2004 Performance Indicators for Governance
University of Toronto
Performance Indicators for Governance
Introductory Remarks from Vice-President Carolyn Tuohy
I am pleased to attach for your information the seventh annual report on Performance Indicators for Governance. This cover memo is meant to serve as an Executive Summary of this quite comprehensive document.
Consistent with the University’s mission to rank with the best public teaching and research universities in the world, we are continuing to develop indicators which allow us to our performance with peer institutions internationally. This requires that we continue to seek out and develop sources of credible and comparable data. This year we have added further internationally bench-marked indicators which will be highlighted below. Currently, available data allow us to compare ourselves with other major public research universities in North America on the following measures:
Research and Scholarship:
- This year for the first time we report comparative data from the ISI database on publications and citations by University of Toronto faculty in science disciplines relative to those in other research universities in Canada and the United States. On publication counts, the University of Toronto ranks first among public AAU and G10 universities for all (the science) fields combined, and second to Harvard when the private institutions are included.
- On citation counts, the University of Toronto ranks second to the University of Washington overall among public universities. We rank somewhat lower when the comparisons include the private AAU members, behind Harvard, Johns Hopkins, the University of Washington and Stanford. In all science discipline groups, on both publication and citation counts, the University of Toronto ranks ahead of all other Canadian G10 universities.
- These impressive rankings reflect both the quality of our faculty and our size, which together make the University of Toronto a strong presence in the world of science.
- Scholarly output and impact in the humanities and social science disciplines, many of which rely to a much greater extent on books and on journals as the vehicle of dissemination, is not well captured by the ISI journal-based database. We continue to seek measures that will allow us to assess the impact of our faculty in the humanities and social sciences on a comparative basis.
- We continue to augment our reporting of the University’s representation among recipients of a number of prestigious international and national awards in discrete categories. What is particularly striking is the extent to which UofT faculty are recognized by prestigious international agencies, acknowledging and securing the University’s presence in the international academic community. We draw attention in particular to the success of newly-appointed faculty in the sciences in winning the prestigious Sloan fellowships.
- The University of Toronto Library ranked fourth among research libraries in North America on the composite index of the Association of Research Libraries in 2002-03, and second among public research universities.
- Although unfortunately we do not have comparable international data for levels of funding in the form of research grants, which comprise the core of the research enterprise at the University, we do have some comparative data on funding from industrial sources, new licenses, and spin-off companies, through the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). These data show the University of Toronto to be in the upper range among North American peers, and particularly active in the formation of spin-off companies. In terms of gross revenues from commercialization (which show great year-over-year volatility), however, UofT compares less favourably to US and Canadian peers.
Retention rates in first-entry undergraduate programs:
- The University of Toronto ’s six-year graduation and first-year retention rates compare favorably to those of other public institutions, and exceed even the average for those in the highly selective category, according to data from the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE). However, we know that several other public research universities reported six-year graduation rates equal to or better than the University of Toronto. The overall graduation rate for the 1996 entering cohort showed an increase from the previous cohorts, but remained slightly below that of the 1994 cohort. Moreover, in the faculties of Arts and Science and Applied Science and Engineering, graduation rates showed a modest decline over these three cohorts. This will require monitoring to determine whether it marks a trend.
- Last year for the first time we reported data regarding the opinions and reported experience of our graduate students with those in peer groups of public and private research universities in the United States, through our participation in a survey sponsored by the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium. We report these data again this year for purposes of comprehensiveness and continuity, pending our next participation in the survey.
- This year, we had hoped to present data on the reported experience of our undergraduate students, through our participation in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Over 400 colleges and universities from the U.S. participated in the 2004 survey, as well as eight of the “G10” research-intensive universities in Canada.
- Unfortunately, we have as yet received only preliminary data from the NSSE, which require further analysis and augmentation with data yet to come. The Vice-Provost, Students will be presenting a full report on the NSSE results this fall; and data from that report will be included in next year’s Performance Indicators report.
- The University’s planning framework document Stepping UP establishes as a high priority the enhancement of the student experience, and sets out a number of specific proposals. We consider these survey data to provide an important baseline and benchmark against which to measure our progress in this important aspect of our mission.
- As in past years, it continues to be apparent that the resources available to the University of Toronto lag well behind those of North American peer institutions. The FTE student: faculty ratio at the University of Toronto continued to be higher than at any of our Association of American University (AAU) peers in 2001-02.
- After a period of substantial increase from 1997 to 2000, our endowment per
- FTE student declined with the increase in enrolment and the decline in the equity markets from 2001 to 2003. It has recovered considerably due to strong market performance in 2004, but remains well below that of a substantial number of peer institutions – the University of Toronto ranked 16th on this measure among North American public universities reporting to the National Association of College and University Business Officers in 2003.
- This year we continue to report a measure of the University’s financial health, using the methodology employed by Moody’s Investors Service, to compare ourselves to the North American mean for public colleges and universities. Having taken on considerable up-front debt in a period of expansion, before the revenues from expansion are fully realized, the University has seen a decline in its resource:debt ratios. These liquidity ratios are coming into line with the mean for public universities.
A high priority for future reports is to continue to increase the number of dimensions on which we can make international comparisons.
Through the G10 Data Exchange, we have data allowing for comparisons with the ten largest research-intensive universities in Canada on the following dimensions, as well as a number listed above:
- The research performance of the University of Toronto continued on a strong upward trajectory. The University’s share of total federal granting council funding, the largest in Canada, increased in each year from 1999-2000 to 2002-03.
- With respect to “research yield” (the ratio of University’s share of research funding to its share of national eligible faculty), the University of Toronto ranks third, behind Université de Montréal, and UBC in Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funding, and second, behind Queen’s, for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) funding. Next year, we anticipate that the G10 Data Exchange will have resolved data problems as necessary to calculate a research yield measure for funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) as well.
- The University of Toronto with its affiliated teaching hospitals ranks first in terms of funded awards by government research infrastructure programs at both federal and provincial levels as well as the Canada Research Chair program. The University's level of success in the Ontario research programs even outstrips its proportional share of the federal granting council funding within Ontario.
- • Time to completion of doctoral programs: Data from the G10 universities show that, for the 1994 entering cohort of PhD students, UofT continued to rank close to the mean in terms of graduation rates and time-to-degree. Overall, however, we see that only about 66 percent of the 1994 doctoral cohort had graduated by 2003, and that the typical graduate took 16 terms - equivalent to just over 5 full years - to complete. Although the results vary considerably by disciplinary grouping, there is room for improvement in each area. Since these data refer to the 1994 entering cohort, admitted well before recent improvements to financial support programs and supervisory practices, we would expect to see considerable improvement for later cohorts; and we will be monitoring this area.
TRENDS OVER TIME:
For a number of measures, we do not have comparative data for other institutions, but it is nonetheless important that we report on and track our own performance over time:
- In the first “shoulder year” of the double cohort – including “fast trackers” from the previous five-year curriculum – student demand for our programs, as measured by dramatically increasing numbers of applications, and steady or improving entering averages, continued to be strong. Acceptance, offer and yield rates have varied across programs in this very volatile period and will need to be monitored in the future.
- The number and proportion of international students continued to increase after a steady decline in the first half of the 1990s.
- Median class sizes were relatively stable between 1998-99 and 2001-02 despite enrolment increases, reflecting the recent large-scale recruitment of new faculty following a protracted period of fiscal restraint. With the advent of the double cohort, however, we have seen increases in median class sizes and a shift from the 2-15 size category to the 16-30 size category in Arts and Science. It is of great importance that we address the resource constraints that underlie this trend.
- The proportion of women tenure/tenure-stream faculty appointed in the three-year period from 2000-01 to 2002-03 was close to their representation in the pool in three of the five groupings, and overall the proportion of women appointed was slightly below the pool. As in previous three-year cycles, we continue to recruit at least proportionate to the pool in the discipline grouping in which women are least numerous, and in which the greatest efforts therefore have to be made to identify and recruit outstanding women candidates, and in the grouping in which women are most numerous. Experience in other disciplinary groupings has been less consistent. As the University continues through a period of very substantial numbers of new faculty appointments, every effort must be made to ensure that we are fully tapping the pool of available talent in all disciplinary areas.
- The proportion of members of visible minorities among tenure/tenure-stream appointments in the same three-year cycle (2000-01 to 2002-03) was 16 percent according to incomplete data based on self-reporting and 23 percent according to more comprehensive reporting by department chairs.
- This year we also include trend data from the Employment Equity Report showing that since 1997 there has been an increase in the representation of women in the humanities, social sciences and life sciences. Women continue to be most underrepresented, however, in the physical sciences. The representation of visible minorities, on the other hand, is strongest in the physical sciences, and has also increased in the social sciences.
- According to student surveys, the proportion of students in first-entry programs reporting parental income less than $50,000 shows a significant increase between 1999 and 2003, when it stood at more than 40 percent. In second-entry professional programs which experienced large tuition increases, the proportion of students reporting parental income below $50,000, at about one-third is very similar to what it was in 1999.
- More than one-half of students in the cohorts graduating from first-entry programs from 1997-2003 graduated with no student loan debt, and this proportion increased over the period. The proportion graduating with debts of more than $15,000 decreased over this period as well.
- The student loan default rate of graduates of the University of Toronto (at 5.5%) was well below the mean for Ontario universities (7.1%).
- The employment rate of 2001 graduates of undergraduate programs at the University of Toronto was close to 96 percent two years later, according to the 2003 annual survey conducted under the auspices of the Council of Ontario Universities.