November 30, 2011


Remarks before the Board of Trustees

Nov. 30, 2011 — Dr. Sherman began by wishing everyone the best of holidays and a wonderful new year. He observed that it is appropriate at this time of year to recognize and be thankful for accomplishments and opportunities, and his comments would illustrate several of them.

Dr. Sherman said he was pleased to report that many of the University’s academic programs have outstanding results in the areas of certification and licensure passage rates, and he noted the following statistics:

  • Audiology has a passage rate of 98 percent.
  • Speech-Language Pathology has a passage rate of 96 percent.
  • Nursing has a passage rate of 94 percent, compared to the state average reported as 87 percent.
  • Law has a passage rate of 89 percent, compared to the state passage rate of 87 percent.

Saying these results clearly illustrate the dedication of the faculty to the success of students in those programs, Dr. Sherman noted that he looks forward to reporting on additional academic successes with regard to such certification, licensure or similar accomplishments.

Convergence of Colleges

Dr. Sherman said it had been anticipated the requirements to adopt bylaws and other governance documents to complete the convergence of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Creative and Professional Arts would be done by the end of this fiscal year.  

He was pleased to report that, in fact, Dean Chand Midha, his colleagues and the faculty of those two colleges had accomplished those requirements in record time—seven months ahead of schedule. 

Dr. Sherman also noted that, when 83 percent of the faculty participated in the previous week’s vote, with 90 percent voting in favor of the merger.  Dr. Sherman praised their remarkable resolve as a strong indication of the appropriateness and readiness for the transition.  

He thanked Dean Midha and the faculty of those colleges, as well as the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Professor Harvey Sterns, who chairs that committee, for their guidance and support.

Academic Intervention for College-Ready Freshman and Sophomores

Dr. Sherman reported that approximately 5,500 freshmen and sophomores in the college-ready category were contacted by their respective colleges regarding problems with their academic progress. 

The deans of each college had been required to develop a strategy to ensure that such students, identified through the MAP-Works (Making Achievement Possible) program, would receive individual attention. 

Dr. Sherman said that, for six of the eight degree-granting colleges, at least 80 percent of those students now are enrolled for spring 2012, and he and his staff will work with the other two colleges to achieve similar results.

Recognition of Outstanding Faculty and Staff

Dr. Sherman said it is wonderful to recognize faculty and staff colleagues for outstanding service, and there is a rigorous process for nomination, review and selection for such distinction. He said that such awards are presented to the recipients by surprising them in their classrooms, faculty meetings or student gatherings to celebrate the fact that their colleagues have chosen to recognize them. 

Dr. Sherman concluded his report by presenting a video profile of the most recent winners of the University’s annual awards for outstanding teaching, research or service.  They are:

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology and Classical Studies Carolyn Behrman,
  • Professor of Finance Aigbe Akhigbe,
  • Professor of Polymer Science Shi-Qing Wang,
  • Associate Professor of English Lance Svehla, and
  • General Manager of WZIP-FM Thomas Beck.