The assessment of institutional effectiveness is primarily concerned with ascertaining the extent to which the University as a whole is achieving its mission and priorities but involves close examination of many discrete areas of university activity at institutional, departmental, or intra-departmental level.

Again, the four-step planning-assessment cycle is used:

  1. Clear institutional and department-level priorities are defined;
  2. Strategies to achieve these priorities are implemented;
  3. Achievement of these priorities is assessed;
  4. The results of assessments are used to improve services and inform planning and resource allocation decisions.

Institutional effectiveness can be assessed across all units, either individually, in various combinations, or taken together holistically. Assessment and its integration into overall processes like budgeting, program planning, and strategic prioritization must play a key role at AUR at every level throughout the institution. In order to prioritize as well as use assessment data to the greatest effect, the data gathered must be utilized in all planning and budget decision-making across the AUR.

Each Academic program and Administrative department submitting an assessment report must identify improvements based on their assessment data tied to resource requirements. In this way, the President and the University’s leadership team are able to analyze justification and determine prioritization based on impact and outcomes directly related to mission, vision, strategic goals, and strategic planning.

Assessment and institutional effectiveness data must inform the planning and budget decision-making. Each program and department submitting an annual assessment report must identify needed improvements (based on assessment results) and resources required for those improvements.

Three main ways of assessing institutional effectiveness at AUR have been identified:
i) assessment through the Strategic Plan, ii) assessment of Departmental Goals (other than student learning outcomes), and iii) institutional research in key areas of activity. These different assessment processes may run concurrently in any year and contribute to building an overall picture of the institution. These three assessment strategies are described in more detail below.


Assessment of Progress of AUR Strategic Plan
Assessments for the last five years have been guided by AUReborn 2017-2022 Strategic Plan. In Fall 2020, an assessment of the progress of the Strategic Plan was conducted and updated in July 2022. Through the conducted assessment, we have revisited those strategic initiatives, goals, and action steps that were on track or completed, continue but need attention, and those that are unfeasible or require major changes in objectives/scope, schedule, or resources. Please see AUReborn 2017-2022 ‘quick view’ progress report for more detail.

The new Strategic Plan, ‘Our Time is Now,’ 2022-2025, was designed as an extension and renewal of the previous plan - as a “bridging” method to build on the current mission and priorities to a point in the near future when the institution is fully recovered from the pandemic challenges and prepared for a new strategic planning process.


  1. Leverage AUR’s location in Rome, Italy, and Europe for optimal, mission-driven teaching & learning experiences.
  2. Strive for teaching and learning excellence (via a purpose-driven, interdisciplinary curriculum; student-centered pedagogies; research & academic services aligned with institutional mission and values; and strategic partnerships) in order to achieve optimal graduate outcomes and academic reputation.
  3. Continuously recruit for and nurture a globally diverse, inclusive, and ethics-based learning community of internationally-minded students, faculty & staff.
  4. Maintain an inspiring and up-to-date campus & infrastructure that aligns with AUR’s mission and student expectations.
  5. Achieve long-term institutional growth & sustainability.

Assessment of Departmental Goals
Academic and administrative units have articulated departmental goals, distinct from (though related to) student learning outcomes, which are closely aligned with AUR's mission and the five priorities. Department goals can also be assessed through the collection of relevant qualitative and quantitative data and analysis of that data. During the program review, academic areas assess their broader departmental goals every five years. Administrative units assess these goals as the core of their assessment activity when they submit their annual OA reports. The submitted reports are evaluated according to an Administrative Department Assessment Evaluation Rubric. Positive results in assessments of departmental goals provide AUR with further evidence that its component units are working to support the university mission.

An annual overview of reports is needed to tie the many departmental OA reports together and to draw out common themes relating to student learning outcomes and institutional effectiveness arising from these documents each year. An annual Institutional Outcomes Assessment Report (IOAR), produced by the SIRA, will address important themes for the year and make recommendations on actions for improvement and institutional renewal for consideration by the Joint Advisory Committee on Planning and Resource Allocation (JAC). This report will be received by the JAC, and the findings of all OA reports will be available to feed into strategic planning and resource allocation decisions.

Institutional Research
Institutional research is carried out to evaluate how AUR performs in each of the seven areas listed below.

  1. Achieving Mission and Priorities;
  2. Implementing, planning, resource allocation, and institutional renewal process;
  3. Using institutional resources efficiently;
  4. Providing leadership and governance;
  5. Providing administrative services and structures;
  6. Demonstrating institutional integrity;
  7. Assuring institutional processes and resources support appropriate learning and other outcomes for its students and graduates.

AUR student surveys (such as Orientation week survey, New student survey, Housing survey, Graduate school survey, and Graduation survey), student focus groups (Academic program specific) results, and demographic data are analyzed, and the findings are then documented primarily in the IOAR and in the AUR Fact Book annually.

Furthermore, Microsoft PowerBI generated interactive, filterable dashboards containing AUR institutional data on student demographic and academic information per semester, data on admissions and new students, retention and graduation, withdrawals, as well as major and minors are available on the AUR DATA Hub.