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Attached: New Template and Handbook

May 3, 2010

Dear Program Chairs and Directors:

Following the Open Forum on PP data held by the Program Prioritization Task Force members on April 22, the PPTF realized that there were fundamental issues with a few of the data indicators we were requesting and the availability of the data on these indicators. In addition, we saw a need to clarify PP data in several important ways. This letter summarizes ways in which PP indicators, and the template, have been changed in response to Chair and Program Director inquiries. 

Eliminating Four Indicators:  It became clear that some data was only available through OIR via Peoplesoft at the. department level but not at the program level.  Since programs, not departments, are being rated and ranked, it was important that any data requested be available at the program level. Therefore, PPTF made two quick decisions:  first, to extend the deadline for submitting the program prioritization data template by an additional two weeks until May 14: and second to review our criteria based on current information re. the availability of valid data.  In those instances when we could not quickly or accurately obtain data at the program level, we made the decision to eliminate the indicator.  Consequently, indicators 2.1d; 2.1f; 4.1a; 6.2 have been removed from the program templates.  To prevent confusion, these indicators that have been removed are clearly noted as such on the template.

Clarifying Program Data Sources of Program Data:  All other indicators previously requested on the PP Template still remain.  In some instances we have removed the data that was provided by the Office of Institutional Research for those indicators (e.g. most items in criterion 4) because those data were derived from the department level rather than the program level.  In such cases, the template is now left blank for programs to fill in this data since OIR has no way to accurately determine which faculty members in each department actually teach within each program.  To help department chairs and program directors and serve as a guide, the data previously supplied by OIR for these indicators is still available in the old templates available on the P drive. However,  programs can now fill in their own data, subject to verification by OIR to ensure that numbers entered actually correspond to department-level data.

Providing a Service Course Template: A key difference is the addition of a “service course” template for all departments with service courses. We learned  that most departments offer at least 2 service courses (defined as those courses in which more than 50% of students are non-majors), and we wanted a quick way to capture this service to the University.  However, since many of the indicators are inapplicable to service course templates, please fill in ONLY those indicators that apply, and leave the remaining blank.  Program directors and/or department chairs that have not already done so also need to send to OIR a list of which courses they consider to be service courses so that the OIR can properly fill in data about these courses in the service templates.  OIR cannot fill in data about these service courses until they receive the information from programs.

Clarifying Indicators: We have also clarified most indicators in a Program Prioritization Handbook (enclosed). This PP Handbook is based on commonly asked questions and our responses to these questions.  It is our hope that these changes will make it easier to fill out the templates by the new deadline. 

Confidentiality and Criteria 8.1: We have also devised a method by which Chairs and Program Directors can enter data for criteria 8.1 confidentially and assure that this information will not be publicized.  By now, you should have received an email from the Program.Prioritization@gallaudet.edu address telling you how to input your data for this indicator.  Information about interpreting costs for the 2008 and 2009 FY have also been entered on each program’s account – you can access those and utilize that data to respond to indicator 8.2.

Clarifying the Rating Process: Finally, please note that as we have repeatedly said, this is a holistic exercise – PPTF will be looking at all the questions, data, etc. and no criteria alone will determine the fate of any program.   With the increased space for comment, programs are being given plenty of opportunity to add comments on each item and explain the data (whether provided by the department or OIR) so that we can assure that we get a full and complete picture of the program.

If you find that you still need assistance with some indicators and/or data, please feel free to contact either of the co-chairs or members of the Office of Institutional Research, particularly Daryl Frelich, Institutional Data Administrator.

We are all learning together as we go along, and PPTF members and the OIR staff are here to help make this task a little easier.  We appreciate your patience and cooperation along the way.   


Pat Hulsebosch and Khadijat Rashid

PPTF Co-Chairs

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