Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Feb. 23, 1996

Pappas praises ISU progress

by Diana Pounds

President Martin Jischke says he is "clearly quite pleased with the high praise" that consultants gave Iowa State in a recent report.

The report by Pappas Consulting Group Inc. is a follow-up to a 1989 organizational audit of the Iowa Board of Regents institutions, conducted by KPMG Peat Marwick. It was presented to the regents by Alceste Pappas at the regents Feb. 21 meeting in Iowa City.

"Of all the senior regents' institutions, it appears that ISU has been the most effective and rigorous in its self- examination and development of its strategic focus," the consultants wrote in the report.

"ISU has achieved a remarkable balance between education, research and entrepreneurial initiatives in support of the academic mission and of programs directed toward economic development of the state of Iowa," the consultants added.

"This kind of review by an independent, outside group of knowledgeable persons, who look at what we have accomplished and how we are doing, is both a healthy and informative process," Jischke said. "It will do much to assure the Iowa public and its leaders that the regents institutions are being managed wisely and effectively on their behalf and are achieving their educational missions at a high level of quality."

The regents asked Pappas to assess the strategic direction of the board and its institutions, determine how well they had carried out the Peat Marwick recommendations and make further recommendations.

"ISU has done a very thorough job of implementing the 1989 KPMG recommendations and in many cases, has gone well beyond those recommendations to focus the institution," the consultants reported.

Pappas consultants also made a number of new recommendations, including one that calls for institutions to reallocate 10 percent of their operating budgets to key programs over three years. The recommendation calls for a 4 percent reallocation in FY98 and 3 percent in each of the next two years.

"I am a firm believer in the importance of reallocation as a tool of improvement," Jischke said, "and we have used this tool very effectively at Iowa State over the past seven years. However, I believe the suggested target of 10 percent over three years is too ambitious."

Jischke added,"Overall, I am in general agreement with quite a number of the Pappas recommendations. They are consistent with the thrust of our strategic plan and support the emphasis that the regents have placed on improving quality by focusing on the mission and strengths of the individual institutions."

He added he was particularly pleased with the consultants' optimism about Iowa State's goal of becoming the nation's best land-grant institution.

"If the strategies are accomplished, there seems to be little doubt that ISU will be close to achieving its aspirations," the consultants wrote.

"This is high praise indeed," Jischke responded. "It is truly a tribute to all who are part of ISU."

Much of the Pappas report is available on the Web. (Click "regents report" from the main ISU homepage.) The entire report can be viewed in the Office of University Relations, 217 Communications Building.

Following are a few recommendations from the Pappas report.


  • REALLOCATION. Direct institutions to reallocate 10 percent of operating budgets to key programs over three years, beginning in FY98.

  • COLLABORATION. Develop a more formal, systematic process for collaboration among regents institutions. Consider "system strategies" approach to delivery of Extension and other off-campus services and distance learning.

  • EXTENSION. Review and plan for Extension's future. Questions to explore: Should Extension remain principally a system used by Iowa State or become a service used by colleges and programs on all three campuses? Is current structure, staffing and delivery appropriate for a state whose economy is changing from predominantly agricultural to the service sector?

  • ENGINEERING. Study the possibilities of further cooperative efforts and course exchange between Iowa State and Iowa engineering schools. Consider combining the two schools administratively, leaving existing programs on the Iowa campus as a satellite operation.

  • ACADEMIC CORE. Charge each institution with redesigning the educational experience provided "traditional" and "nontraditional" students. Develop strategies to radically transform the delivery of core liberal arts and professional programs.

  • FACULTY WORKLOAD. Redesign the approach to defining workload. Develop a new model to define the appropriate balance of faculty activities that will most effectively accomplish the goal of providing learning to student populations.

  • FACULTY RETIREMENT. Consider development of a more focused early retirement program for faculty, with more incentives than the current program.

  • REPORTS. Streamline data and report- generating processes.


  • TQM. Broaden TQM efforts beyond the business and finance units.

  • EXTENSION. Consider charging for some Extension services, offer more science and engineering expertise, and seek opportunities to use Extension's 100-office delivery system for outreach activities in tech transfer and economic development.

  • ACADEMIC ADVISING. Review institutional academic advising to ensure all students receive the information they need to stay in school and graduate in a timely fashion.

  • CAREER SERVICES. Examine career services with intent of providing more coordination and consistency. Clarify the role of the career services unit in the provost's office in connection with services provided by colleges.

  • NONTRADITIONAL STUDENTS. Continue to examine services and programs to meet needs of nontraditional students.

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