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Developing an Accountability Framework: Key Considerations National Association of University Board Chairs & Secretaries Victoria, British Columbia April.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing an Accountability Framework: Key Considerations National Association of University Board Chairs & Secretaries Victoria, British Columbia April."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing an Accountability Framework: Key Considerations National Association of University Board Chairs & Secretaries Victoria, British Columbia April 22-25, 2004 Ken Snowdon, President, Snowdon & Associates Inc. See accompanying Speaking Notes for the Saturday morning session (NAUBCS) Victoria, April 22-25

2 Overview Setting the Context: key points from Day 1 Accountability Frameworks – What do we know? What is important to know?

3 Day 1 - recap David Turpin - Growing interest in accountability for many reasons Recognition – gov’t has a role to steer ‘social policy’ Canadian universities have greater autonomy than other jurisdictions Issue : prospective accountability vs. retrospective Examples of accountability reporting framework at UVic. Glen Jones - Move towards ‘steering’ rather than direct control Reliance on Boards as the primary mechanism for accountability Identification of “gaps” in Board effectiveness and Senate effectiveness Do board members know what questions to ask about accountability? Do board members ask “tough questions”?

4 Day 1 recap …. Strong, effective boards are a requirement Universities taken many steps to improve accountability …But “does it matter” New accountability ‘frameworks’ - Alberta and BC Part of general increase in accountability – not specifically targeted at universities “cult of accountability” Increased autonomy = increased accountability Importance of “self-governance/regulation” Needs to be recognition that provincial government is but one stakeholder along with students, donors, community, federal government

5 Day 1 recap Robert Zemsky – ‘markets’ have their own accountability ‘market’ prices the perceived advantage Education ‘private good’ ‘Public good’? Am I doing good? And how would I know? Charlie Graves – general positive view of universities BUT public not very aware of Boards – 30% Little awareness of current accountability measures But real interest in accountability for Broader Public Sector (BPS)

6 Implications Accountability Challenge = opportunity Need for greater profile of Boards Need for more info/exposure of current accountability measures in Universities Need for ‘new messages’ including new ‘twists’ on health care costs and the value of PSE investments??

7 Role of Boards “Boards provide a means for external society to exert some influence over the university but in a way that respects the peculiar conventions, norms, and values of the academy. … the institutional governing board may play a crucial role in fostering public confidence in the operation of universities.” Jones & Skolnik, Governing Boards in Canadian Universities, The Review of Higher Education, Spring 1997, Vol. 20, No.3 pp

8 Accountability frameworks: what do we know?

9 Principal Income Sources 2001/02 $16.9 billion “we get a ton of money from government” Basil Alexander

10 Demand for full-time enrolment is expected to increase rapidly Source: Statistics Canada data and AUCC estimates

11 Accountability – chronology (Ontario) 1988 to 1991: Inspection Audits of 3 Universities by Provincial Auditor 1991 to 1993: Task Force on University Accountability (“Broadhurst Report”) : Toward Introduction of the Public Sector Accountability Act 1999: Report of the Provincial Auditor on University Accountability : COU-Ministry Task Force on the Provincial Auditor’s Report 2001 Public Sector Accountability Act (proposed) 2003: Multi-Year Base Funding Accountability Framework (pending) 2003/04 Bill 18 Expanding the powers of the Provincial Auditor

12 Ontario Financial Review Commission (2001) “basic building blocks of accountability” Proper legal status, strong governance, well-articulated mission and vision, and effective management; Well-defined relationships with all stakeholders including funders, service users, staff and ministry; Commitment to proper business planning, performance evaluation and continuous improvement; and A culture of openly and actively sharing financial and performance information with all communities that have an interest in the organization.

13 Council of Ontario Universities’ proposed framework Legal authority Governance and management policies/practices Mission statement, strategic plan, goals & objectives Performance measures and benchmarks including reference to “program quality” Sound financial management Clear accountability relationships with all major stakeholders and funders, including government.

14 Modified Accountability Disclosure Index (Laurier index) Overview Statement of Objectives Descriptive Report/General Review Summary of Facts & Figures Financial Review Accounting Policies Directory Information Service Performance Student Numbers Graduates Employment / Educ. Destination of Grads Publications Student/Faculty Ratio Measurement Targets

15 Modified Accountability Disclosure (MAD) Index (Laurier index) Financial Information Operating Statement Depreciation Budget Information Unit cost per Student Cash Flow Statement Research Grants Overhead Allocation Physical and Financial Condition Balance Sheet Faculty/Staff ratio Library Investments Commitments & Contingencies Equal Employment / Educational Opportunities information Building Usage

16 An Accountability Framework? What are you trying to do? How are you going to get there? How would you know if you are making any progress? Vision, Mission, Goals Strategies, Resources, ‘Key’ Policies Measures, benchmarks, targets Reporting and policy review

17 What is important to know…? How are you going to get there? Strategies, Resources, ‘Key’ Policies

18 What matters? Key policies –Resource allocation –Human resources –Financial –Capital –Enrolment management

19 What matters? “What matters”? Based on your own institution - What are those key policy questions?


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