The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is investing in a comprehensive approach to advance professional development for the entire university community. That work is being guided by the N2025 strategic plan.
As the university enters the third year of the strategic plan, campus leaders gathered to discuss progress made toward the document’s six aims and related goals. Videos from the discussion are being released through April 27 with a weekly theme tied to each of the N2025 aims.
The sixth discussion, available above and on the N2025 website, is focused on what is colloquially known as “Aim Six,” which calls for the university to “prioritize participation and professional development for all Nebraska students, staff and faculty.” Video stories highlighting inclusive excellence will be released April 27.
Ultimately, campus leaders believe expanded professional development will grow inclusive excellence and foster a culture of participative decision-making. The work — which is being done at all levels, from campuswide to within individual units — reinforces the university’s believe that every person and ever interaction matters.
Aim Six includes six targets for the university:
- Annual evaluations will align with apportionments and assigned duties;
- All (100%) of faculty, post-doctoral fellows, staff and graduate/professional students will have a documented and individualized professional development plan;
- All leaders and administrators will engage in professional development associated with inclusive excellence and participative decision making;
- All faculty, post-doctoral fellows, staff and students will have a mentor or adviser, and all evaluations include reporting of mentorship activities;
- All graduates and post-doctoral fellows employed in appropriate jobs commensurate with their degree; and
- The university will be in the top-tier of employee satisfaction among higher-education institutions.
“One of the important reasons that we have professional development as part of the N2025 plan is because we know that we are working to prepare students to enter a workforce that is always changing,” said Marco Barker, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. “And our ability to help them be ready for that dynamic environment and to help resolve major world issues relies on our faculty and staff being their best selves and having the most recent and updated knowledge around these issues.
“This will put our employees — our faculty and staff — in a position to really best support our students.” Projects mentioned in the N2025 Aim Six discussion include: the creation of a staff council with elections to be held this spring; the university’s membership in the National Center for Faculty Development; the launch of an external mentoring grant program; and updates to human resources programs, including the creation of documented professional development plans.
Leadership is also weighing the creation of a centralized way to list professional development opportunities available across the university.
Learn more about the discussion by watching the video above. Details about Aim Six and other elements of the N2025 strategic plan are available here.