Board of Regents approves updated strategic system metrics

For the past year, the Board of Regents has been working to set metrics to measure progress towards the Board’s 2025 Strategic Plan, both for the entire system of public colleges and universities as well as for individual institutions. These metrics and goals will assist the Board in its statutory responsibilities to measure progress of the system as a whole and individual institutions in advancing its strategic objectives of (1) Affordable Access, (2) Timely Completion, (3) Workforce and Research, and (4) Student Growth and Capacity.

At their meeting in January 2019, the Board of Regents finalized system metrics and select institutional metrics. Additional system metrics were developed to build upon the past works of the Board and system. These new metrics will help the Board track key areas in the system for improvement.

The system metrics that were adopted by the Board are:

  1. General Student Attainment: Increase the total number of degrees and certificates awarded between 2011 and 2020 by 25%.
  2. Affordable Access:
    • Access: Five-year college participation rate of high school graduates
    • Access/Participation: Participation rates by gender and ethnicity of fall end-of-term, student headcount.
    • Affordability: Average published tuition and fees rates by institution type (Research, Regional, and Community College) as a share of the state’s median household income.
      • Includes institution-specific goals
  3. Timely Completion: Percentage of students receiving an award within eight years as reported by IPEDS Outcome Survey
    • Includes institution-specific goals
  4. Timely Completion: The annual IPEDS first-year to second-year student retention rate for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students.
  5. Workforce and Research: Annual number of degrees and certificates awarded in DWS 5-star jobs and key programs as defined in the USHE Performance Funding model Market Demand Metric for Research (UU, USU) and Regional Institutions (WSU, SUU, DSU, UVU).
    • The Commissioner’s office will work with the community colleges to develop a separate workforce metric appropriate to their missions for future Board action.
  6. Workforce and Research: Annual number of degrees and certificates in key high demand areas NOT included in 5-star occupation-related programs: Focus on elementary and secondary education and mental health professionals as identified by the Board.
  7. Effective Use of Resources: Change in the five-year average total cost per award compared to change in the five-year rolling average of the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI)
    • Includes institution-specific goals
  8. Effective Use of Resources: Instruction-related classroom space utilization
    • Includes institution-specific goals

In addition to the broader system metrics and goals, there are four institution, mission-specific, focused metrics the Board was asked to consider and determine if these are metrics it would like to further develop and refine.

Salt Lake Community College

  1. Timely Completion Metric: Transfer Conversion Rate (Pilot)
    • New Metric: The proposed pilot metric is being developed as a way to track the transfer conversion rate of SLCC graduates that move on to complete a bachelor’s degree after receiving an associate’s degree.
    • Institution Goal: Increase the SLCC conversion rate from approximately 42% to 60% by 2025.

Research Institutions: University of Utah and Utah State University

  1. Workforce and Research Metric: Total Research Funding Received
    • New Metric: The two research institutions have asked that the Board consider a metric that focuses specifically on the research component of their respective institutions and consider a metric that looks at total research funding received by each institution.
  2. University of Utah Hospital and Clinics Metric. This metric is being proposed as a University of Utah-specific metric. The metric will measure performance as it relates to the institution’s hospital and clinics mission.
    • New Metric: Quality Care/Patient Satisfaction in UU Academic Medical Center
    • Institution Goal: Consistently rank in the top 10 Vizient National Ranking
  3. Utah State University Extension Statewide Engagement Metric. This metric is being proposed as a Utah State University-specific metric. The metric will measure performance as it relates to the institution’s land grant mission through the performance of the institution’s extension system.
    • New Metric: Direct and indirect contacts recorded for USU Cooperative Extension’s statewide engagement activities and programs as reported for federal purposes
    • Institution Goal: Meet or exceed three-year rolling average annually for the total number of direct and indirect contacts recorded.

Possible future metrics the Board and the Commissioner’s office could work on include:

  • IPEDS 6-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students
  • USHE Transfer and articulation metric
  • Job attainment and salary at 10 years out (if Equifax data set becomes available)
  • Quality measures such as High Impact Practices and others

Institution-specific goals were also discussed and approved. More information on those goals can be seen in the meeting materials of the Board of Regents. The Commissioner’s office will work with institutions to identify and develop the expected institution goals and contributions for applicable metrics for the March 2019 Board Meeting.


Additional descriptions of the metrics, goals, methodology, and implementation are available in the meeting materials of the Board of Regents.