Provost Hero

Task Force Reports

Reports Prepared for the Provost

From time to time, the Provost appoints several key faculty and staff members to various task forces. These task forces are charged with conducting extensive research and investigation into important campus issues. The reports of nine of these task forces can be browsed by clicking on the report links below.


Provost Mark Biermann charged the task force to review the university’s academic calendar and corresponding system of academic terms.  They were also asked to identify the various pressures operating on that system, to gather external data about alternative systems of academic calendars, and to ultimately propose at least two calendar models for consideration by the Strategic Planning Committee.

Click to view the complete report from the Academic Calendar Task Force (PDF)

Click to view the February 2018 final report from the Academic Calendar Working Group (PDF)


Provost Mark Biermann charged the task force to examine and envision a wide variety of academic partnerships across the university and identify both immediate and long-term opportunities. This included reviewing the status of existing academic partnerships between the Law School and other units on campus, developing and providing recommendations to maintain and enhance the cross-campus dialogue regarding the programmatic integration of the Law School into the wider campus, and developing and providing recommendations to promote the generation of these joint programs and then provide positive communications to appropriate audiences.

Click to view the complete report from the Integration of the Law School Task Force (PDF)


Per the charge of Provost Mark Biermann to increase Valpo’s retention rate from 82% to 87%, the Retention Task Force (RTF) evaluated Valpo’s current practices and policies regarding retention, with emphasis placed on retention from freshman to sophomore year, and researched best practices across higher education.  As a result, the RTF recommends a collaborative and structured approach to the issue of retention, leveraging resources already in place, while adding new elements as appropriate. The core of the new retention strategy will focus on four interlocking committees, each tasked with a particular component of retention, as well as the appointment of an Executive Director of Student Success (EDSS), who will spearhead the retention efforts.

Click to view the complete report from the Retention Task Force (PDF)


The Goal One Task Force was charged to review Goal One of the Strategic Plan and to make recommendations regarding Goal One that are consistent with the input received from the faculty through various media, including the Spring 2015 Faculty Workshop. The task force also recommended activities that might be undertaken in AY2016-17 and AY2017-18 to advance active objectives as well as those added to the plan.

Click to view the complete report from the Goal One Task Force (PDF)


The Leadership Task Force was charged to review leadership development and educational programs on other campuses and other resources to develop recommendations for similar programming at Valparaiso University. The charge further clarified that the resulting program should be holistic, encompassing all students and both curricular and co-curricular activities, although students may be impacted in different ways.

Click to view the complete report from the Leadership Task Force (PDF)


The University Student Learning Objectives Task Force was charged to review and revise the university learning outcomes with the goal of (a) shortening the list, (b) being consistent with the national dialog about higher education, (c) assuring appropriateness for a 21st century education, and (d) affirming that they align with our mission as we prepare students to lead and to serve. The university-level learning objectives should also be broad enough in scope to be applicable to the undergraduate program, the graduate program, and the Law School program.



This report contains the analysis, findings, and recommendations of the Faculty Workload Task Force. Objective 4.1 of Valparaiso University’s Strategic Plan calls for the University to “configure and evaluate faculty workload to ensure excellence in teaching, learning, and scholarship.” Further, Action 4.1.1 under this objective calls for the creation of a task force “made up of faculty members and deans that includes representatives from each college” to evaluate the issue of faculty workload. Pursuant to that task, the Provost convened a Faculty Workload Task Force in January, 2011.

Click to view the complete report from the Faculty Workload Task Force (PDF)


In response to an increasing lack of confidence in the Valparaiso University Honor System by faculty and students, this task force was charged by the Faculty Senate in August 2012 to investigate the current situation and to make recommendations to the campus community about how to address perceived problems within the honor system. Specifically, the task force was charged to review the history of the honor system, to prepare a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the current system, and to make recommendations as to how the campus community can respond to this analysis and enhance the system.

Click to view the complete report from the Honor System Task Force (PDF)


Objective 1.3 of Valparaiso University’s Strategic Plan calls for graduating students “who can investigate and interpret information and who can communicate effectively within and across cultures in relevant media, and through current technologies.” Further, Action 1.3.1 of the Plan requires the University to “institute measures to ensure the quality of its students’ writing skills.” Pursuant to these objectives, the Provost convened a Student Writing Task Force in October, 2010. Its charge included: 1. Identifying measures that will ensure the quality of Valpo students’ writing skills. 2. Designing and recommending a specific plan for implementing these measures. 3. Including assessment means within the plan not only for student writing but for evaluating the effectiveness of the plan itself.

Click to view the complete report from the Student Writing Task Force (PDF)