OPA Assessment Spotlight
Ms. Nikki Bohannon
OPA Spotlight Interview
By: Kara Page, Senior Administrator
What is your position and what do you do for Texas Tech?
Cogliser: I am a professor of Management, Area Coordinator (what department chairs are called in RCOBA), and Faculty Director of Assessment. I do research on leadership and leader-follower relationships as well as scale development and research methods. I teach classes in organizational behavior and negotiation at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I lead the area of Management in the Rawls College of Business as department head. I lead the Assurance of Learning activities for the Rawls College of Business along with Nikki Bohannon (associate director) and Margaret Williams (dean).
Bohannon: In my current role as Associate Director of Management in the Rawls College if Business, I assist in the strategic and operational oversight of Area of Management curriculum development and course scheduling; financial and performance management, marketing, and communications; recruiting and event planning, and external outreach.
How long have you been at Texas Tech?
Cogliser: I joined Texas Tech as an assistant professor of Management in 2005.
Bohannon: I started at Texas Tech in January 2009—almost 13 years ago.
How did you get involved with assessment?
Cogliser: Our dean, Margaret Williams, recognized that we needed to develop a comprehensive and sustainable assurance of learning plan for the college across our six areas. She also wanted to ensure that assessment was a faculty-driven process. In February 2018 she asked me to serve as faculty director of assessment.
Bohannon: Last year, I accepted an opportunity to join the Rawls assessment team and Faculty Director of Assessment, Dr. Claudia Cogliser, in a newly created Rawls Assurance of Learning Specialist role (supplemental to my full-time one).
How do you use assessment in your job? What are some interesting assessment techniques you have used or are planning to use?
Cogliser: About 25% of my job is assessment for the college. We have crafted comprehensive assessment plans for each degree program in the college that we assess at the program level for our AACSB accreditation and at the major level (UG only) for SACSCOC. I believe one of the most interesting assessment techniques we have employed is “Assessment Day,” which is a Friday during the semester that faculty come together (pre-pandemic was in person; currently this is virtual) to assess a sample of artifacts for learning goals of written communication, critical thinking, and ethical reasoning using rubrics the faculty have developed. The following week is “Assessment Week” where faculty review recorded student presentations to assess oral communication.
Bohannon: In my role as the Rawls Assurance of Learning Specialist, I work closely with Dr. Cogliser and other members of Rawls leadership, committees, program directors, and faculty in supporting the implementation of assessment plans; and data collection, documentation and reporting for each Rawls degree program and major.
Is there anything else you would like to share about assessment?
Cogliser: I was one of those faculty who looked at assessment as something we had to do but not necessarily something that was focused on in terms of continuous improvement. Having been able to craft the development of an assessment plan from the beginning and then enact that plan and work on closing loops (for 3 years now), I am utterly convinced in the importance of what we do and that assessment works best when it is a faculty-driven process.
Bohannon: In the short time that I've been working in an assessment role, I've learned that some of the most valuable opportunities for change can only derive when weaknesses are identified during our “closing the loop” processes. So, instead of fearing circumstances where currently established criterion isn't being met, I now look forward to the opportunities for positive change that can result from realizing those weaknesses.
What is your hometown or where do you tell people you are from?
Cogliser: I am from Oradell, New Jersey (Bergen County, exit 165 on the Parkway). I tell people when asked “where are you from” that I am from New Jersey, but live in Lubbock, TX. Pretty soon I will have lived in Lubbock longer than I did in the northeast, but I expect I'll always consider myself a Yankee first.
Bohannon: Goldthwaite—a very small central Texas community.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
Cogliser: My partner and I have six dogs and one cat, so that takes up a lot of our time. I love to read – I'm a fiction reader and read something every night before I go to sleep. My kids have moved away, so I enjoy visiting them in Orange County, CA or Toronto, ON and really love to travel as often as I can. My job has allowed us to visit amazing places for collecting data or presenting our research. I truly love the outdoors and enjoy hiking and cycling.
Bohannon: When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, writing, home improvement projects, and horticulture.
What is something you have not done but would like to do?
Cogliser: I would like to walk the Camino de Santiago. I would also like to hike several Colorado 14ers during the summer.
Bohannon: I would love to learn to play the harp, and to someday write a book about my mom's heroic 8-year battle with terminal ovarian cancer.