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March 19, 2020 at 1:30 PM - Academic Affairs Committee

Call to Order
Roll Call/Declaration of Quorum
Action Items
A. Consideration of Tenure Appointments
Background Information:  Per university policy, the President recommends the granting of tenure to eligible faculty members.  The recommendations are made within the requirements of APSU policy on tenure.  The university has followed approved policies and procedures in each case.
Proposed Implementation Date: August 2020

Item Details:

A total of 17 faculty members are recommended for tenure. The list of faculty members is provided below.
Name: Department:
Bouton, Bobette D. Teaching and Learning
Bowron, Christopher Library Administration
Bush, Rachel Art and Design
Cashner, Mollie Biology
Frogge, George Criminal Justice
Kirby, Nicholas Mathematics and Statistics
Ritchart, Amy Communication
Sanders, Adriane Psychological Science and Counseling
Sienkiewicz, Kristen Music
Thompson, Jeffrey Social Work
Wang, Ling Teaching and Learning
Wesley, Timothy History and Philosophy
Williams, Jeffrey Music
Wilson, Debra Nursing
Woods, Kathryn Leadership and Organizational Administration
Wright, Christopher Criminal Justice
Yantz, Jennifer Mathematics and Statistics

Currently there are 353 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty, of which 241 (68%) are tenured.  The following summary table provides the numbers of tenure-track faculty granted tenure from 2016-17 to the present.  The President is recommending 17 tenure-track faculty for tenure at this time. 
Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty
Year Hired 2011 2012 2013 2014
Tenure Decision Year 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
# Hired 29 29 17 27
# No Longer with University 11 11 2 3
  38% 38% 12% 11%
# Tenured or Currently Tenure Track 18 18 15 24*
  62% 62% 88% 89%

*Of the 27 faculty hired in 2014:
14 - being recommended for tenure at this time
3 - no longer at the university
1 - not recommended for tenure in 2020
7 - tenured prior to 2020
2 - moving through the tenure process in Spring 2020 (one left university and returned, one had an exception to the policy)

Of the 17 being recommended for tenure at this time:
1 - came to APSU in 2013 and was approved to "stop the clock" for one year
1 - came to APSU in 2015 and was awarded 1 year toward tenure
1 - came to APSU in 2017 and was awarded 3 years toward tenure

B. Petition for the Right to Appeal Negative Tenure Decision
Background Information:  Dr. Neeta Bhasin, Assistant Professor, department of Languages and Literature, sought tenure during the 2019-2020 academic year. President White considered the recommendations made in the tenure review process, including recommendations at prior levels of review, and elected to deny Dr. Bhasin’s request for tenure. Dr. Bhasin is requesting the right to appeal this decision per APSU policy 1:010.
Description:  While APSU policy 1:010 creates the right to petition for permission to appeal, petitioner for appeal must present compelling evidence that President White’s decision was erroneous. In determining whether to grant an appeal, the appropriate Board committee may consider the following:
  • Whether Board policy or procedures have been followed;
  • Whether or not there is material evidence to substantiate the decision appealed from; and/or
  • Whether or not there has been a material error in application of the law, which prima facie results in substantial injustice.
 The documents related to the appeal are attached.
C. Approval of the Master of Speech-Language Pathology
Background Information:  Austin Peay State University (APSU) is seeking approval to offer a Master of Speech-Language Pathology (MSLP) program.

The purpose of the program is to prepare graduates for successful careers in the profession of speech-language pathology. A speech-language pathologist has knowledge and skills to manage communication and swallowing across the life span. The APSU program will offer students an excellent academic and broad-based clinical education experience that will link contemporary theories, current best practices, and cutting-edge technologies to prepare students for rewarding careers in speech language pathology. Students will be prepared to meet the needs of the individuals they serve in the context of a culturally diverse society and advance the profession as accountable practitioners and emerging leaders.

Supporting Area Needs:

Austin Peay State University seeks to help individuals with communication disorders in the state of Tennessee by creating a graduate speech-language pathology program that will prepare graduates to help people acquire or restore the basic human right of communication. In doing so, graduates of Austin Peay State University’s program will play a significant role in reducing the personal and economic burden of communication disabilities on the individual and society.

U.S. News & World Report ranks speech-language pathologist as one of the Best Health Care Jobs of 2017, number 20 and one of the Best 100 jobs of 2017, number 28. Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2014-2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Projections suggest an additional 26,000 speech-language pathologists will be needed to fill the demand between 2012-2022 across school and health care settings.

Employment growth for speech-language pathology in Tennessee is expected to increase by 25.1%. According to JobsEQ data, there were 45 jobs posted online within the last 180 days (prior to June 2018) for speech-language pathologists. Higher than average salaries (average $64,800 compared to $39,100 for all occupations) and low unemployment rates (1.2 percent) in the Clarksville, TN area should make this an attractive profession for students.

Job Market: 

The results of the Hanover Market Analysis indicate that the labor market is projected to see approximately 25% labor market growth in the 2014-2024 time frame for individuals obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fields related to speech pathology. With respect to Tennessee, the projected five-year growth rate for bachelor’s degree completions is greater than that of master’s degrees, however; in a recent 5-year period, nearly 2.5 times more master’s degrees (155) were awarded than bachelor’s degrees (64).

Estimated Enrollment:

The Department of Health and Human Performance anticipates accepting cohorts of 20 students annually beginning Fall 2021. The Fall 2021 cohort has a projected graduation date occurring in the Spring semester 2023. The proposed program requires 54-credit hours that are attainable in 5 semesters. The proposed MSLP program will admit 20 students each fall for the first five years. Limiting enrollment for the first five years of program implementation will ensure the program has adequate program resources to become fully accredited. Over the course of the five year projection the proposed MSLP program will admit 100 students. APSU planned for attrition of two students per year and with that calculation APSU will graduate 72 students in the first five years.


The proposed MSLP program identified three areas of distinction by providing  clinics that reflect real-world clinical service delivery practices and align with the university and program mission. Listed in no particular order: 1) interprofessional clinical training experiences with endoscopy for voice and swallowing (APSU appears to be the only institution in Tennessee not associated with a university medical center that will offer training in flexible endoscopy for evaluation of swallowing); 2) clinical experience with service delivery using telepractice, i.e. services that are delivered to clients at remote locations by using videoconferencing tools to better prepare graduates for serving the underserved rural areas across the state; and 3) course content and clinical experiences specially designed to train graduate students to meet the unique needs of military affiliated individuals and families.

Student Interest:

Student demand for master’s programs is higher than degree completions indicate because admission to speech-language pathology graduate programs is highly competitive and capped to adhere to national accreditation standards. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) 2017 survey, 253 accredited master's programs reported receiving 64,000 applications. However, these programs accepted only 18,119 applicants, for an acceptance rate of 28 percent. While applicants likely sent out applications to multiple institutions, ASHA found that master's programs were at 97 percent enrollment capacity. This indicates speech language pathology is a high demand field for graduate school applicants.

APSU conducted a student interest survey on March 25, and 26, 2019. A
graduate assistant from the Health and Human Performance Department recruited a random sample of students at the Morgan University Center to complete a short survey regarding their interest in the program. During these two days, 102 students completed the survey. Question 1 asked the students if they had ever had an interest in pursuing a career in speech-language pathology. If a student responded "no" they were asked to indicate their major and provide their name and university assigned Banner ID and then were thanked for participation. Students who responded "yes" to the same question were directed to a question to gauge their interest in enrolling in a master’s program in speech-language pathology at APSU. They were then provided an opportunity to provide comments, their major, their name and university assigned Banner ID. In the APSU student sample, 56.57% students responded yes, they had an interest in pursuing a career in speech-language pathology (43.43% responded no).

Alignment with Institutional Mission and Strategic Plan:

APSU has identified increasing enrollment growth at the graduate level as a strategic priority in the Leading through Excellence 2015-2025 APSU Strategic Plan (Goal 1. Enrollment). APSU is explicit in developing programs that advance enrollment goals with rigorous graduate programs that offer career specialization and that meet the market demands (Objective 1.2.2: Create new graduate programs that meet current market demands or projected market needs). Inherent in APSU’s mission statement is a commitment to developing programs and services that contribute to the region in a myriad of ways. Beyond a new academic program, APSU graduates in speech-language pathology will be prepared to be leaders in health care, education and other nonprofit environments of the region. The program faculty and student will interact with community partners in collaborative and consultative ways that benefit individuals with communication and swallowing disorders, the community and the University.
Proposed Implementation Date: Fall 2021

Item Details:

The MSLP program will be housed in the Department of Health and Human Performance within the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. The program will be under the supervision of Dr. Marcy Maurer, Chair of Health and Human Performance.

Program Requirements:

The proposed program is a 54-credit hour program. Students will complete a five semester program comprised of academic coursework and clinical experiences. Students will matriculate in the fall term and graduate after their second spring semester. This includes one summer term between the first and second year.

Coursework and clinical experiences are designed to align with accreditation standards put forth by the Council on Academic Accreditation of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) and the published standards for clinical certification mandated by the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) which applies the standards in granting certification.

Students will be continuously assessed through formative and summative assessment and receive ongoing feedback of their progress toward attainment of learning outcomes. Students will also have the opportunity to earn 375 clock hours of supervised clinical experience in direct contact with individuals with communication disorders and their caregivers as they practice assessment, management, and/or counseling.

Approval Status:

The MSLP New Academic Program Proposal (NAPP) received approvals from the Department Curriculum Committee, Department Chair, Dean, the Graduate Academic Council, the University Curriculum Committee, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and President.

In addition, in November 2019, APSU hosted external site reviewers and THEC staff to conduct a site visit to determine the viability of the MSLP proposal. The external reviewers’ favorable report was received in December 2019. APSU submitted a response to the external reviewers’ report and a revised NAPP in January 2020.


The largest expense associated with delivering this program is faculty salaries and benefits. The recurring expenditures on the THEC Financial Projections form reflects costs associated with hiring an additional doctoral level faculty for the program for the 2021-2022 year as well as a master’s level prepared faculty for clinical education, specifically supervision. This will bring the faculty composition for the program to a total of three doctoral-prepared faculty and one master’s faculty for enrollment of the first cohort for the 2021-2022 year.

APSU will commit $500,000 for the one-time expense related to the renovation approximately 3,000 square foot of existing campus space in the basement of the APSU Honda building to serve as the APSU Speech-Language Pathology Clinic. This space will accommodate a client registration and waiting area, storage space for records and documentation, assessment and treatment rooms of various sizes, and faculty/staff offices.

Additionally, one-time expenses associated with academic and clinical equipment have been committed during the planning year and year 1 of the program for a combined amount of $174,000.00. Year one equipment costs reflect the price of an endoscopy station as an element of clinical training that will make the APSU program unique from other programs. An amount of $114,000.00 was also allocated as a one-time expense to cover costs associated with furnishing the new clinic and purchasing HIPAA compliant recording system.
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