On May 4, Chancellor Lendley C. "Lynn" Black announced the completion of the University of Minnesota Duluth Strategic Plan, which will guide UMD's development over the next five years. The announcement was the culmination of seven months of work and input from over 2,000 people from the university and the community. It was recommended by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee on April 11 and was endorsed by the Campus Assembly on April 26.
Black, who began his tenure as chancellor of UMD on August 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 vision, mission, statement of core values, and set of campus goals. The core values, which include learning, discovery, engagement, inclusiveness, sustainability, integrity, and excellence, will serve as a guideline for UMD's decision making.
"The plan recognizes UMD's unique history and singular location on the shores of Lake Superior," said Black. "Every word was chosen carefully to help define the UMD difference. UMD actively promotes integrated learning-centered student experiences. When we use the word 'inclusiveness,' we mean we are striving for a more diverse campus. The word 'sustainable' is mentioned as a goal and a core value because it is an effort that the campus chooses to champion."
The specific phrases in the document ensure the plan will set UMD apart from other institutions. Examples of the carefully-crafted wording include: "land-grant and sea-grant traditions," strengthening "ties with Duluth and surrounding communities in an intentional, visible, and mutually beneficial partnership," and serving "the educational needs of indigenous peoples."
The second part of the planning process features the Campus Action Plan, which involves preparing a detailed blueprint for action steps and measurable outcomes. Work will continue on this action plan for the next few weeks.
Dennis Falk, professor in the Department of Social Work, leads the 12-member executive team and the 35-member committee who have 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. "Updating the University Strategic Plan is an excellent way for Dr. Black to engage our constituents in helping set the university's future direction."
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."
To view a copy of the UMD Strategic Plan and Campus Action Plan draft, visit the web site http://www.d.umn.edu/chancellor/planning/