Formatted pdf Version
Building on Excellence: The Next Steps
The Strategic Plan for the
University of Maryland, College Park
May 3, 2000
Table of Contents
- I. INTRODUCTION
- II. VISION AND STRATEGY: AN OVERVIEW
- III. THE UNIVERSITY AND ITS ENVIRONMENT
- IV. FIVE INITIATIVES
Continue to elevate the quality of undergraduate education in order to provide all students an enriched and challenging educational experience.
- Initiative Two:
Build a strong, university-wide culture of excellence in graduate and professional education, research, scholarship, and the creative and performing arts.
Ensure a university environment that is inclusive as well as diverse and that fosters a spirit of community among faculty, staff, and students.
Engage the university more fully in outreach and collaborative partnerships with the greater community.
Ensure an administrative, operational, and physical infrastructure that fully supports a first-class university.
- V. TRANSLATING STRATEGIES INTO ACTIONS
- VI. CONCLUSION
In April 1996, the University formally adopted a plan, "Charting a Path to Excellence: The Strategic Plan for the University of Maryland at College Park," for direction in the coming years. Despite the prospect of limited new resources, this document boldly reaffirmed the University's commitment to a vision of academic excellence and set forth strategic initiatives and guidelines for action to achieve that vision. The 1996 Plan has served the University well. Now, four years after its adoption, President C. D. Mote, Jr., has called for an update of the Plan to reflect the significant changes that have occurred in the environment of the University of Maryland.
The leadership, accomplishments, opportunities, and resources that define the University all have changed during the last few years. A new Provost was appointed in 1997, a new President in 1998, and by 1999, there had been a change in leadership in almost half of the 13 colleges and professional schools and in several critical support units. No longer hampered by a tight economy, the State has substantially increased its financial support of the University, and in 1999 the General Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to the University as the Flagship Institution of the State.
While benefitting from good fortune and the good will of those who have recognized our successes and potential, the University and its faculty have also fought hard to build our own resources to advance the stature of the University. Through a strategy of recruiting and retaining faculty members of the highest caliber and attracting to the University an increasing number of talented students, we have moved considerably closer to achieving our goal of academic excellence. The University's nationally- known researchers and scholars across a wide range of disciplines have made significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge, have spearheaded innovative projects, have generated a phenomenal increase in external research funding, have inspired a growing number of academically-talented students to make Maryland their school of choice, and have significantly increased the importance of the University as a key contributor to the economic development of the State. Business Process Reorganization and selective privatization initiatives are continuing to help the University run more efficiently. Our alumni and friends have provided vigorous leadership and assistance for our efforts and mounted successful initiatives to increase the University's support and influence throughout the region, the nation, and the world. Private fundraising has begun to increase dramatically. We are proud that as our reputation for excellence has grown, so too has our reputation as a university that prizes and supports diversity among its faculty, staff, and students.
Given our extraordinary progress in accomplishing many of the goals set forth in the 1996 Plan, the University of Maryland is now ready to build on its achievements and move to the next level of distinction in the ranks of preeminent public research universities in the United States. This update of the Plan reaffirms the University's commitment to excellence. It sets forth the main areas for attention and describes action steps that are important to our continued progress towards excellence in these areas. It does not prescribe exhaustive activities for any unit, department, or program. Its intention is to encourage a campus-wide climate of creativity, confidence, energy, and productivity, the hallmark of first-rate programs and universities, and to widen the circle of its loyal supporters in the larger community.
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II. VISION AND STRATEGY: AN OVERVIEW
The 1996 Plan stated its vision for the University of Maryland, based on the 1988 legislation creating the Flagship Institution, as follows: Maryland should become "One of the nation's preeminent public research universities, an institution recognized both nationally and internationally for excellence in research and instruction, which makes the results of its research available for the use and benefit of the State of Maryland and its people." In the years following adoption of that Plan, we have made great strides toward achieving this goal. The University is now widely recognized to be among the most rapidly advancing of the public research universities, and with growing confidence, we are laying a claim to be counted among the best of these institutions. Our progress can be measured by our achievements in many areas: innovative, effective, and popular learning communities; an expanding number of academic programs of recognized distinction; an increasingly productive engagement with the research, business, and government communities; significant contributions through award-winning scholarship to the interpretation and preservation of history and culture; vibrant and growing creative and performing arts programs; major contributions through nationally-recognized research in public policy, biology, physics, information science, technology, and engineering; and innovative leadership in agricultural and natural resources.
Our success is due to the hard work and creative imagination of our dedicated and highly talented faculty, students, and staff. This update of the Strategic Plan reflects the heightened expectations, the sense of momentum, and the awareness of new opportunities that drive an expanded vision of excellence.
President C. D. Mote, Jr., has encouraged the University community to fulfill these greater expectations and has adopted an agenda that will build on our momentum and provide an aggressive forward push to a new level of distinction. In his address to the College Park Senate and in other venues, President Mote has set forth the following ambitious goals that will push the University to increase its external engagements, to become a major player in the State's economic and cultural development, and to assume a new visibility as a major source of intellectual contributions to the national scene. These goals are to:
- Build a culture of excellence across the University that raises us to the ranks of the most eminent public research universities;
- Offer an enriched educational experience to all students that takes full advantage of the special strengths of a research university and prepares them to be productive members of society;
- Build our Maryland family of alumni and friends to create a network of allegiance and support for the University; and
- Engage in a range of partnerships with private companies, government agencies and laboratories, and other research universities in the region and the State to make the University a major driving force in the economic development and well-being of the citizens of Maryland.
Expectations have also been heightened by the 1998 Joint Legislative-Governor's Task Force for the Study of the Governance, Coordination, and Funding of the University System of Maryland, which unambiguously declared that the "State's first priority is the enhancement of the flagship campus, University of Maryland, College Park, to achieve national eminence." This intention was reconfirmed in subsequent legislation, which also directed that both funding and performance expectations be based on those of selected peer institutions.
The expansion of our vision lies in the insistence that excellence be the norm across the University, rather than in a limited number of areas, and that we be engaged fully in the life of the larger community. The level of our ambition is reflected in the stature of our selected peers, which are the University of California, Berkeley; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the University of Michigan; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We count ourselves among the best public universities and will continue to provide for the State of Maryland the new ideas, technologies, enriched educational programs, skilled workforce, and economic development opportunities that the citizens of Maryland have the right to expect of their flagship research university.
To move to the next level of distinction, the University intends to accelerate the pace of its advancement and expand the breadth of its excellence. Spreading excellence across the campus requires that we move beyond our previous accomplishments and concentrate efforts and attention in several areas.
Undergirding all our plans must be a commitment to strengthen further our faculty recruitment and retention efforts. A faculty of the highest caliber is the single most important resource in determining a university's quality and the effectiveness of its teaching and outreach activities. In the last five years, the number of our faculty in national academies has doubled, and our research expenditures increased from Fiscal Year 1994 to Fiscal Year 1999 by 52.4%, with significant growth realized in every college. To enter the ranks of the very best universities, we must continue to leverage our resources to build a faculty widely-recognized for its diversity and its excellence.
Excellence in the creation of knowledge must be aligned with excellence in transmitting that knowledge, and we must increase efforts to expand to all students the kind and quality of education programs that reflect the special strengths of a comprehensive research university. A goal of the 1996 Strategic Plan was to develop programs that would attract highly motivated students, an effort that has met with great success. In recent years, we have recruited students of such talent and diversity that they have become a major strength of the University. As a result of our innovative undergraduate programs, increasing numbers of outstanding undergraduates, in-state and out-of-state, are enrolling in the University. The high school GPA of entering Maryland undergraduates is now competitive with those of students at our peers, and College Park has become the university of choice for more of Maryland's high ability high school graduates than all the other public and private universities in the State combined. The next step is to spread across the University programs that build on the strength of our diverse student body and challenge and engage all students in the research culture.
A development of great significance during the past few years has been the growing number of friends and alumni who have increased their involvement with the University. Their encouragement, wise counsel, and tangible support have had a major impact on our progress. They have served as our advocates, as a source of much-needed funding for physical enhancement of the University, and as benefactors of special academic programs, scholarships, lecture series, and endowed professorships. The pride and loyalty of our alumni are being felt in their support of colleges, schools, and departments across the campus, and the national and international alumni organizations are spreading the Maryland reputation throughout the country and the world. This Plan calls for us to strengthen and increase our connections with friends and alumni, build on their loyalty as a major asset, and encourage their role in wider communication of our aspirations and successes.
The role of the university is being redefined in today's complex knowledge-based society, and we are embracing a new vision of engagement that requires us to turn increasingly outward and expand the range in which we are an important presence. Our faculty across many disciplines play a major role in affecting public policy and influencing social issues, locally and nationally. The University now has an extraordinary opportunity to take advantage of its special location and expertise to forge new links and increase the number of our collaborative partnerships with emerging industries and federal and state agencies. We have already established an important presence with our incubator and other support programs to promote commercial enterprises in the State, with new partnerships with the FDA, NASA, the USDA, Archives II, and Dumbarton Oaks, among others, and with our active participation in educational reform efforts. As a central focus of an expanded engagement, the University of Maryland must build on its successes and join its efforts with those of the other major research universities, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore to form a research backbone for the State of Maryland that will rival top university research clusters in the country. Our outreach must also embrace the international community.
As we strive to achieve greater excellence in our research and instruction, we will also build on the strengths that are special to the University of Maryland. One of the University's goals in the last two decades has been to build a model multi-racial, multi-generational, multi-ethnic community. Our commitment to excellence in our faculty and educational programs has been matched by a strong belief that diversity among faculty, staff, and students is a central part of that excellence and is a priority of the University community. Through numerous campus-wide activities to achieve greater diversity and inclusiveness, the University has built a solid foundation from which to create a campus that thrives on diversity. This success is a major strength, which provides a foundation for an energetic new campus-wide push to achieve community with diversity.
Another strength that has been the basis for many past successful initiatives, and on which we will build future initiatives, is the University's culture of cooperation and collaboration across departments and colleges. Our many multi-disciplinary institutes, centers, and programs are a source of research, teaching, and engagement that have contributed to our growing reputation for excellence.
Finally, we take pride in our identity as an institution with a beautiful physical campus, with predominantly on-campus instruction, and with a large number of resident and commuting students who participate fully in the life of the campus. We intend to enhance the opportunities for intellectual, cultural, and social interactions outside the classroom and to encourage efforts to make our surrounding College Park neighborhood a more stimulating one; to enhance interactions among faculty, students, and staff; and to increase engagement with the community at large.
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III. THE UNIVERSITY AND ITS ENVIRONMENT
A necessary part of any strategic planning effort is an assessment of the University's current strengths, the challenges we face, and the opportunities that are open before us.
As we move into a new century and a new phase of strategic planning, we can boast a wealth of special advantages and strengths from which flow a new energy and confidence among faculty, staff, and students.
- We have a large and growing number of talented, creative, and entrepreneurial faculty who are acknowledged as leaders in their fields and recognized with national awards, prizes, and election to professional academies.
- The academic profile of our undergraduates, for both in-state and out-of-state students, has grown more impressive each year, and the University is now the school of choice for academically talented Maryland high school seniors.
- The University has a strong record of outstanding accomplishments in research across the entire range of disciplines, is increasingly recognized for programs that are characterized by innovation and creativity, and has established its role as a leading contributor to knowledge in the humanities and social sciences, in science, and in technology.
- Our established culture of effective teamwork and cross-disciplinary cooperation facilitates the development of the interdisciplinary programs and research efforts that will become increasingly important in the years to come.
- The University is located in an area of unparalleled intellectual resources for every area of study and in close proximity to the major government research laboratories, libraries and agencies, world-class museums, outstanding cultural opportunities, renowned think-tanks, and a thriving entrepreneurial business community.
- Our location next to the nation's capital and to the many international organizations, embassies, and outstanding statesmen and scholars it attracts is a major asset for the promotion of international programs and recruitment of international scholars and students.
- The University's location offers excellent opportunities for engagement with public policy issues, a major strength in many of our schools and colleges.
- The University enjoys a diversity in its student body that is unequaled among most public research universities and that has greatly enriched the University and added to its excellence. At present, 33% of our undergraduates are students of color, and among all non-Historically Black Institutions, we rank among the top five in the number of baccalaureate and doctoral degrees awarded to African-Americans.
- Reflecting the strength of our faculty, staff, and students, the University is increasingly ranked among the leading public research universities in surveys of national excellence.
- We have achieved national recognition for our outstanding and growing number of innovative and challenging undergraduate programs, including the University Honors program, the College Park Scholars living-learning program, and the special focus programs Gemstone and Civicus
- The University has a long and valued history of shared governance that remains strong and enjoys widespread support from the campus leadership. This principle pervades the decision-making process of all University policies.
- We have been designated by the State as the Flagship University of the University System of Maryland, named the number one priority for funding, and granted new levels of autonomy in our management.
- The University is a driving force in the State's economy through entrepreneurial incubator programs, partnerships with industry and government agencies that attract large amounts of funds to the State, and its contribution to the educated labor force required in an information-based economy.
- The University has a long tradition of research in environmental and agricultural sciences that directly impacts the well-being of citizens by promoting the best use and conservation of natural resources and the improvement of land and water-based industries in the State, and the services of Maryland Cooperative Extension are a well-established resource throughout the State.
- Our many outstanding alumni and loyal friends are increasingly active partners in our efforts to achieve excellence, and the impact of their support is growing steadily.
- Confidence, energy, and optimism are on the rise throughout the University community, and a strong and compelling momentum is driving us to higher levels of excellence.
The University has advanced rapidly even during times of restricted resources. However, as these resources were focused on keeping and recruiting outstanding faculty and building innovative educational programs, the infrastructure, both physical and fiscal, was often neglected. Catching up and keeping up in these infrastructure areas is a primary challenge. In the process of developing our physical infrastructure and facilities, reconciling our competing values related to land-use planning will also be a challenge. We need to improve facilities, secure the necessary external funding for endowed chairs, scholarships, and fellowships, and bring all levels of University activity to the same standard of high quality performance. Being able to follow through fully on our commitment to excellence is a second challenge, and creating the climate for continuing external support is another. Finally, we need to make better use of our network of alumni to champion the University's causes. In this section we identify key areas of special vulnerability where success is essential to achieving our goals and vigorous and concerted efforts are necessary.
- The University requires significant new space to meet the needs of our growing research enterprise and the requirements of our innovative educational programs.
- We need to increase efforts to renovate many of our older buildings and to equip and support a larger number of our classrooms for the technology required by modern instructional methods.
- Compensation packages for faculty and staff need to be more competitive to help us continue to attract and retain the most talented employees, and the University needs to increase the number of endowed faculty positions to support our recruiting and retention efforts.
- We need to raise the levels of assistantship and fellowship support available for graduate students and explore new ways to compete successfully to build a graduate student body characterized by talent, motivation, and diversity.
- Many departments need larger operating budgets so they can maintain the necessary infrastructure to support their burgeoning research programs and support educational programs of the highest quality.
- The University must continue to support the libraries' initiatives to keep pace with the increases in materials costs and to provide complete electronic access to materials as available.
- We need to deliver on our promises of a uniformly high quality undergraduate education to an increasingly talented student body, increase our efforts to improve the retention rates of our undergraduates, and provide sufficient financial support where needed for undergraduates to meet their educational and living expenses.
- The University has a large and growing number of outstanding academic programs, and we must work to spread this level of quality across all disciplines while continuing to increase the level of quality and faculty productivity in every program.
- In the face of legal challenges to traditional affirmative action programs and recent declines in the numbers of students and faculty of color, the University needs to seek new ways to maintain and increase the diversity among its faculty, staff, and students that it counts as one of its strengths.
- We must accelerate our efforts to redesign the bureaucratic administrative systems and processes so that they facilitate the implementation of innovative and forward-thinking educational activities and programs.
- The University must seek to create a larger, more widespread body of alumni and friends to whom it can regularly look for allegiance and moral and financial support.
- In cooperation with the College Park city government and business community, the University must support efforts to increase local amenities such as restaurants, retail shops, attractive gathering places and neighborhoods, and to promote the special ambiance that is usually found in a college community.
- To remain a priority in higher education among the State's political leadership, we need to continue to fulfill our promise as a major contributor to the State's economic, intellectual, and cultural life and communicate effectively to the administration and legislative leaders our importance to the State as the flagship institution.
This area of the nation is fast becoming a leading center for the new knowledge and information economy, and the University is ideally positioned to become a major partner in its development. Our faculty can support new efforts with their expertise; we can provide the region with the educated labor force necessary for the new globalized economy; we can promote technology transfer and support start-up businesses and foster and participate in an entrepreneurial culture. Given the advantages of our location and special strengths, a wide range of opportunities exist that the University can seize to move to a new level of accomplishments.
The University can expand its role as a social and cultural force. Our strengths in the social sciences and public policy areas address issues that are of increasing importance to government agencies and other groups dealing with the problems society faces today and planning for the challenges of the future. Our faculty are leaders in the interpretation of history and culture, and we are poised to become a model center for the merging of academic preparation and community involvement in the creative and performing arts.
- As the prominent research enterprises in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area seek ways to pool resources, expand their expertise and maximize their productivity, the time is ripe for the University to enter into an increasing number of mutually rewarding partnerships with federal laboratories, corporations and other research institutions.
- The growing potential of this area as a leading Internet and biotechnology corridor provides many new possibilities for cooperation between the University and commercial ventures in areas that are at the forefront of research, and opens unparalleled opportunities for the University to expand and enhance its bioscience programs.
- Our traditional strengths and growing accomplishments in computational, mathematical, and physical sciences and engineering provide the basis for exploiting major federal funding and corporate relationships in these areas.
- The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center creates the opportunity to invigorate the creative and performing arts at the University and offer new opportunities for cultural interaction and enrichment throughout the greater community.
- The diverse make-up of our nearby communities, which range from urban to rural, provides a unique laboratory for the comprehensive study of cultural, social, economic, and political structures, while the diversity of the populations in the region offers a large pool of talented and diverse students and employees from which we can recruit.
- The organization of K-12 education in the State, divided as it is into a small number of jurisdictions with a strong central authority, provides the potential for a very significant statewide impact of our engagement in this area.
- Our significant emphasis on and accomplishments in research in the social and political sciences position us well to exploit the increasing opportunities for external engagement and an anticipated large increase in the funding base in these areas.
- The State's reaffirmation of its commitment to a flagship university that is counted among the nation's best has resulted in financial support that opens new opportunities for achieving excellence across a broad spectrum of disciplines.
- The growing number of international activities and outstanding international students and scholars at the University provides a foundation for a new level of international engagement that takes full advantage of our special location.
- Given our rising reputation, the University has the opportunity to recruit a student body whose diversity and excellence will create an intellectual climate equal to that of the very best universities.
- The increasing interest on the part of many alumni and friends in the University's advancement offers a major opportunity for new partnerships with these important members of the University family that can sustain us for years to come.
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IV. FIVE INITIATIVES
Fueled by extraordinary progress in the past five years and eager to exploit the abundance of opportunities that are available, the University is ready to take a major step forward. To help us direct our energies and build on our momentum, we decided to follow the preceding plan in laying out broad areas or "initiatives" as the framework for action in the units, departments, and divisions of the University. These initiatives and the accompanying action steps present an ambitious plan that touches every area of the University and that, when implemented, can accelerate our rapid movement forward. More than just a "wish list," the plan envisions a broad effort to spread excellence across the campus through a variety of actions that will engage the entire community.
As a research university, our mission is to discover and disseminate new knowledge and illuminate the human condition through our research and teaching. As a major public university, we also have the responsibility to ensure that research and teaching of the highest quality, and their benefits, are available to all citizens of the State through a wide variety of services and partnerships. The first four initiatives reaffirm the priority we assign to excellence in teaching, excellence in research, and excellence in our engagement with society. The fifth initiative addresses the environment necessary for achieving excellence across the board.
We recognize that complete implementation of all action steps under each Initiative will require resources beyond those likely to be available, and it will thus be necessary to use our existing campus processes to establish priorities among these activities. However, these Initiatives and action steps delineate our vision of the kind of university that we have the potential to become, and even if taken in increments, these are the activities and efforts that are necessary to accomplish that vision.
- Continue to elevate the quality of undergraduate education in order to provide all students an enriched and challenging educational experience.
- Build a strong, university-wide culture of excellence in graduate and professional education, research, scholarship, and the creative and performing arts.
- Ensure a university environment that is inclusive as well as diverse and that fosters a spirit of community among faculty, staff, and students.
- Engage the University more fully in outreach and collaborative partnerships with the greater community.
- Ensure an administrative, operational, and physical infrastructure that fully supports a first-class university.
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Continue to elevate the quality of undergraduate education in order to provide all students an enriched and challenging educational experience.
Aggressive pursuit of the goals of the 1996 Strategic Plan to enhance undergraduate education and engage undergraduates more fully in the research experience has produced nationally-recognized programs of the highest academic quality in our Honors and College Park Scholars programs. It is time to apply and extend the value of these lessons to all of our undergraduates. Four years ago the Plan called for major efforts to create a university that "provides a nurturing campus community, a stimulating intellectual environment, effective advising and job-placement programs, along with an array of special enrichment activities." Our efforts to achieve that goal have continued with support for innovative programs, and much has been done to improve many areas of student life. The increasing number of outstanding students who choose Maryland as their academic home is bringing a new level of intellectual excitement and vigor to the University.
Our emphasis on faculty who excel as researchers and who can share their excitement and expertise in the classroom and laboratory results in an enriched educational environment in which undergraduates as well as graduate students have the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research, scholarship, and creative projects. Moreover, outstanding faculty help recruit to the University graduate students of high caliber, who make significant contributions to undergraduate education as teaching assistants. However, much remains to be done to achieve the quality of educational experience we envision and extend it to all undergraduates. The following steps are intended to move us closer to our goal of offering the most outstanding education possible to our students.
1. Provide enriched educational opportunities and personally fulfilling and challenging academic curricula that prepare all our graduates for productive roles in this increasingly complex world.
- Support and encourage innovative course design that stresses student participation, team-based problem solving, and technology enhancement and ensure that high academic standards are maintained in all our courses.
- Seek additional ways for students to take advantage of the special opportunities that are available at a world-class research university and increase substantially the opportunities for students to be involved in research with a faculty member.
- Encourage academic units to increase the number of academically-based internship and fellowship opportunities that leverage our locational advantage in the Baltimore-Washington region.
- Increase the number of courses in the curriculum that possess a significant experiential-learning component.
- Increase the opportunities for students to have a significant international experience, including an expansion in study abroad opportunities, especially in Winter Term and Summer Sessions.
- Increase the opportunities for students in their freshman year to participate in a low enrollment (<25) academic course taught by a full-time faculty member.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of our CORE curriculum and redesign it as needed to ensure that all undergraduate students obtain the best general educational preparation possible.
- Encourage faculty to make greater use of the Center for Teaching Excellence and its resources and introduce faculty members early in their academic career to best practices in pedagogy.
- Elevate the importance of preparing students for teaching careers and engage faculty in the arts and sciences disciplines with those in education to ensure high quality education of future teachers.
- Provide undergraduates with increased opportunities to acquire Teacher Certification either as part of their BA or BS degree or as part of a fast-track master's in education.
- Increase the emphasis on academic integrity and ethical development among our students.
- Seek additional ways to recognize and celebrate the academic achievements of undergraduate students.
2. Remain the school of choice for the most talented students in Maryland and for outstanding out-of-state students by strengthening efforts to recruit students who contribute to and benefit from an enriched educational environment and by improving the conditions for their enrollment and success.
- Refine criteria for admission to the University and our special programs, recognizing the competitive advantages of students with different interests, backgrounds, and life experiences.
- Establish criteria for the admission of transfer students that are equivalent to those used in the admission of entering freshmen.
- Increase the number of entering freshmen to 4500 while holding constant the total number of undergraduate students on the College Park campus.
- Increase the residence hall space by 2000 beds to allow all entering freshmen guaranteed residential space.
- Raise an endowment for undergraduate scholarships sufficient to ensure that no student admitted to the University of Maryland has to leave solely for economic reasons or has to work to an extent that hinders academic progress.
- Offer more information and assistance to help students compete successfully for prestigious scholarships, fellowships, and awards in every discipline.
- Significantly enhance academic advising for all students by making greater use of peer mentoring, improving the availability of both faculty and professional advisors, and increasing the use of technology in advising.
- Adjust as necessary the time distribution of our course offerings and the number of sections offered to assure that students are able to register for the courses required for graduation in a timely manner.
- Expand the new student orientation period and support innovative orientation programs that highlight the special value of a diverse and complex academic community.
- Maintain a campus environment that promotes community involvement, enhances the total educational experience, and fosters a lifelong affiliation with the University.
3. Systematically integrate the use of information technology into our instructional programs, so that all faculty and students can fully exploit new technology as an essential tool in teaching and learning.
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- Expand training and support services to help faculty with curricular redesign, educationally sound pedagogical practices, and the development and deployment of information technology based courseware.
- Set expectations that every academic course will have an online syllabus and an established protocol for remote communication between student and instructor.
- Bring all students to a level of information technology proficiency appropriate to their disciplinary needs. Establish information technology fluency and information literacy requirements for all undergraduates.
- Strongly encourage all students to have access to a networked personal computer, and require computer ownership for students in selected disciplines.
- Bring every classroom up to an established minimum standard for information technology capability and create special purpose information technology enhanced classrooms and laboratories as required.
Build a strong, university-wide culture of excellence in graduate and professional education, research, scholarship, and the creative and performing arts.
A first-rate faculty is the key to excellence in a comprehensive research university, and one of our top priorities is to recruit and retain faculty known as leaders and innovators, whose accomplishments place them among the top ranks of their peers. Many of our programs and departments have achieved national distinction through the efforts of their outstanding faculty; to achieve the level of excellence of the very best public universities, it is essential that we nurture our current successes and raise the expectations for excellence in all departments. Recognizing the growing interconnections among academic fields, we must continue to encourage programs and research activities that cut across departments and colleges. We must also continue to target our resources and seek external resources to take advantage of our special strengths and opportunities that contribute significantly to the economic and cultural growth of the region.
A university of national eminence is known also for its ability to transmit knowledge to a student body selected from among the best, who in turn become leaders in their chosen professions. A concerted campus-wide effort must be mounted to create the conditions and incentives for competing effectively for the best graduate students and for guaranteeing that they are well-educated, well-mentored and well-placed. One of the University's widely recognized strengths has been its ability to recruit and graduate a highly diverse group of graduate students, and success in this area must remain a university priority.
1. Increase the number and proportion of our faculty who are regarded by their national and international peers as being among the best in their disciplines.
- Continue to elevate the standards for appointment of new faculty and the expectations for promotion and tenure of existing faculty to the level of our peers, across all academic units.
- Increase the competitiveness of our faculty compensation packages to allow us to recruit and retain the very best faculty and raise our average faculty salaries to the 75th percentile of AAU public universities (85th percentile of Carnegie I institutions).
- Increase the number of endowed faculty chairs and professorships by establishing this as a major fund raising objective of the University.
- Significantly increase the number of faculty who hold membership in national and international academies by recruiting such distinguished faculty from outside and by promoting better our existing faculty for membership in these organizations.
- Increase the assistance provided to departments to recruit and to retain greater numbers of talented faculty from under-represented groups.
- Seek additional ways to celebrate and reward faculty for their scholarly achievements, recognizing them for the entire range of their contributions and accomplishments.
2. Continue to improve the excellence of our best research and graduate programs while also increasing the number of programs of recognized excellence.
- Invest a significant part of new campus resources in innovative "big impact" initiatives that will rapidly advance the University's excellence.
- Develop strategies to maximize the quality and impact of our graduate and research programs, as measured by national surveys of program excellence.
- In the next National Research Council survey of graduate programs, using the "scholarly quality of program faculty" (SQPF) score as a measure of quality, we aim to have:
- at least 5 doctoral programs listed in the "distinguished" category (SQPF>4.0)
- at least 10 doctoral programs with SQPF 3.5 - 3.99
- all of our rated doctoral programs obtain a score of at least SQPF 3.0 or higher.
- By 2004 we aim to have the Clark School of Engineering, the Smith School of Business, the College of Education, the College of Library and Information Services, the College of Journalism, and the School of Public Affairs ranked firmly in the top 15 nationally, as measured by such assessments as the annual rankings of professional schools in US News and World Report.
- Strengthen the University's biological science programs through the selective investment of new resources in the University's multi-disciplinary BioSciences Initiative.
- Strengthen the University's research programs in the computer sciences, the information sciences, and technology and their impact on society by building on current strengths and capitalizing on our proximity to corporations and governmental laboratories that focus in this area.
- Ensure that the key programs in the liberal arts and humanities are commensurate in quality and national reputation with our leading programs in science and technology.
- Build increased strength in the behavioral and social sciences supporting research on major social and public policy issues.
- Take advantage of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center to strengthen graduate programs in Music, Theatre, and Dance and to increase the University's engagement with the surrounding community.
3. Increase the University's success in recruiting, developing, and placing outstanding and diverse graduate students.
- Increase the number and size of Graduate School Fellowships through private fundraising efforts and through the allocation of additional University resources.
- Ensure that the fellowship distribution is aligned with program quality and University priorities to maximize the effectiveness of the fellowship awards in promoting excellence and diversity across a wide range of disciplines.
- Assess the competitiveness with our peers of our graduate assistant stipends and review the distribution of graduate assistant resources throughout the institution.
- Significantly improve the University's marketing of its graduate programs, especially through the Internet, with the aim of increasing the total number of graduate school applications and graduate student selectivity.
- Improve our ability to select truly outstanding students by using diverse measures of quality for graduate admission, as appropriate to particular fields and populations.
- Streamline the graduate admissions process in the Graduate School, make greater use of electronic communication, and minimize the time required for both admission and fellowship decisions.
- Provide the learning environment, faculty mentoring, and other support for our graduate students, comparable to that provided by our peers, to help our students obtain professional placements comparable with students at other leading research institutions.
- Encourage greater participation and involvement of graduate students within the wider University community and emphasize their importance to the intellectual ambiance of the University.
4. Develop and facilitate access to scholarly information in all formats to support cutting-edge research, scholarship, teaching, and learning.
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- Continue to invest in increased access to online journals and academic databases and set strategies for a transition from print to electronic holdings when and where appropriate.
- Lead the deployment of a new Library Information Management System for the USM and affiliated libraries.
- Make the recently-inaugurated Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) into a national model for integrating cutting-edge technology into the liberal arts.
Ensure a university environment that is inclusive as well as diverse and that fosters a spirit of community among faculty, staff, and students.
The University of Maryland has gained national recognition for its commitment to diversity as a major educational benefit and an essential component of academic excellence. In the past decade, the University has consistently graduated a larger number of black doctoral students than most other traditionally white institutions, and a significant number of our undergraduates are from groups that have been historically underrepresented at the nation's public research universities. Senior administrators on campus regularly seek the advice of commissions, associations, and ad hoc groups that represent the concerns of those who have felt excluded from the mainstream, and a wide range of innovative activities in every unit on campus has established diversity as a major characteristic of this community and one of its most important priorities. Complementing these extracurricular activities, the University of Maryland has become a leader in research on issues involving race, gender, and sexual orientation and has made strides in transforming the curriculum to reflect our new understanding of identity and diversity.
Though our progress in embracing diversity has been great, much remains to be done. In spite of our leadership in diversity among our students, there is a relatively less diversity in key academic, administrative, and staff leadership positions as well as in the general faculty. Due in part to recent legal constraints on the distribution of financial aid, the numbers of ethnic minority students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs declined from 1997-1999, and retention rates for many ethnic minority students remains low. A serious concern is growing evidence that the campus climate is not as supportive as it should be for all members of the University community. Action items listed below address the continuing need to mount a strong campaign for inclusion of diverse groups to maintain a vibrant university environment.
The University values diversity as a key to its excellence, but we are also mindful of the importance of a spirit of community and harmony in an institution that counts a wide range of diverse groups as members of its faculty, staff, and students. Recognizing the need for a vigorous new effort to create deeper understanding and serious engagement among the members of the University family, President Mote has appointed a panel of faculty, staff, and students to conduct an across-the-board review of all University programs and propose new actions that promote community building. The panel is expected to recommend actions to promote greater understanding and inclusiveness throughout the University among its diverse groups.
1. Encourage campus-wide support and follow-through on the recommendations of the President's Diversity Panel that have been approved for implementation.
The President's Diversity Panel has been asked to roll out recommendations for immediate new initiatives through the Spring Semester 2000 and submit a final report with long-range program suggestions in early summer. It is understood that the recommendations approved for implementation will have the same priority as the action steps included in this Plan.
2. Develop coherent and comprehensive strategies to increase the diversity of our faculty and staff.
- Establish procedures to enable "opportunity hires" and develop specific retention mechanisms for talented members of under-represented groups.
- Conduct ongoing, campus-wide equity reviews to ensure parity across gender and ethnic groups.
- Establish a voluntary clearinghouse for current faculty and staff from underrepresented populations that alerts them to campus vacancies.
- Direct all search committees for key administrative positions to more diligently seek female and ethnic minority candidates through the use of professional search firms and other aggressive strategies.
- Appoint more women and ethnic minorities to acting positions when vacancies occur.
- Provide financial and administrative support for activities that capitalize on areas where we have a strong cadre of ethnic minority scholars or other successful diversity initiatives.
- Promote the University as a site for ethnic minority association and diversity-related meetings and conferences.
- Provide an annual workshop for first year women and ethnic minority faculty, conducted by key administrators and senior faculty members from these groups, that addresses their unique issues and provides successful strategies for enabling these individuals to succeed in the tenure and promotion process at College Park.
3. Develop strategies to increase the enrollment of undergraduate and graduate ethnic minority students and improve their graduation rates.
- Provide incentives for more faculty-student mentoring and the development of summer and winter term programs with local school systems, historically black institutions and other institutions with high minority representation.
- Provide incentives for programs to identify and recruit talented ethnic minority students at the community colleges.
- Increase the amount of scholarship/grant aid for graduate students and reward achievement of diversity in allocating individual student aid and block grant awards to programs.
- Improve retention of ethnic minority students enrolled at the University by supporting programs that pair students with faculty mentors, increase opportunities for student employment, and address the development of skills associated with higher retention rates.
- Charge the relevant campus offices to conduct surveys of departing faculty, staff and non-returning students with emphasis on determining reasons for departure and possible retention remedies.
4. Build a greater sense of community among faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
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- Develop an expanded and improved Faculty and Staff Club that would attract to campus a greater presence of faculty and staff outside of working hours.
- Encourage greater funding of activities that increase student-faculty interaction, such as departmental commencement receptions, "take a student to breakfast/lunch/dinner" programs, and student/faculty and staff/faculty mentoring programs.
- Continue to build ties to alumni that stress their importance as members of the University family and as an important resource to students and faculty.
- Encourage greater student involvement in the life of the campus community including attendance at cultural events and academic lectures; participation in service and volunteer opportunities, leadership development and governance, and other campus activities or organizations; and participation in intramural sports.
- Ensure the successful operation of a model NCAA Division 1 intercollegiate athletic program that builds alumni loyalty and greater campus and community spirit.
Engage the University more fully in outreach and collaborative partnerships with the greater community.
As a land grant institution and a public research university, the University of Maryland has always devoted a large portion of its energies to the effective sharing of its expertise with a multitude of external groups. Our rapidly changing environment is creating a greatly expanded range of opportunities for increased interaction and engagement between the University community and a variety of constituents. Expectations have been raised for the University's contribution to the quality of life of our citizens through its expertise in many disciplines, and the role of the University as an active partner with industry, non-profit organizations, governing agencies, and State systems has been heightened.
One primary role the University must play is as a major contributor to the development of a knowledge-based economy. Knowledge industries and universities provide essential support for one another, and it is no accident that key centers driving progress in information-based industries have arisen and clustered around great research universities. Driven in part by the major national laboratories and the defense establishment, the greater Washington area is becoming one of the primary centers of the knowledge economy, especially in biotechnology and in the information sciences. The University of Maryland is a full partner in this development and is moving to expand its leadership role. We will accomplish this both directly through technical collaboration and workforce training, and indirectly through effects on the business, educational, cultural, social, and public policy climate of the region and the State.
1. Extend the scholarly reach of our campus by forming strong partnerships with other research universities, corporations, non-profit and community-based organizations, and state, federal, and international agencies.
- Develop a research and technology park close to campus that will leverage campus, corporate, and agency strength to create a powerful center of research excellence and promote economic development for the region.
- Establish more programs in which talented corporate and agency researchers spend time on campus participating in teaching activities, pursuing joint research projects, and interacting with faculty and students.
- Aggressively promote new technologies developed in University laboratories and encourage the development of new businesses around those technologies.
- Seek greater State and private support to expand the University's business incubator programs.
- Review the University's intellectual property and contract policies and procedures to ensure that they encourage, rather than inhibit, development of collaborative partnerships with the external public and private sector.
- Aggressively promote appropriate development concepts for the area east of Baltimore Avenue as a high quality college town environment including retail, office, and residential facilities with an increased hotel and restaurant capacity and cultural opportunities.
- Foster collaboration among education, arts and sciences, and the K-16 community to develop and evaluate curricula, methods, and materials that will enhance teacher training and improve the effectiveness of schools at all levels.
- Lead the development of the Maryland Digital Library to support all levels of education within the State of Maryland.
- Expand our work with local, state, and federal institutions and non-profit groups on salient issues facing society such as the development of civil societies and democratic institutions, economic reform, and the control of crime.
- Improve the institutional capacity to use the services of Maryland Cooperative Extension to reach out across Maryland and build stronger family, youth, and community programs.
- Continue to assist the State in establishing a "netcentric" infrastructure for the State's educational and business communities and for state and local government.
2. Extend our learning community beyond the campus boundaries and promote lifelong learning as an integral component of our academic programs.
- Create new professional master's degrees and certificates that fill demonstrated educational needs for the region and are consistent with the objectives of our academic programs.
- Design new on-line options for selected masters degree programs for which market surveys indicate an important educational need.
- Increase the number of external corporate and public partners with whom we offer customized educational programming.
- Expand the range and types of courses that pilot new delivery strategies, reach out to new audiences, and are at new locations and in non-traditional time formats.
- Take a strong leadership role in developing the Shady Grove campus as a USM site for daytime upper-division undergraduate instruction.
- Increase the number of high caliber professional and scholarly conferences, seminars, and workshops held on campus each year.
3. Increase the scope and impact of the University's international programs and activities.
- Direct the Office of International Programs to work with the academic units to identify and integrate the wide variety of campus international initiatives under a coherent vision and a cohesive strategy to increase their visibility and impact.
- Schedule several "regional seminars" each year, highlighting a particular area of the world, that build on the general model of our highly successful "China regional seminar series."
- Promote University activities that systematically engage the international and diplomatic community of Washington, D.C.
- Develop strong alumni clubs in regions of the world where we have significant numbers of alumni.
4. Expand the University's family of friends and alumni by developing greater opportunities to reach out and to draw them back to campus and communicating more effectively our pride in our accomplishments.
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- Engage all departments, colleges, and administrative units in building ties to alumni that stress their importance as members of the University family and as an important resource to students and faculty.
- Direct the Office of University Relations to work with the academic deans and department chairs to coordinate and facilitate improved communication between academic units and their alumni.
- Mount a focused effort to update our alumni database, with a goal of achieving current addresses and contact information for at least 90% of our alumni.
- Develop an "alumni college" to extend the educational resources of campus to our alumni.
- Make Maryland Day a spectacular event, with the goal of drawing an annual attendance of 50,000.
- Support and assist in appropriate ways the efforts of the Maryland Olympics Commission to make Maryland the host site for the 2012 Summer Olympiad.
- Make the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts a magnet for performers and audiences throughout Maryland and the Washington region.
Ensure an administrative, operational and physical infrastructure that fully supports a first-class university.
To achieve the ambitious goals set forth in this Strategic Plan, it is essential that the University have a first-class, responsive and customer-oriented infrastructure that supports the work of our faculty, staff, and students. This infrastructure includes the people, processes, facilities, and technologies essential for the operations of a modern academic/business environment, and it spans all elements of the University from accounting, procurement, registration, billing and student information systems to the classrooms, laboratories, libraries and offices of staff and faculty. Because of earlier budgetary limitations, infrastructure investment has lagged behind investments in other areas at the University, but if we are to continue our rapid advancement, it is essential that investments be made to address a number of critical infrastructure issues.
1. Establish a top performing University Relations operation.
- Establish a first class public information infrastructure that advances the University's goals and creates an image appropriate for one of the nation's best public research universities.
- Develop an integrated database for public communications, prospect management, alumni relations and partnership development.
- Ensure that the University's web presence is among the best in the country.
- Establish a fund raising organization that rivals that of our peer institutions, both in structure and personnel support, whose goal is to achieve a $125 million per year giving rate by 2004 with a 3-year average of $100 million from 2000-2004, and to double the number of alumni donors from 12,500 to 25,000.
- Engage all departments, schools and administrative units in the fund raising process and create the collaborative environment that encourages major gifts and annual giving from alumni and other potential partners.
- Implement the new University of Maryland, College Park Foundation.
2. Create and maintain an electronic networking infrastructure that provides the level of connectivity and data throughput required for our faculty and staff to excel in their research and scholarship and that facilitates innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
- Continue to upgrade the campus backbone and connections to buildings, aiming in the short term for 100 Mbit/sec to every desktop.
- Improve access to the campus network from remote and on campus locations and establish widely dispersed on-campus wired or wireless public network access points for the use of those with laptop computers or similar portable devices.
- Replace the campus voice communication system, approaching the end of its useful life, with a state-of-the-art system that incorporates recent technological advances and the convergence of services onto a digital platform that is increasingly provided over data networks.
- Develop strong partnerships with national telecommunications companies to aid the deployment and development of cutting-edge telecommunications technologies on campus.
- Upgrade the authentication, directory, database, e-mail, LAN, Web server, and other network support services required for an electronic environment that is effective, efficient, easily navigable, and secure.
3. Develop the University's physical facilities so that they meet the needs of a leading research university.
- Engage the campus and local community in an update of the 1991 Facilities Master Plan to create the structure and vision for a campus of national prominence that is aesthetically pleasing, environmentally sound, and meets the operational needs of the University.
- Develop comprehensive short and long-term strategies to work with the USM, the Governor, and key members of the General Assembly to achieve funding of the University's high priority capital projects.
- Implement the proposals developed by the Teaching Facilities Committee to upgrade the University's classrooms and establish an improved classroom maintenance and support system, especially for technology-enhanced classrooms.
- Develop a strategic renovation plan that is correlated with campus academic priorities to modernize research and office space.
- Invest additional resources in improving the attractiveness, coherence, and historic character of the campus and its buildings, both inside and outside and improve routine housekeeping of buildings.
- Aggressively pursue partnerships between the University, City, and private developers that are aimed at:
- increasing the amount and quality of student residential living space adjacent to campus
- increasing the research space available to campus units.
- improving the economic status and aesthetic nature of the neighborhoods surrounding the campus.
4. Ensure that the administrative operations of all campus units, including academic units, provide responsive, customer-oriented service to all of the University's constituencies.
- Promote a strong "customer-first" orientation in all campus units that demands and delivers the highest quality of customer service in all administrative processes to every internal and external client and continually monitors customer satisfaction.
- Create effective state of the art procurement, registration, academic advising, billing and information systems.
- Authorize units that have the capability and interest to operate their own procurement operations at the highest allowed levels and standards.
- Extend business process re-design efforts to all administrative, academic, and student service units to create more flexibility and accountability and to establish performance standards for decision making at the department level.
- Examine the adequacy of current operating budgets and staffing levels for fulfilling the missions of all campus units, and adjust as necessary as resources allow and in line with University priorities.
- Seek less costly and more timely methods for completion of construction projects according to University quality standards, including a consideration of decentralizing responsibility and increased outsourcing of projects.
5. Accelerate and support the migration of student and business services to an online environment.
- Ensure that all administrative offices have an online presence, and that all routine transactions are handled electronically to promote good business services across campus.
- Create an integrated Student Information System that fully supports online web services, provides the flexibility to accommodate changing policies and new initiatives, and includes academic degree audit capabilities to enhance student advisement and improve decision making for students and advisors..
- Create a modern data warehouse for institutional information and management information systems that will facilitate academic and business processes and strategic decision making.
- Increase the use of digital imaging and electronic workflow tools in academic and business processes.
- Provide expanded support to increase the role of technology in the management of business, administrative, and service activities.
- Create the level of campus-wide support needed to maintain a highly distributed, multi-platform information technology environment.
- Delineate clearly the areas of IT support that are central responsibilities, those that are the responsibilities of the individual units, and those to be shared among them.
- Enhance staffing and facilities in the central information technology units to ensure that all information technology facilities are planned, installed, and maintained in a professional manner and to improve software licensing, backup services, training, and consulting services across platforms.
- Enhance staffing and facilities in individual units to provide the local support and service necessary for a first-class IT infrastructure system at all levels.
6. Build the human resources infrastructure of the University to enable effective recruiting, retention, and first class support of the academic mission.
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- Evaluate the merits of establishing a single, comprehensive Office of Human Resources that would be charged with developing a full range of human resource services comparable to those of our peers.
- Continue efforts to implement Regents' policies to achieve staff salaries that are at or above the market average.
- Ensure the participation of staff in University planning and decision making and recognize staff members as important University stakeholders.
- Conduct a targeted review of employee benefit health insurance programs, which should especially focus on premiums, program content, and reimbursement policies, with the goals of improving the overall health care benefits and establishing an effective customer service operation.
- Improve retirement planning for faculty and staff and develop uniform standards for retirement incentives.
- Create leadership development initiatives for front-line supervisors, mid-level managers, and executives.
- Conduct periodic reviews of the exempt and non-exempt employee system to identify ways to facilitate competitive hires and retain outstanding staff at all levels.
V. TRANSLATING STRATEGIES INTO ACTIONS
This Strategic Plan is provided as a framework and guide for the strategies and priorities to be established in units across the University. The divisions of the University and the colleges and schools will be encouraged to review and update their individual strategic plans in light of the priorities, initiatives, and action steps put forth in this Plan.
Accomplishing the goals of this ambitious Plan will require:
With these requirements in mind, we propose to implement this Plan as follows:
- that there be broad-based commitment to its aims and strategies by institutional leaders, faculty, and staff;
- that specific responsibilities and timetables be assigned for implementing the initiatives and steps;
- that strategies for resource allocations be established in support of Plan initiatives, and
- that standards and a process for measuring progress be established.
Achieving Community Commitment
This update of the Strategic Plan was developed through an intentionally broad consultative process. It is a community product representing our shared goals and our best judgment of the strategies needed to achieve them. It was drafted initially by a representative task force, which held frequent and in-depth discussions of goals and strategies with institutional leaders. The draft was then made available to all faculty, staff, and students and interested external groups; it was reviewed by the Board of Visitors; discussed in a variety of group meetings; modified in response to these discussions; and reviewed and adopted by the College Park Senate. The final version was presented to President Mote for his review and endorsement.
The community involvement and consultation that characterized the writing of the Plan will be the model for its implementation. The Plan will be distributed widely, made available on the University's web site, and further discussed in community meetings that unit heads will be asked to convene.
Implementation Assignments and Timetables
Each of the action steps will be assigned to a particular individual who will be responsible for overseeing its implementation. Those individuals charged with oversight will be asked to identify needed resources and to propose an implementation plan and a timetable for action, in consultation with the University vice presidents. Where possible, the implementation plans will identify specific measures for monitoring progress towards the stated goal. During Fall 2000, these individual plans will be put together into a comprehensive implementation schedule.
We anticipate that sufficient resources will be available to allow the University to make substantial progress over the next several years toward achieving many of these goals. In addition to funding through State appropriations, we expect increases in external grant funding, increases in gifts from individuals, corporate partners, and foundations, and an expansion of revenue- producing instruction in off-campus locations. Additional discretionary funds that become available at each unit level should be allocated according to priorities set in the Plan. In particular, subsequent enhancements of unit budgets should be determined by the resource requirements and schedule of implementation identified during Fall 2000. Within the Division of Academic Affairs, these allocation decisions will be informed by the advice of the Academic Planning Advisory Committee (APAC).
Some of the Plan's action steps list specific targets for success; progress in many others can be easily determined through standard measures. The quality of our graduate and professional programs will be assessed through evidence of faculty recognition, student placements, research awards, national comparative studies, and the judgments of recognized experts during periodic program reviews. Our success in undergraduate education will be measured by the accomplishments and diversity of the students we admit, by our ability to keep them excited by the educational process and fully engaged in the life of the institution, by the rate at which they graduate, and by the quality of their training as measured by success in the marketplace.
Some action steps require more qualitative measures. Our success in promoting diversity and fostering community will be determined through surveys and focus groups that can evaluate attitudes and levels of comfort in individuals and groups. Our success in engaging with the greater community will be judged in part by the number of activities undertaken, but primarily will be measured by the way the community assesses our importance to its economic, intellectual, and cultural life. Our success in involving our alumni and friends will be measured by evidence of their increasing loyalty, support, and participation in the life of the campus.
The State-mandated Managing for Results (MFR) process requires that we report each year on progress towards achieving certain goals that overlap with the more ambitious goals of the updated Plan. We propose to expand this process to an annual assessment of the full set of available measures of quality, which will provide an overall view of progress and an opportunity for corrective action where needed. Each year the Provost will report to the Senate and to the institution at large on the state of plan implementation.
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At the University of Maryland, there is a growing confidence among faculty, staff, and students in our claim to a place among the nation's best public research universities. The excellence of our faculty and the research they produce, the quality of our student body and undergraduate education, and the range, number, and success of our engagements with a variety of external constituents are evidence of the strength of our academic programs across all colleges and professional schools. We have an outstanding record of success in meeting the expectations of a research university designated as the flagship campus of a state system.
This update of the Strategic Plan gives directions for channeling the enormous energy and potential that have been generated by our many accomplishments in ways that will help us move to the next level of distinction. It does not suggest a change in course but an acceleration of the drive to excellence and a conscious effort to expand this sense of potential and productivity across the entire campus.
Maryland has many particular strengths that are special to its culture and history, among them most prominently an ability to overcome obstacles that could limit our ambitions and successes. The determination and dedication of individual faculty and administrators have moved us into an enviable position. Perhaps at no time in recent history have we faced fewer problems or had more opportunity to pursue excellence. We will continue to expect and promote the highest accomplishments, to seek out the most talented and diverse faculty, staff, and students, and to contribute in new and important ways to the development and dissemination of knowledge in a broad range of disciplines. This Strategic Plan encourages the entire community to join in this exciting journey to the top.
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