In my first town hall last year, I indicated that institutional assessment and accountability must be prioritized. After presiding over BMCC for a year, I have become aware of our strengths, areas for improvement, and opportunities to enhance student success. By engaging in thoughtful and comprehensive assessment we will be positioned to leverage our strengths, identify opportunities, make corrections, and redesign as necessary. Our recently completed 2020-2025 Strategic Planprovides the college with a solid direction, but some changes are needed to ensure that we fulfill our mission, move towards realization of our vision, and achieve our strategic goals.
One of these changes, which was in the works before my arrival, is transitioning from separate academic and divisional assessment committees to a college-wide assessment body. This is in reference to the Academic Assessment and AES committees, not the assessment committees within the academic departments. Throughout the pandemic we learned that we, as a college, are better able to teach, serve, and support students when we work in partnership, not in isolation. Accordingly, I am formally establishing an Institutional Assessment Committee, which reports directly to me, under the leadership of Dr. Christopher Shults, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning. This committee will have three co-chairs, including a faculty and staff member, that will be appointed by me.
This institutional body will maintain several subcommittees and all but two, the Academic Assessment and Academic, Educational, and Student Support (AES) Assessment sub-committees, will be co-chaired by a faculty and a staff member. This arrangement has been in discussion since 2019 with Academic Affairs, Department Chairs, Directors, and the Academic Assessment Committee. I would like to thank them for their recommendations regarding the transition. I would like to thank the Academic Assessment Committee, the Provost to whom the committee had reported, and the AES Assessment Committee, which reported to the Dean for Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning, for their work over the years.
There will be other changes this year, including a revamping of the annual assessment of program-level student learning outcomes, Academic Program Review, and Unit Review process. This effort will be led by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics (IEA) in partnership with the Institutional Assessment Committee, and will include opportunities for academic departments, college divisions, and students to provide recommendations and suggestions into the revision and redesign of these processes. These and other changes will be shared broadly and placed on our Strategic Planning and IEA webpages.
Lastly, BMCC’s Institutional Effectiveness Model is being redesigned to include the participation of multiple institutional bodies in the review of strategic planning. In addition to the BMCC Strategic Planning Committee, the Race, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee, newly formed Institutional Assessment Committee, and President’s Advisory on Research will all provide input and recommendations on how BMCC can achieve its strategic goals. More information will be forthcoming and will be shared on BMCC’s strategic planning page.
The last 21 months have been incredibly difficult for the College, on our faculty and staff, and most especially on our students. We have undergone a significant transformation as an institution, a city, and a country. Some important lessons we have learned are that we did not have a deep enough understanding of who our students are and the depth of their needs, we need to evaluate our systems, policies, and processes to ensure they are not causing harm or unnecessary burdens to our students, and that we must better serve and support our male students of color. It is my hope and belief that these changes will position us to achieve the lofty vision that more than 1,000 members of our community had a direct or indirect impact in developing. As always, I appreciate your tireless efforts and unending commitment to the College, our City, and most importantly, the students we have the honor and privilege of serving.
Anthony E. Munroe
President, Borough of Manhattan Community College