Chapter VI: Quality Management for Off-Campus Centers

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A. General Policy on Off-Campus Centers

The University of La Verne offers programs at administrative centers and other educational sites throughout California as well as in Alaska and Greece. Guided by its mission statement and responding to student needs, the University may from time to time expand or reduce the number of its educational sites and the programs offered at them.

The University currently has 19 administrative centers with permanent staffs and facilities, three associated with the central campus, 15 administered by the School of Continuing Education, and one, Athens, is a branch campus.  Five of the SCE Centers are Residence Centers located on military bases in California and Alaska, four five are regional campuses in California (also known as Professional Development Centers  or "PDC’s") serving southern California counties (and San Fernando Valley), one serves Education programs throughout California from its PDC base in Upland, one PDC serves non-traditional-age undergraduates on the central campus (CAPA), and one is ULV’s Distance Learning Center (ULV Online).

Although each center is designed to meet the specific needs of the students in the location it serves, they all share certain characteristics. All centers, except the ones in development, have a full-time director, academic advising staff, and support staff.  All centers, except ULV Online, have offices, classrooms, academic computer centers, and appropriate laboratory facilities.  Students at all centers can utilize Wilson Library through an 800-number and FAX, access the Wilson catalog and numerous library indexes online, and read hundreds of journals in full text on their own computers.  All centers link directly into the University’s central student records system, and all are connected by telephone, FAX, and by modem. The academic programs of all centers are directed, supervised, and monitored by regular contracted faculty, and all centers offer courses taught by regular contracted faculty as well as part-time faculty. In addition to their close connections to academic departments, the academic deans, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, all centers are served directly by such centralized offices as Accounting, Alumni Relations, Data Processing, Financial Aid, Human Resources, Payroll, Placement, and the Registrar.

Linked to the 19 administrative centers are some 100 satellite classroom sites in hospitals, public schools, businesses, police departments, and other facilities convenient to students where they meet for class, some of them in Asia and Latin America.  Most of these sites are administered by SCE administrative centers, but about 20 are the meeting places of central campus Doctor of Public Administration and Doctor of Education clusters. These sites depend on their administrative centers for counseling, libraries, computers, and scheduling. Typically, they consist of no more than a classroom where students and faculty meet for class, and where academic advisers and registration clerks visit on a regular schedule. Communication between the administrative center and central campus departments, on the one hand, and the site's students and faculty, on the other, is generally by telephone, FAX, and post.

The educational cluster sites operated by the Doctor of Public Administration, Doctor of Education, the Education Department, the Philosophy and Religion Department, and the School of Business and Economics are primarily single-program classroom educational sites, and their quality management is addressed in Part V, Quality Management for Programs. Few additional site-specific QMS questions remain to be asked about these sites because they are essentially classroom locations for a general program administered from the central campus. Quality is assured in the D.P.A. and Ed.D. programs by the active participation of regular contracted faculty in every classroom and in all other phases of the programs. Quality is assured in these and the other programs through overlapping QMS procedures applied to the courses, faculty, schedules, and programs at these educational sites. To some extent, this is also true of the educational sites administered by the SCE Education and SCE Health Services Management administrative centers because they also are single-program centers where regular contracted faculty teach, and they are supervised closely by full-time program chairs.

Most SCE administrative centers, however, offer more than one program and are more than classroom sites. With permanent administrative and classified staffs, regular faculty, multiple program offerings, libraries, textbook operations, advising services, commencement exercises, and more, they are, in some senses at least, semi-independent branch campuses of the University. For this reason, additional QMS procedures are necessary and appropriate to evaluate these centers (including their satellite educational sites) as a whole, separate from and in addition to the evaluations made of courses, faculty, programs, and other features of the centers. Consequently, the procedures contained in Part VI relating to off-campus educational sites apply primarily to the 14 SCE administrative centers. CAPA is largely unaffected by these procedures even though it is an administrative center, because its central campus location means that it is constantly being observed and evaluated and it has ready access to all the facilities available to central campus programs. Similarly La Verne College of Athens, which has an Associate Dean and a score of regular contracted faculty in residence, carries out most of the communications and review functions on an on-going basis.

B. Communications Between Academic Departments and SCE Administrative Centers

Policy on Communications Between Academic Departments and SCE Administrative Centers:

The University wants all academic departments with programs or courses offered at a center to be in regular contact with the center's director and faculty. Regular contact includes not only telephone, FAX, post, e-mail, and other forms of communications; department, regional, and other meetings; and personal visits in both directions; but also the appointment of faculty liaisons, program chairs, special assignment faculty, and department associates assigned to specific administrative centers.

Procedures for Communications Between Academic Departments and SCE Administrative Centers:

1. It is the responsibility of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to see that all regular contracted faculty are familiar with the part-time faculty who teach courses for which the full-timers are responsible and that each part-time faculty member knows which regular contracted faculty member is responsible for the course(s) he/she teaches.

2. It is the responsibility of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to see that all faculty, regular contracted as well as part time, and all administrators at SCE administrative centers have access to FAX and e-mail communications.

3. It is the responsibility of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to see that every administrative center has at least one special assignment faculty or department associate in residence or at least one faculty liaison assigned to it.

4. It is the responsibility of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the deans to encourage and support regular communications on academic matters between departments and SCE administrative centers. 5. It is the responsibility of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the deans to encourage and support telephone and FAX contacts, off-campus visits by central-campus faculty, central-campus visits by off-campus faculty, joint department meetings, collegial reviews, faculty exchanges, and other means of communicating between academic departments and administrative centers.

6. It is the responsibility of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the deans to promote and support annual university-wide meetings of part-time and regular contracted faculty in each discipline and center-wide faculty meetings attended by contracted faculty from academic departments.

C. Administrative Center Reviews

Policy on Administrative Center Reviews:

Administrative centers and their satellite sites are visited and reviewed on a regular basis by regular contracted faculty and by administrators. These visits are often described as "site reviews." Often visits combine aspects of center reviews and program reviews. The president, vice presidents, deans, and key central campus directors all visit centers on a scheduled basis to conduct University business, review developments, and build web of the personal and professional ties that link the institution together. University trustees visit, too, although not quite as often. Faculty visit to teach, review programs and courses, conduct collegial reviews, join in faculty meetings, examine libraries and facilities, meet students and part-time faculty, and foster collegiality. Center administrators regularly visit the central campus to attend meetings and retreats, consult program chairs and other faculty, meet with directors of administrative departments, and conduct other University business. Off-campus faculty come to the central campus to attend meetings and workshops, participate in University functions such as commencement, and to teach. The University encourages and supports such visits and reviews, and schedules reviews by key personnel at off-campus centers on a regular basis.

Each visit becomes a center review, either formally or informally. Depending upon the visitor's speciality and responsibilities at the University, center reviews are tailored to promote collegiality and the mission of the University. Central campus administrators generally visit off-campus centers with specific tasks and goals in mind, as do center directors who visit the central campus. Faculty are often asked by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and/or the dean(s) to review particular aspects of certain programs, specific part-time faculty performance, or the adequacy of classrooms, libraries, labs, and other facilities. When program reviews are being conducted--and particularly when the University is preparing for visits from WASC, the Teacher Credentialing Commission, the California State Bar Association, or another outside accrediting agency--complete formal site reviews are conducted by visiting faculty and administrators using guidelines set down by the appropriate outside agency.

The QM Office maintains a database of the major center visits and reviews.

Procedures for Administrative Center Reviews:

1. The Vice President for Academic Affairs, the deans, the Director of Residence Centers, the Coordinator of Library Services (SCE), the Director of Academic and Student Services (SCE), the Director of Management Information Systems, the Controller, and other key central-campus administrators must plan and budget for visits/reviews to appropriate SCE administrative centers on a regular basis. Some plan annual visits; some biennial; some triennial; some quadrennial.

2. All administrative center directors plan and budget for visits to the central campus at least annually. Directors of centers in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area make weekly or semi-weekly visits to attend meetings, meet with faculty and key administrators, and conduct ULV business. Directors of California centers outside of the L.A. region generally visit the central campus for meetings, retreats, and workshops four or five times a year. Directors of centers in Athens and Alaska generally make annual visits.

3. Regular visits for collegial reviews, faculty meetings, and workshops are planned and budgeted for faculty liaisons, department chairs, program chairs, and faculty specialists. Such faculty in departments heavily involved in off-campus programs usually make four to five visits to off-campus centers each year. Most of these visits involve both program reviews and site reviews.

A visit by the Program Chair of International Programs, School of Business and Economics, is scheduled to review ULV's programs in Europe at least once every four years.

4. When travelling faculty visit Europe or Alaska, the University endeavors to schedule visits to ULV centers there for collegial reviews, meetings with faculty and administrators, and reviews of libraries, labs, and other facilities. ULV supports such visits, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the deans, or department chairs provide guidelines for the reviews.

5. Whenever the opportunity arises for central-campus faculty to teach at an off-campus center or for special assignment faculty to teach at the central campus, academic and financial arrangements are made to facilitate faculty exchange. In Business, Education, Health Services Management, and Public Administration central campus faculty teach in off-campus programs each term. Generally speaking, one special assignment faculty member teaches at the central campus each year.

6. Deans, department chairs, and center directors are jointly responsible for arranging and supporting meetings of each center's faculty at least twice a year and for seeing that regular contracted faculty attend these meetings.

7. The Vice President for Academic Affairs and the deans are jointly responsible for convening and supporting a university-wide annual meeting of part-time faculty and seeing that contracted faculty faculty in appropriate departments attend.

8. When trustees express an interest in visiting centers, arrangements are made to facilitate a visit.

9. The Director of QM is responsible for maintaining a database of site visits.

D. Additions of Off-Campus Centers and Educational Sites

Policy on Additions of Off-Campus Centers and Educational Sites:

The addition of an administrative center is a major financial undertaking which requires the approval of the SCE Dean, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President of Administra-tion and Finance, the President, and the Board of Trustees. Since it is a not a step taken lightly, ULV added only three centers in the 1980's and two in the 1990's. New centers designed to provide better service to current students in an established ULV service area but which do not involve additions or changes to programs nor the offering of established programs in new localities may not require faculty approval nor a WASC substantive change report. New centers which are planned outside established ULV service areas or involve additions or changes to established programs may require faculty approval and a WASC substantive change report.

The addition of a satellite educational site to established administrative center is generally an administrative decision for the center director with the concurrence of the SCE Dean. The center director must inform the academic department and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The new educational site must be reported in ULV's annual report to WASC; in some cases a substantive change report needs to be submitted.

The addition of an administrative center or a satellite educational site outside the United States presents additional legal, cultural, administrative, linguistic, and financial problems that make them, as the Chinese character for crisis implies, both an opportunity and a danger. Consequently, when working in foreign countries and U.S. territories, additional precautions must be taken and safeguards instituted beyond those required for centers and sites within the 50 states. Special care must be taken no matter whether La Verne is setting up its own program or site or is entering a joint venture with another institution or group.

Procedures for Additions of Off-Campus Centers:

1. Before a new off-campus center can be considered, a proposal similar to the one needed for approving a new program and containing all of the following items must be prepared: 2. If the SCE Dean approves the proposal, he/she recommends it to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. If the Vice President approves, he/she decides whether it must be approved by the faculty and reported as a substantive change to WASC. 3. Before the new center can be established, the following additional things must be done:

Procedures for Additions of Satellite Educational Sites to Administrative Centers:

1. When a director of a single-program administrative center (e.g., Educational Management; Public Administration Health Services Management) wants to establish a new satellite site, she/he must inform the program chair. Directors of centers which offer multiple programs need not consult departments unless an understanding has been reached that this must be done.

2. After consulting with the appropriate program chair or department, if necessary, the center director should take plans for the new educational site to the SCE Dean or his/her designee.

3. If the SCE Dean is concerned that a substantive change report to WASC might be required, he/she must consult with the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

4. If no substantive change report is needed and if the director and the SCE Dean concur, the new site may be added.

5. The center director or SCE Dean must inform the academic department and the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the addition of the new educational site.

6. The Vice President must include the new educational site in ULV's annual report to WASC.

Procedures for Additions of Off-Campus Centers and Satellite Educational Sites outside the United States:

1. Any proposed addition of an off-campus center or a satellite educational site outside the United States requires the documentation, studies, and approvals described in "Procedures for Additions of Off-Campus Centers" above in this section.

2. In addition, the following must be addressed, either in separate documentation or as part of the basic requirements above:

E. Deletion of Off-Campus Centers and Educational Sites

Policy on Deletions of Off-Campus Centers/Sites:

The deletion of an off-campus administrative center has significant academic and financial implications. It is a rare occurrence that historically has not been initiated by La Verne. ULV closed its centers at Subic Bay (1981) and Naples (1993) because of a decision by the US military regarding the delivery of educational programs at military bases; Inservice (1981) and AAIC (1993) discontinued as centers after discussions with WASC. Arrangements for closure of a center are developed by the center director in consultation with the SCE Dean and the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President. To the best of the University's ability under the circumstances, provisions should be made to allow students matriculated into programs at the center to complete the program with ULV or another school. The appropriate faculty bodies must be informed of the deletion, and, if required, a substantive change report needs to be submitted to WASC.

The deletion of a satellite educational site attached to an off-campus center, like the addition of such a center, is generally an administrative decision by the center director with the concurrence of the SCE Dean. The center director must inform the academic department and the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the deletion. The deletion must be included in ULV's annual report to WASC.

Procedures for Deletions of Off-Campus Centers:

1. When a center director determines that his/her center needs to be deleted, he/she must consult with the SCE Dean.

2. If the Dean agrees, the matter is taken to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President of Adminis-tration and Finance, and the President.

3. If all agree that the deletion is required, the center director prepares a detailed plan for the orderly shutting down of operations. The plan must include provision for current students to continue towards their degrees.

4. If the SCE Dean, the vice presidents, and the President approve of the plan, it can be put into operation.

5. The SCE Dean or his designee is responsible for informing the appropriate faculty bodies of the deletion.

6. The Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for seeing that a substantive change report is prepared and submitted to WASC, if necessary.

Procedures for Deletions of Satellite Educational Sites to Administrative Centers:

1. The center director should take plans for the deletion to the SCE Dean.

2. If the director and dean concur, the site may be deleted.

3. The center director or SCE Dean needs to inform the academic department and the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the deletion.

4. The Vice President must include the deletion in ULV's annual report to WASC.


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