Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

3.3.1.2 Institutional Effectiveness: Administrative Support Services

The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in each of the following areas: (Institutional effectiveness)

3.3.1.2 Administrative support services

Judgment check box Compliance

 

Narrative

This narrative focuses on assessment activities within Reinhardt’s major administrative divisions: Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, and Advancement and Marketing.  Units under the divisions of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services, and Athletics are considered to be academic and student support services and are discussed in C.R. 3.3.1.3 (Academic and Student Support Services).  See organizational chart for highlighted administrative support units. [1]

Finance and Administration

The Finance and Administration division includes the following administrative support units: Business Office, Human Resources, and Physical Plant.

Advancement and Marketing

The Advancement and Marketing division is responsible for fund raising and alumni relations on behalf of Reinhardt University and for managing marketing and communications.  The division is comprised of three units: Alumni Relations, Development and External Relations, and Marketing and Communications.

Academic Affairs

The only administrative support office in the Academic Affairs division is the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness. Although the Office of Information Technology and the Registrar’s Office report to the Provost, their assessment activities are addressed under C.R. 3.3.1.3 (Academic and Student Support Services), since they serve directly the students.

Unit Assessment Reporting Process

Reinhardt University’s established and systematic assessment processes require each unit to articulate expected operational objectives directly linked to the University’s strategic objectives. Reinhardt’s internal IE process permeates all levels of the University. The President is responsible for the oversight of the University’s IE processes and each divisional vice-president is responsible for continuous improvement processes within their division. [2]

Each administrative unit is required to complete an annual assessment report, which includes objectives for which measures are identified, assessment is performed, and improvements that are made based on assessment results. The table below provides links to the assessment reports submitted by the administrative support services over the past three assessment cycles.  Over the past three years, administrative support units had been gradually introduced to annual assessment reporting processes and as of 2016-17, all units completed an annual assessment report.

Table 3.3.1.2-1

Assessment Reports Submitted by Administrative Support Services

Division Unit 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17

 

Finance & Administration Business Report Report
Human Resources Report Report Report
Physical Plant Report Report Report
Advancement & Marketing Alumni Relations Report Report Report
Development & External Relations Report Report Report
Marketing and Communications Report Report
Academic Affairs Institutional Research & Effectiveness Report Report

Assessment reporting guidelines for administrative support units [3], templates, and completed reports are maintained by the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness on Eagleweb, Reinhardt’s Intranet.  [4] The Director of Institutional Research & Effectiveness meets each year individually with unit directors to provide feedback on the objectives, assessment measures, and reporting of results. In addition, each year the OIRE Director conducts assessment workshops for unit directors aimed at improving the assessment expertise across campus. [56]  The OIRE Director uses a rubric to evaluate the quality of the assessment reports submitted and provide suggestions for improvement to unit directors. [7]

Assessment results are used in making budget decisions, thus closing the assessment and budget loop to assure continuous improvement. Units are asked to connect any additional budget requests to action items identified in the assessment reports. Divisional vice presidents review the assessment reports from their units in accordance with annual IE and budget cycles.  See the diagram for AES Institutional Effectiveness Planning, Assessment, and Budgeting Cycle. [2] The sample annual budget instructions and sample unit budget template illustrate the integration of planning, assessment, and budgeting in administrative support units. [89]

Outcomes/Objectives

The outcome/objective statements from Reinhardt administrative support units, as articulated in the latest assessment reports, are presented below in Table 3.3.1.2-1.  The operational objectives of all units are tied to divisional strategic objectives [10], which in turn are derived from University’s strategic objectives.  [11] An example of an assessment report (page 3) showing the alignment of unit operational objectives with university and divisional strategic objectives is included in the supporting documentation.  [12]

Table 3.3.1.2-2

2016-17 Outcomes and Objectives for Administrative Support Services

Division Unit Unit Outcomes and Objectives

 

Finance & Administration Business
  1. Production of the Statement of Activities (SOA) and other financial reports will be timely each month.
  2. Improve the collections of student accounts receivable (A/R) through improved communications and proactive accounts management.
  3. Update the process and policy documentation in the Business Office and make the policies more readily available.
  4. Students will be satisfied with the schedule of the Business Office and its billing policies.
Human Resources
  1. Implement and rollout new payroll system.
  2. Create a more efficient and effective New Hire Orientation process
  3. Maintain compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations related to Human Resources.
Physical Plant
  1. Ensure that all rooms in residence halls are prepared for fall semester student arrival.
  2. Prepare campus for summer camp arrival.
  3. Improve the overall appearance of the university grounds by focusing on one targeted grounds project each month.
  4. Complete at least one deferred maintenance project.
Dining Services
  1. Students will be satisfied with the selection of food offered by Dining Services.
  2. Maintain high satisfaction with the Gordy Room facility and ease of use.
  3. Annually evaluate the sustainability of purchased produce.
Bookstore
  1. Obtain book orders in a more timely fashion-no later than two weeks after the initial due date.
  2. Increase the number of customer service surveys submitted.
Advancement & Marketing Alumni Relations
  1. Increase Alumni Board of Governors giving and event participation.
  2. Increase participation and money raised through fundraising campaigns.
Development & External Relations
  1. Raise funds via ADay Campaign and create public awareness of Reinhardt’s commitment to educational and scholarship opportunities for Cherokee County residents by increasing community knowledge of RU, adding new prospects and concentrating more efforts on major donor prospects.
  2. Raise funds via The Inaugural Clay Shooting Classic was to raise public awareness of Reinhardt’s commitment to educational and scholarship opportunities for Cherokee County residents by increasing community knowledge of RU, adding new prospects and concentrating more efforts on major donor/sponsor prospects.
  3. Raise funds through the annual Dave Henritze Golf Classic by cultivating awareness of Reinhardt through tournament publicity, instilling volunteer ownership of tournament, identifying new major prospects and increasing the number of players.
  4. Raise funds through the United Methodist Scholarship Golf Tournament by creating awareness of Reinhardt through publicity and encouraging volunteer ownership of tournament, identifying new prospects, and increasing the number of churches participating.
Marketing and Communications
  1. Enhance institutional brand awareness through social media channels by increasing the number of individual followers.
  2. Responsive digital platform development to increase website usability across all consumer viewports.
  3. Increase placement of news and events to regional news outlets (newspaper, magazine print publications, broadcast).
Academic Affairs Institutional Research & Effectiveness
  1. Enhance the RU community understanding of the student groups that are at highest risk for not being retained.
  2. Expand reporting of graduation and transfer rates beyond the FT Freshmen Cohort to provide a more complete picture of student success at Reinhardt.
  3. Improve the quality of program and general education assessments.

Assessment Measures

Most administrative support units use of a combination of the following measures to assess their annual objective: volume indicators (i.e., number of donors), quality indicators, efficiency, and effectiveness indicators.  Unit directors are asked in the first page of the assessment report to indicate what types of measures they use. Following are examples of assessment measures as listed in the annual assessment reports.

TABLE 3.3.1.2-3

Examples of Assessment Measures

Unit Example of Assessment Measure
Human Resources One of the efficiency measures used by the office is number of days it takes for a new hire to be processed.  The achievement target for 2015-16 was that all new hires will be processed within seven business days. The results for the year indicated that the percentage of new hires processed within seven business days was for 95%. Part of the delays was due to the use of paper forms in the hiring process.  To eliminate paperwork and improve efficiency, in 2016 the office implemented a new payroll system (Paychex). It is expected that a more efficient processing will free up more staff time for other areas of work.
Alumni Relations One of the key assessment measures used by the Office of Alumni Relations is tracking donations on a quarterly basis through Razor’s Edge.  The achievement target for the ABOG’s Annual Appeal goal was $10,000.00 for the 2015-2016 calendar year. Other measures that are tracked consistently include tracking participation at various events through attendance records.
Marketing and Communications The office uses social media reporting metrics including annual number of Facebook likes, number of Tweeter followers, and number of Instagram followers in order to assess increases in institutional brand awareness. For 2015-16 the achievement target for all thee social media channels was a 50% increase compared to the previous year.
Business Office As one of the assessment measures for 2015-16, the office tracked regularly the time of the Statement of Activity (SOA) delivery for each month of the fiscal year. The achievement target for the year was delivery of the SOA to VP for Finance & Administration on or before the 5th working day after month end, except for the fiscal year end of June, when the preliminary reports will be completed in 10 business days and the annual books closed at the conclusion of the audit. All the SOAs and other reports were delivered as required.
Physical Plant

 

In 2015-16 the office implemented a point-of-service customer satisfaction survey for the work orders completed.  The survey was distributed throughout the reporting year by the Physical Plant Coordinator.  The achievement target for this measure was that 75% of customer surveys would reflect an “overall experience” score of 5 or “very satisfied”.  In 2015-16 75% of surveys reflected an “overall experience” score of 5, or “very satisfied”.
Institutional Research and Effectiveness The Director used a rubric to review the annual assessment reports received from academic programs.  The 2015-16 reports were rated collaboratively with the members of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee.  The achievement target in 2015-16 was that least 80% of the programs will receive a “Good” rating on in each criterion of an evaluation rubric.

Improvements

Like the academic programs, administrative units are required each year in their assessment reports to reflect on the assessment results and consider improvements in their areas of operations for the following year. In addition, starting with 2015-16 units were also asked to report on the implementation of the action items they recommended in the previous year.  The following table provides a sample of improvements that were recommended and implemented in recent years by administrative support units.

TABLE 3.3.1.2-4

Examples of Improvements Based on Assessment Results

Unit Example of Improvement
Business Office One the key assessment measures employed by the office is the balance of student account receivables as compared to prior periods, adjusted and weighted  per the number of students.  As a result of the continued review of these metrics, the office worked in partnership with the Office of Financial Aid within the Clearance Module of Move the Needle project to reduce the number of students that own a balance.  In January 2017, the office piloted a new program (Flight Ready) with promising initial results.
Human Resources

 

In 2015-16, HR administered a survey to all employees to assess participation in the added initiatives in the wellness program. Approximately half of the survey respondents stated that they did not participate in the wellness initiatives.  Those that did participate were moderately (17%) to very (61%) satisfied with the initiatives. Although there were increased opportunities for involvement, not as many employees took advantage of them.  The survey indicated the desire for some specific new initiatives for the future, such as biometric screenings and on-site massage therapy.  Following these recommendations, Human Resources brought Quest Diagnostics to campus in Fall 2016 to provide screening to faculty and staff.
Office of Alumni Relations To increase alumni giving, the option to sign up for the 1883 Club was offered on the office Commitment forms throughout the year.  The VP of Advancement talked about the club during various events and meetings.  As a result of repeated calls at events, in 2015-16 there was an 86% increase in the 1883 Club membership (44 members compared to 6 previous year). Another improvement the office made in 2015-16 based on its assessment results was to hire outgoing callers for the Phonathon and provide mock calling sessions as part of their training.   The director also spoke with the VP of Advancement at LaGrange University regarding fund raising ideas.  As a result, Phonathon increased donations by 24% from the previous year.
Marketing & Communications After a review of the process used by units to submit requests for marketing materials, the Office determined that there is a need to streamline the submission of marketing requests.  Based on this review, the Office developed a centralized web-based tool and presented to the university community at the University Leadership Council meetings and email blasts.
 

Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Prompted by the launching of the Move the Needle project, the office began tracking retention rates for additional key variables: by EFC, tuition discount, Pell eligibility status, first generation status, high school gpa, and SAT scores. In addition, retention rates were calculated not only for fall to fall, but also for fall to spring terms. This work was in response to the following objective: “Enhance the RU community understanding of the student groups that are at highest risk for not being retained.”  While gathering data for a more comprehensive retention report, the OIRE Director discovered that athletic rosters were not entered in the Student Information System early enough to allow for a timely analysis of retention by sport. The Director worked closely with Athletics to upload their team rosters into Jenzabar by September 15, thus allowing an earlier report on athlete retention.

Conclusion

All administrative support services at Reinhardt have established outcomes and objectives for their operations. Through annual assessment reporting, they assesses the extent to which they achieve these outcomes, and provide evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] RU Organizational Chart

[2] Diagram of Planning, Assessment, and Budgeting

[3] Assessment Guidelines for AES Units

[4] OIRE Website for AES Assessment

[5] OIRE Assessment Workshop June 16 2015

[6] OIRE Assessment Workshop May 19 2016

[7] RU Rubric for Evaluating AES Assessment Reports

[8] RU Budget Instructions

[9] RU Budget Template Sample

[10] Reinhardt University Divisional Strategy Maps

[11] Reinhardt University Strategic Objectives

[12] Example of Alignment of Unit Objectives with RU and Division Objectives