University of Arkansas Launches Strategic Plan for Academics

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A University of Arkansas-wide collaborative process that started in January, 2016 has culminated in the launch of a comprehensive strategic plan for the university’s academic future. The plan, a key goal of Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz since the beginning of his administration, is now available online for the convenience of the entire campus community.

The plan is built on the eight guiding priorities developed last academic year, and includes a series of goals and actions for the 2017-18 academic year, as well as ways of measuring success for each of those priorities.

“I am proud to say that every stage of developing this plan has been a collaboration, with our entire campus working together to set our guiding priorities, and then determine the actions needed to advance each priority and the metrics to track our progress moving forward," said Chancellor Steinmetz. “It’s time now to focus on the future and the work we will all need to do to achieve the continuous improvement needed to make this university the best it has ever been.”

Developing and staffing a Student Success Center is an example of one of the major initiatives in the plan. The Student Success Center is one way to meet the goal of increasing student retention and graduation rates, as part of the first guiding priority, Advancing Student Success. The university will track graduation and retention rates to make sure the center – and other actions in the plan, are effective.

Another guiding priority, Investing in Faculty Excellence, has the goal, in part, to bolster excellence in teaching, learning, research and collaboration. Actions to achieve this include bringing faculty salaries in line with peer institutions, while tracking compensation at those institutions.

“In all we have more than a dozen goals in this strategic plan and several actions designed to help achieve them,” said Jim Coleman, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, who has been actively working to develop the strategic plan since joining the U of A eight months ago. “All of these have been developed from the ground up, as were the guiding priorities, with people from all over campus contributing. Also, and importantly, the collaborative process helped us establish a defined set of metrics that we will fully develop and use to tell us what is working and what needs to be adjusted. I’ve been very proud to be part of this process.”

The strategic plan is being officially launched as part of One University Week, Sept. 11-15, which is intended to establish the academic course for the U of A for this academic year and the future as well, while also seeking to define the university’s mission, role and identity as Arkansas’ first public land-grant institution.

Other upcoming events in One University Week include an Academic Update from the Provost and Chancellor Steinmetz’s “State of the University” message.


Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations


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