At Boise State University, our foremost focus is to create the best possible educational experience for our students. In doing this, we not only prepare them to lead happy and successful individual lives, but we also make this university an extraordinarily effective and irreplaceable partner in creating a community and society that’s more productive, healthy and happy.
Nothing, perhaps, better illustrates Boise State’s commitment to this goal than a recent year-long self-examination conducted across the entire campus. Called “program prioritization,” this rigorous and exhaustive assessment was launched at the direction of the university’s trustees on the Idaho State Board of Education – all of the state’s public colleges and universities undertook a similar process. But, for Boise State, the process’ value as a tool for self-reflection and improvement was unprecedented and embraced with vigor – the full participation of faculty and staff was integral to its success.
For the first time in Boise State’s 82-year history, every single program from every division was assessed using the same metrics: how does this program contribute to the university’s goals and success. Strengths and weaknesses – from top to bottom – were identified and plans for reinvesting resources by bolstering or, in some cases, eliminating ineffective programs were or are being made. Already, some of the findings are having a big impact on campus and plans are being developed for making this kind of reassessment a regular part of Boise State’s strategic planning process.
In the end, there is no question that this kind of self-reflection makes Boise State much more effective in delivering a top-flight education to its students.
Being effective also means being a good steward of university resources. Our students, state taxpayers, community partners and alumni deserve nothing less.
And in University Advancement, excellent stewardship is a cornerstone of our business. By practicing good stewardship we convey that we are competent and that our donors can trust us with their investment. Stewardship is more than an operational function of the advancement office: It is indicative of transcendent values and proof of the institution’s integrity and trust. Our donors deserve nothing less.
Laura C. Simic is vice president for advancement at Boise State University.