Third strategic plan underway

Rhonda Wheeler, News Editor

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It has been five years since the university made their last strategic plan and designs for the third strategic plan are now in motion.

The strategic plan is a document that acts as the plan/structure of the university for the next five years. It is a form of communication for what the university wants to accomplish over that period of time. 

“This gives everybody a sense of what we want to accomplish going forward,” Provost Mohammed Khayum said. “And it allows people to see how things are connected in the university.”

The strategic plan doesn’t have any details yet according to the Provost. Right now, the university is going through the process of reviewing the existing plan. They also want to take time to provide opportunities for current university units such as alumni, friends of the university and area organizations to have a voice in the review.

Khayum said that the university wants to bring as many voices into the review as they can. It is the campus community that essentially makes the plan.

Some of the things they have to look at is to change the mission statement, which states, “USI is an engaged learning community advancing education and knowledge, enhancing civic and cultural awareness, and fostering partnerships through comprehensive outreach programs. We prepare individuals to live wisely in a diverse and global community.”

The strategic plan for the university expires in 2020. The 2016-2020 strategic plan has three goals. The first one is excellence in learning for the entire USI community. The second is access and opportunity by design and the last is purposeful and sustainable growth.

The strategic plan focuses on four core values: quality education, focus on learning, sense of community and engagement according to the university’s strategic plan page.

The page also said 80% of USI employees believe the current mission statement is still relevant.

The committee in charge of the plan has responsibilities to ensure that the plan is done correctly. They must establish a process to ensure there is active engagement of the university community in the third strategic plan.

The committee will review the last two plans with a focus on lessons learned throughout the years. They will remain aware of the university’s financial realities and give appropriate attention to measure and identify indicators in the design of the plan. 

Their final listed responsibility is developing the strategic plan in a timely manner and apply it to the university immediately. This committee was structured by President Ron Rochon.

“I think this can be a very exciting process involving everybody in the campus community,” Khayum said. “The effort will be made to engage individuals at all levels.”

Khayum said we will not know the potential changes to the university from the strategic plan until all necessary parties review it.

“I think students are really central to why the university exists,” he said. “We exist to prepare students for successful lives. And because of that, everything we do and the strategic plan will be focused on how it will allow us to accomplish that major focus.”

Khayum said this is a process that will take time. The Board of Trustees will also have to review and approve it or deny it by spring 2020.

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