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student success | University News

UCM Board Adopts Strategic Plan as Foundation for Meeting Goals

By Jeff Murphy, August 15, 2019

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WARRENSBURG, MO – A new strategic plan that will serve as a foundation in helping to meet institutional goals over the next three to five years was approved by the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors when it met on campus Aug. 14. Driven by data, the plan is the result of an information-gathering process that included input from many university internal and external constituents.

Work on the strategic plan was coordinated by a committee appointed by President Roger Best, with committee leadership provided by Doug Koch, vice provost for academic programs and services. Koch outlined the plan during the board’s public work session on Tuesday, Aug. 13, and also met with the governors during the plenary session the following day. Best commended the committee’s work and those who contributed to making it possible.

He noted, “The strategic plan is the result of many people coming together to create a document on paper, but it’s much bigger than that.” He added that hundreds of points of input have contributed to a plan that is going to guide the university into the future.
 
In recent years, UCM laid the building blocks to contribute to the development of a strategic plan through limited research and discussion. This provided a starting point for a more robust and widely inclusive effort by a committee of faculty and staff members who led Best’s charge to create the plan. Under Koch’s leadership, this group has met regularly over the past 10 months collecting data from tools such as surveys, focus groups, and discussions with internal and external stakeholders, including students, faculty and staff, alumni, academic program advisory board members, and others who have an interest in the university.

The strategic plan presented to the board includes six overarching themes which also may be considered broader-based objectives to help strategically guide the university. These themes are: Student Access and Success, Academic Excellence, Inclusive and Diverse Community, External Relations and Development, and Institutional Excellence and Reputation. Committee members developed general descriptions and more specific goals to achieve under each one of the objectives.

Board approval of the strategic plan is a first step toward implementation. The administration now must develop appropriate action plans, measures, and key performance indicators which will ensure adequate progress toward attainment of specific goals. Also this fall, units across campus will be charged with developing individual strategic plans that align with university objectives outlined in the strategic plan. These objectives are further explained below.

  • Student access and success requires efforts to provide a welcoming campus environment for students of all backgrounds while also presenting opportunities for them to be successful. UCM will ensure that students are provided the support and resources needed to succeed and complete their educational goals.
  • Achieving academic excellence includes the promotion of innovative teaching, research, and practice by investing in UCM’s personnel, academic programs, and co-curricular programs that lead to enhanced learning outcomes for students.
  • To achieve organizational excellence, the university will hold itself to a high standard of accountability and show a commitment to good stewardship of its financial, human, and physical resources.
  • UCM will strive for an inclusive and diverse community by continuing to make the university more representative of our society and world. This means cultivating a university environment that welcomes and encourages the voices of diverse individuals and groups.
  • Under the heading of external relations and development, the plan calls for engagement of 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.
  • Objectives related to institutional excellence and reputation will be met by sharing the unique qualities that represent UCM’s brand with key stakeholders in the region, state, nation and internationally. As noted in the strategic plan, “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.”

The board’s endorsement of the strategic plan was part of an agenda that also included action related to employee health insurance, the naming of a room in an academic building, and a contract for an enterprise license agreement with Adobe Systems. More details about these areas will be provided to campus in the near future.

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