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Communicate with the Senate


Whereas American institutions of higher education are coming under growing pressure from Congress, the Federal Department of Education and the State Government, to create a culture of evidence regarding the learning record of their students;

Whereas a national movement for the development of learning assessment policies has affected all parts of the country, the Western states being the last region to catch up with this policy focus;

Whereas the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in its last accreditation report concerning the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) demanded the development of assessment policies for UHM, and expected them to be in place before the next visit of WASC in 2002 for all programs undergoing review;

Whereas assessment does not curtail the academic freedom of faculty in teaching classes;

Whereas assessment does not introduce another level of faculty evaluation;

Whereas policies accepted all over the U.S. empower faculty to design department- and program-anchored assessment plans;

Whereas the major motivation behind this policy initiative is the learning success of all students at UHM, especially, but not exclusively, undergraduates;

Whereas departments and programs are free to create assessment policies that reflect the specific learning environment and goals of their disciplines;

Whereas all departments and programs at UHM are being encouraged to review and make appropriate use of existing assessment plans from across the U.S.; and

Whereas the CAPP Handbook on Departmental Assessment of Undergraduate Learning at UHM provides a wide range of ideas, suggestions, procedures, contact persons on campus, national web sites, etc. to assist departments and programs to begin the unit-based process;

Therefore, be it resolved that

1) the Faculty Senate at UHM supports an assessment process for all departments and programs, in order to revitalize the spirit and practice in higher education of paying substantial attention to the learning achievement of its students;

2) the CAPP Handbook be made available to all departments and programs at the UHM; and

3) the Senate Executive Committee convey this resolution to all department and program chairs, and to the University of Hawaii administration.

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