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UCM Strategic Plan


Taking a forward-looking approach to addressing challenges and opportunities in a new era in higher education, the University of Central Missouri in 2019 is embarking on an important endeavor in the life of the institution by developing a new strategic plan.

Work is taking place at the same time UCM makes preparations to achieve a historic milestone in 2021 with the campus celebrating the institution’s 150th year in serving the education needs of this state and beyond. What began as a normal school to prepare Missouri teachers has evolved into a major comprehensive university that now attracts students from throughout the state, nation and around the globe who are interested in quality, affordable education programs that will help them excel in an ever-changing world.

As UCM looks to the future, we must continue to build on the successes of the many faculty, staff and administrators who continue to dedicate their lives to enable our students to succeed. We must collectively determine how we are going to benefit from the achievements of the past and what steps we must take to build upon and even exceed these accomplishments moving forward.

Our strategic plan is the blueprint for UCM’s future. It will guide us in establishing the expectations that are needed to achieve our institutional aspirations and vision, ensuring that a UCM degree remains a valuable investment for our future students and more than 100,000 alumni.

Purpose and Direction

Higher education is constantly changing. The University of Central Missouri must be prepared to adapt to these changes proactively in order to serve our students' educational needs and meet the expectations of employers who hire our graduates.

The Strategic Planning Committee, appointed by President Roger Best, is composed of members from a cross-section of campus. While the University has discussed development of a strategic plan in recent years, Committee members have engaged the campus community and numerous constituents more intensively in the last 10 months to mutually identify appropriate objectives and goals for a robust strategic plan to serve the University for the next three to five years.

Using substantial feedback received from these internal and external constituents, the Committee developed six overarching themes for the strategic plan which have broad-based support from internal and external stakeholders. These themes, which may be considered broader-based objectives, were endorsed by the UCM Board of Governors during its meetings August 13-14, 2019, and are as follows:

  • Student Access and Success
  • Academic Excellence
  • Organizational Excellence
  • Inclusive and Diverse Community
  • External Relations and Development
  • Institutional Excellence and Reputation

With each objective, the Committee developed general descriptions and more specific goals to achieve (as follows):

Student Access and Success

Provide a welcoming campus environment for students of all backgrounds and present opportunities for them to be successful. Ensure that students are provided the support and resources needed to succeed and complete their educational goals.

  • Engage in practices and policies that promote student progression to timely degree completion.
  • Assist students in securing financial resources and employment opportunities while monitoring and reducing (where possible) student-loan debt.

Academic Excellence

Promote innovative teaching, research, and practice by investing in our personnel, academic programs, and co-curricular programs that lead to enhanced learning outcomes for students.

  • Support faculty and staff as teacher-scholars.
  • Develop and enhance relevant, high-quality academic and co-curricular programs to meet regional and global workforce needs.
  • Enhance the visibility and academic profile of the University through engaged teaching, meaningful research/scholarship, and alumni success.

Organizational Excellence

To hold ourselves to a high standard of accountability and show a commitment to good stewardship of our financial, human, and physical resources.

  • Align University resources with strategic priorities.
  • Create and maintain efficient operating environment and workflow of processes.
  • Utilize a sustainable financial model.
  • Maintain a commitment to shared governance, transparency, and communication.

Inclusive and Diverse Community

To continue making our college community more representative of our society and world, UCM cultivates a University environment that welcomes and encourages the voices of diverse individuals and groups.

  • Advance the understanding of cultural diversity.
  • Support development and expansion of diversity throughout and across the curriculum.
  • Enhance and enrich co-curricular programs and supportive networks.
  • Attract and retain an increased number of students, faculty and staff from a variety of backgrounds.

External Relations and Development

Engage alumni, donors and friends through volunteerism and generosity to cultivate, manage, and distribute resources in support of UCM while establishing stronger brand awareness through increased external partnerships.

  • Increase our level of engagement with alumni, friends, and donors who are already connected to the University.
  • Create additional strategic partnerships with external constituents not currently connected to the University.

Institutional Excellence and Reputation

The unique qualities that represent UCM’s brand will be shared with key stakeholders in the region, state, nation and internationally. This will be accomplished in a consistent manner that includes the effective integration of compelling messages into communication efforts to advance institutional awareness, contribute to meeting strategic priorities, and engage students, faculty, staff, alumni and stakeholders.

  • Internal and external constituents will recognize UCM’s key comparative advantages and operating culture.
  • Deepen brand messaging, knowledge and awareness of UCM’s programs and successes with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Continue build out of incident management procedures.


The Board's approval of these goals and objectives is a first step toward implementation of the Strategic Plan. The administration must now develop action plans, measures and key performance indicators which will ensure adequate progress toward attainment of specific goals. Units across campus will be charged with developing individual strategic plans that align with University objectives outlined in the Strategic Plan.


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