WASC Process and Visit

WASC Process and Visit—Thank You!
 
Campus Community,
 
Congratulations on the completion of our WASC Educational Effectiveness Review (EER)!  We have been working on this effort for four years, and are much the stronger for it.  Some of us have a little work to do—review the team report for errors of fact, and respond to it officially to the WASC Commission—but this is all just clean up and preparation of the future.
 
Thank you for your hospitality and for your candor, thoughtfulness, and good spirit with the team.  They noticed it, and commented on the commitment of the entire community to the mission and students of FPU.  In the meeting on Friday I thanked a number of people and groups who participated in many, many ways.  Let me repeat some of that here. With President Kriegbaum I want to share our profound gratitude for the commitment and creativity of all who are a part of this university community.  So here are some special thanks to…
 

All academic, co-curricular and administrative departments who developed our assessment work. And also the Assessment Inquiry Circle and University Assessment Committee for developing for us a deeper understanding of the meaning and value of assessment.  This was the core of the EER.  We showed WASC that we are teaching well as coordinated academic units, that students are learning at high levels, and that we are learning to “continually improve” through assessment of outcomes. We showed the team that we are an academic community committed to teaching, learning, scholarship, and the success of our students.
The CIC Steering Committee which met bi-weekly for three years to plan for the entire process, to guide the process through two reports and two visits, and to resolve difficulties before they became problems.  All of them brought years of experience and insight to the effort: Cindy Carter (chair), Gary Gramenz, Karen Cianci, Jim Bryan, Mike Allen, Ron Herms, Tina White, Shirley Warkentin, and Patty Salinas.
The CIC Committee—about 40 from the university community who served and chaired inquiry circles, wrote report sections, gathered stacks of documents and evidence, edited, and helped to communicate the process and train their departments in the WASC effort.  Our “inquiry circles” are considered by WASC a “best practice!”  Your work in all areas, but especially in the assessment of WASC core competencies and current discussions—Critical Thinking, Writing, and Meaning and Rigor of Degrees—showed that we are at the forefront of educational effectiveness.
The Diversity Inquiry Circle the University Diversity Committee for their efforts through a very difficult time to produce a complex and complete thematic report, and to convey to the team their insights, hopes, and commitment.
Cindy Carter, Patty Salinas, Shirley Warkentin and Tina White who coordinated the production of the report and the logistics of the visit. The team was well cared for, and the report more than ready—beautifully done.
All of the departments which took extra care to make sure the campus was ready—Facilities, Grounds, Campus Safety, Communications, IT,  Pioneer Food Service, the Bakersfield Center staff, and all of the offices whose conference rooms were made ready and kept clean.  If I have missed a department, I apologize—thanks to all.
All who prepared during the Mock Visit day. This was not a comfortable day, but you came through it ready for the visit.
All who joined the WASC Visiting Team in meetings from Feb. 24-27—by my count somewhere between 200 and 250.  We have become a model for WASC for campus involvement and how to conduct a visit!
All who gathered data to respond to special requests from the visiting team.  The last requests were delivered on Thursday evening around 6:00 pm!
Ten members of the Board of Trustees who took time out of their day to meet with the team.
To the adjunct faculty, students, faculty, and staff at the Bakersfield Center, thank you for the warm reception for the team.
Students, about 70 of whom met with the team—standing room only! Thank you also to the Student Executive and Senate for their efforts and commitment.
The entire FPU community which came together for the final session, kept up on progress, helped as they were asked, supported those with more active roles, and prayed for a good result.  

You can find a review of the Visiting Team’s public report on the FPU WASC Website: http://blogs.fresno.edu/accreditation/2015/03/02/visiting-team-report-ed...
 
We are a unique university community. I am very grateful to be able to serve with you.
 
Steve