IU School of Public Health

 

No more guessing games

Read how AM360 helps the Associate Chair of Budget and Planning at the School of Public Health to effectively understand the trends in credit hour production at the school

Introduction

Dr. Michael Willett, the associate chair for budget and planning for the kinesiology department in the School of Public Health, also teaches a couple classes in the kinesiology department. 

Problem

In academia, credit hour production is how you generate funds to keep your school afloat.

The university gives each school a base budget based on a projection of how many credit hours will be taken within their school at the undergraduate and graduate levels. There’s an inherent risk if those projections are wrong, though.

“The budget used to be based on an educated guess, and campus adjusted accordingly, but your projections are what your budget is based on. You don’t ever want to overestimate because campus will take funding away, which they should, but you also don’t want to underestimate because you don’t have the income streams guaranteed to adequately plan.”

- Dr. Michael Willett, Associate Chair for Budget and Planning, School of Public Health

Solution

That all changed with Academic Metrics 360 (AM360), Indiana University’s premier tool for delivering timely, relevant, and accurate academic data to anyone within the university system. AM360 is a suite of easy-to-use, online interactive dashboards for university decision makers to measure, compare, and analyze trends within their schools. 

“One of the most relevant performance indicators that contributes to stability within credit hour production is the number of majors, if you have the majors, you create a base of stability. Our department consistently produces around 32,000 or 33,000 credit hours a year. Being able to track credit hours based on majors and non-majors the old way was time-consuming and difficult. We had to do it by hand, and it was challenging to be accurate.  We were guessing, and it was an inefficient way to create a guesstimate.”

AM360 has taken a lot of hard work and guesswork out of the equation for many, including Willett. And it’s given him the ability to see how the School of Public Health stacks up against other schools on campus—something he could never see before. AM360 can show him what other students in other schools are taking for electives, which helps the School of Public Health do a better job of either promoting its classes or updating its course selections to fit that dynamic.

Outcome

Willett also uses AM360 to find the likely culprits when the School of Public Health takes a downturn in credit hour production. Instead of just wondering why it happened, he can determine exactly why, and advise leadership as to how to address it. In one such case, a change in requirements brought about the downturn in credit hour production, and the School of Public Health was able to take the necessary steps to correct the issue and alter the credit hour production trend in a positive way.

It’s all about the students getting a quality education, ultimately. If a school is well-funded, it can provide a better education for its students.

“The most important thing is the rigor and the quality of the classes,” Willett said. “That’s the last thing you want to sacrifice when it comes to credit hour production. That’s where we won’t, and where we work with the Dean’s office to maintain appropriate funding levels.”

AM360 can look intimidating because it can tell you so much—much more than you ever thought to ask, in some cases. But Willett advises new users to spend some time just nosing around the different dashboards and getting a feel for the information.

“There’s a learning curve, definitely, and still every time I look at it I find something new I can use,” Willett said. “It is pretty self-explanatory once you get into it. The construct is the same for all of the reports, and the logic is the same. It is user friendly.”

See how AM360 can help with your next decision

Explore AM360 dashboards
Get in touch

Cyberinfrastructure Building
2709 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47408