Achieving Distinction 2000:

A Strategic Plan For The University Of Iowa

Executive Summary

This revised strategic plan, based on the 1989 plan Achieving Distinction, calls for The University of Iowa to continue its efforts to develop national leadership in selected educational and research programs and to become one of the ten best public universities in the nation. Such an aspiration demands a strong and vigorous emphasis on quality; the focusing of effort, time, and funds; an attitude of receptivity to change; and an aggressive campaign to obtain new private and public funds. This pathway to distinction emphasizes the importance of building on the strengths of The University of Iowa as a major research university which is dedicated to educational programs of exceptional quality. The essential tool for improvement is a strategy of focus, allocating resources to the highest quality programs or to those programs with significant promise of attaining distinction. Progress toward achieving the University's aspiration depends on the participation of the entire University community and the support and understanding of friends and alumni, external constituencies, and the citizens of Iowa.

Institutional Goals

As a step toward realizing the aspiration of "achieving distinction," the plan calls for a concerted University-wide effort to raise quality over the next five years. The most general priorities of the plan are reflected in seven University goals:
For each goal, the plan presents a set of objectives and strategies (recommended actions), many of which are designed for implementation by departments, programs, colleges, or administrative units.

Institutional Strategies

Eleven strategies (actions) are recommended for implementation by the central administration. These institutional strategies are designed to (1) respond to and shape the environment of the University and (2) foster University-wide conditions enabling departments, colleges, etc. to implement specific strategies. The institutional strategies are to:

A Flexible Framework

As a written and public document, the plan will promote understanding of the broader context within which the University shapes its future. It is designed to identify important policy issues and foster favorable conditions for intellectual endeavor across campus. The plan recognizes that many of the most important decisions of the University are made in departments and colleges rather than in the central administration. It serves as a framework that encourages departments, programs, colleges, and administrative units to work within an integrated whole. Each of these units now has developed its own strategic plan as a complement to this University-level plan. Achieving distinction in teaching, research, and service programs will be based on the implementation not only of this University-level plan but also on those created by colleges, programs, departments, and other administrative units.

Over the next five years, the Strategic Planning Committee will continue its work by reviewing and commenting on first-level strategic plans in the context of overall University planning. It will consider revisions in the strategic planning process and issue annual reports on recommended adjustments in the University Strategic Plan based on changes in environmental conditions, opportunities derived from first-level plans, and suggestions from the University community.

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Last updated on July 17, 1995 by campus communications@www.uiowa.edu