The team found that the college needed “clear position descriptions for the provost and academic dean.” After a period of experimentation in 1990s, we established a chief academic officer to be supported by associate deans charged with various supporting responsibilities.
The team noted that the honors program has more student attrition between the second and third years than one might wish and “[t]he purposes and outcomes of current and possible new honors programs [should] be clarified.” To encourage students to pursue a rigorous course of interdisciplinary study beyond the first year, Foundations was restructured from a six-course, team-taught, two-year sequence to a three-course first-year experience taught by individual faculty with considerable collaboration. A second honors track, Logos: Discourse and Dialogue in Science, was offered to appeal to students interested in the natural sciences. The third-year honors course was replaced with LS330 Capstone Tutorial, requiring a major interdisciplinary research project with a faculty mentor. A new second-year honors course was added, bringing together students from Foundations and Logos.
The team observed that Augustana lacks “a systematic effort to familiarize students, staff and faculty with the policies and procedures for dealing with sexual harassment and sexual assault” (22-3). We instituted a series of initiatives including: detailed discussion of harassment and assault in the faculty and staff handbooks; required workshops for all faculty and staff on identifying, preventing and responding to sexual harassment; and various efforts to make students aware of harassment issues.
Lastly, the team found that, in common with most of our peers, “Augustana has made slight progress toward increasing the diversity of its students, faculty and staff.” There is universal recognition that we need to increase diversity on our campus. In 2004 the president empanelled a Diversity Task Force whose report and recommendations are due in 2006. Although diversity remains one of our greatest challenges, we have made limited progress. The percentage of full-time faculty positions held by ethnic minorities has grown from 3 percent in 1986 to 7 percent in 1996 and 11 percent currently. We have undertaken several initiatives to address the limited diversity in our student body, including a partnership with Chicago charter schools, addition of Admissions and Student Services staff to address the needs of a diverse population, and efforts to draw upon the strengths of our African-American and hispanic alumni.