Serving statewide coordinating and governing boards in developing and sustaining excellent systems of higher education.
Accountability & Assessment

The increasing importance of higher education has led to substantial interest in accountability mechanisms as a means of improving performance. State higher education agencies have developed many mechanisms and reports of their own to monitor and improve institutional and system performance, including comprehensive accountability reports and performance budgeting and reporting systems.

State Responses to Measuring Up 2006
Since Measuring Up 2006 was released in September, 2006, many states have issued responses to their current report cards. We are pleased to share some of their reactions with you.

SHEEO has compiled a list of links to the various state accountability reports. This list consists of reports that can be found in an electronic format. For copies of reports or to reach states not listed, please see our SHEEO Agencies section.

Recommended Readings:

National Commission on Accountability in Postsecondary Education
In 2004, through the financial support of the Ford Foundation, SHEEO launched a National Commission on Accountability in Higher Education consisting of former governors, legislative leaders, state higher education executives, institutional leaders, and business representatives.

March 10, 2005 marked the release of Accountability for Better Results: A National Imperative for Higher Education. Within this report, the National Commission on Accountability in Higher Education recommended an ongoing and vigorous dialogue targeted on meeting the educational needs of the American people, issuing a series of recommendations designed to improve student preparation, public investment in educational priorities, teaching and research, cost-effectiveness, and the availability of key data.

Priorities, Quality and Productivity in Higher Education: The Illinois PQP Initiative
By Robert A. Wallhaus; Published by the Education Commission of the States in 1996 as part of their Policy Papers on Higher Education

In October 1991, Illinois higher education embarked upon a major initiative to refocus priorities, improve quality and enhance productivity. This initiative, called Priorities, Quality, Productivity, or P•Q•P for short, already has had a
pervasive and lasting impact on colleges and universities in the state, and on how well they serve Illinois students and
the public at large. This paper examines the concepts and processes underlying the Illinois P•Q•P initiative. The 25 productivity guidelines developed by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and outlined in this paper include the areas
of instruction, research and public service, overall academic and administrative productivity, and state-level procedures and regulations. The paper also presents the results achieved in Illinois as well as the transition of P•Q•P to support the ongoing processes involved in making choices about how Illinois higher education can most effectively use its resources
to serve people's needs.

Forcing Change and Finding Accountability
By Arthur F. Quem
Arthur Quern, then Chairman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, spoke at the 1994 SHEEO Annual meeting to describe an effort in Illinois to achieve educational goals by encouraging institutions to improve quality and achieve priorities by reconsidering the allocation of existing resources. His essay addresses issues of change, productivity, and accountability that have become even more pertinent in the ensuing years.

Accountability, Quality, Quality Assurance and Rewards for Institutional Faculty
By Fred F. Harcleroad
In response to the National Commission's report, "Accountability for Better Results: A National Imperative for Higher Education," Fred Harcleroad offers an insightful perspective on the history of accountability in higher education and the struggle for academic quality, in particular the challenge creating faculty reward systems that reflect teaching as well
as research.

Accountability and Graduation Rates: Seeing the Forest and the Trees
AASCU, October 2002
This brief was prepared by AASCU drawing on national graduation rate data and information gathered by SHEEO from state agencies about the extent and use of graduation rate data at the state agency level. The purpose of the brief and data is to give congressional staff information about how state higher education agencies monitor graduation rates at the state level and information about the range and complexity of issues involved in the use of graduation rates as an accountability measure. This information was distributed and discussed at a recent meeting with Senate staff, and it will continue to be more broadly distributed in preparation for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.