2.5 Institutional Effectiveness policy
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.
Judgement of Compliance:
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes. UTC currently employs as its primary instrument of institutional effectiveness the Strategic Plan 2008 - 2013. Efforts connected with the Strategic Plan incorporate a systematic review of institutional mission, goals, and outcomes; result in continuing improvement in institutional quality; and demonstrate UTC is effectively accomplishing its mission.
Strategic Plan 2008-2013
By focusing on strategic partnerships for students, for education and research, and for diversity, the plan emphatically reinforces our mission and serves to take the university to new levels of excellence.
The foundation of the Strategic Plan 2008 - 2013 is the clearly defined Strategic Goal:
As a metropolitan university, UTC will focus on partnerships, both within the institution and outside the institution, that are designed to advance the educational, societal and economic development aims of the university, the University of Tennessee System, the Chattanooga region, the state, and the nation. These educational, scholarly, creative, service, and economic partnerships will engage students, faculty, staff, alumni, critical community members, and targeted other organizations.
As a mechanism for attaining this strategic goal, the Strategic Plan identifies four specific initiatives:
Strategic Initiative I: Partnerships for Students [Teaching & Learning]
Create partnerships that provide distinctive educational experiences for students both in the classroom and beyond, lead to meaningful engagement between students and all other members of the University community, and enhance students' commitment to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Strategic Initiative II: Partnerships for Education and Research
Create external educational and research partnerships that take advantage of UTC's distinctive programs, faculty expertise, and the resources of the Chattanooga metropolitan region.
Strategic Initiative III: Partnerships for Diversity
Embrace, celebrate, and sustain a campus community that is inclusive of diversity in all its forms -- people, ideas, and cultures.
Strategic Initiative IV: Enabling Partnerships
Create a learning, work, and community environment by enabling and supporting the university's strategic direction and mission through efficient use of human, fiscal, physical, and communication resources.
Planning and Evaluation
Integrated and Institution-wide
Extensive planning and evaluation activities take place at all levels within the organizational structure of the University. In 2008, the University Planning and Resource Advisory Council (UPRAC) was established to administer planning and evaluation activities campus-wide. Critical responsibilities assigned to UPRAC include budget planning, campus master facilities planning, technology planning, research initiatives, support-service centers, and student enrollment management. Within UPRAC are 28 working committees designed to ensure planning and evaluation activities remain fully integrated with the Strategic Initiatives of the Strategic Plan, and that planning for the years following 2013 will begin prior to the expiration of the current plan.
The current Strategic Plan is the outcome of a planning process initiated by the Chancellor in 2007 and executed through the collaborative efforts of UPRAC, three interconnected task forces, the campus-wide community, and participants from the greater Chattanooga area. UTC makes every effort to integrate planning into each facet of the university and to make plans comprehensive in reach across the institution. In this way, UTC is best able to ensure the Strategic Plan most effectively accomplishes the institutional mission.
Ongoing and Systematic
The University plans and evaluates on an ongoing and systematic basis. This five-year Strategic Plan has a built-in timeline indicating the ongoing nature of the planning process. UTC will begin planning for the next five years in 2012 and will institute a new Strategic Plan beginning in 2014. The Strategic Plan 2008-2013 indicates “systematic reviews of the Strategic Plan will occur every three years during the implementation period” (3). In the interim, the various Strategic Plan committees complete mid-year reports to determine if UTC is meeting its short-term goals and to make adjustments if necessary. Additionally, the Strategic Plan is reviewed and evaluated annually by the Chancellor (see below).
To facilitate systematic review, UTC operates on an annual cycle of goal-setting and evaluation. The process begins when the University Planning and Resource Advisory Council and the Administration issue guidelines which are then used at all administrative levels (Provost, Deans, Department Heads, and Directors) to develop unit-specific objectives. These guidelines are born out of the Strategic Initiatives which direct the institution’s application of the Strategic Plan. The process continues as individual faculty/staff members use the Evaluation by Development of Objectives (EDO) tool to develop personal annual goals. At the end of the cycle, each faculty/staff member is evaluated to determine the extent to which these goals have been attained.
In 2009, UTC introduced the outcomes management system, TaskStream, to help collect strategic planning documentation from departments and other units across campus. Currently, all stakeholders have completed training, and the TaskStream system is being fully utilized in the annual goal-setting/evaluation process.
Evaluation at the department level also takes place through the five-year Program Review mandated by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). Following specific THEC guidelines, these program reviews require detailed self studies and two-day visits by qualified external reviewers.
Additionally, a significant number of academic units at UTC are accredited by regional or national accrediting agencies. Each of these units is accountable to its accrediting board for an identified period. When that period elapses, those units must undergo performance reviews and evaluations to maintain accreditation. UTC maintains a list of departments/programs holding accredited status.
The Office of Planning, Evaluation, & Institutional Research (OPEIR) is an established administrative office responsible for providing ongoing research support for planning and evaluation activities. OPEIR maintains data on enrollments, student credit hour production, faculty FTE, academic programs and degrees, faculty and staff information, and budgetary data. OPEIR generates a wide array of statistical reports and establishes appropriate measures to assess program quality. This research aids the administration in developing annual guidelines and strategic objectives.
Systematic Review of Institutional Mission, Goals, and Outcomes
Review of our mission, goals, and outcomes is an ongoing and systematic process. A review of the Mission Statement which began in 2004-2005 led to the establishment of our current Mission Statement and Strategic Plan.
The Chancellor reviews the application of the Strategic Initiatives annually. At the close of the first year of the Strategic Plan, the Chancellor issued his Year One Report evaluating the implementation of the Strategic Plan. A Year Two Report is forthcoming as the Chancellor completes his review of 2009.
UTC is vigilant in administering the mission, adjusting and responding as needs arise. For example, in the fall of 2009, the Provost announced the formation of an ad hoc committee charged with drafting recommendations for program consolidations or terminations and/or operational reductions. This committee was established as a response to the impending state budget reductions and was tasked with maintaining focus on our Mission goals and outcomes despite economic difficulties.
Concurrent with the Provost's review is an ongoing assessment of the use of institutional resources being conducted by the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Operations, and it too calls for setting priorities according to our mission statement. The Efficiency and Effectiveness Committee was formed to set fiscal priorities in accordance with our mission statement. This Committee meets quarterly.
The 2009 addition of TaskStream created another way for the university to annually review its goals and outcomes. TaskStream is a tool to gather data and to assess the effectiveness of each unit on campus. Each department, office, and division of the university, both academic and non-academic, sets goals, objectives, and outcomes for the academic or fiscal year. Utilizing the Task Stream product, outcomes, measures, findings, and changes resulting from those data are entered by each unit. Outcomes have been assessed for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.
Improvement in Quality
The ongoing nature of our review process results in continuing improvement in institutional quality. This improvement is evidenced by such accomplishments as the 2008 Community Engagement Classification designation by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. To further recognize UTC’s particular strengths, the Foundation also granted UTC elective classification in both the areas of Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships. UTC joined such institutions as Duke University, Georgetown University, and Purdue University among the 119 institutions thus honored.
Improvement in academic programs is demonstrated by increases in first-year retention rates, six-year graduation rates, and degrees conferred. Between AY2005and AY2009, the first-year retention rate for freshmen increased from 62.93% to 66.92%. Six-year graduation rates over the past three years have increased from 40.90% to 42.26%. The number of undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees conferred 2004-05 through 2008-09 also increased.
Degrees Conferred 2005-06 through 2008-09
Student and faculty scholars at UTC have distinguished themselves in recent years as named scholars. These and other selected accomplishments prove the continued effort of UTC to improve and increase in excellence:
- UTC was ranked among the Top Public Master’s Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report 2010 America’s Best Colleges;
- The Fall 2009 Freshman class represented the best prepared group of new UTC students, as indicated by average high school GPA (3.26) and average ACT score (22.7);
- LaShunda Shecuna Hill was named a 2009 Truman Scholar. Hill is a University Honors senior majoring in political science, sociology, and humanities;
- Dr. Robert Swansbrough was named a 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar. Swansbrough, a professor of Political Science, taught courses in American Government and US Foreign Policy at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China;
- A Tennessee Higher Education 2009 Love Award was awarded to Dr. Zibin Guo, Professor of Sociology, for his work in the development of wheelchair Tai Chi for the disabled;
- The College of Business was ranked among the top 100 undergraduate business schools in the country by Business Week magazine for the third consecutive year;
- In 2010, UTC received $1.8 million from the State of Tennessee for the UTeaChattanooga program to improve math and science teacher preparation;
- The School of Nursing accreditation was renewed in 2010 by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for the maximum of ten years with no recommendations.
Effective Accomplishment of Mission
In his Achieving Progress: Year One Report on the Implementation of the Strategic Plan, the Chancellor identified a number of accomplishments resulting from the Strategic Plan efforts. These outcomes are arranged according to strategic initiative to show their relationship to the Mission Statement and to the Strategic Plan areas of emphasis.
Partnerships for Students [Teaching and Learning]
- Increased external curricular experience for students
- Increased freshman retention
- Enhanced access to instruction by offering more online courses
- Enhanced access to instruction by allowing in-state tuition for select GA and AL students
Partnerships for Education and Research
- Appointed an Assistant Provost for Research and Engagement
- Completed an inventory of externally-funded partnership projects
- Increased number of Partnerships by 43%
- Provided 100 events/programs in the Arts, with 28,000 attendees and 49 external partners
Partnerships for Diversity
- Established, furnished, and staffed a new Multicultural/Women’s Center in the University Center
- Conducted diversity exercises in Freshmen Seminar classes
- Improved physical access to campus facilities
- Developed and implemented a resource development plan based on Strategic Plan priorities
- Responded to 2008-09 budget reduction of $2.6 Million
- Responded to 2009-10 budget reduction of $4.5 Million
- Articulated UTC's identity as a metropolitan university
- Expanded involvement and participation of alumni
- Worked to establish UTC as the most environmentally sustainable campus in the state
- Made formal request to THEC to modify UTC peer group
- Worked with UT Libraries, Tenn-Share, TN Electronic Library to increase access to library resources and services
- Increased both graduate enrollment and number of graduate degrees conferred
- Awarded $48 Million for construction of a new library
- Received $24.7 Million in external grant/research funding
- Received $6 Million from local foundation to support UTC SimCenter
- Received funding to convert UTC record system to Banner
- Received $4.5 Million from the UC Foundation to support educational and research activities
- Raised $46 Million through Development Office efforts towards capital campaign.
- Strategic Plan
- Mission Statement
- University Planning and Resource Advisory Council (UPRAC)
- UPRAC Responsibilities
- Strategic Plan Committee Mid-Year Report Example, Library
- Faculty Evaluation and Development by Objectives, section 3.2
- TaskStream Software
- Program Review
- Accredited Programs List
- Office of Planning Evaluation and Institutional Research
- Chancellor's Year One Report
- Formation of Ad Hoc Committee
- Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Evaluation
- Efficiency and Effectiveness Committee
- Carnegie Designation
- First-year retention rates 1997-2008
- 6-year graduate rates 1992-93 through 2008-09
- Undergraduate degrees conferred 2004-05 through 2008-09
- Graduate degrees conferred 2004-05 through 2008-09
- Announcement of US News and World Report ranking
- Truman Scholar
- Fulbright Scholar
- THEC Love Award
- UTeaCHattanooga Program
- School of Nursing Accreditation
- Chancellor's Year One Report