Institutional Metrics

The University of Oregon is embarking on an initiative to establish institutional metrics to better analyze our performance both in terms of operations and mission fulfillment. The former provide information such as faculty teaching workload and departmental efficiency; the latter provide information about how well we achieve our basic missions of teaching and research.

Operational metrics are aggregated at the college, school, and department level. They include data such as: student credit hours (SCH) and majors per faculty (both TTF and NTTF), the number of OA and classified staff FTE per TTF supported, average and median class sizes, and degrees per TTF. (examples below)

Mission metrics include data about undergraduate and graduate education (including how well diverse populations are served) and—importantly, and still under development—local level data about faculty creative work, research, and scholarship. (examples below)

This latter portion, the local level metrics, is often very controversial and assumptions exist that there will be a one-size-fits-all approach to assessing quality and productivity across disciplines. This is simply not true (nor possible). Individual units have been asked to submit discipline-specific, i.e. local, metrics. The Office of the Provost will work with schools, colleges, and departments to understand and finalize agreed-upon metrics.

More information on the reasons for using metrics, including a deeper dive into what metrics are and are not, is available under “Documents” below.

Why metrics?

There are three primary reasons to collect and evaluate operational and mission metrics:

  1. External communications and accountability;
  2. Internal communication, accountability, and continuous improvement; and,
  3. Guidance in the allocation of limited resources.

Operational Metrics

Operational metrics include measurements such as:

  • Average SCH taught per TTF FTE
  • Average SCH taught per NTTF FTE
  • Number of undergraduate majors per TTF FTE
  • Expenditures per SCH
  • TTF course workload realized
  • Average and median undergraduate class sizes
  • TTF FTE per staff FTE (general fund)
  • Instructional FTE per staff FTE (general fund)
  • Majors (grad and undergrad) per staff FTE
  • Degrees awarded (graduate and undergraduate, separately)

Operational metrics data is available on the UO Institutional Research website.

Mission Metrics

There are three general categories of mission metrics: research metrics, undergraduate education metrics, and graduate education metrics.

  • Research metrics will vary by discipline and are both quantitative and qualitative. Information may come from a variety of sources, including some that are discipline specific. These are under development in order to provide an opportunity for “locally” designed metrics. The types of information that might be used at the local level include grants, publications, citations, awards, grants, fellowships, and the like.  
  • Undergraduate education metrics include things such as: time to degree, retention, student carrying load, students participating in first-year experiences, diversity, course completion rates, graduation rates.
  • Graduate education metrics include things such as: time to degree, completion rates, graduate research productivity (where appropriate), perceived advising quality, initial placement, admissions selectivity, competitor data, diversity, financial viability, TTF to NTTF teaching ratios, and student experience surveys.