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NEASC INTEGRITY COMMITTEE
DRAFT REPORT DATA
April 1, 2003

STANDARD ELEVEN
INTEGRITY

 

I) DESCRIPTION

Documentation: Policies and Procedures, Handbooks, Manuals, Codes, Catalogs, Plans, Statements, Surveys, Guides, Contracts (in print and electronic media)


References: NEASC Standards for Accreditation (SA 11.1-10)

  • 11.1 The institution subscribes to, exemplifies, and advocates high ethical standards in the management of its affairs and in all of its dealings with students, faculty, staff, external agencies and organizations, and the general public.
  • 11.2 Truthfulness, clarity, and fairness characterize the institution’s relations with all internal and external constituencies. Adequate provision is made to ensure academic honesty, privacy rights, and fairness in dealing with students, faculty, and staff. Appropriate policies and procedures related to intellectual property rights are in place. The institution’s educational policies and procedures are applicable and equitably applied to all its students.
  • 11.3 The institution is committed to the free pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. It assures faculty and students the freedom to teach and study a given field, to examine all pertinent data, to question assumptions, and to be guided by the evidence of scholarly research.
  • 11.4 The institution observes the spirit as well as the letter of applicable legal requirements. It has a charter and/or other formal authority from the appropriate governmental agency authorizing it to grant all degrees it awards; it has the necessary operating authority for each jurisdiction in which it conducts activities; and it operates within this authority.
  • 11.5 The institution adheres to non-discriminatory policies and practices in recruitment, admissions, employment, evaluation, and advancement. It fosters an atmosphere within the institutional community that respects and supports people of diverse characteristics and backgrounds.
  • 11.6 The institution manages its administrative operations with honesty and integrity.
  • 11.7 The institution has established and publicizes clear policies ensuring institutional integrity. Included among them are appropriate policies and procedures for the fair resolution of grievances brought by faculty, staff, or students.
  • 11.8 In its relationships with the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, the institution demonstrates honesty and integrity, and it complies with the Commission’s Standards, policies, and requests.
  • 11.9 In addition to the considerations stated in this Standard, the institution adheres to those requirements related to institutional integrity embodied in all other Commission Standards.
  • 11.10 The institution periodically assesses the effectiveness of its ethical policies and procedures and demonstrates that mechanisms exist for the effective implementation of its principles.


II) APPRAISAL

Evidential Basis of Appraisal

  • Institutional documents (Policies and Procedures, Handbooks, Manuals, Codes, Catalogs, Plans, Statements, Surveys, Guides, Contracts, etc.)
  • Student questionnaire results (responses and comments)
  • Administration, Faculty, and Staff (AFS) questionnaire results (responses and comments)
  • Institutional interview results
  • Institutional Actions, Plans and Practices
     

Student Questionnaire: Demographic Data

  • 130 (ages 17-19); 266 (ages 20-25); 188 (ages 26-35); 167 (ages 36-50); 29 (over 50) = 780 total
  • 480 females; 287 males = 767 total
  • 63 African-American; 518 Caucasian; 71 Hispanic; 34 Asian; 89 Other = 775 total
  • 148 freshman full time; 64 freshman part time; 279 sophomore full time; 90 sophomore part time; 192 other = 773 total
  • 320 Knight campus; 268 Flanagan campus; 61 Liston campus; 16 Other = 665 total
     

Administration, Faculty, and Staff Questionnaire: Demographic Data

  • 19 administrators; 109 faculty; 129 staff; 2 Other = 259 total
  • 126 females; 102 males = 228 total
  • 13 African-American; 207 Caucasian; 12 Hispanic; 2 Asian; 13 Other = 247 total
  •  48 (1-4 years employment); 59 (5-8 years employment); 44 (9-15 years employment); 34 (16-20 years employment); 67 (over 20 years employment) = 252 total
  • 120 Knight campus; 94 Flanagan campus; 25 Liston campus; 3 Other = 242 total

 
STRENGTHS

Student Questionnaire

  • #15 College catalog readily available 1.76 (SA 11.1)
  • #10 Respect and support for the physically disadvantaged 1.90 (SA 11.5)
  • # 9 Respect and support for diversity 1.96 (SA 11.5)
  • # 1 Adequate level of physical safety in buildings and on grounds 1.98 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • # 16 CCRI college catalog provides sufficient information to make educational decisions 2.03 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.7)
  • # 24 Adequate academic freedom 2.07 (SA 11.3)
  • #13 High level of academic integrity 2.11 (SA 11.2)
  • # 30 Fair and efficient registration process 2.12 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #2 Healthy level of environmental safety inside college facilities 2.12 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • # 20 Faculty and counselors consistently treat students in a non-sexist manner 2.13 (SA 11.5)
  • # 28 CCRI’s payment policies and procedures are accessible and clear 2.13 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #17 CCRI’s policies and procedures are applied equally to all students. 2.14 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #35 Student confidentiality is respected at CCRI. 2.15 (SA 11.2)
  • #32 The grading system at CCRI is fair. 2.18 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #25 Students are free to express their concerns to administrators. 2.19 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #19 Prerequisite and/or basic courses have adequately prepared me for more advanced coursework. 2.23 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #22 CCRI’s Student Handbook is readily available. 2.26 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)

 
AFS Questionnaire

  • #10 Respect and support for the physically disadvantaged 1.88 (SA 11.5)
  • #9 Respect and support for diversity 1.95 (SA 11.5)
  • # 31 Appropriate academic freedom 2.25 (SA 11.3)
  • # 30 Adequate technical support 2.30 (SA 11.6)
  • #13 High level of academic integrity 2.31 (SA 11.2)
  • #14 Adequate procedures to resolve college-related concerns 2.39 (SA 11.7)
  • #29 The department of Information Technology publicizes and follows pertinent copyright and confidentiality policies. 2.41 (SA 11.4, 11.6)
  • #1 CCRI provides an adequate level of physical safety in its buildings and grounds. 2.44 (SA 11.1, 11.4, 11.6)
  • #7 The CCRI No Harassment policy effectively deters harassment of any kind (sexual, racial, religious, etc.) throughout the college. 2.46 (SA 11.5)
  • #15 Overall, relations between administrators and faculty serve CCRI students well. 2.46 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #23 CCRI policies regarding my position and job description are clearly spelled out in detail. 2.56 (SA 11.7)

 
Institutional Interviews

WEAKNESSES

Student Questionnaire

  • # 5 Not read CCRI Code of Ethics 3.25 (SA 11.1, 11.2)
  • # 6 CCRI Code of Ethics does not set clear standards for integrity 2.62 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.10)
  • # 4 CCRI Code of Ethics is not readily available 2.62 (SA 11.1, 11.2)
  • # 3 CCRI does not provide a secure area for personal possessions 2.56 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #31 CCRI weak in policies and procedures to deal with unprofessional faculty behavior 2.56 (SA 11. 1, 11.2, 11.4, 11.6, 11.10)
  • #26 Student knowledge of appropriate steps to resolve academic or personal problem is weak 2.55 (SA 11.7)
  • #34 CCRI admissions and transfer counselors are not always available or knowledgeable 2.54 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #27 Academic advisors do not always provide accurate information about degree requirements 2.49 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #33 Student orientation is not completely adequate 2.42 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)

 
AFS Questionnaire

  • # 17 Budget allotments to and within CCRI are insufficient 3.53 (SA 11.6)
  • # 2 Unhealthy level of environmental safety inside college facilities 3.24 (SA 11.1, 11.4)
  • # 21 Promotions and hiring practices are not open and fair 3.20 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.5, 11.6)
  • #24 Academic department inadequately staffed 3.18 (SA 11.1, 11.6)
  • # 19 Accountability of administrative decisions and actions is lacking 3.13 (SA 11.6, 11.10)
  • # 27 Inadequate orientation of administrators, faculty, and staff 3.13 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • # 5 Not read CCRI Code of Ethics 3.12 (SA 11.1, 11.10)
  • # 32 Adjunct faculty not included in departmental decisions and policy making 3.10 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.5, 11.6)
  • # 18 Administrative policies at CCRI are not fair to all stakeholders 3.09 (SA 11.6, 11.10)
  • # 3 CCRI does not provide a secure area for personal possessions 3.03 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #28 CCRI orientation policies, procedures, and process are not well designed and efficient. 3.01 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)
  • #16 The CCRI budgetary process is not available for public scrutiny. 2.99 (SA 11.1, 11.2, 11.6)

 
Institutional Interviews

AFS Comments/# of respondents out of a total of 39

  • #1 CCRI does not provide an adequate level of physical safety in its buildings and grounds. (14)
  • #2 CCRI does not provide a healthy level of environmental safety (air quality, for example) inside college facilities. (10)
  • #21 Promotions and hiring practices at CCRI are not open and fair. (10)
  • #24 My department is not adequately staffed. (10)
  • #4 The CCRI Code of Ethics is not readily available. (7)
  • #22 CCRI does not promote open and productive communication among administrators, faculty, and staff. (7)
  • #10 Some CCRI personnel do not respect and support people with different physical abilities. (5)
  • #13 There is not a high level of academic integrity at CCRI. (5)
  • #27 CCRI does not adequately orient administrators, faculty, and staff. (5)
  • #32 Departmental decisions and policymaking do not include adjunct faculty. (5)
  • #7 The CCRI No Harassment policy does not effectively deter harassment of all kinds (sexual, racial, religious, etc.) throughout the college. (4)
  • #12 CCRI does not practice these policies fairly toward all college stakeholders (administrators, faculty, students, staff, alumni, etc.). (4)
  • #19 Accountability of administrative decisions and actions lacking at CCRI. (4)
  • #30 Adequate technical support is not available at CCRI. (4)
  • #8 CCRI does have unethical policies and/or practices. (3)
  • #3 CCRI does not provide a secure area for personal possessions. (3)

Student Comments/# of respondents

  • #27 Academic advisors and counselors do not provide accurate information about degree requirements. (10)
  • #29 Personnel in the Registrar’s office are not professional and helpful. (10)
  • #32 The grading system at CCRI is not fair. (7)
  • #1 CCRI does not provide an adequate level of physical safety in its buildings and grounds. (6)
  • Nursing Program complaints (4)
  • Integrity questionnaire (3)

 
III) PROJECTION

STRENGTHS

  • College catalog readily available
  • Respect and support for the physically disadvantaged
  • Respect and support for diversity
  • CCRI college catalog provides sufficient information to make educational decisions
  • Appropriate academic freedom
  • Adequate technical support
  • High level of academic integrity
  • Adequate procedures to resolve college-related concerns
  • The department of Information Technology publicizes and follows pertinent copyright and confidentiality policies
  • Fair and efficient registration process
  • CCRI provides an adequate level of physical safety in its buildings and grounds
  • The CCRI No Harassment policy effectively deters harassment of any kind (sexual, racial, religious, etc.) throughout the college
  • Healthy level of environmental safety inside college facilities
  • Faculty and counselors consistently treat students in a non-sexist manner
  • CCRI’s payment policies and procedures are accessible and clear
  • Student confidentiality is respected at CCRI

 
PROBLEMS, WEAKNESSES OR AREAS OF CONCERN

  • Code of Ethics is vague and not readily available
  • Budgetary allotments to and within CCRI are insufficient
  • Lack of budgetary openness
  • Physical environment is unhealthy
  • Physical environment is unsafe
  • Hiring and promotion practices are not open and fair
  • Advising and counseling as incompetent, misleading, unprofessional
  • Registrar’s office seen as unprofessional
  • Academic departments are not adequately staffed
  • Lack of open and productive communication
  • Inefficient orientation of administrators, faculty, staff, and students
  • Inconsistent inclusion of adjunct faculty in departmental decisions and policymaking
  • Lack of administrative accountability and lack of fairness toward all stakeholders
  • “State worker”
  • Suspect security for personal possessions
  • Questionable academic integrity
  • Lack of periodic institutional self-assessment of the effectiveness of its ethical principles

 
COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

  • CCRI should reformulate the Code of Ethics into a concise, clear, precise, and specific guideline that incorporates our educational values, professional principles of practice, and institutional mission. The college should also explicitly and regularly highlight the institutional centrality and relevance of the Code of Ethics for accomplishing our institutional mission. It should conduct periodic institutional self-assessment of the effectiveness of its ethical policies and clearly demonstrate that mechanisms exist for the effective implementation of its principles.
  • CCRI should reformulate its Mission Statement into a concise, clear, precise, and specific statement of our institutional goals and the fundamental educational values and ideals underlying them. The revised Mission Statement should dovetail and complement—in tenor and substance—the revised CCRI Code of Ethics
  • CCRI needs to systematically address and critically assess Physical safety and health concerns. Any existing problems need to be corrected and suitable policies and practices designed and implemented. CCRI must be cognizance of the letter and spirit of all legal requirements (OSHA, etc.) and conduct all its affairs in strict compliance with them.
  • CCRI must consistently impress upon state political leaders and legislators that the quality of our institutional mission is drastically diminished by the unrealistic limits imposed upon us (e.g., Full Time Equivalents [FTE]) while simultaneously pursuing all available and appropriate avenues of financial assistance. We must gather relevant evidence regarding our strained institutional status in order to make a more compelling and concrete case to politicians and legislators.
  • CCRI needs to constructively engage the concerns of many employees regarding their longstanding perception of unfair hiring and promotion practices. As in other areas of the institution, CCRI needs to develop more institutional openness and transparency regarding its hiring and promotion integrity. The widespread perception among CCRI employees is that this area is “politicized” and therefore unfair, inequitable, preferential, and nepotistic. Therefore, CCRI needs to engage these widespread concerns constructively by more clearly publicizing and, more importantly, consistently practicing fair, equitable, non-discriminatory, open, public, and impartial hiring and promotion practices.
  • CCRI must critically review its advising and counseling policies, practices and performances. On this basis, it should design appropriate plans and implement indicated changes. At present, both students and employees generally lack confidence in what is perceived as an understaffed and consequently inefficient and occasionally incompetent staff in this area.
  • CCRI must critically review its orientation policies, process, and practices.  On this basis, it should design appropriate plans and implement indicated changes.
  • CCRI needs to become more open, public, inclusive, collaborative, consistent, and productive in its intra-institutional communication (between the various sectors of the college). It should also become less bureaucratic, inefficient, sporadic, and irrelevant. There is a widespread perception among CCRI employees that some serious college business are being conducted clandestinely. CCRI should accordingly take concrete measures to scrupulously avoid even the appearance of secrecy or lack of professional openness. Admittedly, such a perception may not be evidentially warranted, but it is the existence of such a perception, and not its evidential justifiability, that needs to be constructively changed. 
  • CCRI should critically review its professional relationship with adjunct faculty.
  • CCRI should critically review its policies and procedures regarding the security of personal possessions and implement warranted changes. Some employees claim that unauthorized college personnel possess, and utilize, keys they should not have access to. Therefore, the policy and practice of key distribution should be carefully assessed and appropriately modified. Also, the college should create a mechanism for monitoring any abuses of the revised policies and procedures. Perhaps key authorizations and distributions should be made publicly available as a means of bolstering institutional confidence in this area.
     

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