Our strategic planning consultants play an important role in helping us navigate the planning process. Their charge is to:

  • Enable a thoughtful, consultative, and efficient strategic planning process
  • Learn about Puget Sound, ask good questions, and listen well
  • Facilitate the articulation of strategic position and competitive advantage
  • Support the steering committee and teams working on each of three to five strategic goals and related initiatives
  • Assist with the initial prioritization and synchronization initiatives

Peter A. Facione | Carol Ann Gittens

Peter A. Facione, Ph.D.

Dr. Peter A (Pete) Facione is a Senior Researcher at Insight Assessment, a principal at Measured Reasons LLC, a Los Angeles based research and consulting firm supporting excellence in strategic thinking and leadership decision making, and a speaker with Leading Authorities, Washington DC.

In academia he served as Provost of Loyola University Chicago, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University, and Dean of the School of Human Development and Community Service at California State University Fullerton. In private business Dr. Facione was a strategic consultant with Stratus-Heery International. Since 2007 he serves as a managing partner and CFO of the California Academic Press, an independent scholar and workshop presenter, and as a consultant leading university strategic planning projects.

Dr. Facione’s passionate interest in teaching for thinking and in objectively assessing core reasoning skills began when he was a graduate student at Michigan State University during the Vietnam War era.  His work at Bowling Green State University with Dr. Donald Scherer demonstrating measurable gains in critical thinking in large enrollment classes was recognized by Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning in 1978. 1990 he spearheaded the international study to define critical thinking, sponsored by the American Philosophical Association. His research has come to form the basis for numerous government policy studies about critical thinking in education and in the workplace, including research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Today researchers using assessment tools he authored are being funded by NSF and competitive funding agencies.

Assessment instruments he developed have been translated into more than 20 languages and are used today throughout the world. The most well-known of his academic assessment tools are the California Critical Thinking Skills Test, the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory, the Health Sciences Reasoning Test, the Business Critical Thinking Skills Test.  In 2006 he developed the INSIGHT series of reasoning skills and thinking mindset instruments. These tools are in use today for employee hiring and training at the executive, professional, senior staff, and support levels by organizations that employ business, health care, legal, military, first responder, science and engineering professionals.

Dr. Facione maintains an active speaking, writing, consulting and research agenda, with well over 200 publications including essays, books, articles, leadership case studies, blogs, and educational testing tools. He is the author of the popular and often quoted essay about the meaning and importance of critical thinking, "Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts."   His textbook, THINK Critically, coauthored with Dr. Carol Gittens, is published by Pearson Education and is currently in its third edition. He and Dr. Gittens have collaborated on critical thinking assessment instruments for K-12 children and on incorporating a numeracy metric into all their educational and employment reasoning skills tests.

Thinking and Reasoning in Human Decision Making – the Method of Argument and Heuristic Analysis, co-authored with Dr. Noreen Facione, addresses human decision making in contexts of risk and uncertainty and presents a methodology for externalizing, examining, and potentially impacting naturalistic human decision making. Noreen, formerly a research professor in Nursing at the University of California in San Francisco, has collaborated with Peter on several publications. Their book, Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning in the Health Sciences, presents strategies for training clinical judgment. In 2013 the journal Inquiry honored this team by published a retrospective of their work, “Critical Thinking for Life: Valuing, Measuring and Training Critical Thinking in all its Forms Many.”  Many of their publications are available today through page and in the resources section of the Insight Assessment website. 


Carol Ann Gittens, Ph.D.

Carol Ann Gittens holds a tenured faculty appointment in the Child Studies Program, and is a former associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University.  In 2015-16 she served as interim dean for the graduate School of Education and Counseling Psychology (SECP). Promoting diversity and inclusion is a hallmark of her leadership profile. As interim dean of SECP, she collaborated with the Foundation for Hispanic Education to host the first annual Latino Education Summit. The event brought together over 550 public, private, and charter school teachers and educational leaders to discuss solutions to the educational crisis over access to high education and workforce development facing the Latino community in the Silicon Valley. Also under her leadership, SECP secured a $1.1 million-dollar Foundation grant to implement an innovative teacher preparation program for Catholic school educators.

As the founding Director of the SCU Office of Assessment, she designed and implemented ambitious and innovative performance metrics and standards, in support of the institutional strategic plan and academic master plan, to enhance academic and co-curricular programs in the assessment of student learning. She worked with deans, faculty, institutional stakeholders, and staff from six independent Schools and Colleges, as well as the Dean of Students, and the Dean of the Library to secure institutional re-accreditation. She collaborated with the graduate business, law, and theology school deans in the achievement of professional accreditation. These were collaborations transcending, and uniting, SCU’s main campus and its operationally independent academic units and its satellite graduate campuses and regional centers.

Gittens is a highly sought after educational workshop facilitator, assessment mentor, keynote speaker, and accreditation readiness consultant for public and private universities. She is a well-established scholar who studies the interface of critical thinking, motivation, mathematical reasoning, and academic achievement. Dr. Gittens is an author or co-author on numerous articles and assessment tools focusing on critical thinking skills, numeracy, and academic motivation across the lifespan. Her areas of expertise include assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning outcomes, accreditation planning, translating strategic vision into measurable objectives to serve diverse learners, designing sustainable assessment systems at all levels of the institution, critical thinking pedagogy and assessment, integrating critical thinking and information literacy across the curriculum and in co-curricular programs, as well as statistics and assessment design for individuals and institutions.

Gittens is an accreditation evaluator for the WASC  Senior College and University Commission, a Board of Institutional Reviewers member of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), and a senior research associate with Insight Assessment, LLC. Gittens served as the educational effectiveness and quality assurance expert on an international team who achieved initial institutional accreditation for the proposed Jesuit Liberal Arts College (JLAC) of Hong Kong from the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ). 

Gittens earned her Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of California at Riverside. She received her BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of California at Davis. Prior to her appointment at Santa Clara University she taught at California State University, San Bernardino and at Mills College in Oakland, California.