Strategic Plan Chapter6.html

Achieving Distinction 2000:

A Strategic Plan For The University Of Iowa

Chapter 6: Goal-Specific Strategies

This chapter includes objectives and strategies for each goal. As with the previous plan, we have kept the number of strategies as small as possible; we make no claim to comprehensiveness. Complementary strategies and more detail typically can be found among the strategies of colleges, administrative units, and special committees serving as first-level planning units. We have retained some of the objectives and strategies of the first Strategic Plan virtually without change; others have been modified, re-ordered, or eliminated, usually to reflect the University's success in meeting the goals and objectives of the 1989 Plan. This progress has permitted previous high priority items to be replaced or set below new or revised objectives that should be emphasized over the next five years.
It is important that this chapter be placed in the context of the overall plan. As indicated in Chapter 3, the seven University goals are stepping-stones toward the University's aspiration and constitute the most general priorities of this strategic plan; the University-level strategies of Chapter 5 are broader institutional responses to particular features of the environment. Some of the strategies outlined in Chapter 5 generate resources for the more specific strategies presented in this chapter; others identify a policy issue followed up by this chapter. In either case, the basic institutional strategies of Chapter 5 set the stage for many of the specific strategies listed in th is chapter.
In devising strategies for each objective in this chapter, we attempted to accomplish the following: (1) address major policy issues with a set of reasonably coherent strategies; (2) avoid redundancy across goals even at the expense of too much compartmentalization; and (3) consider both cost and benefits, ranging from cost-free strategies to those that maximize the rate of institutional progress per unit of cost .
We recommend that the strategies in this chapter be considered for implementation by departments, colleges, and administrative units of the University. In most cases, departments and colleges are the appropriate places for implementation decisions to be initiated, although in a significant number of instances we suggest a need for action b y the central administration. All strategies, of course, will not be relevant to all units; it is up to each unit to identify those that are relevant and decide on a response. We anticipate that departments, colleges, and administrative units will deal with the relevant strategies in this University-wide plan as they move forward to implement thei r own plans.

Goal 1: Comprehensive Strength in Undergraduate Programs

In the late 1980s, The University of Iowa faced a crisis in its undergraduate programs. During the previous 10 years there had been a 40 percent growth in enrollment without an increase in faculty. The strain was particularly noticeable in the entry-level freshman and sophomore courses, but capacity limitations in upper-divisio n courses were also slowing students' progress toward graduation. All student services were under stress and innovation in educational programs had been slowed by the pressure of high numbers.
Enormous progress has occurred over the past five years, aided by increased support from the state, an enrollment decrease of 2000 students, and a renewed commitment of faculty and staff to the delivery of high quality undergraduate education. We reaffirm the 1989 Strategic Plan's commitment to comprehensive strength in undergraduate progr ams and its three objectives: strong advanced education, a select set of programs with an innovative curriculum, and a strong general education program. Among these three, general education programs have made the greatest advancement, making it possible to redirect emphasis toward improving the quality of advanced undergraduate programs, particula rly in the majors. Consequently, we have retained but re-ordered the three objectives of this goal from the 1989 Strategic Plan with revisions in some specific strategies.
Objective 1: Strong advanced education in undergraduate programs.
Objective 2: A select set of programs and services that increase the quality and opportunities available for undergraduate learning.
Objective 3: Strong general education.

Goal 2: Premier Graduate and Professional Programs in a Significant Number of Areas

This goal reflects the importance of strong graduate and professional programs to a major university, and the growing importance of advanced degrees in a number of professions. Graduate education is integral not only to the research mission of the University but also to undergraduate education, because of the role graduate stud ents play as research and teaching assistants. Similarly, post-doctoral scholars contribute to undergraduate as well as to graduate or professional education, in addition to research and service.
The strategies for reaching this goal are grouped under four objectives: excellent students from diverse backgrounds, a core of graduate and professional programs with quality comparable to that found at the best public universities in the nation, graduate and professional programs with a distinctive focus, and quality core resources (libraries, information and computer technology, equipment, and laboratory facilities). The strategies for each objective are primarily matters of University-wide policy or approach, and these are elaborated and complemented in important ways by the plan from the Graduate College. In addition, most of the other colleges should include, review, and revise strategies relevant to their particular graduate or professional programs. It is also recommended that graduate programs implement, wherever relevant, the strategies articulated in Goal 1, particularly to encourage team teaching and curriculum sharing (i.e., Strategies 7 and 8 under Objective 1) and to ensure accommodation (i.e. , Strategy 1 under Objective 3).
Objective 1: Excellent graduate students.
Objective 2: A significant number of graduate and professional programs that rank in quality among the top ten public institutions in the country.
Objective 3: Focused graduate and professional programs.
Objective 4: Research and communication resources to support the needs of graduate and professional education.

Goal 3: A Faculty of National and International Distinction

In order to maintain and enhance the quality of its educational programs and scholarship, the University must establish a faculty of distinction. Raising the already high quality of faculty will be difficult in the present competitive environment, especially if current assumptions are correct and support for higher education do es not increase above the rate of inflation. The objectives for this goal emphasize the need for concerted effort in the recruitment and retention of the very best faculty members and the nurturing of the careers of all faculty.
The strategies under this goal are organized around four objectives: (1) recruitment of excellent faculty, (2) improved retention and opportunities for career development, (3) encouragement of strong interdisciplinary and international scholarship and teaching, and (4) judicious employment of nontenure-track faculty. It sho uld also be noted that many of the objectives and strategies under the previous goal on graduate education are also critical to maintaining a high-quality faculty appropriate to a major research university. Additional strategies relevant to the recruitment and retention of faculty can be found in the plans of colleges and the plans from the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Research.
Objective 1: Recruitment of first-rate faculty members at all ranks.
Objective 2: Improved retention and career development opportunities.
Objective 3: Strong interdisciplinary and international scholarship and teaching.
Objective 4: Judicious employment of nontenure-track faculty.

Goal 4: Distinguished Research and Scholarship

Research and scholarship, including scientific, literary, creative, and artistic endeavors, constitute an integral part of The University of Iowa's mission. Indeed, research and scholarship make up such a central component of our enterprise that the 1989 Strategic Planning Committee did not consider it necessary to formulate an explicit goal on the topic, assuming that research and scholarship would be integrated throughout all the goals and objectives of Achieving Distinction. We have come to believe, however, that if the University is to realize its aspiration of becoming one of the nation's best public universities, it must strive toward a goal that explicitly affirm s the importance of research and scholarship to that effort. It is a fact of academic life that the reputations of universities depend largely on collective ratings of individual colleges and departments. Therefore, in order to reach our long-term aspirations, a core of departments must be ranked among the top ten nationally. These rankings should be based on professionally accepted measures of each discipline; examples of such measures are the publications, creative or artistic works and displays, honors and awards, external research funding, placement of graduates, and reputational rankings. To improve the overall quality of the University, it is imperative that all departments and colle ges strive for excellence in research and scholarship.
By supporting and developing premier programs of research and scholarship, the University can enhance the quality of education at all levels, both through the teaching provided by distinguished faculty members and through increased research and scholarship opportunities for students. Outstanding research and scholarship can also enhance the University's contribution to the economic growth of the state by supporting a higher level of technology transfer and by providing informational resources for the state's business and industrial sector. Distinguished programs of research and scholarship are central to the University's mission and critical to its aspiration of ach ieving distinction.
Objective 1: A significant number of departments producing distinguished research and scholarship
Objective 2: Initiatives for strengthening research and scholarship.
Objective 3: A stimulating intellectual environment that encourages faculty, staff, and students to achieve higher levels of excellence.
Objective 4: Organizational infrastructure to promote research and scholarship.
Objective 5: Enhance research and scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research staff.
Objective 6: Publicize the scholarship and research activities of the University.

Goal 5: A Culturally Diverse and Inclusive University Community

Increasing the diversity of faculty, staff and students continues to be of significant importance for the University community for three intertwined reasons. First, the entire community benefits from the presence of different cultural perspectives and identities in shaping a globalized view of society. Students leaving the univ ersity will continue to enter national and international communities that are heterogeneous. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon the University to maintain a community that fosters and promotes diversity.
Second, it is likely that the student body at the University will become increasingly diverse in race and ethnicity, gender, and physical and cognitive ability. The institution is increasing its appeal not only within the state but to students from other parts of the Midwest and elsewhere in the nation and the world. The ed ucational offerings of the University will be of particular importance as we see an emerging pluralistic student population seeking a climate for higher learning. On an academic plane, people with different backgrounds can provide the foundation for new approaches to diversity that will strengthen the experience of learning at our University and e nhance scholarship as well.
Third, the University can have a significant role in securing equality for individuals and groups traditionally disadvantaged in society. By actively seeking to include these underrepresented or disadvantaged individuals and providing opportunities for all persons to maximize their potential, we can strengthen and enrich o ur community, state, and society. It will be important for the University to recruit and retain a faculty, staff, and student body that are reflective not only of the constitution of the community but of the society at large.
The objectives of this section continue to suggest an emphasis on three general issues: a receptive climate, retention of faculty, staff, and students, and administrative structures and programs that promote diversity. It is important to note that climate appears as the first of the objectives in this revision to give prima cy to climate as an essential element in the success of retention and the administration of programs that address diversity. By working with the University committees, councils, and offices concerned with diversity and affirmative action, the sensitivity of the University community and the quality of the social and physical environment can be rais ed for all members of the community.
Objective 1: A climate that respects and values diversity.
Objective 2: Recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff who contribute to the diversity of the University.
Objective 3: Administrative procedures and programs that support diversity.

Goal 6: Strong Ties between the University and External Constituencies

Education is an important item on national and state agendas, as is evident from (1) the growth of accountability to state and federal agencies, (2) increasing expectations from multiple constituencies within and outside of the state, and (3) a growing perception that higher education is a major basis for the competitiveness of the state in the nation and the world. The development of the state-educationally, culturally, and economically-depends significantly on the quality of its higher education.
To meet the challenges and opportunities posed by the relationship of the University to its external environment, this section stresses unifying external relations efforts, projecting the University's educational mission outward throughout the state and the world, increasing funding from private and government sources, and dealing effectively with a wide variety of external constituencies.
In addition to faculty, staff, and students, the constituencies of The University of Iowa include students' parents, the Board of Regents, the General Assembly and Executive Branch, Iowa leaders in various areas and fields, K-12 school officials, other academic institutions, alumni, professional constituencies, donors and p rospective donors, patients, corporations and foundations, Congressional representatives, federal agencies, international agencies, the media, the local community, and the general public.
Objective 1: A unified institution-wide external relations effort.
Objective 2: Effective communication with outside constituencies.
Objective 3: Credit and noncredit educational programs to serve part-time and nontraditional students in all areas of the state.
Objective 4: Substantial funding from private and public sources.

Goal 7: A High-quality Academic and Working Environment

The quality of our University academic and working environment reflects many influences, some of which are addressed in more detail elsewhere in the strategic plan. The many disparate elements making up The University of Iowa's environment have a strong bearing on our success in recruitment, retention, and development of the fu ll potential of members of the University community.
The objectives in this section are intended to foster a supportive and accommodating physical environment, a strong and effective staff, a sense of community, creative and vibrant cultural activity, the health and welfare of University members, and an efficient administrative framework promoting an atmosphere of civility an d mutual respect.
Objective 1: A supportive and accommodating physical environment.
Objective 2: A strong and effective staff.
Objective 3: A sense of community promoting the intellectual and professional development of faculty, staff, and students.
Objective 4: Creative and vibrant cultural activity.
Objective 5: Support for the health and welfare of members of the University community.
Objective 6: Efficient administrative framework promoting civility and mutual respect.
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Last updated on July 17, 1995 by Campus Communications