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Program Prioritization criteria survey, website launched

February 9, 2015
Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman discusses the NIU program prioritization process at a Jan. 29 town hall meeting.

Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman discusses the NIU program prioritization process at a Jan. 29 town hall meeting.

Northern Illinois University faculty and staff will receive email invitations today to participate in a survey of potential criteria to be used in evaluating academic and administrative programs.  The survey is part of NIU’s Program Prioritization initiative, explained in detail on a website that also launched today at

The survey lists possible criteria for academic and administrative programs, and respondents will have the ability to suggest modifications to the listed criteria as well as any additions.  The example criteria are being considered a starting place and are taken from lists developed by program prioritization expert Robert Dickeson, in concert with many university faculty and staff.

“Survey feedback from all faculty and staff is being sought to create criteria and weightings that truly reflect NIU’s campus culture,” said Carolinda Douglass, vice provost for academic planning and development and facilitator of the Program Prioritization coordinating team.

“Those who participate in the survey will help identify the criteria used to evaluate both academic and administrative programs,” added Bill Pitney, president of the Faculty Senate, executive secretary of the University Council, and fellow coordinating team member.  “Taking the survey is one way to engage in the shared governance process related to program prioritization.”

The survey will be live for two weeks, from February 9 – 20.  Results will be evaluated by members of NIU’s shared governance system, including the Academic Planning Council (APC) and the Resource, Space and Budget committee (RSB).

NIU stakeholders may also provide comments or ask questions through a feedback mechanism on the Program Prioritization website homepage.  Frequently asked questions will be posted to the site’s FAQs page, while unique or very specific questions can be answered directly via email.  All those contributing to the feedback/question page may remain anonymous if they choose.

Douglass and Pitney were among 11 faculty, staff and administrators who attended a conference on program prioritization last fall and now make up NIU’s program prioritization coordinating team.  Next month, members of the campus community will nominate individuals from their colleges and divisions to serve on two task forces that will continue the prioritization work on a program-by-program basis.