Boise State University Provost Martin Schimpf says the university’s recent program prioritization will make the school a more relevant, efficient and higher-quality institution.
Boise State, the University of Idaho, Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College recently spent more than a year reviewing the degrees, programs and services they each offer. The reviews were mandated by the governor’s office and submitted to the State Board of Education this summer. The board approved the plans last week.
At Boise State, programs and academic departments were examined individually. All together, more than 600 separate evaluations were performed, including an evaluation of Boise State Public Radio.
“Each program at the university was evaluated according to a set of pre-established criteria that we developed with input from the entire campus,” Schimpf says. “And then for each of those criteria we developed a set of metrics that would help us gauge how a program was doing in meeting the established criteria.”
Each program was then given a score, which Schimpf says allowed officials to identify deficiencies and place each program in one of five prioritization quintiles. Programs in the bottom quintile were required to develop action plans for improvement. That could include consolidation with other programs, or elimination all together.
“In the end, we actually developed action plans for the vast majority of our programs, not just those in the lower quintile,” Schimpf says.
Schimpf says the subsequent changes don’t make Boise State any less of an institution.
“On the contrary,” he says. “It really improves everything that we do. We have a lot of work to do, but this really provides a framework by which we can move forward.”
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