Dear Colleagues:

Phase Two of the strategic planning process has been an actively engaged and busy time. As the chairman of the strategic planning effort, and with the help of consultant Tom Griscom, we have held several listening and feedback sessions to explain to shape our main goals. The sessions have drawn from university constituencies including the Provost’s Council on September 2nd, UTC Faculty and Staff on September 3rd and 9th, Student Development Staff on September 5th, the Student Government Association on September 9th, and the Faculty Senate on October 2nd. Seventeen pages of suggested activities were generated through these conversations. All of the notes from these meetings are available on the strategic planning outreach page at http://www.utc.edu/strategic-plan/outreach/index.php.

Throughout all of our discussions, themes began to emerge. Some examples are a comprehensive communication plan and branding approach for UTC and a desire for increased student research opportunities, faculty-student collaborations, and student internships and practica.  With an outline that includes four goals, the planning process is moving into a phase to flesh out specific, measureable outcomes. Our upcoming events include sessions with local entrepreneurs on October 22nd, the arts community on November 7th, and several alumni sessions on October 21st (Atlanta), November 4th (Knoxville), November 13th (Nashville), and November 17th (Cleveland). We are working hard to ensure that this process is as inclusive and informed as possible.

Another significant development for the strategic plan is a proposed vision statement: UTC inspires students, empowers change and enriches community. This statement was shared with the Strategic Planning Steering Committee on October 16th and will continue to be discussed and probably refined in the days ahead. We have spent time to understand the difference between a vision statement, which is more aspirational, and a mission statement, which states actions to fulfill our vision.

You can stay apprised of the process, read about UTC’s progress, and learn about upcoming events via the strategic planning website at: http://www.utc.edu/strategic-plan/events/.

Thank you for your continued support.

A. Jerald Ainsworth