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Academic Innovation & Effectiveness
Academic Innovation & Effectiveness
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Dear Colleagues - Thank you again for your willingness to serve as your department's liaison to the AQIP SET Committee and your participation in the recent meetings. We will involve faculty throughout this process, and we hope that you will help facilitate our connection to your department. I have attached a document that includes the major questions and concerns that arose in the sessions and the SET Committee's responses to these concerns.

As we discussed at the meetings, faculty on our campus have been concerned with the administration, use, and content of student evaluations of teaching for many years. Formal efforts to address and improve these processes began with the 2004-2005 Faculty Senate Committee and these interests have resurfaced at the college/unit level and now again at the university-level.

Last year the Faculty Senate charged a committee to address the following:

a) Recommendations for use of a SET data;

b) Recommendations for administration of a SET instrument;

c) Recommendations for the possible creation of a university-wide standard SET instrument; and

d) Recommendations for validation and continued review of the SET instrument.

In Spring 2010, the Faculty Senate agreed that this committee could continue its work as an AQIP Committee. As we continue with the previous charge, our goal is to work in transparent ways that engage faculty in the process. Faculty involvement will occur in a variety of ways.

a) We asked all departments to send a liaison to meet with the SET committee to briefly discuss our finding and intentions;

b) We created a website (in process) with discussion forum. We will continue to update the website and share information as we move forward.

c) We created a survey to gain feedback from departments. We are particularly interested in learning about departments' current practices, their strengths, and opportunities for improvement. We need to know what departments are doing so that we can make recommendations that are consistent with and build on the strengths that exist across campus. We have also asked departments to let us know what kinds of issues they want the committee to address as we move forward.

d) We will distribute a survey to individual faculty members in the coming weeks. In this survey, we will share the questions and ask faculty to rate the items proposed for the core SET instrument. Faculty feedback at this stage is important as we finalize the core SET instrument.

e) We will also conduct a survey of students to ascertain their assessments of the clarity of the proposed SET items.

The committee would like departmental liaisons to complete the departmental survey no later than October 18 th. We will be conducting a survey of individual faculty and students in early October. These efforts will inform the pilot test that will occur later this semester. The committee will be working to identify professors to participate in the pilot test in the coming weeks.

Thank you again for your participation. Your questions and feedback have already improved our efforts. I hope that you will encourage your colleagues to participate in the survey and contribute to this important conversation. If you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me at

I look forward to the opportunity to share more about our work and our ongoing communications.

Best regards,


Chair, AQIP SET Committee