Program Prioritization

Boise State University has begun a yearlong intensive exploration of its programs, departments and offerings. The goal: Make the university more focused, more energized and more esteemed in the community and the Statehouse, and more aligned with the needs of its students and the future economy into which they will graduate.

The process started with a one-year mandate from Boise State’s Board of Trustees, the State Board of Education, but as President Bob Kustra announced at his State of the University address in August, the university hopes to seize the opportunity to build a meaningful foundation for making rigorous, long-term decisions to improve all of its offerings.

What’s new?

After a series of meetings across campus and several open forums, the final criteria and metrics that will be used for academic programs have been adopted by the Deans Council. See the list and more about academic programs by following this link.

Tips and information on metrics for administrative units are available by following this link.

Each of Idaho’s four-year public institutions has issued a progress report to the State Board. You can see these reports here.

What is program prioritization?

Program prioritization is an exploration of programs and course offerings based on a process outlined by Robert C. Dickeson to help universities align their programs with the priorities of their missions and strategic plans.

“Programs” in this case refers to any and all academic programs as well as administrative and support units. Essentially every aspect of the university will be part of the process.

How will programs be evaluated?

Academic programs differ in many ways from administrative & support programs. To guide us in evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of programs, we have created a set of basic criteria that are robust and general enough to apply to academic, as well as administrative & support programs.

Those criteria are relevance, productivity, quality, efficiency, and opportunity analysis. However, the specific metrics used to evaluate performance regarding those criteria must be fundamentally different between academic and administrative & support programs. For example, the number of students graduating would not be a good measure for the Budget Office.

How long will this take?

Our final report and actions need to be delivered by the end of the fiscal year in June, but the university intends to make all decisions before the end of the academic year to ensure transparency of the process.