2007 Reaffirmation Teams :: - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams

2007 Reaffirmation Teams - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams

The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses whether it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in each of the following areas: administrative support services

Compliance Judgment



The administrative support services units at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) identify expected outcomes, annually assess whether they have achieved those outcomes, and use these assessments to improve services to students, faculty, staff, and other constituents.

Annual Assessment Process

Each administrative support services unit at UT Dallas is assessed annually using UT Dallas’ web-based Assessment Tool, AT6 [1]. AT6 is a web-based solution to capture, manage, archive, and track academic and administrative assessment information for regional and disciplinary accreditation, program reviews, annual reporting, and program improvement. Vice presidents, associate and assistant vice presidents, directors, department heads, and other designated unit leaders work with the employees in the units to determine program objectives generated from program mission statements and to enter them along with an assessment plan into AT6 [2]. The units annually review these plans and update them based on the findings in the annual assessment report [3]. The annual report not only includes measurements and analyses but also evidence of improvement.

UT Dallas’ administrative support services units implement the support services assessment process in the following sequence:

  • publishing program mission statements,
  • identifying several measurable unit goals/objectives,
  • specifying how the units will measure their achievements,
  • assessing how well the goals have been met, and
  • taking corrective action to improve the program.

Each unit’s mission statement is aligned with UT Dallas’ mission statement [4], and the units are encouraged to align whenever possible their goals/objectives with the initiatives in UT Dallas’ Strategic Plan [5]. Multiple measures are required to ensure that each goal/objective is achieved (or in cases where the goals/objectives are not achieved, to identify where specific improvements can be made). The data generated by these measures is analyzed by the units, and on the basis of the analysis, units establish action plans to address needed changes.

The assessment team in cooperation with the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) conducted multiple workshops to train administrative support services personnel on how to use AT6 and how to develop effective assessment plans that close the loop [6]. Two university-wide committees, the Administrative Services Committee [7] and the Committee for Operational Assessment [8], have been established to share best practices and to disseminate information to the various units [9].

The annual cycles and reports for 2005-06 and 2006-07 currently reside in AT6. The objectives and measures for 2007-08 are in the process of being entered into the tool, and data will be collected during the year to initiate improvements for the next cycle. Thirty-five administrative support services units are evaluating their performance (twelve in Business Affairs, two in Academic Affairs, four in Research, three in Communications, three in Development, five in Information Resources, one in Public Affairs, three in Strategic Planning and Analysis, and two in Audit and Compliance [10]). Additionally, as discussed in the response to Principle [U322], 49 student support services units are using AT6 to set goals and monitor progress towards achieving those goals as the units seek to continuously improve their service.

Assessment and the Budgeting Process

During the spring semester, each budgetary unit develops a budget presentation to address accomplishments of the previous year and priorities of the coming year with related funding requirements. One of the new processes for 2006-07 was the pilot introduction of an Annual Plan for Institutional Effectiveness and Budget form based on the information captured during the assessment process in AT6 [11]. This form was used extensively in Business Affairs and Student Affairs and will be expanded to the rest of the university in 2007-08 [12]. The success of the new budget process for FY08 is discussed in the Budget Office FY07 assessment report [13].

The president and his cabinet assess the university’s financial status and evaluate the priority requests of each division, in the context of the strategic goals of the university. After a final allocation decision is made, the associate vice president for budget and resource planning directs the process required to compile the individual unit budgets and then sends the budget information to The University of Texas System Chancellor’s Office. This process reinforces the effectiveness of the assessment process and the ensuing improvements. Additional information regarding the university’s budget process and how it is used in the assessment process to ensure continuous improvement in the university can be found in the response to Principle 205 [U205].

Examples of the Assessment Process and of Closing the Loop

Of course, assessment activities at UT Dallas predate the advent of AT6. For example, the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs (VPBA) (as well as the offices of the other vice presidents) and each division under the VPBA have a long tradition of establishing goals and measuring the accomplishments each fiscal year. In Business Affairs, each area leader has long been (and continues to be) charged to identify, assess, and show evidence of improvement. The process has three stages:

  • identify the university’s needs and set goals accordingly,
  • address progress on a regular basis, and
  • analyze successes or failures in order to continue the plan or to make corrections for a future approach.

The process of improvement from FY2000 until June 2005 required a written annual report from each of the direct report areas. In this annual report, each area identified the status in achieving the previous fiscal year’s goals and set goals for the next fiscal year. The Business Affairs goals FY2004 report is included in the supporting documents as evidence of the process [14].

Since June 2005 through the present, the Business Affairs Leadership Team (BALT) [15] has held weekly meetings to address issues, discuss resolutions within the leadership base, and evaluate the progress on a regular basis. By sharing the expected outcomes and progress with the members of BALT, each department receives the benefit of alternate views from the other members of the leadership team [16]. In addition, the vice president of business affairs requires each member of the team to set annual goals which can be tracked both annually and on a recurring basis [17].

Sample narratives regarding improvements for University Web Services [18], the Compliance Office [19], Public Affairs [20], Staff Council [21], Office of the Vice President for Research [22], Internal Audit [23], the Police Department [24], and Procurement Management [25] are provided below as supporting documents.

Closing the Loop Initiatives

Some examples of units that made improvements based on their assessment process using AT6 include:

  • Development Office: Based on the review of gift processing procedures, policies, and historical habits, the Development Office changed procedures for auditing the steps of the receipt and deposit of funds, and they changed recording procedures so that more reporting would be possible. By improving the process, the Development Office increased annual giving and endowment compliance and reporting for UT Dallas [26].
  • News and Information: Based on its FY06 assessment, the News and Information Office determined that it needed to have a better monitoring tool for tracking media news; therefore for FY07, the office planned to purchase a media tracking tool to track the news about UT Dallas [27].
  • Human Resource (HR): According to its FY06 assessment, HR’s response time needed to be improved. HR, therefore, has decided to provide customer service training to HR staff in order to better serve UT Dallas students, faculty, and staff. The contribution to the institution is to support the strategic plan initiatives in investment in people [28].
  • Information Resources - Communications and Technical Services (CaTS): The FY06 assessment report [29] showed that the ongoing service support issues required more active monitoring and reporting. Thus, CaTS developed a process to monitor their activities more closely. For example, in FY07 they will periodically monitor the stability and availability of the Luminis/Galaxy service, and they will monitor utilization of the WebCT course management system as well as other high-traffic applications [30]. CaTS completed a substantial upgrade to the campus network to allow higher bandwidth and alleviate congestion [31].

Additional sample reports (Budget Office [32], Contracts and Grants Accounting [33], Staff Council [34], and Business Systems [35]) that demonstrate closing the loop initiatives are available below as supporting documents. Information about other assessment reports, improvements in administrative support services, and their contributions to the institution for 2005-06 and 2006-07, as well as assessment plans for 2007-08, are available in AT6 [http://sacs.utdallas.edu/page/index.zog?pageid=sacs_assnav|AT6 Assessment Navigator].

Supporting Documents

Footnote Document
[1]Diagram Assessment Tool - Welcome Page
PDF Document, 1 Page, 85.89 KB (diagram1009)
[2]Diagram Assessment Tool - Various Tab
PDF Document, 1 Page, 71.89 KB (diagram1010)
[3]Diagram Assessment Tool - Report Page
PDF Document, 1 Page, 68.41 KB (diagram1011)
[4]UT Dallas Mission Statement
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 11.70 KB (statement1017)
[5]Diagram Assessment Tool - Strategic Plan Initiatives Checkbox
PDF Document, 1 Page, 46.81 KB (diagram1014)
[6]FY07 Assessment workshop agenda and minutes of meetings
PDF Document, 6 Pages, 169.97 KB (minutes1014)
[7]Administrative Services Committee Website
PDF Document, 4 Pages, 22.49 KB (statement1270)
[8]Committee for Operational Assessment Website
PDF Document, 5 Pages, 23.48 KB (statement1271)
[9]Administrative Services Committee 2006 April 21 thru 2007 February 2
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 47.56 KB (minutes1001)
[10]Support Services Administrative Support List
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 19.24 KB (list1054)
[11]Annual Planning Form for Institutional Effectiveness and Budgeting - FY08
PDF Document, 7 Pages, 35.58 KB (form1008)
[12]FY 08 Budget Presentation Guidelines
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 88.07 KB (memo1043)
[13]Budget Office - FY07
PDF Document, 6 Pages, 20.99 KB (areport1173)
[14]Business Affairs Annual Goals
PDF Document, 45 Pages, 2.06 MB (report1025)
[15]Business Affairs Homepage and BALT Roster
PDF Document, 1 Page, 189.77 KB (statement1295)
[16]Meeting Minutes Business Affairs Leadership Team 2006 September 26
PDF Document, 4 Pages, 189.77 KB (minutes1000)
[17]Performance Appraisal of Administrative and Professional Personnel
PDF Document, 4 Pages, 142.27 KB (form1005)
[18]University Web Services Goals Narrative
PDF Document, 3 Pages, 19.60 KB (statement1068)
[19]Compliance Office Goals Narrative
PDF Document, 1 Page, 12.31 KB (statement1069)
[20]Office of Public Affairs Goals Narrative
PDF Document, 1 Page, 13.76 KB (statement1071)
[21]Staff Council Goals Narrative
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 13.39 KB (statement1072)
[22]Office of Research Goals Narrative
PDF Document, 1 Page, 162.15 KB (statement1083)
[23]Internal Audit Goals Narrative
PDF Document, 1 Page, 12.21 KB (statement1060)
[24]Police Department Goals Narrative
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 15.27 KB (statement1064)
[25]Procurement Management Goals Narrative
PDF Document, 2 Pages, 24.71 KB (statement1065)
[26]FY06 Assessment Report - Development
PDF Document, 16 Pages, 68.85 KB (report1092)
[27]FY06 Assessment Report - News and Information
PDF Document, 17 Pages, 68.94 KB (report1094)
[28]FY06 Assessment Report - HR
PDF Document, 11 Pages, 50.88 KB (report1093)
[29]IR Assessment Narrative
PDF Document, 11 Pages, 124.04 KB (report1082)
[30]Assessment 2005-06 CaTS
PDF Document, 11 Pages, 31.59 KB (report1030)
[31]Assessment 2005-06 Cross Applications Systems
PDF Document, 8 Pages, 77.77 KB (report1032)
[32]Assessment 2005-06 Budget Office
PDF Document, 9 Pages, 25.64 KB (report1026)
[33]Assessment 2005-06 Contracts and Grants Accounting
PDF Document, 9 Pages, 84.32 KB (report1027)
[34]Assessment 2005-06 Staff Council
PDF Document, 11 Pages, 98.17 KB (report1028)
[35]Assessment 2005-06 Business Admin Systems
PDF Document, 26 Pages, 79.26 KB (report1029)