A periodic update for faculty from President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong
October 9, 2007
Tuition dividend revenue allocated
Faculty Senate President Bob Wolverton and Provost Peter Rabideau are joined by faculty of the mathematics and statistics department as Doc Foglesong presents this year's tuition dividend check for more than $1 million. The math department's share is more than $97,000.
A "tuition dividend" of more than $1 million is being distributed to MSU academic departments, based on recent growth in full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment and student credit hour (SCH) production.
For the second year, 75 percent of the new revenue generated by enrollment growth—but not revenue resulting from tuition rate increases—is being returned to the units responsible for the growth. A total of $1,057,697 is being distributed this semester and next.
Departments are receiving a share of the new funds if they reported an increase in overall FTE enrollment from the fall 2005 baseline to fall 2007; an increase in undergraduate SCH production from fall 2005 to fall 2007; or an increase in total SCH numbers from summer 2006 to summer 2007. Departments benefit from growth in any of the three categories, but are not penalized for declines.
Across the university, 34 departments and colleges are receiving dividends based on fall-to-fall FTE growth in undergraduate and graduate students. Forty units benefit from fall-to-fall undergraduate SCH growth, and 36 earn a payment for boosting total summer SCHs.
Departments receiving the biggest dividends, based on all three components, are Mathematics and Statistics, $97,330; Kinesiology, $70,468; and Finance and Economics, $55,502. A few departments had no growth by any of the measures and received no dividend.
This process helps us to allocate resources in a way that is consistent with student demand and rewards departments that have been successful in helping boost enrollment, which is a key to institutional financial stability. A top priority for use of the funds will be providing instructional support for the new students who generated the new revenue.
Revenue based on the fall semester growth, combined with projected figures for the spring 2008 semester, totals a little over $907,000. Summer SCH growth from 2006 to 2007 generated a dividend of slightly more than $150,000, with one-third of that amount apportioned among the departments, one-third apportioned among the colleges, and one-third designated for the provost's office.
Several versions of a distribution formula were considered before adopting the method used this year. We will continue to review the mechanism and will be open to a change in the future if that would yield a more equitable result.
From fall 2005 to fall 2007, overall FTE enrollment increased by 641, while SCH production increased by more than 14,000. From summer 2006 to summer 2007, SCHs grew by about 2,800.
The table at http://www.msstate.edu/president/newsletter/071009table.php shows the full breakdown of FTE and SCH changes and dividends earned, by department.
SACS reaccreditation on horizon
Mississippi State's next reaffirmation of accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) should come in December 2014, but that event in our forward-looking mirror may be closer than it appears. It's time to get to work.
Our institutional compliance certification—which replaces the previously required self-study—is due in September 2013, less than six years from now. Our formal SACS compliance review and reporting structure should be in place by September 2011—that's less than four years away.
We need to have assessment coordinators for each college and administrative unit in place during 2008-09. And we should begin to institutionalize a planning and assessment process that allows us to demonstrate our institutional effectiveness—right now.
SACS principles for accreditation and the processes leading up to it have changed significantly since MSU last completed the process in 2003. The focus now is squarely on demonstrating a planning and assessment program that contributes directly to improved learning outcomes.
The voluminous self-studies of the past will be replaced by a relatively short compliance audit report. The extensive self-study committee structure will be replaced by a smaller compliance team. And we will implement a continuing, university-wide Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that we choose, focusing on some aspect of our academic programs that relates to improved student learning.
To be successful, we need to strengthen and refine our mechanisms to ensure institutional effectiveness. We envision a structure that includes a working Institutional Effectiveness/Assessment Committee, a Strategic Planning Council, and designated planning and assessment representatives in each academic and support unit.
You can learn more about all of these topics in a town hall type meeting that we'll convene later this year and that will include a presentation by the Office of Institutional Research.
I hope that many of you will be interested in participating in the further development of our assessment efforts to help ensure institutional effectiveness.
Conferences in planning stage
University seed funding will help support inaugural sessions of five on-campus conferences designed to become annual or biennial events. The five were selected for awards of up to $50,000 from among numerous high-quality proposals submitted last spring.
These new scholarly events should enhance regional, national and international visibility for the university. Interdisciplinary conferences being planned are:
- Leadership in Community Development
- Avian Genome Conference and GO Annotation Jamboree
- Symposium of Predictive Science and Technology in Mechanics and Materials
- Remote Sensing and Long-Term Monitoring of Surface/Subsurface Contaminants
- BioInspired Design-Enabling Technologies in the Life and Materials Sciences
We expect to solicit a new round of proposals for conferences and symposia early next year.
Peter Wood, professor of sociology and interim head of sociology, anthropology and social work, received the Southern Criminal Justice Association's 2007 Outstanding Educator Award. He was president of the association in 2005-06.
Donald Jackson, wildlife fisheries biologist, received the American Fisheries Society's 2007 Distinguished Service Award. He was honored for contributions to restoring professional capacity of fisheries biologists in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Jason K. Phillips, assistant history professor, is the author of the book Diehard Rebels: The Confederate Culture of Invincibility, scheduled for November release by the University of Georgia Press.
Linda Coats and Jianzhong Xu of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction received a nearly $300,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to identify characteristics of leading African-American elementary science teachers in Mississippi and examine the role of mentoring on beginning elementary science teachers and their students.
Roger King, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the Bagley College of Engineering and Giles Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering, recently was awarded an honorary professorship by Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.
Glenn "Pete" Smith, assistant professor of communication, is the author of Something On My Own: Gertrude Berg and American Broadcasting, 1929-1956, a new book from Syracuse University Press.
Teri Brandenburg, assistant professor of instructional systems, leadership and workforce development, is the Mississippi Business Education Association's 2007 Outstanding Senior College/University Educator of the Year.
Kirk Swortzel, associate professor in the School of Human Sciences, received a North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Fellow Award at the 2007 annual meeting. He is undergraduate coordinator for the agricultural information science and agricultural science degree programs.