Evaluation of organisational units
Evaluation of organizational units
The core objectives of this evaluation are a systematic self-reflection of the department, the discussion with external experts and the development of strategies, solutions and the highlighting of potentials.
At the beginning, the department creates a short review of the key accomplishments of the last five years in the fields of organizational development, research, teaching and learning plus training, human resource management as well as relationships with the society. The self evaluatin report is based on a questionnaire and a set of data that is been made centrally available. Furthermore specific questions are developed which address specific needs of the department. In addition, future perspectives for all the questions are being developed. The self evaluation report and further documents are submitted to the peers. As part of the three-day-on-site-visit the peers hold talks with the rectorate, the head of the departments, heads of the working groups as well as representatives of the non-professional teaching staff, postgraduates, students and non-scientific staff.
To obtain a long-lasting impact with this institutional evaluation, a workshop between peers, representatives of the departments and the Quality Management Unit is conducted as part of the site visit. Solutions for specific questions are elaborated within this workshop. In a further workshop the head of peers, the rector, the head of the departments and the Quality Management Unit decide on specific measures to be implemented. One year after the completion of the procedure the head of the departments submits a report with the established measures to the head of peers.
After the completion of the procedure the peers are asked for a written feedback on: administration, schedule, report, data, peer-group, evaluation task, site visit & international standards; the results contribute to the continuous enhancement of the evaluation process.
The first round of the department evaluation: Analysis of the status quo
BOKU has evaluated all 15 departments from 2006 until 2014 and thus is the first university in Austria, which systematically assessed the whole performance spectrum of their scientific organizational units. After completing the first round of the department evaluation it was agreed with the bm:fwf that this procedure should be carefully assessed, meaning that the results as well as the whole evaluation process should be thoroughly examined and suggestions for a revised guideline should be made. Therefore all the evaluation reports were analysed with the help of external experts and a set of focus group interviews was conducted. The results, which were presented within the conference of the heads of the departments, are briefly described below:
- The evaluation of the departments significantly contributes to the reflection on how one sees oneself and how others see oneself as well as the identification of development prospective. Regular collegial cooperation in the departments needs to be institutionalized to ensure a systematical reflection and profile development.
- So far the focus is clearly on the field of research. This should be replaced by a balanced presentation and thematisation of all fields of the departments. All in all the evaluation of departments conceptually reflects a modern spectrum of tasks of the universities, as documented in the Knowledge Triangle.
- A performance and output oriented quality term predominates.
- The workload, especially for the preparation of the self-documentation, as well as the amount of data should be reduced. The focus should be more on the analysis; additionally development perspectives should be more enhanced.
- With the evaluation the departments get a signal, that they are responsible for positive as well as negative results. This emphasizes the autonomy of the evaluated department. Guiding principles are being prepared to reinforce the heads of the departments.
- At the BOKU a governance model is implemented, which on the one hand integrates hierarchical control mechanisms (the target and performance agreement), on the other hand the departments, for the purpose of cooperative management, are getting involved (development plan, planning of the professorships). Thereby the needs of the researchers and the individual compartments are taken into account.
- The evaluation of the departments provides valuable information on the strategic orientation and (re)structuring of the departments, for the appointment of professorships, the further development of study programs, the reduction of the scope of teaching and learning, the increase of internal and external cooperation, the support and funding of the scientific trainees, flagship projects, for the purchase and adjustments of infrastructure as well as increasing visibility in the scientific community.
As can be seen from the above findings, the evaluation of the departments is essential for showing the development prospective in research, teaching and learning and innovations in a medium-term period. Potential improvements were clearly identified and the proposed measures will be implemented step-by-step.
Short reports of completed evaluation procedures
Evaluation des Departments für Biotechnologie 2006: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Wirtschafts- & Sozialwissenschaften 2008: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Nanobiotechnologie 2008: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Chemie 2009: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Lebensmittelwissenschaften u. -technologie 2009: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Angewandte Genetik u. Zellbiologie 2009: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Angewandte Pflanzenwissenschaften und Pflanzenbiotechnologie 2010: Executive Summary
Evaluation des 4. Standorts (Versuchswirtschaft an der BOKU) 2010: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Wald- und Bodenwissenschaften 2010: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Nachhaltige Agrarsysteme 2010: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Agrarbiotechnolgie (IFA Tulln) 2011: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Wasser - Atmosphäre - Umwelt 2011: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Centre for Agricultural Sciences (BOKU CAS) 2012: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Bautechnik und Naturgefahren 2012: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Integrative Biologie und Biodiversitätsforschung 2012: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Raum, Landschaft und Infrastruktur 2013: Executive Summary
Evaluation des Departments für Materialwissenschaften und Prozesstechnik 2014: Executive Summary