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September 4, 2003

Strategic Framework for 2016

Over the past five years, the Planning Leadership Team (PLT) has guided the campus through an evolving strategic planning process that included input from faculty, staff and students. UMBC has established a vision to be known for integrating research, teaching and learning, and civic engagement, as well as a commitment to ranking in the top tier of research universities and building our undergraduate and graduate student bodies.

Building on this groundwork, the PLT's new "Strategic Framework for 2016" report includes direction for short-term and long-term planning and budgeting at the University, college, division and department levels. This past week, 150 faculty, staff and students had an opportunity to discuss the report when it was presented at this year's University Retreat, and it is now available for the entire campus community to review.

"Strategic Framework for 2016" includes two major goals:

*To provide a distinctive undergraduate experience, strengthening UMBC's performance as a research university that integrates a high-quality undergraduate education with faculty scholarship and research through a curriculum and set of experiences promoting student engagement, such as seminars, study groups, research opportunities, mentoring, advising, co-curricular learning experiences, and exposure to diversity.

*To continue to build research and graduate education, by pursuing growth in Ph.D.s granted, faculty awards, and federal research grants and contracts in order to strengthen the culture of UMBC as a research university and continue to rank in a prestigious cohort of research universities.

To spur the achievement of those goals, the PLT has established supporting goals and objectives in the areas of undergraduate education; research and graduate education; student body size and composition; faculty size and composition; curriculum and program mix; management, organization and staffing; and relationship with the Baltimore/Washington region.

In addition to the recommendations of campus wide task forces and committees, studies of UMBC's size and development helped to frame the PLT's discussions of UMBC's future. Professor Marilyn Demorest's report on faculty size, composition and allocation of resources provided insight into factors affecting faculty/student ratio. Professor Brad Humphreys' cost benefit analysis of enrollment growth provided a model for understanding when increased enrollment provides financial advantage and when it does not.

To stimulate thinking about the circumstances and strategies that push universities to new levels of distinction and success, the PLT developed profiles of eight "exemplar" institutions: University of Delaware, Georgia Tech, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Pittsburgh, William & Mary, Carnegie Mellon, Drexel and Rensselear. The research helped PLT members understand strategies that have been transformative for other campuses and to incorporate those most applicable to UMBC.

As we face a new economic and political climate, extensive planning is more crucial than ever. "We can't do business as we have been. We need planning to succeed in a turbulent environment," Provost Art Johnson said at the retreat. "But that does not mean we will change our vision or our goals, which are rooted in who we are. We'll just find a different way to achieve them."

You can read "Strategic Framework for 2016" online.

Previous PLT reports are also available on the Provost's Web site.

Posted by dwinds1 at September 4, 2003 12:00 AM