University Assessment Committee

The University Assessment Committee (UAC) supports and coordinates student learning assessment projects at the University of San Francisco (USF). The primary function is to advise, support, and oversee student-centered learning processes, including but not limited to, initiating and encouraging student learning activities throughout the University and providing USF’s leadership with current and accurate reporting on the student experience.

Members are appointed to serve in the UAC because of their expertise and interest in student learning and in nurturing USF’s culture of assessment.

Statement on Anti-Black Racism

The University Assessment Committee (UAC) at USF is committed to racial equity, and holds that higher education has an obligation to address the historically entrenched inequities faced by Black people that persist today. These inequities contradict USF's mission to "distinguish itself as a diverse, socially responsible learning community of high quality scholarship and rigor sustained by a faith that does justice." As such, the UAC has a responsibility to speak out against systemic racism, and support the university's efforts to dismantle systems of white dominance and privilege that perpetuate violence and harm against Black people.

The UAC acknowledges the role that assessment plays in the injustices faced by Black people and other people of color, and that assessment practices in higher education have historically reflected white cultural norms. The UAC's guiding principles are rooted in the belief that effective and meaningful assessment practices are an integral part of the educational process, and that assessment should be ethical and anti-racist.

The UAC commits to expand upon the traditional principles of ethics in research and assessment, and work towards creating a culture of assessment that is inclusive, equitable, and just. The UAC will adhere to Montenegro and Jankowski's definition of culturally responsive assessment and ensure assessment at USF:

  • is mindful of the student populations the institution serves;
  • strives to use language that is appropriate for all students when developing learning outcomes;
  • acknowledges students' differences in the planning phases of an assessment effort;
  • uses assessment tools that are appropriate for different students;
  • is intentional in using assessment results to improve learning for all students; and
  • does no harm.

The UAC also acknowledges that the university must be transparent with the data the institution collects. Failing to act on collected data is particularly harmful for minoritized students including Black students, students of color, first-generation students, and disabled students. As such, all student survey data should be made publicly available in anonymized, formalized reports. Course effectiveness surveys, which are specific to particular faculty members and therefore cannot be anonymized, will not be publicly available. 

Finally, in addition to student learning assessment, the UAC is charged with oversight of the program review process at USF. Program review, as required by the accreditation system, is the primary process by which the government holds higher education institutions accountable to the public. The success of this system is predicated on the ability of the academic community to hold itself accountable. While the process has allowed the higher education system to thrive in many ways, it has failed to adequately address systemic issues of racial injustice. Going forward, academic and co-curricular program reviews at USF must not only speak to issues of diversity, but also actively seek to make any issues of campus racism and bias transparent for the community. 

Charge

The committee is guided by the ideals that effective and meaningful assessment practices are an integral part of the educational process; should be strategic and systematic; include institutional and programmatic assessment of academic and co-curricular units; and above all, that assessment should be ethical and anti-rascist.

The UAC furthers the mission and values of the university by assuring that programs are of the highest quality and effectively prepare students to succeed and contribute to the common good. The UAC supports faculty, staff, and administrators in developing and implementing assessment processes that identify strengths and opportunities for improvement, and that communicate best practices for the programs, departments, and colleges of the university.

The responsibilities of the University Assessment Committee include:

  • Serve as leaders to support a culture of assessment within the colleges/schools and throughout the University, including co-curricular programs and service units.
  • Review University assessment policies and procedures and recommend improvements as needed to the Provost, Senior Vice Provost and the Director of Educational Effectiveness and Assessment.
  • Communicate to faculty and staff regarding assessment and their role in it.
  • Assist college and department assessment representatives with information and resources, including training and technology, to maintain and carry out current assessment plans.
  • Support assessment processes related to programs, including an annual assessment of student learning and program review.
  • Consult throughout the cycle of assessment, including collection and analysis of data, acting on findings, and reporting to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Building and fostering a culture of continuous quality improvement

    Revised: June 16, 2020

Members

SHIRLEY MCGUIRE, PhD 
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Office of the Provost

DEBORAH PANTER, JD (Chair) (WSCUC ALO)
Associate Vice Provost for Educational Effectiveness
Office of the Provost

JILL BALLARD, MA
Instructional Designer
Educational Technology Services  

SHAWN P. CALHOUN, EdD
Associate Dean & Department Head of Access Services, Systems, and Assessment
Gleeson Library/Geschke Center

LAURA CAMARA
Director, Academic Operations, Planning & Resources
School of Management

SUPARNA CHAKRABORTY, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Effectiveness
College of Arts and Sciences

MARY KATHERINE DONNELLY, DNP, MPH, FNAP, ACNP-BC, ANP-BC
Associate Professor and Chair, Graduate Nursing
School of Nursing and Health Professions

SHAWN DOUBIAGO, PhD
Adjunct Professor, Comparative Literature and Culture
College of Arts and Sciences

TRISTIN GREEN, JD
Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
School of Law

LAURA HANNEMANN, MEd
Director of Assessment
School of Education

MONIKA HUDSON, DM, EdD
Associate Professor
School of Management

KATIE HOFFMAN, MFA
Project Manager
Office of the Provost

EUGENE KIM, JD
Co-Director, Tracy Seeley Center for Teaching Excellence
Professor of Legal Writing, School of Law

JACK LENDVAY, PhD
Associate Professor & Department Chair, Environmental Science/Management
College of Arts and Sciences

MARISA C. MCCARTHY, MA
Assistant Director of Curriculum Management
Office of the Provost

STAR PLAXTON-MOORE, MEd
Director of Community Engaged Learning
Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

MELISSA C. THOMPSON, MA
Associate Director of Research & Assessment
Office of the Provost

GOLDEN VENTERS III, MEd
Director of Organizational Effectiveness
Student Life

ANASTASIA VRACHNOS, MS
Associate Vice Provost for International Initiatives
Office of the Provost 

LINDA WONG-LEE
Assistant Director
Center for Institutional Planning and Effectiveness

SCOTT ZIEHM, DNP
Associate Dean for Prelicensure Programs and Accreditation
School of Nursing and Health Professions