The team found that the administrative five-year plan was “not a visionary plan.” Augustana's new strategic plan provides a vision that will continue to be supported by the more tactical plans five-year administrative plans.
The team suggested that the board should avoid the temptation to micromanage. Over the past decade the board focused on setting the strategic direction for the college and encouraging the faculty and administration to confront fundamental questions: the college's direction in a new century (Advancing Augustana ), the relationship of the college to the church (Five Faith Commitments), and the challenge of creating a diverse community.
The team reported faculty concern in the natural sciences that their new building to be opened in 1998 would not be appropriately equipped. However, at opening, the building contained equipment valued at $1.57 million. Since then, the college has added $833,000 of new equipment. The last three years have seen additions worth $61,000, $193,000 and $345,000, respectively, in part through significant success with grant writing.
The team observed that the number of faculty committees (then 36) is “rather large” and that there is no committee charged with hearing appeals of other committees' decisions. The new administration has delayed initiating conversations about possible reconfigurations due to the number of change initiatives now before the faculty. The faculty has not chosen to constitute a committee on appeals, but has endorsed in the Faculty Handbook more formal procedures for review of negative tenure recommendations.
The team found that the Faculty Handbook was out-of-date and unclear on several essential concerns, tenure among them. In 1997, the Faculty Senate created a handbook task force which revised the document line-by-line over five years. After extended campuswide debate and faculty votes on certain issues, and review by the college's attorneys, the faculty unanimously approved the new document on May 5, 2005. Tenure procedures were formalized in the last decade, and the Faculty Welfare Committee is presently revising pre-tenure and tenure guidelines to be proposed for inclusion in the Faculty Handbook. Aided by an outside consultant, a faculty committee designed a new system for faculty evaluation during the 1997-98 academic year, which was revised and formally adopted on May 11, 1999.
The team concluded that “staff members who are coordinating student activities need more space in which to work.” Brodahl Student Services building, housing the offices of Residential Life, Student Activities, the Student Government Association and Greek Activities, was opened later that same year.