On Apples and Trees

Comments at SBT Faculty Meeting

There is an age old saying that the apple does not fall too far from the tree. It is universal in its meaning and its application is truly phenomenal. It's a saying that speaks to responsibility and accountability. I have found this saying to be relevant to the Assessment Initiative currently underway in the school of business.

This Assessment Initiative is much more than an academic exercise mandated by the Higher Learning Commission. We see it as a validation of our existence as an institution, a real opportunity to measure the fruits of our labor and the impact that we are having. In a sense, it is our fiduciary responsibility to ensure that we affirm that learning is taking place.

The full-time faculty of the School of Business and Technology has embraced the Assessment Initiative with a sense of compelling urgency. I would like to say publicly that I appreciate the time and attention that the faculty has dedicated to this initiative. I would like to take this opportunity to enroll our adjunct faculty on this very important project.

Primary Focus

  • Our focus is to validate the quality of our programs, strengthen its delivery and ensure measurable outcomes for all programs.
  • Faculty course guides and sample syllabi for all programs are currently being developed in three phases. The first phase has been completed. This brings the Consistency Initiative, which we began three years ago, together into a critical part that ensures consistent outcomes and a mean of measuring the outcome.

The Syllabus Connexion

  • Tonight we will unveil the Syllabus Connexion, an online application database that will provide faculty course guides and sample syllabi for all SBT courses. The Syllabi Connexion will be accessible to all faculty and enables you to develop course syllabus online hereby, moving us closer to ensuring consistency in content and outcomes for all programs and all courses.

The Five Course Rule

  • In order to ensure that our faculty are not overextended and spread to thin in their teaching commitments, we have instituted the Five Course Rule. The rule stipulates that each faculty will be approved to teach a total of five courses. This policy does not change the existing university policy regarding the number of course per term (or per year) that a faculty member may teach (i.e. 2 sections per term).

New Programs and Revisions

  • This academic year will bring the introduction of a couple of new cutting edge programs and the revision of some of our older programs:

    - The M.A. in Computer Resources and Information Management and the M.A. in Telecommunications will be combined, creating a new program, the M.A. in Information and Communications Technology Management (ICTM). This move is meant to stay in tune with cutting-edge curriculum to meet the needs of a new technology age.
    - The Masters in Health Services Management is currently under reconstruction and when completed will produce a new master in health administration in addition to an updated/upgraded curriculum for managers and leaders in the health management field.
    - To serve the growing non-profit community, the Masters in Non-for-Profit Management and Certificate in Non-for-Profit was conceived. The program's focus is on business skills for managers and leaders.
    - As a result of the collaborative work of the faculty in the Gerdine College, the School of Media Communications, and the School of Business, the Undergraduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship for Business and Non-Business Majors will commence this new academic year. The intent is to encourage the entrepreneurial thought process on starting and managing a business. The curriculum is specifically written for non-business majors.

In closing, I would like to remind you that the future of Webster University rests squarely in your hands. I believe that the future belongs to those who can see it. We have a big job ahead of us and it will take the collective effort of all of us to reach the goal of a quality, driven curriculum. I am confident that together we will get there.

I thank you.