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)
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
|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
Centers and Institutes
|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.
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
|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|
Fixed membership of 42, composed of the following:
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|
Executive officers and councilors; councilors represent every level of employee (EEOC class):
Executive, Administrative, Managerial (4)
Professional Non-Faculty (4)
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|
College and library deansProvost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
|Provides representation for all colleges/departments and other academic units|
Board of DirectorsEx-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
|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 schools7 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.
- College of Business Administration – Accounting
- College of Education and Human Development – Educational Leadership, Counseling and Foundations
- College of Engineering – Mechanical Engineering
- College of Liberal Arts – English
- College of Sciences – Psychology
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
(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.
|Annual_Department_Report_Accounting_2012-14||Annual Department Report – Accounting Department – 2013-14|
|Annual_Department_Report_EDLCF_1314||Annual Department Report – Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations Department – 2013-14|
|Annual_Department_Report_English_1314||Annual Department Report – English – 2013-14|
|Annual_Department_Report_Mechanical_Engineering - 2013-14||Annual Department Report – Mechanical Engineering – 2013-14|
|Annual_Department_Report_Psychology_1314||Annual Department Report – Psychology – 2013-14|
|Budget_Plan_Template||Budget Planning Template|
|Budgeting_Resources_Requested_Report_2013-14||Budgeting – Resources Requested Report includes all closing the loop/action plans that have requested additional resources and/or funds|
|Faculty_180_Website||Faculty 180 website|
|Faculty_Council_Website||UNO Faculty Council Website|
|Faculty_Senate_Website||UNO Faculty Senate Website|
|Faculty_Workload_Policy_201404||Faculty Workload Policy|
|FSSE_Website||Faculty Survey of Student Engagement website|
|Gen_Ed_Course_Menu||General Education Course Menu|
|IE_Strategic_Plan_Instructions||IE and Strategic Planning Instructions|
|IE_Strategic_Plan_Template||IE and Strategic Planning Template|
|LA_BOR_Master_Plan_2012||Louisiana Board of Regents Master Plan for Public Postsecondary Education in Louisiana|
|LA_Economic_Development_Website||Louisiana Economic Development website|
|LA_HB_1033_WISE_Legislation||LA House Bill 1033 Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy (WISE) Fund Legislation|
|LA_Workforce_Commision_Website||Louisiana Workforce Commission website|
|Memo_Office_of_the_President_20131113||Memo from the Office of the President describing strategic plan and institutional plan alignment|
|Memo_Office_of_the_President_20140428||Memo from the Office of the President with specific instructions regarding strategic plan and institutional plan alignment|
|NSSE_Website||National Survey of Student Engagement website|
|Staff_Council_Website||Staff Council website|
|Student_Government_Website||Student Government Association website|
|ULS_Board_of_Supervisors||University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors website|
|ULS_Strategic_Plan_2014-19||University of Louisiana System Strategic Plan|
|UNO Strategic Plan 2011-2014||UNO Strategic Plan 2011-2014|
|UNO_Foundation_Website||UNO Foundation website|
|UNO_Strategic_Plan_2015-2020||University of New Orleans Strategic Plan: UNO 2020|
|USPA_2014-15||University Strategic Plan by Association Report demonstrates how strategic plan goals/strategies are supported by unit-level expected outcomes|
|USPA_Sample_2014-15||University Strategic Plan by Association Report that demonstrates Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Plan alignment, example includes Academic Department, Administrative Unit, Service Unit and Center/Institute|