Chancellor Doug Kristensen last week announced UNK’s entry into a second, crucial step of the Strategic Planning Process, the Implementation Phase.
After a two-year collaborative effort to produce the Phase I Strategic Planning Document (unk.edu/strategicplan), the Chancellor identified eight lead planners, and in a letter, charged each of them to focus on a strategically important area of university development. Each lead planner, listed below with his or her subject area, is to appoint a team and produce a plan by Feb. 1, 2008.
• Academic Advancement – Dr. Finnie Murray, senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs/Student Life
• Physical Campus Development – Barbara Johnson, vice chancellor for Business & Finance
• University Relations – Curt Carlson, vice chancellor for University Relations
• Student Recruitment – Dr. Ed Scantling, dean of the College of Education
• Student Retention/Success – Dr. Lois Flagstad, dean of Student Life
• Information Technology – Deb Schroeder, assistant vice chancellor of Information Technology
• Intercollegiate Athletics – Jon McBride, athletic director of Intercollegiate Athletics
• Institutional Diversity and Equity – Cheryl Bressington, director of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity
While ongoing unit-based planning will also be important to implementation, these Phase II plans will address key areas in which activities should be planned across organizational boundaries. The Chancellor charged the lead planners to “consult with such individuals and groups as may be necessary to produce a plan that reflects a comprehensive, realistic, expert view of how we can advance in the substantive area” toward goals and objectives identified in the Phase I strategic plan.
Each planner is expected to form a planning task force of appropriate size composed of responsible staff and other relevant expertise. In cases where campus groups are already working on these topics, the Chancellor said the lead planners should “make full use of that apparatus.” He cited two examples, in the areas of Student Recruitment and Student Retention/Success, where “we have the makings of a task force in place via existing committees.”
Lead planners are also expected to meet with the Strategic Planning Committee at least twice during the year. The purpose of the first meeting will be: “to outline the overall planning challenge in their areas: goals, objectives and initiatives identified in our Phase I document and the University of Nebraska Strategic Framework, planners’ view of our situation, opportunities and challenges with respect to that guidance; and initial perspectives about development priorities and major efforts required within the planning area” toward goals and objectives identified in the Phase I strategic plan.
In the fall semester (2007), planners will meet with the committee for a second time “to discuss further development of thought and initial outlines of the plan as developed to that point.”
All plans are to follow a similar overall format, even as they will differ in style and focus.While no length was specified, the underlying analysis “must be comprehensive, and the documents should be as complete and self-explanatory as possible.”
While he identified eight specific topic areas, it is possible to add other plans later, according to the Chancellor, “if it appears important to do so.” Any new plans will be prepared on a new and appropriately developed timeline.
The Chancellor’s letter concluded: “I look forward to working with each of you as this important process goes forward. Thanks once again for your assistance.”