Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan of the University of Memphis

University of Memphis Strategic Plan: Defining Our Future.

Strategic Plan of the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Strategic Plan: Priorities and Actions


The School of Communication Sciences and Disorders has a long standing tradition of excellence in cutting-edge research, leadership in the professions, clinical education, and service provision to the Mid-South community. Current areas of expertise are in hearing aids, hearing science, vestibular assessment, music and perception, speech perception and production, fluency, voice, motor-speech disorders, conversation, language and literacy, infant vocalization, and neurological speech disorders, alternative and augmentative communication. The school houses two professional degrees, a Masters of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology (2 years) and Doctor of Audiology (4 years). Both professional programs provide a strong focus on foundational science, interpersonal communication, and opportunities for student engagement in research experiences. The PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders trains the future scientists in the field. Many graduates of our PhD program have become leaders in the professions and in academia.

The period between 2014 and 2019 brings significant change to the School due to two factors. Change in University leadership and financial exigency encouraged all units to be more revenue neutral and resource conscious. Against this backdrop, the School experienced an unprecedented number of retirements and new hires that will reshape our programs. These retirements occurred at every level of the School: leadership, academic faculty, clinical faculty, and administrative support. Together, the pressures from outside the School and the changes from within the School have produced a culture shift that will unfold for several years.


The strategic planning process was initiated through a series of meetings in 2014 and 2015 that included the tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty, clinic directors, and business officer and support staff. The resulting goals move the School toward a leaner but more focused future, while still addressing our fundamental mission and needs. Four strategic priorities were identified: Clarity, Quality, Growth, and Visibility. These priorities frame the goals for the School.

Clarity: CSD will embrace change

  1. Ensure culture of shared purpose
  2. Determine dynamically optimized organizational structure
  3. Hire permanent Dean
  4. Maximize potential of new Building

Quality 1: CSD will recruit, hire, and support exceptional faculty to expand program quality

  1. Recruit and hire faculty who will maintain and expand program quality
  2. Increase number of clinical faculty to adapt to increased client service and student supervision
  3. Maintain adequate number and quality of support staff to meet its goals
  4. Hire adjuncts through retirement/hiring transition
  5. Recruit & Hire Instructor to teach and develop ASL courses

Quality 2: CSD will be known for its exceptional professional programs & student diversity

  1. Ensure a high standard of performance for students.
  2. Update, streamline, and validate curriculum with student-focused outcomes
  3. Implement innovative pedagogical approaches
  4. Maintain high quality external practicum placements
  5. Create welcoming environment and culture of acceptance
  6. Establish framework for granting student awards

Quality 3: CSD will have the technological resources to provide high-quality education & research

Quality 4: CSD will be known for its research, research training, and PhD program

  1. Recruit, enroll, and graduate high quality PhD students
  2. Ensure PhD students experience high-quality program
  3. Develop mechanisms for supporting research within CSD
  4. Recruit and support a post-doc position
  5. Professional students will be supported in research endeavors

Growth 1: CSD will embrace growth and growth opportunities in academics

  1. Develop and offer new courses or programs
  2. Develop and offer courses that will integrate with other campus departments, programs, or certificates
  3. Develop and offer graduate certificate program
  4. Explore online course instruction
  5. Expand professional programs

Growth 2: CSD will embrace growth opportunities in the clinic

  1. Develop, implement, and track new clinical programs
  2. Partner with entities outside the UofM: Methodist Le Bonheur

Visibility: CSD will increase visibility within the University, the community, and in the professions

  1. Increase visibility at UofM
  2. Increase visibility locally, in Memphis region
  3. Increase visibility nationally