OSUOklahoma State University


Criterion One: Mission and Integrity

The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.

As a land-grant university, OSU has a clear and distinct mission to pursue teaching, research, and extension outreach. Many university programs already carry out these priorities, and OSU's vision for the future allows the university to build on its legacy of educational quality and service, while addressing emerging challenges and opportunities. OSU's defined values are embodied in its organizational structures and policies and in the everyday work of students, faculty, staff, and administration. With input from all its constituents, OSU has established clear goals and core values, as well as highly effective evaluation systems to help ensure that the university's missions are carried out with integrity and accountability.

Core Component 1a

The organization's mission documents are clear and articulate publicly the organization's commitments.

The OSU Strategic Plan ensures that the system's mission statement and those of the various OSU entities are clear and articulate publicly OSU's commitments. OSU's system-wide strategic plan was developed to help the system reach higher levels of achievement and recognition in the fulfillment of its mission.

A System-wide Strategic Plan for OSU

Dr. David J. Schmidly1.1 became CEO of the OSU System and 17th president of Oklahoma State University on November 25, 2002, after serving as president of Texas Tech University. His title, “President of Oklahoma State University and CEO of the OSU System,” reflects the growth and complexity of what has become a genuine university system composed of more than the Stillwater campus.

Soon after becoming OSU's leader, President Schmidly began an unprecedented strategic planning initiative1.2 designed to elevate OSU to a position of prominence among the nation's top 75 research and academic universities.1.3 An initiative such as this had never been attempted at any university in Oklahoma.

The result has been 278 integrated strategic plans representing all of the campuses, areas, and units within the OSU System.1.4 Each plan focuses on strategic themes, such as academic instruction, research, outreach, educational partnerships, image enhancement, quality of life, diversity, and service to Oklahomans.

To achieve national prominence, the plan states that the OSU System must focus all its resources on strategic goals that have broad support. For this reason, the strategic plan was developed by the entire OSU System community, including faculty, staff, administrators, students, regents, alumni, friends, and the citizens of Oklahoma. The process was overseen by a steering committee that included representatives from the administration, faculty, and staff of each campus. The planning effort was also assisted by a consultant.


  • Excellence
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Integrity
  • Service
  • Diversity
  • Resource Stewardship

The planning process focused considerable attention on both OSU's internal and external constituencies. A series of town hall meetings led by Dr. Schmidly facilitated this process. The “top down and bottom up” process of gaining input also utilized task forces, retreats, and presentations to many constituents.

Each unit's plan defined the particular entity's mission, vision, core values, goals, critical success factors, objectives, and strategies within certain boundaries and definitions. As the individual plans were assessed, it became apparent that many of the units shared similar goals, objectives, and values. From this assessment, a set of common goals and values was adopted for the system and each campus.

The planning process resulted in the identification of six core values shared by the entire system: excellence, intellectual freedom, integrity, service, diversity, and resource stewardship.

In addition, five strategic themes for the system were developed from the plan. These themes are academic instruction, research, outreach through instruction, and partnerships; image communication; quality of life in the domains of healthy living, culture, and economic development; diversity; and human development of students, faculty, staff, and all Oklahomans.

Nine strategic priorities emerged from the planning process. These system-wide priorities are academic excellence in teaching, research, and outreach; quality of life/economic development; healthy living; synergy in the use of resources; partnerships/collaborations; image; student development; diversity; and human resources.

The final strategic plan strongly reflects OSU's land-grant tradition, priorities, and strengths in teaching, research, and outreach, and it outlines plans for building on that legacy. It also outlines the avenues through which the OSU System will continue to fulfill its mission while maintaining the highest levels of integrity.

The final plan was accepted by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents in September 2004.1.5 Shortly thereafter, the University Planning Council1.6 was formed to regularly review the planning documents and to evaluate progress and make necessary updates. All OSU strategic planning documents are available on the OSU website, www.okstate.edu.1.7

Mission Documents

New mission and vision statements were adopted for the OSU System and each entity of the system as part of the university's strategic plan. These statements are widely disseminated to various constituencies through the internet and publication in the University Catalog and through other OSU recruiting and marketing materials.

OSU System Mission Statement

Oklahoma State University is a multi-campus, land-grant educational system that improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research, and outreach. The instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, technical, extension, and continuing education informed by scholarship and research. The research, scholarship, and creative activities promote human and economic development through the expansion of knowledge and its application.

OSU System Vision Statement

The Oklahoma State University System will advance the quality of life in Oklahoma by fulfilling the instructional, research, and outreach obligations of a first-class, land-grant educational system.

OSU-Stillwater Mission Statement

Proud of its land-grant heritage, Oklahoma State University-Stillwater advances knowledge, enriches lives, and stimulates economic development through instruction, research, outreach, and creative activities.

OSU-Stillwater Vision Statement

Oklahoma State University-Stillwater will become one of the premier public universities in the United States and lead in the creation of a new Oklahoma.

To accomplish this:

OSU-Tulsa Mission Statement

In a metropolitan setting, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa advances knowledge, enriches lives, and enhances economic development through innovative instruction, research and creative activities, and outreach.

OSU-Tulsa Vision Statement

Oklahoma State University-Tulsa will be prized as the crown jewel of the city of Tulsa. By 2020, the 250-acre, 25-building campus will have 20,000 students enrolled in 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and:

Core Component 1b

In its mission documents, the organization recognizes the diversity of its learners, other constituents, and the greater society it serves.

Because OSU recognizes the diversity of its learners, other constituencies, and the greater society it serves, diversity is a core value in the OSU System's strategic plan. The institution strives to create an environment of respect for all individuals by valuing other ethnic and cultural backgrounds, diversity of opinion, and freedom of expression.

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy

OSU's policy explicitly states that it strives to be a complete equal opportunity university in all phases of operations, toward the end of fulfilling the university's basic mission and attaining its goals.1.8 Other aims of the policy are to:

Non-discrimination Procedures

The university has an affirmative action program to implement its official policies of equal opportunity employment. Statements are published regularly as to the official position of the university in regard to discrimination and equal opportunity employment. OSU's continuing policy is to actively and aggressively locate, recruit, place, upgrade, and promote members of ethnic minority groups and women at all levels at the university.

The responsibility for the recruitment of faculty is delegated to the provost and senior vice president in conjunction with the deans of the colleges. Responsibility for the recruitment of administrative and professional staff is delegated to the appropriate vice president in conjunction with the deans and directors within the colleges or other subdivisions of the university. Classified staff members are recruited by the Office of Human Resources (OHR) in conjunction with the college deans and directors and other university budgetary subdivisions. OHR is responsible for referring the names of qualified candidates to their potential supervisors. OHR also is responsible for disseminating job information through a variety of outlets.

A recruitment report form that accompanies payroll action forms for university personnel is used to implement the university's plan for affirmative action in regard to equal opportunity employment. This form indicates the number of persons considered for employment, their race and sex, and the reasons why the person selected was offered employment. These reports, tabulated on a regular basis, are reviewed by the Affirmative Action Office and the appropriate administrators. On the OSU-Stillwater campus, colleges and vice presidential units are responsible for working with the director of affirmative action to fulfill the equal opportunity responsibilities in their areas.

Each OSU employee, by performing his or her assigned duties, contributes to the instructional, research, and administrative activity of the university. Thus, the university subscribes to sustaining the dignity of the employee and endeavors to provide working conditions based on fair and equitable standards. OSU began Title IX comprehensive sexual harassment training in spring 2005; the sessions planned for administrators, faculty, staff, and students will continue several semesters. Any employee or group of employees has the right, without retaliation, to discuss with his or her supervisor(s), the assistant vice president of human resources, and/or the director of affirmative action the terms of his or her employment or working conditions. The affirmative action director is responsible for all matters relative to the university's equal employment opportunity/affirmative action program. The assistant vice president of human resources is responsible for application, conformity, and coordination of the personnel policies and procedures and for developing recommendations in conjunction with the affirmative action director, when applicable. Department supervisors are responsible for the administration and equal employment opportunity/affirmative action compliance of all personnel functions in conjunction with the affirmative action plan, as they pertain to employees under their jurisdiction.

Responding to Diverse Needs

Evidence of OSU's commitment to diversity is demonstrated by the practices of various OSU entities, such as the Office of Student Affairs,1.9 the Multicultural Student Center,1.10 the Office of Human Resources,1.11 the Affirmative Action Office,1.12 Student Disabilities Services,1.13 Undergraduate Admissions,1.14 International Students and Scholars,1.15 and the School of International Studies.1.16 In addition to designated policies and procedures, OSU's institutional view on diversity is expressed in many ways, including the development of classes about multiculturalism, the creation of study plans for enhancing diversity, and publication of clear statements about OSU's diversity goals in its catalog, faculty handbook, student informational publications, and many other materials. In addition, OSU recently completed a nationwide search for a vice president for institutional diversity that resulted in the appointment of Dr. Cornell Thomas to the position.

In addition, all OSU undergraduates are required to complete a general education course with an international dimension. Students in these courses critically analyze one or more contemporary cultures external to the United States to help students understand how international cultures relate to complex, modern world systems.

A number of special grant-supported programs for OSU students are aimed at increasing representation in fields in which minorities are underrepresented. Two of these are the Native Americans into Biological Sciences program in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and the American Indians into Psychology program in the Psychology Department.

Recently, workshops have helped prepare minority students to compete for the Gates Millennium Scholarships. In addition, there is a strong presence of minority professionals on the OSU staff in the admissions and financial aid offices. The renovation of the university's Colvin Center also has allowed for the creation of new international sports clubs and activities. Campus Life 1.17 provides more than 50 diversity programs, and Residential Life1.18 has specific floors for members of ethnic groups who want to live in proximity and celebrate their heritages. Also a number of multicultural scholarships are available, as well as ethnic student organizations. The Sexual Orientation Diversity Association (SODA), located in the Student Affairs Division, has weekly meetings and educational programs, as well as panel discussions on bisexuality and gay marriage.

Core Component 1c

Understanding of and support of the mission pervade the organization.

OSU's strategic planning process involved every unit of the university and gave all employees an opportunity to better understand the university's mission and to have input into planning aimed at supporting the OSU mission. Many OSU students also were involved with the planning process, thereby gaining a better understanding of the university's mission and supporting its implementation. The mission lends stability to the campus by promoting a consistency of perception and action.

Fulfilling OSU's Mission

The strategic planning process provides a means for applying the university's various missions as the University Planning Council1.19 works to align mission and goals with changing needs and resources. Five-Year Academic Report Cards, called Academic Ledgers,1.20 summarize the major variables associated with enrollment, student profile, faculty, teaching, research, and financial information. The University Planning Council will review the Academic Ledgers for information to assist it in making planning decisions. This process, grounded in organized data presentation, promotes effective use of the university's resources to ensure fulfillment of the mission.

Each college has associate deans or directors for instruction, research, and outreach. To aid in the planning process, administrators in instruction and outreach serve on the Instruction Council and the Outreach Council. These councils make recommendations to the provost and senior vice president. The associate deans for instruction from each college serve on the Instruction Council,1.21 which is chaired by the associate vice president of undergraduate education. This group meets at least monthly to discuss all aspects of the instructional program including, but not limited to, curriculum quality and content, methods of course delivery, and enhancement of instruction. The council makes recommendations to the provost on policies, procedures, and regulations affecting the instructional program at OSU.

The colleges' outreach directors serve on the Outreach Council,1.22 which is chaired by the director of international education and outreach. The council meets monthly to facilitate communication, discuss mutual concerns, develop interdisciplinary programs, and recommend administrative policy and procedures.

Mission Infusion Across Campus

Because the OSU strategic planning process involved all units of every OSU campus, interaction between these units and central administration during the plan's development communicated broadly the university's mission. In addition, numerous meetings were held on the OSU campuses to explain all aspects of the strategic plan and its mission and vision. These materials also have been widely distributed through publications and placement on the OSU website. Every unit's plan is designed to reflect the university's overall mission, and employees of each unit are evaluated in light of the goals and objectives set for their units. Through the strategic plan, all employees will be working to implement the university's overall mission.

Mission-based Budgets

As the University Planning Council continues to monitor the success of the plan in meeting the university's mission objectives and identifying changing needs, the university's budgets will address these needs. A current example of a mission-based budget consideration is the university's “Restore, Reward, and Grow” initiative. Budget constraints have prevented OSU from competing nationally in paying salaries that would attract and retain top faculty. This initiative addresses this issue, which is vital to OSU's achievement of its mission.

The current administration contracted an outside consultant to compare each academic college with a selected peer group. Based on the results of this study,1.23 the administration has outlined the funds needed to fill faculty positions that were left vacant throughout years when OSU experienced cutbacks in appropriations, as well as to reward the current faculty, and to increase future faculty numbers.

The “Restore, Reward, and Grow” initiative began in FY2005 and will continue through FY2015. The program has come about as a result of the completion of the OSU Strategic Plan and is necessary in order to accomplish the goals set by the plan. The intent of the program is to strengthen the faculty in terms of both quality and quantity. The program has three simultaneous phases.

The first phase will restore the 100 faculty positions left vacant as a result of state appropriation reductions in recent years. This phase was initiated in FY2005 when the provost and senior vice president authorized 25 vacant faculty positions for recruitement. It will continue through the next 3 years at a rate of 25 faculty positions per year for a total of 100 positions.

The second phase will increase the average faculty salary at OSU over a 10-year period to the level of the peer average. The recent consultant study recommended a $10 million adjustment to faculty salaries based on the difference between OSU faculty salaries and those of its peers. Funding will be added over and above an annual raise program to close this gap over the stated 10-year period. It is intended that by 2015, OSU faculty salaries will be at the peer average. This phase began in FY2005 with an average 5% raise, 2% above the inflation index.

The third phase, beginning in FY2006, will increase the faculty size by adding 10 new positions for each of the next 10 years to grow the faculty by 100 positions. These positions will be linked to key goals identified by the OSU Strategic Plan.

As previously stated, the university has implemented faculty raise programs ranging from three to six percent annually when possible, including special equity pools for faculty. While reductions in state appropriations in FY2003 and FY2004 made faculty raises impossible, in FY2004, the administration used a pool of $400,000 to give special awards to bring all tenured and tenure-track faculty salaries up to a minimum of $40,000 and to reward outstanding faculty. Additionally, a one-time supplement of $500 was given to all continuously employed faculty and staff in FY2004.

Instances of salary inversion resulting from faculty salary compression are present on the campus. Hiring new faculty members at higher salaries than experienced faculty of a higher rank in the same department leads to low faculty morale and high turnover. The administration and OSU/A&M Board of Regents have committed to address the situation by bringing compensation up to the level of the Big 12 average and ongoing efforts are being made to achieve this goal.

Core Component 1d

The organization's governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the organization to fulfill its mission.

The OSU/A&M Board of Regents' stated mission is to provide service that is characterized by the highest degree of cooperation and communication among system institutions; quality programs that meet or exceed the expectations of people seeking service of any kind at any tier of the system; efficiency of operations in order to focus resources in a manner that will best support the educational needs of the people served; and accountability to the people of Oklahoma through an appropriate array of high-quality educational opportunities in accordance with the constitution and laws of the State of Oklahoma.

Selecting Outstanding Leaders

Members of the OSU administration are hired through processes that involve a national search, and input from faculty members is required when upper-level administrative positions are being filled. As a result, appropriate qualifications and a national reputation are part of the process for hiring administrators. Similar processes are followed in hiring faculty members. As stated in other areas of this report, OSU is making significant progress in its ability to offer competitive salaries that attract top administrators and faculty. The university also has increased the number of endowed chairs and professorships, which helps attract and retain top-notch faculty members.

Collaborative Governance

OSU has active faculty1.24 and staff1.25 councils. Both organizations have been in place for many years, and shared governance is a reality at OSU. Representatives from these councils and from the undergraduate1.26 and graduate1.27 student councils meet monthly with the Stillwater Cabinet.1.28 Recommendations to the administration are negotiated through extensive interaction between the councils and appropriate administrative units. Recommendations frequently receive prompt responses from the administration. The input and active collaboration at all levels of the university help promote effective leadership.

Academic Structures

All academic programs are administered through the Office of Academic Affairs.1.29 Curricula are the responsibility of the faculty under the direction of departments and colleges. Several units in the Office of Academic Affairs assist with curriculum planning, assessment, and delivery. Research programs are administered through the Research Office, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer,1.30 and the associate deans and directors for research from the various colleges. The Office of University Research Services1.31 assists in these endeavors. These collaborative processes help OSU successfully fulfill its mission.

New Technology

New computer-based technological structures promote effectiveness in most processes at the university. Not only is efficiency enhanced, but transparency of processes and results also is dramatically increased. The use of the internet, e-mail, and electronically delivered classes as well as other technology has completely realigned the ways in which administrators, faculty, staff, students, and the public interact and communicate with the institution and with each other. These structural changes have significantly affected the process of teaching, the administration of teaching and management of classes, and the daily work of the institution.

Core Component 1e

The organization upholds and protects its integrity.

OSU has shown its commitment to integrity by including it as a core value in the OSU Strategic Plan (Integrity — We are committed to the principles of truth and honesty, and we will be equitable, ethical, and professional). This core value is evident in many policies and procedures that help ensure that all of the university's missions and practices meet the highest standards of integrity.

Lawful Practice

As a public university, OSU is committed to upholding the public's trust and to obeying all laws: federal, state, and local. Many of OSU's activities are subject to regular public scrutiny through the very public nature of the university's work and through the numerous policies, regulations, and laws that apply directly to the activities of the university. Compliance units are numerous. These include environmental health and safety compliance, research compliance, privacy compliance at the Center for Health Sciences, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and NCAA compliance. The Seretean Wellness Center and the University Health Services both have HEPA and FERPA compliance. In addition, budgeting and other financial affairs are handled with open discussion.

The members of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents also are required, by state law, to participate in training, including training in ethics, as applied to institutions of higher education. The regents also must follow specific state laws in matters such as the hiring of consultants, architects, and contractors, and other business-related practices.

The OSU/A&M Regents' Department of Internal Audits,1.32 headquartered on the OSU-Stillwater campus, regularly audits the institutions under the board's governance. These audit reports are presented to the leaders of the institutions. Institutional administrators provide written responses to all internal audit reports. This auditing process and other input by OSU's governing board help promote integrity and effective administration of the university.

Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty by either students or faculty members is not tolerated at OSU. Specific policies to deal with allegations of academic dishonesty outline the steps to determine if academic dishonesty has occurred and to allow the accused student or faculty member to state his or her case for consideration by committees made up of faculty members and students. Those found to have committed academic dishonesty face severe consequences. In 2002-2003, faculty members reported that 93 students received penalties for academic dishonesty. OSU's faculty members endorse the American Association of University Professors' 1987 “Statement on Professional Ethics.” OSU also is affiliated with The Center for Academic Integrity (CAI), a consortium of over 320 institutions. CAI's mission is to provide a forum to identify and affirm the values of academic integrity and to promote their achievement in practice. The mission is achieved primarily through the involvement of students, faculty, and administrators from the member institutions who share with peers and colleagues the center's collective experience, expertise, and creative energy.

OSU became a member of the CAI in the fall of 2003. In January 2004, a committee of faculty, staff, and administrators began discussions to revise the 1984 policy on allegations of academic misconduct and dishonesty and to promote academic integrity on campus. In spring 2004, the committee administered an on-line survey with Dr. Don McCabe from Rutgers University. The survey assessed OSU students,' teaching assistants,' and faculty members' perceptions of the academic environment, the extent of academic misconduct, and attitudes related to academic integrity. Dr. McCabe presented results to the campus community in the fall of 2004.

The committee is developing a new policy and simplified procedures for addressing academic dishonesty, a communication plan to inform students and faculty of the revisions, and an academic integrity seminar for students who violate academic integrity.

Academic Advising

OSU's academic advisors operate under the standards of the National Academic Advising Association1.33 (NACADA), the national professional organization for advisors. In regard to OSU's academic advisors, students probably offer the most effective local check-and-balance oversight. If an advisor does not do his or her job well, does not follow rules and regulations or policies and procedures, enrolls a student in an inappropriate course, or does not inform a student of important information and deadlines, the student generally reports the error(s) to the college director of student academic services or goes directly to other administrators. A council of student academic services directors, led by the assistant vice president for enrollment management, also meets monthly to discuss issues dealing with advisors and advising. Information from these meetings is shared with college and departmental advisors.


OSU has clearly stated policies and procedures that ensure that all the university's employees are treated fairly and with integrity.1.34 All areas of faculty members' employment are outlined in detail in the Faculty Handbook.1.35 Policies concerning students, including grievances and a code of conduct, are covered in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.1.36

OSU policy regarding all full-time and part-time members of the administrative/professional (A/P) and classified staff is also outlined. Any A/P or classified staff member who has a bona fide grievance (as defined by policy) that cannot be resolved informally may request the formation of a grievance committee, which will examine the issues and make recommendations to the appropriate administrator.

The policy recognizes three types of complaints defined as follows:

The Grievance Committee submits its preliminary report to the assistant vice president (AVP) of human resources in a non-discrimination case, or to both the human resources AVP and the director of affirmative action in a discrimination case. The AVP and director review the preliminary report for policy compliance. When the report is in compliance, it is forwarded to the appropriate vice president or to the appropriate senior administrator reporting directly to the president. The human resources AVP provides copies of the report to the grievant, the responding party, their counsel, if any, and to all members of the grievance committee. The human resources AVP keeps a copy in a permanent file.

The resulting action of the appropriate vice president or other senior administrator is reviewed by the university president. The full report from the Grievance Committee is made available for the president's review. The decision of the vice president or other senior administrator is considered final and binding after the review and with the concurrence of the president.

Conflicts of Interest

Members of the OSU faculty have as their primary professional responsibility their obligations to the university. OSU policy,1.37 however, states that it is important that employees be allowed to forge external relationships. The policy further states that while members of the OSU faculty are not prohibited from developing external relationships with industry and private entrepreneurial ventures, such relationships carry an increased risk of a conflict of interest and commitment between obligations to the university and private concerns. Faculty members are urged to be sensitive to the possibility that outside obligations, financial interests, or employment may affect their responsibilities and decisions as members of the university community.

OSU's policies were developed to ensure that the university complies with current federal regulations and to provide guidance for faculty members regarding external relationships. The policy is also intended to assure the faculty, the university, and the public that potential conflicts of interest have been examined and will be managed in a manner consistent with university and public values.

OSU policy states that a conflict of interest arises when an investigator compromises his or her professional standards in carrying out teaching, research, extension, or service activities as a result of an external relationship that affects the financial interests of the investigator, a family member, or an associated entity. Further, conflict may violate or compromise ethical standards and guidelines associated with professional actions, activities, or treatment, as in the case of the medical profession. Policies outline how much financial interest a faculty member may have with an entity that may be directly affected by the results of the investigator's current or proposed externally funded research or when results of the research could be influenced by the financial relationship with the entity. The investigator must disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

Scientific Misconduct

Scientific misconduct is defined by OSU as fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

Complaints of scientific misconduct directed at members of the university (faculty, students, or staff) may be made directly to the vice president for research and technology transfer (VPR) or referred to the VPR by the appropriate unit administrator. When an allegation of scientific misconduct is made, the VPR appoints a review committee to determine whether the allegation or apparent instance of scientific misconduct warrants a formal investigation. The VPR also consults with the OSU/A&M Board of Regents' Office of Legal Counsel prior to making a preliminary determination regarding such allegations. If it is determined that a formal investigation is warranted, the VPR must appoint an investigating committee.

Both the review and investigation committees are made up of three senior faculty members appointed by the VPR. These faculty members must hold academic rank at least equal to that of the person accused of scientific misconduct. Committee members must not have personal bias or a conflict of interest with the accused person, with the person making the allegations, or with any person who is called upon to give evidence in the initial inquiry. The accused, or respondent, has the right to protest the membership of an investigating committee.

The VPR fully considers all information received from all persons involved in the investigation and makes a final determination regarding the application of sanctions. Prior to making a final determination, the VPR also seeks appropriate faculty counsel from the respondent's department. The respondent has a right to appeal the imposition of sanctions.

When appropriate, the VPR must submit a final report of the investigation to the director of the Office of Scientific Integrity and any affected external funding agencies. In the event that scientific misconduct is determined to have occurred, the VPR may impose sanctions including, but not limited to, removal from a particular project, special monitoring of future work, written reprimand, probation for a specified period of time with conditions attached, suspension of rights and responsibilities for a specified period of time with conditions attached, or termination of employment.

Internal Audits

The OSU/A&M Board of Regent's Department of Internal Audits1.38 helps ensure integrity of operations in areas such as admissions, registrar, bursar, student aid, human and animal research, copyright issues, campus health and environmental safety, police activities, and facility building, maintenance, and renovation.

The Institute of Internal Auditors states: “Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. Internal auditing reviews the reliability and integrity of information, compliance with policies and regulations, the safeguarding of assets, the economical and efficient use of resources, and established operational goals and objectives. Internal audits encompass financial activities and operations including systems, production, engineering, marketing, and human resources.”

The OSU/A&M Board of Regents specifies that the Department of Internal Audits is solely responsible to the board in the manner the board prescribes. Programs or the scope of work conducted by internal auditors is prescribed and approved by the board. All internal audit reports are submitted at the same time to the board and to the president of the institution involved. Institutional administrators provide written responses to all internal audit reports, copies of which are presented to the board in the manner it prescribes. Such responses are submitted to the board over the signature of each of the respective presidents or a member of a president's management team.

The annual audit plan approved by the board each June is designed to provide broad audit coverage, while devoting sufficient time to major audit risk areas. While an emphasis has been placed on areas specifically requested by management, business risks exist across all operations of the institutions. It is important, therefore, for Internal Audits to assess and promote the institutions' understanding and use of sound business practices. Internal Audits evaluates risk exposures and effectiveness of controls relating to governance, operations, and information systems technology for:

  1. Reliability and integrity of financial and operational information;
  2. Effectiveness and efficiency of operations;
  3. Safeguarding of assets; and
  4. Compliance with laws, regulations, and contracts.

Internal Audit's current audit plan is primarily devoted to financial, compliance, information systems technology, and operational auditing, as well as management consulting services. The office also co-sources specialized expertise from professional information technology service firms in order to augment its existing in-house information technology audit resources. The unit also has co-sourced construction consulting services when reviewing and evaluating construction activities.

State law requires institutions of higher education to have an annual financial audit conducted, in accordance with OMB Circular A-133, by an outside public accounting firm.1.39 The external auditors are engaged by and report to the board. The Internal Audit Department works with the external auditors and considers the external audit coverage as it develops the internal audit plan to achieve maximum audit coverage.

Registrar Audits

OSU uses SIS Plus1.40 for its student information system. SIS Plus is an integrated system that allows the various areas on campus to share information and data. Security for each area is controlled by that area. The Bursar,1.41 Financial Aid,1.42 Residential Life,1.43 Human Resources,1.44 Admissions,1.45 and the Registrar's Office 1.46 manage their own areas and determine who has the ability to view data and who has the ability to update data. The registrar's office controls access to the academic information in the system.

The registrar's office works with Institutional Research and Information Management1.47 (IRIM) in setting security profiles and access to information. Security is granted to personnel based on their need to view increasing levels of detail and to update the system. All individuals on campus requiring access to academic information must fill out an SIS Access Request. These forms originate through IRIM, which verifies that the individual is currently employed and identifies his or her employment area. The form is sent to the associate registrar for final approval. Whether or not the person is given access to update information is based on the individual's job function. The screens containing information concerning the students' and instructors' PINS are blocked to everyone except a few employees in the Registrar's Office.

IRIM and the Registrar's Office monitor the system daily. The Registrar's Office runs a daily report listing any grades that have been changed, the day and time the grade was changed, and the operator ID of the individual making the change. This report is reviewed daily by the coordinator of academic records. The associate registrar also has access to this report for daily review. During enrollment, a daily report identifies any students who enrolled prior to their enrollment date and the individual who enrolled the student early. Prior to release of the “as of counts” at the beginning of the semester, several edit reports are run to verify the accuracy of the enrollment numbers. These reports are reviewed by the assistant registrar in charge of fee adjustments. A weekly visa status report identifies any student whose visa type does not coincide with his or her residency status. At the beginning of the semester, a faculty/staff fee waiver report compares the requests for the faculty/staff fee waiver to the individual's status as a full-time employee before the fee waiver is processed in the system.

IRIM daily monitors individual operator IDs, identifying individuals who are no longer employed by the university, in order to terminate their access to SIS. During enrollment, a daily report identifies students who were enrolled using the “permit” function in the system. The “permit” function overrides all holds in the system, which include closed sections, fire code, etc. Over-enrollments must be dealt with immediately and corrected by the Registrar's Office or the academic department.

Security profiles and access to the system are periodically evaluated and adjusted as necessary. As enhancements are made to the system and the web, IRIM personnel and the associate registrar review the profiles and make necessary adjustments.

Criterion One Conclusion


  1. The OSU System's mission statement and those of the various OSU entities, as well as the strategic plan, clearly and publicly articulate OSU's commitments and consider various constituents' input, ensuring widespread agreement and coordination of goals.
  2. The university strives to recognize the dignity and worth of each person in all phases of its operations making diversity a core value in its strategic plan, and evidenced especially by its Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action program; diversity-enhancing academics, publications, and scholarships; Committee for Campus Accessibility; and the director of affirmative action and vice president for institutional diversity positions.
  3. The university's governance structure and strategic planning process provide opportunities for collaborative decision-making among OSU's various constituents.
  4. The university has a commitment to meet the highest standards of integrity, evident in the OSU Strategic Plan, policies, procedures, and internal audits.

Challenges: Actions for Going Forward

  1. Ensure implementation, appropriate assessment, and ongoing review of the OSU System Strategic Plan.
    ACTION: The University Planning Council, consisting of faculty, staff, and students from each campus, will review the planning documents, evaluate progress, and make necessary updates.
  2. Review efforts to enhance access to higher education through the OSU System to increase degree holders in Oklahoma and grow the OSU System to meet changing state demographics and gaps in educational attainment.
    ACTION: Implement the Restore, Reward, and Grow plan in order to increase efforts to hire, promote, energize, and retain excellent and diverse administrators, faculty, and staff to foster an environment that can recruit, retain, and graduate students from every cultural and socio-economic group in the state.
  3. Enhance the image of the OSU System to promote an institutional culture capable of achieving a more lofty ambition as delineated in the strategic plan.
    ACTION: Utilize image management and marketing strategies to play major roles in changing the perceptions of various constituencies.


Criterion One

Table of Contents

Criterion One: Mission and Integrity

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