Planned project kickoff date: October 15, 2008
Target project completion date: October 14, 2009
Actual project completion date:
A. Give this Action Project a short title in 10 words or fewer.
Benchmarking the NMU Road Map to 2015
B. Describe this Action Project’s goal in 100 words or fewer.The Road Map to 2015, our academic and university strategic plan, was introduced in March 2008. This Action Project will assign benchmark measurements to the goals and priorities described in the Road Map. These internally and externally defined benchmarks will be used to evaluate progress towards achieving these new initiatives, ensuring that measurement is conducted, analyzed and used. The project will involve input from all units across campus into our institution-wide strategic plan, and will help NMU refine its process for implementing university initiatives.
C. Identify the single AQIP Category that this Action Project will most affect or impact.
Planning Continuous Improvement.
D. Describe briefly your institution’s reasons for taking on this Action Project now — why the project and its goals are high among your current priorities. The Road Map to 2015 is our academic master plan. It identifies four thematic areas that will guide our commitment to an active and dynamic curriculum, our work on and off campus, and our resolve to continue to improve the NMU experience. These themes are Innovation, Meaningful Lives, Leveraging Campus Attributes, and Community Engagement. Within each thematic area, 3-4 specific goals are stated, and for each goal, multiple priorities are specified. Implementation of the university-wide planning that NMU undertook to produce the Road Map will continue, by benchmarking that document. Our Systems Appraisal Feedback Report suggested that our Systems Portfolio “…provided little or no evidence of external or internal benchmarks”, that our process for implementation of our new, large initiatives could be strengthened by “…building effectiveness measures into all new initiatives to ensure that measurement is conducted, analyzed and used for continuous improvement”. This Action Project will address these comments, and will provide NMU with a system that will document our progress towards our goals and priorities.
E. List the organizational areas — institutional departments, programs, divisions, or units — most affected by or involved in this Action Project.
The Road Map was announced by the President’s Office, which will continue to be involved in developing the Road Map via this Action Project. Sub-committees will be formed to address the 4 themes and the goals described in the Road Map. All units on campus have already been asked to determine how they can contribute to the Road Map, and hence we expect this project to involve work from all NMU employees and many students. However, areas that will be particularly involved will include Academic Departments, the Senate Liberal Studies Committee, the Office of Grants and Research, the Office of International Programs, the Center for Student Engagement, the NMU Foundation, the Honors Program, Academic Information Services, University Centers that focus on the Upper Peninsula, the Office of Finance and Administration, and the Facilities Department.
F. Name and describe briefly the key organizational process(es) that you expect this Action Project to change or improve.
Benchmarking the Road Map will define a process to implement university-wide initiatives. It will help NMU ensure that adequate human resources, a financial commitment, and facilities necessary for implementation are identified. Our strategic planning process will be improved as a function of this Action Project.
G. Explain the rationale for the length of time planned for this Action Project (from kickoff to target completion).
Oct-Nov: Sub-committees identified, charged with benchmarking goals and priorities stated in Road MapOct-Oct: NMU Liaison reports on project progress in monthly meetings with President’s Council, and at all NMU Board of Trustees meetingsNov-June: Committees consult with appropriate units; goals and priorities in Road Map sections are benchmarked. Committees report on a monthly basis to AQIP Liaison on progressNov-April: NMU websites move to improved display of university initiative goals and priorities, benchmarks, and current data reflecting progressJuly: Benchmarking descriptions presented at President’s Council Annual RetreatJuly-Aug: Benchmarks refined based on input from President’s CouncilAug: President presents Benchmarks to campus during Convocation AddressAug-Oct: Initiation of data collection and display on website
H. Describe how you plan to monitor how successfully your efforts on this Action Project are progressing.
The NMU President will introduce the topic of Benchmarking at a university-wide forum. The 4 sub-committees will be charged with their task, and will report on a monthly basis to the NMU Liaison. Progress will be presented on a bi-weekly basis to the President’s Council, and at every NMU Board of Trustees meeting. Summary data will be discussed during the President’s Council Annual Retreat, and the President will describe this summary to the entire campus community during the fall, 2009 Convocation Address.
I. Describe the overall “outcome” measures or indicators that will tell you whether thisAction Project has been a success or failure in achieving its goals.Process Measures:
1. Each committee discusses benchmarking, and determines how to apply benchmarking principles to appropriate Road Map theme
2. Committees determine units with which to consult for each goal and priority, and begin discussion with those units of appropriate benchmarks
3. Monthly progress reports reviewed by President’s Council
4. Final reports from all sub-committees delivered at President’s Council Annual Retreat
5. Summary of Action Project activity presented by President during convocation address
1. Leading indicator benchmarks, and progress, displayed on NMU website
2. A process to implement university-wide initiatives will be documented and in place
J. Other information (e.g., publicity, sponsor or champion, external partners, etc.)
An external consultant will be identified and invited to campus to discuss best practices in benchmarking of multi-faceted projects, such as our Road Map. CAMPUS (our on-campus electronic newsletter) and other campus publications will describe the activities of this Action Project. Alumni will be informed of these changes via Horizons, the alumni magazine. The NMU Board of Trustees, whose meetings are public and are attended by members of the local press, will be informed of project activities. The Northwind, the student newspaper, will be contacted upon project completion. Our NMU AQIP website (see: http://www.nmu.edu/aqip/) will be regularly updated to reflect project progress. Finally, a newly-developed “Road Map Progress” will display our successes, comparing current results to desired results
.K. Project Leader and contact person (First Name, Middle Initial, Last name, Title, Email, Telephone)
Terrance L. Seethoff, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
2609 West Science Building
Northern Michigan University Marquette, MI 49855