Wanted: Ideas for improving student education

Feb. 20 is deadline to submit suggestions for Quality Enhancement Plan

Faculty, staff and students who have ideas for how to improve student education at Rice can suggest a theme for the next Quality Enhancement Plan. The deadline for submitting suggestions is Feb. 20.

The Quality Enhancement Plan is a faculty-led initiative to strengthen the Rice undergraduate and/or graduate student experience through a project that fits in with Rice’s planning and evaluation process. Rice is required to submit a Quality Enhancement Plan every 10 years to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) as part of the university’s reaffirmation of accreditation.

In 2006 Rice implemented a Quality Enhancement Plan that focused on civic and intellectual engagement with the city of Houston. It led to the creation of what is now called the Center for Civic Leadership and a variety of Houston-focused research and outreach programs. The next plan will be launched in 2016.

Suggestions for improving student learning can involve knowledge, skills, behaviors or values and can entail new projects or modifications of existing initiatives. Plans at other institutions in the Southern Association of College and Schools have ranged from global learning for global leadership to improving writing within the major and enhancing information literacy.

Ideas can be submitted online at http://oie.rice.edu/qep/.

Quality Enhancement Plan Steering Committee:
Susan McIntosh, committee co-chair, Department of Anthropology
James Weston, committee co-chair, Jones Graduate School of Business
Ashley Leeds, Department of Political Science
Moshe Vardi, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Evan Siemann, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Rosemary Hennessy, Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality
Amritha Kanakamedala, Student Association
Alessandra Forcucci, Graduate Student Association
John Hutchinson, dean of undergraduates
Seiichi Matsuda, dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies
John Cornwell, ex officio, Office of Institutional Effectiveness

“The suggestions we receive will probably reflect a lot of department and program interests,” said Susan McIntosh, the Herbert S. Autrey Professor in Anthropology, who is co-chairing the Quality Enhancement Plan Steering Committee with James Weston, professor of finance. “Part of the work of the committee is to sort through the suggestions and arrange those that may be more localized into a set of overarching themes for one project that extends more broadly across campus.”

The steering committee, a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate, is made up of faculty, staff and students appointed by Rice President David Leebron. The committee will post all ideas received online for public comment in March, also at http://oie.rice.edu/qep/. In April the committee will recommend two proposals to the Faculty Senate for presentation to Leebron, who will decide which one will be the theme of Rice’s next Quality Enhancement Plan. The final selection will be announced this spring and a new committee will be formed to develop a plan for implementation.

The university will provide funding and resources to carry out the new project over a five-year period, after which a report will be submitted to SACSCOC explaining the outcome.


About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.