Part 3 - Core Requirements
  

2.5  The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that (1) incorporate a systematic review of institutional mission, goals, and outcomes; (2) result in continuing improvement in institutional quality; and (3) demonstrate the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission. (Institutional Effectiveness)

Compliance
Partial Compliance
Non-Compliance

Narrative

Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment Overview

The University of New Orleans engages in ongoing, integrated and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes.  The university mission and strategic plan provide the framework upon which the institutional effectiveness process operates.  Institutional effectiveness provides evidence-based feedback to faculty, staff and administrators about the work they engage in every day.  The cycle contributes to creating a data-driven, disciplined culture of continuous improvement.  Figure 1 demonstrates the connection between institutional mission, institutional strategic plan, institutional effectiveness, and general education.

 

Figure 1  Mission, Strategic Plan, Institutional Effectiveness and General Education

 

Incorporate a Systematic Review of Institutional Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

The University engages in strategic planning consistent with its institutional objectives and influenced by the requirements of the University of Louisiana System.  The institutional mission, goals, and outcomes are developed based on University longitudinal data as well as state and national demographics.  Input from internal and external constituency groups plays a critical role in University strategic planning.  Table 1 distinguishes among the various planning documents used to guide strategic decision making at the University.

Table 1  Planning Documents for University Strategic Planning

 

Unit Name Year Description
Louisiana Board of Regents Master Plan for Public Postsecondary Education in Louisiana

2011 2012 revised

Provides a broad vision for the State’s higher education system; need to strategically invest in targeted research to sustain and expand the State’s economic development; increased accountability
University of Louisiana System University of Louisiana System Strategic Plan 2014-2019 Performance strategic plan with prescribed goals, objectives, and performance indicators
University of New Orleans UNO 2020 2015-2020 University Strategic Plan
Vice President Offices Colleges

Unit Strategic Plans

2015-2020 Unit Strategic Plans are aligned with University Strategic Plan

Academic Departments Administrative Units

Service Units

Centers and Institutes

Institutional Effectiveness plans

2014-15 IE plan outcomes are aligned with University Strategic Plan goals and strategies

 

University Strategic Planning

Ongoing, integrated, and institutional-wide research-based planning is an integral part of how the University operates.  The 2011-14 Strategic Plan produced numerous significant improvements on campus including strengthening academic programs, increasing persistence rates, recruiting diverse faculty, implementing annual staff evaluations, cultivating alumni giving, and enhancing marketing efforts.  However, the plan lacked key characteristics such as clear alignment with the University mission, reasonable aspirations fit to scale, and defined assessment measures that would ensure data driven decision-making.  In 2013, under new governance with the University of Louisiana System and new leadership with President Fos, a different approach was taken with regards to the university strategic planning process.

Two committees composed of faculty, staff, student, and community representatives worked over 18 months to develop the University Strategic Plan titled UNO 2020.  The plan was published in November 2013 and is intended as a blueprint to guide University work from fiscal year 2014-15 through 2019-2020.  The foundation of the plan is the institutional mission as a student-centered, urban research university.  The plan includes six overarching goals, related strategies and detailed action steps.

Units across campus have been directed to align their unit strategic plans and/or institutional effectiveness plans with the University Strategic Plan, per a memo from the Office of the President on November 13, 2013.  This alignment assures that units are moving in a cohesive manner toward common goals.  Each unit will identify expected outcomes with appropriate assessment methods and targets, so that the University Strategic Plan may be assessed and benchmarked annually.  The University Strategic Plan includes additional action steps with strategies for assessment and improvement of outcomes.  The overarching goal is to demonstrate that the university is effectively accomplishing its mission.

An April 2014 directive from the Office of the President included detailed instructions as well as templates for alignment planning, and budget planning to facilitate the alignment of institutional effective plans with the University Strategic Plan.  The purpose of this directive was to ensure that each unit on campus is appropriately aligned with the University Strategic Plan and that assessment methods are identified to measure progress over the course of the plan.

Unit level associations with the University Strategic Plan are tracked in WEAVE, the institution’s web-based outcomes assessment software package that serves as a university-wide tool and repository to develop and maintain continuous improvement processes.  Entering associations in WEAVE allows the university to more effectively manage and track assessment.  The University Strategic Plan by Association Report demonstrates how selected University Strategic Plan goals and strategies are supported by unit-level expected outcomes, sorted by entity.

Budget Planning

Annual budget decisions position the University to achieve strategies articulated within the strategic plans.  Units have documented new budget requests for the 2014-15 academic year based on 2013-14 findings in their closing the loop/action plans in WEAVE.  The Budgeting – Resources Requested Report includes all action plans that have requested additional resources and/or funds.  The report is presented in a table that includes Action Plan, Implementation Description, Projected Completion Date, Person/Group Responsible, Additional Resources, Budget Requested, as well as the Action Plan Description.  The report can be sorted by priority (High, Medium, or Low) or alphabetically by entity; it displays active Action Plans groups by their Status (Planned or In-Progress).  The Budget Amount Requested column provides subtotals, entity totals, and a grand total for requests based on findings  New budget requests not based on findings will be documented in the Budget Planning Template.

Internal Stakeholder Involvement

Stakeholder input, feedback, and guidance is provided by stakeholders broadly representing the academy and its varied constituents.  As a result, each of these internal entities represents a significant voice in the development and deployment of university strategy.

Table 2  Internal Stakeholders for University Strategic Planning

 

Stakeholder Membership Description
Faculty Council All full-time members of the academic staff having the rank of instructor or higher (or equivalent rank) (14) Establish curricula, fix standards of instruction, determine requirements for degrees, and generally determine educational policy for the university

Faculty Senate

Fixed membership of 42, composed of the following:

Students (2)

Alumni (1)

Staff (1)

Administration (7)

Faculty (31)
Standing committee of the Faculty Council; delegated authority in all matters of academic policy, curricula and standards, subject to the veto power of the Faculty Council
Student Government Association The governing body is composed of an executive, judicial, and legislative branch; students are represented through Student Government Senators by college To promote cooperation among students, faculty and administration; to protect the rights of students; to provide official channels through which the opinions and desires of students may be expressed; to promote academic freedom, responsibility, excellence, and diversity of students; to improve physical, social, and academic welfare of students; to foster awareness of the student's position in campus, metro area, state, national and international communities
Staff Council

Executive officers and councilors; councilors represent every level of employee (EEOC class):

Executive, Administrative, Managerial (4)

Professional Non-Faculty (4)

Secretarial/Clerical (2)

Skilled Crafts (2)

Service/Maintenance (2)
Provides representation for the staff of the university; goal is to identify ways to effectively support and enhance the working lives of staff
Deans Council

College and library deans

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Provides representation for all colleges/departments and other academic units
UNO Foundation

Board of Directors

Ex-Officio Members
Promotes the well-being and advancement of the University including financial, investment management and support services, property management and program support, endowment management and gift management.  Primary recipient of private donations and contributions to endowment funds which are held, invested and expended in support of University programs

 

External Stakeholder Involvement

Stakeholder input, feedback, and guidance is provided by stakeholders broadly representing the academy and its varied constituents.  As a result, each of these external entities represents a significant voice in the development and deployment of university strategy.

Table 3  External Stakeholders for University Strategic Planning

Stakeholder Membership Description
University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors

16-member Board of Supervisors:

15 appointed by the Governor for 6-year terms

1 student member selected by UL System SGA Presidents each May

Mission is to emphasize teaching, research,  and community service to enhance the quality of life for the State’s  citizens. Purpose is to provide high quality education that is cost efficient to both students and taxpayers, enabling students to reach their highest potential.
Louisiana Workforce Commission The Workforce Investment Council is comprised of 41 members from stakeholder groups, which are business and industry, organized labor, state and local government and community organizations. The members must be owners, chief executive officers (CEOs), chief operating officers (COOs) or other high-ranking officials. Focus on transforming the workforce system; strategic partners in education, economic development and communities throughout Louisiana; creating a cost-efficient, demand-driven system that drives employment, improves the business climate and provides excellent customer service.
Louisiana Economic Development Includes Board of Commerce and Industry, Board of International Commerce, Economic Development Cooperation, Innovation Council, Military Advisory Council

Responsible for strengthening the state's business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy.  Cultivate jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana.

President’s Council 15-member board, includes community leaders Advises and counsels the President on issues that affect the University
President’s High School Advisory Committee

19 principals from local public and private high schools

7 UNO vice presidents and directors
Assists the University in identifying the needs of high school students and ways to best help them to reach their full potential
Industry Advisory Boards and Councils Professional boards and councils relating to select disciplines, such as the Engineering Advisory Council and HRT Advisory Board Provides counsel and support to specific academic programs; professional communication between industry and colleges/departments

 

Result in Continuing Improvement in Institutional Quality

As a result of institution-wide planning and evaluation processes, improvements are continuously made to enhance the quality of the institution.  The following initiatives have been selected to demonstrate strategic, data-driven decisions made at the institution level for improvement purposes.

Select Strategic Initiatives

Academic Program Review

(UNO 2020 Strategic Plan Goal 1:  Ensure high-quality academic programs which will prepare students for success in a globally competitive, multicultural, and challenging environment.)

Annual program reviews occur at the conclusion of each academic year.  The 2013-14 reports included program enrollment and completer numbers derived from PeopleSoft data via the Registrar’s office.  A space to list any key accomplishments of the department for the academic year was included so that highlights and context could be documented.  A WEAVE Detailed Assessment Report was included to demonstrate student learning outcome achievement at the program level, as well as institutional effectiveness progress at the department level.  A Faculty 180 Activity Overview By Faculty Report was included to present details regarding teaching, scholarly and other activities by faculty members for each department.  The Office of Academic Affairs reviewed these reports in early summer to make decisions for the following academic year.  An example of an annual program report from each college is provided.

General Education Curriculum Revisions

(UNO 2020 Strategic Plan Goal 1:  Ensure high-quality academic programs which will prepare students for success in a globally competitive, multicultural, and challenging environment.)

The university is in the process of transitioning to a reduced general education course menu.  As of Spring 2014, there were 1725 courses that satisfied general education requirements.  This made course assessment of general education student learning outcomes and program improvement efforts extraordinarily difficult.  As a result, the General Education Committee compiled a reduced menu of 59 courses for student learning outcome assessment and improvement purposes.  The reduced menu will be implemented effective for the 2014-15 academic year so that only those courses included on the menu may satisfy general education requirements.

Faculty Workload Policy

(UNO 2020 Strategic Plan Goal 3:  Maintain a high-quality faculty and staff that support a student-centered, urban research university.)

In order to ensure equitable and consistent workload policies across academic units, the design of a workload policy, which recognizes UNO’s teaching and research mission, was developed by a Faculty Governance Committee in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  The framework of the workload policy addresses a Faculty Senate Resolution in terms of flexibility while maintaining performance accountability.  The policy was approved with revisions by the Faculty Council on April 24, 2014.  The Department chairs have been charged with drafting workload policies that align with the university policy.

Faculty 180 Implementation

(UNO 2020 Strategic Plan Goal 3:  Maintain a high-quality faculty and staff that support a student-centered, urban research university. Strategic Plan Goal 5, Strategy 3: Enhance an information technology infrastructure that supports the achievement of UNO's mission and goals.)

Faculty 180 is a web based, software system designed to improve the collection and reporting of faculty credentials and activity data.  The University purchased and customized the software in Fall 2013 with the overarching goal to manage data in one place and minimize redundancy.  The software is being implemented in phases, beginning with full-time faculty in Spring 2014 for the first three of the following eight tasks.

  • Faculty credentials
  • Activity reporting/workload
  • Curriculum vita
  • Annual evaluations
  • Promotion and tenure
  • Sabbatical requests
  • Professional development
  • Accreditation compliance

WEAVE Implementation

(UNO 2020 Strategic Plan Goal 5, Strategy 1: Review University practices to promote efficiency and effectiveness in UNO's operations. Strategy 2: Ensure university planning and design efforts are integrated with UNO's strategic plan. Strategy 3: Enhance an information technology infrastructure that supports the achievement of UNO's mission and goals.)

The University purchased WEAVE in Fall 2012 to serve as a university-wide tool and repository used to develop and maintain continuous improvement processes. WEAVE is a web-based outcomes assessment package that allows the university to more effectively manage and track assessment.  The software was customized for the University during the Spring 2013 semester.  Full implementation with faculty and staff occurred during the 2013-14 academic year.  Following is a list of the software’s capabilities.

  • Assessment (course, program, department, college, administrative/service unit, and institution levels)
  • General education assessment
  • Curriculum mapping
  • Alignment of goals and outcomes with strategic plan
  • Alignment of goals and outcomes with institutional priorities
  • Multi-year or longitudinal comparison

Degree Audit System Implementation

(UNO 2020 Strategic Plan Goal 5, Strategy 3: Enhance an information technology infrastructure that supports the achievement of UNO's mission and goals.)

The university-wide PeopleSoft Degree Audit (also known as Academic Advisement in PeopleSoft) is expected to be fully operational in academic year 2014-15.  The Degree Audit functions as a set of requirements including lists of courses to be completed and minimum test scores required.  Students and academic advisors are able to produce individual degree audit reports.  Degree requirements are marked as satisfied as students complete with the required course/test.

Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy Fund (WISE Fund)

(UNO 2020 Strategic Plan, Goal 6: Broaden UNO's image as a premier university at the regional, national, and international level while expanding our connection to the community.)

As outlined in Louisiana House Bill 1033, a new incentive fund is being made available for the 2014-15 academic year to state research institutions that produce nationally recognized commercial research, and to state colleges and universities that partner with private industry to produce graduates with high-demand degrees and certificates, and enable them to link their coursework to industry needs and projected workforce demands.  The performance based formula rewards and incentivizes the degrees that occupational forecasting and industry have shown are the most employable and the most in demand.  To receive these funds, institutions will partner with private industry by recruiting at least a 20 percent private match in cash or in kind, such as technology and equipment.  The University will develop a business plan that will demonstrate how the funds will be invested to reach the number of degrees needed as a state to fill the jobs we have now and in the next few years.  The institution will be held accountable for reaching their goals to produce those degrees annually.  Using data-driven predictive modeling with actual numbers from business and industry, experts were able to figure out how to predict the number and level of degrees needed to meet workforce demands.

Institution Level Assessments

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

The University administers the NSSE to all undergraduate students every other Spring semester and the data collected comprise our best evidence of student engagement.  The vast research on college student outcomes shows that student engagement, in its many forms, best distinguishes students who gain relatively more from their college experiences.  The instrument covers the broad range of effective student engagements, and institutional conditions that facilitate those.  For that reason, UNO uses NSSE data as a wide net from which to overview the range of outcomes, and identify a few areas for focus of responsive action.

Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE)

The University administered the FSSE for the first time in Spring 2014.  Institutions often use FSSE to corroborate NSSE results and gain a better understanding of student engagement on their campuses.  Results of this first administration are expected in early Fall 2014 and may be used to inform some of the following initiatives:

  • Accreditation self-studies
  • Assessment and improvement
  • Curricular reform
  • Faculty development programs
  • Faculty workshops and retreats
  • Grant proposals/applications and progress reports
  • Institutional research
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning initiatives

Demonstrate the Institution is Effectively Accomplishing its Mission

Over the past two years, since moving to the University of Louisiana System and under the new leadership of President Peter J. Fos, the University of New Orleans has significantly broadened and intensified its planning, assessment, and effectiveness initiatives.  The broad and active engagement of all constituents in production of the UNO 2020 Strategic Plan, as well as other planning documents, ensure support for ongoing improvement initiatives.  Additional resources, associated personnel, and continuous professional development efforts related to institutional effectiveness reaffirm the University’s commitment to ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes.  This emphasis on planning, assessment, and data-driven decisions results in continuing improvement and effectively accomplishing the institutional mission.  Planned future initiatives for improvement include a plan and process to revitalize and restructure our academic programs, recruitment and retention efforts, as well as strengthening our research and creative activities.

Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document IconAnnual_Department_Report_Accounting_2012-14Annual Department Report – Accounting Department – 2013-14
Document IconAnnual_Department_Report_EDLCF_1314Annual Department Report – Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations Department – 2013-14
Document IconAnnual_Department_Report_English_1314Annual Department Report – English – 2013-14
Document IconAnnual_Department_Report_Mechanical_Engineering - 2013-14Annual Department Report – Mechanical Engineering – 2013-14
Document IconAnnual_Department_Report_Psychology_1314Annual Department Report – Psychology – 2013-14
Document IconBudget_Plan_TemplateBudget Planning Template
Document IconBudgeting_Resources_Requested_Report_2013-14Budgeting – Resources Requested Report includes all closing the loop/action plans that have requested additional resources and/or funds
Document IconFaculty_180_WebsiteFaculty 180 website
Document IconFaculty_Council_WebsiteUNO Faculty Council Website
Document IconFaculty_Senate_WebsiteUNO Faculty Senate Website
Document IconFaculty_Workload_Policy_201404Faculty Workload Policy
Document IconFSSE_WebsiteFaculty Survey of Student Engagement website
Document IconGen_Ed_Course_MenuGeneral Education Course Menu
Document IconIE_Strategic_Plan_InstructionsIE and Strategic Planning Instructions
Document IconIE_Strategic_Plan_TemplateIE and Strategic Planning Template
Document IconLA_BOR_Master_Plan_2012Louisiana Board of Regents Master Plan for Public Postsecondary Education in Louisiana
Document IconLA_Economic_Development_WebsiteLouisiana Economic Development website
Document IconLA_HB_1033_WISE_LegislationLA House Bill 1033 Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy (WISE) Fund Legislation
Document IconLA_Workforce_Commision_WebsiteLouisiana Workforce Commission website
Document IconMemo_Office_of_the_President_20131113Memo from the Office of the President describing strategic plan and institutional plan alignment
Document IconMemo_Office_of_the_President_20140428Memo from the Office of the President with specific instructions regarding strategic plan and institutional plan alignment
Document IconNSSE_WebsiteNational Survey of Student Engagement website
Document IconStaff_Council_WebsiteStaff Council website
Document IconStudent_Government_WebsiteStudent Government Association website
Document IconULS_Board_of_SupervisorsUniversity of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors website
Document IconULS_Strategic_Plan_2014-19University of Louisiana System Strategic Plan
Document IconUNO Strategic Plan 2011-2014UNO Strategic Plan 2011-2014
Document IconUNO_Foundation_WebsiteUNO Foundation website
Document IconUNO_Strategic_Plan_2015-2020University of New Orleans Strategic Plan: UNO 2020
Document IconUSPA_2014-15University Strategic Plan by Association Report demonstrates how strategic plan goals/strategies are supported by unit-level expected outcomes
Document IconUSPA_Sample_2014-15University Strategic Plan by Association Report that demonstrates Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Plan alignment, example includes Academic Department, Administrative Unit, Service Unit and Center/Institute
Document IconWEAVE_BrochureWEAVE brochure