Yudof Makes Accountability a Top Priority
UC president Mark G. Yudof has launched an accountability effort designed to provide better information to the public and to policymakers about the performance of the UC system in a wide range of areas from affordability and diversity to research accomplishments and graduation rates.
“We should be accountable to the Legislature, the parents, the taxpayers, the students,” Yudof said in an address to the UC Regents at their meeting at UCSB in July. “If someone says, did you have a good year at UC Santa Barbara, or did the Office of the President have a good year, or how is a particular research program doing, we ought not get away with, ‘We’re doing great, we had a good year, and if you just sent more money we’d be in fabulous shape.’ People deserve an honest answer to the question of how you’re doing, and it needs to be backed up by statistical data.”
In addition to providing transparency and public accountability, Yudof told the Regents, an accountability framework will facilitate the university’s strategic planning, decision making, budgeting, and management performance evaluation. He also said it will help focus the Regents on the most important policy issues facing the university.
Yudof noted the university currently has multiple layers of public accountability and that UC campuses already collect and report public data in several areas. But with an increasing national focus on accountability in higher education as well as in many other sectors, the university needs to present the data on its performance in a more comprehensive manner, benchmarked against comparable institutions where appropriate, he said. He emphasized that the accountability framework will focus on institutional, not individual, performance.
Acknowledging that not all accomplishments can be captured quantitatively, Yudof said, “The fact that you can’t measure everything doesn’t mean you don’t measure anything.”