups from on campus as well as externally. For example, program curriculum is regularly reviewed by faculty teaching in it and by collegiate curriculum committees, and the liberal education program (LEP) curriculum requirement is periodically reviewed and assessed by members of the Educational Policy Committee of the Campus Assembly. In addition, the periodic external program or accreditation reviews, including graduate program reviews, involve some review of the global or international component of the curricula involved. Information on these reviews was provided previously.
To meet its commitment to prepare individuals to live and work in a global society, the organization implements the LEP requirement for all who graduate with degrees from UMD. As described previously, this includes completing an international perspective requirement. Additionally, there are an increasing number of courses outside of the LEP that include content intended to increase international awareness, there are a number of study abroad programs available, and there are many other opportunities for students and other members of the campus community to participate in programs and activities offered on campus that focus on international perspective and the global society.
Most recently, UMD has been an active participant in planning for a project intended to facilitate the education of globally competent citizens on university campuses. The project is currently titled “Seven Revolutions: Educating Globally Competent Citizens” and is in the early stages of development by representatives from the following entities: American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU); New York Times (Times); Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, DC; and 10 AASCU campuses including UMD. A faculty member from UMD under the sponsorship of Academic Administration played a lead role in the development of the project. As stated in a September 3, 2007 interim report, “The goal of this initiative is to increase the number of undergraduates who possess knowledge, skills and attitudes related to global issues that will enable them to act as responsible, engaged citizens.” The report also states that “Using the framework of ‘Seven Revolutions,’ seven key worldwide trends identified by CSIS analyst Erik Peterson, the project will integrate resources from CSIS, the Times, and other sources into an Internet-based repository of materials that students and teachers at universities and colleges can use to educate globally competent citizens.” And, the report notes that “For the purpose of this project, a globally competent citizen may be defined as a person who possesses the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be an engaged, responsible, and effective member of a globally interdependent society."
The “Seven Revolutions Framework” is presented in Figure 7.1, and more information about the project is available at the project web site. It is important to note that the project is in the development and testing stage; however, those from UMD and the other entities who are involved are enthusiastic and positive about the prospects of the final product of their work. Clearly, if current plans come to fruition and UMD is a participating institution, this will be another example of how the organization prepares students for living and working in a global society.
Seven Revolutions Framework
Preparing for a Diverse Society
Previous sections of the report describe and discuss UMD’s commitment to preparing students for living and working in a diverse society. This commitment and the curriculum and other components put in place to achieve it are regularly assessed by various groups from on campus as well as externally. For example, program curriculum is regularly reviewed by faculty teaching in it and by collegiate curriculum committees, and the liberal education program (LEP) curriculum requirement is periodically reviewed and assessed by members of the Educational Policy Committee of the Campus Assembly. In addition, given its generally accepted level of importance, the periodic external program or accreditation reviews, including graduate program reviews, incorporate some review of the diversity component of the curricula involved.
To meet its commitment to prepare individuals to live and work in a diverse society, the organization implements the LEP requirement for all who graduate with degrees from UMD. This includes completing at least one course that emphasizes cultural diversity within the United States as well as one course with international perspective that includes cultural diversity from a world point of view. Additionally, there are an increasing number of courses outside of the LEP that include content intended to increase awareness of cultural diversity domestically and internationally. Further, there are many other opportunities for students and other members of the campus community to participate in programs and activities offered on campus that focus on cultural diversity locally, nationally, and throughout the global society. Finally, another finding from the University of Minnesota Student Experience Survey referred to a number of times previously is that of the UMD respondents, 77% of the undergraduates, 88.5% of the graduating seniors, and 86.2% of the graduate/professionals reported they had “worked together on a class assignment with a student whose racial/ethnic background different than mine” since starting their degree program.
Multicultural Center. The UMD Multicultural Center, under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor of Academic Support and Student Life provides many opportunities for students and other members of the campus community to participate in programs and activities offered on campus that focus on cultural diversity. The mission and goals of the Center are shown in Figure 7.2.
The Multicultural Center is the culmination of many years of work by many individuals to promote, recruit, and retain a more diverse student body at UMD. By building a more inclusive environment on campus, members of the campus community from all backgrounds accept, respect, and support one another. The programs and staff of the Multicultural Center were brought together in the current space in 2004. Bringing the programs and staff together has created a welcoming community space and environment that recognizes and honors both similarities and differences.
As indicated at the Multicultural Center web site, the following units and student organizations are located in the Center. Information about the programs and activities for each is available at the respective web sites or from the offices in the Center:
The Multicultural Center professional staff and student organizations collaborate with the Kirby Student Center staff, other student organizations, and campus groups to develop an array of lectures, discussions, films, receptions and cultural celebrations throughout the year. The programs and activities of the various units of the Multicultural Center are well attended and make a valuable contribution to promoting cultural diversity on the campus. The creation and funding of the Multicultural Center is an example of UMD’s long and continuing commitment to prepare its students and others to live and work in a diverse society.
Previous sections of the report describe and discuss UMD’s commitment to preparing students for living and working in a technological society. This commitment and the components put in place to achieve it are regularly reviewed by various groups from on campus, most particularly through the Educational Policy subcommittee on Information Technology and the Library. This group meets regularly to review information regarding technology and library facilities, procedures, and planning. In addition this subcommittee provides academic and administrative review of information technology and library policies and provides a forum for the interchange of views regarding information technology and library services.
Information about and discussion of the use of technology in the teaching and learning process at UMD were included in Chapter 6. As noted there, the use of technology has become an integral part of many courses and the curriculum of virtually all programs. Therefore, students are continuously involved in learning about technology and how to apply and use it to improve their lives and increase their personal productivity.
A major factor in the organization’s commitment and ability to promote and support the almost ubiquitous use and application of technology is the level and quality of instructional resources and information technology and support for their use available at UMD. The complete description of these resources is included as item #6 in the UMD Institutional Snapshot and discussion of support provided for their use is included in Chapter 6. The organization is proud of the level of technology resources and support for their use that is available, and this is often cited as a major strength by external and accreditation review teams.
UMD regularly assesses its curriculum to determine its usefulness to students who are preparing to live and work in the global, diverse, and technological 21st century society. Examples of evidence of the organization’s commitment to preparing its graduates for life and work in contemporary society include its efforts to prepare students for employment, especially the number of students participating in internship programs; the diversity and international perspective components of the LEP; and the high level of technology use involved in the teaching and learning activities on campus.
The organization provides support to ensure faculty, students, and staff acquire, discover, and apply knowledge responsibly.
UMD provides support to ensure that students, faculty, and staff acquire, discover, and apply knowledge responsibly in two major ways. First, academic and student support programs have been developed and structured to contribute to the development of student attitudes essential to responsible use of knowledge. Second, the organization has developed and implemented explicit policies and procedures to ensure ethical conduct in the research and instructional activities being carried out by members of the campus community.
UMD students are informed about and provided opportunity to explore and observe responsible use of knowledge in a number of ways. Completion of the required liberal education program (LEP) exposes all students to discussion and analysis of this important topical area such as responsible use of knowledge, including topics such as plagiarism and copyright, are part the content covered in both the introductory and advanced composition courses. Additionally, courses in Category 8 of the LEP, “Contemporary Social Issues and Analysis,” generally include some level of discussion related to responsible acquisition and use of knowledge.
The organization’s expectations for responsible acquisition and use of knowledge by students in their academic activities are identified in the “UMD Academic Integrity Policy.” This policy was described and discussed in Chapter 4 of this report. As noted there, one section of the policy identifies “prohibited conduct,” which includes a number of acts related to acquisition and use of information and knowledge. Another section of the policy states that it is consistent with the Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code definition of “Scholastic Dishonesty” and identifies the acts cited there.
Students also observe responsible use of information and knowledge by UMD faculty and staff as they carry on their instructional and administrative activities. The University Board of Regents Code of Conduct serves as an umbrella policy governing conduct in this and other areas for members of the “University community,” which includes faculty, staff, administrators, and students who are employed by the University. Subdivision 9 of Section III of this policy, shown in Figure 7.3, is the section most directly related to responsible use of information and knowledge by employees.
The University takes the security of private information seriously and has established procedures to ensure compliance with state and federal law such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governing private health information and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) governing student education records. The Regents policies on Protection of Individual Health Information and Student Education Records and the University academic/administrative policies on Protecting the Privacy of Individual Student Records and Administration & Oversight for Protection of Individual Health Information (HIPAA) identify expectations related to responsible use of information and knowledge by faculty and staff in these two areas. Faculty and staff and others in the UMD community who are involved working and communicating with students and others on and off campus are aware of and comply with these University policies related to protection and responsible use of personal information. Additionally, The Univesity and UMD have developed and implemented training programs to help members of the campus community keep current on HIPAA and FERPA policies and regulations.
UMD faculty and other members of the campus community engage in many types of research, scholarship, and artistic activities. While involved in these research activities as well as in teaching and public service activities, faculty and others are guided by the University Board of Regents Code of Conduct referred to in the previous section. Like other Regents policies, the Code of Conduct serves as an umbrella policy governing conduct of employees in all areas. Subdivision 2 of SECTION II, shown in Figure 7.4 below, identifies the Regents’ expectation related to employees’ commitment to ethical conduct in general. The subdivisions of Section III of the policy identify standards of conduct with regard to acting ethically and with integrity in general (Subd. 1.), ethical obligations in the conduct of teaching and research (Subd. 7.), and obligations related to avoiding conflicts of interest and commitment (Subd. 8.). Faculty, staff, and students who are involved in the conduct of research and instruction at UMD are aware of and comply with the Regents Code of Conduct.
In addition to the guidance provided by the Code of Conduct, the University has developed policies that govern external professional conduct and activities such as the policy on Outside Consulting and Conflict of Interest. The REPA (Report of External Professional Activities) form is used to report external professional activities and business and financial interests in accordance with University policy. Faculty and staff are required to complete and submit a REPA for review and approval annually.
In keeping with the Board of Regents policy for “Submitting and Accepting Sponsored Projects" the University has developed a comprehensive curriculum of information, instructional materials, workshops, and contacts to help faculty members meet the challenge of responsible conduct in research and scholarship. As is true for other members of the University system, UMD faculty members and students or other employees they supervise who are involved in research, scholarship, and artistic activities must complete the education requirements that have been developed and implemented.
The program currently in place is referred to as “Fostering Integrity in Research, Scholarship and Teaching (FIRST)” and is managed and administered through the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) of the University. There are links to many sites providing information and support for research and artistic activity at the OVPR web site and about the various education components of the program designed to prepare University faculty and others for the responsible conduct of research at the FIRST web site. The key component of the program is the requirement that to be eligible to serve as a principal investigator (PI), University researchers must complete a “responsible conduct of research (RCR) core—parts 1 & 2.”
Briefly, the FIRST/RCR curriculum consists of one in-person and a series of four online workshops. The in-person workshop was developed and is led by faculty and covers ethical topics such as “History and Values Relating to Research and Scholarship”; “Social Responsibility & Reporting Misconduct”; and "Authorship, Plagiarism & Peer Review.” The online workshops were developed by faculty and administrative subject matter experts and cover ethical topics such as “Fiscal Responsibilities,” “Intellectual Property,” “Research Data Management,” and “Conflict of Interest.” In addition to the RCR curriculum, instruction on the following topics is required if relevant to the research involved: “Environmental Health and Safety, Animal Subjects, and Protecting Human Subjects.” Beginning a year after completion of the RCR, investigators need to complete an annual continuing education component that includes an online review of updates to agency and University policies and procedures, and every three years they must participate in an “active learning” activity related to responsible research/research ethics. A chart outlining the education requirements for new investigators that provides an overview of the program is available.
The Board of Regents has also developed and adopted other policies related to the conduct of research and artistic activity. Examples of those most directly related to the responsible conduct of research are the Regents' policies on:
Faculty and others at UMD involved in research and artistic activity take advantage of the many sources of information and help identified at web sites for the various units of the OVPR in the Twin Cities, including the Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) in Minneapolis. However, faculty and staff spend much more time and work more closely with the staff of the UMD SPA unit, which is a cooperative effort between UMD and Twin Cities SPA. A listing of the services provided by the UMD SPA is included at the web site.
As described above, UMD has developed and structured academic and support programs to ensure students are provided information about and acquire attitudes essential to the responsible acquisition and use of knowledge and information. Further, the organization has developed and implemented policies and procedures explicitly intended to ensure the ethical conduct of instructional and research and artistic activities by all members of the UMD community who are involved in them.
This chapter described how UMD promotes a life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff, and students by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice, and social responsibility. The information and examples provided demonstrate that through the actions of members of the campus community, UMD values a life of learning and that acquisition of a breadth of knowledge and skills and the exercise of intellectual inquiry are valued and integral to the organization’s educational programs. The information and examples presented above also provide evidence that the curricula at UMD is designed and offered to prepare students to live and work in a global, diverse, and technological society. Finally, the chapter narrative identifies how UMD provides support to ensure that faculty, students, and staff acquire, discover and apply knowledge responsibly.
While reviewing how UMD promotes a life of learning for its faculty, administrators, staff and students, the following strengths and areas for improvement were identified.
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