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Productivity and Effectiveness

  • What skills and capabilities are required to make us successful?
  • Do we have appropriately diversified resources?
  • Are resources allocated and spent in ways that support the mission? Do resources support institutional strengths and core?
  • Are we obtaining adequate productivity and effectiveness from our resources?
  • Are there sufficient assets and resources to ensure success of priority initiatives now and in the future?
  • Are tuition rates and financing options (discounting) developed with consideration for the impact on institutional goals?
  • What are the implications of our selected niche and competencies for revenue diversification, investment, fundraising, as well as staffing, partnerships, etc.?



  • Do we have the physical capacity to deliver on mission?
  • Are our capital assets flexible enough to serve future needs?
  • How do we measure the value of technology versus brick and mortar?
  • How do our current facilities, technology and equipment match our mission? Does our mission make any obsolete?
  • Does the quality of buildings and infrastructure represent our priorities? Are we funding maintenance of existing capital and budgeting for operations and maintenance of new capital?
  • Are resources deployed to provide learning environments that support student success?
  • Are the appropriate institutional and departmental information systems and communication processes in place to support goal attainment?



  • Are we making effective use of our data resources to analyze, predict and prescribe alternatives?
  • Do we have the data necessary to measure the productivity and effectiveness of our resource allocation? To assess capital development? To clarify our understanding of program and service delivery costs?
  • What benchmarks do we have with similar institutions? How do we respond to variances?
  • Where are we in the data spectrum – descriptive analytics – predictive analytics – prescriptive analytics?


Human Talent

  • How have we empowered all faculty and staff to enact change?
  • How do we assess allocations to technology versus human capital versus outsourcing?
  • Are human resources effectively trained and deployed?
  • Is our staffing model sufficiently flexible to address changing needs?
  • Do we have the appropriate mix of “fixed” versus “variable” labor?
  • How does staffing compare with industry benchmarks?
  • What professional development is needed to ensure faculty and staff are current and effective?
  • How will we address escalating labor (salary and benefits) costs?
  • Are we able to attract and retain quality faculty and staff with the right talents to support our mission?


Alternative Financial Strategies

  • What are the costs and benefits of auxiliary operations?
  • Is the Foundation aligned with the college on goals and needs?
  • How do we leverage others’ assets and alternative delivery models (such as P3s)?
  • What options do we have to alternatively fund projects and activities?
  • Are we adequately and appropriately leveraging instructional economies (such as peer-to-peer, technology, etc.)?
  • What are goals for development and alumni relations? Are they congruent with our mission and strategies? Is the Advancement effort successful?
  • Are we optimizing the use of endowment and other philanthropic resources?
  • Are we strategically managing debt?
  • Are we leveraging resources through intra- or inter-institutional shared services? Can we eliminate redundancy/duplication?
  • Are we evaluating the full cost of external opportunities and endeavors?


Planning and Budgeting

  • What “game changers” are there in our strategic plan, and how are we managing and budgeting for their implementation?
  • What are our key revenue and expense drivers?
  • If we are budgeting a deficit, is it a cash flow, operational or structural deficit? How do we know? What is our plan to remedy the cause(s)?
  • Are we optimizing return on financial assets, within our risk profile?
  • Do we engage in multi-year financial planning, based on realistic assumptions?
  • Do we use current financial analysis and planning tools like (but not limited to) CFI, ABC and RCM to analyze our financial status and risk and to understand costs and allocate resources?
  • Does the budgeting process support change? Are all resources considered in the budget process?
  • Are key components of financial and non-financial risk understood?
  • Does the institution have processes to accurately assess costs related to programs and activities? Are life cycle costs (and benefits) determined before undertaking new initiatives?
  • Does the institution have a program prioritization plan that is supported by its resource allocations?
  • Have we applied business process re-engineering strategies?
  • Do we have incentives for units within the college or university to spend congruently with institutional goals?
  • How do we manage compliance at the lowest cost?


Research and Scholarship

  • How do we fund specialized knowledge?
  • Is our self-funded research strategic and deliberate?
  • Are we managing sponsored research efficiently and in compliance with sponsor requirements?
  • Is our indirect cost rate current and maximized?


Thinking Forward

  • Are adequate resources allocated for innovation?
  • What organizational restructuring would yield resources for reallocation?
  • What opportunities exist for development of alternative revenues?
  • Is our academic plan (now and in the future) underpinning our capital and financial plans? Will changing academic delivery lead to stranded assets?
  • What areas will provide the best ROI? Do they require investments?


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