We must not equate assessment to testing. Assessment is an ongoing process. It is indeed the way we do business - constantly monitoring student development and the outcomes of our educational activity.
The results would just sit in the office.
What is new is that this has become a formalized and organized activity such that the use of the information to force improvements is now a requirement that must be documented.
There was a need to embrace assessment campus-wide, and so a director was hired.