Strategic Planning Process
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Creating the Plan

The University of Memphis’ strategic plan is an outline of its future.  Its vision and mission statements chart the overall direction of the University.  Its goals and strategies provide the outline for how to accomplish that direction.  Objectives for the strategies provide measurable observable statements of how to accomplish each strategy.  Tactics describe the specific actions to accomplish the strategies. The University’s values frame how the University will behave in accomplishing the plan. 

The University’s governing body, the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), places responsibility for strategic planning with the president of each institution in the system.  The University’s plan is formed within the framework of both TBR and Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) strategic plans and priorities.  With a change in University leadership from 2001 to 2003 including the President, Provost, Vice President for Business and Finance, Vice President for Student Affairs, Vice President for Information Technology, and Vice President for Advancement, President Raines appointed a Strategic Planning Taskforce in AY 2003-2004 to assist in review of the University’s plan.  Representatives from the Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, Graduate Student Association, Staff Senate and each of the University’s divisions formed the 2003-04 Taskforce (Table 1).

Table 1:  2003-2004 Strategic Planning Taskforce Membership

Member Position
Boller, Gregory Chair, Department of Marketing/Supply Chain Management
Butler, Mike President, Graduate Student Association
Ciavarella, Joseph President, Staff Senate
Cox, David , Chair Executive Assistant to the President
Crafton, Tom Budget Director /Information Technology Division Planning
Dockter, Marie Director of Administration, Academic Affairs
Edwards, Michelle Undergraduate Student
Groves, Tanya Assistant to the Vice President, Business and Finance
Hayes, Sharon Director of Budgeting, Business and Finance
Kurtz, Henry Dean, Arts and Sciences
Laabs, Meta Assistant to the Vice President, Student Affairs
Petry, John President, Faculty Senate
Trice, Lish Assistant to the Athletics Director, Athletics Department
Wampler, Teresa Assistant to the Vice President, Advancement and Development

Staff Support
Teresa Hartnett Assistant Director, Academic Affairs
Jean Rakow Coordinator, President’s Office

The Taskforce began by facilitating a review of the University’s vision, mission, values and goal statements.  Drafts were reviewed by the President’s Council, Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, Graduate Student Association, and Staff Senate.  Based on those reviews, the resulting vision statement pointed the University to becoming recognized as one of America’s great metropolitan research universities.  The mission statement identified the University as a learner-centered metropolitan research university emphasizing interdisciplinary engaged scholarship.  The values reaffirmed the University’s commitment to responsibility, integrity, stewardship and respect for individuals.  Eighteen goals in the prior plan were reduced to five; student success, research and creativity, access and diversity, partnerships and infrastructure.  The revised plan was approved by the President’s Council, the President and TBR in 2004.

Following adoption of the plan, President Raines created a Strategic Planning Facilitation Committee (Committee) in Fall 2004 to assist the University’s ongoing planning processes (Table 2).  The committee included representatives from each of the divisions, a dean and a faculty member/academic administrator. Over the next three years, the Committee provided University level assistance for integrating planning across divisions, recommending planning processes, recommending metrics for tracking progress and communication of the plan.

Table 2:  Strategic Planning Facilitation Committee

Member Position
Becker, Deborah Associate Director, Budgeting
Blaisdell, Stephanie Associate Vice President, Student Affairs
Bonnin, Linda Associate Vice President, Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations
Cox, David, Chair Executive Assistant to the President, President’s Office
Harbor, Ann Director of Administration, Academic Affairs
Hartnett, Teresa Director of Administration, Business Analysis, Business and Finance
Jenkins, Pam Director of Finance and Planning, Division of Academic Affairs
Lansden, William Associate Athletic Director, Athletics Department
Watson, Ellen Interim Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
Lou, Richard Chair, Art Department
Nenon, Tom Vice Provost, Division of Academic Affairs
Prince, Bobby Associate Vice President, Division of Advancement and Development
Wagner, Donald Dean, College of Education, Health and Human Sciences

Staff Support
Rakow, Jean Coordinator, President’s Office

Through Spring 2006 to Fall 2007, the President’s Council in consultation with TBR, campus divisions and community advisors, identified four strategic priorities for advancing the plan.  They were student recruitment, student retention, expanded research, and a comprehensive funding campaign.  The priorities provided a framework for updating the plan.  Accordingly, President Raines initiated that review in AY 2007-2008. 

The Committee prepared a review and redraft of the plan in Fall 2007.  The vision, mission and values statements remained the same.  However, the student success, research and creativity, access and diversity, and partnerships goals were restated to more clearly articulate the priorities for the institution.  The infrastructure goal was broken into two separate goals to emphasize elements within that goal.  One became Campus Culture and Service Excellence.  The other became Sense of Place.  Strategies were then drafted for accomplishing each goal.

In January and February 2008, the Committee took the draft to the campus.  The draft was placed on a website for review and comment by faculty, students, administrators and staff.  The draft was reviewed by the Dean’s Council, the Faculty Senate, the Student Government Association, the Staff Senate and the Graduate Student Association.  Members of the Committee met with and received comments about the draft from the University’s Associate and Assistant Vice Provosts and Presidents, the University’s Alumni Association and the University of Memphis Association of Retirees. The Presidents of the Faculty and Staff Senates led four open-campus meetings on the draft. 

In March 2008, three committees were formed with representatives from the faculty, student, staff senates and each administrative division.  Based on feedback from the extensive reviews, each committee, co-chaired by a faculty or staff senate member and a Committee member, contributed to a final draft for the plan. That draft was subsequently reviewed and approved by the President’s Council, the President and received final approval by TBR in June, 2008.

University of Memphis Strategic Plan

Creating the Plan

Ongoing Planning and Budgeting Processes and Cycles

Strategic Planning Facilitation Committee

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Last Updated: 1/10/13