Dear Colleagues, all Members of the "Refreshment" Steering Committee:
We had an excellent meeting on May 8, 2012 when we reviewed the work of the four strategic planning Task Forces and opened up those reviews for discussion and questions, and started to think about what we all expected as results between now and the next meeting date, September 26, 2012. Thanks to all of you for your substantial time, efforts and accomplishments that made this a constructive and meaningful continuation of the "refreshment" process.
We agreed that it would be helpful to summarize the notes from May 8, 2012 while confirming the work plans for the four Task Force groups; to assist in setting the accomplishments for the next four months. Here are the five next steps that are intended to outline what we will hear and review on September 26, 2012 and the notes from May 8, 2012:
- Recommend Programmatic Support so that Past Strategic Accomplishments are Sustained: All four Task Force groups did an excellent job of recording, making recommendations, for those amounts of personal time and UIU money that must be invested to ensure that the strategic progress over the past seven years is not lost but is sustained.
Notes from May 8, 2012:Here are some of the thoughts captured during the meeting:
Expectations between now and September 26, 2012: Task Forces 1, 2 and 4 should define and prioritize the next steps that are recommended to sustain UIU's strategic accomplishments so that the progress made over the past seven years is not lost but instead is strengthened and improved.
- UIU must define what it means as "global citizenship";
- UIU must continue to focus on intellectual quality and rigor including the monitoring of all academic standards;
- UIU must firmly state what its core values are;
- UIU must find the ways in all teaching modalities to combine face-to-face time with online learning options;
- UIU must connect the adjunct and full-time faculties so that their mutual values are retained and the differences minimized;
- Support services for UIU students must be strong across the university;
- A life-long learning center should be established;
- A common standard of communications must be reached so that UIU's mission, vision and strategy are both integrated into and clearly expressed in all materials, speeches and other UIU communication devices.
- The University must officially adopt a formal strategy for generating the resources necessary to meet and sustain future needs.
- Recommend Transformative Ideas: There is agreement that the next step for each group is to examine those transformative ideas that would continue the strong record of innovative change and establish UIU as a distinctive member of the regional, national and global community of higher education.
Notes from May 8, 2012:These thoughts emerged:
Expectation between now and September 26, 2012: For each Task Force, recommend three to five transformative ideas, including their prioritization, which would create a UIU distinction.
- Important to recognize what UIU is doing today, making the accomplishments stronger and better (as this meets the definition of a transformative strategy);
- Moving the university from academic divisions to free standing schools or colleges, each with its own dean, is an important strategic step that is already underway and needs to be strengthened and continued;
- Creating a global studies major, available to all students would be a transformative contribution;
- Most important is the desire to create a single UIU university, one place to be educated, with all modalities integrated as the overarching UIU goal that has been pursued but not completed in the past.
- Create "Academic Incubators": This is good language that concisely defines what should a short list be of yet to be recommended transformative ideas. We will want to discuss setting these aside, giving them separate lives and distinctive timelines and achievements, and assigning each as a free standing "incubator".
Expectation between now and September 26, 2012: For each of the transformative ideas that are developed from this discussion, the next major steps in UIU distinction, establish them as free standing "incubators".
- Talk to Each Other: This step was recommended by more than one of the Task Force groups. There is overlap between the topics being discussed. That is good but there is little to be gained by excessive repetition; and so it is appropriate for the Task Force groups to meet, to work together and to fully develop those topics and ideas that overlap and would benefit from interaction between the four groups.
Expectation between now and September 26, 2012: Include in the Task Force group discussions references to the fact that overlapping topics have received cross-group analysis, assessments and decisions to place their authority under one of the Task Forces or in an "incubator".
- Recommend "gap" solutions: Task Force 3 is missioned to aggregate all of the financial data so that there is a clear picture of how UIU's financial strengths will be driven by the recommendations from the other three Task Force groups and the nominated "incubators".
Notes from May 8, 2012:The work of Task Forces 1, 2 and 4 addresses their educational opportunities; it is important to begin to address their financial impact:
Expectations between now and September 26, 2012: Task Force 3 will work with the other three groups to better understand their financial implications and to then present a first draft view of UIU's financial condition including the anticipated "gap". It is important for each of the Task Force groups to work closely with Task Force 3 so that this level of understanding is both complete and accurate as possible. Remember the adage: avoid late conversations about resource needs so that responses from Task Force 3 are not expected or required on too short notice. It is anticipated that this will result in discussion culminating in decisions as to the University's primary strategy for generating the resources necessary to meet and sustain future needs.
- It is time to begin and accumulate (which is part of the prioritization process), the human and dollar costs of each program's implementation;
- A "gap" will exist between what UIU generates today in available funds and what the recommendations ask;
- It is the responsibility of Task Force 3 to reconcile these differences and make recommendations for filling the "gap" as it relates to the University's primary strategy for generating the resources necessary to meet and sustain future needs (i.e., revenue generated through enrollment growth and/or fundraising and/or grants);
- Consistent with this responsibility, it is necessary for each of the programs that are recommended to carry with them a time-line for implementation so that the "gaps" can be judged and managed;
- The Board of Trustees will have the responsibility to approve the final strategic "refreshment" plan, including the strategy for financing of the "gap".
Finally, the advantage of opening up the planning process to a wider UIU community audience was discussed. It was decided that now is not too early to begin this communications objective by inviting comments on the draft "refreshment" through a UIU web posting.
This is a lot of work to accomplish between now and September 26, 2012 and we thank you for your important contributions to UIU's strategic "refreshment." Should you wish to discuss any of this or comment on the future as it unfolds, prior to September 26, 2012 please let us know?
We salute you as the best of all great Peacocks!
Alan G. Walker Robert Firth
President Board Chair