Monday Minute, February 28, 2011

Colleagues,

At the faculty assembly on Friday, I handed out a matrix that clusters ideas that emerged from the strategic plans that our academic and research & outreach units submitted in January. The matrix is a work in progress, so please send any edits, corrections, or suggestions that you think need to be made to the document, a copy of which you can download via this link:

http://design.umn.edu/about/intranet/governance/documents/strategic_plan_themes_with_priorities.pdf

We have categorized ideas according to the four "pillars" of the University's strategic plan: exceptional innovation, exceptional students, exceptional faculty and staff, and exceptional organization. Within each category, you will see themes that arose in several units' plans related to collaboration, new programs, internationalization, new curricular models, growing enrollment, recruiting students, raising student quality and support, program review, growing our faculty and staff, facilities, external relations, development, and organizational change.

The next steps involve prioritizing and acting on this list. To that end, I have noted my thoughts in red about which themes seem to have a shorter or longer time horizon, and which represent a higher or lower priority. In the empty column to the right, we need to begin identifying the funding sources for each goal: does it involve a compact request from the university, a development request from a donor, revenue gained from additional tuition or research funding, etc.

I would welcome your thoughts on all of this, for the best strategic plans, I believe, arise out of what the New Yorker writer James Surowiecki calls "the wisdom of crowds."

Tom

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