Part III: Evidence for Meeting Each Standard

Standard Six: Unit Governance and Resources

The unit has the leadership authority, budget, personnel, facilities, and resources including information technology resources, for the preparation of candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards.

Element One: Unit Leadership and Authority

As an independent university, Pacific University’s Board of Trustees has the ultimate authority to operate the University under a charter from the State of Oregon. The Board is self-perpetuating, electing its own chairperson and other officers. As described in Chapter III of the University Handbookpdf, the Board operates through its committees (Executive, Academic Affairs, Audit, Campus Property, Committee on Trustees, Finance, Investment, and Student Life) to oversee and support the University’s mission and purposes.

The Board appoints the president of the University who serves as the chief executive officer and who reports directly to the Board. The president provides vision, academic leadership, and promotes the University among all of its constituencies. Currently, the following administrators report directly to the president: Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Vice President for University Advancement, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Chief Information Officer. The university contains four colleges each led by a dean: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, College of Health Professions, and College of Optometry.

Pacific University’s governance system exists to develop and establish polices that are “best for the education of the students of Pacific University. The formal process includes representatives from all university stakeholders: students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and trustees. As described in Chapter II of the University Handbook, the formal policy making structure includes the President, University Faculty, Faculty Senate and its committees; the University Council; the Associated Students of Pacific University, the Undergraduate Community Council, the Professional Students’ Council, the Alumni Council, staff organizations, University Standing Committees, the University Judicial System, and ad hoc committees.

University faculty, through representation on the Faculty Senate and University Council, have a major role in establishing and maintaining University standards, policies, and procedures. The faculty of each college, under the direction of a dean, has the responsibility for developing academic standards, curricula, professional goals, and degree requirements “providing its activities are not detrimental to, or in conflict with, the programs of another college or school, or general University requirements.” (Chapter II, University Handbookpdf). New majors, substantial expansion or relocation of existing programs, new programs, and new degrees must be reviewed and approved by the stakeholders in the university governance system prior to approval by the Board of Trustees.

Unit Leadership and Authority

With the dean as the leader (unit head), the College of Education (COE) is responsible for all initial and advanced teacher education programs at Pacific University. The COE provides leadership, coordinates national and state accreditation, gains state and regional program approval, and oversees curriculum and policies for all educator preparation programs at the university. In fulfilling this responsibility, COE faculty members collaborate with faculty and administrators in the other three colleges. In leading the COE, the Dean reports directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost who reports directly to the President. In addition to the university governance procedures outlined above, the COE governs itself according to procedures found in the COE Policies and Procedures Handbookpdf. Under the direction of the Dean, the COE is actively engaged in strategic planning to develop the appropriate goals, strategies, and allocation of resources to help the unit fulfill its mission of “transforming education through communities of learners” with a focus on “promoting cultural competence, creating student-centered classrooms, and enhancing learning through technology.” In fulfilling this mission, the COE ensures that its mission is in alignment with the university’s mission and vision and national and state standards. In order to carry out these responsibilities, leadership within the unit includes the Assistant Deans (Eugene and Forest Grove), Faculty Chairs, NCATE Coordinator, and program directors and coordinators.

Figure 2
COE Administrative Structure
click on image to enlarge

Collectively, the faculty members within the College of Education govern the activities of themselves and their students, plan the academic programs, adopt the budget initiatives, and create policy for furthering the success of the college. Members with faculty status, play different roles, however. Those with administrative duties (dean, assistant deans) play a much larger role in the development of the budget, organizing the academic schedules, and managing day-to-day activities. Those with tenure or extended-term status play a much larger role in reviewing faculty members for annual renewal of contract and the decision to award someone tenure or extended term status.

Since the COE offers programs on two campuses 130 miles apart, the entire faculty meets five times a year with meetings convened by the chair of the faculty who is elected annually. In consultation with the dean, the proposed agendas for these meetings are developed and disseminated by the faculty chair. Faculty members on each of the campuses meet regularly. The campus faculty meetings are convened by the chair and chair-elect on their respective campuses, with the dean in attendance at each meeting.

Figure 3
COE Faculty Governance Chart
click on image to enlarge

To enable the faculty to carry out these responsibilities, and to provide advice and consultation to the dean, the following committees have been established in the College of Education:

Because the number of faculty members in the College of Education is limited in relation to its student body, faculty members within the COE are very actively engaged in university-wide committees as well as in the governance of the COE. This active involvement allows the COE to react strategically to changes needed in COE programs and also allows an important influence across the entire university.

One of the strengths of the COE governance system is the commitment to coming to consensus on all issues. Though some have felt that this consensus decision-making process takes an inordinate amount of time, most faculty members believe that the time taken to consider all viewpoints leads to better decisions. This strength is made more difficult by the 130-mile separation between campuses. This distance means that faculty members have to work harder to collaborate on standing committees, personnel committee, dean’s council, and in the joint faculty meetings. The COE faculty members use email, conference calls, and visual technology that allows people to be present in a meeting in spite of physical separation of 130 miles.

Faculty members also work diligently to overcome another potential weakness: faculty members at the separate campuses collaboratively working only with their campus peers. Though faculty members at each campus regularly meet separately, the dean is present at these meetings and serves as a liaison between the two campuses. Further, the faculty chair and chair elect (who are from separate campuses) work collaboratively to ensure that current topics are being discussed on both campuses.

Faculty members on either COE campus may propose changes in curricula or policies that affect initial or advanced programs. Modest changes to courses and programs are reviewed by the appropriate COE standing committees and acted upon by the COE faculty. Substantial changes (new majors, new programs, substantial change in delivery system) must be approved by the COE faculty and then sent to the appropriate university governing structures. New programs and degrees must meet the appropriate state and regional accreditation standards and/or those of professional societies and organizations.

College Of Education Website

The College of Education website is the primary way that current and future students access information about all programs. Redesigned in March 2007, the website provides admission information, academic catalogs, handbooks, and policies. COE policies are also included in the Pacific University Catalog and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

In addition to the website, the COE uses a variety of media to communicate information to prospective graduate students: newspaper advertisements, billboards, brochures, and radio. The undergraduate program is included in the It’s a Pacific Thing literature designed to attract and recruit traditional undergraduate students. The COE has developed a series of brochures and handbooks that are used in the recruitment of candidates as well as to provide necessary information related to advisement issues in teacher education.

Student Services

Faculty members at Pacific University are required to be fully engaged in teaching, scholarship, and service. A full-time faculty load is based on teaching 24 semester hours of courses. However, in the College of Education all full-time faculty members are released from teaching a 3-semster course for the purpose of being available to students for advisingpdf and counseling. Selected faculty members are given further course release for serving as cohort leaders to Master of Arts in Teaching candidates (regular and special education) and for providing specific advising and counseling to traditional undergraduate students. COE staff members on the Eugene and Forest Grove campuses gain personal satisfaction from seeing COE candidates successfully complete their programs.

Program completers consistently mention on exit surveys that this support from faculty and staff is a strength of the College of Education. Over a five-year period, from 2001 through 2005, responses to the following questions were consistently positive, with the majority of responses Agree or Strongly Agree.

In 2006 programs were evaluated using an abbreviated form. (Candidate Evaluation of Program) The following student comments reflect continued overall satisfaction with faculty, staff, mentor teacher and university supervisor interactions:

“Pacific staff really seem to care about the students in the MAT program.”
“I thought the teachers were very encouraging and wanted everyone to succeed.”
“I feel my mentor truly prepared me.”
“Great support and excellent mentoring helped me develop my skills.”
“[My mentor] gave me great advice and was easy to talk to.”
“My supervisor gave me excellent feedback. Helpful and supportive.”

Collaboration With P–12 Practitioners in Program Design, Delivery, and Evaluation

When considering new programs the COE regularly involves P-12 practitioners in program design, delivery, and evaluation. A recent example is the first steps in examining whether to develop a new program to prepare speech-language pathologists. The COE faculty agreed that a group should be formed to examine the feasibility of starting such a program. This group includes members (speech therapists and administrators) from local school districts, the larger education service district, and faculty from COE and the College of Health Professions. The group has made a preliminary report to COE faculty and the COE consortium on both campuses.

The COE consistently collaborates with P-12 practitioners in designing, delivering, and evaluating its initial and advanced programs through the Pacific University Education Consortiumpdf. The consortium reviews and evaluates the following: all academic programs submitted to Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission for approval; criteria for admission to COE programs; human and physical resources available for programs; criteria for evaluating and retaining faculty; criteria and procedures for program evaluation; and, make recommendations for all programs.

The consortium is comprised of educational practitioners who deal directly with pupils in P-12 schools, school district administrators, Pacific University faculty (COE and College of Arts and Sciences), and COE students. The consortium is comprised of representatives that oversee each campus: Forest Grove and Eugene. The campus consortia meet twice a year (fall and spring) and the joint consortium meets in April or May.

P-12 colleagues with whom we collaborate appreciate our recent initiatives to recruit minority students into teaching, help our graduates be successful during their first three years, and encourage young minority students to go to college. Specifically, these initiatives include:

In addition to these program initiatives, the COE annually submits a report of its activities, including any program changes to the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. The evaluation loop that integrates voices from P-12 partners, COE faculty, colleagues from across the university, and members of TSPC ensure that the COE is meeting state and national standards.

Relationship Between COE And Other Units On Campus

Other units at Pacific University recognize the College of Education as the unit as a leader on campus and in the area for preparing professional educators. In 1995, the School of Education was established by reorganizing the professional teacher education programs that had been part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Seven years later (2002) the school moved to college status and now is one of four colleges (Arts and Sciences, Health Professions, Optometry, and Education) at Pacific University. As the college responsible for preparing professional educators, the COE makes certain that other units on campus link their pre-professional-education programs to the COE to ensure that standards for program and licensure are met.

The Oregon Holocaust Resource Center (OHRC) has been affiliated with Pacific University for a number of years and has a close relationship with the College of Education. OHRC has been recognized as a Northwest leader in providing resources for communicating the lessons of the Holocaust to students, teachers, and the general public in fulfillment of the testament left by the victims to the survivors: to remember, to record, to explain, and to enlighten future generations. Though the decision was recently made by Pacific University and OHRC not to merge, there is a commitment to continue working together to teach people about the importance of justice.

Professional Development on Effective Teaching For Faculty in Other Units of the Institution

COE faculty members are recognized across Pacific University for their commitment to exemplary teaching. Campus colleagues often seek out COE faculty members for advice on improving teaching and assessment. Those in mathematics and science education have partnered with colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences to help the mathematics and physics department improve the way faculty in those departments teach traditional undergraduate students. In August 2006 and 2007, several COE faculty members led teaching workshops for faculty members in the School of Pharmacy prior to their first and second year of instruction in this new program at Pacific. The post-workshop evaluations revealed that these sessions on teaching were very well received by the new pharmacy faculty members. A Hewlett Foundation grant led to many cross-campus integration projects in which COE faculty were tapped for their educational expertise. Two examples include the development of problem-based learning in physical therapy and optometry classes, and the development of the Tapalpa Spanish immersion student teaching project.