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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 26, 2022

The Future of Planning is . . .

. . . Aligned, Integrated, and Collaborative Institutional Effectiveness

IE professionals are both translators and integrators—and universities need these people who know how to interpret the data. Within the context of an IIE office, they assist in developing data-informed strategic plans, financial forecasts, enrollment plans, and other assessments of institutional efficacy.

From Volume 50 Number 3 | April–June 2022

Abstract: The institutions that will thrive in the future will be those that use high-quality, relevant mission-driven data as part of their strategic, integrated planning process. Because of this it is imperative to create integrated institutional effectiveness (IIE) offices that serve as the connective tissue among all units within a college or university. The data and expertise of institutional effectiveness can be leveraged to benefit the institution as a whole. In this article, we discuss the value of creating an IIE office and challenges associated with a centralized infrastructure.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
November 15, 2021

Book Review: Big Data on Campus

Data Analytics and Decision Making in Higher Education

From Volume 50 Number 1 | October–December 2021

Abstract: Edited by Karen L. Webber and Henry Y. Zheng
Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore: 2020
324 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4214-3903-7

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
January 11, 2021

Breaking Barriers

A Collaborative Approach to Problem-Solving Created a Culture of Campus Innovation

The University of West Georgia, toward dismantling silo thinking and promoting a sense of ownership within the workplace, formed a cross-divisional group: The Barriers Team. It was part of an initiative to recognize and encourage employee engagement, develop operational efficiencies and effectiveness, and eliminate obstructions to staff success.

From Volume 49 Number 2 | January–March 2021

Abstract: This article outlines the process by which a public university sought to develop and grow a culture of problem-solving and innovation at a time when the institution was undergoing a number of transitions. By developing a Barriers Team, the institution brought together a group of individuals representing all aspects of the university and charged the members with tackling barriers to success. The authors outline how they used the institution’s strategic plan as a starting point, and then describe the steps, provide examples, and reflect on the long-range viability of the approach.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
May 15, 2020

Reduce Curriculum Costs While Increasing Student Enrollment

Optimizing Academic Balance Analyses Let Kentucky Institutions Stay Competitive

Results of the study supplied evidence needed to support tough institutional decisions. The 13 Kentucky colleges and universities that participated in the research now have critically important data to use in making choices about how they best serve their students, maximize scarce resources, and sustain financial stability.

From Volume 48 Number 3 | April–June 2020

Abstract: An Optimizing Academic Balance (OAB) analysis provides colleges and universities with effective tools to use in making strategic academic decisions needed to stay competitive in the context of institutional mission, program quality, market potential, cost, and revenue. The Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities recently completed a three-year statewide OAB project with the participation of 13 higher education institutions. The results supported the colleges and universities in making tough decisions.


A Follow-Up

An introduction to the Optimizing Academic Balance process and early results of the research were published in the 2015 Planning for Higher Education article, “Reshaping Your Curriculum to Grow the Bottom Line,”. The current article, with final research data, represents the study’s wrap-up report.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
May 8, 2020

Promoting Engagement in Strategic Planning

Southeast Community College Used FAST Goals to Capture Stakeholder Interest

Creating a positive, reflective, inclusive, and transparent institutional climate facilitated improved engagement in and ownership of strategic and departmental planning. The process of using FAST goals (frequently discussed, ambitious, specifically measured, and transparent) produced constructive outcomes.

From Volume 48 Number 3 | April–June 2020

Abstract: Southeast Community College (SCC) transformed its departmental planning by embedding a cultural goal within its strategic plan. The goal focused on creating a positive, reflective, inclusive, and transparent institutional climate—through the implementation of departmental FAST goals. That goal type refers to those that are frequently discussed, ambitious, specifically measured, and transparent, which represents an alternative to the commonly used SMART goal-setting approach. This article describes how a change of climate at SCC set the stage for the conversion to FAST goals—and improved engagement in and ownership of strategic and departmental planning.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 16, 2020

Can You Trust Your Eyes?

Learn How to Minimize Misinterpretation of Data Reports and Visualizations

Volumes of data are available to administrators to support decision-making. But that doesn’t mean that what’s been presented is accurate. When data are misused or misconstrued, senior leaders at higher education institutions may make the wrong conclusions, ineffective policies may be enacted, and students may not be successful in completing their academic goals.

From Volume 48 Number 2 | January–March 2020

Abstract: Data analytics related to student and institutional performance have evolved quite rapidly—and continue to advance—as the field of data science captures more attention across the higher education sector. And while data-informed decisions can help institutional leaders achieve their goals, there are increasing examples of analyses or visualizations that, when presented without the proper framework, result in misinterpretation and inaccurate conclusions. Context is critical, and erroneous deductions may lead to decisions that adversely affect student performance, program development, and policy changes.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2018

A Framework for Planning Organizational Diversity

Applying Multicultural Practice in Higher Education Work Settings

Cox’s model is used to determine whether a unit is on its way to becoming an effective multicultural organization, highlighting strengths and areas for improvement.

From Volume 46 Number 3 | April–June 2018

Abstract: The study described in this article investigated diversity in a unit within a postsecondary institution using the model described by Cox in Creating the Multicultural Organization by verifying the unit’s view of diversity, examining existing strategies used for diversity, evaluating consistencies, and identifying areas of improvement. The study included an analysis of unit employees to verify broad diversity by race and gender and an interview with senior leadership about the strategic plan for the unit on matters related to diversity. Overall analysis showed that the unit is doing better than most peer institutions in hiring female and minority candidates for positions. However, there are gaps in the unit’s approach to diversity that impact its ability to be an effective multicultural organization.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
January 1, 2010

Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Assessment

The guiding principles of institutions that have established a culture of assessment can be described as internally driven.

From Volume 38 Number 2 | January–March 2010

Abstract: Many institutions of higher education develop assessment systems to demonstrate evidence of value added and to meet accreditation requirements. The sustainability of such assessment systems is usually defendant on creating a culture of assessment, which entails establishing shared values and principles and implementing practices designed to meet organizational goals. A survey of 119 assessment professionals revealed both the challenges and facilitating factors in creating and sustaining a culture of assessment. This article presents the survey results organized by an institution’s stage of development in establishing a culture of assessment: beginning, progress, or maturation. The article also provides specific examples to help institutions move along the continuum or improve their current practices and concludes with a discussion of policy implications

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
October 1, 2007

Traffic Congestion on a University Campus

A Consideration of Unconventional Remedies to Nontraditional Transportation Patterns

Universities are in a special position to take information related to the patterns and causes of congestion and apply it to their planning goals. In particular, they can work effectively to reduce demand.

From Volume 36 Number 1 | October–December 2007

Abstract: U.S. transportation data suggest that the number of vehicle miles traveled has far surpassed new capacity, resulting in increased traffic congestion in many communities throughout the country. This article reports on traffic congestion around a university campus located within a small town. The mix of trip purposes varies considerably in this context, with the majority of trips related to student movement to and from classes. The university itself becomes a major traffic generator, but in a complex way. This article describes how congestion in a university setting differs from that in a nonuniversity setting; what components drive this congestion; how best to reduce this congestion while adhering to overall university planning objectives; and how to set a foundation for traffic management strategies that provide environmental, social, and economic benefit to the university and, importantly, to the surrounding community. The information presented here applies beyond the campus setting to any community that contains nontraditional traffic generators and shows why context does matter when analyzing and managing traffic.

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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Published
April 1, 2006

Visualization of Academic Efficiency and Productivity

The author describes a method to display a variety of quantitative information in a compact, easy-to-understand way, providing an analytical tool useful in analyzing and comparing the relative strengths and weaknesses of an academic unit over time or in comparison with others.

From Volume 34 Number 3 | April–June 2006

Abstract: A simple and readily understandable visual display of quantitative measures of academic efficiency and productivity is demonstrated in this article. This graphical construction facilitates annual comparisons of unit efficiency and productivity as well as an analysis of temporal changes in unit activity. By establishing a common framework upon which a data-driven conversation regarding unit activity is constructed, this method produces a single graphical representation of the activities of any academic unit. As such, this technique assists academic decision makers with goal setting, resource allocation and reallocation, and the program prioritization process.

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