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Friday, June 27, 2014

Strategic Planning Progress and Next Steps


Karen Hanson and six members of the campuswide Strategic Planning Workgroup provided a progress report June 12 to the Board of Regents Academic and Student Affairs Committee.

The provost provided an overview of the timeline and process, building off her March presentation to the full board.

Key points:
  • In March, we moved from the strategic visioning phase of the process into the "build out" phase, and we broadened the workgroup discussions by asking additional participants to join issue teams.
  • The planning effort will chart strategic goals for the Twin Cities campus that advance the core mission and values of the University of Minnesota (which remain unchanged).
  • The vision outlined by the Strategic Planning Workgroup: The University of Minnesota—Twin Cities will be preeminent in solving the grand challenges of a diverse and changing world 
  • Four goals in support of the vision: we will leverage our breadth and depth to take on grand challenges, support excellence and reject complacency, establish a culture of reciprocal engagement that capitalizes on our unique location, and aggressively recruit, retain, and promote field-shaping researchers and teachers 
  • About 150 students, staff, and faculty drawn from across the campus are involved in issue teams, charged with filling in the details of how we might pursue our goals. 
  • Over the summer, we will continue sharing progress with the campus community, soliciting feedback from stakeholders, and making sure the plan continues to be informed by diverse voices and perspectives 
  • Listening sessions will take place in July and August. Meetings with students are planned in collaboration with student governance groups. The completed plan will be shared in September with the campus community (at a Campus Conversation) and then with the Regents. (Note: see below for dates and times of campus forums)Online comments also are invited. 
  • The plan is meant to recognize exceptional opportunities and strategic strengths that differentiate us from other higher education institutions. 
  • The plan is meant to build on the many things we already do exceptionally well. It will set the stage for newly focused excellence and impact through several strategic directions that leverage the breadth of assets on the Twin Cities campus. It is not meant to be a prescriptive framework or definitive set of criteria for everything we do across or within colleges, programs, and disciplines.
  • Within the core plan framework, we intend for the plan to be dynamic, to be constantly be subjected to reexamination and possible revision. We will continue to have robust conversations with the campus community and with the Board about how to adapt the plan to our changing institution and the changing environment. 
A panel discussion briefly highlighted the work of issue teams now under way, as well as the ongoing focus on student interests within the strategic planning process.

Participating in the discussion were:
  • Renee Cheng, professor, College of Design: Grand Challenges Curriculum Team co-lead (with Carissa Schively Slotterback, associate professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs)
  • Al Levine, liaison for special initiatives, Provost's Office: Grand Challenges Research Team co-lead (with Joe Konstan, professor, CSE; and Reuben Harris, professor, CBS)
  • Jakub Tolar, associate professor, Medical School: Supporting Excellence/Rejecting Complacency Team co-lead (with Chris Uggen, professor, CLA)
  • Amelious Whyte, assistant dean, Office of Student Affairs: Reciprocal Engagement Team co-lead (with Liz Lightfoot, professor, CEHD; and Catherine Squires, associate professor, CLA)
  • Tim Kehoe, professor, CLA: Recruit/Retain Field-shaping Researchers and Teachers Team co-lead (with Will Durfee, professor, CSE)
  • Meghan Mason, graduate student and Strategic Planning Workgroup member: Student Interests within the Strategic Plan

Note: Dates and times for campus strategic planning forums have been confirmed. Please plan to attend one or more of the following sessions, or join online via UMConnect:
  • Listening sessions: 
    • July 8, 11 a.m.–12 noon, 402 Walter Library
    • August 12, 11 a.m.–12 noon, McNamara Center/Ski-U-Mah Room
  • Campus Conversation (presentation of completed draft of plan):
    • September 3, 12 noon–1 pm, Humphrey School/Cowles Auditorium