Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
Beginning last fall, and continuing this semester, Oklahoma Christian University is undergoing a school-wide program review, evaluating every department on campus to view their needs.
“Program review is a systematic data-informed process to evaluate all campus programs,” Executive Vice President Bill Goad said. “You look to see how well you are doing and see what improvements you can make.”
Although this may seem like a new addition to Oklahoma Christian’s usual management, it is actually a typical process.
“The university regularly… review[s] themselves and determine[s] what is working and what is not working, where they need to improve, and where they need to grow and where they need to put additional emphasis,” President John deSteiguer said.
Though the University departments participate in regular, ongoing, internal reviews, a large-scale review such as this one has not occurred in some time. Talk of having a school wide review began as much as two years ago.
“It was first articulated a couple of years ago by then President Mike O’Neal but only began to be put into place last spring after I had been named president,” deSteiguer said.
DeSteiguer mentions that although Oklahoma Christian has not had a program review recently, it is something he hopes to implement as a part of the school’s regular workings if it is to continue to be successful.
“This is the kind of thing that universities and businesses that are successful need to do on a regular basis,” deSteiguer said. “And this is not a one-and-done deal. This is something, frankly, that needs to be ongoing; it needs to be a part of how we operate at the university.”
A committee comprised of leaders from Oklahoma Christian will head up the process.
“The members of the program review committee… is composed of our Executive Vice President Dr. Bill Goad, our Academic Vice President Dr. Scott LaMascus, our Associate Vice President for Academic Development Dr. Don Drew, our Vice President for Business, our Chief Financial Officer Mr. Jeff Bingham,” deSteiguer said. “And then also Dr. Lee Ann Paris who is the president of the faculty association.”
This committee gave each department head a questionnaire to complete. Once the deadline for that particular department is reached, they must be ready to meet with the committee.
“The individual programs around campus have a questionnaire that they are answering that asks them a number of questions about their program,” Goad said.
Robyn Miller, head of the department of education, talked about the process her department has gone through so far.
“It wasn’t just for me, the department chair,” Miller said. “It is meant to be through me that I will go to the faculty in our School of Education, and we will all consult.”
Miller discussed the program review and what it means.
“I think a lot of it is ‘How can we best use our resources and be good stewards of our resources,’” Miller said. “And I think there might be a department that if they really look and do a self-study, they will realize that they are not offering a major that maybe admissions would say ‘We have people asking for this all the time.’Maybe a new program gets developed. I think that is possible.”
The purpose of the school-wide program review is to benefit the school. Both deSteiguer and Goad mentioned several ways the school would be affected positively through the review.
“Ultimately, it will hopefully help make OC a better place that more efficiently is serving students,” Goad said. “That is the big goal.”
Goad goes on to expand his thoughts on his hopes for this program.
“The hope is clearly that in this process we make OC a better place to serve you and other constituents, alumni, and that we use our resources efficiently to do good things.” Goad said.
DeSteiguer focused on how this program is really going to help change the university.
“I get caught up in sometimes trying to get all of it done without stopping to think ‘Okay, what is the big picture here? Why am I doing these particular things that are taking a lot of my time?” deSteiguer said. “’Should I stop doing these things so I can do something else better or more valuable or for the institution?’ It gives us a chance to kind of recalibrate all of that.”
The process will last throughout most of the spring semester. However, changes will be made throughout the process as they receive input from the departments, if the committee sees fit.