Planning Process Yields Eight Guiding Priorities for the University

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A summary of eight focus areas for the future of the University of Arkansas was released Monday as part of a collaborative campuswide planning process that began in January.

The planning process included more than 75 meetings with individual academic departments and centers that compiled and presented strengths, challenges, opportunities and future goals for their areas. Students, academic deans and committees made up of faculty and staff then reviewed that information and provided recommendations directly to Chancellor Joe Steinmetz, who plans to expand upon the priorities at his investiture ceremony Oct. 20.

“The priorities truly belong to the campus as a whole,” Steinmetz said. “Every college and department and many centers and service units were directly involved in the planning process. I would like to thank everyone for their input into their creation. Together, we will further define these priorities in the coming weeks and begin to work on the initiatives and accompanying metrics of success that will ensure substantial progress in these key areas.”

Find out details about the university’s eight guiding priorities, listed briefly here:

  • Advancing student success

  • Building a collaborative and innovative campus

  • Enhancing our research and discovery mission

  • Enriching campus diversity and inclusion

  • Investing in faculty excellence

  • Promoting innovation in teaching and learning

  • Reaffirming our land-grant and flagship responsibilities

  • Strengthening graduate education

“This isn’t the end of the planning process but we’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time,” Steinmetz said. “While we do face challenges in some areas, the process of finding our focus and direction for the future in a collaborative way is quite energizing.”

The priorities were developed by members of the university’s executive committee after a review and synthesis of several reports including three compiled by committees focused on the university’s three mission areas — as well as input from the deans. The reports from those committees, Teaching and Learning, Research and Discovery and Outreach and Engagement are available for download.

The three committees, academic deans and a student group reviewed the departmental summaries in order to identify and prioritize common threads for future goal-setting for the university. The student body report is also available online.

The next step in this process will be for a group assigned to each priority to develop and define some specific initiatives that may be considered in these eight priorities for future budget cycles. Fiscal consideration will be given to initiatives that fit into the campus priorities. The campus service units will then develop their own plans to support the priorities – and in some cases may decide to recalibrate their own efforts to ensure they are priority-focused.

“I know one thing, we can’t do it all,” Steinmetz said. “That’s why establishing priorities are so crucial. My hope is that every unit will take a critical look at their operational and programmatic efforts, and make strategic decisions about what to continue, what to modify, and maybe even what to cut or no longer do.”

Members of the university community are encouraged to provide thoughts on these priorities.  Feedback may be provided via any of the committee members who has worked on the project – or via email to Laura Jacobs using the subject line: Priorities Feedback.

The entire Campus Strategic Planning Process and timeline can be accessed online.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Mark Rushing, assistant vice chancellor
University Relations
479-575-5555, markr@uark.edu

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