Troy University
SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation
2.5 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)
X Compliance   Partial Compliance   Non-Compliance


Troy University is in compliance with this requirement.

Over the past 15 years, Troy University has been highly effective in developing and deploying three strategic plans that have led the institution to significant improvements in its ability to accomplish its mission.

This narrative will address several important and interrelated requirements of Core Requirement 2.5 and will provide evidence that the Troy University Institutional Planning and Effectiveness process (IPE) 1) is an ongoing, integrated, institution-wide and research based process, 2) is reviewed systematically, 3) results in continuing improvement, and 4) demonstrates effective accomplishment of the University’s mission.

IPE is Ongoing, Integrated, Institution-wide, and Research Based

The Troy University Institutional Planning and Effectiveness process (IPE) operates as a continuous cycle repeated annually by every unit of the University. The IPE process consists of five integrated components: (a) the mission statement; (b) strategic planning; (c) program effectiveness reports; (d) annual plans of each division, college, and unit; and (e) annual achievement reports.

The University’s mission statement is the foundation upon which University strategic planning is based. Strategic planning is the process of assessing what the institution wants to do in order to advance its mission and goals over a specific period of time. This involves evaluating existing and anticipated conditions and creating a vision of the future that is most beneficial for the institution. Subsequently a set of actions, responsibilities and resources are agreed upon to move the University in that direction. Academic units / educational programs aim to improve student learning outcomes while non-academic programs look to enhance the quality of services provided. Annual plans establish expected outcomes based upon assessment results from the previous year, requirements of specialized accrediting agencies, expectations of affiliated agencies or partners, outcomes of benchmarked peers, the Troy University Mission Statement and the Troy University Strategic Plan. In development of the Strategic Plan, Troy University used a research-based strategic planning process that included an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Every unit of the University establishes expected outcomes and identifies assessment methods to evaluate the effectiveness of the unit’s plans.

Each annual cycle of the IPE process begins in March and April with annual plans for the next academic year (August 1 – July 31). Based upon college and division annual plans, departments make budget requests to deans, directors, vice chancellors, and senior vice chancellors during May. These budget requests and recommendations are made in accordance with the budget calendar outlined by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business Affairs. No later than September, the Board of Trustees approves the annual operating budget based on the annual planning process and the recommendation of the Chancellor.

During the academic year (August through July), annual plans of University units are implemented and outcomes assessed quantitatively and qualitatively. Troy University manages its strategic planning and annual planning process through an online system called the Planning and Effectiveness Dashboard, commonly referred to as the Dashboard system.

Dashboard includes an overview of the University's strategic planning process and provides details on each of the University's six strategic initiatives:

  1. Student Centeredness
  2. Quality Academic Programs
  3. Internationalization
  4. Faculty and Staff Development
  5. Cost Effectiveness and Strengthening the Infrastructure
  6. Telling the Troy Story

Each manager can track the progress on his or her part of the strategic initiatives and the annual plans that are specific to their college or administrative unit. For example, the Dean of the Sorrell College of Business can track all of his strategic and annual goals in Dashboard. The Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts tracks progress on her strategic and annual plans in the same manner. Administrative organizations, such as the Division of Student Services use the same system.

Dashboard enables each academic or administrative leader to keep a worklog to track progress on projects. In the Sorrell College of Business, one objective that supports a University strategic initiative (2.4) is to establish an International Business and Economic Development Center. Dean Don Hines’ worklog shows the progress made on this strategic initiative. The worklog can be accessed by the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost and the Chancellor. Dean Maryjo Cochran's worklog on another strategic initiative, Develop a Center for Chinese Language and Culture" provides an identical method for tracking and reviewing progress on her initiative. Administrative organizations use the same system, which can be illustrated by the worklog for the plans for continuing the Fall First-Year Odyssey Convocation.

Troy University's Dashboard system for the 2005 - 2010 strategic planning cycle tracks progress on fifty-two strategic objectives that are derived from the six strategic initiatives. It also handles hundreds of planning objectives that support annual division plans and contains thousands of work log entries.

Assessment data is entered in unit program effectiveness reports (PERs) with examples provided in Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1. Based upon the assessment outcomes (research based), the units of the University assess and report their success in achieving their desired objectives via Troy University’s Planning and Effectiveness Dashboard.

For any unit objective for which outcomes have not been achieved at a desired level, a plan for improvement (PFI) can be developed after careful review of assessment data. Conversely, objectives which have been achieved to the desired level are collected into Annual Achievement Reports. Achievement Reports include annual planning objectives achieved, expected outcomes achieved, and outcome improvements due to the IPE process.

The Troy University IPE cycle functions as an ongoing, integrated, institution-wide, and research based process of assessing and evaluating institutional effectiveness. The IPE process ties together a series of processes and procedures to ensure that the mission and goals of the University are used to offer quality programs and services that meet the values, goals, and needs of its students. A detailed description of the procedures for IPE at Troy University is published in The Troy University Planning and Effectiveness Procedures Manual.

Systematic Review

In 2005, Troy State University Dothan, Troy State University Montgomery and Troy State University, three separately accredited universities, were consolidated to become Troy University. At that time a subcommittee of administrators representing each campus worked to develop one common mission statement. Faculty, students, and alumni were solicited for comments before the mission statement draft was reviewed by the Chancellor’s Cabinet. The Chancellor recommended the mission statement to the Board of Trustees, who approved it at the April 2004 meeting (see Minutes of Board of Trustees). The mission statement is published in the 2007-2008 Troy University Undergraduate Catalog (page 4), the Troy University Graduate Catalog (page 4)], and Faculty Handbook (page 4), and it is posted on the University web page. The mission statement will be reviewed again in 2010 in conjunction with the next strategic planning cycle. Additional information regarding the mission statement is provided in Core Requirement 2.4.

Every five years, strategic planning is led by a steering committee augmented through various constituent group sub-committees appointed by the Chancellor. A comprehensive study of external and internal factors impacting the University is developed. Based upon the data collected, the University formulates assumptions, reviews its mission statement, and establishes a vision for the next five-year strategic planning cycle. Troy University has been actively engaged in strategic planning for the past 15 years. The strategic planning process has been used effectively to implement a merger of three separately accredited universities into the current Troy University (see Transformational Strategic Planning: Journey to One Great University 1995-2005). In Dec. 2004, Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. authorized the development of a strategic planning process that would cover the period 2005-2010. The planning for Troy University: Vision 2010 was begun in January 2005 with the final plan approved by the Board of Trustees on March 10, 2006.

Vision 2010 has identified six strategic initiatives and 52 strategic objectives. Program coordinators, department chairs, and unit heads have been assigned the responsibility to update the status of an objective or outcome at designated progress points. Program or unit effectiveness and reporting of assessment data is the responsibility of identified program coordinators. The availability of strategic planning and program effectiveness reports via the on-line Dashboard system has allowed administrators, faculty and staff the opportunity to continuously monitor the implementation of plans and actions steps that support strategic and/or unit objectives.

Systematic monitoring of the strategic plan occurs each month when senior vice chancellors brief the Chancellor’s Cabinet on the status of their divisions’ plans. An annual update is presented at the Senior Leadership Conference and the Board of Trustees is apprised of the progress within the stated plan at each of its meetings. A mid-cycle Troy University Strategic Plan Progress Report was compiled in early 2008 and reviewed with the Chancellor and Board of Trustees. Reports showing progress on all objectives can be generated at any time using the Dashboard system.

Program effectiveness is systematically reviewed at the unit level annually and documented in the program effectiveness report in Dashboard. Program effectiveness reports are reviewed systematically by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC), a University standing committee. The Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness (IRPE) office, in coordination with the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost and senior vice chancellors, has determined a Schedule of PER Review.

The schedule provides the timeline for each unit of the University (academic programs/majors and non-academic service units) to be evaluated by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee on a three-year review cycle. The IPE timeline and reporting process is explained in greater detail in the Institutional Planning and Effectiveness Process Handbook 2000-2007.

Results in Continuous Improvement

The Institutional Planning and Effectiveness (IP & E) process at Troy University integrates the University’s mission and vision with strategic objectives, ties strategic objectives to measurable outcomes, and uses those outcomes to plan for future improvement in the next year’s cycle. Plans for Improvement (PFI) can be formulated for objectives for which actual outcomes do not meet established benchmarked outcomes. If a PFI is implemented, the outcomes are reassessed in the following year. Annual Achievement reports document examples by which the IPE process has resulted in improvement. Specific examples of how academic programs, administrative support services, educational support services, and community/public service units of the University identify expected outcomes, assess the extent to which they achieve these outcomes, and provide evidence of improvement based on analysis of the assessment results will be explained in greater detail in Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1.

Effective Accomplishment of the Mission

The IPE process, through its integrated nature, assures that each academic unit routinely assesses and documents student performance on specific program-level learning objectives that contribute to the fulfillment of the University’s mission. The Troy University Strategic Plan and Strategic Objectives are established on the foundation of the University’s mission. Division, college, and unit annual plans and objectives are tied to the Troy University mission and goals.


Troy University is a public institution comprised of a network of campuses throughout Alabama and worldwide. International in scope, Troy University provides a variety of educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels for a diverse student body in traditional, nontraditional and emerging electronic formats. Academic programs are supported by a variety of student services which promote the welfare of the individual student. Troy University's dedicated faculty and staff promote discovery and exploration of knowledge and its application to life-long success through effective teaching, service, creative partnerships, scholarship and research.

Troy University Goals

Provide an international scope to University programs and services.

Provide a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in traditional, non-traditional and electronic formats.

Maintain a diverse student population.

Provide services that promote the individual welfare of students.

Maintain a dedicated faculty and staff.

Promote discovery and exploration of knowledge dedicated to life-long learning success.

Ensure effective teaching.

Ensure the development of creative partnerships, scholarship and research.

Ensure efficient and effective operations and to assess and provide resources as needed to implement institutional mission, goals and objectives.

Fundamental to the academic units of the University are the goals of offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in traditional, non-traditional and electronic formats and promoting discovery and exploration of knowledge dedicated to life long learning success. Academic program units of the University have established specific student learning outcomes and assessment tools the units use to document the extent to which student knowledge is attained. Student learning outcomes represent specific facts, concepts and skills that all graduates within an academic disciple are expected to possess upon the completion of the program. The Troy IPE system requires not only that each academic unit develop student learning objectives essential for lifelong success, but that each program identify benchmarks by which student learning may be assessed. Assessment results that support the attainment of identified student learning outcomes are reported in the program effectiveness report in the Dashboard system.

Likewise, non-academic support units are able to assess and document the extent to which they are able to support academic programs and the welfare of students. Surveys are utilized annually to assess the extent to which these units are supporting academic programs and promoting the welfare of the individual student. Assessment results are reported systematically in non-academic program effectiveness reports and documented annually in achievement reports of administrative and student support services.

The Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness (IRPE) office supports all units of the University in the institutional planning and effectiveness process. Initially the IPRE office provided formal professional workshops on the IEC process and its use in supporting the University’s mission. The IPRE office continues to assist academic and non-academic units with assessment data, both published and online. The annual Fact Book and Compendium of Tests and Surveys are available for use at the division, college, and unit level. These documents and data assist program and service coordinators in evaluating the extent to which they contribute to the University mission.


Troy University is in compliance with this Core Requirement.


Supporting Documentation Location
An Evaluation of the Troy University 2006 Leadership Conference
Annual Achievement Reports by College
Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees Minutes
Board of Trustees Minutes for March 10, 2006
Budget Preparation Calendar
College of Communication and Fine Arts Annual Plan
Compendium of Tests and Surveys
Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1
Core Requirement 2.4
Faculty Handbook, 2005 Edition
Graduate Catalog, 2007-2008
Institutional Effectiveness Committee
Institutional Planning and Effectiveness (IP & E) Handbook, 2007-2008, Revised 11-15-2007
Institutional Planning and Effectiveness History and Training
Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness (IRPE)
Journey to One Great University
Mission Statement
Schedule of PER Review
Sorrell College of Business Annual Plan
Strategic Initiative 1 - Student Centeredness
Strategic Initiative 2 - Quality Academic Programs
Strategic Initiative 3 - Internationalization
Strategic Initiative 4 - Faculty and Staff Development
Strategic Initiative 5 - Cost Effectiveness and Strengthening the Infrastructure
Strategic Initiative 6 - Telling the Troy University Story
Strategic Planning Process
Student Services Annual Plan
Troy University Fact Book 2008
Troy University: VISION 2010 A Strategic Plan 2005-2010
Undergraduate Catalog, 2007-2008
VISION 2010 Mid-Plan Assessment Report
Worklog, Dean of Admissions, Sidney Starling
Worklog, Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts, Dr. MaryJo Cochran
Worklog, Dean of the Sorrell College of Business, Dr. Don Hines


Last Updated: 09/08/2008