The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Committee held three open meetings in the last two weeks to discuss potential QEPs for the school in preparation for a visit in 2014 from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to evaluate and reaccredit the University of Dallas. These meetings garnered a high turnout from faculty but very low attendance from students.
The first meeting, held on Monday, Oct. 22 in upstairs Braniff, had a showing of only eight or nine faculty members. The second meeting, held on Tuesday, Oct. 23 in Gorman, had a showing of five faculty members and two students. The third meeting, held on Monday, Oct. 29 in Gorman, had a showing of 18 faculty members and nine students.
Psychology professor Dr. Robert Kugelmann led the meetings with a PowerPoint about the ideas already established by the QEP committee. The other members of the committee – English professor Dr. Gregory Roper, associate dean of the College of Business Dr. Nancy Schreiber and mathematics professor Dr. John Osoinach – provided descriptions and details for each idea.
Some of the ideas presented were creating smart classrooms, including more global perspectives in the curricula and expanding tutoring opportunities for students, which seemed most pertinent and received the most support.
“Tutoring would be a great thing to have at our school,” junior Kyle Gjolberg said. “If we can get a good tutoring program started, have online sign-ups, set schedules and [hire] good tutors, I think that it would be very beneficial for all the students at UD.”
The committee has been working since its formation earlier this year to get as much feedback from the UD community as possible. Before the meetings, Kugelmann said that from a survey over the summer and a survey from late September, the QEP committee has more than 1300 responses and over 300 qualitative data responses to use in their process.
In December, the QEP committee will present two or three of the best ideas to dean of Constantin College, Dr. Charles Eaker. Eaker will then choose one for the school to take on for its actual project. A new QEP committee will begin work in January; it will be in charge of developing the proposal, narrowing the idea into a more focused and direct goal that can be accomplished within a few years.
“The proposal does not go to SACS until February 2014,” Eaker said. “After we come up with an idea, we will have further discussion throughout campus on the plan that will finally be implemented. What SACS will do is either accept or dismiss the proposal that we submit to them.”
The turnout for the first two meetings was not what the committee expected after the multiple emails, flyers and advertisements about them.
“Our first two meetings were slightly disappointing because of the number of people who came out,” Roper said. “However, those who did come out had great ideas, and we were still able to spark great discussion. The third meeting was excellent because the turnout was good and there was a variety of ideas that were brought to the table.”
Gjolberg actually did not attend the meetings because he didn’t know that they were happening. “I never saw posters anywhere, and no one told me about these meetings,” Gjolberg said. “Now that I know what it is, though, I am very interested in it.”
Freshman Paul Zganiacz attended the meetings. “I came to the meetings because it is required of my class, Research and Study Skills, to attend meetings or lectures provided by the school,” Zganiacz said. “However, I also think it is important that students come to meetings like the QEP meeting, so that they know what is going on with the school, and so that they are involved in the changes that will be made.”
“The QEP meetings were important chances for the committee to meet with all of the university’s constituents about the different plans that have been recommended and hear how people respond,” associate dean of Constantin College and chairman and associate professor of biology Dr. Marcy Brown said. “From my perspective, it is exciting to have input on an initiative that reaches across the university, allowing us a chance to think about what we do and what we could do better for students.”
Those who did not get a chance to attend the meetings still have a chance to voice their opinions and share ideas by emailing, or talking to, one of the members of the QEP committee until December. There will not be any more meetings regarding QEP held the rest of the semester due to time constraints.