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Sample Goals, Strategies, and Initiatives

These examples are drawn from finished strategic plans, so they are more polished and succinct than the ideas that come out of a planning early on. The role of the committee is to shape initial ideas into a smaller and clearer set of goals, strategies and supporting initiatives through several iterations of discussion, drafting, review and redrafting. See Drafting the Plan.

Example A: Arts and Sciences College within a Large Private University

Goal: Improve the quality of the teaching and learning environment

Strategy: Build a world-class faculty

Initiatives:

  • Recruit at least [number] faculty members who have attained or have the potential to attain the highest honors in their discipline.
  • Implement a faculty recruitment, retention, and development plan that is in line with our benchmark institutions.
  • Provide faculty with the latest technology and training for leadership in teaching & learning, research, and career development.

Example B: College of Engineering within a Large Private Research University

Goal: Build a research agenda that addresses society’s most pressing challenges

At the center of one of the nation’s most densely populated urban corridors, adjoining a major transportation hub, and surrounded by numerous academic and corporate institutions, the College of Engineering is uniquely positioned to address needs of the city, region, and beyond. The College will be a leader in [XYZ University’s] “One University” transformation by combining its expertise with the strengths of the other colleges, and deepening its relationships with industry to develop at least three interdisciplinary research areas focused on critical societal challenges.

Strategy: Establish the College among the leading voices on energy and the environment

By working closely with the University’s other colleges to build broad public understanding of the scientific, public policy, financial, and political issues surrounding energy and the environment, the College of Engineering will establish [XYZ University] as an expert institution on these inherently complex issues and a balanced and thoughtful party in the public debate that surrounds them.

Initiatives:

  • Develop research groups on new energy sources, economical conversion technologies, efficient storage methods, and optimal distribution systems.
  • Promote research on environmental issues arising from energy production, new materials for energy conversion, and energy efficiency in the built environment.
  • Build a strong focus on renewable energy production and green technologies.
  • Disseminate research results broadly to inform the scientific community, public discussion, and policy formulation.

Example C: Public University with a Focus on Art & Design and Associated Business Fields

Goal: Be an innovation center for creative industries worldwide

Partner with creative industries worldwide to help anticipate and address key challenges, build a stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at [University], and establish collaborations that translate creative ideas into action.

Strategy #1: Establish an Innovation Center to foster research, creative work, and strategic partnerships

Initiatives:

  • Build three primary components into the Innovation Center:
    • A think tank that would pursue visionary forecasting, propose new approaches to common problems in the creative industries, and identify public policy implications and approaches.
    • An incubator that will move projects from concept to reality.
    • A partnership collective that will intensify research and creative collaborations with local educational institutions, governmental agencies, non-profits, and businesses.
  • Explore development of a “Small Business Development Council” that would be affiliated with the Innovation Center.
  • Pursue advanced research that will foster product development, address pressing issues in industry and the marketplace, and catalyze creative activity across disciplines.

Strategy #2: Create an organizational and information infrastructure that promotes innovation and experimentation

Initiatives:

  • Use visiting professorships, artist residencies and graduate fellowships to develop clusters of innovators and thought leaders focused on similar research interests.
  • Build partnerships with the numerous regional incubators to leverage their expertise and ensure the strongest positioning for [University].
  • Develop a faculty scholar database to serve as a resource for researchers and artists within and outside of [University] and to raise external awareness of [University] faculty activity and achievements.
  • Create faculty incentives for innovative and creative work, including support for teaching release and recognition for external and internal grants.