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A Systems Approach to Accredited Program Accountability in Regional Universities

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

IED Technical Session: Preparing Programs for the Future

Tagged Division

Industrial Engineering

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Paper Authors


David Elizandro Tennessee Technological University

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David Elizandro is a professor of engineering at Tennessee Tech University where he teaches decision sciences in the Department of Computer Science. He earned a BS in chemical engineering, MBA, and PhD in industrial engineering. Professor Elizandro has served in a variety of administrative and leadership roles in science and engineering education.

Professor Elizandro has numerous publications and presentations in areas such as expert systems, data communications, distributed simulation, adaptive control systems, digital signal processing, and integrating technology into engineering education. He has also been an industry consultant on modeling for strategic planning.

Professor Elizandro received the University Distinguished Faculty Award, Texas A&M, Commerce and College of Engineering Brown-Henderson Award at Tennessee Tech University. He served as Governor’s Representative for Highway Safety in Arkansas and member of the National Highway Safety Advisory Commission during the Jimmy Carter presidency. He is also a member of Tau Beta Pi, Alpha Pi Mu, and Upsilon Pi Epsilon honor societies.

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David H. Huddleston Tennessee Technological University

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David H. Huddleston is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee. He earned his B.S. in Engineering Science at TTU, his M.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and his Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the University of Tennessee. At TTU, Dr. Huddleston previously served as Interim Dean, College of Engineering, and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Prior to his appointment at TTU, Huddleston held faculty appointments in the Civil Engineering and Computational Engineering Departments at Mississippi State University. Before entering academia, Huddleston was employed by Sverdrup Technology, Inc. and Pan-Am World Services, Inc. at the USAF Arnold Engineering Development Center, and TRW, Inc.

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Broadly stated, academic program accountability measures value created versus cost. Value is determined by social and economic needs of community, state, and region. The university, college, community, faculty, and students are program stakeholders vested in accountability. Advisory boards represent external stakeholders. ABET is a stakeholder because accountability is the basis for accreditation. Costs reflect resource requirements to address complex endogenous and exogenous challenges that require strategies for allocating resources, and monitoring and adapting strategies to ensure program accountability.

This paper presents an organizational platform and tools for leveraging accountability in ABET accredited programs. The concept is based on W. Edwards Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge (SPK) proposed in the 1990’s by Deming as a means for reinventing government as a customer-driven service.

The SPK monitors metrics for academic program efficiency and effectiveness; compresses time to collect, summarize, and analyze program data; and identifies at-risk students in a timely manner. An earlier version of the SPK received critical acclaim in an ABET visit. Enhancements presented in the paper resolved limitations of the earlier version. Faculty consensus was the SPK required minimal overhead and allowed more time for other activities.

Elizandro, D., & Huddleston, D. H. (2018, June), A Systems Approach to Accredited Program Accountability in Regional Universities Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29739

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