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UW Strategic Planning Process to Begin in September

August 25, 2016

An inclusive, transparent process to develop an integrated, comprehensive strategic plan to guide the University of Wyoming for the next five years will begin in September.

UW’s Board of Trustees Wednesday approved the process proposed by President Laurie Nichols. It includes appointment of a Strategic Planning Leadership Council; campuswide dialogue and listening sessions; departmental and unit discussions; statewide meetings; input on the draft from the campus community and UW stakeholders; and approval through UW’s governance structures.

A strategic planning kickoff event is scheduled Friday, Sept. 23, with special guest F. King Alexander, president of Louisiana State University (details on that event will be announced later). The timeline calls for UW’s Board of Trustees to review and approve the final plan document in May.

“I’m excited to begin this important process to establish a strong road map for the university in our pursuit of excellence for the next five years,” Nichols says. “Involvement of the campus community and people around the state is critical in development of the strategic plan, and there will be plenty of opportunity for such participation.”

The Strategic Planning Leadership Council will be appointed by the president, following consultation with campus constituency groups, to provide overarching leadership for development of the strategic plan. The council will be chaired by Provost Kate Miller, with voting members as follows: two deans, one director, one department head, four faculty members, one athletics representative, one undergraduate student, one graduate student, two staff members, one trustee, one UW Foundation Board member and one UW Alumni Association Board member.

Nichols is accepting nominations for the council, which she will appoint in September. Those wishing to submit names for her consideration are asked to do so by emailing by Friday, Sept. 9.

Ex-officio members of the council are Vice President of Institutional Advancement Ben Blalock, UW Alumni Association Executive Director Keener Fry, Vice President for Research and Economic Development Bill Gern, Vice President for Administration Bill Mai, Vice President for Student Affairs Sara Axelson, Athletics Director Tom Burman, Vice President for Information Technology Robert Aylward and Vice President for Governmental and Community Affairs Chris Boswell.

Among other activities, the leadership council and respective deans will meet with every academic department in October, November and December to discuss thoughts about their future and barriers to achieving their vision. And Nichols and Miller, in November and December, will meet with each academic college -- and perhaps other units -- to discuss future directions and suggestions for the future.

In addition, co-chairs will be named for each of about a dozen topics that will be the focus of open dialogue/listening sessions in November and December. The topics include: university structures and organization; extended education and lifelong learning off campus; undergraduate recruitment and enrollment; diversity and inclusion; academic programs, curriculum and quality; information technology; student success; research, scholarship and graduate education; engagement and outreach, including economic development; resource alignment, revenue and UW’s budget model; long-range development and facilities plans; and athletics.

Each topic will have at least two open campus sessions, with executive reports submitted and posted at the conclusion of those meetings.

Statewide meetings are expected in November to invite input from stakeholders, alumni and others.

The leadership council is scheduled to begin drafting the strategic plan in January, with presentation of a draft to the campus community and stakeholders in March. The revised plan then will be presented at a town-hall meeting for consideration by the governing bodies of Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and the Associated Students of UW.

Following approval by the Board of Trustees, the plan will be implemented at the start of the 2017-18 fiscal year, with college and unit plans finalized in fall 2017.

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