May 28, 2023

Message to the University Community about Strategic Planning

As we prepare to release a series of decisions based on the Strategic Resource Allocation task force recommendations, I am pleased to announce the initiation of the next strategic planning process for the University.  As you may know, this past June marked the end of the strategic plan adopted five years ago.  Much progress was made on the eight goals in that plan; although, as is the case with most strategic plans, many of the initiatives undertaken remain ongoing works in progress.

At the present time, I recognize that there is a critical need to deal with faculty salary issues as a first priority.  I am working with the Board of Visitors this year to develop a specific plan that will address these issues moving forward.  However, I also believe it is prudent to begin planning for our future more broadly through the development of the next strategic plan.

To that end, I soon will appoint a twelve-member task force to develop a draft of our next five-year plan.  The membership will consist of six faculty members, three senior administrators, two staff, and one student.  I have asked Dr. Debra Schleef and Provost Jonathan Levin to co-chair the task force and both have agreed to do so.

To ensure appropriate participation of faculty across the three colleges, I have asked Provost Levin to initiate and oversee a faculty selection process that will include one representative from the College of Business, one from the College of Education, one from the visual and performing arts, one from sciences and math, one from social sciences (Dr. Schleef), and one from the humanities.  My expectation is that the departments/colleges will decide how their representative will be selected for inclusion on the task force.  I will work with members of my Cabinet, the Staff Advisory Council, and the Student Government Association to determine how to select the other members of the Task Force.

The task force appointments should be made by November 19.  An organizational meeting of the task force will be conducted before the end of fall semester.  The task force will be charged with reviewing the current strengths and weaknesses of the institution and developing goals and objectives that take both into consideration.  In doing so, the following questions should be answered:  Who are we as an institution; what do we want to become as we move forward; what has to be done to get us there; and, how will we know when we arrive there?  It is expected that resources such as the Strategic Resource Allocation reports, the National Survey of Student Engagement, surveys conducted by Admissions this past summer, the anticipated study of the four-credit course system, and other similar reports will be used to inform the work of the task force and to streamline the process.  The task force’s charge will include a final strategic plan proposal delivery date of April 1, 2015.  The proposed strategic plan will be shared with the University community and an opportunity will be provided for reaction and input.  I anticipate seeking approval from the Board of Visitors of the final version of the plan at the Board’s meeting in May.

My expectation is that this plan will be highly strategic in nature, containing a very limited number of focused goals, along with a list of measurable objectives for each.  This plan will not be simply a “wish list;” instead, it will bring laser focus on initiatives that will enhance institutional prominence while building fiscal strength.  Each goal in this focused plan must make a clear statement about what the institution is doing to achieve its vision: to be a university of choice for diverse, high performing students and well qualified faculty and to become better known as a premiere, public liberal arts and sciences institution.  Objectives will be categorized as short term, mid-term and long-term, and will serve as a road map to the future of the institution.   The plan will also provide a way to easily measure progress.  The adopted plan will be used to guide all future budget allocation decisions, as well the continued development of a capital construction plan.

I understand that the timetable for completion is aggressive; however, I am confident that it is attainable.  All of the work done during the last two years on the Strategic Resource Allocation project, plus all the other information we have learned about ourselves in the last couple of years provide a substantial foundation upon which to build this plan.

The time is now for the University of Mary Washington to clearly assert our place on the national higher education landscape, as well as here in Virginia.  I welcome your support in this effort.

Sincerely,

 

Richard V. Hurley

President