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The regents seal

Metrics and measurements

Regents discuss how to measure progress

From Brief, October 12, 2005

At a Board of Regents working session Oct. 6, Al Sullivan, executive associate vice president for planning and academic affairs, explained how the University will identify the metrics to be used to chart progress toward becoming one of the top three public research institutions in the world within a decade.

Sullivan chairs the Metrics and Measurement Task Force, one of 34 task forces charged with helping to transform the University. He emphasized that the metrics the University ultimately selects should be limited in number, tied to mission-oriented goals, and reflect credible external evaluations and rankings as well as internal goals.

The University is looking at components of several existing external ranking systems, Sullivan said. A University of Florida system, for example, measures schools' success based on categories such as doctorates granted, National Academy members, post-doctoral appointees, total research expenditures, federal research expenditures, endowment assets, annual giving, and median ACT/SAT scores. Among additional items the University could measure are progress on graduation, retention, and diversity, and tracking after-graduation success of students.

Capital bonding preview

In other business, President Bruininks previewed the University's 2006 capital request to be presented to the Minnesota Legislature. The $269 million request, which asks for $206 million in state funding, supports the University's unique responsibilities in education, research, and outreach by providing facilities foundational to its work, said Bruininks. The University would pay for one-third of the cost, excluding Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) projects, or $63 million. The proposal includes $80 million for the maintenance and renovation of existing facilities, funded through HEAPR, on all campuses and at research centers and field stations throughout the state. In recent years, the University has received nearly $100 million, which has helped address a backlog of necessary repairs to older buildings. On the Twin Cities campus, 25 percent of the buildings are more than 70 years old, and some of the oldest buildings, such as Jones and Nicholson halls, have now been renovated. The request also includes proposals for new buildings:

For more information see the capital bonding request news release.

Further business

The board also reviewed a profile of the Twin Cities campus freshman class by provost Tom Sullivan. Nearly 74 percent were in the top 25 percent of their high school class, Sullivan said, and the percentage of freshmen in the top 5 percent of their high school class continued to increase, reaching 19.1 percent this year. For more information about the profile, see the news release.

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