Strategic plan eyes university where ‘every person, every interaction matters’

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Strategic plan eyes university where ‘every person, every interaction matters’
Faculty-led N2025 team releases draft for campus review

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Craig Chandler | University Communication
Faculty leaders of the N2025 Strategy Team have released a draft of the 2020 to 2025 strategic plan. It is available for review and feedback online.

A strategic plan to guide the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to 2025 is calling for an initial course that leads to an institution where “every person and every interaction matters.”

Announced Sept. 23 in a draft report from the faculty-led N2025 Strategy Team, the “every person” principle serves as the keystone that connects and supports the university’s teaching, research/creative activity and engagement missions. The draft builds upon a bold vision outlined by the N150 Commission, a group of more than 150 stakeholders who answered Chancellor Ronnie Green’s call to envision how the university can best serve Nebraska and the world in the next quarter century.

“This draft is the plan to guide the university through the first five years of the N150 Commission’s 25-year vision,” said Sue Sheridan, professor of educational psychology and one of four faculty selected to lead the N2025 Strategy Team. “It’s an important document that will help the university start out on the right foot toward the long-term vision.”

Chancellor Ronnie Green created the N2025 team in February, tasking them to create a five-year strategic plan based on the N150 Commission report. Co-chairs of the 31-member N2025 team are Sheridan, director of the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools; Rick Bevins, chair and professor of psychology; Shane Farritor, professor of mechanical and materials engineering; and Angela Pannier, professor of biological systems engineering.

Four aspirations identified in the original N150 Commission report — Nebraska students co-create their experience; research and creative activity transforms lives and learning; every person and every interaction matters; and engagement builds communities — serve as the main drivers in the N2025 draft plan.

The draft of the N2025 strategic plan features a central principle — "Every person and every interaction matters" — that provides a guide for three core aspirations. The document is available for review online.
The draft of the N2025 strategic plan features a central principle — "Every person and every interaction matters" — that provides a guide for three core aspirations. The document is available for review online.

In reviewing the N150 report, the N2025 team felt the “every person and every interaction matters” principle elevated to greater importance and could serve as a central point — a keystone — that connects the other aspirations.

“As a group, we agreed that the idea of Nebraska being a place where every person and every interaction matters is an overarching principle,” Pannier said. “It ties directly into all that we do — education, research and creative activity, and engagement. It’s a concept that identifies what it means to be at Nebraska and it’s a way we can make this institution distinctive.”

The N2025 strategic plan draft, which is available for review and feedback online, outlines the central principle, core aspirations and six aims.

The aims — all of which should be read and understood as including the phrase “in a way that every person and every interaction matters” — represent a specific purpose or intended outcome. They are:

  • Create a climate that emphasizes, prioritizes and expands inclusive excellence and diversity;

  • Establish a community at Nebraska committed to increasing the impact of research and creative activity;

  • Innovate student experiences that prepare graduates for life-long learning and contribute to Nebraska’s diverse future workforce;

  • Focus research, scholarship, creative activity and student experiences that foster innovative interdisciplinary endeavors and solve challenges critical to Nebraska and the world:

  • Broaden Nebraska’s engagement in community, industry and global partnerships; and

  • Prioritize participation and professional development for all Nebraska students, faculty and staff.

Each aim is outlined in the draft plan, with strategies and expectations to direct campus initiatives. Specific targets for the aims are being identified by Chancellor Green and his senior leadership team. Those targets will be announced in November.

With the release of the draft plan, the N2025 Strategy Team is seeking feedback from the campus community.

“This is our opportunity to work together on a transformative document that will reach far into the future,” Sheridan said. “Campus feedback is important as we move forward, shaping this plan to define who we are as a university, what we want to accomplish and how we get there.”

Students, faculty and staff can review the draft plan online. Feedback can be left via the website or departments/units/groups can request face-to-face presentations from the N2025 Strategy Team.

Feedback will be accepted through Nov. 15. The team will finalize the document and release it at the start of the spring semester.

Campus units seeking a presentation about the N2025 draft strategic plan should send a request to Diane Mendenhall at dmendenhall@unl.edu or 402-472-2116.

Learn more about the N150 Commission report and the N2025 Strategy Team draft.