Strategic Planning Listening Sessions

Monday, June 30, 2014

Update from Provost Hanson 

As promised, we continue at full steam this summer on strategic planning for the Twin Cities campus.

The Strategic Planning Workgroup spent many months over the last year deepening our understanding of the exceptional opportunities and distinctive strengths we have as a public land-grant research university in a vibrant urban setting, and extended teams of faculty, staff, and students are now “building out” the vision and the goals that have been cooperatively constructed by the workgroup and so many of you.

There is still much work to do as we develop concrete plans, however, and your views on the most promising directions to take would be especially valuable at this time. I invite you to join me and members of the workgroup at one of two upcoming listening sessions—to share your perspectives and to offer your suggestions on the plans that are taking shape: 

  • Tuesday, July 8: 11 a.m.–noon, 402 Walter Library
  • Tuesday, August 12: 11 a.m.–noon, McNamara Center/Ski-U-Mah Room


Please mark your calendars as well for a Campus Conversation in early September, when we will share the penultimate draft of a completed plan with the campus community: 

  • Wednesday, September 3: noon–1 p.m., Humphrey School/Cowles Auditorium. 

Some of your summer schedules may make it difficult to attend these meetings in person. If that’s the case, I hope that you will consider participating remotely via UMConnect. I also encourage you to submit questions or suggestions via the online comment form.

The new plan will articulate a 10-year vision to guide strategic decision-making, and it will include specific action steps for the next 3–5 years. I want to emphasize, though, that it will not prescribe new directions for all aspects of our many colleges, programs, and disciplines. It will instead suggest a specific set of goals and strategies to enhance the quality and impact of the University of Minnesota, based on a range of our special opportunities and strengths.

I also want to underscore that we intend for the plan we present in September to be understood as a dynamic one, subject to recurrent reexamination and revision. We need to be alert to new opportunities and willing to abandon failed experiments. We need to continue robust conversations with the campus community and with the Board of Regents to make sure that our efforts advance our mission, reflect our shared aspirations, and meet the challenges and contingencies of a diverse and changing world.

Thank you in advance for your engagement in this important phase of the planning process.

This update, in modified format, was emailed by Provost Hanson on June 30 to Twin Cities faculty and staff.