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THE UA STRATEGIC PLAN: Advancing the Flagship: The Next Phase

The goals identified are designed to be high-level in nature and to allow campus units to base their planning efforts on this overarching strategic plan. Some of the strategies necessary to facilitate the University's plan are college and department based, while others are University-wide initiatives.

These goals were created with critical success factors in mind. The plan:

  • Embraces the dreams of our campus.
  • Is high-level and consistent with a dynamic university committed to accelerating its accomplishments.
  • Ensures the vitality inherent in attracting the best and brightest scholars.
  • Reflects a focus on moving our research, creative activities and performance achievements forward in a substantial way.
  • Prepares our students for the globally connected world they will be a part of as they graduate and effect change in the world.
  • Provides an unmatched teaching and learning experience for all students.
  • Instills a comprehensive view of equity, inclusion and diversity for our campus.

Provide a premier education that enhances the lives of our students, graduates, and the communities they serve

The University of Alabama continues to strive for excellence in academics and community-engaged scholarship. Through exceptional programming, preeminent academic resources, and civically-minded educational experiences, UA will continue to be a leader in higher education for undergraduate, graduate, professional, and other students.

Refreshed Objectives:

In the next phase of Advancing the Flagship, UA will continue to:

1.1 Refine enrollment management plans that serve as foundations for quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, with attention to all demographics and to key metrics of success such as improving recruitment, retention, and degrees awarded, closing achievement gaps, and promoting student success and social mobility

1.2 Increase the quality and number of graduate students to develop the next generation of scholars and to support the University’s research, scholarship, and creative activity, with a focus on competitive internal and external support and doctoral production

1.3 Expand transformational education experiences through high-impact opportunities and practices such as smaller class sizes, undergraduate and graduate research, campus/civic/community engagement, internships, study abroad, leadership development, other distinctive curricular and co-curricular programs, and linkages to companies and industry

1.4 Enhance support for instructional excellence and pedagogical innovation, and further recognize the value of high-quality instruction from all levels of faculty

1.5 Promote life and career success for our students and graduates by offering an array of educational, training, experiential and employment opportunities through the career center and successful student placement initiatives throughout their time at UA

1.6 Through the Rising Tide Capital Campaign, increase scholarships, fellowships, endowed chair and faculty positions, and new programs for undergraduate and graduate students

Increase the University's productivity and innovation in research, scholarship and creative activities that impact economic and societal development.

The Research Mission of The University of Alabama is to facilitate and promote the pursuit, discovery, and dissemination of knowledge and the application of knowledge through research and creative initiatives, technology transfer, and economic development that impact our students and our many constituencies within the State of Alabama, the nation, and the world.

The Economic Development Mission of The University of Alabama, as the state’s flagship academic institution, is to prepare a job-ready workforce, extend programs to serve rural and urban communities, forge research partnerships, transfer technologies, foster innovation and scholarship, build small businesses, support industry, and create jobs.

UA’s Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) developed, through an extensive campus-wide process, two five-year strategic plans to address UA’s larger research and economic goals. Both five-year strategic plans were developed directly from Advancing the Flagship.

1. Research. Office for Research & Economic Development Strategic Plan (2019-2024).

2. Economic Development. Five-Year Economic Development Priorities and Strategic Goals for The University of Alabama, 2019-2024.

Refreshed Research Objectives:

In the next phase of Advancing the Flagship, UA will continue to:

2.1 Promote and enhance the university-wide culture for research, scholarship, and creative activities, commensurate with a Carnegie-designated R1 very high research doctoral university

2.2 Invest in, grow, and expand the Alabama Research Institutes and evaluate their success

2.3 Routinely and fully evaluate the merits of investments in major research and creative initiatives to ensure they are transformative, cross-disciplinary, sustainable, and have economic and societal impact

2.4 Translate intellectual property to achieve maximum economic and societal impact

2.5 Increase strong partnerships with external stakeholders with the dual goal of increasing the number of sponsored projects while creating career opportunities for UA students through these partnerships

2.6 Expand efforts to track and assess progress in increasing UA’s productivity and innovation in research, scholarship, and creative activities and its impact on economic and societal development

Refreshed Economic Development Objectives:

In the next phase of Advancing the Flagship, UA will continue to:

2.7 Enhance the economic well-being and sustainability of Alabama businesses, communities, and the state by providing, at or near cost, services and technical assistance centered on planning, leadership and professional development, continuing education, economic development, and economic diversification

2.8 Prepare current and future workforce and retain talent in the state

2.9 Advance current efforts to start, recruit, and partner with companies

2.10 Measure and evaluate the overall impact of UA on the statewide economy

2.11 Through The Rising Tide Capital Campaign, elevate success through research and endowed faculty positions, student scholarships, program support, and fellowships

Enrich our learning and work environment by attracting, welcoming, and supporting all faculty, staff, and students through inclusive excellence.

One of the objectives of Advancing the Flagship’s Goal 3 was to “establish a position for an equity, inclusion and diversity officer”. After establishing that position in 2017, the framework for the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was formed and Dr. G. Christine Taylor was hired as the inaugural Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

In 2019, President Stuart R. Bell convened a presidential advisory committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The committee authored the Path Forward Diversity Report in fall 2020, which serves as a DEI strategic plan. The report provides detailed measurable objectives that expanded upon those in Advancing the Flagship.

The Path Forward serves as a guide for growth in the Division of DEI, and the plan is updated annually to track its success.

Refreshed Objectives:

In the next phase of Advancing the Flagship, UA will continue to:

3.1 Expand current efforts that strengthen the recruitment, matriculation, retention, and graduation of historically marginalized and underrepresented students

3.2 Enhance the recruitment, hiring and retention of diverse faculty, staff, and administrators

3.3 Continue to create a welcoming campus community by highlighting the accomplishments of diverse leaders impacting UA's past and present, and by implementing initiatives that remove barriers to success for all sectors of UA's population

3.4 Expand educational and learning opportunities in diversity, equity, and inclusion, to assist faculty, staff, and students in developing cultural competencies

3.5 Expand the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion support to achieve these objectives

3.6 Through the Rising Tide Capital Campaign, increase access, achievement and diversity through scholarships, fellowships, and programming

Foster an environment that will aid in the recruitment, retention, growth, and support of outstanding faculty and staff.

The University of Alabama’s greatest resource is its people. To continue to fulfill its mission as the state’s flagship institution, UA understands that investing in outstanding faculty and staff creates a foundation for strong academic programs, innovative research and creative endeavors, and the creation and delivery of vital services to the state, nation, and world.

Refreshed Objectives:

In the next phase of Advancing the Flagship, UA will continue to:

4.1 Regularly review policies, salaries and compensation models, benefits, employee and family support, external factors, and startup packages to be consistent with best practices, compete nationally for the very best and most diverse talent, and retain that talent

4.2 Create and deliver high-quality onboarding and professional development programs for all employees

4.3 Develop robust continual performance evaluation practices for all employees, tied to job responsibilities for each employee

4.4 Expand career development and growth opportunities for employees who consistently exceed expectations

4.5 Through The Rising Tide Capital Campaign, recruit top faculty through new endowments

4.6 Steward our financial resources to allow for additional investments in our most important resource: our people