How is membership in the TLO selection committee determined? Who selects the members? Are the TLO grant applicants given feedback? Why is it that the process does not appear to be more transparent?
Methods of TLO committee selection and proposal review have evolved over the first two rounds of funding.
In the first round of funding there were two committees appointed for the review of applications. One was a committee appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs that reviewed international travel/study abroad TLOs. The International Council was used as the committee to review and recommend funding for these proposals. The International Council is composed of two representatives from each college (nominated by the Dean and appointed by the President). Second was a committee appointed by the Provost that reviewed TLO non-international travel proposals. This committee was formed on the basis of nominations by college deans of one faculty member per college.
In the second round of funding, the TLO program was placed under the auspices of Undergraduate Studies in Academic Affairs. The Assistant VP for Undergraduate Studies retained the International Council as the committee for the review of international travel TLOs. The Assistant VP for Undergraduate Studies formed a second committee to review non-international travel TLOs on the basis of invitations to one faculty member per college. The faculty invited were among those who either participated in the development of reports on different forms of TLOs, or who have some direct experience with undergraduate enrichment activity.
The two committees now make recommendations to the Assistant VP for Undergraduate Studies. The Assistant VP then meets with the chairs of the two committees to discuss the recommendations. Applicants have not been given written feedback about the reasons for the success or failure of their proposals; only that they were either funded or not funded. However, in Round 2 all faculty who were notified of non-funding were encouraged to meet with the Assistant VP for Undergraduate Studies to discuss the proposals.
This procedures used in the second round of funding will be used in the current third round of TLO funding.
Two explicit stipulations have been formalized with regard to committee membership on both committees:
- A reviewer cannot have submitted a proposal
- A reviewer cannot be on the committee if a proposal to be read is submitted by someone who comes under the reviewer in terms of organization/unit hierarchy. In other words, the reader cannot be one who will have benefit, real or perceived, administrative or organizational, by such an award.
The criteria used to evaluate the TLO applications are those that are included in the application materials. These have been made more explicit as the application process has evolved.
Academic Affairs/Undergraduate Studies would welcome any suggestions for making the TLO review process more transparent.