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The Assessment Network of New York’s (ANNY) Fall 2015 regional event was held on Friday, October 23 on the Culinary Institute of America’s scenic Hudson Valley campus at Hyde Park, New York. The event was comprised of a keynote address by Stockton University’s Dean of Education, Claudine Keenan. The afternoon featured a panel discussion with Mitch Nessler, Vice President of Decision Support at Empire State College; Col. Gerald Kobylski, Professor of Mathematical Sciences, at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a Middle States Commissioner; and, Dominick Cerrone, an Associate Professor at the Culinary Institute of America. The panel discussion was moderated by Betsy Carroll, the Culinary Institute of America’s Director of Assessment and Institutional Research.
Dr. Keenan’s presentation addressed the issue of measuring the outcomes of interdisciplinary courses. Her focus entailed breaking down information and communications silos, a combined bottom-up/top-down approach for doing so, and the use of an institutional effectiveness methodology built around an institution’s climate, culture, planning frameworks, and decision making. The institutional effectiveness approach was grounded in prioritization of essential elements, a focus on outcomes, and the development of questions that would allow an institution to make progress toward its intended outcomes.
The panel discussion covered a broad range of assessment issues. Each of the panelists provided insight from his institution. Afterward, the moderator invited participants to ask their own questions. The far-reaching discussion highlighted the range of approaches institutions have taken to facilitate and sustain their own effective assessment processes.
Finally, with the host Culinary Institute’s mission of serving as the world’s premier culinary college, the dining experience was an added highlight. Among the items on the buffet-style lunch menu were grilled chicken breast, vegetable succotash, spiced tomato chutney; pumpkin gnocchi, crispy sage, pancetta; shaved carrots, shallots, fennel, champagne vinaigrette; and roasted local squash, pearl onions, sage parmesan. Desert consisted of sliced fresh fruit, assorted house-baked cookies, and a variety of chocolates. In the wake of the conference, if attendees are suffering a kind of dining withdrawal experience upon becoming reacquainted with more typical college menus, such a situation is entirely understandable.