No. 120 May 2009

What’s New

Priorities for Excellence: Penn State's Strategic Plan for 2009-2010 through 2013-2014

The University Strategic Planning Council reviewed the final draft of Penn State’s strategic plan for 2009-10 through 2013-14 at their April 22, 2009, meeting. The plan identifies seven major goals, with specific strategies and actions to achieve these goals. Included in the plan is an implementation matrix, which identifies the leadership areas, fiscal impact, implementation start date, and key performance indicators for each strategy. The plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees for their approval at the May 15, 2009 meeting. For more information about the USPC and to read the draft of the strategic plan, visit

Faculty Tenure-Flow Rates: 2008-09 Annual Report

For the past twelve years, Penn State has analyzed the rates at which its provisionally appointed faculty members achieve tenure. Of the twelve cohorts of faculty entering the tenure track since 1990, 57 percent of new entrants had received tenure by the end of their seventh year, with female and minority faculty having lower tenure rates than others. The full report is available at

Innovation Insights: Implementing a Strategic Plan

One of the most challenging aspects of planning is implementing the plan – getting what’s on paper to come to life and achieving the goals and strategies included in the plan. The groundwork for successful implementation of a plan needs to begin when work on the plan begins, and continue through the implementation. Innovation Insights #21 – Implementing a Strategic Plan describes factors to consider for implementation of strategic plans.

For the full document, visit The complete Innovation Insights series is available at

Feature Articles:

Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson speaks at Quality Issues Forum

At the annual Quality Issues Forum on May 1, 2009, Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson spoke before 250 people about the importance of continuous quality improvement in Penn State’s new strategic plan, “Priorities for Excellence”. At a time of rising costs, declining public financial support, and increasing student expectations, strategic planning and continuous quality improvement are vital in moving Penn State forward, according to Provost Erickson. Within the seven broad goals in the plan, one of which is to control costs and generate additional efficiencies, the University has identified “strategies that will meet the challenges facing the University while still guaranteeing a quality institution”. Since 1991, when CQI was formalized at Penn State, the work of continuous quality improvement teams has resulted in better service, increased quality, streamlined processes, and greater costs savings.

The Quality Issues Forum is held each year to honor the work of improvement and innovation teams. This year, 59 teams with 509 members, representing nine campuses, five colleges, and eight support units, were honored.

For a video of Provost Erickson’s remarks and other information about the Quality Issues Forum, visit

Continuous Quality Improvement Teams across the University

With the completion of their five-year strategic plans in 2007-08, many units have begun to implement the strategies and actions called for in their plans. Some have used continuous quality improvement teams to begin to achieve some of their goals. This article highlights the work of such teams in three different units across the University who are working on improving the recruitment process for minority students, streamlining the registration and testing process for students, and improving the health and wellness of employees.

For the full article, visit

The complete feature articles series is available at


Continuous Quality Improvement – Closing the Gap
Thursday, June 11, 2009, 8:30 - 11:00 a.m., 508 Rider, Louise Sandmeyer, Executive Director, Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment.

How do you close the gap between where you want to be based on your strategic planning and where you are now? This workshop presents ways to use continuous quality improvement as a way to achieve your goals, with a focus on the fundamentals of putting a team together, the basic concepts of quality improvement, and steps to plan and evaluate achievements.

There is no charge for this workshop. To register, call OPIA at 814-863-8721 or e-mail at Please register by Friday, June 5, for the workshop. For further information, visit

Support for Planning, Improvement, and Assessment in Your Unit

The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment supports the University’s efforts to plan, assess, and improve programs and services. The Office is available, at no charge, to consult with units and use organizational change tools to help units assess their needs, develop strategic plans, improve key processes, and develop collaborative team environments. If you would like to discuss the planning, quality, or assessment needs of your unit with one of our consultants, please contact the Office at 814-863-8721 or e-mail

The Quality Endeavors newsletter is published several times each semester. If you have any questions or comments about what you read here, or if you would like to suggest items for future newsletters, please contact Louise Sandmeyer, Executive Director of the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment, at 814-863-8721 or To read past issues, see the Office's Web site at

To subscribe, join our mailing list or contact the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment at 814-863-8721. 

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Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment
The Pennsylvania State University
502 Rider Building
University Park, PA 16802-4819
Phone: (814) 863-8721
Fax: (814) 863-7031

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