CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0552; fax (319) 335-0558
Release: Nov. 17, 2000
University of Iowa shares news of progress in implementing strategic plan
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman had some
good news this week for the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The universitys
four-year graduation rate increased from 35 percent in 1998-99 to 37.1 percent
in 1999-00; the number of faculty elected to national scholarly academies
climbed from 24 to 28; and minority representation among merit staff rose
from 5.3 percent to 5.8 percent.
These statistics were published this month in Implementing the Strategic
Plan 1999-2000 and outlined by Coleman Nov. 15 in a multimedia presentation
at the Regents meeting in Iowa City. This is the final annual report
on targeted indicators from Achieving Distinction 2000, the universitys
second five-year strategic plan and the first that tracked annual progress.
Targeted indicators are quality-related measures that can be associated with
time-specific numerical objectives such as the number of staff participating
in professional development programs. The report also tracks progress indicators,
which are points of reference that cannot be set at predetermined levels.
The indicators were developed in 1995 to measure progress in seven areas:
comprehensive strength in undergraduate programs, premier graduate and professional
programs in a significant number of areas, a faculty of national and international
distinction, distinguished research and scholarship, a culturally diverse
and inclusive university community, strong ties between the university and
external constituencies, and a high-quality academic and working environment.
For each indicator, administrators set a target for the year 2000. Many
of these targets were surpassed within a few years. Some of the 1999-00 reports
-- The number of technologically equipped classrooms rose to 81, up from
22 in 1995-96.
A total of 121 classrooms now have ready access to fixed or portable technology;
the original target was 100.
-- Non-degree-seeking enrollment jumped from 2,448 in 1995-96 to 3,338.
The target was 2,800.
-- The percentage of faculty receiving external support soared from 33 percent
in 1995-96 to 50 percent. The target was 40 percent.
-- The percentage of minority representation among professional and scientific
staff inched from 5.3 percent in 1995-96 to 5.6 percent. The target was 5.5
-- Staff participating in professional development programs increased from
2,907 in 1995-96 to 6,672. The target was 3,900.
-- 105 faculty members participated in the Technology-Based Teaching Initiative,
making the cumulative total 438. The target was to train 300.
-- Undergraduate participation in study abroad surpassed the target of 500
with 556 students participating, up from 323 in 1995-96.
The report also keeps track of rankings and surveys. Some examples include:
-- The university tied for 20th place among public universities in U.S.
News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges, 2001."
-- A 1999 survey by the Iowa Social Science Institute of 800 staff, 800
faculty, and 1,000 students found that Recreational Services has an 84 percent
mean approval rating from staff, 81 percent from faculty, and 79 percent from
students. Cambus received a mean satisfaction rating of 84 percent from staff,
86 percent from faculty, and 78 percent from students.
-- In the Top American Research Universities, a recent resource-based study
conducted by The Center at the University of Florida, the university tied
for 11th place in the category of best public university overall.
-- The Colleges of Engineering and Pharmacy reported placement rates of
its 1998-99 graduates at 100 percent.
-- A 1999 survey of patient satisfaction at University of Iowa Hospitals
and Clinics found that 90 percent of patients were very satisfied with care
and nearly 96 percent would recommend the hospitals and clinics to family
Although the university made strides in most areas, it fell behind in others.
For example, minority representation among students decreased from 9.5 percent
to 9.2 percent, and female representation in executive, administrative, and
managerial positions fell from 31 percent to 29.7 percent.
Some of the indicators, Coleman says, did not turn out to be the best tracking
measures, and several of the targets have been modified for the current strategic
plan, New Century Iowa: Bridges to the Next Horizon. Campus safety, for example,
used to be measured by the university's rank among 17 peer institutions in
six of the 12 crime categories included in the federally mandated annual safety
report. An increase or decrease of even one reported crime, however, could
cause the rankings to fluctuate dramatically. Although this indicator has
been dropped, the university will continue to monitor crime statistics.
Under the new strategic plan, the number of targets has been streamlined
and some of the indicators have been modified. Undergraduate education will
continue to play a significant role. For example, the university will now
track undergraduate participation in career programs.
Coleman presented baselines for these new indicators at the Regents' meeting.
"I am committed to the process of strategic planning. It not only gives
us information that we need to provide the best teaching, research, and service
we possibly can, but such planning also gives us credibility in the eyes of
our supporters and benefactors, as well as hard information to back up our
claims of success," Coleman writes in her introduction to the report.
"(Strategic plans) are necessary to track change over time, and they
are crucial to keeping our aims on a straight course."
The report "Implementing the Strategic Plan 1999-2000" is available
on the web at www.uiowa.edu/~provost/plan/ind9900/index.html.