The president initiated the planning process in Fall 2015, directing the provost and a 15-member Strategic Planning Council to take the lead in developing a five-year strategic plan for the University.
The Strategic Planning Council operated under the following charge from the president:
For any great excursion, there are always two key questions: where are we? And secondly, where are we going? There are some things we know about where we are. We are a national flagship university, and we will continue to move forward in a manner that reflects and strengthens that position and responsibility. We have exceptionally dedicated faculty, staff and students. We have alumni and supporters who are committed partners. We have data that we can look through to give us more information on our current longitude and latitude; whether they be in discovery, teaching or engagement terms. And, it is important to note that while we have made great progress, we find ourselves still driven toward achieving a new and higher destination.
So, the second question is the work at hand: where are we going? I would ask that this indeed be a great excursion – a life-changing excursion for all of us, a once-in-a-lifetime challenge. It’s okay to be risk takers; we should dream, and dream big. We should establish the tenets that will ensure our place as a national flagship university, a national research university, an institution of prominence among universities over the coming years; and we will move to work together in achieving these goals.
Strategic planning is by nature an inclusive activity. The Council invited broad input to this important process by asking approximately 100,000 students, faculty, staff, retirees, parents, alumni, donors, community members and other interested parties to participate via survey responses, emails and listening sessions. They were asked to share their ideas and suggestions about the following:
The Strategic Planning Council met weekly throughout the spring and summer semesters to discuss suggestions from all sources and to consider the traditional and emerging values of the institution and its communities. This strategic plan’s themes, goals and strategies reflect the insights of UA’s many and valued constituents.