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Goal #1 - Educational Excellence

The School of Social Sciences will offer students high quality undergraduate and graduate education that is student centered and in accordance with its mission statement.

  1. Each discipline will continue to ensure the quality of its teaching. (faculty members of each discipline)
    1. Each discipline will ensure that all courses taught by all faculty (full time, visiting, or adjunct) meet discipline expectations, course and program goals, and student expectations. Evidence-based best practices will be encouraged. (faculty members of each discipline)
    2. At least once prior to their third-year review, all junior faculty will have their teaching observed by the dean and appropriate associate-level faculty and above in their own discipline. Written feedback is preferred in communicating findings, and feedback should be delivered to the person being observed. (dean and senior faculty)
    3. Full and associate professors are encouraged to seek feedback on their teaching, syllabi, and course delivery. (senior faculty)
    4. Coordinators in each discipline will ensure that each visiting and adjunct faculty will have their teaching observed during the first semester and on a five-year basis.  Written reports will be submitted to the dean and academic affairs. (coordinators)
    5. The school will form a committee one-to-two times per academic year to review online courses. Each course will be reviewed once during the first year it is taught, and every five years thereafter. (dean and faculty)
    6. The school will encourage the development of co-curricular activities (ex. internships, directed research, attending research conferences, etc.), service learning, and extra-curricular activities (ex. student groups, etc.) to enhance the educational environment of our students. (faculty)
    7. The school will support and encourage educational programs and presentations by faculty and student groups to Social Sciences students, the campus, and the broader community. (faculty and dean)
    8. The school commits to broadening the use of High Impact Practices in all levels of coursework, as well as extra- and co-curricular activities. (faculty and dean)
  2. The school will pursue the development of new programs (majors, minors, certificates, and Master’s), both of an intra- and interdisciplinary nature, where resources and interest exist, in accordance with IU policy, and will support existing interdisciplinary and Master’s programs. (dean and faculty)
  3. The dean will advocate for new or vacated faculty positions, as needed, in consultation with the coordinators.
  4. The school commits to assessment of academic programs and improvement based on findings. Where applicable, instructors will submit general education data to assess learning outcomes. (faculty)
  5. Adjunct and full-time faculty will develop syllabi that include measurable learning outcomes, a course schedule, major course due dates, and course grade breakdown, when class structure/teaching methods allows for this.  (coordinators, faculty, and dean)

Goal #2 - Student Success, Retention, and Persistence to Graduation

The School of Social Sciences will develop strategies to foster recruitment, retention, and persistence to graduation.

  1. Each discipline will maintain a careers course for students as part of their curriculum that emphasizes skill development and marketable skills. Courses will be assessed for their effectiveness. (faculty members of each discipline)
  2. The school will continue to contact Social Sciences majors who “stop out” and find out why the student is no longer attending and what Social Sciences can do to get that student back into classes. The dean will circulate lists to coordinators, staff, and professional advisors. (dean, professional advisors, staff, and faculty)
  3. Faculty in the School of Social Sciences will participate in the SERs program to provide students with feedback. (faculty)
  4. Each discipline and the school’s professional advisors will make a concerted effort to recommend the various IU Southeast honors programs, discipline-based honors societies, and discipline-based extra and co-curricular activities and clubs to its students (faculty and school professional advisors) to promote belongingness.
    1. The school will track its events to encourage participation and support retention     initiatives using Collaboratory and the co-curricular transcripts. (faculty and staff)
    2. Faculty and students will explore virtual options for students to participate in school- and discipline-specific culture and programs to engage a broader array of students and promote inclusivity (eg. virtual meetings, webinars, speakers from broad backgrounds and various localities). (faculty, students, staff)
  5. Faculty will engage in proven, high-impact retention practices, including individualized student attention, fostering a positive and inclusive classroom culture, First Year Seminar, student involvement in research and internships, creative work, global learning, clubs and extra-curricular activities, etc. (faculty in each discipline)
  6. The School will develop a retention plan that guides faculty, advisors, and staff that includes tools to promote best practices in retention and persistence initiatives. (dean, faculty, professional advisors, staff)
    1. Students will be asked about how we can help them be successful through our classes.  (dean, faculty, professional advisors, staff)
    2. Assessment of student feedback will be part of our school retention plan. (dean, faculty, professional advisors, staff)
  7. The School will maintain formal programming to encourage retention – including Dean’s Alliance and the Degree in Four.  (dean, professional advisors, faculty, students)
  8. Faculty will work with students to help them acknowledge and realize their success and improve self-efficacy through communication channels (eg. in class, emails, messages).  (students, professional advisors, faculty, staff)
  9. The school will leverage alumni and current students to promote persistence and retention. (alumni, students, staff, professional advisors, faculty)
  10. The school will develop a program and communication plan to recognize students’ 30, 60, and 90 hours on campus and maintain celebrations (ex. the graduation reception). (dean, faculty, professional advisors, staff)

Goal #3 - Enhanced Diversity and Inclusivity

The School of Social Sciences will adhere to its diversity plan, which is noted below.  (The diversity plan is also posted publicly and separately from our strategic plan given its importance to our disciplines and goals at the university.) 

  1. We affirm IU Southeast’s strategic plan and mission related to diversity.
  2. The School and its faculty members will actively support university-led diversity initiatives and programs. (faculty, staff, professional advisors)
  3. The school commits to diversity as part of each discipline’s assessment program. (faculty from each discipline)
  4. Each discipline provides context and understanding in coursework of how diversity affects the subject matter in their field. (faculty from each discipline)
  5. The School will continue to support students who participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities that emphasize diversity.  (faculty and dean)
  6. The School’s faculty and staff will participate in and encourage student involvement in diversity-related programming (ex. International Festival, Safe Zone Training, Women and Gender Studies Conference, Social Sciences Forum, etc.). (faculty, professional advisors, staff)
  7. Faculty members are expected to participate in and, when appropriate, lead programs, events, and activities that emphasize diversity and inclusivity, including: at least one Social Sciences Forum per year that deals with a diversity-related topic. (faculty)
  8. The School will engage in activities which will retain a more diverse student-population who major in the Social Sciences. (dean, faculty, professional advisors, staff) (II.1 in the IUS Strategic Plan 2016-21)
    1. The school will support faculty who create courses that use inclusive learning practices which promote diverse perspectives and the success of diverse students. (ex. university design for learning, decolonizing syllabus, transparency) (dean and faculty)
    2. The school will maintain Dean’s Alliance. (dean, faculty, professional advisors, staff)
  9. The School will actively pursue employment practices that will enhance the diversity of its faculty and staff and policies to retain diverse faculty. (I.1.11 in IUS Strategic Plan 2016-21)
    1. The School will encourage inclusion and diversity-related training for faculty and staff on search committees and have staff and faculty candidates submit a diversity statement. (dean, faculty, professional advisors, staff)
    2. We will share with candidates the variety of activities to promote diversity on campus, and make prospective hires aware of resources we provide to assist faculty and staff of diverse backgrounds. (dean, faculty)

    3. Faculty and staff will explore ways to support new hires with diverse backgrounds to help them adjust to the community. (faculty, professional advisors, staff)

    4. Faculty will report on diversity and inclusivity in their third-year reviews, promotion, and tenure statements.
  10. The school will encourage students to develop awareness of their global citizenship and recognize the global nature of our world (ex. issues of poverty, sustainability, and economics). (I.4 in IUS Strategic Plan 2016-21) (dean, staff, professional advisors, faculty).
    1. The School will continue to support the development of new study abroad programs and to promote existing ones. (faculty and dean)
    2. Faculty will highlight global awareness, when relevant, in coursework (faculty)
    3. The school will support extra-curricular efforts to increase global awareness (dean, staff, professional advisors, faculty).
  11. Faculty and staff will encourage students to take classes that highlight diversity-related issues (ex. gender, race, sexual orientation, international) (faculty and professional advisors)
  12. The Dean working with the faculty from the School of Social Sciences will assess the progress in achieving these goals at three (informal check by dean) and five years (formal, with faculty participation).
  13. This plan will be updated/changed as necessary based upon progress in achieving its goals and its consistency with the current IU Southeast Strategic Plan.

Goal #4 - Strengthening and Maintaining Resources and Enrollment

The School of Social Sciences will strengthen, increase, and leverage its resource base to support current operations and future growth, high quality programming, faculty and staff excellence, and high caliber facilities and equipment.

  1. The School will promote both professional and support staff development through the following to better meet the needs of the faculty and students: workshops, conferences, seminars, webinars, etc.
    1. Staff will attend professional meetings, webinars, seminars, or workshops as needed so as to continually upgrade their skills. (dean and staff)
    2. Professional advisors will attend professional meetings, webinars, seminars, or workshops as needed so as to continually upgrade their skills. (dean and professional advisors)
  2. The School will promote faculty development so as to better meet the needs of students and programs through:
    1. Each discipline will develop its own mentoring program for junior faculty. (faculty members of each discipline)
    2. At least once prior to their third year review, all junior faculty will have their teaching observed by the dean and by at least one full- and/or associate-level faculty in their own discipline. (dean and senior faculty)
    3. At least once a semester, the school will host colloquia/peer presentations as an opportunity to share and discuss innovations in research, creative work, teaching and/or service activities. (dean and faculty)
  3. The School will regularly consider its infrastructure needs and seek to address outstanding issues.
  4. The school will regularly assess the use of its budgetary resources and seek to develop resources further.
    1. The school will work with the appropriate departments to encourage alumni to contribute to the school’s foundation via regular mail or through some type of campaign. (dean and faculty)
    2. The school will maintain a simple way to contribute to its foundation via the school’s website. (dean and staff)
    3. The school will endeavor to maintain contact with graduates to keep each other informed as to what is going on with each other. One way to do this would be for each program to maintain a list of students’ non-IU Southeast emails in order to keep in touch after graduation. (faculty and dean)
    4. The dean will continue to work to increase the amount of money available to each faculty member for travel to professional meetings. (dean) (see also 4.2.3)
    5. The school will investigate and recommend strategies to the appropriate committees and administration officials to deal with compression in salaries for full-time faculty. (dean, faculty)
  5. The school will work to develop community partnerships to create a pipeline to social sciences majors for students of diverse interests and backgrounds. (dean, professional advisors, and faculty)
  6. The School will support efforts to show appreciation and create and promote inclusion and optional development for our contingent faculty. (ex. appreciation lunches, etc.) (dean, faculty, and coordinators)
  7. Faculty, staff, and advisors will continue to provide guidance to students interested in attending the university (ex. Open houses, advisors Ivy Tech visits, faculty ambassador program) (dean, faculty, professional advisors, staff)

Goal #5 - Enhanced Image and Interaction

The School of Social Sciences will define and enhance its image and raise its profile.

  1. The Dean will consult with interested staff and faculty to work on strategies for promoting the School of Social Sciences to target audiences.  (dean, faculty, professional advisors, staff)
  2. The dean will continue the email newsletter to alumni from September to May. (dean, staff, professional advisors)
  3. The dean will continue developing an annual report to be used as a public relations piece for the community and alumni. (dean, faculty, professional advisors, staff)
  4. The school will ensure that its website is up-to-date concerning faculty and students. (dean, faculty, and designated administrative staff)
    1. The school will seek ways to develop its physical space to better showcase the talents and achievements of its students and faculty. (dean and faculty)
    2. The school will continue to develop its Social Sciences Forum. (Social Sciences Forum Committee)
    3. Develop better content for program descriptions, including course descriptions and current courses to webpages of programs
  5. Each discipline will investigate the possibility of developing its own chapter of an academic honor society, such as Pi Sigma Alpha in political science. (faculty members of each discipline)
  6. The school will continue to investigate either the possibility of discipline based external accrediting agencies or program standards of excellence that have been developed by professional discipline-based organizations. The purpose of this is to be able to advertise programmatic excellence. (faculty)
  7. The school will create a Community Board of Advisers to promote alumni involvement with the school. (dean and faculty)
  8. The school will work with Marketing and Communications to contact local newspapers to get stories focusing on student success, events, and faculty profiles. (dean and coordinators)
  9. The School will continue to develop and enhance our use of social media. A staff member will manage social media accounts.
  10. School of Social Sciences faculty, staff and students will be encouraged to nominate Social Sciences students, faculty and staff for awards in teaching, research, and service. (all)
  11. The School will assess its outreach and processes at the end of the academic year to ensure effectiveness and evaluate workload. (dean, faculty, staff, professional advisors, alumni)

Goal #6 - Stronger Community Relations and Outreach

The School of Social Sciences will enhance its relations with the various communities it serves.

  1. Community-related service activities that support the academic mission of the university will be given weight in the annual merit salary review process, the third year review, and the promotion and/or tenure processes. (dean and faculty)
  2. School of Social Sciences faculty are encouraged to develop curricular (service learning), co-curricular (discipline based student organizations), and extra-curricular opportunities for students to engage in community activities and make sure it is documented in Collaboratory and the REAL transcript. (faculty and staff)
  3. Faculty will engage with the community to share their expertise at local associations and events (ex. Social Sciences on Tap). (faculty)
  4. The school will develop and invite community members to participate in on-campus programming to share their expertise and learn from Social Sciences faculty, students, and staff (ex.  High School Press Day, Model UN, Civic Engagement Series) (dean, faculty, staff, professional advisors)
  5. The school will work with Marketing and Communications to contact local newspapers and pertinent community organizations to get stories focusing on school events, student success and faculty profiles using a press release template. (dean, faculty, staff)
  6. The school and students will continue to give time and resources (when available) to local charitable organizations. (dean, faculty, staff, professional advisors)

Goal #7 – Ongoing Strategic Planning

The School of Social Sciences will develop a system for well-coordinated, ongoing strategic planning.

  1. The current Strategic Plan will be used to inform faculty when representing the School on program, school, campus and university level initiatives and committees. (dean, faculty, and staff)

  2. The school will conduct a brief assessment of the strategic plan after its first two years of implementation and address outstanding issues as necessary. (dean)

  3. During the fifth year of the current plan the school will create a strategic planning committee to review and revise the document. (dean and faculty)