The Central Washington University (CWU) Board of Trustees endorsed the University Strategic Plan on July 22, 2011. The CWU Strategic Plan is girded by five broad themes that manifest essential elements of the institutional mission. These five themes include:
- Teaching and Learning
- Inclusivity and Diversity
- Scholarship and Creative Expression
- Public Service and Community Engagement
- Resource Development and Stewardship
An ongoing institutional level committee (Strategic Operations Team) was created in Fall, 2011 to monitor strategic implementation, provide analysis and documentation as to mission fulfillment, and make recommendations in terms of plan refinement, associated strategic initiatives, and budget. This committee meets regularly to review and evaluate all institutional theme and objective progress. Diagram 1 illustrates the strategic planning process and timeline at the institutional level.
Diagram 1. CWU Strategic Planning Process and Timeline
A formal and institutional level evaluation of each theme for each year has been established to allow for concentrated analysis, transparency, and encourage greater university-wide involvement and feedback in its continuous improvement efforts. Specifically, three variables are examined (performance indicator quality; assessment performance level; and institutional strategies & initiative success). Objective and outcome related data is collected during the regular academic year and a rating of the three variables, corresponding explanations, and recommendations for all areas are contained in a final written report that is completed by fall (i.e., October 1st) of each academic year. Areas for improvement would be noted and specific recommendations in terms of initiatives or strategies would be considered as part of the overall institutional planning and budget process for the next year. It would be determined that “mission fulfillment” was met by scoring “sufficient” as related to each of the three variables examined.
Institutional Strategic Objectives Assessment Report Guidelines
Performance Indicator Quality: The examination of the quality, quantity, and variety of the performance indicators used to determine institutional outcome attainment within any theme is important in examining the meaningfulness of the information and data generated. Assessment measures (i.e., performance indicators) need to be appropriate for and aligned to stated institutional outcomes. Appropriateness implies that consistent categories of information appear in both the assessment and its corresponding outcome(s). In addition, assessment quality should be measured by examining its congruency with the complexity and requirements of the corresponding institutional outcome(s). Also, there is a need to apply multiple performance indicators at various times to examine institutional outcomes that are generally complex and broad in nature.
Assessment indicators are not comprehensive and/or integrated to provide information in monitoring goal attainment. Assessment indicators may have sources of bias with little to no effort having been made to establish fairness, accuracy, and/or consistency in procedures.
Assessment indicators are comprehensive and integrated to provide information in monitoring goal attainment. Multiple assessments are used with little if any sources of bias. Efforts are made to ensure and establish assessment fairness, accuracy, and consistency.
Assessment indicators are comprehensive and integrated to provide information in monitoring goal attainment. Multiple assessments are used at various times and steps are taken to eliminate sources of bias. Thorough investigation and/or supportive data exists that establishes fairness, accuracy, and consistency of the assessment procedures.
Assessment Performance Level: How did CWU do in attempting to meet institutional outcomes within themes? The answer to this question can be determined by criterion and/or normative comparison. These indicators help guide how well CWU is doing in meeting institutional outcomes.
Assessment data suggests that the institutional goal is not being met and that current status or direction of change is undesirable or not improving as quickly as desired. Immediate, high priority actions should be taken to address this area.
Assessment data suggests that the institutional goal is being met and that current status or direction of change is either at an acceptable level or clearly heading in the right direction.
Assessment data suggests that institutional goal is clearly met and that current status or direction of change is at a qualitatively high and advanced/ mature level.
Institutional Strategies & Initiative Success: It is important to know whether institutional activities, processes and initiatives are actually helping to meet institutional outcomes. Is what CWU is doing really an institutional priority? Is what CWU is doing the most efficient, innovative and cost-effective approach? This information will guide whether specific actions are working and whether specific initiatives or approaches should be continued, adjusted, or deleted.
Goal strategies and initiatives may be inadequately or inappropriately funded, not based on previous data, limited in number and/or scope, inefficient, or ineffective to reach an acceptable level or desired rate of improvement. Immediate, high priority actions should be taken to address this area. Strategies may not be supported by data collection conclusions.
Goal strategies and initiatives may be appropriate, efficient, effective, and based on some previous data, but may need some change in course of action, funding, and/or number needed to provide sustainable momentum in this goal area. Most strategies are based on and supported by data collection conclusions.
No immediate change in strategies and initiatives is required. However, continuing support should be provided to sustain achievement in this goal area. Strategies are clearly supported and driven by data sources and collection conclusions.