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Program Prioritization Results

May 2014

After an exhaustive process Boise State emerged stronger and confident in its academic programs, administrative support units and operations. Numerous changes have taken place as a direct result of program prioritization, including, but not limited to, the restructuring of colleges, the consolidation of a number of degree emphases, the discontinuation of degrees and minors that no longer attract and provide relevancy for Boise State students, and the increased investment of strong and emerging programs.

Final Report to Idaho State Board of Education

Post Program Prioritization FAQs

What are the Program Prioritization results for Academic Programs?

  • For minors, emphases, options, undergraduate certificates, and alternative degrees, 35 programs were less than three years old and excluded from further consideration.
  • Four programs were deferred to the degree program stage because of minimal differences between the two alternate degrees.
  • Seventy-six of the 163 remaining programs were flagged for a low annual number of graduates.
  • Forty-three programs will make substantial changes to increase the number of graduates, generally through increased recruiting and/or streamlining of curriculum.
  • Seventeen programs gave adequate justification, based on relevance and cost, for being kept as is.
  • Sixteen programs will be consolidated or discontinued: (i) four emphases will be discontinued in the BA Special Education, the Master of Health Sciences, and the minor in Spanish; (ii) the minor in Civil Engineering will be discontinued; (iii) nine emphases within the BS Biology will be consolidated into four, and six emphases within the BA Theatre Arts will be consolidated into one.

What are the Program Prioritization results for Administrative Programs

Although Program Prioritization focused on individual programs, the process brought to light opportunities that involve multiple programs. 242 individual administrative programs were reviewed with several key themes emerging across the divisions for administrative programs:

  • Significant changes to organizational structure, in some cases involving cross-divisional shifts of programs and/or responsibilities, to align mission and/or resource utilization.
  • A number of strong inter-dependencies among programs that reside within different reporting structures were evident, highlighting the need to ensure collaboration among those programs.
  • There are a number of duplicate functions, for example, several facilities maintenance, and IT support operations on campus, indicating the need to research additional opportunities for consolidation.

Is there a consolidated list of the programs reviewed and the results?

There is not a consolidated list of all the programs reviewed and the results.

What is the plan and process for implementation of the action plans?

At the university level, each Vice President will be reporting to the President annually on the results of their action plan. Within each division, each Vice President will work with their staff to define and implement how they track and report on the progress of action plans.

What is the deadline for action plans?

Each planned action has its own timeline, as a result, some actions are due now and some will be due over the next year or two.

Did the university end up with a better sense of our priorities for resource investment?

Yes. This is reflected in the broad-scale organizational changes that were made and in the realignment and consolidation of some administrative units.

How will we track what actually happens as a result of the process?

Tracking of results will be part of the action plan process within each division. Summary results will need to be presented to the State Board of Education in May 2015, 2016 and 2017.

What will we be doing with the new metrics in the future?

The reports that were created will be reviewed for the usefulness of the metrics. Based on this analysis and feedback from the State Board of Education, the metrics selected will be updated for future reviews.

What did we learn from this process?

  1. Reviewing all programs at the same time provides an opportunity to look across programs for improvements.
  2. While it took a tremendous amount of effort on the part of many people, we can complete a large project in a short amount of time.
  3. There are many opportunities to improve how we complete our tasks at Boise State.

Did the process change and why?

The process did change from the original concept. Timing and practicality drove many of those changes.

What was the final process for Program Prioritization? (when & why)

  1. Programs were identified within each division
  2. Academic process and administrative processes were defined separately
  3. Criteria used to guide evaluation of programs was defined
  4. Metrics and evaluation process of programs was defined
  5. Metrics and templates were provided to programs
  6. Reports were created
  7. All units were evaluated by a team using a predetermined rubric, scoring each program with the rubric
  8. Results were compiled and given to the Dean or Vice President
  9. Final results were presented to the President for approval
  10. Action plans were compiled and unit leaders will be reporting on the status of action plans