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(please submit by close of business - May 7, 2014)



Administration Building
Room 105
P.O. Box 443152
Moscow, ID 83844-3152
Phone: (208) 885-6448
Fax: (208) 885-6558

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is the University of Idaho conducting this extensive program analysis and evaluation?

    The University of Idaho is conducting this extensive program analysis in response to a State Board of Education/University of Idaho Board of Regents mandate. At the same time, as an institution, we are interested in continuous improvement and evaluation with an eye towards productive and efficient use of our resources.

  • What is program prioritization?

    Program prioritization is a rigorous process defined by Lumina Foundation founder Robert Dickeson to enable universities to align their programs with their missions and strategic plans. Focus For the Future is the name of the University of Idaho’s program prioritization initiative. Focus For the Future is an opportunity for the campus community to engage in a process of revitalization, to define a shared vision for the university’s future, and focus our combined efforts on preparing our students for success in their lives and careers.

  • What is the definition of a program?

    For the purposes of the Focus For the Future initiative and as defined by the State Board/Regents, a “program” is any identifiable entity that consumes resources. A "program" refers to any and all academic programs as well as administrative and support units. The FFF overview presentation provides some useful examples of how programs are defined within units.

  • What is the timeline for this initiative?

    We will conduct the Focus For the Future (FFF) initiative in a number of phases. The first two are summarized in the project timeline. In Phase 1, we will identify all programs at the University of Idaho and will describe them through a combination of metrics and narrative descriptions. The programs will each be rated according to nine criteria. Phase 1 will conclude by December 12, 2013. In Phase 2, we will use this information to inform a process whereby all programs will be distributed into quintiles.

  • How are metrics developed?
    Many metrics are difficult to interpret without a standard to which to compare. Comparisons can be made to benchmarks, to peers, to targets, and/or to previous data and the metrics should clearly demonstrate if a program is strong or weak, in order to be considered useful.  The metrics will identify if the objectives are being met or if a program should undergo substantive changes.  Metrics should provide meaningful detail that support what one provides in each of the criteria areas identified for evaluation.  A web source that provides additional information on developing and evaluating metrics can be found at the following link:

  • What are the criteria for ranking programs?

    The SBOE has given each institution the flexibility to define the criteria used to rate their programs. The following criteria will be used to rate programs at the University of Idaho – centrality, demand-external, demand-internal, quality, size and scope, productivity, cost effectiveness, impact, and synergies. Each criteria is defined and is assigned a relative weighting as part of the FFF process. All University of Idaho programs are applying the same criteria.

  • What is the reason for ranking programs in five categories (quintiles)?

    The Board of Regents requested this ranking be included as part of our report to Board.

  • Who will carry out the review?

    The university faculty and staff will contribute to the reporting and review process. Unit leaders will collaborate with program leaders to coordinate the completion of evaluation reports, which will be reviewed by unit leaders and vice presidents.

  • How are the reports submitted?


    To help facilitate the collection of information, please submit the narrative as a word document and the scoring rubric as an excel spreadsheet.  Both should be clearly marked/named with the program name.  An account has been established for Focus For the Future documents (fff@uidaho.edu).  Please submit the materials to that email address.

  • What is the desired outcome of the process?

    The University of Idaho community is committed to following a rigorous and proven process to ensure all of our programs are of the highest quality, that our combined efforts are focused to achieve our mission and that we continue to prepare our student for lifelong success.

    The eventual outcome of this process is dependent on the quality and depth of participation by the campus community. Possible changes could include combining efforts currently shared by multiple units, improvements to current processes, restructuring of programs or units, elimination of redundant efforts and even elimination of some programs. The overall goal is to enable the university to move forward behind a common vision and remain committed to preparing our students and our community for a bright future.