Accreditation

The mission of Central Washington University is to prepare students for enlightened, responsible, and productive lives; to produce research, scholarship, and creative expression in the public interest; and to serve as a resource to the region and the state through effective stewardship of university resources.

A Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) peer review committee is coming to Ellensburg October 22-24, 2018 to evaluate the extent of CWU’s mission fulfillment across five core themes based on the NWCCU Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Accreditation. The participation of Business and Financial Affairs and Human Resources staff members is vital to this process.

Evaluators will likely be particularly interested in your perspectives on CWU’s mission, core themes, challenges and adaptability, sustainability (both financially and in terms of the quality and competitiveness of academic offerings and student services), and interactions between/among staff, students, faculty, and administrators. Below you will find a series of questions we expect the NWCCU evaluators to ask about BFA and your specific unit within the division.

  1. What are the primary, most important, changes you have implemented to improve your unit?
    • What data or information did you use to determine these specific changes were necessary?
    • What data or information did you (or will you) use to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of these changes?
    • To date, how effective have these changes been?  What is working well – and what is not?
    • How did these changes support the CWU mission and core themes?
    • How did these changes support the BFA mission?
      • Valuing transparency, collaboration, and the Wildcat Way, the division of Business and Financial Affairs (BFA) supports CWU by providing a culture of leadership, innovation, creative solutions, and integrated systems
  2. What are some examples of the division’s and your unit’s strategic planning and implementation?
  3. What is the primary mission of the institution? Who are the students CWU serves?
  4. How does the division and your unit support the institution’s mission? How do your strategic goals and initiatives promote the institution’s mission?
  5. What are the institution’s core themes?
  6. How does the division and your unit support the institution’s core themes? How do your strategic goals and initiatives promote the institution’s core themes?
  7. To what extentstrong> is the institution fulfilling its mission and core themes?
    • Where and in what ways is the institution meeting or exceeding the expectations it set for itself?
    • Where and in what ways is the institution falling short?
    • How is the institution addressing those shortcomings?
  8. To what extent are the division and your unit fulfilling the CWU mission and core themes?
    • Where and in what ways is your division/unit exceeding the expectations you have set?
    • Where and in what ways is your division/unit falling short?
    • What are you doing to address those shortcomings?
  9. Since the last NWCCU site visit, in what ways have the institution, the division, and your unit had to adapt to changing circumstances – in terms of both external and internal factors?
    • How well have the institution and your division/unit adapted to change?
    • Thinking about the future, how well-equipped are the institution and your division/unit to adapt to change?
  10. What are the primary challenges the institution, the division, and your unit have had to overcome since the last NWCCU site visit (Fall 2009) or since the NWCCU Mid-Cycle Evaluation visit (Fall 2014)?
    • What are the primary challenges the institution and your division/unit currently face?
    • What challenges are on the horizon?
    • How do you see the institution and your division/unit addressing and overcoming those challenges?
  11. The evaluators are very likely to ask BFA and Human Resources staff members about Core Theme Five: Resource Development and Stewardship Objectives 5.1 and 5.3 – and the related outcomes and indicators shown below
    • Objective 5.1: Maximize the financial resources of the university, and ensure the efficient and effective operations of the university through strong financial stewardship.
      • Outcome 5.1.1: Provide accurate and timely revenue and expense forecasting at all levels of the institution.
        • Indicator 5.1.1.1: Monthly budget variance reports with current year forecasts provided to all levels of the university.
      • Outcome 5.1.2: Maximize strategies and practices that ensure sustainable operations in the long term.
        • Indicator 5.1.2.1: Long-term (a minimum of six years) forecasts of revenues, expenses, and reserves maintained for all fund groups.
        • Indicator 5.1.2.2: As part of decision-making processes, long-term financial analyses for all new programs, initiatives, infrastructure improvements, and contractual arrangements provided.
    • Objective 5.3: Ensure the university has the human resources necessary to accomplish all university objectives.
      • Outcome 5.3.1: Provide consistently exemplary service.
        • Indicator 5.3.1.1: Full implementation of Wildcat Way, a university-wide commitment to service excellence, tailored specifically for CWU and embraced, communicated, and supported at all levels and across all departments.
        • Indicator 5.3.1.2: Increased and enhanced performance management strategies.
        • Indicator 5.3.1.3: Results of constituent service assessments.
      • Outcome 5.3.2: Recruit, hire, and retain excellent faculty and staff.
        • Indicator 5.3.2.1: Policy changes to ensure direct appointments are rare.
        • Indicator 5.3.2.2: Consistent reporting of the following:
          • Percentage of candidate pools where the number of applicants from affected groups met minimum qualifications in numbers reflective of availability;
          • Percentage of candidate pools where the number of applicants from affected groups were interviewed in numbers reflective of availability;
          • Percentage of candidate pools where the successful candidate was a member of an affected group;
          • Percentage of finalists who decline offers of employment, including the percentage of these finalists who are members of an affected group;
          • Reasons for separation through regular exit surveys and interviews.
        • Indicator 5.3.2.3: Implementation of strategies (workshops, annual training, DiversityEdu) to address key issues identified in reports above.
      • Outcome 5.3.3: Implement plans, methods, and systems to provide for future human resources needs.
        • Indicator 5.3.3.1: Tracking of requests and issues fielded by HR staff. Reporting and analyzing of results to ensure HR organization is efficiently constructed to meet needs.
        • Indicator 5.3.3.2: Creation of one-year and five-year forecasting reports as well as reports that report and analyze variance of forecast to actual.
        • Indicator 5.3.3.3: Monthly and annual reporting of programs and services.
        • Indicator 5.3.3.4: Participation in and reporting on results of benchmark studies.
  12. The evaluators will also likely ask questions about Standard Two: Resources and Capacity that fall under BFA. Specifically, they will ask whether CWU has the following and when these items were last reviewed/updated.
Policies/procedures related to contractual agreements with external entities
Policies/procedures that articulate the oversight and management of financial resources including planning and monitoring of operating and capital budgets, reserves, investments, fundraising, cash management, debt management, transfers and borrowing between funds
Policies/procedures for financial planning and budget development
Policies/procedures for resource planning
Policies/procedures for financial planning committee
Description of internal financial controls
Long-range capital plan to include capital budget policies/procedures
General operations/auxiliary operations budget policies/procedures
Latest external financial audit including management letter
Operating agreements between institution and fundraising organizations
Human resource policies/procedures
Policies/procedures for apprising employees of working conditions, rights and responsibilities, evaluation, retention, promotion, and termination
Policies/procedures ensuring security and confidentiality of human resource records
Personnel hiring policy/procedures
Administrator/staff evaluation policies/procedures
Employee professional development policies/procedures
Academic organizational chart
Faculty workload policies/procedures