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ComPASS is FIU’s secret sauce

ComPASS is FIU’s secret sauce

May 16, 2019 at 2:27pm

FIU has undergone a strategic realignment and accountability process that has been imperative to FIU’s rise to success.

Communication Protocol for Accountability and Strategic Support, or ComPASS, is FIU’s secret sauce. The university uses data to drive institutional decisions as part of a continuous model of improvement. The process aims to monitor the university’s immediate instructional, curricular and operational needs and their impact on FIU’s mission and position relative to Florida’s Performance Funding Model.

ComPASS is modeled after a data-driven management model used by the NYPD called CompStat in the 1990s. Due to CompStat’s success it quickly expanded across the United States and has become a widely embraced management model for a variety of organizations, including educational institutions.

Data analytics, workshops and general sessions focus on how to maximize resources and focus the university’s collective effort on strategies that will provide the greatest return on investments and help ensure strategic plan goals are met by 2020.

To date, FIU has held more than 10 ComPASS sessions, where deans of nine colleges, top administration and members of success teams across the university come together and report back on their metrics and success tactics.

“Our goal is to make U.S. history as the first urban-serving university to achieve a 60 percent 4-year graduation rate,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton. “Through these sessions and process, we are meeting our objectives and are poised to become a top 50 public university by 2025.”

General sessions are the culmination of work by many different units across the institution that come together to ensure colleges across the university have implemented important tactics that will help the college reach its allotted goals.

“The sessions allow us to really dig deep and identify issues the units and colleges may be facing,” said Pablo Ortiz, vice president of Regional Academic Locations and Institutional Development, who leads the process. “It is necessary for them to be able to translate goals and dissect data into clear action items.

Using this process, the university has been able to meet many of the requirements needed to be named an emerging preeminent institution and ranked second in the State University System in terms of performance funding.

From 2007 to 2017, FIU’s four-year graduation rate went from 19.3 percent to 33.5 percent, an increase of 73.5 percent. FIU’s second-year retention rate also increased from 73.3 percent to 90 percent. In addition, FIU has increased its research expenditures to $185 million, and its patent production has grown by 650 percent.