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 UMD Strategic Plan Provides Focus

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Major Initiatives Outlined in Plan

Cover of the document, the UMD Strategic Plan

This fall, UMD begins the semester with new initiatives outlined in the 2011 Strategic Plan. The plan, based on the input from over 2,000 people from the university and the community, will guide the university for the next five years.

Chancellor Lendley C. "Lynn" Black, who began his tenure as chancellor of UMD on Aug. 1, 2010, initiated the planning process. "The plan provides a sharper focus on UMD's distinctive attributes and its niche among the best higher educational institutions of its type in the country," he said.

The plan articulates a refined mission, vision, statement of core values, and set of campus goals. The core values, which include learning, discovery, engagement, inclusiveness, sustainability, integrity, and excellence, serve as a guideline for UMD's decision making.

UMD took the planning process seriously, crafting not only goals, but action steps, many of which have already been initiated.

The plan sets UMD apart from other institutions. Specific phrases in the document reflect input received and pay tribute to UMD's roots as a land-grant and sea-grant institution. That designation refers to UMD's charge to protect natural resources as well as to educate Minnesota's citizens.

The new plan champions the opportunity to strengthen ties with Duluth and surrounding communities. It makes a commitment to diversity and to serve the educational needs of indiginous peoples.

It challenges UMD to strive for more accomplishments and achievements and to become a more global campus. One visionary message is to encourage living-learning communities, where students and faculty take instruction outside the classroom for more meaningful experiences.

Dennis Falk, professor in the Department of Social Work, led the 12-member executive team and the 35-member committee who worked on both plans.

"With leadership and support of Dr. Black, the committee invited comments from students, faculty, staff, alumni, community leaders, and the general public," said Falk.

Dr. Black acknowledged the value of the input received. "We were pleased that so many people participated in the process because the wide range of voices made the plan stronger. Dr. Falk and the steering committee did a fine job. They moved the process forward in a timely manner and produced quality work." The Strategic Planning Steering Committee recommended the Plan on April 11, the Campus Assembly endorsed it on April 26, and Chancellor Black approved it on May 3.

Black will discuss the UMD Strategic Plan during a staff lunch and a faculty breakfast on Wednesday, August 31 and Thursday, September 1.

View a copy of the Strategic Plan

Written by Christiana Kapsner and Cheryl Reitan. August, 2011

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