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SACS Self Study Report

Preface | Introduction | Section I | Section II | Section III | Section IV | Section V | Section VI | Summary

Section II Institutional Purpose


An institution must have a clearly defined purpose or mission statement appropriate to collegiate education as well as to its own specific educational role. This statement must describe the institution and its characteristics and address the components of the institution and its operations. The official posture and practice of the institution must be consistent with its purpose statement. Appropriate publications must accurately cite the current statement of purpose.

In response to legislative mandate, the Florida Board of Regents approved the current mission statement of Florida Gulf Coast University in 1992 as an integral part of the Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida (November 20, 1992). This mission statement provided clearly defined guidelines for the establishment of the institution and the development of its programs in instruction, scholarship, and service.

According to the mission statement, the focus of FGCU is on undergraduate education, selected graduate and continuing education programs based on need and resources, specific degree program areas, and the geographical service area. The mission clearly spells out the expectation to employ alternative learning and teaching systems and calls for faculty public service involvement, applied research to support the teaching and service mission, student volunteer service through community projects, emphasis on environmental studies, and senior projects or papers to synthesize learning.

The academic administration developed and approved the FGCU guiding principles (June 18, 1996) to complement the mission statement. The eight principles establish quality goals and affirm professional academic ideals. Specifically, the principles declare the centrality of student success; affirm the ideals of academic freedom, diversity, an informed citizenry, and service as a public trust; and state the importance of technology, collaborative learning, and assessment for improvement and renewal.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges (COC) Candidacy Committee Report found that "these two statements (the mission statement and guiding principles), taken together, provide the university with a clear model of its role in higher education and its expectations for its instructional, service, and research programs" (November 13, 1997). The SACS COC Candidacy Committee suggested, "that, as part of its upcoming self-study, the university review the two statements and consider the advisability of updating the language and consolidating the two statements into one." In response to this suggestion, the university Institutional Effectiveness Committee drafted a consolidated statement of vision, purpose and commitment (January 29, 1998). That statement was provided to the Institutional Purpose (IP) Self-Study Committee for its assessment. The IP Self-Study Committee sponsored a University Forum on February 13, 1998, including participants from faculty, staff, and student constituencies, to determine the degree to which the constituencies continue to affirm the primary elements of the mission statement and guiding principles. With two exceptions, all primary elements were affirmed. The first exception concerned the recommendation to discontinue the mandate to build upon and replace the programs and services of the University of South Florida branch campus at Fort Myers, since that mandate has been met. The second exception concerned the recommendation to eliminate the limit on graduate level programs to 15 percent of instruction, since that early mandate constrains the potential development of new programs in response to constituent need. The IP Self-Study Committee made several changes to the consolidation document to reflect the affirmation of the primary elements, and returned it to the university Institutional Effectiveness Committee March 20, 1998, for further deliberation. After further review by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee and faculty, the vision, purpose, and commitment statement was approved by the Executive Staff on August 11, 1998.

From the early development of the university, FGCU's posture and practice has been consistent with the characteristics and expectations of the mission statement and guiding principles. The SACS COC Candidacy Committee found "Florida Gulf Coast University in its first year clearly reflects the expectations set forth in this statement." The mission statement served as the foundation for early planning efforts, and with the guiding principles, continues to be the cornerstone for all Florida Gulf Coast University operations, programs, and activities. The following synopsis of events and documents illustrate this cornerstone feature of our mission and guiding principles:

1. Faculty Hiring. In April 1993, Dr. McTarnaghan, then executive vice chancellor for the State University System, met with the faculty of the University of South Florida at Fort Myers to invite them to transition to FGCU. The transition was predicated upon each member stating their full support of the mission statement, to include demonstrations of that support. It is important to note that not all faculty subscribed to the mission and were offered appointments at other campuses of the University of South Florida. In preparation for hiring over 120 inaugural faculty in 1996, four basic criteria were developed by the Deans Council to be used for faculty selection. These criteria flow from the mission statement and guiding principles and include knowledge of the subject matter, knowledge/successful practice with respect to pedagogy, student focus, sense of community, and commitment to building a university for the 21st century.

2. Multi-Year Appointments. In May 1995, the Board of Regents approved an agreement with the United Faculty of Florida to allow multi-year contracts to supplement tenure-track appointments at Florida Gulf Coast University. One of the chief benefits of multi-year appointments is to create flexible hiring conditions for clinical and other professionals serving as faculty within community-based components of applied degree programs.

3. Diversity. President McTarnaghan appointed the Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Committee in 1996 to ensure that, while planning and employing a faculty and staff, the university would be mindful of the value and necessity of having a very competitive and ethnically diverse staff and faculty. Since then, that committee has grown in representation of all campus constituencies. The committee advises the university community concerning policies, procedures and methods to build and maintain a diverse, accessible, civil, and supportive learning community. [See diversity statement in the university catalog.]

4. Strategic Plan for the Use of Technology. The Strategic Plan The Use of Technology was developed in 1996 and provides a framework for building the technology infrastructure necessary to support the university's academic, administrative, and student service goals.

5. Environmental Studies. In March 1996, the Board of Regents approved a new undergraduate concentration in Environmental Studies in the Liberal Studies bachelor's program. Beyond this, the environmental perspective is one of the nine undergraduate student learning goals and outcomes required in all programs, and all undergraduate students study ecological and environmental issues and perspectives in the University Colloquium.

6. Student Learning Goals and Outcomes. From October 1996 to January 1997, the faculty refined the eight undergraduate student learning goals and associated learning outcomes originally approved by the academic administration on August 22, 1996, from the mission and guiding principles. The resulting nine goals provide a foundation for lifelong learning and effective citizenship through the focus on aesthetic sensibility, a culturally diverse perspective, an ecological perspective, effective communication, ethical responsibility, information literacy, problem-solving abilities, technological literacy, and community service and involvement. Outcomes supporting these goals were refined to involve knowledge, understanding, analysis, evaluation, and collaboration levels. A parallel set of graduate student learning outcomes was developed and approved by the faculty (January 1998). These outcomes relate to critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills; professional and technical expertise; leadership in professional and occupational areas; and capacity for continuing learning, growth, and scholarly activity.

7. Faculty and Course Development Activities. FGCU's Office of Faculty and Course Development offers a variety of individual services, workshops and seminars to help faculty become technologically literate. For example, in the spring of 1997, individualized services included instructional design and technical house calls; over a dozen orientation and awareness seminars were offered from Web Course Maker to orientation on the electronic teaching podium system; over a dozen technology workshops were conducted including using Netscape Navigator as an editor and using PowerPoint in the classroom; and instructions were provided for on-line learning on the World Wide Web. A seminar series was initiated to provide an open forum for faculty-led issues related to instruction. The university Foundation and the President's Office established special funds to provide support for course development projects for distance learning and teaching innovation. Additional activities occur at the college level, such as the "Teaching Breakfasts" in the College of Arts and Sciences and the "Web-ucator" lunches in College of Business.

8. Staff Technological Literacy. The Division of Administrative Services provides staff with access to a wide variety of training opportunities to encourage technological competence. This training began in 1996 for the early cadre of staff personnel and expanded in the spring of 1998 to include twice-weekly classes in subjects such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Exchange and the network. In addition to resident classes, videos and books are available on a checkout basis.

9. Community Partnerships. The colleges are beginning to lay foundations for community partnerships described in the mission. An example is the Center for Leadership and Innovation, which was formed in early 1997 as an integral part of the College of Business. The central mission of the center is to foster sustainable economic growth in Southwest Florida using a dual managerial/technological strategy with a beginning nucleus of nine industry and business partners. Another example includes the memorandums of agreement between the College of Health Professions and community health organizations to provide community-based clinical practice for students. The College of Arts and Sciences has memorandums of understanding in development with the Rookery Bay National Estuary Research Preserve, Big Cypress National Preserve, Corkscrew Audubon Sanctuary, and the Center for Environmental Studies.

10. Faculty Performance Evaluation and Governance. In July 1997, the faculty approved the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document (July 11, 1997) founded on values flowing from the mission and guiding principles. These include collaboration, a civil environment, academic freedom, diversity, productivity, equity, and professional development. The faculty also approved the Faculty Governance Structure and Process (July 11, 1997). The structure creates a collegial faculty self-governance system to ensure the responsibilities of the faculty in fulfilling the mission are met. Hallmarks of the governance structure include fairness, mutual respect, continuous improvement, an informed faculty, collegial decision making, and recognition and respect of autonomy of the academic units as well as their partnerships with each other and with the community they serve.

11. Library Services. The Library Services mission statement (October 1997) hallmarks student success, learner needs, freedom of inquiry and expression, information technology, access and assessment; all of which flow from the university mission statement and guiding principles.

12. Service Learning. The Service Learning Program was created in the fall of 1997 to afford students opportunities for community involvement through partnerships. Over 50 partnership arrangements have been created in this first ever State University System Service Learning Program. Program experiences support learning outcomes, foster civic responsibility, and develop informed citizens who participate in their communities after graduation.

13. Student Technology Literacy. In order to function effectively at Florida Gulf Coast University, all students are expected to use certain basic computer applications including e-mail, an Internet browser, the State University On-Line Library Catalogue and Loan Request system, word processing, and course specific software. The Instructional Technology Web site provides students with recommended hardware and software configurations for home computers and information about on-line tutorials and both computer lab and personalized training opportunities.

14. Distance Learning Plan. The FGCU Distance Learning Strategic Plan, based upon the guiding principles, places priority on learning needs, access to knowledge resources, and technology as a fundamental tool. It builds upon an understanding of the external environment and institutional strengths of the university, and creates ten strategic goals to pursue responsive distance learning opportunities.

In addition to the practice and posture of the university being consistent with the mission, FGCU has widely published its mission in appropriate documents. The Institutional Purpose Self-Study Committee found that the mission statement was published in the university catalog, the university Web page, the Faculty Handbook, the Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida, and the Comprehensive Campus Master Plan. The guiding principles were also published in the university catalog, the Faculty Handbook, and the Student Guidebook.

In the FGCU annual survey (agree/disagree scale) administered in the spring of 1998, faculty reported very high familiarity with the mission and guiding principles. In this survey, faculty also indicated that the mission was an important consideration in their desire to come to FGCU. However, while the faculty reported familiarity with strategic plans, they did not believe the university's operational procedures were consistent with the mission, with the average score for this item (3.45) falling below the average for all questions, and the number of "strongly disagree" responses exceeding the "strongly agree" responses.

In the FGCU annual survey (agree/disagree scale), the staff reported that they were familiar with and understood the mission statement, and were familiar with the guiding principles. As with faculty, there is some indication that the staff also found the operational procedures not consistent with the mission, with the average (4.18) being below the average for all questions, and the number of "strongly disagree" responses exceeding the "strongly agree" responses.

In the FGCU annual survey (agree/disagree scale) and unlike the results with faculty and staff, the students reported they were not familiar with the mission and that the mission was not an important consideration in their decision to enroll at FGCU. It is noted that these two items were not considered problem areas on the importance/performance survey as the students rated these items as relatively unimportant (item averages were below the average of all items).

The formulation of a statement of purpose represents a major educational decision. It should be developed through the efforts of the institution's faculty, administration and governing board. It must be approved by the governing board. An institution must study periodically its statement of purpose, considering internal changes as well as the changing responsibilities of the institution to its constituencies.

In early 1992, Dr. McTarnaghan visited the faculty at the University of South Florida Fort Myers Campus to review work in progress for the new university and share information on the development of the purpose of the institution. He reported that the following became very clear during meetings with regional constituencies:

1. Many of the residents of the five counties making up Southwest Florida were already in the workforce and needed a university focused on undergraduate education. Time and distance barred these residents from other Florida institutions of higher education.

2. In recognition of the sensitive environmental location and increased community-based international networks in foreign trade and tourism, environmental and international perspectives needed to be an integral part of the classroom, the laboratory, and faculty scholarship.

3. Health and service-care providers and business organizations in the five-county community hungered for partnerships with the new university.

4. There was a need for faculty to focus on teaching and public service outreach; with this focus supported by applied research.

These early efforts ensured that the mission and guiding principles would be responsive to the learner and community needs. The Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida included the first publication of the mission for the new university. That planning effort, including development of the mission statement, was led by Executive Vice Chancellor Roy E. McTarnaghan, who was assisted by Michael Armstrong, Board of Regents; Arthur Doerr, University of West Florida; Marcelle Lovett, University of Central Florida; Charles Micarelli, University of Central Florida; Charles Miller, Florida State University, Suzanne Richter, Miami-Dade Community College; and Denise Young, University of Central Florida. Chancellor Charles B. Reed also recognized helpful suggestions from the staff of the Annenberg Foundation, Empire State College, the Fund for Improvement of Post-Secondary Education, and the University of Maryland. The Board of Regents adopted the Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida, including the mission statement, on November 20, 1992.

By early 1996, the academic deans had been hired to form the initial cadre of staff at the new university. In June of 1996, they developed the guiding principles to complement the mission statement. The guiding principles established quality goals and affirmed professional academic ideals. By the fall of that year, an initial cadre of faculty and faculty still at the University of South Florida Fort Myers Campus refined the student learning goals and outcomes developed from the mission and guiding principles.

As previously noted, the university Institutional Effectiveness Committee and the Institutional Purpose Self-Study Committee hosted a University Forum on February 13, 1998, to study the mission and the guiding principles and to determine the degree to which the constituencies continue to affirm these documents. As noted earlier, forum participants suggested deleting reference to building upon the programs and services of the University of South Florida at Fort Myers since that mission element is completed. Further, the participants suggested deleting the limitation of graduate level programs to 15 percent of the instruction to enable flexibility in response to new program needs. In February and March 1998, in response to the SACS COC Candidacy Committee recommendation, these committees continued work on updating the language of the mission statement and consolidating the mission with the guiding principles. In April 1998, the resulting document, the Vision, Purpose, and Commitment Statement, was shared with the Deans Council, the Faculty Senate, the administrative directors, the Student Senate, and the Executive Staff to ensure faculty, administration, and student participation in the periodic review effort. The statement was approved by the Executive Staff in August 1998, and subsequently submitted to the Board of Regents.

The statement of purpose serves as the foundation for all institutional operations, programs and activities. Consequently, the institution must demonstrate that its planning and evaluation processes, educational programs, educational support services, financial and physical resources, and administrative processes are adequate and appropriate to fulfill its stated purpose.

Planning and Evaluation Processes. In September 1997, the university Institutional Effectiveness Task Force published its final report, which included an Institutional Effectiveness Plan, established the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, recommended creating plans for all units to report effectiveness activities, and affirmed the need for a five-review review cycle for all units and programs. These actions implement the guiding principle that states "assessment of all functions is necessary for improvement and continual renewal." The planning and evaluation system makes assessment an integral part of planning and requires a process of goal setting, assessment, enhancement, and renewal. In response to this mandate, the university Institutional Effectiveness Committee and Institutional Purpose Self-Study Committee began the process of developing university goals at the February 13, 1998 University Forum. Forum participants created 25 goals that responded to the primary elements of the mission and guiding principles. A writing subcommittee of Institutional Purpose Self-Study Committee refined the wording, then participants from the university forum prioritized the goals. The Institutional Purpose Self-Study Committee then submitted the six prioritized goals to the university Institutional Effectiveness Committee for further deliberation. This process directly responds to and corrects the finding in the FGCU annual survey of faculty, staff, and students (agree/disagree scale) that constituents did not have the opportunity to participate in the development of the mission, goals, and outcome measures. The seven university goals were approved by the Executive Staff in November 1998.

Educational Programs. The educational programs at FGCU, having been developed in response to community needs and the mission statement, are adequate and appropriate to the institutional purpose. The following demonstrates how educational programs support the primary elements of the institutional purpose. Section IV of the Self-Study Report provides details about educational program.

1. Community Based Clinical Practice. Partnership agreements have been established to enable community-based clinical practice in all levels of undergraduate internships, school and community counseling, health professions, social work, and criminal justice.

2. Emphasis on Environmental Studies. The University Colloquium course is required of all undergraduate students as an interdisciplinary course with experiences addressing ecological perspectives. Other courses such as Issues in Ecology and the Environment in the College of Arts and Sciences also address this perspective. There are also frequent on-campus programs for the university and larger community such as guest lecturers for Celebration of Earthweek, April 1998; Sense of Place field experiences; and numerous speaker series throughout the year.

3. Faculty Scholarship to Support Teaching and Service Roles. The manner in which scholarship, particularly applied scholarship, supports the roles of teaching and service is being explored in many areas. For example, the School of Education has drafted a position statement that articulates the over-lapping nature of research and teaching. Faculty in the College of Business engage in research projects with local hospitals providing a service to enhance medical practice in the region as well as provide real case applications in class.

4. Graduate Degrees Based on Need and Supporting Professional Growth. The College of Business offers an evening Master of Business Administration (MBA) program as well as a weekend Executive MBA to serve the needs of working professionals. The College of Professional Studies offers master's degrees for professionals in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in educational technology, special education, elementary education, educational leadership, counseling, social work, and public administration. The College of Health Professions offers a master's in health science and a master's in physical therapy.

5. Primary Mission is Undergraduate Education. Sixteen undergraduate degrees are offered by the four colleges, including 12 concentrations within the Liberal Studies degree program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Approximately 83 percent of the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment was at the undergraduate level in 1997-98. Focus and advisory groups help in the determination of specific degree program offerings at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

6. Variety of Alternative Learning and Teaching Systems. Upon the opening of the university, students could complete an entire degree program in criminal justice via distance learning. During the inaugural 1997-98 academic year, several programs offered courses via distance, such as the master's programs in business, educational leadership, health science, and public administration; and bachelor's programs in health science and nursing. During the 1998-99 academic year, the following areas will begin offering courses via distance learning systems: bachelor's programs in liberal studies and clinical laboratory science, and the master's programs in curriculum and instruction (educational technology) and physical therapy.

Educational Support Services. The educational support services at FGCU, which are in a state of continual development in response to the needs of a new and growing institution, are adequate and appropriate to the institutional purpose. This observation will be discussed in the analysis section. The following information demonstrates how educational services support selected primary elements of the mission statement or guiding principles. Section V of the Self-Study Report provides details about support services.

1. Access and Technology. The library provides on-line access to multiple data bases, catalogs, tutorials, and research assistance. Financial aid information is available to students on line. Technology assistance is available to all students in all computer labs; assistance in accessing distance learning courses and student hardware requirements is available on-line through the Distance Learning Home Page; and syllabi for courses are available through the university Home Page.

2. Alternative Learning and Teaching Systems. The Office of Instructional Technology (IT) provides academic support services for students and faculty via electronic mail, computer applications, and individual consultations with IT staff. Over 50 projects ranging from development of interactive two-way video course delivery to running collaboration tool workshops were initiated during 1997.

3. Diversity. The Office of Multi-Access Services guides the creation of an inclusive and diverse campus community. Services are provided for students with disabilities as well as to international students.

4. Ecological Perspective. The project, "A Sense of Place," began with staff and faculty exploration of natural and historical habitats of Southwest Florida in August 1997. Plans are to continue the "Sense of Place" as part of faculty orientation each August and to make the project available to constituencies outside FGCU.

5. Faculty Development. The colleges provide professional development funds for faculty to attend conferences and share results of their scholarship. In addition, FGCU provides a variety of workshops to enhance the professional development of faculty, staff, and administrators.

6. Library is Center of Learning Environment with On-Line Access Capability. The library provides access to various regional, state, national and international databases; an on-line reserve system; and assignment of librarians to the academic areas which enhances the learning environment.

7. Mentoring. Mentoring programs are offered in a variety of areas. In the first year of operation, the Office of Personal, Academic and Career Counseling offered services for students in both academic and professional counseling, testing, "Peer Educators," and on-line tutoring in math and writing. Faculty serving as mentors/advisors guide undergraduates through synthesis projects or papers in their senior year. Senior faculty and staff mentors take an active part in the university's Leadership Diversity Program designed to assist ethnic minority and women professionals prepare for leadership roles in higher education.

8. Partnerships. Partnerships have been developed through grants with local agencies such as Academy Grants in Education, Criminal Justice/Education Summer Camp, and the Special Education Partnership Grant involving local school districts. As a further demonstration, the School of Education assigns 12 faculty members to nine local public schools, and has a full-time faculty member assigned as the Internship Coordinator to facilitate partnerships with local agencies.

9. Service and Access to the University. The Family Resource Center provides day care for a limited number of children of students, faculty, and staff, as well as for the community on a space-available basis.

10. Service Learning. Service learning opportunities are now available through the Office of Service Learning, which are described on its Web site.

11. Tutoring and Advising. The Division of Student Services provides a variety of tutoring programs in subjects ranging from accounting to mathematics to writing. A wide range of advising is available to students, including academic, career, and personal counseling.

One area of concern is a survey finding regarding Library Services. In the spring 1998 FGCU annual survey (agree/disagree), the faculty did not find the library adequate for the mission of the university. The average score for that question fell below the average for all questions, with the number of "strongly disagree" responses (a score of 1 on a six-point scale) exceeding the "strongly agree" responses. Consistent results were found with the importance/performance survey scale questions with respect to Library Services. The adequacy of the library was rated very important, but performance was rated relatively low.

Financial and Physical Resources. The financial resources at FGCU are adequate and appropriate to the institutional purpose. Of note, a substantial financial investment of $5.5 million has been made for library holdings to represent the commitment to establish the library as the "heart of the university's learning environment" [see Section 5.1 and 6.3 of the Self-Study Report for description and analysis]. As well, $2 million has been allocated for developing the information technology infrastructure and for integrating technology throughout the university, especially in the development and delivery of programs and services. [See Section 5.3 of the Self-Study Report for description and analysis.]

In addition, physical resources at FGCU are adequate and appropriate to the institutional purpose. Over half of the university site is reserved for jurisdictional wetlands and upland buffers. This set aside is a physical reflection of the university's emphasis on the environment. The current academic buildings, and planned Whitaker Center for math, science, and technology education; classroom building (Academic III); and fine arts facility support the university's mission emphasis on undergraduate programs and special needs-based graduate programs. [See Sections 6.3 and 6.4 of the Self-Study Report and the Comprehensive Campus Master Plan.]

Administrative Processes. The administrative processes at FGCU are adequate and appropriate to the institutional purpose. The following demonstrates how these processes support the primary elements of the institutional purpose. Section VI of the Self-Study Report provides details concerning administrative processes.

1. Diversity. Nationwide employment searches; search and screening policy and practice; applicant tracking and hiring goals; and minority-owned business purchases are used to foster a climate open to diversity.

2. Environment. The campus was designed to preserve and add wetlands. Through controlled burns, the placement of forms on the web and other paper reduction initiatives, and recycling, FGCU demonstrates environmental stewardship. The Faculty Senate's Institutional Affairs Team deals with these issues, and an Environmental Stewardship Council is being studied as a new advisory committee to the president.

3. Five-County Primary Service Area. Construction contracts are provided to local vendors; bus service and police training serves the region; local departments are provided linkages on the university Web site; and a summer high school work program has been established with area high schools.

4. Outsourcing and Partnerships. Outsourcing has been effectively used for the bookstore, food service, copy center, copy machines, vending, housekeeping and grounds maintenance, pest control, student information system server management, and computer hardware repairs. Partnerships are established with other state agencies through software consortiums and the sharing of library databases and collections.

5. Student Focus and Use of Technology. All students are served by voice response registration; Web-based registration, admissions, and financial aid services; and a client server based student information system including individual e-mail accounts.

6. Time- and Distance-Free Learning. The university is home to a public radio and television station for instructional purposes and is an affiliate member of Internet2.

7. Use of Technology. The university community is now served by a high-speed asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network, distributed NT based servers, Oracle enterprise-wide database, and switched Ethernet linkage to desktops enabling all users to be networked with a full complement of desktop tools. In addition, faculty, staff, and students have the ability to access the system, including a full complement of Web-based forms and applications from their home computers and other remote sites.


FGCU has a clearly defined and published mission approved by the Board of Regents, and the university's practices are consistent with this mission. The faculty, staff, administration, and students have studied and updated the mission, which serves as the foundation for all operations, programs, and activities. The mission statement and the guiding principles have been consolidated, as recommended by the SACS COC Candidacy Committee, and approved by the Executive Staff. In addition, the university goals have been reviewed by the academic community and approved by the Executive Staff.

With respect to FGCU annual survey findings, the Institutional Purpose Self-Study Committee finds high faculty and staff familiarity with the mission and guiding principles, but the students are unfamiliar with these founding documents. Significantly, the students did not rate their familiarity with the purpose as important. It should be noted that the Student Government Association was recently given the opportunity to consider and comment on the updated language and consolidation of the mission statement and guiding principles.

The FGCU annual survey results suggesting that operational procedures are not consistent with the mission reflect the fact that FGCU is in its first year of operation during which time operational procedures and policies are in development. The recent creation of a policy committee that will serve as a clearinghouse for procedures and policies creates the mechanism to ensure important procedures and policies are created and disseminated in a timely manner. In addition, the effort to involve faculty, staff, and students in the review of the institutional purpose and in the development of university goal statements makes all constituents more familiar with the mission and guiding principles. The process also makes the constituents more familiar with the relationship between strategic plans and goals and the mission and guiding principles. Finally, the goal-setting process is part of the plan to operationalize the mission.

The FGCU annual survey results finding that the library is inadequate for the mission reflects the fact that the library was not operational until October 1997, and resources are being added regularly. For example, in the spring of 1998, faculty, through their college library committees, provided prioritized lists for journal acquisitions which are being used for collection development. The Institutional Purpose Self-Study Committee further notes that the Steering Committee recommends that Library Services work more formally and communicate more regularly with the faculty on issues regarding operations and resource development. (See Section 5.1.1 of the Self-Study Report.) With the addition of resources to complement electronic access and learning resource capabilities and more formal and regular communication with constituencies, it is believed that the library will be adequate to support the mission.




S2-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the university Institutional Effectiveness Committee continue to manage the process leading to promulgation of the university goals. This includes wide circulation to and assessment by the Faculty Senate, administrative directors, Deans Council, Student Senate, and the Executive Staff.

S2-2 The Steering Committee suggests that the university Institutional Effectiveness Committee consider communicating the mission and guiding principles and university goals to community constituents, including the foundation board and the college advisory boards.

S2-3 The Steering Committee suggests that the mission statement and guiding principles be published in the student newspaper and that the mission statement be added to the Student Guidebook.

S2-4 The Steering Committee suggests that the university Institutional Effectiveness Committee charge the Faculty Senate to periodically review the undergraduate and graduate student learning outcomes to ensure that practice and posture remain consistent with university purpose and commitment, and to ensure faculty leadership and participation in the process.

Supporting Documentation for Section II

BOR UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement

Capital Improvement Plan


Comprehensive Campus Master Plan

Course Syllabus, IDS 3304, Issues in Ecology and Environment

Course Syllabus, IDS 3920, University Colloquium

Criteria for Selection of Faculty

Distance Learning Strategic Plan

Distance Learning Technology Requirements Web Site


Distance Learning Web Page on Programs and Courses


Diversity Statement

Eagles Connect Service Learning Program

Enrollment Plan

Faculty Governance Structure and Process

Faculty Handbook

Faculty Performance Evaluation Document

FGCU-USF Fort Myers Faculty Council, Memorandum #1, October 11, 1996

Graduate Student Learning Outcomes

Guiding Principles

Institutional Effectiveness Task Force Final Report

Library Services Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Multi Access Services Web Site (

Organizational Chart

Personal, Academic and Career Counseling Web Site

SACS COC Candidacy Committee Report

School of Education Position Statement on the Nature of Faculty Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Plan for the Use of Technology

Student Guidebook

Student Learning Goals and Outcomes (undergraduate)

Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida

University Goals

Vision, Purpose, and Commitment Statement

Web Site Home Page (

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