Rackham Strategic Evaluation and Assessment Team (RSEAT)
Over the years, Rackham has implemented a wide-ranging set of activities and initiatives to support the U-M graduate community. While Rackham is a well-resourced organization, our resources—including the time and effort of Rackham staff and deans—are also finite. With that in mind, we cannot sustain all our current initiatives while continuing to pursue new, innovative ideas and proposals.
Therefore, it’s in our best interest to develop an equitable and systematic approach to evaluating the effectiveness of our current and future initiatives. This systems-based approach to evaluation and assessment—premised on the fundamental idea that those who do the work of an activity are best positioned to participate in the evaluation of it—will also ensure that all activities and initiatives are clearly aligned with Rackham’s mission and vision.
The team will be organized and led by Assistant Dean Ethriam Brammer and Emma Flores. In partnership with Rackham staff, the goal of this project is to develop and implement a systematic way for Rackham to equitably evaluate and assess current academic initiatives, utilizing a set of concrete metrics to more effectively allocate resources (e.g. financial, human, facilities, technological, etc.) in a way that best aligns with Rackham’s mission and vision and creates the opportunity to pilot new initiatives to better respond to future needs in graduate education.
Our focus with this new team is to provide additional capacity for staff to develop new programming that better aligns with Rackham’s mission and vision, rather than any aim to downsize or lose our organization’s staff. To be clear, we are not looking to reduce the size of the Rackham staff through this work. Instead, and in keeping with current practice, Rackham will continue to evaluate any vacancy in light of our budget, mission, and needs.
- Evaluate Rackham’s current portfolio of academic activities and initiatives in alignment with our mission and strategic vision
- Develop a way to track the progress and effectiveness of Rackham’s mission and strategic vision
- Develop a system that applies the same set of criteria to evaluate new initiatives or proposals
- Develop a standard process for evaluation and continuous improvement that reviews our Rackham portfolio on a cyclic basis (e.g. annually)