Core Requirement 2.5: Institutional Effectiveness
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.
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USF Sarasota-Manatee) engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning, evaluation, and budgeting processes across all colleges and units to ensure institutional effectiveness. In the five years since SACSCOC last site-visited USF Sarasota-Manatee, the institution completed one cycle of campus-wide strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation with Strategic Plan 2011-16 called “Access = Success” and started a second cycle with Strategic Plan 2015-20 entitled “Focus on Quality 2020.” The USF Sarasota-Manatee Assessment System provides the actionable data and analyses to inform decisions that faculty and administrators make to improve institutional quality and effectively accomplish its mission. Faculty and staff in each educational program and in each unit supporting administration, students, research, and service identify outcomes that align with the mission and strategic plan. They assess the extent to which they achieve the outcomes and also provide evidence of program/unit improvement based on analyses of the assessment results, whether the program/service is delivered face-to-face, blended, or online.
Alignment of Institutional Effectiveness Processes
USF Sarasota-Manatee’s institutional effectiveness processes align to those in the USF System and the State University System of Florida. Florida Board of Governors BOG Regulation 2.002(1) mandates planning and evaluation in the State University System (SUS). The BOG must “institute a planning and performance monitoring system that includes the university submission of work plans and annual reports designed to inform strategic planning, budgeting, and other policy decisions for the State University System.” While this mandate standardizes annual submissions to the BOG, it leaves each institution free to pursue a planning-evaluation-budget cycle based on its individual mission.
Five-Year Planning Process
The SUS Strategic Plan forms the basis of the USF System Strategic Plan; the USF System Strategic Plan forms the basis of the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan, Focus on Quality 2020. Therefore, all three plans align to form the foundation of the institutional effectiveness five-year planning process.
Annual Implementing Process
USF Sarasota-Manatee aligns its Strategic Plan to its Annual Work Plan to the Board of Governors. Each spring USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Work Plan combines with the other USF System institutions to form the USF System Work Plan. Then, the Work Plans of each of the institutions in Florida’s SUS form the SUS System Work Plan. The Work Plans contain the following elements: (1) mission and vision; (2) list of new academic program proposals; (3) tuition differential proposal, if applicable; (4) metric projections to specific SUS System-wide goals; and (5) at least three institution-specific goals, including strategies, outcome metrics, and financial assumptions.
Annual Evaluating Process
The USF Sarasota-Manatee Accountability Report to the BOG documents the outcomes of its Annual Work Plan, holding the institution accountable. Each fall USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Accountability Report feeds into the USF System Accountability Report, and then into the SUS System Report. The Accountability Report includes the following items: (1) key performance data; (2) summary information on budgets, enrollments, and other core resources; and (3) reports on undergraduate and graduate education, research, and economic development, as appropriate to the mission, including key goals, data trends, and performance on metrics specified by the BOG.
The Work Plans and Annual Reports go through an approval process that includes the USF Sarasota-Manatee Senior Leadership (Senior Leadership Meeting: Agenda 3/6/2015 and Senior Leadership Meeting: Minutes 3/6/2015, March 6, 2015; Agenda and Senior Leadership Meeting: Minutes 11/7/2014, November 7, 2014), Academic and Campus Environment Workgroup (ACE Workgroup Agenda May 11, 2015 and Academic and Campus Environment Workgroup Meeting: Minutes 5/11/2015, May 11, 2015; Academic and Campus Environment Workgroup Meeting: Agenda 11/20/2014 and Academic and Campus Environment Workgroup Meeting: Minutes 11/20/2014, November 20, 2014), the USF Board of Trustees (BOT) (USF Board of Trustees Meeting: Agenda 6/4/2015 and USF Board of Trustees Meeting: Minutes 6/4/2015, June 4, 2015; USF Board of Trustees Meeting: Agenda 12/4/2014 and USF Board of Trustees Meeting: Minutes 12/4/2014, December 4, 2014 ), and the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) (Agenda and Board of Governors Meeting: Minutes 6/19/2015, June 19, 2015; Note that the BOG approves work plans only, not accountability reports).
Legislative Budget Request and Performance-Based Funding Processes
USF Sarasota-Manatee typically follows a Legislative Budget Request (LBR) process each fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). The process begins in March, when the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) makes available the Legislative Budget Request Guidelines and calendar. Each state university develops its request based on the campus’ strategic plan, enrollment growth plan, and other goals and objectives of the institution in keeping with the BOG’s Goals.
In March, the USF System Budget Office prepares an Operating Budget Calendar of Events, which provides a timeline for the development of the upcoming fiscal year budget. The development and preparation of the operating budget involves many levels at USF Sarasota-Manatee. The budget request ties into the issues associated with each strategic goal in the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan. Generally in March, the USF System Office of Resource Management & Analysis provides campus units with the instructions for the development of their template for the following fiscal year. Throughout the year appropriate units monitor the budget and revenues for student fees and auxiliary enterprises. Unit managers ensure that requests tie to a Strategic Goal with a departmental plan or action to implement the request. USF Sarasota-Manatee Senior Leadership reviews requests to ensure support of the Strategic Plan. After this consultation, the Regional Chancellor makes budget recommendations to the Campus Board. Following Campus Board approval of an operating budget (USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus Board Meeting: Minutes 11/7/2014, November 7, 2014), Business and Financial Affairs submits it to the USF System Budget Office for inclusion in the overall USF System operating budget that the USF Board of Trustees reviews.
The USF System submits the LBR with the other campuses’ LBRs, including USF Sarasota-Manatee’s (see 2016-2017 FLBOG LBR), to the BOG for its consideration in adopting the development of an overall LBR for the entire State University System. The Governor presents his budget to the Legislature in February for consideration by the Florida Legislature, which meets in March to adopt an appropriations bill. The Governor typically signs the General Appropriations Bill into law in June.
Throughout the year appropriate units monitor the budget and revenues for student fees and auxiliary enterprises.
In addition, to the LBR that is tied to the Strategic Plan anticipated outcomes, USF Sarasota-Manatee can be awarded Performance-Based Funding (PBF) based on a formula derived by the BOG including the following metrics:
Metric 1 – Percent of Bachelor’s Graduates Employed and/or Continuing Their Education Further 1 Yr after Graduation
Metric 2 – Median Average Wages of Undergraduates Employed in Florida 1 Yr after Graduation
Metric 3 – Average Cost per Undergraduate Degree to the Institution
Metric 4 – Six Year Graduation Rates (Full-time and Part-time FTIC)
Metric 5 – Academic Progress Rate (2nd Year Retention with GPA above 2.0)
Metric 6 – Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded in Areas of Strategic Emphasis (includes STEM)
Metric 7 – University Access Rate (Percent of Undergraduates with a Pell Grant)
Metric 8a – Graduate Degrees Awarded in Areas of Strategic Emphasis (includes STEM)
Metric 8b – Freshmen in Top 10% of Graduating High School Class
Metric 9 – Percent of Bachelor’s Degrees without Excess Hours
Linking Strategic and Budget Planning Processes
The diagram below as well as USF Sarasota-Manatee’s annual Planning, Evaluation, and Budgeting Cycle diagram summarize the research-based planning, evaluating, and budgeting process outlined above. A 12-month calendar lists, day-by-day, the activities relating to the process at USF Sarasota-Manatee.
(1) USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Systematic Reviews of Mission, Goals, and Outcomes
USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2012-16
During a time a of growth and transition following separate SACSCOC regional accreditation, USF Sarasota-Manatee was guided by the mission, vision, and goals of the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2012-16: Access = Success. From its approval by the USF Board of Trustees in December 2011 (Agenda and USF Board of Trustees Meeting: Minutes 12/8/2011, December 8, 2011) through the 2014-15 academic year, USF Sarasota-Manatee focused its work on the Plan’s two overarching goals, access and success.
Institutional Research staff members compiled annual reviews to assess the extent to which USF Sarasota-Manatee was meeting its mission and goals. The reports were regularly presented to the Campus Board along with updates on the campus indicators.
In December 2014, Senior Leadership (direct reports to the Chancellor) convened to assess summatively the 2012-16 Strategic Plan in anticipation of the drafting of a new strategic plan. Specifically, Senior Leadership identified key achievements under the Plan and goals yet to be achieved, using the campus indicators and qualitative data. The Analysis of the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2012-16 summarizes evidence of achievement and continuation of the outcome into the 2015-20 plan.
USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2015-2020
Dr. Sandra S. Stone, upon her arrival as the new Regional Chancellor in November 2014, recognized the need to update USF Sarasota-Manatee’s existing strategic plan. Senior Leadership agreed that a new plan should be in place prior to the beginning of the 2015-16 academic year. To initiate the work, Dr. Stone met with all work units of USF Sarasota-Manatee to discuss their current work as well as their ideas for the future. She also met with members of the external community.
During the first official strategic planning retreat on December 19, 2014 (Senior Leadership Meeting: Minutes 12/19/2014), Senior Leadership (direct reports to Dr. Stone) established the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee (SPAC). Dr. Bonnie Jones, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research & Effectiveness, was selected to chair the SPAC, which consisted of eight faculty members, eight staff members from across the campus, two students, three USF System representatives (including USF St. Petersburg and USF Tampa representatives), and three community members. On January 27, 2015, SPAC members met to review and provide feedback on the mission and vision contained in USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Strategic Plan 2012-16. The members then divided into six focus area subgroup teams (FAST teams) to discuss ways to collect data from its constituencies to answer the “big” question assigned to their group.
- Student Success. What are the top areas to focus on related to student success, the rationale for choosing them, and the strategies that will help USF Sarasota-Manatee reach our goals?
- Enrollment. What key areas of enrollment growth should be targeted by USF Sarasota-Manatee, why, and what strategies will ensure reaching the enrollment goals?
- Scholarship/Service. How will scholarship and service fit into the Strategic Plan, what is your rationale for including them, and what strategies need to be implemented to reach the goals?
- Course Delivery. What mix of Sarasota‐North Port‐Tampa, face‐to‐face, online, and blended classes and programs should USF Sarasota‐Manatee offer to grow, what is your rationale, and what strategies should be employed?
- Partners. What partnerships play a role in the strategic plan, what is your rationale, and how will you know that we reached the anticipated outcomes?
- Resources. What direction should USF Sarasota‐Manatee take in the next five years regarding financial and physical resources?
During February, the FAST teams met with dozens of people to collect feedback on the focus areas of the Strategic Plan. Three of the teams also conducted surveys of their constituencies, including students and faculty/staff. In the meantime, Dr. Stone spoke about the Strategic Plan at several community events, and Senior Leadership members brought back feedback from the groups. Each last Friday of the months of January, February, and March, Dr. Stone held an open meeting to update any interested faculty, staff, students, and community members about the status of the Strategic Plan. Each of the update sessions had between 60-90 attendees.
On the morning of February 23, 2015, the FAST teams presented their findings, including suggested goal(s) for the Strategic Plan, their rationale, strategies to accomplish the goal(s), and key performance indicators. The Senior Leadership Team met that afternoon to refine and revise the suggested goals. Following that, the Leadership Team also met with the academic deans to discuss the draft goals and needs of the specific colleges and faculty and made adjustments.
The theme of “Focus on Quality 2020” emphasizes the priority of quality education and the focused efforts of this strategic plan, which will be reviewed and refocused semi-annually until 2020, a measure of perfect vision.
The SPAC Chair drafted the first round of the Strategic Plan and shared it with Senior Leadership on March 6, 2015, including metrics in USF Sarasota-Manatee’s 2015 Work Plan to the Florida Board of Governors. Senior Leadership reviewed a second draft on March 13th and participated in a half-day retreat on March 24th to finalize the plan as much as possible. On March 26th, Dr. Stone reviewed the “finalized” plan with the SPAC. The following day, the Senior Leadership Team made additional revisions based on suggestions from the SPAC and from the campus update session held that morning. The USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus Board approved the plan on April 10, 2015 (USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus Board Meeting: Agenda 4/10/2015 and USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus Board Meeting: Minutes 4/10/2015). Following the USF System approval process, the USF Board of Trustees approved the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2015-2020 on June 4, 2015 (USF BOT Meeting: Agenda 6/4/2015 and USF BOT Meeting: Minutes 6/4/2015).
The final plan builds upon the strengths of USF Sarasota-Manatee, engages internal and external partners, maximizes resources, and is aligned to the strategic goals of the USF System and the SUS (Alignment Matrix). The plan is intentional, meaningful, and designed to make a significant impact, demonstrated by measureable results, which include the metrics the BOG uses to determine PBF.
STRATEGIC GOAL #1: Student Success – Ensure student retention, timely completion, employment success, and student satisfaction.
STRATEGIC GOAL #2: Campus Life – Foster an intentional culture of campus engagement.
STRATEGIC GOAL #3: Intentional Enrollment Management – Strategically recruit and retain students by growing existing programs and creating new programs of strategic emphasis or demonstrated demand.
STRATEGIC GOAL #4: Teaching and Learning – Explore and implement innovative technologies and pedagogical methods that increase student engagement in the learning process and improve student learning outcomes.
STRATEGIC GOAL #5: Scholarly Activity – Recognize and support diverse faculty and student research activities.
STRATEGIC GOAL #6: Community Engagement – Build and be known for a community engagement identity in partnership with a variety of organizations throughout the service area.
STRATEGIC GOAL #7: Resources – Preserve, grow, and diversify the human, physical, financial, private, and other resources, aligning them to support the strategic goals.
Faculty, staff, students, and the community will review the plan on a 6-Month Review Schedule over the next five years.
(2) Continuing Improvement in Institutional Quality
Each individual administrative unit with a budget develops its own goals, objectives, measures, and outcomes that align with the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan, the USF System Strategic Plan, and the FLBOG SUS Strategic Plan (Alignment of the Strategic Plans).
Below is the cycle followed under the unit plan model:
|August 1–May 31||Administrative Units Work Toward Achieving Goals: Administrative units work to achieve their goals that align with USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Strategic Plan, the USF System Strategic Plan, and the Florida Board of Governor’s State University System Strategic Plan; collect assessment data; analyze the data; determine the level at which they achieved their goals; determine new goals for the following year; make their plans for the following year; request additional resources as needed; and submit their reports to a regional vice chancellor or the Regional Chancellor, depending on their reporting lines.|
|June 1||Administrative Unit Heads’ Assessment Reports: Each administrative unit submits its assessment results to IR along with its plan for the following year and with requests for additional resources (e.g., budget, staff) based on assessment results. IR discusses the reports with the unit heads, if necessary, and sends the report on to the regional vice chancellor or the Regional Chancellor.|
|June 15||Regional Vice Chancellor’s Reports: For administrative units reporting to a regional vice chancellor, that administrator reviews and comments on the results/plans for units reporting to him/her and passes the results/plans on to the Regional Chancellor.|
|June 30||Regional Chancellor’s Report: The Regional Chancellor reviews and comments on each administrative unit’s results/plans and allocates resources accordingly.|
|August 1||Administrative Unit Heads’ Assessment Plans: Each administrative unit, after reviewing the vice chancellor and chancellor responses, submits its assessment plan for the new fiscal year to IR for posting.|
Table of Annual Assessment Plans and Reports for Budget Units
Please note the 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 reports align to the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2012-16 and the 2015-16 plans align to the new Strategic Plan 2015-2020.
(3) Demonstration that the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission.
Implementation of Lower-Level Programming
The addition of lower-level programming at USF Sarasota-Manatee provides evidence that the university follows a process in which the mission drives decision-making, research is used to support decisions, budgeting is planned in accordance with the goals, and evaluation is documented through the assessment cycle.
During the summer of 2010, then Regional Chancellor Arthur Guilford charged the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Planning Committee to review and revise the mission statement of the 2006-2011 USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan to reflect a growing institution. The mission statement at the time specified the upper-level and graduate program offerings of the University.
2006-2011 Strategic Plan Mission Statement: The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee delivers quality education to upper-division and graduate students in an active research environment.
Consensus on campus and within the community to add lower-level coursework was growing. In conjunction with Institutional Research and Effectiveness (IR), the Strategic Planning Committee found ample evidence to support adding lower-division programming to the university’s curriculum. An overview of the evidence is documented in Request for Lower-Level Documentation Report.
On December 16, 2010, the USF System Board of Trustees approved adding general education curriculum and lower-division academic programs at USF Sarasota-Manatee. Following the approval, USF Sarasota-Manatee updated its strategic plan and mission statement, removing “upper-division and graduate students” with “professional higher education programs.” Goal 1a of the 2012-16 Strategic Plan called for an expansion of academic programs, “including the ability for students to complete the full four-year bachelor’s degree.”
Unit heads revised assessments to align to the updated Strategic Plan 2012-16: Access = Success. Unit heads aligned unit goals and outcomes with USF Sarasota-Manatee’s new strategic plan goals. unit heads provided data supporting evidence of accomplishing the goals and plans resulting from the analysis of the assessment data provides for continuous improvement. The examples below show how the College of Arts & Sciences, the Regional Chancellor, and Student Services units assessed and documented their areas’ alignment with the 2012-16 Strategic Plan: Access = Success in 2012-13 and 2013-14, particularly in adding and supporting lower-level and freshman course work to USF Sarasota-Manatee’s curriculum.
To ensure the availability of resources for the new strategic goal, the annual Legislative Budget Request for 2012 included a request related to the proposal to offer lower-level programs. USF Sarasota-Manatee also developed a contingency plan to cover the initial instructional costs of the lower-level program with carry-forward funds. USF Sarasota-Manatee projected that the program would be self-sustaining within three to four years of its initiation.
Analysis of the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2012-16 documents the achievement of the goal to add lower-level, general education programming at USF Sarasota-Manatee.
SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION AND EVIDENCE