The University of Memphis is emerging as one of the great metropolitan research universities
in the United States, noted for drawing on the strengths and challenges of the urban
setting and region in which it is located to address society's issues and needs. Opened
in 1912, the University enrolls more than 20,000 students. The University offers 15
bachelor's degrees in more than 50 majors and 70 concentrations, master's degrees
in over 45 subjects, doctoral degrees in 21 disciplines, the Juris Doctor degree and
a specialist degree in education.
The vision for the University and its subsequent growth require careful development
and placement of resources. Strategic planning at the University of Memphis, therefore,
is an ongoing process. The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), the University's governing
body, requires the president of each institution in the system to "exercise such supervision
and direction as will promote the efficient operation of the institution." Additionally,
TBR requires that each institution under its authority submit a five-year plan that
supports the system's mission, vision, goals and priorities. Accordingly, a preliminary
plan was developed for 2000-2005.
With the arrival of new leadership at the University in the early years of the 21st
century, a refinement in the University plan was begun. The new team members, including
President Shirley Raines, Provost Ralph Faudree, Vice President for Student Affairs
Rosie Bingham, Vice President for Information Technology Douglas Hurley, Vice President
for Business and Finance Charles Lee, and Vice President for Advancement Julie Johnson,
initiated a planning process involving faculty members, students, staff members and
other important constituents to review the University's vision, mission, values statements;
identify goals to support the mission; and select strategies and actions for accomplishing
those goals. At the same time, TBR worked with its member campuses and constituencies
to update its strategic plan. The two initiatives provided the opportunity to align
the University to move forward more effectively toward its mission and within the
framework of TBR. Importantly, the plan points to what the University seeks to accomplish
by 2012, the year of its 100-year anniversary.
Central tenets of the University's values are commitments to excellence in teaching
and research, innovation and creativity, respect for diversity and individual worth,
responsible stewardship and conservation of resources and leadership and involvement
in the economic, social, and professional growth of Memphis, the state of Tennessee,
and the nation. Meeting those commitments requires constant assessment of appropriate
directions for the University. Planning therefore must be a dynamic and ongoing activity.
Following are results of that activity, the components of the University's strategic
plan. Its vision, mission, and values, and goal statements were approved by TBR at
its December 2005 meeting. A set of key strategic priorities and areas of focus provide
overall direction for the University. Subsequent to TBR approvals, the University
is completing development and implementation of strategies and actions for accomplishing
each of its goals.