The University of Arizona, under the direction of President Robert C. Robbins, has launched a new strategic planning process, which aims to position the campus as a leader of higher education.
With a total of five phases, including discovery, ideation, testing, development and implementation, the strategic plan is currently in the testing phase, which aims to solidify a set of initiatives that are prioritized most by the campus community.
“While we have been soliciting feedback from the university community to shape the strategy throughout the process, this phase is explicitly designed to share initiatives and collect broad input,” said Lisa Ordóñez, co-chair of the strategic plan.
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Since the launch of the strategic planning process in November 2017, President Robbins and his team have focused on gathering community feedback, which will ultimately inform the implementation of a campus-wide strategic plan.
In January 2018, as part of the discovery phase, the team visited classrooms, conducted nearly 100 focus groups and spoke with 1,800 students about the strengths and challenges of the university. An interactive discussion was also held on Jan. 29, 2018, which brought together over 500 students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and community members to discuss the future of the university.
From here, the strategic planning team moved into the ideation phase, which consisted of ten topical meetups and feedback sessions through March 2018. Each meetup discussed a new strategic pillar, and covered topics such as diversity, sustainability, globalization, health, art and student engagement. The team is now visiting colleges throughout the university to refine these initiatives before entering the development phase in June 2018.
“Basically, we listened broadly to students, faculty, staff and other key stakeholders. From this broad base of information, we formed design teams of experts to develop initiatives to do the work of the strategic plan. We are now working on determining the final list of initiatives that will be funded as part of our strategic plan.”
The fifth and final stage of the strategic plan will continue through November 2018, and will include a detailed implementation plan and intensive preparation for the new initiatives.
“As a co-chair of this plan, I have learned just how incredible the University of Arizona is and that we have some of the most dedicated people that work hard every day to make us even more incredible,” Ordóñez said. “The strategic plan is important because it will help us move forward in a more coordinated manner and help us use our limited resources more efficiently.”
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