Planning & Institutional Effectiveness



The Office of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness is dedicated to providing the University community with information and analysis to support planning, decision-making, and continuous improvement. The Office is responsible for leading institution-wide planning and institutional assessment processes, conducting research and analysis to support planning, and developing the tools and processes necessary to facilitate planning and its links to other key practices. These activities are conducted under the coordination of the University's Institutional Effectiveness Plan.

Institutional effectiveness encapsulates a number of processes that serve to facilitate the comparison of institutional performance to our stated mission and institutional goals; namely, our strategic plan. Institutional effectiveness practices at the University are both both evaluative and developmental. The office shares a strong, collaborative relationship with the Office of Institutional Research, the Office of Educational Assessment, and with other partners across campus to facilitate and support collaborative planning and continous improvement. The Office of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness is led by the Assistant Vice Provost for Planning & Institutional Effectiveness. 

The primary responsibilities of the office include the coordination of:

  • Manage the University's institutional accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and related activities
  • Manage the implementation of the University's planning processes, with particular focus on the development and implementation of the University's Strategic Plan
  • Develop and implement the University's Institutional Effectiveness plan
  • Coordinting the reporting of institutional performance measures, scorecards, departmental planning and improvement activities, and other outcomes
  • Conceptualize and conduct institutional evaluation & assessment services and projects
  • Leadership and support for institutional compliance activities
  • Conduct external analysis activities, such as environmental scanning, and other ad hoc research units
  • Coordinating institutional policy & governance activities

Read more about these activities via the links to the left. 

About the Assistant Vice Provost

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Kathryn (Kate) Yerkes has been with The University of Scranton since 2001. Kate is responsible for the design, implementation, and reporting of the University’s planning and institutional effectiveness activities. Beginning her career with The University as a Planning & Policy analyst, she has helped shepherd the development of three strategic plans, including the University’s newest: The Scranton Plan 2015-2020: Engaged, Integrated, Global. Working closely with the Office of Institutional Research and new Office of Educational Assessment, Kate has responsibility for assuring the alignment of planning, research, and assessment activities, and managing institutional reporting for planning and institutional assessment topics. Kate is also responsible for a variety of University governance, policy and compliance initiatives, and has presented and written on the topic of policy development through the lens of institutional effectiveness and governance. Kate plays an active role with the national Association of College and University Policy Officers (ACUPA), serving as a founding member of its quarterly newsletter editorial board.

Since 2001, she has served in a variety of leadership capacities related to Middle States regional accreditation, including co-chair of the University’s 2013 Periodic Review process. Kate was appointed the University’s Middle States Accreditation Liaison Officer in spring 2014, overseeing all Middle States related activities.

A native of the Scranton area, Kate earned her bachelor’s degree in English from King’s College, master’s degrees in English and Human Resource Management from The University of Scranton, and a post-master’s certificate in Institutional Research from Penn State.  Contact Kate by emailing:

Read a recent article on the potential partnerships between institutional policy and institutional research professionals here: .