October 2, 2009
The university’s first Achievement Record, a collection of institutional indicators of progress in key areas, is making the rounds of governing bodies for comment and feedback.
Prepared by the Quality and Accountability Commitment group, the Achievement Record is a communications tool, said Provost and Vice-President Academic Brett Fairbairn, “a particular way of representing how the university is doing for a broad range of stakeholder audiences. It is intentionally short and simple. It’s also a work in progress, and it’s intended to be.”
Those attending the Sept. 29 integrated planning poster expo to learn about progress in all 20 commitment areas got a sneak peak at the record. It includes measures of activity in the areas of teaching, learning and the student experience; research, scholarly and artistic work; working together; and university engagement. Fairbairn, who heads the Quality and Accountability Commitment, said the document will go before the Board of Governors in early October before being presented to Senate, Council’s Planning and Priorities Committee and to Council itself in November.
“The Achievement Record is meant to show overall trends, how we’re doing at a glance for the whole university as a combine entity,” said Fairbairn. It was developed based on principles that directed it be used collaboratively, it be multi-purpose and that it measure things meaningful or important to the university.
Fairbairn explained some indicators that may not appear to align exactly with university’s stated priorities, but the link is there nonetheless. “For example, retaining students is one of the very top priorities for the university but it is not an indicator. A more telling indicator is the completion rates of our students, the number who receive degrees. Student retention from first to second year or second to third year is just a step along the way.”
Comment and reaction to the Achievement Record will be collected this fall with a refined version prepared next year, Fairbairn said. There will also be a website set up for “drill-down information” on each indicator including more details, statistics, benchmarks and targets.
Office of Communications, University of Saskatchewan