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Strategic Performance Indicators

Within the two previous Framework cycles, units have been asked to identify their own measures of success. These "measures" often have been descriptions of activities or specific programs; documentation of measurable outcomes for activities, or performance indicators gauging overall progress under each Challenge, have been used inconsistently. For continued progress, we must move beyond measuring activity to measuring achievement.

An important next step in advancing the Framework is identification of a set of University-wide performance indicators by which the University's progress under each Challenge can be monitored. The Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity has compiled a pilot set of indicators, which will be published as a complementary document to this Framework and will also be available online. These indicators are not linked to particular activities, but are designed to monitor progress under each Challenge that can be attributed to the combined effect of all efforts in support of that Challenge. Some Challenges lend themselves to direct quantitative measures (e.g., graduation rates), while others require more indirect measures.

It is also worth noting that we are at a point where emphasis on groups for which data are more widely available (primarily gender and race/ethnicity) tends to overshadow attention to a broader range of diverse populations. What gets measured tends to get accomplished, and data tend to drive progress and development of initiatives. Consequently, we must remain attentive to fostering progress among groups for which data are not as readily available. In developing the University Framework indicators, we try to identify indicators that address such populations, but much of the progress in these areas may be best gauged at the unit level. Gathering data regarding sexual orientation and disabilities is particularly difficult because of confidentiality considerations; however, the University's Faculty/Staff Survey does provide valuable data that provide the University and each unit with considerable insight into those populations. For the purposes of monitoring and reporting Framework progress, units are encouraged to adopt relevant Framework indicators as applicable to the unit (for example, if University-wide and/or University Park retention and graduation rates are an indicator under Challenge 3, a college may choose to use college-retention and graduation rates as an indicator under Challenge 3 in their update). Units are also encouraged to develop additional unit-specific performance indicators that demonstrate their progress under each Challenge.


Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity
314 Old Main,
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-5906, Fax: (814) 865-3997