OPA Assessment Spotlight
OPA Spotlight Interview
By: Kara Page, Senior Administrator
What is your position and what do you do for Texas Tech?
I am the Assistant Vice President of Auxiliary Services, a non-academic division of Administration & Finance that extends beyond the learning environment of classrooms. We are the golden thread that enhances the Red Raider quality of education through student experiences and services. We are a central office home to the following service departments: Hospitality Services, University Student Housing, Student Union & Activities, University Recreation (URec), Student Health Services and the TTU Campus Store (Aux Svs). Our mission is to attract and retain a diverse community that provides the essential programs and services required for every Red Raider to achieve their highest potential. We strive to continually enhance campus life for every Red Raider.
How long have you been at Texas Tech?
I have been with Texas Tech for 6 months. After graduation, I spent 25 years in the Air Force before returning to my alma mater.
How did you get involved with assessment?
As an engineer and retired military officer, feedback and assessments are critical in understanding how a system or organization is functioning. Upon starting my new position at Texas Tech, my team and I developed Auxiliary Services' strategic goals, theme, mission and vision to align with and support Texas Tech University's Pathway to 2025 Strategic Plan. To capture and assess our progress, from divisional goals to individual growth and productivity, we decided to line up our annual assessments using the Office of Planning and Assessment's Nuventive Improve with yearly evaluations, and we adjusted our input timing to accommodate the evaluation's schedule. We developed our annual report to highlight the impact of the services we provide and how those services lead to a better student experience. In our annual report, we introduced the “Golden Thread” to illustrate how Auxiliary Services weaves a thread of excellence to increase student success. Using the Nuventive tool allowed us to standardize departmental inputs and get on an existing, repeatable cycle. Auxiliary Services assesses programs, services, facilities and teams from aspects of financial stewardship, customer needs and enrollment impacts to Texas Tech University.
How do you use assessment in your job? What are some interesting assessment techniques you have used or are planning to use?
Texas Tech Auxiliary Services has partnered with Rawls College of Business' Center for Sales & Customer Relationship Excellence to develop a strategy to enhance student enjoyment and recognize which aspects of Auxiliary Services have the greatest impact on our stakeholders. Utilizing the Sales & Customer Relationship Strategy Competition, we look to uncover which factors inhibit enjoyment and what activities are the biggest areas of complaint for our students. Knowing this information will allow us to establish opportunities to improve our Housing, Hospitality and URec programs and services.
Is there anything else you would like to share about assessment?
Assessment is critical in the execution of my job. I am a student of the OODA loop, a decision-making process developed by U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd. The OODA cycle, observe-orient-decide-act, requires the system to be assessed through examination and compared back to goals prior to implementation of decisions. This is very similar to Dr. Deming's Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle of continual improvement. This is exactly what the annual assessment forces the Auxiliary Services' leadership team to do – evaluate the effectiveness of previous decisions before we align next year's actions.
What is your hometown or where do you tell people you are from?
I grew up in Austin, Texas.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
Spend time with my family – it doesn't matter what we are doing.
What is something you have not done but would like to do?
I have landed in Shannon, Ireland, several times returning from overseas deployments, but I have never had the chance to set foot outside of the airport. I hope to one day take a tour of Ireland.