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

5.C - Core Component 5.C

The institution engages in systematic and integrated planning.

  1. The institution allocates its resources in alignment with its mission and priorities.
  2. The institution links its processes for assessment of student learning, evaluation of operations, planning, and budgeting.
  3. The planning process encompasses the institution as a whole and considers the perspectives of internal and external constituent groups.
  4. The institution plans on the basis of a sound understanding of its current capacity. Institutional plans anticipate the possible impact of fluctuations in the institution’s sources of revenue, such as enrollment, the economy, and state support.
  5. Institutional planning anticipates emerging factors, such as technology, demographic shifts, and globalization.


5.C.1  How ASU aligns its resources with its mission and priorities was also described in 5.A. As part of its constitutional responsibility to ensure that Arizona’s public universities accomplish their public purpose and mission, the Arizona Board of Regents conducts an annual comprehensive review of ASU’s operations and finances. The background report for ASU’s Operations and Financial Report [provides a diagrammatic view of ASU’s 2025 metrics and progress towards these goals. The key goals of the 2017 OFR Enterprise Plan are to:

  • Demonstrate leadership in accessibility by providing sufficient capacity at ASU to allow any qualified (as historically and currently defined) Arizona resident to attend and succeed.
  • Maintain a tuition and financial aid policy that assures access to ASU is not limited by a resident student’s financial circumstances.
  • Offer a world-class educational environment of colleges and schools of national standing that teach the most current knowledge in all fields using the most effective pedagogical methods.
  • Build the human and technology systems needed to support students in ways that result in retention and graduation rates in which individual effort (rather than family income, ethnic background, and prior preparation) is the determinant of success.
  • Maintain and strengthen a faculty committed to interdisciplinary scholarship that is a substantial contributor to new knowledge and has the tools and facilities to participate in major research and creative activities for the benefit of the educational experience of their students and the good of society.
  • Extend ASU’s visibility and reputation in order to attract more and stronger students and faculty from around the world and to offer ASU as a design model of how higher education can be made available to a more diverse population and be of greater service to individuals, to Arizona, and to the wider society.

The 2017 OFR Enterprise Plan lays out the tactics and strategies to accomplish each of these key goals.

5.C.2  Sub Component 5.C.1 argued how ASU’s budget planning is tightly linked to its strategic goals, which include key components of student success. ASU’s commitment to access and success is a key driver of its budget planning and as such close monitoring and reporting of student recruitment, retention, graduation, and financial support (scholarships and aid) are all important components of ASU’s planning and reporting. Planning activities at ASU are linked, driven by, and are consistent with the goals and outcomes identified in the Strategic Business Framework; uniting academic program goals, Arizona Board of Regent metrics, and budget planning seamlessly. Required ABOR reports, such as the OFR Enterprise Plan, follow the format and guidelines dictated by the Board, but are prepared to be fully consistent with and to facilitate internal planning. Assessment of student learning is a key component of ASU’s academic planning cycle, which includes the annual Academic Plan submission, program and course development, and Academic Program Reviews and reviews mandated by specialized accrediting agencies. Academic Program Reviews are reported to ABOR and include assessment data on learning outcomes and objectives, as well as other indicators of student outcomes and success, detailed in Criterion 3. The Academic Program Reviews are used to supplement data used by deans when planning enrollment, developing hiring plans, and allocating resources. 

5.C.3  The arguments presented in 5.A. demonstrate ASU’s commitment to shared governance. Policies, developed through shared governance, guide the long range institutional planning and associated budget planning processes to meet the goals defined by the ABOR strategic plan. University Senate Committees (e.g., University Services and Facilities Committee) provide input into the strategic planning process. Academic units and college deans, through the annual budget exercise (described in core components 5.A and 5.B), and linked tightly to ASU’s Charter and Goals, provide key input to guiding the planning process. The President and key leadership often hold town hall sessions to garner input from faculty, staff, and students when considering issues that have broad impact on the university.

External constituents are commonly employed in planning and decisions through advisory committees across the unit, college, and university level. Examples include boards associated with the School of Politics and Global StudiesGlobal Institute of Sustainability, and the Community Council charged with engaging and embedding ASU in pressing issues facing Arizona. 

5.C.4  ASU works to assure that the resources anticipated will be sufficient to support its existing and planned capacity through its multi-year planning described above and detailed in the 2017 OFR and Enterprise PlanMultiple-year enrollment projections provide guidance on the expected demand for educational services and facilities. Multiple-year projections of research and development activities, driven by measured and anticipated proposal revenues, provide guidance for laboratory facility planning. Taken together, the aforementioned other resource projections allow budget planning and capital planning outcomes to assign resources to the needs identified as shown in the OFR summary figure of ASU gross revenue sources.

Potential fluctuation in areas that can impact resource availability and capacity demand are monitored and modeled through the multi-year strategic and budget planning structure; and multiple enrollment and tuition rate scenarios are evaluated. The OFR Enterprise Plan is developed from these activities. The OFR details clear tactics and approaches to acquiring the resources needed to meet its commitment to Arizona and to achieving the ABOR metrics. The Committee and the President determine which resource scenario is most appropriate to use for near-term and for longer-term planning using information from many sources: demographic, legislative, ABOR, and others. The members of the Budget Committee are briefed frequently to inform their work, for example, by state legislative liaison staff members who work with state legislators daily to understand the dynamics that will impact levels of public investment. The Budget Committee regularly consults with faculty possessing expertise in economic forecasting and associates with the Business School's Seidman Research Institute to provide an independent view of public resources. The history of recent public investment has not always been positive or predictable. While ASU continues to press for the State to fund a fair share of the cost of education for residents, this Enterprise Plan does not rely heavily on that circumstance changing drastically. National legislative liaison staff, and the President and the Senior Vice President for Knowledge Enterprise Development, regularly visit Washington to closely follow the trends in federal financing for programs of greatest importance to ASU: financial aid, student loans, and research funding, etc. ASU maintains an ASU office in Washington D.C. for both legislative and educational purposes.

5.C.5  For planning in all areas, ASU endeavors to understand the larger context, anticipating and planning for changes in state demographics and enrollment patterns, emerging technologies, societal changes, and new national and global opportunities. Many of these are considered in the OFR Enterprise Plan that guides ASU’s budget planning process. 

In the area of technology, the University Technology Office (UTO) develops a strategic plan addressing advancement of technological tools supporting such areas as: Student Success, IT Infrastructure (e.g., High Performance Computing), Administrative Effectiveness (e.g., Improving the sponsored research management processes and systems), Risk Management, and Academic Technology. EdPlus focuses on applying innovative technologies to prioritize student needs and advance learning globally. ASU’s Solar Projects exemplify how renewable energy technologies and campus sustainability have been integrated into ASU’s planning and budget activities.

The Seidman Research Institute serves as a link between the local, national, and international business communities and the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The Institute collects, analyzes and disseminates information about local economies, benchmarks industry practices, and identifies emerging business research issues that affect productivity and competitiveness in Arizona and globally.

The Morrison Institute for Public Policy is a statewide leader in examining critical issues for Arizona and the region, including demographic shifts, and is a catalyst for public dialogue. An Arizona State University resource, Morrison Institute uses nonpartisan research, analysis and public outreach to help improve the state's quality of life. Reports from the Institute frequently guide ASU leadership's decision making.