On Value: Time to Review

As we wrap up another academic year, our students have spent the last few weeks reviewing notes, finishing assignments, and demonstrating the value of the past semester. Over the next week, our faculty will review our students’ performance and assign grades. This ebb and flow of learning and applying knowledge is part and parcel of what we do as a university.

Yet, it is not only college students who must perform. At the most recent meeting of the Board of Regents, in articulating his vision for the future of the University System of Georgia, Chancellor Steve Wrigley announced a Comprehensive Administrative Review.

A steering committee, made up of representatives from USG institutions, will take a closer look at all non-faculty administrative functions across the University System. The Chancellor has asked me to serve on the steering committee, and I am honored to do so.

Following nearly five years of amazing transformation, Middle Georgia State University is a model for lean operations. In fact, we have the second lowest expenditures per student of all USG state universities.

However, this review is not just about leanness—it is about efficiency and effectiveness. Over the past generation, the cost of higher education has risen in a way that does not often make sense to the public. While we as an institution have mastered the art of doing more with less, higher education as a whole must hold itself scrupulously accountable.

The old adage that “what gets measured gets done” is no less true in higher education than it is in other sectors. When we became a university, we adopted a Strategic Plan to help guide our steps toward important goals. Each quarter, we report on the progress we are making.

If you have not already, I encourage you to look at our recent Strategic Plan third quarter update. In the coming months, we will evaluate how we fared for the whole of 2016-17 and begin setting goals for 2017-18.

Between now and then, we will celebrate the best measure of our success—graduation. More on that next week!