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Two experts in planning and assessment to visit UMFK January 9 to assist in preparations for institutional self-study

January 2, 2004


Two national experts in the field of college and university planning and assessment will visit the UMFK campus community on Friday, January 9, to launch an 18-month institutional self-study the university will undergo to prepare for a 2005 re-accreditation visit by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Margaret Hegge, a recent director of academic evaluation and assessment at South Dakota State University in Brookings, and Patricia O'Brien, associate director, commission on institutions of higher education at NEASC in Bedford, Massachusetts, will lead a UMFK faculty and staff development day, designed to introduce and prepare the campus for the self-study.

Hegge and O'Brien were invited by campus officials to assist them as they begin a year that will be marked with a rigorous campus-wide self-evaluation.

"Both Professor Kurt Holzhausen and I, as co-chairs of the self-study, are honored to be entrusted with the coordination and oversight of the re-accreditation process. The significance of Dr. Margaret Hegge and Dr. Patricia O'Brien's visit on Friday January 9th marks the beginning of a long and arduous, yet welcomed and valuable event toward continuing accreditation. Our goals are to learn about ourselves as an institutional community by describing the mission of UMFK in relation to each of the accreditation standards, to appraise what we are doing, and finally to make projections for self-improvement. We have much internal expertise on planning and evaluation; however, the visit by both Drs. Hegge and O'Brien will lend a valuable external view to enhancing institutional effectiveness."

Margaret Hegge is currently the assistant undergraduate department head and coordinator for the nursing accelerated program at South Dakota State University. Prior to this recent appointment in 2003, she served as the director of academic evaluation and assessment at South Dakota for five years.

She has a wide array of administrative experiences in higher education including serving as director for colleagues on Caring Grant for Nursing Workforce Development, as an administrative associate for vice president for academic affairs, and as head for the department of advanced studies, research coordinator, and as an acting dean at South Dakota.

Hegge earned her doctorate and masters in education from the University of South Dakota, and a master of science in nursing from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

She is involved in numerous professional organizations and has written and presented dozens of scholarly papers.

Hegge will travel to UMFK to consult as a Visiting Libra Professor. A follow-up visit by the consultant is planned late Fall 2004 as the university prepares to fine-tune their self-study.

Patricia O'Brien joined NEASC in 2003 following eight years of service to Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater Massachusetts.

At Bridgewater, she rose through the ranks from director of institutional research and assessment to assistant vice president for academic affairs, and finally to associate vice president for planning and assessment, a position she held for three years.

O'Brien received both her master and doctorate degrees in education from Harvard University, and a bachelor of arts from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

She has served on numerous committees and is the author of several publications. In addition, O'Brien has presented at more than 25 national and regional meetings.

UMFK officials are using the visit by Hegge and O'Brien to help UMFK faculty and staff learn about the resources that are available to them as they contribute to the institutional assessment and planning process.

They are looking to Hegge specifically to review and evaluate the current institutional assessment inventory and to assist with the refinement and implementation of the plan for institutional assessment and planning, as well as to generally prepare the campus for the NEASC accreditation team visit in 2005.