University of West Georgia

Strategic Plan 2008-2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted by Institutional Studies and Planning Committee

October 2, 2007

 


 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

Preamble

 

Executive Summary

 

Plan

 

Glossary

Preamble

            The strategic plan presented here is not the first of its kind at West Georgia.  On the contrary, this one grows out of the context and tradition of the previous planning process.  In the fall of 2000, President Sethna created and charged an ad hoc committee with creating a strategic plan for the University.  That committee, which contained representatives from all areas of campus work and life, created two-level strategic document that listed non-negotiable goals as “Bread and Butter Goals” and a set of aspirational goals as the “Visionary Goals” or the “Three by Five” goals, so called because they were defined by three sets of fives – in five goals, five years, top five per cent of the nation.  (These reports and some other materials are still available on the committee’s web site http://www.westga.edu/~spc.)

            In March of 2007, Acting President Tim Hynes, very much in concert with Dr. Beheruz Sethna, who was at that time away in a temporary position as Executive Vice Chancellor for the University System of Georgia in the Atlanta Office, charged the Institutional Studies and Planning Committee of the Faculty Senate with revisiting and re-presenting a strategic plan for the University.  Not long at all after the committee met, we all realized that we did not want just to echo the previous strategic document.  In fact, it seemed to us that many of the University’s publics wanted a clearly and singly defined vision of the University.  Mindful, to be sure, of the idealistic goal of crafting a singly defined vision of the University, the committee began a careful review of the previous planning documents in order to build upon them but also to shape a new plan at least toward a singly defined vision.  Consequently, this plan carries forward a great deal of the sentiment and goals of the previous strategic plan but with a few significant differences.

            Perhaps the most significant difference between this plan and the previous one can be explained by the committee’s adherence to a principle of pragmatism or realism.  The committee members in their attempt to craft a definition of the University also wanted to stay grounded in what it is the University actually does and does well, and that it has done well for much of its history.  The answer came in liberal arts-based professional preparation.  The majority of the students that we graduate and that succeed in some form of satisfying employment are products of West Georgia’s long standing high quality liberal arts programming which informs and inspires and sustains professional curricula in nursing, education, and business.

            Unwilling to leave out all aspirational goals, the committee began to formulate a second part of this goal – the total integration of co-curricular programming.  This is not what we do now, but what we wish to do.  Over the last few years, UWG has crafted the beginnings of a substantial first-year program and some other co-curricular developments, but it has been somewhat of a hodge-podge development.  Our committee thought that the University could simply yoke together these efforts under an office or small committee and develop a uniform version of co-curricular experiences for every year of undergraduate life (thus, instead of first-year programming, we talk about student level-programming) and an integration of graduate studies to the issues of undergraduates.

            As we were developing the earliest version of our plan the USG came out with a draft of its own strategic plan, which the committee had to quickly take note of and incorporate where important, useful, or necessary.  This phase has been a helpful one and supplemental to the overall process.

Therefore, the committee offers this phase of the strategic plan.  After the goals and subgoals are agreed upon, the next phase is to develop something of an implementation strategy for each goal.  A separate subcommittee will be charged for each of the four goals in order to develop action items and assessment measures.  As we move forward we want to stress that officers, faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders should understand that in order for the University to accomplish its mission and reach the goals outlined below its daily work must be conducted in an environment of open and free inquiry and debate in which leaders, faculty, staff, and students know themselves empowered and their requisite work valued.   The people carrying forward this work should be convinced that the work is valuable and that once settled the University will make every effort to implement the plan and allow resources to follow the direction that that strategic plan sets forth.  Chancellor Davis is often quoted approvingly that a strategic plan should not just collect dust on an administrative bookshelf; it should matter; it should be consequential; it should, in short, drive the budget.  This indeed is what we hope to see insofar as that is possible.


 

 

UWG Strategic Plan for 2008-2013

 

Vision of the Strategic Plan

The University of West Georgia (UWG) will pursue a strategy to become a competitive member of a robust tier of comprehensive universities in the University System of Georgia (USG), serving the broader west Georgia region as well as metro Atlanta and beyond including international students and clients.  The fundamental effort of the University will be to provide for a diverse student population an array of high quality graduate and undergraduate programs in the liberal arts, business, and education that have as their distinctive mark the successful preparation for professional careers.  These programs will be as diverse as English and Nursing and taught by a faculty who are equally committed to teaching as they are research and service.  Furthermore, West Georgia will be known for its distinctive approach to an integrated student experience, an experience that for undergraduates will be designed to guide them through their freshman experience to career goals and for graduate and professional programs to connect them as mentors, models, and guides for others on campus. 

UWG History and the Strategic Plan

West Georgia’s history, its “rural roots” to use the term of the Centennial Commission, is grounded in professional preparation.  It was primarily a teacher’s college in the early twentieth century, and its future, its “global reach,” will likewise be professional preparation in a more broadly defined manner.  The earliest orientation of the history of West Georgia is as an A&M school and thus again we see at its core an emphasis on pragmatic education.  This emphasis is by no means to be understood as what may be referred to derisively as vocational and technical education; rather, it should be understood as the yoking together the best of the liberal arts tradition of an education that teaches students to think, the create theories and test them, and the tradition of an education that teaches students to act, to do, to be in the world of business, education, science, the health professions.  To be trained such is to follow the spirit of Benjamin Franklin whose theory of education informs the foundational principles of the University of Pennsylvania, according to whom “Franklin outlined a progressive college: one that would offer practical as well as classical instruction in order to prepare youth for real-world pursuits.”  The future for West Georgia students is directed toward the global reach and globalization will affect every one of our students.  As one of the most popular of recent writers on globalization, Thomas Friedman, makes clear, the best training for this new world is a liberal arts training that prepares the students for new worlds of work.  This is our plan, to emphasize our history of liberal arts and professional preparation to prepare students for the as yet unknown professions in the global economy of our very near future.

Executive Summary of Strategic Goals

 

Primary Strategic Mission: Over the next five years, UWG seeks to be recognized as a distinctive member of the top tier of comprehensive universities in the USG and a first-choice university for an increasing number of constituents by achieving the following goals.

1.      Reaffirming and Improving Quality Academic Programming from the Bachelor’s to the Doctorate with a focus on liberal arts, experiential learning, and professional competencies.

a.         Undergraduate Academic Programming that blends liberal arts, experiential learning, and professional competencies to prepare students for civic engagement and professions or careers in the 21st century.

 

                                                   i.      The Core Curriculum will be reformed to emphasize liberal arts and professional competency learning outcomes necessary for civic engagement and professions/careers in the 21st century.

                                                 ii.      Every student will complete at least one course rich in new media delivery.

                                                iii.      Each college unit (Arts & Sciences, Business, Education) will offer curricular that fosters American and global cultural literacy.

                                               iv.      Each degree program will articulate professional competency learning outcomes.

                                                 v.      Every degree program will offer a program of study that prepares students for careers in their chosen field.

                                               vi.      Undergraduate participation in study abroad will be increased by n% a year.

 

b.      Undergraduate Co-curricular Programming focused on integration, an integration that connects together as a class (e.g. first year) and that connects classroom learning with real-world contexts through academic and professional experiential activities.

                                                   i.      A comprehensive advising program will promote and facilitate the integration of students’ coursework, career readiness opportunities, and extracurricular activities from freshman year to graduation.

                                                 ii.      Bridge programming that addresses societal and professional issues will link students by class level and by topic. So, for example, the first year might focus on civility, the second on civic engagement, the third on ethics, and the last year on professionalism as informed the previous three.

                                                iii.      Students will participate in experiential learning experiences related to their academic course of study.  Opportunities include, but are not limited to practica, internships, co-ops, service-learning experiences, applied research projects, creative performances, and study abroad experiences.

 

c.       Graduate Programs that are grounded on and extend the integrative philosophy of the University’s undergraduate programming.

                                                   i.      All graduate programs will blend liberal arts fundamentals, disciplinary theory, and practical application.

                                                 ii.      Every graduate program will maintain a professional advising or mentoring structure.

                                                iii.      Where appropriate, graduate students should interact with undergraduates in one or more of the following ways: leading a seminar, workshop, or undergraduate research conference; serving as mentor for an internship, co-op position, or service-learning activity; or by serving as a lab or teaching assistant.

 

d.  Educator Preparation Programs that honor and build upon the history of West Georgia as a significant provider of teachers for the state.

                                                               i.      Teacher preparation programs will develop and adopt relevant curricula that strengthen teacher quality and impact K-12 student learning outcomes.

                                                             ii.      Education leadership programs will strive to develop school leaders with performance-based skills to continuously improve K-12 schools.

                                                            iii.      The University will increase its connections to and support of local public and DTAE schools by appointing liaisons and joint commissions.

                                                           iv.      The University will provide leadership in Early College and Gateway to College initiatives.

                                                             v.      The University will articulate with IB, AP, and other early college credit programs.

 

  1. Creating Continuous Improvements in Campus Climate and Culture

 

    1. Safe Environment – The University will remain steadfastly committed to the maintaining a safe campus for people and ideas.
    2. Communication – Clear communication, honest dialogue, and open inquiry are the heart of academia.
    3. Support Services – Strong and responsive infrastructures as the basis of campus cultural improvement.
    4. Reward Structures – Positive reinforcement to promote high quality performance.
    5. Competitive Compensation Packages – Recruitment and retention of high quality university community members.
    6. Student Life – Evening and weekend programming that not only provides the residential students some diversion but that attracts other students to stay on campus.

 

 

 

  1. Managing Resources for Efficiency, Functionality, and Aesthetics

 

    1. Enrollment Management for greater prediction and control of student populations relative to campus resources
    2. Expand off-campus and distance education programming to meet demand and more efficiently classroom space.
    3. Long-term Facilities Planning aligned with strategic plan, academic plan, enrollment predictions and campus architectural style
    4. Employing “Back-Office” Efficiencies to provide greater customer service and perhaps freeing up recourses
    5. Strategic Budgeting where possible to anticipate costs of library, ITS, and other typically year-end funded areas.
    6. Organizational Assessment – Reorganization Efforts to increase functionality, eliminate redundancy and review the outcomes of the organization
    7. Customer Service Improvements

 

 

 

  1. Enhancing Efforts of External Support and Services
    1. Increased targeted research dollars – research projects should be pursued that match the mission of the University and not just for the sake of dollars;
    2. Fund Raising – continue to improve.
    3. Capital Campaign
    4. Alumni Development
    5. Renewed Effort of Creating Continuing Education Programs, especially those like ICAPP.

 

 

 

 


 

The West Georgia Plan: Turning up the Flame

 

Primary Strategic Mission: Over the next five years, UWG seeks to be recognized as a distinctive model member of the top tier (the “robust tier”) of comprehensive universities in the USG and a first-choice university for an increasing number of constituents by achieving the following goals. (USG Goal 2C)

Metrics:

1.      Continued BOR recognition as a top tier comprehensive university.

2.      Survey documented recognition in high schools and area colleges of UWG’s distinctive programming.

3.      Measure the trend of students who list UWG as first-choice.

 

Goal One: Reaffirming and Improving Quality Academic Programming from the Bachelor’s to the Doctorate with a focus on liberal arts, experiential learning, and professional competencies.

Description: UWG will become a leader in Georgia in offering preparation for professional and career success built on a strong foundation of liberal education. 

 

Goal 1A: Undergraduate Academic Programming that blends liberal arts, experiential learning, and professional competencies to prepare students for civic engagement and professions or careers in the 21st century.

 

1A i: The Core Curriculum will be reformed to emphasize liberal arts and professional competency learning outcomes necessary for civic engagement and professions/careers in the 21st century.

Metrics:

  1. Competencies: results on ETS’ MAPP or a similar test such as the CLA or a locally prepared version.
    1. Learning objectives: self-review? Other standardized tests?

 

1A ii:     Every student will complete at least one course rich in new media delivery.

 

1A iii:  To foster the global literacy and cultural sensitivity necessary for professional success and civic engagement in the 21st century,

 

1A. iv.    Each degree program will articulate professional competency learning outcomes.

 

1A. v.    Every degree program will offer a program of study that prepares students for careers in their chosen field.

  1. Incorporate in every undergraduate academic program both a strong liberal education and preparation for success in a career. Professional and pre-professional programs will provide a thorough grounding in liberal studies, while programs in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences will build a foundation for careers and professions.           
  2. Develop minors in business, IT, education, tailored to the needs of majors in the College of Arts and Sciences.

1A. vi. Undergraduate participation in study abroad will be increased by n% a year.

Action Items:

  1. In their annual reports and comprehensive program reviews,
  2. Professional and pre-professional programs will demonstrate compliance with the standards of their national accrediting agencies for general and liberal education.
  3. Programs in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences will demonstrate significant inclusion of learning objectives directly related to preparation for relevant careers and professions, and will include in their advising materials information on preparation for those careers and professions.
  4. Proposals for new and modified programs will demonstrate how they will incorporate both aspects.

Metrics:

  1. Increase the percentage of students who study abroad from x% to y %.
  2. Support academic programs that make study abroad an integral part of their course of study?
  3. Join consortia that offer study abroad for less-obvious disciplines like sciences?
  4. Student satisfaction survey; annual evaluations from faculty; career placements; alumni reports.

 

Goal 1B. Undergraduate Co-curricular Programming focused on integration, an integration that connects together as a class (e.g. first year) and that connects classroom learning with real-world contexts through academic and professional experiential activities.

 

Description: The University will provide a unique experience befitting a top-tier. Comprehensive university that emphasizes the integration of students’ academic, social, and professional development. The integrated student experience begins the first year with student participation in one of the University’s first year programs, such as learning communities, first year seminars, honors academy, the FYRST program, various mentoring programs, and UWG 1101.  Furthermore, the efforts of integration that are the hallmark of the Advanced Academy and the Honors College will be continued and emulated.

 

1.      A comprehensive advising program will promote and facilitate the integration of students’ coursework, career readiness opportunities, and extracurricular activities from freshman year to graduation.

2.      Bridge programming that addresses societal and professional issues will link students by class level and by topic. So, for example, the first year might focus on civility, the second on civic engagement, the third on ethics, and the last year on professionalism as informed the previous three.

3.      Students will participate in experiential learning experiences related to their academic course of study.  Opportunities include, but are not limited to practica, internships, co-ops, service-learning experiences, applied research projects, creative performances, and study abroad experiences.

 

 

Action Items:

  1. Review all student-level programming to review each component’s fit into the integration plan.
  2. Determine if participation in first-year programming should be required for all freshmen.

 

Metric: Progression and Retention Numbers, Your First College Year Survey; NSSE (Other surveys)

 

Goal 1C: Graduate Programs that are grounded in and extend the integrative philosophy of the University’s undergraduate programming.

 

  1. All graduate programs will blend liberal arts fundamentals, disciplinary theory, and practical application.
  2. Every graduate program will maintain a professional advising or mentoring structure.
  3. Where appropriate, graduate students should interact with undergraduates in one or more of the following ways: leading a seminar, workshop, or undergraduate research conference; serving as mentor for an internship, co-op position, or service-learning activity; or by serving as a lab or teaching assistant.
  4. Strengthen existing master’s degree programs that provide professional and career opportunities, and develop new ones that meet the needs of the region and state.
  5. Professional doctorates: Support existing ones and explore develop new programs (CEP, Nursing, others).

 

Goal 1D: Educator Preparation Programs that honor and build upon the history of West Georgia as a significant provider of teachers for the state.

i. Teacher preparation programs will develop and adopt relevant curricula that strengthen teacher quality and impact K-12 student learning outcomes.

ii. Education leadership programs will strive to develop school leaders with performance-based skills to continuously improve K-12 schools.

iii. The University will increase its connections to and support of local public and DTAE schools by appointing liaisons and joint commissions.

iv.  The University will provide leadership in Early College and Gateway to College initiatives.

v.   The University will articulate with IB, AP, and other early college credit programs.

 

USG Goals
• 1A Core
• 1E Study Abroad
• 2E Distance
• 3C Workforce Development
• 4A3 Strengthen teacher quality
• 4A4 / 6BDevelop education leaders

 

Goal Two: Creating Continuous Improvements in Campus Climate and Culture

Because a vital campus culture is conducive to student, staff, and faculty learning, UWG will work to build a vibrant University community that promotes the academic, professional, and personal development and well-being of its members.

Definition of Culture: “Culture refers to norms of behavior and shared values among a group of people. Norms of behavior are common or pervasive ways of acting that are found in a group and that persist because group members tend to behave in ways that teach these practices to new members, rewarding those who fit in and sanctioning those who do not. Shared values are important concerns and goals shared by most of the people in a group that tend to shape group behavior and that often persist over time even when group membership changes” (Kotter, 1996, p. 148).

Culture is important because it powerfully affects institutional performance in every area. An organization’s culture is deeply embedded in the thinking and actions of every member, making it nearly invisible and difficult to change.  Improvements in institutional practices can regress, even after years of effort, if the organization neglects to shape a relevant and compatible culture to support new approaches to conducting the core work. Goal 2 Creating Continuous Improvements in Campus Climate and Culture is included in the UWG Strategic Plan to ensure that new approaches to our work will be anchored and sustained in commonly developed group norms and values. [This paragraph is drawn heavily from Kotter, 1996, p. 148].

Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Goal 2A: Safe Environment

Description: The University provides a safe environment that respects and nurtures the diversity of people and ideas, and promotes healthy bodies and minds of students, staff, and faculty.

Action Items:

1.      Examine the advantages and disadvantages of (a) the position of a University Ombudsman reporting to the President and (b) an ADR Office. Choose the option that best addresses the needs of the University of West Georgia to troubleshoot faculty and staff problems.

2.      Promote dialogue, activities, and policies that respect the diversity of people and ideas.

3.      Increase global literacy as a means of promoting a safe environment

4.      Maintain attention to the physical safety of persons engaged in campus activities.

5.      Increase efforts to promote a healthy body and mind.

i.                     Focus programming to combat alcohol-related problems among students.

ii.                   Increase efforts to recognize and refer students who are dealing with mental health issues.

iii.                  Further the development and implementation of the UWG Civility Campaign.

Metrics:

1.      Conduct an annual survey of campus culture and climate.

2.      Data on satisfactory conclusions obtained through the ADR Office, UWG Ombudsman records, etc..

3.      Documentation of campus activities that promote ongoing dialogue to address the continued development of a healthy campus culture.

4.      Student enrollment in courses that focus on global literacy.

5.      Student participation in campus activities that promote global literacy.

6.      UWG Public Safety statistics to document the physically safe environment.

7.      Student Services statistics to document the impact of programming on alcohol-related problems among students.

8.      Program evaluation data to document the impact of the UWG Civility Campaign.

Goal 2B: Communication

Description: Members of the University community model clear communication, honest dialogue, and open inquiry—characteristics that define the heart of academia.

Action Items:

1.      Sponsor regularly scheduled campus forums to promote honest dialogue and inquiry focused on the continuous development and refinement of the University’s culture (i.e., norms of behavior and shared values).

2.      Model and reward behavior that reflects clear communication, honest dialogue, and open inquiry among students, staff, and faculty.

3.      Make open information easily accessible and present it in clear and understandable formats.

4.      Develop processes to ensure timely follow-through on policy and curricular decisions.

5.      Develop processes to facilitate access to consistent and accurate information.

6.      [This action item is in Goal 2A also…where does it best fit?]. Examine the advantages and disadvantages of (a) the position of a University Ombudsman reporting to the President and (b) an ADR Office. Choose the option that best addresses the needs of the University of West Georgia to…[resolve internal conflicts?, what should be put here?].

Metrics:

1.      Conduct 360° feedback assessments of persons in formal leadership positions.

2.      Conduct an periodic assessments of campus culture and climate.

3.      Records review of open information, to include accessibility and clarity of presentation.

4.      Document complaints about difficulties obtaining clear and/or accurate information.

5.      Data on satisfactory conclusions obtained through the ADR Committee or UWG Ombudsman records.

6.      Documentation of campus activities that promote ongoing dialogue to address the continued development of a healthy campus culture.

7.      Program evaluation data to document the impact of the UWG Civility Campaign.

iv.                  

Goal 2C: Support Services – Strong and responsive infrastructures as the basis of campus cultural improvement.

1.      Redesign the Center for Teaching and Learning to emphasize faculty development in pedagogy and assessment

2.      Revised faculty development structures (Sponsored Operations, Foundations, etc.) to support research aligned with the University’s mission

3.      Strive to provide adequate resources for faculty and staff travel opportunities related to professional responsibilities

4.      Create opportunities for staff professional development

5.      Promote awareness of services provided by ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) or the newly proposed Ombudsman office.

6.      Begin the exploratory process of implementing a viable day care model for the University community

7.      Develop family friendly policies that include awareness of elder care/aging parents and other issues.

 

Goal 2D: Reward Structures – Positive reinforcement to promote high quality performance.

1.      Align faculty tenure and promotion criteria with the University mission

2.      Align staff annual evaluation criteria with the University mission

3.      Rethink and redesign University reward structures (e.g., sabbaticals, reduced teaching loads, flexible work schedules, etc.)

4.      The President shall report to the faculty and staff on salary issues, such as compression, annually.

Goal 2E: Competitive Compensation Packages – Recruitment and retention of high quality university community members.

1.      Provide realistic recruitment salaries

2.      Work with the Board Office to optimize retirement benefits.

3.      Maintain the quality of USG health benefits

 

Goal 2F. A rich campus culture that engages students in activities which complement and supplement the classroom experience, and creates a sense of belonging and commitment to the institution.

 

Action Plan

  1. An increase in number of registered organizations on Campus
  2. A focus on evening and weekend programming to encourage students to stay on campus.
  3. An emphasis on large events for both the students and the community.
  4. Fostering and encouraging departmental traditions that engage students outside the classroom.
  5. Encouraging each student to participate in at least one extracurricular activity.
  6. An increase in the number students who are part of residential learning communities.


Metrics

    1. Periodic assessments of faculty, staff, and student workplace and quality of life issues.
    2. Trend data from various departments to see if there is an overall increase in the number of registered organizations, number of participants at evening/weekend  programming and the number of overall participants in extracurricular activities

 

USG Goals
• 1B Faculty committed to student learning


Goal 3: Managing Resources for Efficiency, Functionality, and Aesthetics

Goal 3A: Enrollment Management


Description: The enrollment shall be managed to balance the numbers and classifications of students with the goals and mission of the University as it attempts to perform its part in handling the increased student population of the area.

The enrollment should match the profile of the goals set for the institution:

Action Items:

1.      Meet annually and affirm or change enrollment target goals for RPG and other enrollment indicators – diversity, quality, graduate enrollments, distribution by level.

2.      Predict new freshman needs in early fall for the next year and require those numbers to be made available in Banner.

3.      Enhance distance and off-campus programming for capacity.

4.      Assist in Alumni Engagement

 

Goal 3B: Off-Campus and Distance education:

  1. Develop, promote and support distance learning environments that encourage a strong liberal education, increase efficiency in classroom management, respond to marketplace demand, and increase accessibility.
  2. Significantly expand the percent of credit hours generated by distance education from the current 5% to 10% by 2012, including the expansion of online and blended degree programs that enable students to better compete in the workplace.
  3. Explore, evaluate off-campus centers for meeting regional needs, including a business plan and an assessment of how well off-campus centers are consistent with the University mission.

Metrics:

See DE planning doc at http://distance.westga.edu/distanceeffectiveness/

  1. Increased numbers in DE.

 

Goal 3C: Long-term Facilities Planning aligned with strategic plan, academic plan, enrollment predictions, and campus architectural style.

 

The University West Georgia (UWG) relies on the strategic and academic plans of the institution to drive its long-term facilities planning.

 

The following principles for Capital Allocation (#1-4) are most closely related and incorporated to the mission of the Facilities planning department. 

 

§         (Principle #1.  Capital Investments will support the University System’s strategic plan and its statewide mission). The Master Plan for Facilities is directly aligned with the mission of the University which in turn is aligned with the Strategic Plan.

§         (Principle #2 Capital Investments to implement the strategic mission and goals of USG institutions)

§         (Principle #3 Capital will be allocated within a comprehensive program of integrated projects prioritized in adherence to systematic physical planning and sound financial models).

§          (Principle #4 Capital investment will be economically and environmentally sustainable, promote optimal stewardship of existing state resources and have a superior long-term benefit/cost ratio).

 

Keeping in line with the Master Plan outline, maintaining the topography of the campus through aesthetically appealing means (i.e. continuous preservation of the historical nature of the campus and the preservation of green space), and the movement toward a more pedestrian friendly community are the goals of the Facilities long –term plan. 

 

 

Goal 3D: Employing “Back-Office” Efficiencies to provide greater customer service and perhaps freeing up resources.

 

The University will accept the definition that “back-office” processes crosses over a wide spectrum on a university campus.  It is more than just looking at the traditional back office systems typically employed in a business office.  It could mean the admissions process, IT helpdesk, financial aid applications, how to sell tickets to a sporting event. Therefore, every effort must be made to examine and identify all possible back office functions and processes on campus.

 

Core business processes will be identified by campus units using well recognized models such as business process redesign (BPR).

 

Selected key core business processes will be selected, evaluated, and measured to assess their efficiencies and savings potential.  The desired outcomes of this effort include:

 

 

  • Remaining competitive with the “robust level” institutions by deploying a comprehensive focus and approach to the student
  • Reducing or eliminating redundant process steps, while ensuring a value-added process and service
  • Reducing costs by enhancing technology, eliminating waste, and/or improving overall cycle time
  • Quantifying process performance through the implementation of standards/metrics while ensuring single-point accountability
  • Enhancing communication methodologies that contribute to more efficient transactions and improved customer service
  • Improving employee satisfaction, morale, and productivity while evaluating the present systems for recognition, promotion, development, and compensation.

 

Freeing up resources may mean redeploying those resources within the same functional area where needed or it may mean redirecting resources that can be deployed outside that functional area.

 

Goal 3E: Strategic Budgeting where possible to anticipate costs of library, ITS, and other typically year-end funded areas.

 

(Info to be provided by Mr. Jim Sutherland and Mrs. Patsy Barr)

 

Goal 3F: Organizational Assessment – Reorganization efforts to increase functionality, eliminate redundancy, and review the outcomes of the organization.

 

 

Following the SACS assessment of 2003, the institution has deployed continuous improvement assessments and methodologies to enhance its service to the students that we serve and to the UWG community.  Examples of these department assessments include the Departmental Review Advisory Committee (DRAC), Business Process Redesign (BPR), and external peer reviews and accreditation for respective colleges.

 

Recent examples of these assessments include the

 

  • Richards College of Business by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB),
  • Art Department’s pursuit for accreditation from the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER),
  • Division of Business and Finance Business Process Redesign (BPR), and the
  • Department of Campus Planning and Facilities recent evaluations with the Georgia Oglethorpe Award Inc. (Malcolm Baldrige criteria) and the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) Strategic Assessment Model (SAM) and Award for Excellence.

 

Goal 3G: Customer Service Improvements

 

Following up on the pledge of Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue Governor Perdue to make superior customer service a hallmark of Georgia as a "best-managed" state, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents initiated a customer service program in August 2006 to provide faster, friendlier, more efficient service to the USG’s “customers,” including more than 253,500 students.

 

The University of West Georgia has concentrated its focus over the past year in two areas of customer service - Student Retention, and Communication.  Both areas are monitored by the Division of Student Services.

 

The Customer Service Improvement Plan for FY08 is to:

 

  • Improve communications within and throughout the university with a telephone call center
  • Reduce the number of students on Academic probation
  • Increase the number of students declaring a major in the second semester of their freshman year

 

UWG has also been successful in incorporating the metrics of Courtesy, Knowledge, Responsibility, Responsiveness, and Accessibility in the business functions of the institution.  The Division of Business and Finance completed departmental assessments in FY07 and has used this information to help formulate its goals and objectives for FY08.

 

An example of assessment results is the new automated survey that is generated through Facilities and Grounds work information center.  Initiated in July 2006, the survey is electronically sent on every fifth work order to the originator upon the completion of a work request.  Using a 10-point rating system (i.e. 10 = highest satisfaction), following are the results for FY07:

 

 

 

Work Order Question

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

Avg.

Was the work order completed on time?

9.82

9.75

9.69

9.21

8.72

9.59

9.62

9.65

9.61

9.14

9..74

9.29

9.49

Was the response time adequate?

8.0

9.25

9.27

9.08

8.52

9.41

9.67

9.73

9.67

9.57

9.74

9.51

9.29

Were our employees courteous and considerate?

10.0

9.5

9.72

9.54

9.41

9.67

9.52

9.87

9.52

9.24

9.76

9.86

9.63

Did WIC handle your request efficiently?

9.82

10.0

9.51

9.46

9.14

9.59

9.71

9.81

9.55

9.38

9.76

9.53

9.61

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of responses

17

4

50

66

29

26

21

46

33

28

34

49

403

 

Having one full year of responses allows this department to benchmark the FY08 performance against its FY07.

 

USG Goals
• 1C increase six-year grad rate
• 2A Diversity
• 3B Increase health professionals
Increase in share of total USG enrollment.

 

Goal Four: Enhancing Efforts toward External Services and Sources of Support

 

Great universities require strong public/private partnerships to fulfill their mission and goals. As this need for external funding increasingly becomes more critical to accomplishing the mission and goals, the University of West Georgia will provide the necessary support to supplement state budgets primarily through the efforts in the offices of Sponsored Operations and Development and Alumni Relations.

Goal 4A: Increased Targeted Research
To increase external funds procurred through Sponsored Operations, the Office of Sponsored Operations will provide university-wide support and assistance to faculty and staff interested in securing external funds for qualified projects. The collaborative efforts will contribute to professional growth and recognition while sharing the excitement of discovery with students. Sponsored Operations assists faculty and staff in all aspects of preparing and submitting proposals; provides administrative services to awarded grants and contracts; and helps with the reporting process. Success can be achieved by:


1.Increasing the number of applications/proposals in line with the mission (goals) of the University submitted for funding,
2. Increasing the total dollars brought into UWG through Sponsored Operations,
3. Developing new strategies for increasing awareness of the services of Sponsored Operations to the campus community and communicating the importance of external funding to accomplish the university’s mission and goals,
4. Developing a more collaborative relationship with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (in particular the Corporate and Foundation Relations program),
5. Exploring potential advantages of a Federal Lobbying/Advocates Group that could compliment the state advocacy program.
6. The university will strive to provide adequate administrative support and recognition for grant seekers,
7. Increase the amount of indirect cost requested through grants


Metrics
1. number of applications funded
2. Number of applications submitted
3. amount awarded through funded grants and proposals
4. compare data with other robust tier comprehensive universities as well as aspirational institutions to determine future goals for growth
5. Amount of indirect cost received
6. Recognition of awarded grants through internal and external publications

Goal 4B Fundraising and Alumni Development
The Office of Development and Alumni Relations will provide external funding through Annual Giving (A DAY for West Georgia and Phonathon), the Major Giving program (individuals, corporations, and foundations) and the Planned Giving program (deferred gifts, gift annuities, etc.) This can be achieved by:

1. Increasing the donor base among alumni and friends,
2. Increasing number of qualified major gift prospects and donors,
3. Increasing the number of deferred gifts through wills, insurance policies, and through the gift annuity program,
4. Identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding donors in a strategic manner,
5. Preparing and strengthening the institution for a future capital campaign,
6. Endowing the Presidential Scholarship program and removing from unrestricted funds ($2.77 million to endow),
7. Increasing unrestricted funds
8. Establishing a more formal Major Giving program.

Metrics:
1. Alumni giving percentage
2. Yearly fundraising total
3. Unrestricted giving total
4. New planned gifts
5. Yearly major gift total
6. New gift efficiency
7. Number of personal contacts
8. Compare data with other robust tier comprehensive universities, as well as aspirational institutions, to determine future goals for growth.

 

Goal 4C: Major Capital Campaign.

Description: The University will continue to assess and explore the feasibility of major capital campaigns.

 

Goal 4D: Government Relations
The Office of Government Relations (University Advancement) will establish and maintain relationships with governmental entities which directly and indirectly impact the university. This can be achieved by:


1. Strengthening existing legislative advocates program,
2. Exploring potential advantages of federal lobbying/advocates group,
3. Strengthen existing relationships with local government agencies.

Metrics:
1. Number of participants in advocacy program
2. Fiscal capability of funding
3. Attendance at appropriate functions

 

Goals 4E: Communications and Marketing
The Office of University Communications and Marketing will internally and externally promote the missions and goals of the strategic plan. This will be achieved by aligning the institutions integrated marketing plan (advertising, visual identity standards, web presence, media relations, etc.) with the strategic plan.

Metrics:
1. Consistency in messaging and branding
2. Diversification
3. Compare data with other robust tier comprehensive universities, as well as aspirational institutions, to determine future goals for growth.

Goal 4F: Renewed Effort of Creating Continuing Education Programs, Especially ICAPP

 

USG Goals
• 3A Increase federal (and non-federal) funds expenditures
• 3C Workforce Development ICAPP

 

Glossary of Terms

 

Assessment: Assessment documents created for the University’s Annual Report to the performance assessments of individual staff and faculty should be prepared in reference to the Mission Statement and Strategic Goals.

Integration and Experiential Learning: The central idea behind this initiative is to link together as many experiences as possible for the student’s career in order to reinforce something of the West Georgia experience, which should link the freshman and sophomore years to the junior and career readiness years, and it should link together the academic and the extra-academic.  One of the ways this integration might be achieved is to focus on a key topic for each academic year in the undergraduate experience.  So, for example, the first year might focus on civility, the second on civic engagement, the third on ethics, and the last year on professionalism as informed the previous three.  Experiential learning or learning from doing, from work, in essence, will be a required part of every undergraduate’s integrated education.

Liberal Arts and Professional Preparation:  While it is clear that the best professional curricula have formal liberal arts outcomes built in them, it is not clear that liberal arts programs have professional outcomes built in them.  We argue that they should and that those liberal arts programs that are succeeding are doing just that even though the activities may not be named as such.