Effective Academic Advisory Committee Relationships

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Donna M. Schaeffer
Donald (Nick) Rouse


Advisory Committees, Academic Programs, Committee Relationships


Recently, accrediting bodies are placing great responsibility for accountability on universities and academic schools, departments, and programs. The goal of the increased accountability is improved quality of teaching and learning. In this paper, we describe several levels of accountability for quality teaching and learning in a small, private, liberal arts college. We describe the role the Universitys Board of Trustees. Moving to the School of Business Administration, we explain several activities the Board of Visitors facilitate and participate in. Then, we localize to the Department of Information Systems and Management Science, which has had an advisory committee comprised of award-winning Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers since 2009-2010. Finally, we describe efforts involved in building an advisory committee for a new academic program within the department, the Bachelors in Health Information Management (HIM). This examination provides insights and examples for others who are seeking to establish or re-invigorate their relationships with advisors. It is interesting in that some cases the advisory committee is mandated by law, e.g., the University of Board of Trustees, others are voluntary, e.g., the Schools Board of Visitors and the departments advisory committee, and still others may be prescribed and required by accrediting bodies within particular fields, e.g., the Health Information Management (HIM) program.


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