THE CSU ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS
As the need for publicly supported services grows, all states face hard choices about how to distribute their limited revenues. Increasingly and particularly for those service areas that are not subject to legally binding funding requirements, states are giving greater scrutiny to how effectively resources are used and, in many cases, linking performance to funding. Public higher education, along with all other services, is being asked to clarify the value it adds to society both in terms of intentions and results.
Public institutions of higher education have a long history of successfully justifying their value, quality, and continuing improvement to their various external constituencies: students, parents, the general public, makers of public policy priorities, accrediting agencies, the providers of financial and other resources, and their various supporters. Institutions do this by paying attention to the goals of their work, by testing results against these intentions, and by their willingness to change when confronted with the imperatives that flow from better ways of measuring their effectiveness. In broad terms, this process is called accountability.
Although the CSU and other educational segments necessarily are part of an increased government-wide emphasis on accountability, the CSU enters this period with a heightened sense of responsiveness and with significant advantages. First, evidence shows that the public continues to have faith in the value of higher education generally and the CSU, in particular. Second, the CSU and its campuses over the past several years have shown a willingness to define and redefine, to respond to new or restated needs and forces, and to involve their constituents in significant discourse over what ought to change and what ought not to change to meet internal and external pressures. Third, more than most systems, the CSU already has in place a substantial system of evaluation and ongoing improvement procedures. Campuses review academic programs on a regular basis, typically every five years, and are expected to meet the goals of the Board of Trustees in academic, financial, and administrative areas. Campuses also respond substantively to regional and professional accrediting agencies, and professional discipline advisory boards. Students and alumni/ae are regularly polled concerning their experiences at the CSU. Other appropriate constituents are also consulted concerning the quality of CSU graduates and programs.
The CSU is and has been involved in these discussions of accountability and responsiveness and, in many ways, is covering ground not yet covered by many institutions and systems of higher education. Given the quality of the CSU and its established commitment to self-appraisal and consequent action, the increased demands for public accountability make a strong case for the CSU's need for even more support from the state. It is an opportunity to tell more clearly a positive account of the value and performance of the CSU. The source of this information must flow from a partnership which constitutes the CSU system: campus, faculty, students, administration, alumni/ae, Trustees, and the chancellor's office. Each component has an important role in achieving the kind of public responsiveness which will help assure strong public support for CSU.
The proposed accountability process consists of the underlying principles, descriptions of the performance areas and indicators for which the chancellor's office will be responsible, and descriptions of the institutional performance areas and indicators for which the campuses will be responsible.
SYSTEM, CHANCELLOR'S OFFICE, BOARD OF TRUSTEES ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY
- By its nature, accountability is a public-oriented process that seeks to inform public constituents of the results, value, and quality of the CSU system and its campuses. Many of the performance areas and indicators, therefore, are those that are deemed important by the CSU but also that are well understood by the public. It should be noted that all campuses have assessment procedures and standards that respect the complexity, breadth, and integrity of the core academic disciplines and functions. Through these internal procedures, campus faculty and administrators are responsible for the quality of academic programs.
- Accountability not only informs the public about the performance of the CSU and its campuses, but is also an opportunity to show commitment to continued progress. Accordingly, the system and each campus will report in ways that capture how performance evolves over time. The focus will be on the performance of individual campuses in the context of their different missions, goals, students, and environment. To these ends, and whenever possible, accountability information will be presented in formats that avoid comparisons among campuses and that include performance over multiple years.
- CSU campuses reflect different missions, goals, and strengths. While some performance areas and indicators apply to all CSU campuses, others address unique missions of individual campuses as determined by the regular processes of campus governance. The accountability process allows the individual campus to describe (through campus selected performance areas or indicators or other explanatory information) how it contributes to the development of its particular students, whose background and preparation may vary from students at other campuses.
- The CSU constantly evaluates performance areas and accountability indicators to ensure that they effectively reflect institutional performance. The overall accountability process will be evaluated after one complete cycle (four years). The CSU will consult widely in the development and refinement of performance areas, indicators, reports, and the overall accountability process.
- To the extent possible, the CSU will rely upon existing data, information systems, standard reports, and processes in the development of indicators and accountability reports.
The system through the Board of Trustees and chancellor's office should assume responsibility for the following performance areas:
- Advancing the mission of the CSU
- Work effectively with Legislature, Governor's Office, Office of Legislative Analyst, and Department of Finance
- Cooperate with other educational segments, the State Department of Education, CPEC, and WASC
- Provide leadership in regional, state, and national education communities
- Promote welfare of CSU through effective relations with all constituencies, including the media and business community
- Maintaining appropriate balance between system role and campus autonomy
- Demonstrated respect and support for Cornerstones Principle 10, which declares that CSU campuses "shall have significant autonomy in developing their own missions, identities, and programs, with institutional flexibility in meeting clearly defined system goals"
- Maintenance of an effective advisory structure and the processes that respect, preserve, and advance campus uniqueness and autonomy
- Desired distribution of decision-making between the system and campuses
- Stimulation of innovative and creative approaches to effective teaching and learning
- Coordination of system data reporting requirements
- Strengthening of processes of shared governance
|Indicator: ||For the system, produce and deliver to the statewide Academic Senate and the Executive Council an annual report describing achievements on the system performance areas in this section.
- Communication and cooperation within the CSU
- Strengthening of communication between system administration and faculty and their representative organizations
- Strengthening communication between system administration and students and their representative organizations
- Strengthening of communication between system administration and alumni/ae organizations
|Indicator: ||For the system, demonstrated progress in implementation of the CSU communication plan.|
Negotiation and implementation of multi-year performance and budget compacts between the CSU and the state administration
The first budget compact between CSU and UC and the State administration was in effect from 1994 to 1998 and ensured stable funding in return for meeting specified enrollment and productivity commitments. It is expected that agreement on Compact II will be reached within the next few months. The following performance areas are likely to be included in the new compact.
- Funding commitments by State
- Goals for annual increases in State General Fund and Capital Outlay
- Funding for enrollment growth goals
- Provision of competitive faculty salaries
- Funding for such high priority needs as libraries, technology, deferred maintenance
- Additional funding for new or expanded programs and initiatives
- Performance commitments by CSU
- Accommodation of all eligible undergraduate students who complete the admission process.
- Effectiveness of CSU outreach activities to prepare K-12 students to enter CSU fully eligible without needing remedial education
- Effectiveness of meeting demand for school teachers and improving the quality of teacher preparation
- Credentials recommended; credential requirements met
- Reforms implemented
- Effectiveness of articulation and transfer processes to CSU
CAMPUS ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY
Common Institutional Performance Areas and Indicators
The accountability process addresses thirteen fundamental institutional performance areas based on the mission of the California State University system and its campuses:
- Quality of baccalaureate degree programs
- Access to the CSU
- Progression to the degree
- Areas of special state need
- Relations with K-12
- Facilities utilization
- University advancement
- Quality of graduate and post-baccalaureate programs
- Faculty scholarship and creative achievement
- Contributions to community and society
- Institutional effectiveness
Each campus will report to the system annually on the first nine of these performance areas using the system-defined indicators described below. The last four performance areas will be addressed periodically across a four year period beginning with graduate and post-baccalaureate education in September 2000. The format of these reports, including the specific indicators to be used, will be defined by each campus.
In addition, as a reflection of Principle 10 of The Cornerstones Report, each campus may specify other performance areas and associated indicators that describe its distinctive mission, environment, programs, and services.
An overview of the performance areas, indicators, and reports follows.
Annual Responsibility Indicators and Reports
- Quality of baccalaureate degree programs
In its 1997 report entitled, Baccalaureate Education in the California State University, the CSU Academic Senate stated,
"The three broad areas of educational achievement expected of CSU graduating students are: (1) acquiring a sophisticated knowledge base, (2) acquiring the skills needed to use knowledge and to learn new knowledge so as to renew their knowledge base, and (3) participating in a mix of collegiate experiences and social processes that contribute to values for successful living."
The recommendations for Principle 1 in the Cornerstones Implementation Plan include the following priorities:
- identification of the expected learning outcomes for students in general education and major programs;
- development of systems of learning assessment by which the faculty will assess students' achievement of the expected outcomes; and,
- the use of assessment results in revising and improving programs.
While accountability is a process designed to insure external constituents that the CSU is engaged in constant self-examination and improvement, the identification of student learning objectives and assessment are faculty-owned processes designed to review and improve academic programs within the faculty's overall stewardship of educational quality. These latter processes to assess student learning outcomes, due to their complexity, cannot be reduced to simple quantitative measures.
Each campus will provide evidence of progress toward the identification of learning outcomes and the development of a process to assess student learning outcomes at the general education and program levels. The first indicator below describes a three year developmental period; the second indicator addresses expectations after development of learning outcomes has been completed.
|Indicator 1.1: ||
(first three years) For each university, descriptions of processes for establishing and assessing student learning outcomes in general education and in the majors and for assuring that students are achieving core competencies for the degree.|
|Indicator 1.2: ||(after three years) For each university, a report of campus academic program reviews that summarizes assessment results and describes how these results have been used to improve teaching, learning, and programs.|
Access to the CSU
The CSU is committed to providing all eligible first-time freshman, upper-division California Community College transfer, and priority teacher preparation applicants with admission to a CSU campus. While these applicants may not be admitted to their first-choice CSU campus or their first-choice program, eligible applicants applying are guaranteed admission to some CSU campus.
For each university, the number of first-time freshmen, upper-division community college transfers, and post-baccalaureate teacher preparation applicants who applied to the university and were admitted.|
|Indicator 2.2a:|| (For campuses which were impacted or had impacted programs) The number of eligible first-time freshman, upper-division community college transfer, and post-baccalaureate teacher preparation applicants who applied to the university as their first choice during the open filing period and were not admitted.|
|Indicator 2.2b:|| (For campuses which were impacted or had impacted programs) The number of eligible first-time freshman, upper-division community college transfer, and post-baccalaureate teacher preparation applicants who applied to the university as their first choice during the open filing period and were not admitted, but were admitted to another CSU campus.|
Progression to the degree
The CSU will provide clear paths to the baccalaureate degree for first-time freshmen and transfer students. The goal is that the total number of units completed toward the degree, in both GE and the major, is comparable for students who entered as freshmen and for students who entered as transfer students.
Persistence and Graduation
For each university, the percentage of students, both regularly-admitted first-time freshmen and upper-division California Community College transfer students, who progress from their first to their second year of attendance.|
|Indicator 3.2:||For each university, the number of units completed by regularly-admitted upper-division California Community College transfer students who enter as juniors and are graduated as compared to the number of units completed by upper-division students who also graduated but entered the CSU as first-time freshmen.|
The CSU, through clear statements of graduation requirements, effective advising, and effective access to courses, will assist students to achieve their degree objectives.
Areas of special state need
|Indicator 4.1:||For each university, graduation rates for regularly-admitted students, disaggregated by relevant sub-populations (first-time freshmen and upper-division transfer students) and by key student characteristics (full- and part-time attendance, etc.).|
The CSU will make special efforts to respond to special state needs beyond our core mission of providing undergraduate education. At present, there is great need in many regions of California for credentialed teachers consistent with the requirements of K-12 education. In the future these needs might include such other professions as engineers, nurses, or social workers.
Relations with K-12
|Indicator 5.1:||For each university, the number of first-time, new-type multiple-subject, single-subject, and special education credentials issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to candidates completing professional education requirements.|
In an effort to improve the academic preparation of entering students, the CSU will be responsive to the needs of K-12 education. Although the CSU cannot assume full control of the academic preparation of entering students, our universities can influence the level of preparation through outreach effort, K-12 and regional partnerships, and other programs.
For each university, the number of CSU faculty and students, the number of K-12 schools, and the number of K-12 students involved in outreach efforts.|
|Indicator 6.2:||For each university, the percentage of regularly eligible students who are fully prepared in mathematics and English composition.|
The CSU will successfully remediate, within one year, students who are not fully prepared to begin college-level mathematics and English composition.
For each university, the percentage of students requiring remediation who complete remediation within one year.|
To meet growing enrollment pressure, the CSU will expand its capacity by using existing facilities more effectively. Strategies to accomplish this include the fuller use of yearly, monthly, and weekly calendars and schedules, and the use of on-line instruction where educationally and qualitatively appropriate.
For each university, the percentages of course enrollments occurring evenings (after 4 pm), Fridays, weekends, and summers in state-supported CSU campus physical facilities and the percentages not requiring state-supported CSU campus physical facilities provided through distance learning and at off-campus sites.|
To provide support for educational excellence, the CSU will continue to seek funding through private contributions.
For each university, an annual Voluntary Support Report with indicators for funds raised via alumni/ae, parents, other individuals, foundations, and corporation. This report will include the number of alumni/ae records, alumni/ae solicited, and alumni/ae donors in fund-raising programs.|
|Indicator 9.2:||For each university, an annual Special Revenues Report with indicators for funds raised via sponsorships, bequests and revocable trusts, pledges, contracts, grants, property transfers, and endowment income.|
|Indicator 9.3:||For each university, an annual report on alumni/ae participation as measured by formal membership in the alumni/ae association and alumni/ae program activity.|
For each university, a goal to raise in private funds a sum equal to or greater than 10 percent of the university net general fund allocation.|
Four-Year Performance Areas and Indicators
Performance areas 10 through 13 will be addressed by the submission of a report from each campus on a four-year cycle. Performance area 10 will be the subject of a report in the year 2000, performance area 11 in 2001, performance area 12 in 2002, performance area 13 in 2003, etc. Eventually, each report will cover the four-year period since the prior report on that performance area. Initially, the first report on performance area 10 need cover only the preceding year, the first report on performance area 11 need cover only the preceding two years, and the first report on performance area 12 need cover only the preceding three years. Campuses should develop their own formats for these reports including selection of indicators to be used. Indicators included below for each performance area are only examples.
Quality of graduate and post-baccalaureate programs
The CSU will continue its commitment to provide education beyond the baccalaureate as an essential component of its mission through lifelong learning, graduate degree programs, and professional certification.
For each university, periodic (four-year) reports describing such areas as (the following are examples and not requirements):
student outcomes assessment for graduate programs;
external reviews of graduate programs;
students' evaluation of their graduate and postgraduate experience;
graduates qualifying for professional licenses and certificates;
graduates engaged in holding faculty positions at colleges and universities;
graduates admitted to and earning degrees from doctoral and professional schools; and
the range of continuing education programs offered.
Faculty scholarship and creative achievement
The CSU will provide support for scholarship and creative achievement to enable faculty to maintain the currency of knowledge and skills that are necessary to provide students with a "sophisticated knowledge base" in respective disciplines.
|Possible Indicators: |
For each university, periodic (four-year) reports summarizing (the following are examples and not requirements):
- campus support for faculty scholarship and creative achievement including sabbaticals, professional development, and other forms of support; and
- outcomes of campus support such as instructional innovations, publications, professional presentations, awards and honors, grants and contracts, patents and copyrights, etc.
Contributions to community and society
The CSU will contribute to its community and society through the economic impact of its graduates, the scholarly activities of its faculty and students, and the public service provided by faculty, students, and staff.
|Possible Indicators: ||
For each university, periodic (four-year) reports describing the various contributions of the campus to its community and society including response to local and regional needs. These reports could include quantitative and qualitative data related to such areas as (the following are examples and not requirements):
students performing pro bono community service;
students earning credit for service-related internship courses, service learning courses, fieldwork courses, and tutorial programs;
faculty, staff, and administrators engaged in academically-related community service;
education programs and research projects responding to local and regional need;
graduates qualifying for professional licenses and certificates;
graduates enrolling in post-baccalaureate programs;
graduates engaged in teaching, government, or public-service careers;
grant and contract awards to faculty and staff;
the economic impact of the campus upon its community and region; and
collaborative activities with public schools.
The primary mission of the CSU is teaching and learning. Administrative functions and the campus environment should support this mission through responsiveness to the needs of students and faculty, and through increasing efficiencies while maintaining the educational quality, excellence, and effectiveness of each campus.
For each university, periodic (four-year) reports describing the achievements of the campus in improving its institutional effectiveness, including quantitative and qualitative data related to such areas as (the following are examples and not requirements):
effective strategic planning;
a collegial environment;
faculty and student participation in shared governance;
regular surveying of student needs and the effectiveness of student support services;
regular surveying of faculty and staff needs and the effectiveness of faculty and staff development opportunities and programs;
data from students on satisfaction with access to learning opportunities, the quality of academic advising, and access to faculty beyond the classroom;
data from students (e.g., SNAPS) or alumni/ae on satisfaction and perceived value of CSU education in the academic program review process;
graduate and professional school acceptance rates;
employer feedback on the preparation of graduates’ skills, knowledge, and ability to continue learning;
organizational units using benchmarking, satisfaction surveys, or other evaluative measures to assess performance; and
regional and programmatic accreditation.
Campus-Defined Performance Areas and Indicators
In recognition of the unique missions of individual campuses, a campus may choose to identify its own performance areas and indicators. These performance areas and indicators may be used in cases where the campus believes that the system-defined performance areas and/or indicators do not fully address its unique goals, environment, and priorities. These campus-defined performance areas and priorities, moreover, may change with special state needs.
THE CSU ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS
Timelines and Due Dates
(Revised October 1, 2000)
* Tentative dates
|November 17, 1999 ||Trustees approve CSU Accountability Process
|May 15, 2000 ||Identification and description of campus-specific indicators for performance area 10; quality of graduate and post-baccalaureate programs, and campus-defined performance areas and indicators due to Executive Vice Chancellor Spence
|June 2000 ||System data on performance areas 2 through 8 distributed to campuses for inclusion in the 2000 annual accountability report
|August 15, 2000 ||First annual campus accountability report due to Executive Vice Chancellor Spence. Includes data and commentary on performance areas 1 – 9, a report on performance area 10 (quality of graduate and post-baccalaureate programs), and campus-defined performance areas and indicators
September 6-7, 2000 First annual system accountability report (developed from the campus accountability reports) distributed to Executive Council
|September 19-20, 2000 ||First annual system accountability report presented to Board of Trustees
April 2001* Identification and description of campus-specific indicators for performance area 11; faculty scholarship and creative achievement, and campus-defined performance areas and indicators due to Executive Vice Chancellor Spence
|June 2001* ||System data on performance areas 2 through 8 distributed to campuses for inclusion in the 2001annual accountability report
|August 2001* ||Second annual campus accountability report due to Executive Vice Chancellor Spence. Includes data and commentary on performance areas 1 – 9, a report on performance area 11 (faculty scholarship and creative achievement), and campus-defined performance areas and indicators
|September 2001* ||Second annual system accountability report (developed from the campus accountability reports) distributed to campuses
|September 2001* ||Second annual system accountability report presented to Board of Trustees
|April 2002* ||Identification and description of campus-specific indicators for performance area 12; contributions to community and society, and campus-defined performance areas and indicators due to Executive Vice Chancellor Spence
|June 2002* ||System data on performance areas 2 through 8 distributed to campuses for inclusion in the annual accountability report
|August 2002* ||Third annual campus accountability report due to Executive Vice Chancellor Spence. Includes data and commentary on performance areas 1 – 9, a report on performance area 12 (contributions to community and society), and campus-defined performance areas and indicators
|September 2002* ||Third annual system accountability report (developed from the campus accountability reports) distributed to campuses
|September 2002* ||Third annual system accountability report presented to Board of Trustees
|April 2003* ||Identification and description of campus-specific indicators for performance area 13; institutional effectiveness, and campus-defined performance areas and indicators due to Executive Vice Chancellor Spence
|June 2003* ||System data on performance areas 2 through 8 distributed to campuses for inclusion in the annual accountability report
|August 2003* ||Fourth annual campus accountability report due to Executive Vice Chancellor Spence. Includes data and commentary on performance areas 1 – 9, a report on performance area 13 (institutional effectiveness), and campus-defined performance areas and indicators
|September 2003* ||Fourth annual system accountability report (developed from the campus accountability reports) distributed to campuses
|September 2003* ||Fourth annual system accountability report presented to Board of Trustees
Thereafter, the report requirements for performance areas 10, 11, 12, and 13 continue on equivalent four-year cycles.
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Final Version updated: February 20, 2001