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April 9, 2002

New!Moving Plans into Action

Moving Plans into Action, the Planning Leadership Team's second semi-annual report to the campus, is now available on the Provost's website. The report tracks progress in implementing the recommendations of task forces and will continue to be updated each semester as the University moves through the three-to-five year time horizon established in the planning process.

Four years ago, the campus entered a planning process committed to actionable, pragmatic planning focused on strategic issues key to UMBC's future. Nearly 100 faculty, staff and students served on task forces to develop goals and action steps for enrollment management, advising, continuing education, UMBC's development as an honors university, building the research culture and environment and advancing student life.

"Throughout the planning process, there has been strong endorsement of UMBC's vision to integrate teaching and learning, research and civic engagement," says Provost Arthur Johnson. He notes that there has also been repeated affirmation of the two major strategic goals identified by the planning process: to continue to rank in the top tier of research universities and to continue to build the quality and size of the undergraduate and graduate student bodies through improved academic and co-curricular experiences.

Improving the link between University planning and budgeting was a particular goal of the planning process. The Planning Leadership Team and the University Budget Committee have worked together to align resources with planning task force recommendations, both through allocation of new revenues and reallocation undertaken within divisions, Johnson says.

The Planning Leadership Team identified two foundation investments necessary to support the recommendations of all planning task forces. One goal is to improve information systems and business processes that support faculty and staff involved in budget management, human resources management, grants management, advising, and student services. The first budget shaped by the planning process, Fiscal Year 2002, included $2 million for the Delta Initiative--a multi-year, cross-campus effort that will create new business processes and information systems for financial management, human resources management, and student information. (Read more about the Delta Initiative in this issue). As a result, hundreds of faculty and staff are engaged in redesigning our finance and human resources information systems with a planned delivery date of July 2003.

The second fundamental goal proposed by the Planning Leadership Team is the addition of faculty lines and start-up funds to attract highly productive research faculty, build staff and facilities infrastructure for the research enterprise, create new opportunities for student engagement with core faculty, accommodate growth in high-demand programs and facilitate curricular enhancements. An investment of more than $2 million for faculty recruitment and start-ups in Fiscal Year 2002 resulted in 34 hires and 18 net new faculty spanning Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Social Work. Of the total hires, 17 are in tenure track positions.

There has also been substantial investment in and progress on recommendations from each task force, and these initial accomplishments are noted in Moving Plans into Action. Johnson says, "Many administrative, faculty, staff and student leaders are engaged in bringing task force recommendations to life. This is ambitious and difficult work, often subject to revision based on the deliberations of the campus governance process and developments in the larger world.

"We are all writing the next chapter in UMBC's growth and development. We must continue to be alert to the shifting issues and opportunities that will affect our future and constantly evaluate our progress and plans. To that end, I invite campus response to the report as well as thoughts on issues and opportunities important to address in the future," Johnson adds.

President Hrabowski and Provost Johnson will host a campus town meeting to provide an opportunity for campus community discussion of the report and issues and opportunities important to address in the future. The town meeting will be held on April 29, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., in the Skylight Room on the 3rd floor of The Commons.

The campus community is also invited to respond to the report via Blackboard. Faculty, staff and students have been enrolled in the Planning Community Forum. Log in at http://blackboard.umbc.edu using your user name and password (the same password you use to access your UMBC account). Once you are logged in you can access the Planning Community Forum under "My Organizations."

For additional information about the report or the town meeting, please contact Lisa Akchin, associate vice president, marketing and public relations, at akchin@umbc.edu.

Posted by dwinds1 at April 9, 2002 12:00 AM