Implementing Penn State's Strategic Plan - A Year Two Update

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Innovation Insights #25: The Planning Hierarchies

Your unit needs to develop a plan. As you develop the plan, questions arise. Is it a strategic plan? Do you have goals or objectives? Are you identifying tactics or specifying actions? This Innovation Insight provides some background to help you answer those questions.

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Penn State Institutional Research Interest Group

The Penn State IR Interest Group is a new, self-formed community of practice. It is guided by the belief that although there are many excellent data and analysis resources at Penn State, the University can do a better job of coordination, communication, and sharing in the increasingly pertinent domain of institutional research. The first event of the IR Group is a panel discussion on April 11, “Building Institutional R esearch Capacity.”

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Quality Advocates: Benchmarking Best Diversity Practices

Penn State is a leader in diversity strategic planning, and we are frequently benchmarked for our robust review process and emphasis on accountability. With A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State: 2010-15, Penn State begins the next phase of achieving our diversity potential. Since the implementation of the initial Framework in 1998, Penn State has made considerable strides toward building a truly diverse, inclusive, and equitable institution. Find out about the 2010 review process and what have been identified as best practices, and hear from representatives of units that are doing an exemplary job on implementation in several Challenges of the Framework.

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Quality Advocates: The Political and Economic Landscape for Higher Education in Pennsylvania

Since 2008, state budgets across the U.S. have had to cope with about $400 billion in deficits. In Pennsylvania, the Governor has proposed a $182 million reduction in the Commonwealth’s appropriation to Penn State. Nationally and in Pennsylvania, the coming fiscal year may be especially difficult because $54 billion in federal stimulus funds directed to education spending will likely be gone. How are these and related factors – including the pace of economic recovery, and political change nationally and in Pennsylvania – likely to impact Penn State?

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Workshop: Facilitating Quality Planning, Improvement, and Assessment in Projects and Teams

This full-day workshop provides hands-on experience in the role of a facilitator working with a team addressing a planning, improvement, or assessment initiative. It also identifies the parallels between any of these approaches and classic project management, and the further considerations for the individual serving as both the group leader and facilitator.

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Report: Faculty Tenure-Flow Rates January 2011

For the past fourteen years, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment have together analyzed the rates at which Penn State’s provisionally appointed faculty members achieve tenure.  Tabulations are shared annually with deans and with the University Faculty Senate. In brief, the analyses track tenure achievement rates for 150 or so faculty who enter the tenure process each year from the time of appointment through their seventh year (this allows for the handful of individuals who “stop the clock” during the provisional period). The tenure-achievement rate at Penn State has averaged 58 percent. Although national, comparative data on this topic are hard to come by, Penn State’s rates seem similar to those of other large research universities.

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Report: Faculty Salaries Report 2010-2011

The Report on Faculty Salaries is an informational report of the University Faculty Senate’s Committee on Faculty Benefits offering an analysis of faculty salaries at Penn State. The report is accompanied by a set of tables provided by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost with technical assistance from the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment (OPIA) and the College of Medicine. The report includes a number of supporting tables that provide salary information offering comparisons within Penn State and between Penn State and other institutions.

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Quality Issues Forum Update: 48 Teams Invited

Invitations to the 2011 Quality Issues Forum and Luncheon have been sent to over 475 members of 48 continuous improvement and innovation teams started since April 2010. More information about their accomplishments will be shared in the April issue of Quality Endeavors.

Do You Know?

Do you know that the two oldest land-grant universities in the United States are Michigan State and Penn State? Both were chartered by their respective states as state land-grant institutions in February, 1855. This was before passage of the federal Morrill Act, which was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862.

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Cost Saving Ideas:

Some of the suggestions received recently:

  • Review introductory statistics courses to reduce redundancy and duplication.
  • Reduce the number of pages in the Staff Review and Development Plan that need to be printed during the SRDP process.

Submit your ideas for increased efficiency and effectiveness at Penn State.

Support for Planning, Improvement, and Assessment in Your Unit

The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment supports the University’s efforts to plan, assess, and improve programs and services. The Office is available, at no charge, to consult with units and use organizational change tools to help units assess their needs, develop strategic plans, improve key processes, and develop collaborative team environments. If you would like to discuss the planning, quality, or assessment needs of your unit with one of our consultants, please contact the Office at 814-863-8721 or e-mail

The Quality Endeavors newsletter is published several times each semester. If you have any questions or comments about what you read here, or if you would like to suggest items for future newsletters, please contact Louise Sandmeyer, Executive Director of the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment, at 814-863-8721 or To read past issues, see the Office’s Web site at /s/5ztbIb.

To subscribe, join our mailing list or contact the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment at 814-863-8721.

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