A private university wanted to better understand its liberal arts and sciences graduate programs so it could better develop curricula and programs aligned with strategic objectives. The university needed help to examine how new programs were established and to identify ways to capture, monitor and measure program objectives.
Serving as the internal audit function, Baker Tilly first evaluated the process for developing new graduate programs, including reviewing documentation such as new program proposals and cost analyses, as well as interviewing key personnel to understand the new program development process and the strategic objectives for developing new programs. We also benchmarked the process against practices at other institutions. Furthermore, we interviewed senior leadership to understand how graduate programs’ strategic objectives were defined and monitored, as well as to identify examples of successful programs. Finally, we identified revenue and cost variables to determine the financial impact of graduate programs and developed a process for estimating the financial impact of programs. We then documented and summarized our observations, patterns and trends into a detailed report.
Our work helped the university to identify patterns and trends for new and existing classes and to better understand the metrics required for measuring, monitoring and predicting a program’s success. The university also used our work to create a sustainable, repeatable process for determining the financial impact of programs that could be used to analyze all university programs. Based on our recommendations, the university began to document programs' strategic objectives and build out metrics for measuring success. The university has also used our work to implement a formal review to monitor graduate programs.
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