UNK is engaged in campus-wide strategic planning that will turn our collective institutional vision into action. The planning process is iterative, inclusive, and ongoing. Its outlines and results to date are indicated below.
Strategic planning directs programs in light of an organization’s desired future. It is how leaders connect institutional ends, ways and means. Just as importantly, through an interactive process of self-scrutiny and dialogue, planning promotes institutional cohesion. While the most obvious product of this process is a plan, any such document only records how thoughts and circumstances have converged at a particular time. The most enduring product of strategy is the collaboration it requires – thinking, together, about purposes, values, and capability. That unifying dynamic strengthens a community and empowers it to advance.
History and Prospect
At UNK, more than a century of planning has guided us in growth from an isolated regional normal school into a modern comprehensive university serving students throughout the United States and the world. Now, within the University of Nebraska, we have the distinctive mission to be a premier institution for undergraduate education, to offer graduate programs grounded in that strength, and to enhance the social, cultural, and economic development of our region and state through educational programs, scholarship, and public service. In 1994-95, following a decennial North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) re-accreditation process, we developed a strategic plan to guide initial development within the University. In 2004, again building upon re-accreditation analyses, we launched a renewed planning effort to extend our prior accomplishments and position UNK for success in a new era.
UNK planning is guided by a Strategic Framework Document (.pdf) prepared by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and a statewide plan developed by the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education.
UNK Process Since 2004
UNK’s strategic planning has proceeded in two phases. Phase I (2004-06) built upon our NCA re-accreditation Self-Study and further careful appraisal of our situation and progress. It produced a campus-wide strategic plan (.pdf) that states our mission, vision, enduring goals, and key directions for development in the next five to ten years. That document has guided implementation plans prepared in Phase II. Together, and in conjunction with unit-based operational planning and decision-making, these phases will produce a comprehensive strategy and a family of plans that will shape operations and budgets.
Chaired by the Chancellor, UNK’s Strategic Planning Committee developed our Phase I statement of mission, vision, and goals. The statement reflects broad campus input and dialogue as well as systematic analysis and deliberation within the SPC. In Phase II the SPC served as a key advisory body for implementation planners.
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