Defining the Future: The University of Tennessee Strategic Plan

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The UT System is in the process of updating the strategic plan. All information on this site reflects goals and progress from 2012 – 2017.

Comprehensive Plan

Defining the Future: The UT System Strategic Plan, 2012-2017

Updated: June 2015

I. Introduction

The University of Tennessee System, comprised of four campuses and two institutes, has been educating Tennessean since its founding in 1794 and is a critical part of the state’s leadership, workforce, economic development, health and well-being. The UT System has a presence in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties and has sent more than 365,000 alumni to live, work in and contribute to the state, nation and world.

Dr. Joe DiPietro became the 25th UT President in January 2011. Under his leadership, the System Administration launched a Strategic Planning process to strengthen and advance the UT System’s stature as a “best-in-class” system dedicated to its purpose to “Educate, Discover and Connect.” This collaborative project engaged UT’s campuses, institutes, System Administration, Board of Trustees and multiple constituencies in a new planning process following the System’s last Strategic Plan of 2006.

This Strategic Plan comes at a pivotal time for higher education in the United States and in Tennessee. Ambitious national and state agendas are driving bold efforts to raise enrollment and graduation rates, ensure student achievement and success, expand economic and workforce development and respond to the urgent challenges and opportunities of globalization.

Higher education’s strategic challenges are widespread as the US attempts to maintain its preeminent status in global postsecondary education. Tennessee has taken the national spotlight in education reform through its successful “Race to the Top” initiatives and its master plan, “The Public Agenda for Tennessee Higher Education, 2010 – 2015.” This new “public agenda” for higher education establishes a direct link between the state’s economic development and its educational system, with the overarching goal for Tennessee to meet the projected national average in educational attainment by 2025.

The UT System Administration Strategic Plan is outcomes-driven. It provides a vision for the next five years to support and increase UT’s impact on education, workforce development, economic impact and other areas critical to its influence, relationships and community‐building.

The plan’s objective is to transform Tennesseeʼs educational pipeline for the good of its residents and economy—and to supply graduates to meet emerging occupational and intellectual needs within the state and beyond.

Directed by the President, led by a Steering Committee and with close involvement of the Board of Trustees and UT campuses and institutes, the Strategic Plan also responds to objectives of the Complete College Tennessee Act (CCTA), a comprehensive reform program enacted by the state legislature in 2010. CCTA seeks to transform public higher education through changes in academic, fiscal and administrative policies at state and institutional levels. These reforms center on the need for more Tennesseans to be better educated and trained, while acknowledging the state's diminished fiscal capacity to support higher education.

Historically, funding for the state’s public higher education institutions has been based largely on enrollment. CCTA initiated a new outcomes-based funding formula that places greater emphasis on retention and graduation and recognizes research activity with regional and national relevance. The public agenda establishes a goal of 26,000 additional undergraduates by 2015 and, in response to national goals, a sustained rate of growth to produce 210,000 additional degrees by 2025. It also calls on higher education to collaborate with industry, government and communities to build Tennessee’s future.

The Strategic Plan also distinguishes and leverages the UT System’s comprehensive portfolio and its educational, research and outreach assets geared to the diversity of the state through campuses and institutes. All focused on a “best-in-class” university system, these multiple components produce considerable benefits for Tennesseans.

To sustain and expand these contributions for maximum impact, the UT System Strategic Plan purposefully facilitates the aspirations, strategic goals and action plans of each campus and institute:

  • The comprehensive research institution, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • The comprehensive, community-engaged University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
  • The regional University of Tennessee-Martin
  • The statewide, academic health system, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • The statewide Institute of Agriculture and Institute for Public Service

The CCTA agenda promotes efficiencies by capitalizing on each institution’s distinctive capacity to serve the state and by greater collaboration among institutions for cost efficiencies and minimizing program duplication. The strategic planning process facilitated clearer definition of the missions of the (statewide) UT System and UT System Administration, and of the roles and responsibilities of the System Administration and the campuses and the institutes to implement the strategic goals.

For more than a century, America’s great public universities have served as the major institutions promoting:

  • Education of their state’s citizens
  • Investment in state and regional economies
  • Workforce planning and development
  • Scientific research, inventions and innovation

In the second decade of the 21st century and more than ever, the economic impact of the UT System is central to Tennessee’s achievements at every level, from the state capital in Nashville to extension offices in all 95 counties. Directed at implementing UT System President DiPietro’s mission for the role of the System Administration, this five-year Strategic Plan defines a future with great momentum. It removes obstacles to education, promotes diversity, provides advocacy, secures and distributes resources, ensures accountability, produces work‐ready graduates, generates premier research and engages innovation in ways more vitally needed than ever.

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II. The Strategic Planning Process

President DiPietro formally launched the initial planning process in September 2011 with engagement activities designed to expand and strengthen relationships among faculty, staff, administrators, the Board of Trustees, students, friends, alumni, legislators and the people of Tennessee. Activities of the transparent process were reported in a timely fashion through a comprehensive communications plan and on a dedicated website allowing the UT community and affiliated groups to track the project from start to finish.
The five-phase initial process incorporated multiple participants and resources:

  • A 17-member Steering Committee comprised of members of the President’s Leadership Team, campus Chancellors or their representatives, and representatives from UT alumni, students and the Board of Trustees
  • Listening Sessions with more than 200 administrators, faculty, staff and students on each campus, within each institute and including alumni and state and local leadership
  • Best practice, data and trend analysis for public higher education and land-grant institutions
  • Affirmation of the new System Administration Mission Statement and an updated Mission Statement for the UT System
  • 12 cross-System Task Forces bringing together 190 subject experts to develop action items, impacts, five-year timelines, resources and accountability for the strategic goals and initiatives
  • Draft plans followed by a broader “constituent engagement” review for additional input
  • Project dashboard, budget, communication and implementation plans
  • Final approval by the UT Board of Trustees in June 2012

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III. The Steering Committee and Task Forces

The 17-member Steering Committee was appointed by the President and represented leadership for System Administration, the campuses and institutes, the Board of Trustees, alumni and students. Their commitment to the President’s vision for the process and their oversight through six formal meetings from September 2011 to April 2012 ensured that the emerging Strategic Plan reflected and embraced the UT System’s strengths and culture, identified and found solutions to its challenges and charges from the state, and engaged multiple constituencies in a transparent process. The Steering Committee developed the Plan’s goals and initiatives, reviewed data and feedback, advised on Task Force membership and additional stakeholder involvement, prioritized action items and initial timelines developed by the Task Forces, and approved supporting frameworks for communications, constituent engagement, dashboard, budget and implementation.

A total of 12 Task Forces with representatives from across the System met in December 2011- January 2012 to propose five-year action items with a focus on the first two years of the plan’s implementation. Drawing together subject experts across the enterprise, these collaborations identified activities for achieving Plan goals and initiatives. The Task Forces met frequently on a tight timeframe and produced detailed action steps at the same time their collaboration built momentum and wider internal participation in the plan’s formulation. After reviewing the Task Force work, the Steering Committee prioritized recommendations for the first two years of implementation and preserved remaining ideas for use by operational teams responsible for translating the Plan into action. These teams, appointed by the President and Chancellors, and their scope of work were defined further as implementation activities progressed.

The 12 Task Forces were:

  • Academic Affairs
  • Driving Investment and New Revenues
  • Employer of Choice
  • External Affairs
  • Facilities and Infrastructure
  • Faculty Affairs
  • Leadership and Management
  • Outcome, Impact, Measurement and Reporting
  • Research
  • Staff Affairs
  • Student Affairs/Student Experience
  • System-Wide Support Systems

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IV. Revised Mission Statements

The need to define more clearly the primary roles of the System Administration, campuses and institutes, and their relationships with each other was identified early in the project. This also raised the need for clarifying language to describe the major parts of the UT enterprise.

Going forward:

The “University of Tennessee System” will refer to the entire University of Tennessee, the common portfolio and collective assets of all parts of the statewide institution.

“UT System Administration” will refer to the President’s Office and administrative offices reporting directly to the President, and thus the leadership team responsible and accountable for this Strategic Plan.

To further distinguish these functions, the Steering Committee recommended two mission statements—one for the UT System and one for the System Administration, which President DiPietro developed soon after taking office in 2011. Chancellors, with input from the Steering Committee, developed a new UT System Mission Statement.

a. University of Tennessee System Mission Statement

“The University of Tennessee System, through its multiple campuses and institutes, serves the people of Tennessee and beyond through the discovery, communication and application of knowledge. The System is committed to providing undergraduate, graduate and professional education programs in a diverse learning environment that prepares students to be leaders in a global society. The UT System’s delivery of education, discovery, outreach and public service contributes to the economic, social and environmental well-being of all Tennesseans.”

b. University of Tennessee System Administration Mission Statement

“The mission of the University of Tennessee System Administration is to advance the educational, discovery, creative and outreach programs of the campuses and institutes through leadership that removes obstacles, understands needs, provides advocacy, secures resources, promotes accountability, fosters diversity, promotes innovation, coordinates campus efforts and delivers efficient and effective central services.”

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V. Strategic Plan Accountability

Determining and communicating roles, responsibilities and accountability for the Plan’s progress and implementation are necessary to make it successful. Over the years at UT, lack of clarity has caused confusion and signaled misalignment related to certain System, campus, and unique and shared roles.

Affirming both critical distinctions among the entities and shared responsibilities, this outcome was one of the major successes of the planning process and laid the foundation for increased collaboration across the UT System.

The Steering Committee further considered and finalized these roles in completing the Plan. First-year implementation committees developed operational plans with responsibilities for specific offices or individuals at the System or campus/institute levels.

University of Tennessee System’s Planning Framework and Campus Alignment

System Administration Responsibilities

  • Explore, evaluate and align to ensure consistency
  • Capture and provide easy access to information
  • Deliver State and Federal mandates
  • Facilitate System academic and research collaborations
  • Develop a System identity and positioning
  • Track, measure and report
  • Build and sustain a support and service culture
  • Communicate
  • “Voice” for the value of public education in Tennessee
  • Reporting and accountability to the Board

Campuses & Institutes Responsibilities

  • Unique strategic goals and outcomes Business owners
  • Deliver programs that create academic excellence
  • Recruit, hire and retain faculty who create academic distinction
  • Produce student outcomes and success
  • Increase research capabilities
  • Create economic impact
  • Partner in System efforts

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VI. Communications and Constituent Engagement

Comprehensive communication reported and tracked progress and solicited comments from multiple constituencies via a dedicated Strategic Plan website.

This website allows all constituencies to see materials and review progress reports. This work highlights the benefits of planning “in the sunshine” so that various steps and results are transparent to the entire UT community. Continuing to keep the community informed about progress and outcomes will be important as the Plan continues to move forward.

In addition to communications from the President and campus/institute Chancellors at critical milestones, the formal Constituent Engagement Plan specified outreach activities to more than 20 groups across the university and in the state—UT Trustees and state governmental leaders, System administrative leadership and committees/councils, campus and institute constituencies, planning project leadership (such as Task Forces) and faculty, staff, students, alumni and retirees.

While the entire UT System community was invited to comment on plan drafts via the website, several groups representing more than 250 additional individuals were invited to participate in brief online surveys on specific proposals. Questions posed to the UT System Faculty Council, the Alumni Legislative Council and UT Alumni Association presidents, the Compensation Advisory Board, Employee Relations Advisory Board and UT retirees targeted their particular vantage points and expertise. Their responses, along with input from Task Force members and other individuals, were considered as planning progressed.

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VII. Strategic Plan Refresh Project, Winter 2014-Spring 2015

The project to refresh the 2012-2017 UT System Strategic Plan built on momentum and achievements of the plan’s first two years to advance the University’s vision for a “best in class” system. The initial implementation framework, which focused on the first 24 months, produced several important initiatives across all five strategic goals, such as expansion of the research enterprise, more integrated and streamlined systems, and increased visibility for the impact of the University’s contributions to Tennessee’s economy and workforce development.

As President DiPietro began his second four-year term, he moved forward a bold set of initiatives framed by investments in new opportunities and solid financial indicators to provide the University of Tennessee an opportunity to take a leading position as major public universities across the country rethink their funding and business models.

In the context of a $377 million funding gap projected for the System over the next 10 years, the refresh project engaged the UT community in a proactive exercise leveraging today’s solid financial standing to consider opportunities to:

  • Generate additional revenue growth through research, philanthropy and business and educational partnerships
  • Accelerate efficiencies through infrastructure improvements and cost savings without sacrificing academic excellence and gains of the last two years in other strategic areas
  • Re-envision the University’s business plan into a new model for public higher education

Each new initiative in the refreshed strategic plan will have specific implementation action steps and timelines.

Some of the effectiveness and efficiency measures approved by Board of Trustees in February 2015 have been incorporated into the Strategic Plan refresh project. These activities are core to Dr. DiPietro’s commitment to minimize tuition increases through a sustainable financial model that reduces dependency on tuition and generates new revenues or makes other adjustments in response to for declining or static appropriations.

The following strategic themes focus the overarching priorities resulting from the Strategic Plan Refresh project. These themes address areas of operational support that impact the potential to achieve every strategic plan goal:

I. Revised Business Model:

Sustainable, reliable funding for public higher education in a dynamic educational, economic, fiscal and social environment

II. Strategic Talent Management:

Drives a performance based-culture within a “best place to work” setting realized through Employer of Choice standards and practices that promote professional development, retention, a positive environment and increased competency and productivity across the University workplace

III. Information and Data Management:

Increases the ability of all parts of the University to leverage knowledge and efficiency across the System and service to the state and its residents

IV. Valued UT Presence and Impact:

Boldly telling the “UT Story” in its many dimensions including the University’s vast economic impact on the state and its residents and facilitates the University’s leadership as a change agent in higher education

V. Communications and Marketing:

Raises the University’s visibility and strengthens its leadership position in the state, nation and world

VI. Research and Industry Partnerships:

Join the University, research and business communities to solve global problems and improve the lives of people in Tennessee and beyond

Note: These themes have been integrated into the plan’s 5 goals as indicated below under Summary of Goals and Initiatives.

  • “Revised Business Model” and “Strategic Talent Management” were positioned as first for new investments because their successful outcomes would yield benefits to the other initiatives.
  • “Information and Data Management” followed as the next tier of investment because of impact from state-of-the-art information technology on ROI of all initiatives.
  • “Valued UT Presence and Impact” and “Communications and Marketing” came next because they would capture and support outcomes of the initiatives individually and collectively.
  • Activities envisioned by Research and Industry Partnerships followed, in part, because of methods anticipated to fund them and the complexity of the process.
  • A resource plan was developed to anticipate multi-year availability of funds for the plan’s initiatives through new or repurposed revenue resources.

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VIII. Summary of Goals and Initiatives – UT System Strategic Plan, 2012-2017 (Updated and Refreshed 2015)

a. Goal 1: Enhancing Educational Excellence

Increase the number, quality and diversity of students graduating from the UT System and benefiting from its distinct educational portfolio to produce at each campus and institute the most capable and best-prepared workforce for society.

  1. Raise the UT System’s academic quality, stature and impact through educational excellence and student achievement across diverse populations.
  2. Drive educational excellence and student performance, and ensure a “best in class” student population.
  3. Establish a System mechanism to ensure campus/institute accountability for faculty quality and productivity.
  4. Develop and coordinate collaborative and innovative academic programs that build on the unique capabilities of the System’s campuses and institutes and drive key outcomes and standards.

Priority New Initiatives – Refresh Project 2015

  1. Develop business and industry partnerships to create specialized programs of interest and partner with UTIA and Outreach (IPS) to better define student and industry needs, linking these activities to research programs and student projects (undergraduate and graduate) in collaboration with Goals 2-3
  2. Continue to explore and determine regional tuition plans at UTC and UTM to encourage enrollment of highly qualified out-of-state students
  3. Strategically strengthen partnerships with community colleges
  4. Conduct impact analysis of the HOPE scholarship on financial aid, retention and graduation
  5. Convene a special task force reporting to the President to consider mergers and reorganizations to increase efficiency through program realignment and consolidation, in which campuses will address low-performing programs to fund program reinvestment, perform a feasibility analysis and develop a plan for program consolidations
  6. Convene a special task force reporting to the President to conduct a comprehensive review of the University’s established tenure and post-tenure review process with involvement by the Faculty Council.

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b. Goal 2: Expanding Research Capacities

Develop a support mechanism for System research efforts that solve critical problems and issues, expand economic development and enhance quality of life in Tennessee, the nation and the world.

  1. Design and implement a strategic business plan for expanding research to harness the power of the UT System’s substantial research enterprise and increase its visibility and impact.
  2. Promote the application and commercialization of research and development to improve the economy and develop and expand business and industry in the state.
  3. Define standards, measure progress and communicate research outcomes and impacts in the economy.

Priority New Initiatives – Refresh Project 2015

  1. Increase the University’s value proposition and standing as an attractive partner to external constituents by identifying research opportunities across the campuses and institutes and delivering research programs that can be achieved through cross-University partnerships.
  2. Develop a technology venture/investment fund to support maturation of UT technologies and technology-based companies.
  3. Seek mutually beneficial industry partnerships across UT campuses and institutes, especially with major, Tennessee-based companies.
  4. Increase the number of Governor’s Chair faculty and ensure these faculty are dispersed across the UT System.

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c. Goal 3: Fostering Outreach and Engagement

Engage members of the UT System community in outreach, engagement and service to improve communities and the quality of life of residents in Tennessee, with emphasis on economic development.

  1. Articulate clearly the role of the UT System in community outreach and engagement and engage all campuses/institutes in this mission.
  2. Promote and measure alumni and student engagement and outreach that benefit the people and communities of Tennessee.
  3. Track, measure and communicate the outcomes for economic development and improved quality of life for Tennesseans through a Strategic Plan dashboard.

Priority New Initiatives – Refresh Project 2015

  1. As a System office, leverage and coordinate with campus/institute leaders to assure that existing and new data collection systems capture O&E metrics; eliminate the need to develop duplicate collection and reporting systems and processes and provide a consolidated comprehensive reporting system to contribute to engagement impacts associated with Carnegie Classification status; develop new O&E metrics that are more easily aligned with assessing excellence in teaching and research; focus on integration and alignment.
  2. Promote alignment, collaboration and cooperation between major University economic development initiatives such as Cherokee Farms, Genera, DRIVE! Investing in Manufacturing Communities Project, Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, and many, many others.
  3. Promote and measure alumni and student engagement and outreach that benefit the people and communities of Tennessee and develop a communication plan to tell the outreach and engagement story.

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d. Goal 4: Ensuring Effectiveness and Efficiency

Systematically invest in the UT System’s infrastructure and rigorously implement support mechanisms and practices that demonstrate understanding and commitment to the campuses and institute’s strategic goals and ensure that the University’s aspirations and goals are realized through effective and efficient delivery of the “right” services.

  1. Catalyze and support collaboration across the UT System and with external partners, including removing policy and procedural roadblocks, to strengthen the impact of the University of Tennessee System as greater than the sum of its parts.
  2. Define a System Administration approach to a service culture that is modeled by the System Administration and support campus and institute strategic goals with services, information and data.
  3. Implement Employer of Choice standards across the UT System.
  4. Create a “culture of communication” throughout the UT System through an improved internal communications program—both between the System and the campuses and institutes and the campuses and institutes with each other—that regularly informs the UT community about System goals, processes and services through multiple channels.
  5. Collaborate with campuses and institutes to define the facilities and space necessary for an environment of excellence in research, education and outreach.
  6. Identify and promote compelling opportunities for continued and expanded investment in the various entities of the UT System by the federal, state, county, industry and philanthropic communities.
  7. Extend diversity initiatives throughout the System for faculty, staff, students and cultural/community life.

Priority New Initiatives – Refresh Project 2015

  1. Continue to implement Employer of Choice initiatives and the HR strategic plan, include such areas as statewide career paths, competency-based job descriptions and expansion of Leadership Institute
  2. Create a strategic talent management process that aligns skills and talent with strategic priorities.
  3. Enhance training and professional development to meet new workforce needs.
  4. Identify opportunities for greater efficiency in Human Resources workflow processing such as time entry, contract payment processing, electronic approvals, etc.; align technology and enterprise systems to maximize productivity and efficiency.
  5. Implement automated systems for system-wide Human Resources programs such as Annual Performance Review to maximize 1) reporting and metrics and 2) strategic workforce planning.
  6. Develop a System-wide master plan for fundraising by UT Foundation; partner with campus/institute vice chancellors.
  7. Support campus and institute efforts to develop enrollment growth strategies and tuition structure review through governance and legislative policies, standards and strategies.
  8. Identify and pursue changes in state and federal law to increase the efficiency of the University of Tennessee.
  9. Implement the President’s Two-Year Action Plan and integrate initiatives across all Strategic Plan goals.

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e. Goal 5: Advocating for the University of Tennessee System

Promote awareness and advocacy for the University of Tennessee System and its distinctive contributions to improving the education, economic development and quality of life of the citizens of Tennessee.

  1. Enhance the UT System President’s role as the “voice” for the value of public higher education and access to a public education in Tennessee.
  2. Implement a collaborative System marketing/communications plan that supports all the goals of this Strategic Plan and advances the brand position of the UT System and each of its campuses and institutes.
  3. Provide a UT System platform that will enable and support campus and institute efforts to promote and advance the visibility of faculty and faculty expertise within the UT System.
  4. Develop and implement a communication plan in conjunction with campus leadership to enhance the promotion of outreach and engagement activities at campuses and institutes, with specific opportunities to communicate with all constituent groups, including alumni and communities across the state

Priority New Initiatives – Refresh Project 2015

  1. Develop a data-driven, statewide advocacy campaign, which uses the key goals of the System’s strategic plan and the President’s framework for developing a more sustainable University as a foundation for increasing statewide understanding and support for UT and higher education in the State; support this with consistent messaging integrated into across System, campus and institute marketing, communications and advocacy activities.
  2. Further develop and grow the formal network of informed, active legislative advocates for the University of Tennessee System.
  3. Enhance existing and pursue new federal government-level relationships to promote UT research, funding opportunities and visibility of expertise.
  4. Expand the UT System President’s role as the ambassador for the importance of higher education in Tennessee.
  5. Implement an integrated System marketing/communications plan that supports all the goals of this Strategic Plan and advances the brand position of the UT System and each of its campuses and institutes; determine key data sets and/or commission the research needed, including public opinion surveys, to establish benchmarks and set targets for communications, marketing and advocacy efforts.

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IX. Strategic Plan Implementation

Strategic Plan implementation builds on three critical areas: a budget to fund initiatives over the next five years, an implementation plan to support unit and individual operating plans, and a dashboard of performance metrics. The latter enables state officials and Trustees to track and evaluate the Strategic Plan’s progress and outcomes against CCTA objectives, research and outreach goals and other performance indicators appropriate to the specialized and unique missions of the campuses and institutes. Individual and office work plans over the first 24 months, with responsibilities and outcomes noted, will be finalized within the implementation rollout early in FY 2012 – 2013.

A Strategic plan budget accompanies this plan with resources tagged specifically for implementation for the first 24 months. Most of the first two years of activity will be funded by existing budgets, including repurposing currently approved dollars. Much of the budget activity during the first two years will involve baseline setting, analysis and identification of new funding needs for subsequent years and integrated budget planning through councils and teams across the UT System. This will allow longer-term planning for investments to fund actual initiatives and programs in Years 3-5.

The dashboard will provide a visual snapshot of the Strategic Plan’s progress and impact with separate indicators for each of the five goals and a sixth for overall impact. For each dashboard indicator, several tiers will provide more detailed data. To ensure consistency in reporting, the dashboard’s design will be aligned with the new IT Governance Model, which is developing definitions and standards for data gathering and reporting across the UT System.

Strategic Plan Implementation – Refresh Project Revisions and Updates

The Refreshed Strategic Plan, the opportunities it presents, and its implantation process will be shared with stakeholders across the System and the state through a series of engagement.

The blending of continuing and new initiatives will be reported and funding priorities explained. Integration of the Campus/Institute strategic plans will be reaffirmed as part of this process. Among key stakeholder groups:

  • Faculty Senates
  • Employee Relations Councils
  • UT Foundation Board
  • UT Alumni Association Board
  • UT (statewide) Advocacy Council
  • President’s Council
  • Board of Trustees
  • UT Alumni Association Past Presidents
  • Business and research community leadership
  • IPS and Institute of Agriculture Advisory Groups
  • Student and athletics organizations
  • New employee orientation sessions

Other activities to regularly inform and involve employees statewide will occur in conjunction with ongoing promotion of the Strategic Plan through communications and advocacy.

As with the original plan in 2012, implementation champions will re-engage their teams to drive the refreshed plan with established timelines, outcomes and metrics. Data will be recorded on the Strategic Plan dashboard, updated regularly for transparency of progress and performance.

The System dashboard developed initially for the Strategic Plan has been widely modeled as a standard for informing university constituencies, including alumni, legislators, and the general public about strategic intents, accomplishments and areas of continuous improvement.

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X. Conclusion: Defining the Future of UT System

Each campus and institute of the UT System is responsible for developing its own Strategic Plan, for which it is also held accountable by the Board of Trustees. This UT System Administration Strategic Plan is aimed at facilitating the long-term success of those plans through the President’s staff and leadership team, fostering alignment among goals, and assisting with resources and resource decisions.

Placing a spotlight on the “System portfolio” as greater than the sum of its parts, this Strategic Plan also provides a framework for further decisions about the distinctive and shared roles of campuses, institutes and System Administration over the next five years.

A substantial benefit of the new Strategic Plan is its flexibility. It has been deliberately designed as a dynamic document to accommodate change at the same time higher education and public universities are transforming their institutions to advance the greater public good.

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