The Western Academic Leadership Forum (the Forum) presented the 2017 Academic Leaders Tool of the Year Award to Portland State University for its Desk Manuals Tool on Thursday, April 27, in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the Forum’s Annual Meeting. The theme of the annual meeting was “Designing for Quality in Higher Education Facet by Facet,” and the event’s keynote speech was delivered by WICHE President Joe Garcia.
Forum member Joe Cline of the University of Nevada, Reno presented the award to Sona Andrews, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Portland State University. The award recognizes the institution or organization whose tool was selected from those submitted to the Academic Leaders Toolkit during the academic year for its innovation, problem-solving capability, potential for impact, and replicability in the four-year institution sector.
The winning Desk Manuals Tool was created by Portland State University to document necessary steps in performing project-related tasks, help standardize processes, and eliminate the need to reinvent the wheel each time these same tasks must be completed. The manuals are kept on a shared drive to make them readily accessible to staff.
“The desk manual is a simple tool that allows us to streamline performance of intermittent tasks and functions, like our honorary doctorate process, repeated at Portland State University from year to year, making it easier for staff to remember and understand how to complete these projects in a timely and consistent manner,” said Andrews.
“The Forum is pleased to present the 2017 Academic Leaders Tool of the Year Award to Portland State University for its innovative desk manuals tool, which provides a basic resource for university staff to foster effective, timely, and independent completion of tasks and processes,” said Teddi Safman, Forum Chair and retired Assistant Commissioner for Academic Affairs, Utah System of Higher Education.
The Academic Leaders Toolkit is a peer-reviewed repository of profiles of useful tools designed to assist academic leaders in their decision making. Through this exchange of information on academic tools, colleagues aid one another in advancing the academic missions of higher education institutions, systems, and states in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) region and beyond. The Academic Leaders Toolkit is used by members of both the Forum and the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders, which represents two-year institutions in the WICHE region. Organizations interested in submitting an academic tool for peer review should visit http://alt.wiche.edu.
The Western Academic Leadership Forum (the Forum) was founded by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and provides the West’s top academic leadership at four-year institutions and related system and state agencies with a forum for sharing information and expertise and collaborating on regional initiatives. Forum members are public and private doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s level institutions and related system offices and state agencies. The members are represented by provosts and academic vice presidents from the institutions, and chief executive and chief academic officers from related system and state agencies.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and its 16 members work collaboratively to expand educational access and excellence for all citizens of the West. WICHE’s four units – Student Exchange, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), Policy Analysis and Research, Mental Health – and several other interstate collaborations are working to find answers to some of the most critical questions facing higher education today. WICHE’s 16 members include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, along with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam (the first two of the U.S. Pacific territories and freely associated states to participate as WICHE’s Pacific Islands member).