Extracts from HUC-JIR Campus Accreditation Reports
The following are selected extracts from recent accreditation reports
supporting the College-Institute’s need for a strategic plan.
Los Angeles Report
December 3-5, 2002
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion needs to develop a comprehensive
strategic plan, one that integrates its existing academic planning efforts with
the financial, physical, human resources, and information technology planning
needed to assure the success of the academic goals and achieve financial equilibrium.
In this connection, the visiting team is concerned that HUC-JIR still does not
have a clearly defined institutional research function, despite the fact that
the 1995 WASC report also cited this shortcoming. The result is that HUC-JIR
lacks the uniform longitudinal data from each of its campuses that ought to
inform institutional planning.
April 22-24, 2002
Overall, one of the phrases that captures much of what the Team saw and heard
is the need to move from an ad hoc system of operation to one of systems characterized
by clear policies and procedures.
Though difficult on an institution-wide basis, the Team encourages the school
to continue in its efforts to find peer groups for comparison. In some cases,
e.g., non-exempt staff salaries and benefits, the peer group may be right in
Cincinnati. In other cases, e.g., the graduate programs, there is obviously
a national set of peers.
New York Report
April 7-10, 2002
The visiting team confirmed what appeared in the written Self-study report:
that there was no organized plan for the systematic gathering of useful cumulative
data taking place on the HUC-JIR New York campus.
One of the unique challenges this institution confronts is related to data
gathering and the sharing of information among the New York, Cincinnati and
Los Angeles campuses. It appears that although they are one institution, they
function together in some departments but quite separate in others. It appeared
that the Cincinnati office controlled the recruitment and admissions data and
had not disseminated it to the New York staff. There was also no evidence of
a written strategic plan, annual plan, five-year plan or a financial plan.
While each of the four units submits annual expense requests to the institution’s
central office, there does not appear to the Team to be a practice of multi-year
strategic program and financial planning at either the institution or unit levels.
The Team strongly recommends the development of multi-year strategic program
and financial plans for the New York unit, reflecting further implementation
of planned academic and institutional program enhancements and considering options
for alternate action if full funding of revenue targets and fund raising goals
does not occur.
The Team applauds the decision of the Board of Governors to improve the financial
reporting systems of the institution and the New York campus. The appointment
of a new Chief Financial Officer should help provide the Board with better financial
information for continued financial oversight and researched financial decisions.
The Team suggestions the Governors endorse the development of a financial office
with better financial reporting systems, diligent oversight of spending and
careful monitoring of fluid streams of revenue.