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The Institution has a Chief Executive Officer Whose Full-time Responsibility is to the Institution.
3.10 Even though the institution has had a Presidency since it its foundation, the current dimensions of the institution, along with its educational purposes have led to making a decision to modify its organizational structure, with the definition of two vice-presidencies: one academic and one administrative. By the same token it has defined the College and School Directors and a Supporting Staff for the Academic Vice-presidency in order to strengthen its decision making and to allow the Presidency to make better decisions with regards to the overall future of the institution.
The Presidency leadership becomes strengthened with the designation of an Academic Vice-president, since this way the educational purposes pursued by CETYS University will have a swifter and more effective execution.
Aside from strengthening the Presidency through the College Directors, this new structure provides the academics with greater leadership and participation in the process of decision-making. In the previous organizational structure the Campus Directors were responsible for all academic and administrative issues.
The Institution’s Faculty Exercises Effective Academic Leadership and Acts Consistently to Ensure Both Academic Quality and the Appropriate Maintenance of the Institution’s Educational Purposes and Character.
3.11 The CETYS University professoriate has systematically participated in curricular decisions and has been responsible for the academic character of the institution (42). Now under the new organizational structure, which includes the designation of an Academic Vice-presidency (64) and College Directors, the faculty’s participation in academic decisions will become stronger. An institutional entity that will be responsible for curricular design, are the academies that will follow the guidelines established by the Direction of Curricular Design. Through them, instructors will give a more trustworthy definition of what students should learn, what they need to improve their pedagogical competence and to better carry out their work.
However, still pending is a series of challenges that we must address in order for them to have a positive impact on our students´ learning:
- A challenge that is a priority is to use the information that is obtained from course evaluations and from in-class faculty performance reviews in a continuous improvement process. Currently they are being used to make decisions on compensation and as an additional element in decisions pertaining to the permanence of a subject-assigned instructor. Likewise, we are working on integrating the resulting from these evaluations into the training program.
- We have come a long way with regards to student participation in expressing their opinions in open forums at the three campuses, specifically in a forum known as “Dialogues with the President”. During the second semester of 2007 there were 3 dialogues that took place on each of the campuses; and we are planning on systematizing these communicative experiences with the students so as to follow-up on their concerns, clarify their doubts and learn more about their perspectives and opinions (85).
However, an important challenge that we must continue to work on is to incorporate students in the decision making process. Despite the fact that we have Student Councils in our various schools, we still have not engaged in forums in a systematic and continuous manner, in which topics that are relevant to students may be discussed, such as intern services, mandatory participation in non-academic activities, the student environment, regulations they must observe, classroom services, laboratories, facilities in general, administrative services, among others.
- The university conducts a “Satisfaction Study” on each campus through a survey given to all students in our system, particularly to new students and to students that are about to graduate. Information on almost every service area is generated from theses surveys. An important challenge that stems from the Satisfaction Study is to publish the results, that is, to routinely engage in an evidence-oriented culture, as well as the actions taken based on the results of these surveys (32).
Throughout the years, the academic administration of the institution has strived to constitute an Academic Senate that will allow the faculty to participate more formally and systematically in the university’s decision-making. An important challenge for the Academic Vice-presidency is to create the necessary and sufficient conditions so that such an academic body may be established. In October 2008, CETYS University is scheduled to present to the Board the proposal for the creation of the Academic Senate, including all required policies and regulations to be included in the Institution’s General Statutes. The start of the operations of the Academic Senate will be January 2009.
One of the greatest concerns at CETYS University, starting from the IENAC to the President and the entire institution, is have the adequate resources to be able to offer high-quality education with competitive instructors, information resources, infrastructure, academic programs, and appropriate facilities, including libraries and laboratories. This concern and the need to maintain healthy finances are main forces that influence institutional decision making. And although the student and the instructor are identified in the university’s culture as the starting point for all actions, the fact of the matter is that the acquisition of resources is a critical part of the equation. Greater alignment between administrative and academic needs, as well as the challenge to be more innovative and creative in the use of resources are two areas that need to be improved. And that is why we have decided to carry out the following actions:
a. To reinforce the current academic programs with an additional number of full-time instructors to improve the educational services provided to students, in accordance with our Strategic Development Plan.
b. To substantially increase information resources, both in the academic and the administrative realms, especially with regards to the library. In order to enhance our library, we have hired the expert professional services of of UCLA’s Dr. Susan Parker, and we will be assisted by Dr. Paul Kim, of Stanford University, in matters pertaining to educational technologies.
c. To be creative in our schedule programming practices in such a way that the planning of each school term will be more effective.
d. To continue strengthening the classroom and laboratory infrastructure by capitalizing on the relationships with the business, service, and government sectors that the institution has created and maintained throughout its 45 years of existence.
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