UAA 2020 Chancellor's Memo

Dear UAA Community,

In our complex and dynamic environment, this academic year represents a crossroads for UAA following the completion of UAA Strategic Plan 2017 the university must plan for the future. Providing common purpose and encouraging cooperation is a vital part of this planning, as well as setting the right goals for the health of UAA and our community.

UAA's greatest resource lies in the reservoirs of talent and strength of character of our faculty, staff and students. At this time of opportunity and challenge, a shorter planning horizon and smaller set of ambitious, but realistic, stretch goals are appropriate to focus the energies of UAA.

This fall we will undertake a universitywide process of creating UAA 2020, a plan that will bring the university community together through the pursuit of three critical goals over a three-year period, commencing in 2017. A plan will be developed by spring 2017, with implementation immediately following.

I am tasking a team, led by Dean Rashmi Prasad, to facilitate the first phase in developing UAA 2020 this fall. Membership of the team will be announced shortly. Provost Gingerich, who invited Dr. Robert Stein to help us frame this work, will be working closely with this team as it fulfills its charge. UAA 2020 will commence with Dr. Stein's continued conversation with the UAA community regarding its core values on Friday, Sept 30.

The first phase in developing UAA 2020 will proceed as follows:

  1. Needs Assessment and Core Values Identification (Sept. 30-Nov. 15)

    This phase begins with an exploration and identification of UAA's core values, led by Dr. Robert Stein in his continuing conversations with the university on Friday, Sept. 30.

    During this phase we will identify areas of excellence consistent with UAA's core values, and the potential for further development of such areas. We will also identify gaps and deficits that inhibit the achievement of further potential in our "platforms of excellence."

    Input regarding needs assessment and core values will be collected through a survey instrument made available in early October. Additional input will be gathered from group discussions held at the self-study forums during fall 2016.

    Needs assessment and core values input will be consolidated and provided to the university community by mid-November.

  2. Goal Development and Specification (Nov. 16-Dec. 7)

    With assistance from UAA 2020 team members, deans, directors and department heads will lead their units in working through the consolidated needs assessment data to develop specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (i.e. SMART) goals. Working units will also rank goals according to their criticality, specificity and achievability.

    At the end of this phase, UAA will have collectively identified and developed 10-12 priority SMART goals. This information will be made available to the UAA community.

  3. Goal Selection (Dec. 8-Jan. 10)

    In early December, a universitywide meeting will be convened to further specify and narrow the list of goals. Participants in the universitywide meeting will be selected as representatives by their departments. Participants of the universitywide meeting will review and select from the set of 10-12 SMART goals, putting forward the top six.

    The university community will be invited to comment on these goals during the month of December, and ultimately in January 2017 I will convene a meeting of my cabinet with the full council of deans and directors to select the three goals that will constitute UAA 2020.

    Though just three goals will be selected from the larger set, the remaining goals are valuable and will serve UAA in the future.

  4. Implementation Plan Development (Jan. 11-May 1)

    During spring 2017, I will task a team to work out detailed plans for implementing UAA 2020. Implementation will commence during spring 2017.

    Your participation and wisdom are essential to the realization of this process and to the success of UAA in the short and long term. As intense budget pressures and the processes underway that seek to transform the UA System move forward, it is essential that all of us at UAA maintain clear focus on UAA's mission and core values. We must hold up high these SMART goals that will inspire all who are charged with delivery of UAA's mission to our students. I invite and encourage you to join me in this process as we develop UAA 2020.

More information on the process and timeline for the development of UAA 2020 will be available online soon.

Tom Case