SUR Phase 1: Self-Study Report

Self-Study Report Format Guidelines


1. Introduction and mission of the unit: Describe the roles and functions of this unit and the impact of this unit upon the institution by addressing the following elements:

a. Mission and organization of the unit and sub-units.

b. Brief description of the self-study process and participants.

c. Services or functions provided:

  • Describe the work performed by the unit.
  • Provide data that describes the amount of work or transactions handled by the unit.
  • Document recent trends and changes.

2. Role within the university and relationship to other units: Describe how this unit relates to other units on campus and how the current unit administrative structure serves the campus needs by addressing the following elements:

a. Describe interrelationships of the unit with other units at the university, where applicable.

b. Identify areas of possible function overlap or service duplication with other units offered at the university.

3. Plans and the planning processes of the unit: Describe the goals, strategic plan, and planning processes of the unit and how they contribute to the university’s mission and strategic plan. Describe the consultative process used to establish these goals and explain how they are consistent with, and supportive of, the university’s goals and plans, by addressing the following elements:

a. List the unit goals and the strategies to achieve these goals:

  • Describe the planning process within the unit.
  • Provide implementation plans and timetables.
  • Include other materials used in the unit’s planning process, if applicable.

b. Discuss the centrality to the university mission: Identify the relationship of the unit to the university’s mission and strategic plan. Describe its role and function support the university.

4. Assessment processes and effectiveness of the unit including measurement of outcomes: Describe how the unit is achieving goals set by the unit and its vice president or the university president and the effectiveness of service to its designated constituency, by addressing the following elements:

a. Assessment of unit’s quality:

  • Describe the assessment and evaluation processes of the unit and its functions (not the personnel employed in the unit).
  • Present evidence that this unit is achieving its goals.
  • Identify the kinds of data regularly collected to provide feedback to the unit on its achievement of objectives and the perceptions and attitudes of the users of the unit’s services.
  • Identify specific outcome measures Summarize the results or attach copies of summary reports to the review if constituent interviews or surveys have been conducted regarding the effectiveness of this unit in meeting needs.
  • Describe the methods and results of input sought from the broad university community.

b. Implementation of assessment:

  • Describe how data are used to improve the unit and its services. Give specific examples to support the conclusion. 

5. Resource allocation and use: Describe how the unit maximizes its effectiveness in terms of available resources and how priorities for allocation of resources are determined in the unit, by addressing the following elements:

a. Resource allocation: Provide data that describe the resources allocated to the unit over the last five years:

  • Staffing figures by headcount, FTE, category of position, funding source, gender, and ethnicity for the last five years.
  • Budget by funding source; expenditures by expenditure classification and funding source; external funding and income received for the last five years.
  • Current physical space available to the unit and its function.

b. Adequacy of resources:

How adequate are the resources allocated to the unit to perform its mandated functions in each of the areas listed below? If any resource is judged inadequate, what solution does the unit recommend?

  • Administrative and support staff. Facilities.
  • Equipment/instrumentation/laboratories.
  • Supplies and services.
  • Information resources and services (library, computing).

6. Evaluation of the operations of the unit: Describe how the operating procedures of the unit are compatible with the policies and regulations of the university, and where appropriate, with administrative regulations and faculty governance structures, by addressing the following elements:

a. Evaluation of the management of the unit:

  • How is appropriate staff involved in the decision-making process of the unit?
  • What mechanisms exist for staff to provide feedback to the unit?
  • What mechanisms exist for other units on campus to provide feedback to the unit?
  • How are data used to determine future goals and evaluate current performance?

b. Assessment of climate and management:

  • Are personnel within the unit familiar with unit objectives and the importance of their work in achieving unit and campus objectives?
  • Is there effective communication among staff?

c. Efficiency analysis: What recommendations does the unit suggest to…

  • Improve decision-making?
  • Eliminate duplication or non-essential work?
  • Simplify reporting relationships and communications?
  • Use resources available to it effectively?
  • Reduce or contain costs?

7. Special issues to be addressed: Each vice president or the president, where applicable, is encouraged to develop a set of questions that is timely and unique for issues facing the unit under review. Units may discuss the status of support units relative to similar programs at appropriate peer universities or departments. Data that compares the structure, activities, procedures, and practices of the unit against standards of professional associations may be included where appropriate.

8. Appendices: Attach to the unit’s self-study report, where applicable.

  • Organizational chart.
  • Flow chart of major operations or systems.
  • Workload data, measurements, and performance indicators used for major activities.
  • Roster of current staff.
  • Copies of significant policies.
  • Reports and other supporting documents.