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Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Strategic Priorities and Plan
AY 2005-2006 to 2007-2008

The expanded office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning (IRAP) is committed to fostering and supporting a culture of evidence-based planning and effectiveness within our university. Unlike traditional Institutional Research offices whose responsibilities and direction are heavily based in reporting and accountability, IRAP envisions engaged, responsive, integrated, and applied Office of Institutional Effectiveness aimed at assisting the University in achieving its goals.

This leading-edge department will gain internal and external recognition for user-friendly service that integrates planning and assessment and directly impacts the University’s success. IRAP will be known for data that makes a difference.

This vision and the goals designed to achieve it are derived from the IRAP manager’s assessment of the field and previous experience, in combination with the CSU, Fresno Strategic Plan and Vision and the WASC Educational Effectiveness visiting team report. Specifically:

  • Develop a campus-wide culture of outcomes assessment
    (Source: CSU, Fresno Strategic Direction)
  • Commit to continuous improvement by planning, implementing, and evaluating new strategies and improving the university’s operational and technological infrastructure to enhance instruction; support scholarship, research and creative activity and service; and facilitate the delivery of support services for students, staff, faculty and alumni/ae.
  • Demonstrate and communicate the quality of the university’s programs, its students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae and its many and diverse centers of excellence.
    (Source: Priorities in the Vision for CSU, Fresno)
  • Training in how data can be used to promote achievement of goals
  • Higher level of data analysis
  • Faculty assistance with designing assessment methods and collecting and analyzing data
  • Integrate assessment/evaluation and planning
  • Regularly evaluate institutional research
    (Source: Report of WASC Visiting Team Educational Effectiveness Review to California State University, Fresno November 30, 2004)

In responding to these priorities, the IRAP goals and some of the strategies to achieve them (based on assessment of current department processes and products, discussions with campus leaders, and the Provost’s Proposal for Expansion of IR) are:

1. Meet campus need for data, analyses and reporting

1.a. Continue filling ad hoc data requests from internal and external customers

YR 06-07
YR 07-08
YR 08-09
110 59% 182 58% 230 63%
3 2% 8 3% 5 1%
2 1% 7 2% 6 2%
4 2% 4 1% 3 1%
21 11% 9 3% 6 2%
14 8% 23 7% 28 8%
3 2% 8 3% 5 1%
25 13% 69 22% 77 21%
1 1% - 0% - 0%
3 2% 4 1% 3 1%
186 100% 314 100% 363 100%
In 2008-09, IRAP requests and projects completed increased by 13% due to additional staffing and demand.

1.b. Review and enhance data warehouse

Databases were moved to a server to accommodate multiple users and were upgraded to SQL Server 2005. They were combined and systematized to make them more efficient and easier to use. Refining and expanding existing databases and developing new ones is an ongoing process as we gain familiarity with the data and as we are asked to do new types of projects for which we have not previously collected data.

1.c. Coordinate data warehousing and external reporting with other campus departments

IRAP maintains its own departmental data warehouse based on extractions from the PeopleSoft enterprise system. We coordinate certifying of the data reported to the Chancellor’s Office with Admissions, Records and Enrollment, the Scheduling Office and work with Financial Aid and other campus offices as database and reporting needs require.

1.d. Review and revise website and encourage its use

The IRAP website is continually updated. Substantive new additions are announced to the campus community via e-mail. When callers request data that we know is available on the website, we direct them to the site, guiding them there over the phone if they have internet access in order to assure that they are aware of the accessibility of commonly requested data. IRAP website hits increased from an average of 17 unique visitors per day 6 weeks after the site was launched in Spring 2006 to an average of 45 unique visitors per day at about the same time in Spring 2007. This is a 165% increase in use in one year. Average page loads have increased from 60 to 115 per day during this same period, nearly a 100% increase. In addition, when new information is posted on the site and announced to the campus community, the number of unique visitors on that day at least triples. For 2007-08, IRAP web hits increased from an average of 45 unique visitors per day to 67 per day based on Spring averages, a 49% increase from last year. Hits temporarily increase 400-600 % when new reports are announced. Average daily pageloads have increased 55%, from 115 per day to 178 per day.

1.e. Review and revise existing publications

The annual Data Book is refined and revised each year to add new types of data in response to university goals and common data requests received. It was initially revised in 2005-06 to create a professional appearance, match the quality of other CSU-Fresno publications and reflect themes of the University’s marketing and fundraising campaigns. For 2007-2008, the Databook was completed in December and published in January, two months earlier than usual. The Quick Facts brochure is refined and published annually and its use is promoted for fundraising, recruiting and community relations.

1.f. Conduct high-level, in-depth analyses on selected projects.

Research has been conducted on several issues that support the goals of the University's strategic and academic plans. Examples include student retention and graduation, student writing skills, student engagement and learning, and faculty satisfaction and learning goals. This link will take you to IRAP Reports and Studies page.

1.g. Provide high-quality customer service (e.g., deadlines and communication)

IRAP has met about 86% of its deadlines and receives praise for the quality of its work and publications from the University community. We will conduct the satisfaction part of the evaluation again in Fall 2008-09. This link will pull up the 2008 IRAP evaluation survey results.

2. Demonstrate and support assessment and continuous improvement.

2.a. Evaluate IRAP for baseline and biennially

Baseline and annual evaluation consists of:

1) User survey;
2) Analysis of project logs;
3) Analysis of web use statistics.

All of which have been reported above in conjunction with the objectives they measure and as performance indicators at the end of this document. Project logs and web stats are reviewed annually and the user survey will be administered again in Fall 2008.

2.b. Develop new publication to showcase departments for whom assessment has resulted in improvements. (Document and publicize effectiveness via assessment.)

No progress was made on this objective during 2005-06 to 2008-09. It is a priority for the upcoming year and will be web postings rather than a hard copy publication.

2.c. Assist departments in implementing SOAPs

The Provost's Office/IRAP annually awards mini-grants to faculty for implementing assessment projects related to their SOAP. IRAP/CETL workshops and presentations provide faculty assessment training, and the IRAP Director and Faculty Fellow for Assessment consult with faculty on SOAP development and assessment methods. Other methods of assistance are being considered for the upcoming year.

2.d. Offer mini-grants to faculty to support SOAP

This link will take you to the page where you can see grant projects that were awarded, their final reports, examples of good proposals and tips for getting the grant.

2.e. Develop standard set of Program Review data and provide to departments prior to review

A data packet was developed and utilized for programs undergoing review beginning in 2006-07. A list of specific data elements included are shown in this PDF. Adobe pdf icon The data packet is modified as needs arise.

2.f. Assist in developing General Education Outcomes

This work is just beginning. Report based on survey data was provided to the Provost in late Spring 2008 for use in discussion of university-level learning outcomes.

2.g. Assist in developing campus-wide alumni survey

This objective has not been completed. Survey is still in draft form.

2.h. Expand assistance with enrollment planning and management

Based on feedback from the AVP for Enrollment Management, IRAP is providing a satisfactory level of assistance. Nothing else is needed.

2.i. Provide assessment/evaluation consultations to academic, student services and administrative units

In 2008, Student Affairs hired an Assistant Vice President for Assessment in their division. Consequently, IRAP will only provide consultation within Academic Affairs and to Administrative Services and Advancement if requested.

3. Provide leadership in integrating assessment and planning

3.a. Apply data from multiple sources to analyze university issues, establish goals and evaluate implemented strategies

IRAP has conducted numerous studies related to strategic and academic goals both by request and proactively. These plans are now housed on the IRAP website and a performance tracking system is being developed.

3.b. Serve on appropriate campus and external committees that will facilitate integration

The IRAP Director is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, Student Success Task Force, Retention Oversight Group, Program Review Action Planning and the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Research Group.

3.c. Develop communication and educational mechanisms to facilitate integration as well as processes and structures as appropriate

In 2007-08, the Strategic and Academic Plans were moved to the IRAP website to reflect this increasing integration. In the upcoming year a performance documentation and tracking system will be developed online to accompany the plans. An Effectiveness page is being developed on the IRAP web to document and showcase use of evidence in planning and assessment. Disseminating IRAP data and research in multiple forms, appropriate to specific audiences and purpose, to help foster use of evidence. Assessment meetings and trainings are offered.

The following methods were/will be used to establish baseline data for benchmarking, determine the extent to which these goals are met, and collect information for subsequent planning.

  • User survey
  • Analysis of project logs
  • Analysis of web use statistics

Performance Indicators include (but are not limited to):

  • Percentage of users satisfied with IRAP services and products.
  • Percentage of projects for which deadlines were met
    • 2005-2006: 86%
    • 2006-2007: 82%
    • 2007-2008: 86%

    As staffing has stabilized in 2008, we anticipate this percentage to increase. The goal is at least 95% in the upcoming year.
  • Increased number of IRAP web users and pages accessed
Weekly Average
Weekly Average Spring '06 Spring '07 Spring '08
Unique Visitors 17 45 67
Pageloads 60 115 178

One indicator of the extent to which IRAP is helping to foster a culture of evidence is the use of its reports and services by the campus community. IRAP web hits clearly show this increase in use. Web hits temporarily increase 400%-600% each time new data or reports are announced.

Resource Links

Campus Links