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3.3.1.2 Administrative Support Services

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

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Prairie View A&M University identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves those outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in the area of administration support services.

Administrative support services are varied and are distributed throughout the organizational structure. Primary units report to the Vice President for Business Affairs and the Vice President for Administration and Auxiliary Services. One other very important unit, Development, reports to the Vice President for Research and Development. Regardless of location, the administrative units have as their primary purpose support of the University’s Mission of teaching, research, and service [1]. The Priority Plan [2], the umbrella strategic plan for the University, addressed the need to build a total infrastructure in which the programs, services, facilities, faculty, staff, and student population would be able to achieve educational goals unfettered by lack of adequate, appropriate, or responsive procedures, regulations, systems, or services. 

Fully supporting a highly residential student population as well as the faculty, staff, and campus constituents in a rural, limited service area presents special challenges for the administrative support service areas.  Even more challenging is contributing to the formation of an environment conducive to student learning.

As noted in Core Requirement 2.5, there is not for any component of the University an inventory of outcomes equal to that of educational programs given the academic area’s adoption of the True Outcomes electronic assessment management system in 2006.  Even so, it is clearly evident that establishing outcomes and pursuing performance in a manner that results in continuous quality improvement has come almost naturally given the nature of the work inherent in each area. Continual monitoring inherent in the Priority Plan reporting system has sustained the focus on the administrative support services [3] [4] [5] [6]. These areas participated in formulating many aspects of the Priority Plan and of preceding Strategic Plans as evidenced by the Strategic Plan Update 1999-2004 for the Department of Housing and Residential Services [7].

In the Priority Plan, units identified as requiring strengthening and enhancement throughout the decade were those that, if not improved, would threaten the University’s success in achieving the goals outlined for funding, facilities, student development, asset management (human and material) and facilities. In 2001, at the inception of the Institutional Assessment Council (IAC), now known as the Institutional Effectiveness Council (IEC), there was little involvement from the broad array of administrative support services. However, by 2004, there was strong administrative unit representation on the Council and corresponding evidence that these units had leadership and had adopted the use of the PVAMU Six-Question Model for Closing the Loop [8]:

  • What is desired?
  • How to make it happen?
  • How will it be assessed?
  • When will it be assessed?
  • What were the results?
  • What did you do?

 

Administrative unit leaders participate in the Annual Faculty and Staff Conference which has a forty-year history.  They participated in the planning conferences noted in Core Requirement 2.5. Individual units use their discretion as to the type of planning sessions they will host. There is a need for continuous training in assessment as it relates to these units. As is often customary, attention tends to be more heavily focused in educational program and educational support.

Examples of ongoing planning and assessment can be found in the meeting minutes from Development [9], Administrative and Auxiliary Services [10], Business Affairs [11], and the Physical Plant [12]. May 19, 2009 was the University’s Strategic Planning Summit as it prepared to roll forward its Priority Plan in concert with the Texas A&M University System’s Strategic Plan 2009-2013.

Measures most frequently used by administrative units are internal and external audits, best practices, customer service surveys, annual financial report reviews, management reviews, revenue reports, fundraising targets, listener ratings, external reviews and other measures appropriate to the unit. Administrative units have no common tool and tend to vary in the methods used to manage the semester, annual or other cyclical process affecting a research-based effectiveness system. Thought is being given to building a local system or purchasing a system that is compatible with BANNER, the student information system.

Institutionally, National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data have been used since 2001 to reflect on and improve the quality of services provided. Relative to their perception of having a “quality relationship with administrative personnel and officers,” 67% of the seniors taking the NSSE in 2008 [13] rated this item as satisfactory compared to 51% who took the NSSE in 2001 [14], which is a  15% increase.

Comparative data from the Survey of Organizational Excellence (SOE), popularly known as the Governor’s Survey, suggests that from 2002 to 2008 there have been improvements. Because administrative support units’ effectiveness is often judged by their capacity to respond appropriately and in a timely manner, areas of the SOE that address the University's interface with external influences and that address information and communication flow matter in the assessment of units across campus. Specifically, employees in 2002 rated the University's “ability to include all members in focusing resources toward goal accomplishment” as a 302, but by 2008 that number had risen 38 points to 340.

The University moved from a 281 to a 322 for employees’ evaluation of the “consistency of decision-making and activity within the University.” More impressively, however, is the finding that employee perception of the University’s “capability and readiness to change based on new information and ideas” rose 51 points during the same period, from 274 to 325. On the matter of “communication flow,” within the University, all scores rose by at least 31 points; the most significant increase was in the extent to which employees view information exchanges as “open and productive,” as evidenced by an increase from  251 to 295 by 2008 on the SOE [15]. Employees also recorded a stronger median score regarding their understanding of the University's mission, vision, and strategic plan, going from a 3.43 on a 5.0 scale in 2002 to a 3.76 in 2008 [16]. Data from various assessment instruments such as the NSSE and SOE are shared through presentations [17] or through the Data Request Form on the University web page [18].

Assessment reports for those broad areas cited in the Priority Plan are included as evidence of having identified outcomes, assessed whether the University achieves these outcomes, and evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results. Included for review are: Development [19], Information Technology [20], Human Resources [21], Physical Plant [22], and Campus Dining Services [23], a component of the Student Development Center. Also included is documentation on the progress of KPVU Radio Station [24], Assessment Reports for Financial Services [25] and Assessment Reports for Equal Educational Opportunity (EEO) [26].

Below are changes and improvements in administrative support services since 2000. These support services are documented and discussed in the Core Requirements and Comprehensive Standards referenced; assessment reports are included above.

  • Development. The 2002 Priority Plan expectation that the University conduct its first capital campaign to raise $30 million for scholarships, endowed chair matches and other initiatives common at “institutions of the first class” was realized with the conclusion of the campaign with a total of  $32 million in 2009; established up-to-date system for tracking donors, especially over 50,000 alumni [19]. Measures: External review; alumni survey; Capital Campaign Committee. Development is discussed more fully in Comprehensive Standard 3.10.5
  • Information Technology. Transformed management of technology management and services so that students gained access to automation in all areas from online admissions application to classroom instruction and bill payment; upgraded campus to wireless technology applications; and migrated all campus email to Microsoft Exchange. Measures: Results of SGA town halls, NSSE item results, Priority Plan committee report, network assessment reports, and agreement assessments. Information Technology is discussed more fully in Comprehensive Standards 3.8.1 and 3.8.2; and Core Requirement 2.9.
  • Human Resources. Established an electronic application tracking system for hiring and managing faculty, staff, and student personnel actions; completed first staff classification and compensation plan, and created, updated, and implemented policies. Human Resources is discussed more fully in Comprehensive Standard 3.2.8.
  • Physical Plant. Aging projects reduced by 75% from 2006 to 2007 and eliminated by 2008; bid process systematized to show schedule due dates; and rated “very satisfactory” by students on grounds maintenance. Measures:  NSSE item results, Priority Plan Committee report, construction and renovation contracts. Physical Plant is discussed more fully in Comprehensive Standard 2.11.2
  • New Facilities. During the planning period, new facilities that support student learning and academic units were constructed—namely, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Architecture, College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology, College of Nursing, and Department of Electrical Engineering, and The Student Development Center renamed the Willie E. Tempton, Sr., Memorial Student Center. These areas are discussed more fully in Comprehensive Standard 3.11.3.
  • Dining Services. Student dining facilities were modernized and included in the one-stop Student Development Center identified in the Priority Plan; expanded by 1564 Sq. Ft. in 2006 when Jazzman Café opened in the J.B. Coleman Library; expanded again in 2008 on the northwest side of the campus when 1,000 Sq. Ft. Purple Zone, Sports Grill was established in Ferrell Hall. Dining Services is discussed more fully in Core Requirement 2.10.    
  • KPVU Radio Station. Based on an external program review in 2003, the station equipment was upgraded, programming was restructured, facilities were upgraded, management was strengthened, and power was increased; in May-June, 2005 a new program format launched; 2007-2008 studios became fully digital; and in 2009 power increased from 10,000 watts to 31,000 watts [24].
  • Financial Services. Formulated rules and procedures to systematize services to the general University; eliminated paper transactions by effecting direct depositing of payroll checks and student refunds; online processing of work-study students’ timesheets 24/7; timely depositing of payroll checks, etc. [27]. Financial Services is discussed more fully in Comprehensive Standard 3.10.1, 3.10.2, and 3.10.4.
  • Equal Educational Opportunity. In 2006, all of the seven external complaints were dismissed by the EEOC following internal EEO review and investigation; in 2007 one complaint filed was dismissed by EEOC; in 2008 all of the four complaints filed were dismissed by EEOC following internal EEO review and investigation.

Supporting Documentation and Links


Comprehensive Standards 3.3.1.2

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