Central Michigan University today announced The Barthwell Group will extend its assessment efforts into the fall. This move will allow greater input from the entire CMU community for the final report and recommended strategies.
"Based on campus feedback and the community's continued commitment to this topic, our assessment committee agreed that extending the study was the best decision. We want to make sure as many voices as possible are heard," said assessment liaison and CMU faculty member Christi Brookes, who also serves as co-chair of the Shared Governance and Communications Committee. "Shifting the assessment will allow key individuals and decision-making bodies throughout the university additional time to partner in the survey process."
The assessment is designed to provide a broad snapshot of climate at CMU and leverage Barthwell's global expertise to create a strategy to strengthen the university. The work follows a diversity and inclusion town hall meeting with hundreds of students, faculty, staff and local residents convened by President George E. Ross in December.
The consulting firm worked with liaisons from the university to launch the assessment last month. Phase One efforts have included a series of discussions and one-on-one interviews with students, faculty and staff. Representatives this week will conduct focus groups on campus.
Based on that input, consultants will develop a Phase Two online survey to be issued to the campus community next fall.
"Many individuals care deeply about these issues and want to provide opinions directly," said assessment liaison Tony Voisin, associate vice president of student affairs. "Moving the survey to the fall also will allow us to gather the first impressions of new students as they become part of our campus community."
Barthwell's final report will be released by the end of the fall semester. Implementation discussions and action steps will begin early next year.
The university liaisons on this effort are:
- Katherine Lasher, executive director of the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity; and
- Stan Shingles, assistant vice president of university recreation, events and conferences.
In addition to interviews, focus groups and the online survey, interested parties may share thoughts, ideas and concerns with Barthwell or the liaisons at