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UNT Insider | March 2007 Issue | UNT sets peer group

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UNT sets peer group for establishing benchmarks, measuring success

From InHouse, UNT's faculty and staff news source

One of President Gretchen M. Bataille's first objectives was to identify a list of peer institutions that UNT could use to set benchmarks for measuring its work in the future as administrators, faculty and staff seek to achieve the goals in the Strategic Plan.

To help set UNT's peer group, Bataille engaged Dennis Jones, president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and the national expert on the identification of peers and aspirational peers for higher education.

The peer group was selected by Jones, Bataille and the university's vice presidents because the institutions are similar to UNT in many ways, or are currently where UNT would realistically like to be in the near future, in terms of student body size, number of programs offered and degrees awarded, research expenditures and Carnegie classification, as well as financial measures.

The group of 14 peer institutions that UNT will use as a primary comparison group for setting benchmarks is:

  • Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
  • Florida Atlantic University - Boca Raton
  • Florida International University
  • George Mason University
  • Georgia State University
  • Kent State University - Main Campus
  • New Mexico State University - Main Campus
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Memphis
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Western Michigan University.

Institutional data from and about these universities will be used when UNT seeks to compare its current status and to measure its progress.

Salary data from the comparison group is being used now to determine how UNT salaries in each discipline and profession compare and to what degree they may need to be changed, Bataille says.

The Office of Institutional Research & Accreditation is working with the peer group data as well as data from the 2006-07 salary survey by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources to conduct the salary study.

The peer institutions also will be used to set goals for student retention and graduation, federal research funding and fundraising.

This information, in conjunction with the assessments made by the five external review teams, will allow the university to set a realistic pace for improvement, guide change and help us achieve our goals, Bataille says. The final review team was on campus the week of Feb. 19.

UNT also will be compared by the state to the six other Texas universities designated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as "Emerging Research Institutions." That group includes:

  • Texas Tech
  • University of Houston
  • UT-Arlington
  • UT-Dallas
  • UT-El Paso
  • UT-San Antonio
  • UNT

The state will use four non-Texas institutions as peers for this group when it seeks comparison measures for its accountability system. The coordinating board identified two of the four non-Texas institutions, and those will be used for the entire "Emerging Research Institutions" group. Those are:

  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

And, each university within the "Emerging Research Institutions" group was asked to choose two non-Texas peers. UNT selected:

  • Florida International University
  • University of Central Florida

Three of the four state peer institutions are part of the primary comparison group selected for internal benchmark purposes.

Read other stories in this issue:
March 2007

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The UNT Insider, a monthly e-newsletter, connects UNT alumni and others to the university by letting you hear directly from President Gretchen M. Bataille.

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