Institutional Summary of Academic Outreach & Engagement
RAIDERS ENGAGED 2017Downloadable PDF
BackgroundRaiders Engaged is an institutionally developed instrument administered annually by Texas Tech University (TTU) as the primary method for assessing its faculty and staff outreach and engagement activities. The instrument was developed in partnership with the Office of Planning and Assessment, the Office of Academic Engagement, and Application & Development. This report highlights the results from the Academic Year 2017 administration of Raiders Engaged. Data encompasses outreach and engagement projects, which took place between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017, as reported by faculty and staff from academic and administrative units at TTU in response to the online survey.
2017 AdministrationThe 2017 Raiders Engaged online survey opened on September 5, 2017 accompanied by an e-mail from the Provost's Office inviting TTU faculty and staff to participate in reporting any outreach and engagement projects conducted over the past academic year. The administration began earlier than previous administrations to improve the response rate. Several e-mail reminders followed, and units were contacted individually to encourage participation. The survey officially closed on December 1, 2017 but remained active to allow specific units that were individually contacted to report.
The instrument underwent numerous enhancements in preparation for the previous year's data collection period and as a result, Raiders Engaged remained consistent in look and functionality for the 2017 administration. Due to a greater focus on outreach and engagement in TTU's Strategic Plan, a new question was added to the instrument to identify projects that included components of engaged scholarship. Additionally, OPA staff added a field to certain sections in DigitalMeasures that allowed faculty to indicate whether their project or activity included engaged scholarship. These fields also provided a link to the Raiders Engaged survey to give faculty the option to submit additional information about their specific engagement project or activity. The goal of this enhancement was to collect information on any outreach and engagement activities that may relate to faculty annual reviews but may not be reflected in the data collected by Raiders Engaged.
ResultsRespondents reported on a total of 773 unique projects, 242 of which were identified as new projects for the academic year. An additional 185 projects were identified through DigitalMeasures, 6 of which were also recorded in Raiders Engaged, for a total of 952 projects reported. Based on data collected, 132,009 total faculty hours and 323,624 total staff hours were spent preparing, implementing, and evaluating outreach and engagement projects. TTU projects involved a total of 1,248 external and 466 internal collaborations. An institutional summary reflecting TTU's overall results is included at the bottom of this report. The following tables provide a summary of project data reported by faculty and staff from administrative units, colleges, and schools.
Click on the images below to learn more about the initiatives and impact of Raiders Engaged.
CONCLUSIONData collected through Raiders Engaged in 2017 remains consistent with emerging trends from previous administrations. Among the main goals for future assessments are to continue opening the survey earlier in the academic year to allow for year-round reporting and to continue improving the collection process of data. One major enhancement for the 2017 administration was the inclusion of a feature which allows respondents to pre-populate and update information from a previously submitted project. This decreases the amount of time spent completing the survey and helps maintain data consistency. Additionally, the integration of data collection through DigitalMeasures has been beneficial in identifying faculty outreach and engagement projects that may not get reported in Raiders Engaged. OPA will continue investigating ways to enhance this function within DigitalMeasures.
The 2017 administration of Raiders Engaged collected data on an additional 220 projects as compared to Academic Year '16. Notably, there were 99,335 more people directly impacted by outreach and engagement efforts and an additional 25,825,248 people indirectly impacted by projects. Based on survey results, many TTU faculty and staff serve on local and national boards and committees or are involved in a project aimed to solve a state-wide problem. While these projects are considered applicable to outreach and engagement goals, it is hard to gauge the exact number of people impacted. Therefore, these numbers are included in reporting as indirect impacts. Faculty and Staff Involvement Hours remained consistent with data reporting in 2016; there was a 4.85% increase in staff hours spent on outreach and engagement initiatives while faculty hours saw an increase of .81%. The 2017 administration data also showed a $15.79 million increase in funding generated.
The primary source of funding dollars reported through projects was Other Non-Profit Organizations (20.25%) and funding reported for this administration was more evenly distributed among categories. The two main areas of engagement were Public Programs, Events, and Resources (24.44%)and Research and Creative Activity (15.81%), and the primary area of concern addressed was Education (Pre-K-20) (30.83%). This information remains consistent with the previous year's results and aligns with TTU's primary goal regarding outreach and engagement, which is to be actively engaged in scholarly research and enhance quality of life while driving innovation and community development. Many outreach and engagement initiatives are directed toward addressing the needs of children and youth in the Lubbock community and providing educational and enrichment opportunities to help them realize their potential. TTU faculty and staff are applying their knowledge, research and expertise to address community needs and problems together with community partners, thereby driving change within the Lubbock community and beyond.
Furthering outreach and engagement activity on campus is a primary goal of TTU's Strategic Planning initiatives. TTU reports annual data on key engagement components collected through the Raiders Engaged instrument (such as non-TTU participants, K-12 participants, funding generated by projects, faculty and staff involvement hours, and non-TTU partnerships) in its Strategic Plan Report. The trend data in the below chart reflects a positive trend in data reported for TTU Strategic Planning purposes and coincides with what would be expected year-to-year.
Two outliers were present in the 2016 administration, number of faculty hours and the number of staff hours spent on outreach and engagement. Those numbers appear to be stabilizing based on the slight increase seen in 2017. Additionally, the graph appears to indicate a significant increase in non-TTU partnerships. However, this year the decision was made to count the total number of instances an external entity partnered with Texas Tech faculty and staff whereas in past administrations the partner entity was counted only once as a partner of the university. This change was due to wanting to capture the extent to which external entities are working with TTU faculty and staff. One area that did not see any growth with this administration was the number of K-12 individuals impacted by TTU's outreach and engagement efforts.
It is important to note that the growth demonstrated in the data received in this administration does not necessarily reflect that more outreach and engagement is occurring on the TTU campus as compared to 2016. The growth could be attributed to an increase in reporting experienced in this administration, most likely prompted by an earlier survey launch date and increased personal follow up with individual departments and units to encourage participation. As more widespread participation of Raiders Engaged is seen from TTU departments, we expect to see continued growth in data for both new initiatives and continued projects that had not been collected before.