Frequently Asked Questions
The following FAQs were developed in response to questions about writing APASP reports.
GENERAL & TECHNICAL QUESTIONS
If the Task Force decided to release its placement of programs and services in prioritization categories all at once on November 8, why has information about these placements been public prior to November 8?
The Task Force made the decision to post its placement of programs and services into prioritization categories once all had been reviewed, discussed and voted on at our prioritization meetings in late October and early November. These meetings being public meetings, the press and others have attended and reported on the results of discussion and votes at these meetings. The complete list of programs and services in each category will be posted on the APASP website after the Task Force meets on November 8.
Where should general feedback about prioritization be sent, and what if I have a specific question?
For general feedback on the process, submit it on the APASP website. That feedback is collected weekly, and distributed to the entire Task Force.
If you have a specific question, please email email@example.com.
What are the "FTE detail sheets" and "Academic Program Datasheets" everyone is talking about and how do I find mine?
"FTE detail sheets" for academic programs and administrative services, and "Academic Program Datasheets" are posted on the APASP Data Resources webpage.
"FTE detail sheets" show the centrally-generated data showing a 5 year overview of program and service personnel and operational information. (This information may reflect the departmental, rather than the program or unit of analysis level.) The information displayed in the "5 Yr Overview" tab is protected and you will not be able to modify it even if you want to. However, there are additional tabs in the spreadsheet for each Fiscal Year (from 13-17) and you CAN input information into those tabs.
Please note: FTE detail sheets for academic programs provide information that's linked to departments/schools.
"Academic Program Datasheets" show the centrally-generated metrics for all academic programs that are being reviewed.
Why do the tabs in the "FTE detail sheet" only request information on credits taught and net SCH for fall and not spring?
It looks like the "Academic Program Datasheets" report personnel costs WITH benefits, even though figures are labeled as "without benefits". What’s the story?
How are the numbers of majors provided on the "Academic Program Datasheets" calculated? What about counts for certificates and stand-alone minors?
On the Academic Program Datasheets, Criteria 3, Metric 1: the number of majors is summed over summer, fall, and spring (for example, major counts for FY17 is the sum of major counts for summer 2016, fall 2016 and spring 2017) and NOT divided by anything. To get a number of majors that is based on the way most departments count their majors, take the number given and divide by 2.
Certificate and stand-alone minor counts
The counts provided on Academic Program Datasheets, Criteria 3, Metric 1 for certificates and stand-alone minors are accurate. Do NOT divide them by 2.
I was told at trainings that we would be able to include tables, charts, graphs, any sort of visuals to relay the information we want in our reports. Now I've heard that's not true. What's up?
In the first set of "orientation" training sessions, authors were told that it would be possible to upload/create additional tables, charts, and graphs in their reports. We tested this function using the the report submission software (X-CD) and learned that these graphics would not show properly in the final reports. The Task Force recommends that authors not use the table functionality in X-CD to present information, as the Task Force does not trust that it will be presented in the final report. The Task Force apologizes for leading authors to believe that the functionality would work and encourages authors to present information in a non-table format.
Is it OK to write "NA" as an answer if there is a part of a report that doesn't apply to the functions and activities of my program/service?
Yes. It is absolutely fine to answer "NA" if some question in either report is not relevant to your program or service. "NA" responses will not adversely affect the way your report is scored. Adding one sentence to explain why something is "NA" can be helpful to report readers.
On my Academic Program Datasheet, the information shown under "quintiles" either says zero or looks wrong to me based on my knowledge of my program. How can I get this fixed?
The Task Force is aware that there are a few issues with the way quintiles are showing in the data sheets - for example, some show as "0" when a number between 1-5 should be showing. If there are problems with how the information is showing up on your Datasheets please email firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure correction by October 2.
QUESTIONS ABOUT REQUIRED PROGRAM INFORMATION
Do I really have to fill out all the tabs in the FTE detail sheet, year per year?
If authors agree with the information in the "5 Yr Overview" tab on the FTE detail sheet, they don't have to fill out the individual tabs.
If you don't agree with the information, please provide whatever information you feel most accurately depicts your program/service's FTE situation over the past 5 years.
There is a text box under the place where you upload your modified FTE detail sheet. Use it to explain how you changed the FTE detail sheet so reviewers are alerted to the fact that you have provided additional information.
I’m writing an academic program report. How do I split the FTE of administrative staff who serve multiple programs within a department?
Don't bother splitting those FTE. Instead, under Efficiency, use your response to the question about administrative FTE to explain how different staff positions are needed to support your program.
I'm authoring an administrative services report. Am I supposed to create an org chart?
I'm authoring an administrative services report. The "FTE detail sheet" and its instructions seem like they are more appropriate for Academic Programs. How should I fill them out?
I thought we had to create a table for administrative functions. Now I see a checklist. What do I do?
For this item, the criteria and metrics documents posted on our website do not reflect what is in the report submission software (X-CD). What academic program and administrative service report authors will find is the following: a list of check boxes to show what administrative functions your program or service has the responsbility of completing.
If any staff or faculty in your programs/services do any of the following activities, then check the box next to them.
To be clear, you don't have to make a table showing what administrative functions your unit does. Just check the boxes.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CRITERIA
In the Alignment Section (Academic Program report) and Important to UM section (Administrative Services report), what part of the UM2020 Strategic Plan am I supposed to address? Do I have to write about the values?
The first part of the question is intentionally open-ended. Some authors have said that in prior program reports, they were asked to address the plan's "strategic issues". That is a reasonable approach. Authors should feel free to address any aspect of UM2020 to make the strongest case for alignment with the plan.
This question also does ask how the program/service addresses, enacts, and educates about the four values, so authors should also include this information in their response.
What do you mean by "social, cultural, and/or workforce needs of the 21st century"?
I'm authoring an academic program report. The metrics in the "Academic Program Datasheet" are not reporting data for my program, they are reporting for my whole department. I'm worried they are not accurate. How do I explain this?
I’m authoring an academic program report. How am I supposed to differentiate Productivity and Quality in the program responses?
As a first cut, Productivity is primarily a quantitative criterion. Think of productivity in terms of “what counts.” For example, describe what your program counts for research and creative scholarship: peer-reviewed books and articles, exhibitions and performances, external grants, etc. Obviously, that introduces judgments of quality, but for this criterion authors should spend more time showing how your program performs on the established measure of what counts. For instance, “In the last five years our faculty have published X books and Y articles…,” and if you can show us how that stacks up to their unit standards or how it compares to peer programs, all the better.
The Task Force recognizes that quality judgments are implicit in the program’s determination of “what counts.” But for this criterion, you might differentiate by talking very briefly about quality expectations for research or creative work, e.g. “we expect faculty to publish in the major national journals sponsored by our disciplinary associations.” Other indicators of quality are likely to be more straightforward, but here too provide context, such as how prestigious is an award or other external recognition. Remember too that reviewers will not be in your program, so you may need to explain things that are implicit knowledge for someone in your discipline. For example, getting published in “conference proceedings” may be a marker of high quality in certain disciplines, but not a big deal in others.
I'm an administrative services report author and I don't understand how the Task Force wants me to answer the first part of the section on "Efficiency". How is it any different from what's on the 5 Yr Overview tab of the FTE detail sheet?
The first part of "Efficiency" in the Administrative Services report reads, "Identify the funds that contribute to this unit (e.g. general v. designated v. auxiliary), and list the sources of revenue/allocation and the main categories of expenses for each fund. Please provide dollar amounts for these revenues and expenses for each of the last five years."
Please use this opportunity to describe the information in the 5 Yr Overview tab of the FTE Detail Sheet in narrative form.