Characteristics of Effective Programs*

It is suggested that units use these standards as a means to determine their organization's effectiveness.

What does the office/department strive to accomplish?

A mission statement for the office/department that:

  1. Delineates the reasons for the office's/department's existence.
  2. Links the program to the educational mission of the University.
  3. Identifies constituencies that are served.
  4. Is updated, revised and approved annually.

How does the office/department go about achieving its mission?

A set of intended outcomes for the office/department that:

  1. Are clear, concise, specific and measurable.
  2. Define and pursue excellence.
  3. Are established at least annually.
  4. Are collaborative where possible, both within and beyond the University.
  5. Utilize results obtained from prior evaluation/assessment efforts.

A planning/budgeting process that:

  1. Is based on a knowledge of the needs, expectations and perspectives of constituent groups.
  2. Emanates from the intended goals/objectives.
  3. Incorporates relevant "futuring" literature.
  4. Provides opportunities for participation by faculty/staff in the office/department.
  5. Provides long-term direction as well as short-term focus.

Commitment to diversity:

  1. In the creation, maintenance and evaluation of an office/department environment that fosters civility.
  2. In the recruitment and retention of students, where appropriate.
  3. In the recruitment, promotion and retention of faculty/staff.
  4. In programming.
  5. In services.

Management of human resources that:

  1. Identifies performance standards for faculty/staff.
  2. Conducts annual written evaluations of faculty/staff based on the standards of performance.
  3. Specifies annual professional development objectives for all faculty/staff.
  4. Recruits, promotes and retains qualified faculty/staff.
  5. Identifies, designs and promotes opportunities for the further education and training of faculty/staff.
  6. Provides opportunities for faculty/staff to receive feedback from colleagues, supervised faculty/staff, and students.

Communications that:

  1. Provide for appropriate sharing of information within the office/department.
  2. Inform other offices/departments in a timely manner of decisions that may have an impact on them.
  3. Provide for sharing of information with constituent groups.

Management of finances that:

  1. Results in office/department expenditures not exceeding the annual budget without prior authorization.
  2. Conforms to all state and university policy and procedures.
  3. Results in expenditures being directly related to office/department goals/objectives.
  4. Establishes an appropriate internal control structure.

Management of technology that:

  1. Insures that faculty/ staff have achieved necessary skill levels.
  2. Documents office/department procedures relating to the use of technology.
  3. Provides appropriate security access to data.
  4. Conforms to all state and university policies and procedures.
  5. Provides cross-training of staff in critical/essential functions.

Collaborative efforts that:

  1. Actively seek out other offices/departments involvement in establishing intended outcomes.
  2. Involve other offices/departments in decision-making, where appropriate.
  3. Emphasize involvement in the pursuit of objectives identified by other offices/departments.

Service to constituents that:

  1. Initiates and maintains positive working relationships.
  2. Seeks out and responds to constituent needs.
  3. Is timely, accurate and respectful of constituents.
  4. Includes participation on related committees, on or off campus.

Office/department practices that:

  1. Meet ethical standards of the profession.
  2. Comply with all federal, state and local laws.

How does the office/department determine that its objectives have been achieved?

Assessment/evaluation efforts that:

  1. Include periodic program reviews.
  2. Provide for external input into program reviews.
  3. Determine satisfaction/dissatisfaction levels of constituents.
  4. Obtain and utilize comparative information on programs and services of peers.
  5. Identify and determine targets for appropriate performance measures/benchmarks.
  6. Determine the extent to which excellence is achieved.
  7. Assess learning delineated in intended objectives.
  8. Evaluate intended administrative objectives.
  9. Are utilized at least annually in the allocation of program resources.

Program Review Options Show:

  1. Office/Department is in total compliance with the characteristic.
  2. Office/Department is in partial compliance with the characteristic and the following recommendations are made.
  3. Office/Department is not in compliance with the characteristic and the following recommendations are made.


*Copied with permission from James Madison University Office of Institutional Research


May 14, 2022