The City University of New York follows a performance management process (PMP) that links planning and goal setting by the University and its colleges and professional schools, measures annual progress towards key goals, and recognizes excellent performance.

Each year, CUNY’s Chancellor states the University’s performance goals for the upcoming academic year, guided by the University’s Master Plan. CUNY presidents and professional school deans, working with their executive teams and college communities, establish performance targets for their institution for the coming year reflecting plans for existing or new initiatives.

At the end of each academic year, each college’s progress on university and college goals is assessed, and strengths and ongoing challenges are identified. The Chancellor meets with each college president or dean annually to review institutional performance, recognize successful performance, and identify future priorities. College presidents and deans then lead their respective campus communities to advance the University and college goals.

The University Data Books showing trends in performance indicators by college for year-end 2015-16 and earlier years are available via the link at the right. They are also available at under the “Accountability” link.


To ensure clarity about University and college priorities and expectations for the year
To recognize and acknowledge progress at all levels
To unite a diverse set of colleges into an integrated University
To ensure that the Master Plan guides the plans and priorities of the colleges while each retains its own identity, mission, and governance
To introduce more accountability into the system

Until 2012-13, the PMP was organized by nine objectives nested within three broad goals. Beginning with the 2014-15 cycle, the PMP was streamlined to bring greater focus on university and college priorities. This narrower set of goals is no longer constrained by the nine-objective framework. Currently, the PMP is organized into three sections: University Goals, Sector Goals, and College Focus Area Goals

A. University Goals: There are nine university goals common to all or nearly all of the CUNY colleges. Progress on each goal is measured by a specific set of standard metrics.

B. Sector Goals: This section identifies several goals that apply only to the senior colleges or only to the community colleges to recognize that these two sectors have different missions. Each sector goal has one or more associated standard metrics.

C. College Focus Area Goals: These are a small set of additional goals that each college develops in broad consultation with college constituencies to allow colleges to articulate their priorities. Colleges identify their own qualitative and quantitative evidence they will provide to assess annual progress on these goals.

College focus goals were added to the PMP in 2014. They are an additional set of performance goals that presidents identify through broad collaboration with their campus communities. College focus goals reflect the college’s institutional priorities that are not already established goals in for the University as a whole or for the senior/community sector.

Like University and sector goals, the college focus goals should be specific (not comprehensive, vague, or too broad), should be outcomes-focused (not process or activity-oriented), and should have associated with them at least one indicator by which annual progress can be measured. Ideally, a meaningful quantitative metric will be identified and trend data provided, but qualitative indicators, to the extent that they provide evidence of progress toward a relevant outcome, are also acceptable. Colleges should set quantitative targets for all relevant indicators of progress on college focus goals.

Colleges are advised to follow the guidelines below to develop S.M.A.R.T. goals:

Specific – identify a specific, clear. and unambiguous goal; target a specific area for improvement.
Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
Achievable – be ambitious, but realistic.
Relevant – connect the goal with the strategic vision and college priorities.
Time-bound – specify when the result(s) can be achieved – for the PMP, this should be within the academic year