COVID-Specific Activities/Work Created That Will Likely Be Moved Into the Post-Pandemic Academy
Charting a Path to Intellectual Leadership (CPIL) – The CPIL approach shifts the focus of career advancement activities from the means by which we lead intellectually (teaching, research, service) to the actual human-based reasons and goals that animate these activities (sharing knowledge, expanding opportunities, mentorship/stewardship). While we advanced the CPIL approach prior to the pandemic, COVID-19 presents new assessment challenges it was ideally suited to address. COVID-19 disruptions to our standard academic workload led to new and equally important tasks such as the retention of students through time-intensive teaching and mentoring and sudden surges in community outreach and engagement needs. Rather than focus on the deficits and what was not accomplished, the CPIL approach enables faculty to capture and “count” the many creative new ways they shared knowledge and expanded opportunities for their students and their campus and community neighbors. While elevating standards of excellence, the CPIL approach recognizes the extensive and important work that faculty, staff, and administrators do in mentoring their colleagues and students and the significant stewardship they provided their community, institution, and the field of higher education. The College has been slowly introducing this approach over the past two years and is currently piloting three aspects (documentation via Academic Profile, annual review evaluation, and external reviewer letters) in three different departments. We plan to continue implementing the CPIL approach in the hoped-for post-COVID-19 times through the collaborative development of evaluation rubrics and templates.
Staff Restructuring – The college is currently implementing a new functional structure for support staff to address a variety of issues. Our current support structure is decentralized and as a result, there is inconsistent support across units, insufficient expertise in functional areas, imbalanced workloads, fragmented processes, unofficial matrix reporting structures, and high costs of maintenance. The goal of implementing a new functional structure is to address these structural problems while maintaining the positive attributes of the decentralized structure. Post-pandemic support will function very differently in the functional structures with fewer people involved with specific processes and some people supporting faculty from nontraditional locations.
Program Indicator Assessment – With substantive input from faculty in the units and from our Chairs and Directors, the College is developing a Program Indicator Dashboard to provide college and department leaders with data that will inform program assessment and strategic planning. In addition to the data provided by the University, the goal is to establish second level indicators identified and shaped by the units to provide us with a deeper context for decision making. In a post-pandemic world, this information-informed approach will shape our values-based strategic planning process.