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Procedure 111: Principles of University Administration/Review of Administrative Operations

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University Procedure #111

Section 1. Purpose

This procedure is established to define the principles governing University administration and to describe the procedures for implementation of review of administrative operations.

Section 2. Authority

This procedure is issued pursuant to the operating authority granted to the President under the provisions of the Minnesota State University Board Regulations.

Section 3. Effective Date

This procedure shall become effective upon the signature of the President and shall remain in effect until modified or expressly revoked.

Section 4. Responsibility

The responsibility for implementation of this procedure is assigned to the President.

Section 5. Principles of University Administration

The administration of all University operations should be responsive to the needs of the people and services that are dependent upon it. In order to be so, the following principles should govern their management:

1. Consultation and Information: The procedures related to the administration of the function should be developed and implemented in consultation with its users. Accurate information about the relevant policies and procedures should be regularly and effectively communicated to the University community. Periodic opportunities, both formal and informal, should exist for the users to make representations concerning their needs and the extent to which those needs are being met by the current administration of the function.

2. Accountability: The University officers and employees responsible for the administration of a function are accountable for the effectiveness and efficiency of its administration. That accountability should be implemented through the annual performance review, through regular assessment of the quality of service by its users, and by periodic formal review of the function.

3. Efficiency: The University's resources are finite and will never be sufficient to the full realization of its mission and goals. Therefore, the efficient use of resources should be an important determinant in the administration of a function. Since the amount of resources allocated to a given function is likely to bear a relationship to the quality with which that function is able to be administered, careful consideration and constant attention must be given to the implementation of administrative procedures that yield the highest degree of quality for the least expenditure of resources.

4. Responsiveness: The administration of a function should be able to meet reasonable standards for the timely delivery of its services. Those standards should be developed in consultation with users of the function, should be based on the reasonable needs of the users and the extent of the resources allocated to the function. Standards for responsiveness should be clearly communicated both to the users and to those individuals who are responsible for the day-to-day administration of the function so that standards and expectations are known and well-understood.

Section 6. Procedure For Review of Administrative Operations

Periodic review of administrative operations, utilizing external expert peers, can make a valuable contribution to recognizing achievement, strengthening operations, enhancing accountability, and establishing administrative priorities and goals. Such reviews will be most valuable if they are conducted in a manner that provides for a fair, comprehensive, and constructive review, engaging both providers and users of a service in an activity the purpose of which is to improve the University's ability to fulfill its mission.


Annually, a Joint Initiative Group on Administrative Operations will identify and recommend to the President those administrative operations that, in the group's assessment, constitute the highest priority for review. After consideration of the Group's recommendations, the President will establish a schedule and budget for reviews for the fiscal year and assign responsibility for the review to the appropriate vice president or dean.

The vice president or dean will:

1. gather or develop documents that define and describe the organization and the mission of the administrative function to be reviewed;

2. list the principal users of the services, any formal and informal advisory groups to the operation, and the other principal operations with which the operation must coordinate its work;

3. draft a charge for the reviewers;

4. suggest the particular expertise that would be most useful in potential reviewers;

5. propose a detailed timetable for the review.

These materials will be forwarded to the Joint Initiative Group for comments, suggestions, and recommended emendations. The Group may wish to meet with the vice president or dean to discuss their suggestions and recommendations.

Those who will conduct the review should have accurate, full, and timely information concerning the operation. To that end, prefatory to the review, in addition to the documents specified above, the administrative operation will prepare a concise self-study, setting forth pertinent information on its mission, operating results, expenditures, measures of productivity and quality of service, and resources available to accomplish its objectives.

An appropriate reviewer or team of reviewers will be designated by the President in consultation with the vice president or dean and the Joint Initiatives Group. Reviewers may be external, internal, or a combination of both. Any external peer reviewers should have experience in comparable universities that reflect in their operations the highest standards to which the University aspires for the particular administrative operation.


The reviewers will be provided with the documents prepared for the review in advance. During the review, which will normally occur over the course of two full days, the reviewers will have a full opportunity to consult both with the individuals responsible for the administration of the function, representative users of the service, and the Joint Initiatives Group.

At the conclusion of the review, the reviewers will have an exit interview with the President.


1. The reviewers will prepare a written report for the President. Prior to preparation of the report, reviewers will have an opportunity to request additional information, if necessary.

2. The President will forward the report to the appropriate vice president or dean who will provide a written response to the report, and a proposed Plan for Action that, within realistic resources, provides for the systematic implementation of steps to improve the operation and to stimulate the development of new ideas and initiatives for the continued enhancement of the service.

3. The President will convene a meeting of the Joint Initiatives Group, the vice president or dean, and other individuals the President may deem appropriate to discuss the report, the response, and the Plan for Action.

4. Subsequent to that meeting, the President, in consultation with the vice president or dean, will prepare a final plan for Action which will be communicated to the University community, used as a guide for resource allocations, and implemented by the officers and employees responsible for the operation.

5. One year after the adoption of a Plan for Action, the Joint Initiatives Group, in consultation with the vice president or dean and users, will provide an assessment to the President of the accomplishments and results of the review process.

The Joint Initiatives Group

A joint Initiatives Group on Administrative Operations will be established. The members of the group will serve for a two-year term, and will be composed of:

2 resident faculty members, selected by the IFO

2 MSUAASF staff, selected by MSUAASF

2 Council 6 staff, selected by Council 6

2 administrators, selected by the President

Co-Chairs of the group will be appointed by the President from among its members.

Section 7. Review

This procedure will be subject to review on a biennial basis or as needed.

Section 8. Approval

Issued on this 3rd of April, 1995

Susan A. Cole, President