The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that (1) incorporate a systematic review of institutional mission, goals, and outcomes; (2) result in continuing improvement in institutional quality; and (3) demonstrate the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission. (Institutional Effectiveness)
Judgment of Compliance
The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that incorporate all divisions and departments of Sam Houston State University. These procedures are driven by the mission of the University and include the creation of annual strategic plans, development of budgets, and assessments of university goals and objectives. The planning process encourages information flow from top to bottom and bottom to top within the organizational hierarchy . To encourage an integrated process, committees are created with membership from each division. The two key committees in the institution planning process are the Strategic Planning Committee  and the Budget Committee . To promote an integrated process, all members of the Budget Committee also serve on the Strategic Planning Committee. In addition, Sam Houston State University adheres to a well-established curriculum cycle with associated committees at all levels to maintain and develop a curriculum that supports the mission of Sam Houston State University.
The ongoing strategic planning process is based on university-wide input and data. During any given year, performance indicators and objective driven assessments are used to monitor progress toward current and previous goals as well as to serve as inputs for the creation of new goals and future strategic plans. At the beginning of each academic year, the planning process begins for the subsequent year. Members of the organization are asked to identity both internal and external factors that may influence the institution in meeting its mission and goals. In September, the environmental scan  from the previous year is distributed for input, review, and modification. By October, the environmental scan is modified based on feedback from departments, colleges and administrative units across campus. The final scan serves as an impetus for the input, review and modification of divisional goals which in turn serves as the foundation for the review and modification of college, departmental, and non-academic unit goals. The goals are consolidated into a master strategic plan and submitted to the President for approval by mid-January. The strategic plan  for the forthcoming academic year is submitted to the budget committee and informs the budgetary process.
The outlined planning process was developed in preparation for the 1998-1999 SACS review. Prior to that time, the planning and budget processes were not integrated. For the 2003-2004 through the 2005-2006 Strategic Plans, the format of the strategic plan was changed to stress performance indicators over divisional goals, while in all other years, the strategic plans focused on how divisional goals supported the institution’s goals. The emphasis on performance indicators did not provide the focus or the integrative support produced by the original process. Thus, in Academic Year 2006-2007, the institution returned to the process centered on divisional goals with performance indicators as part of the planning and assessment process. Input, including budgetary requests , is sought from divisional, college and departmental administrators, faculty, and staff. The budget committee makes allocations, and the budget is finalized for the upcoming academic year by presidential approval. Throughout the academic year, all administrative units from departmental level up to divisional level are required to assess their stated goals and objectives. A Performance Indicator report , detailing the progress of these administrative units toward their respective performance targets, is prepared by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and submitted to the President. To supplement this process, each unit summarizes its goals and assessment plans using an on-line assessment tracking database (OATDB). This database allows units to share their assessment plans and encourages the use of best practices. These assessments are made throughout the year and are incorporated into the planning cycle for subsequent strategic plans.
On the academic side, a similar process is used to monitor and assess curricular and program change. The curriculum review process is controlled by the faculty. All requests for additions, changes, or deletions of courses and/or programs originate at the departmental level. For change to occur, the department must demonstrate need and ensure adequate resources in terms of faculty and library resources. To assist departments in this process, standard questions must be answered to ensure academic integrity as well to address the problem of unnecessary duplication (See Curriculum Forms A and B)  . These same issues are then addressed at the college and university level. The final safeguard to this process is a review by the Academic Affairs Council in which all changes are discussed in the presence of representatives from all academic units.
Creation of the Strategic Plan
Input for the Strategic Plan begins with discussion of current and anticipated factors capable of influencing the ability of Sam Houston State University to accomplish its mission. This environmental scan  seeks input from administrators within each of Sam Houston State University’s five divisions: Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, Finance and Operations, Student Services, and University Advancement. The Vice Presidents from each of these divisions seek input from their key personnel who in turn seek input from those who report to them. Using a brain-storming format, each division develops a list of factors that could potentially influence the ability of Sam Houston State University to meet its mission and goals. After the list is compiled, the division prioritizes the factors most likely to impact the operation of Sam Houston State University. Each list is submitted to the Strategic Planning Committee to finalize the environmental scan . Based on this input, the President, with input from his Cabinet , finalizes the goals of the institution. The Cabinet studies, reviews, and makes recommendations on matters raised by the committee members; considers university-wide issues and makes recommendations, where appropriate; disseminates information on university-wide activities; and coordinates, where necessary, university-wide activities and policies. The primary function of the cabinet is to represent the concerns and needs of the various units within each of Sam Houston State University’s five divisions. Based on this input, the cabinet assists the president in coordinating and integrating the diverse needs and resources of the institution into a comprehensive University-wide plan.
After the scan is finalized, each division is assigned the responsibility of developing divisional goals  that support the institutional goals  set by the President. In the process of creating divisional goals, subunits within each division create goals and objectives. The subunits also identify the means by which the stated objectives will be assessed (OATDB). The respective Vice Presidents submit these plans to the Strategic Planning Committee which in turn consolidates the divisional goals into the institution’s annual strategic plan. This plan is then submitted to the President for approval. Upon approval, the plan is placed on the University Web Site  for dissemination to the Sam Houston State University community. This entire process can be seen in the attached diagram .
Budgetary Planning Process
The strategic plan serves as a cornerstone to the Sam Houston State University budgeting process. Sam Houston State University creates an annual budget  working within the confines of the state money appropriated by the legislature and other fund sources. The State of Texas works on a biennium-budget cycle. On an annual basis, the Budget Committee determines the amount of discretionary funds available by subtracting encumbered monies from the pool of state monies and locally-generated revenues. The Committee then seeks proposals  from the administrative units within Sam Houston State University as to their anticipated financial needs and projects. These requests  for funds are examined in relation to the established institutional goals. Only projects consistent with these established goals are funded.
Curriculum Review Process
On the academic side, a similar process is used to monitor and assess curricular change. Starting at the faculty level, each department has a Curriculum Committee which considers requests for adding or deleting courses or programs. Departmental recommendations are forwarded to their respective College Curriculum Committee (See Form B) . The College Curriculum committee considers these requests to ensure that these additions or deletions are consistent with the institution’s mission and goals. Avoidance of unnecessary duplication and the assurance of academic integrity are key components of this review process. The College Curriculum Committee forwards their recommendations to the University Curriculum Committee, which shares the same mission as the College Committee, but with University-wide input and consideration. The recommendations of the University Curriculum Committee are then forwarded to the Academic Affairs Council (AAC)  for its review and recommendations . The AAC consists of the Provost, all academic deans and associate deans, departmental chairs, program coordinators, representatives from key academic support units and the Chair of the University Faculty Senate. The AAC provides a forum for both the discussion of these academic matters and for communicating more effectively on all academic concerns. Recommendations of the AAC are forwarded to the Provost and the President for review and approval and ultimately to the Board of Regents for final approval. After Board of Regents action, the Curriculum Report  is posted on Sam Houston State University’s curriculum web site .
Strategies to Ensure Campus-wide input
To contribute to an integrated process, Sam Houston State University has created a variety of committees that provide feedback, review, and recommendations. Listed below are descriptions of some of the key committees serving this function.
The President’s Cabinet is comprised of the President, Vice Presidents, and the Assistant to the President for Operations. The cabinet serves to study, review, and make recommendations on matters raised by the committee members; to consider university-wide issues and make recommendations, where appropriate; to disseminate information on university-wide activities; and to coordinate, where necessary, university-wide activities and policies.
The Academic Policy Council (APC) is comprised of the Chair of the University Faculty Senate and all directors who report directly to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The APC serves as the chief academic administrative policy advisory body to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in matters relating to academic budgeting, curriculum revision and development, academic program planning, faculty personnel matters, academic standards, graduate programs, and faculty research; serves as the forum for the final review and discussion of policies, procedures, and practices which involve collaboration and coordination among and between the academic colleges; and receives reports and recommendations from the Graduate Council, the Research Council, the Academic Affairs Council, the University Faculty Senate, and university committees which address academic policy and procedural matters.
The Academic Affairs Council (AAC) is more inclusive than the Academic Policy Council and consists of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, all academic deans and associate deans, departmental chairs, program coordinators, representatives from key academic support units, and the Chair of the University Faculty Senate. The AAC serves in an advisory capacity to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; provides a forum for the discussion of academic matters; serves as an initial academic policy development and review body as requested by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; and provides a forum for communicating more effectively on all academic concerns.
The Budget Committee consists of the Vice President for Finance and Operations, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Vice President for Student Services, Vice President for University Advancement, Chair of the University Faculty Senate, and Chair of Staff Council. Ex Officio Members are by virtue of position: Chair Elect of the University Faculty Senate and Chair Elect of Staff Council, with the Vice President for Finance and Operations serving as Chair. The Budget Committee oversees the budgeting process for Sam Houston State University and recommends to the President the budgets for the major components of Sam Houston State University and the budgets for any special fiscal year projects.
The University Curriculum Committee consists of nine members-two from the College of Arts and Sciences, one from the College of Education, one from the College of Business Administration, one from the College of Criminal Justice, two from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and one from the Newton Gresham Library. The members serve three-year terms; one faculty member is nominated by the University Faculty Senate to chair the committee; the Chair serves a one-year term. This committee reviews, for academic integrity, the curriculum reports to resolve conflicts to the extent possible and presents recommendations to the Academic Affairs Council regarding action on proposed curriculum changes.
The Strategic Planning Committee consists of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Finance and Operations, Vice President for Student Services, Vice President for Enrollment Management; Chair and Chair-Elect of the University Faculty Senate and Staff Council; President of the Student Government Association; and Director of Institutional Research as ex-officio member, with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs serving as Chair. The President may add additional members on a temporary or permanent, voting or nonvoting basis as determined in the best interest of the committee. The committee reviews the institutional mission and coordinates the various strategic planning and institutional effectiveness efforts and provides for a broad perspective and vision for Sam Houston State University.
The University Faculty Senate consists of twenty-five members proportionately elected from the five colleges based upon full-time faculty equivalents. The University Faculty Senate considers matters of general welfare to Sam Houston State University placed before it by members of the faculty, members and committees of the Faculty Senate, the Student Government Association, the President of Sam Houston State University, and other administrative officers of Sam Houston State University. The Faculty Senate is advisory in nature, thus, decisions on all such matters shall be final only when approved by the President of Sam Houston State University, subject to the authority of the Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Faculty Senate shall have no existence separate and apart from Sam Houston State University.
The Staff Council serves as an advisory body which conveys information and makes recommendations to the President regarding interests and concerns of Sam Houston State University staff. The Staff Council is organized as a collective voice to foster a spirit of unified community by encouraging the exchange of ideas and concerns in keeping with the mission of Sam Houston State University. The Staff Council endeavors to keep staff informed and in turn keep the President advised of needs and interests of the staff on university issues and activities. The Staff Council promotes the effective contribution of staff expertise toward university goals for the benefit of the entire Sam Houston State University community.
The Planning Impact Committee is an ad hoc committee comprised of membership from across campus. The committee’s primary goal is to communicate new/potential initiatives and to consider the ramifications of such initiatives across campus. The Committee seeks to ensure that initiatives are implemented in an efficient and effective manner.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF PROCESS AND RESULTS
Reorganization of Academic Colleges
In the 2002-2003 Strategic Plan, Academic Affairs set a divisional goal  of reorganizing the colleges to produce a more even administrative representation based on faculty full-time equivalents. At this time, the College of Arts and Sciences housed approximately fifty percent (50%) of the University’s faculty , and the disciplines included in the college ran the spectrum from fine arts to humanities to social sciences to natural sciences.
To address this goal, five proposed realignments were created. The proposals were distributed to faculty and administrators for review and feedback. To elicit faculty input, the Vice President for Academic Affairs held town hall meetings and sought input from the University Faculty Senate and all academic departments. Two proposals were selected for detailed analysis  based on student credit hours, full-time faculty equivalents, majors, and student enrollments. A final realignment was selected and the estimated cost  of implementing the change was calculated. These projections were presented to Budget Committee and, upon approval, to the President for his approval. Finally, a board motion  was drafted seeking approval from the Board of Regents for the realignment. Approval was granted at the May 2004 meeting of The Texas State University System Board of Regents with an effective date of fall 2004. The reorganization and the subsequent hiring of a new dean and associate deans result in the improved representation of faculty as desired.
The President set three institutional goals to include the improvement of Sam Houston State University’s image and exposure. In doing so, the President stressed the importance of improved alumni relations; a major capital campaign; a building campaign, partially funded by the efforts of University Advancement; and a strong public relations campaign. To address this goal, the president created a division of University Advancement  to include public relations, alumni relations, and development. Since 2002, the division of University Advancement added 14 new positions ; membership in the alumni association increased by 14.6% from fiscal year 2003 to fiscal year 2007 ; and Sam Houston State University has successfully embarked on its first capital campaign. Inspection of the divisional goals for Finance and Operations as well as University Advancement will document the performance indicators that illustrated the coordinated effort of these two divisions in meeting this goal. The Board motions for the new building and positions will show the gradual build-up of resources to meet this goal over time. Buildings partially supported through University Advancement include an Alumni Center, a Visitor Center, and athletic facilities  .
The current master plan, created in the late 1990s, called for the creation of two large residence halls to address expected student enrollment growth and maintain the same proportion of students living on campus. The first was to be completed during the 2001- 2005 time frame, with the second residence hall to be completed by 2010. During this same period, Sam Houston State University experienced rapid growth. To capitalize and maintain this growth spurt, the President asked that the timetable be accelerated for the creation of new freshman residence halls. In recent years, three new residence facilities have been constructed. In 2002, Bearkat Village opened with a capacity of 500; Sam Houston Village, with facilities to accommodate 530 freshmen opened in fall 2004; and Raven Hall opened in fall 2006 with a capacity for 400 upperclassmen.
Student Advising and Mentoring (SAM) Center
In response to unsatisfactory freshmen to sophomore retention rates  and consistent with the goal of improving retention, the Vice President of Academic Affairs sought to create an advising center. A group of advisors, faculty and administrators from Sam Houston State University traveled to Emporia State University to examine their award-winning advisement center. A committee was created to design and implement such a center at Sam Houston State University. The committee was charged with establishing the structure as well as making recommendations for the staffing of such a center. The decision was made to combine full-time advisors and retired faculty with existing faculty to staff the center. A location in a new academic building was allocated to the center. At this time, a proposed budget was established and submitted to the Budget Committee. It was further proposed to establish an advisement center fee  to provide sustained funding for the Center. The Advising Center Fee proposal  was submitted and approved by both the Budget Committee, the President, and the Board of Regents. The Center opened in fall 2002. Since its inception, the SAM Center has contributed to increased retention rates  and was recognized by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) for excellence .