A framework for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s new strategic plan is coming together.
During an Oct. 31 meeting of more than 150 administrative leaders at Nebraska Innovation Campus, Chancellor Ronnie Green announced a timeline that could make a newly formed strategic plan a reality by 2018. He also outlined four task forces that will provide background information to develop key areas of the plan.
“Given the aspirations that we have in regard to moving the campus forward, it is clear that we need to develop a much more refined, accountable and direct strategic plan,” Green said during the presentation. “This new strategic plan will be a vision of how we see ourselves today and where we believe this university needs to be by 2025.
“We are entering what I call the ‘Year of the Strategic Plan,’ which will be a seminal period for the university.”
The plan will replace the university’s “Strategic Compass,” a plan that helped guide campus growth during Harvey Perlman’s 15-year tenure as chancellor. University leaders have been developing initial concepts for the plan since Green became as chancellor this past spring.
Green announced publicly the need for a new plan during his inaugural State of the University address on Sept. 24.
“I anticipate this will be a 14-month long process,” Green said. “And, these four initial taskforces are being asked to gather background information that we will use to inform the strategic planning process.”
The four task forces, areas of focus and their leaders are:
Achieving Distinction – Led by Melanie Simpson, associate director of the Center for Biotechnology, and Steve Goddard, interim vice chancellor for research and economic development, this task force will identify and leverage Nebraska’s specific strengths and what it means to be a Big Ten university.
Budget Model – Led by Donde Plowman, dean of business administration, and Christine Jackson, vice chancellor of business and finance, this task force will explore various budget systems used by higher education institutions.
Smart Enrollment Growth – Led by Tiffany Heng-Moss, associate dean of agricultural sciences and natural resources, and Amber Williams, director of admissions and associate dean for enrollment management; this task force will be directly linked to identifying ways to assist with and direct the university’s enrollment goals.
Student Matriculation Success – Led by Amy Goodburn, interim dean of enrollment management and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, and Katherine Ankerson, dean of architecture, this task force will examine and identify programs that help with student retention and help students with degree completion.
Green said the majority of campus programs and initiatives, including research and economic development, are wrapped into the purview of the task forces. He also said diversity and inclusion is not a specific task force because the university already has an initiative exploring options in that area.
“We’re bringing in the top people in the fields of diversity and inclusion to help us better understand ourselves and how we compare to peer institutions in these important areas,” the chancellor said. “We are serious about moving the university forward in these areas and I did not want work on the strategic plan to get in the way of these important assessments.”
Furthermore, university leaders have stressed there is no timeline linked to the diversity and inclusion initiative. Rather, Nebraska has adopted a long-term plan for systematic change rather than enacting short-term strategies in these areas.
Green said the task forces would continue to take shape and start gathering information, leading to finalized reports in March. An outline of the entire strategic plan process will be announced by January.
“You should expect these task forces to be reaching out to units, faculty and staff campuswide as they start to gather background information,” Green said. “This process is going to be all hands on deck, requiring all of campus to be involved as we move forward.”
Additional information on the strategic planning process, including details on how to become involved with the task forces, will be announced.