MADISON-The University of Wisconsin System’s latest accountability report, titled “Achieving Excellence” shows that the UW System has increased access for Wisconsin high school students, while improving graduation rates for UW students. UW System President Kevin P. Reilly presented the report to the Board of Regents on Thursday, March 9.
Similar to the way corporations report to their stockholders, the annual UW System report outlines how the university holds itself accountable annually to students, alumni and Wisconsin citizens as it serves its students and the state of Wisconsin.
“Achieving Excellence allows us to get a better understanding of how we’re doing on our goals,” Reilly said, “Not only in quantitative terms, but also in measures of quality -not just what we do, but how well we do it.”
The UW System met or exceeded 12 of 20 accountability goals, according to the 2005-06 report. These included increasing access for Wisconsin high school students; enrolling more students in precollege programs and distance education courses; improving UW graduation rates; fostering critical thinking skills; and having students exceed state and national averages on exam scores for graduate school and professional fields.
Other performance measures that were met or exceeded, the report shows, include the enhancement of learning with out-of-class activities and cultural events; promoting community service and civic participation among students; maintaining professional development for employees; availability of technology resources; and decreasing the average number of credits-to-degree.
The report outlines mixed results in five areas: academic advising, campus diversity, access to faculty outside of class time, use of electronic media, and maintenance backlogs in classrooms and buildings.
Three measures – freshmen retention, study-abroad experiences, and access for nontraditional students -indicated room for improvement.
The UW System was one of the first state university systems to issue a public accountability report when it began doing so in 1993. Its report differs from other state-level accountability efforts by combining measures that examine the overall university environment and how it fosters learning and success with traditional indicators such as access, retention, graduation, technology, and resource management.