UNO's mission to be a metropolitan university that transforms and improves the quality of life locally, nationally, and globally is supported by a campus-wide strategic plan with four key goals:
- Academic Excellence
- Community Engagement
- Institutional Quality
In identifying strategies to achieve these goals, the entire campus - university leadership, faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders - are involved.
To help launch the new semester, UNO Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Sacha Kopp, Ph.D., provided an outlook for campus regarding what's next in the strategic planning process and, in particular, UNO's goals of Academic Excellence and Communtiy Engagement.
As you know, the four goals of the UNO Strategic Plan are (1) Student Centeredness; (2) Academic Excellence; (3) Community Engagement; and (4) Institutional Quality. The UNO community has been fully engaged in planning efforts connected with Goal #1 in its efforts toward the completion imperative.
This year, we will additionally embark on planning for Goals 2 & 3. The plans for identifying and advancing academic programs of excellence should be considered together with our aspirations for community engagement, given UNO’s mission to serve as an engaged metropolitan university.
At the August 14 Strategic Plan Steering Committee “mini retreat,” Chancellor Gold challenged us to think big and ask what big ideas can enhance and grow UNO. In other words, what programs of excellence will allow the academic enterprise help expand and articulate the campus brand and mission? In selecting strategic signature areas of excellence, we identify cross-cutting themes for the campus to which all colleges, in principle, may align. Colleges may participate in one or more of the strategic areas.
The process envisioned will provide full transparency and accountability for the resources invested by UNO administration; we seek to ensure the faculty, staff, and students understand choices for resource investment in these selected areas and are critically involved in the proposal process. The process ensures that resources provided to the colleges and programs are considered in full view of all “opportunity costs.” The process also seeks to ensure that we as a campus track these investments in a timely manner, and adapt if results do not match our aspirations or if new opportunities emerge.
Many ideas already exist within the UNO community and the deans have been working with their faculty and staff as well as each other on collaborative ideas that build on each college’s strengths. This process is intended to converge expeditiously on a set of 4-5 signature themes out of that body of work.
It is fully expected that the colleges will, in addition, continue to advance their individual strategic programs. Each college is a comprehensive, multi-program academic unit. This campus-wide planning process governs how we will invest and prioritize central resources and ensure college-level investment toward these campus initiatives.
I look forward to working with you in the months ahead on this important and exciting opportunity to articulate the campus vision and direction for academic excellence, research and creative activities, and community engagement.
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.