Strategic Plan Presented to Board of Regents

Friday, September 12, 2014

Draft report online | Comments invited through Sept. 25

President Kaler, Provost Hanson, and members of the Strategic Planning Workgroup shared with the Board of Regents today the draft of the Strategic Plan for the Twin Cities campus.

"What you're about to hear is a roadmap for reinvigorating the University of Minnesota," the president said in introducing a presentation of the plan by Provost Hanson and members of the Strategic Planning Workgroup.


The plan articulates a vision and priorities for the next decade that build on the campus’ exceptional strengths and opportunities as one of the country’s most comprehensive research universities and one of the few located in a large metropolitan area.

It aims to create new 21st-century learning and career pathways for students, build more campus-community partnerships, and combine University strengths more broadly and deeply to address “grand challenges”—the most pressing and complex problems facing the state, nation, and world.

The plan calls on the University to:

  • Leverage its breadth and depth to take on society’s grand challenges through more cross-cutting research, creative scholarship, and curriculum; 
  • Support excellence and reject complacency by changing practices to create an invigorated campus culture of ambition, challenge, exploration, and innovation; 
  • Aggressively recruit, retain and promote diverse field-shaping researchers and teachers; and 
  • Build a culture of mutual engagement between the University and many partners and stakeholders that capitalizes on the U’s dynamic metropolitan location. 

Comment period—and online copy of report

Faculty, staff, students, and external stakeholders have provided input through listening sessions--and are invited to comment on the completed draft between September 15 and 25.)

Comments will inform the final version to be presented for Board action in October. Once the plan is approved, it will be a framework for decisionmaking by the provost and deans, with implementation plans to be launched this fall.

To jump-start institutional transformation, three initial grand challenge areas have been identified that harness robust university expertise across many fields of knowledge, from the core disciplines of the liberal arts to the new frontiers of the biosciences:

  • Ensuring sustainable, healthy, secure food; 
  • Advancing industry while conserving the environment and addressing climate change; and
  • Building vibrant communities that enhance human potential and collective well-being in a diverse and changing society.

Six members of the Strategic Planning Workgroup joined the provost to discuss the goals and strategies developed by extended teams of faculty, students, and staff over the past year: professors Jakub Tolar, Joe Konstan, Renee Cheng, Liz Lightfoot, and Tim Kehoe; and graduate student Meghan Mason.