To: Faculty Senate

From: Educational Policy and Priorities Committee

Peter L.K. Knuepfer, Chair, 2000-2001

Date: 3 July 2001

Subject: Report for 2000-2001.

The Committee met six times during the 2000-2001 academic year. Several issues and items were forwarded by the Executive Committee and the Provost, and the Committee considered some additional issues on its own initiative. These items were discussed and resolved as follows:

1. Recommended to the Executive Committee and the Senate that a clear and concise response to the Interim Report of the Provost's Task Force on Assessment that emphasizes the importance of campus-based assessment and yet provides positive statements and positions throughout. A resolution based on the one prepared by the EPPC was passed by the Senate.

2. Recommended that the Senate initiate the process to develop a comprehensive assessment program that recognizes Binghamton's unique qualities while still being mindful of the guidelines established by the SUNY Provost's report. Recommended that this committee be established as a sub-committee of EPPC to maintain Faculty governance structure and minimize the proliferation of new committees. Recommendations accepted and sub-committee formed, chaired by Prof. Peter L.K. Knuepfer. Report of this sub-committee is appended.

3. Recommended that the Executive Committee and the Senate endorse establishment of the Global Studies Integrated Curriculum.

4. Recommended that the Executive Committee and the Senate endorse creation of a M.S. degree program in Biomedical Anthropology, to be housed in the Anthropology Department.

5. Reviewed and updated a 1997 policy on Student Absences from classes for official University business (such as athletic competitions, performances, etc.). Recommended that the policy be included in the Handbook for Faculty and Professional Staff and sent in September 2001 to all faculty, including adjunct faculty and teaching assistants.

6. Recommended that the proposal for a B.S. degree in Bioengineering be returned to the Watson School to address questions of clarification of the design of the curriculum, coordination with other programs/departments, costs involved in establishing the program, and its relation to pending proposals for graduate degrees and a department in the same field.

7. Recommended that the Executive Committee and the Senate approve proposals for the establishment of M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Engineering, to be housed in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Watson School, and in Materials Science, to be coordinated by a multi-department steering committee in Harpur College.

Committee membership, 2000-2001

Peter L.K. Knuepfer, Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies, Chair

Frank Cardullo, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Sara Reiter, School of Management

Julian Shepherd, Dept. of Biological Sciences

Alvin Vos, Dept. of English, General Literature, and Rhetoric

2 faculty vacancies

1 graduate student vacancy

1 undergraduate student vacancy

Provost Mary Ann Swain, ex officio

Assoc. Provost H. Stephen Straight, ex officio


To: Educational Policy and Priorities Committee

From: Sub-Committee on Assessment

Peter L.K. Knuepfer, Chair, Spring 2001

Date: 3 July 2001

Subject: Report for Spring 2001


In late Fall semester, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee adopted a recommendation of the EPPC that a sub-committee of EPPC be established to develop a series of recommendations for how Binghamton University should implement a more systematic program of campus-wide assessment than currently is undertaken. Membership of this sub-committee was constructed through a cooperative process between the Chair of EPPC, the Chairs of the Faculty Senate and FSEC, and the Provost following guidelines recommended by EPPC. Prof. Peter L.K. Knuepfer agreed to chair the sub-committee. Committee membership is noted below. The sub-committee was charged with establishing recommendations and/or guidelines for the development of an assessment program for Binghamton. The sub-committee was asked to tailor any recommendations to the unique characteristics and goals of Binghamton University, while still bearing in mind the requirements of the SUNY Provost's Task Force on Assessment.


The Sub-Committee first met in January at the invitation of the Provost, who organized a one-day workshop to discuss principles of assessment, overview some "best practices" from other institutions around the country, and review the kinds of assessment currently done at Binghamton. The Sub-Committee then met regularly, approximately every second week, during the Spring semester.


The Sub-Committee spent considerable effort at defining what assessment ought to accomplish at Binghamton and reviewing methodologies that are in use across the county (especially considering their suitability for BU). Three goals or levels of assessment were identified, and the Sub-Committee felt strongly that all three need to be developed more systematically at Binghamton: (1) overall student experience; (2) effectiveness of the General Education program; (3) effectiveness of major programs of study. Given the guidelines issued by the SUNY Provost's office, efforts were concentrated on points (1) and (3), with the intention of concentrating on assessment of General Education in the Fall 2001 semester.

The Sub-Committee is continuing to develop a set of recommendations that provide a general outline for assessment of major programs and for assessment of the overall student experience at Binghamton. It is expected that a draft report will be ready at the beginning of the Fall semester for review by Faculty and Administration. The Sub-Committee then will turn its attention to the question of General Education, and it plans to work closely with the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee on this.

Sub-Committee membership:

Peter L.K. Knuepfer, Dept. of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies, Chair

David Anderson, Assoc. Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Serdar Atav, Decker School of Nursing

James Hervold, undergraduate student (inactive)

Peter Partell, Director, Office of Institutional Research

Richard Plumb, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science

Ernest Rose, Dean, School of Education and Human Development

Lawrence Stedman, Division of Education, School of Education and Human Development

Paul Steidlmeier, School of Management

Tammara Taraszkiewicz, Assistant to the Provost

Darryl Thomas, Dept. of Africana Studies (inactive)

Elizabeth Tucker, Dept. of English, General Literature, and Rhetoric