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UCM Strategic Plan

Background

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 actively engaged in coordinating the strategic planning process. An essential part of this effort involves the committee's work to engage campus stakeholders and collect input to create a plan that provides direction and focus for UCM during the next three to five years.

During the spring 2019 semester, committee members will reach out to faculty, staff, students, alumni, and external partners to engage them in the information-gathering process. Opportunities such as forums and survey will be available to provide input. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) input obtained at General Faculty and Staff Council meetings in late fall 2018 is a part of this process.

In addition to this website, regular progress updates will be shared via:

  • UCM Daily
  • open campus meetings.

The general timeline for the development and implementation begins with gathering stakeholder input this spring. This feedback will help the committee to develop and vet goals and objectives, which will be shared with campus along with an implementation plan in June.

During the fall 2019 semester, academic colleges, schools, and units across campus will be asked to develop their individual strategic plans and align those with university priorities outlined in the university-wide strategic plan.

Building Blocks for the Future

UCM has already laid building blocks that will contribute to the development of a new strategic plan.

  • Work that was undertaken in 2008 toward establishing a strategic plan provides a starting point in which to begin robust and widely inclusive efforts that draw input from all sections of campus.
  • The university also will consider elements of the Strategic Resource Allocation Model (SRAM) that was developed in recent years to help the institution create a more sustainable solution for addressing reductions in state support for higher education and other fiscal challenges.
  • Work that contributed to the creation of a Strategic Positioning Platform in 2012, promising students an education that supports learning to a greater degree, will also be considered.

Changing Environment and Needs

Why is a strategic plan necessary? Along with the uncertainty of state financial support for higher education, UCM will continue to face challenges related to issues such as:

  • increased competition among peer institutions,
  • the rising cost of a higher education and student debt load,
  • meeting business needs for workforce training, and
  • providing a quality environment for the university's own employees to thrive and stay current with their job skills.

The strategic plan provides a template in which the university can better align its resources in meeting these needs and the other challenges it will face in the near and distant future.

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