I chatted with Gary after someone in a program asked me what actual threat existed that he could use to coerce his (more senior) colleagues into participating in program assessment.
I mentioned the carrot approach — all the potential benefits — but I figure that this question will continue to come up, and I sought out Gary for a more official answer regarding the Stick.
This is what I came up with after that conversation with Gary, which afterwards got his ok.
Regarding broad participation of faculty in assessment:
One thing the accreditors cited WSU for last year (2009) is the low level of participation in assessment found in many programs a few people doing most or all of the work of assessment.
Getting more folks to participate:
· What does your faculty want to know about its program, about student learning? Program assessment can and should be designed to answer a question you all care about.
· A significant number of faculty must be involved in assessment, including senior faculty, for these efforts to systematically impact a program.
· Quality assessment supports ongoing program improvement, contributing to your program’s reputation.
Programs whose assessment doesn’t have broad faculty involvement — i.e., not close to full participation — may jeopardize WSU’s institutional re-accreditation, which is risky particularly in the current era of funding cuts at the state level and of increased competition (including online education) in general.