Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness: Core Component 5.A

5.A - Core Component 5.A

The institution’s resource base supports its current educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.

  1. The institution has the fiscal and human resources and physical and technological infrastructure sufficient to support its operations wherever and however programs are delivered.
  2. The institution’s resource allocation process ensures that its educational purposes are not adversely affected by elective resource allocations to other areas or disbursement of revenue to a superordinate entity.
  3. The goals incorporated into mission statements or elaborations of mission statements are realistic in light of the institution’s organization, resources, and opportunities.
  4. The institution’s staff in all areas are appropriately qualified and trained.
  5. The institution has a well-developed process in place for budgeting and for monitoring expense.


5.A.1  ASU operates on a sound fiscal basis as shown in the FY2016 annual budget report presented to the Arizona Board of Regents. ASU strengthened its financial foundation in FY 2016 with a $109 million increase in net position, compared to a $92 million increase in FY 2015. This represents the 11th straight year in which ASU reported an increase in net position. As of June 30, 2016, the University had total assets of $3.6 billion and net position of $1.2 billion. Overall, FY 2016 funding sources and uses increased eight percent from FY 2015. Tuition and fees are ASU’s primary revenue source (50%), with grants and contracts (14%), state appropriations (13%), and auxiliary enterprise activities (7%) also providing significant resources. Over $1 billion was spent on instruction related expenses in FY 2016, representing almost one-half (46%) of the University’s total expenses. Research and public service expenses (14%) of approximately $298 million comprised the second largest expense category.

The financial and physical resources at ASU support the daily functions of a vibrant and dedicated workforce of faculty, administrators, and professional and classified staff. Each of these groups has demonstrated tremendous adaptability and commitment to ASU’s higher education mission through the challenges of the past decade. ASU employs 3,439 Faculty, 7,436 University and Classified Staff, and 3,649 Graduate Assistants/Associates. The instructional staff generated a total of 976,777 student credit hours in 2016 (FTE 75,729) on the Metropolitan Campuses.

ASU utilizes 22,783,456 square feet of building space (over 12M sq ft for Academic/Support facilities and over 10M sq ft for Auxiliary Support facilities). ASU has steadily added new structures to support the advancing mission of the University and to provide the infrastructure needed to support ongoing teaching, research, and student activities. Since 2012, completed construction and/or renovation projects include: The Beus Center for Law and Society Building at the Downtown Campus; College Avenue Commons housing the ASU School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment; The Grant Street Studios utilizes space from renovation of a former cotton factory in downtown Phoenix, in which the ASU School of Art has created a community for its graduate studio artists, including galleries and workspaces; ASU W. P. Carey School of Business’s McCord HallInterdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 housing the School of Earth and Space Exploration, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Fulton Schools of Engineering research programs, including Environmental Engineering and Energy Research Initiatives. There is also ongoing construction including the Biodesign Institute Building C, to provide high-quality wet lab space for chemistry, engineering, and the biological sciences; the P.V. Engineering Residence Hall with 450,000 sq ft of residential facility located at the Tempe campus; the Student Pavilion building housing event space and offices for student government and student organizations; the Herberger Young Scholars Academy Building at the West Campus; and the North Campus Central Plant

A critical component in advancing ASU’s goals and mission has been the infrastructure devoted to information technology so that the University remains current with technology trends, while maintaining reliable and robust services for the delivery of academic programs and meeting the needs of researchers. ASU’s University Technology Office (UTO) provides technology-based services and systems to support the University's mission and goals. This is an on-going effort and the UTO strategic plan identifies goals in the areas of supporting student success, developing additional infrastructure, improving administrative effectiveness, safeguarding resources through security, advancing academic technology, strongly supporting research computing, and building and enhancing strategic technology alliances. Student success is supported through technology platforms such as: eAdvisor(TM), a system that makes it easier for entering students to choose a major based on their interests and career goals and helps them monitor their progress against their major’s “critical track”—the specific set of curricular requirements for that major, arranged in sequence, that allows a student to know exactly what to take and when. MyASU, ASU's online services environment, has been completely redesigned. MyASU is where students, faculty and staff can find access to their classes, ASU email, software, tasks, university announcements and more. There are also quick links for libraries, career services, tutoring and tech support. Over the next five years this platform will be continuously improved with the goal of making it ever easier for students and faculty to understand and interact with the institution and mobilize all of the institution's available resources to achieve their goals. New Advisor and Coach Portals, based in SalesForce and supported by PeopleSoft and Civitas data, will support the identification of at risk students and outreach/intervention campaigns to improve retention and graduation. 

Platforms supporting administrative effectiveness include: SalesForceDashboards reporting on a wide range of university activities, PeopleSoft supporting customer service and HR functions, Docusign (cloud based email through Office 365), and Dropbox. In addition, ASU partners with several external companies, e.g., Google and Cisco for “context” work, thus allowing UTO to focus on “core” University initiatives.

5.A.2  ASU’s budget and budget process is developed and monitored by the Office of Planning and Budget, overseen by the Chief Financial Officer. The office is also responsible for overseeing budget development for all units of the University, and is all responsible for tracking and responding to Arizona Board of Regents policies and directives. The budgeting process follows a specified calendar that lists steps, responsibilities and timelines. The FY17 budget will continue to invest in instructional support at similar levels as the past few years.

5.A.3  ASU has an ambitious and clear set of foundational documents, which have provided realistically achievable goals and targets with publicly stated and transparent quantitative and qualitative measures to assess its forward progress, described in Criterion 1. Embodying ASU’s Charter, Mission and Goals, and considering the Arizona Board of Regents' Vision and the Enterprise Metrics guidance, evidence presented for Criterion 1 demonstrated that the goal-directed plans and strategies have guided the institution’s steps to effect its transformation to the New American University. The Operational and Financial Resources (OFR) Enterprise Plan, presented to Arizona Board of Regents in February 2017, reports evidence as to how ASU is meeting its goals and how it plans to continue forward to 2025. That these plans indeed are realistic in light of ASU’s organization, resources, and opportunities are evidenced in the OFR. While the goals set are ambitious and challenging, the targets are realistically within reach through the concerted and dedicated efforts strategically focused on them.

5.A.4  ASU’s hiring and new employee practices, discussed in Criterion 2, ensure that staff members hired are appropriately qualified for the jobs to which they are assigned and have opportunities to advance their skills. A detailed Hiring Manual, updated in March 2017, details recruitment procedures that ensure the hiring of qualified staff. During the hiring process, essential job qualifications for every position are identified, and the required qualifications that ensure applicants can successfully carry out those functions are specified. Only applicants who meet all required qualifications are considered for hire. Annual performance reviews evaluate staff in areas of Core expectationsSafety expectationsSun Devil Service expectations, and Sustainability.  

New employee information includes orientation and benefits workshops. Opportunities provided for continuing professional development and skill development are accompanied with incentives (promotion, reclassification, salary increases, etc.) that encourage staff members to improve their knowledge and skills. Additional Professional Development includes workshopsLeadership in the New American University and Development.

As noted in Criterion 2, there is also required university training in the areas of Title IX Compliance, various Health and Safety training depending on job responsibilities, and Workplace Behavior.  ASU also provides each employee with opportunities to further his or her education through enrollment in university courses, whether a few courses for continuing education, or in pursuit of a degree or certificate, with a provision of tuition benefits.

5.A.5  ASU uses a well-defined, continuously-updated budget development and monitoring process that was described above in 5.A.2FY 2018 Budget Guidelines  and Timelines/Responsibilities are located online. Annual budgets are established at very detailed levels for all units and functions. The units receive notice of the coming resource allocations as early as possible in the prior fiscal year. The allocations are monitored by both the unit leaders and the central budget office. Reports projecting anticipated changes in budget revenues or expenses are developed by the Office of Business and Finance with oversight from a budget committee, reporting to the President, composed of senior administrators: the Executive Vice President and University Provost, the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and the Senior Vice President and University Planner. This structure ensures that budget planning is done by those most knowledgeable of the needs of academic units, administrative support functions, and longer-term planning issues. Each of these senior officers is responsible for regular contact with the leaders in their areas (deans, vice presidents, and others) so that they are in a position to identify resource needs, developed through the budget process, described also in 5.A, and to balance their priorities in meeting ASU’s larger goals that are in turn reviewed by an ABOR oversight committee on a quarterly basis. Unit leaders and the budget office can prepare ad hoc tailored reports through the ASU Advantage web reports, MyReports financial reports, and the Strategic Tracking Analysis and Reporting System (STAR).