Last winter we announced that Provost Jerold Hale will lead the update of our campus strategic plan. After a Coronavirus-related slowdown, we are gearing back up to take on this task. Four subcommittees will address each area called out in our current strategic plan, and their work product will flow up to an integration committee to finalize a draft that will be widely vetted with the campus community before being finalized. The Integration Committee will have representatives from across campus and is chaired by Provost Hale.
Our strategic plan will continue to focus on being true to our core values, expressing who we are, what we do, and why it matters.
Our core values are:
- Students are the reason we exist as an institution.
- We relentlessly pursue excellence.
- We embrace diversity, inclusion and engagement.
- Our culture is defined through creativity, inquiry and scholarship.
- We live integrity, civility and honesty.
UTC will remain focused on quality programs that have positive impact on our students and our community. Chattanooga’s economic and social future is connected with UTC’s support of a comprehensive approach for student preparedness, achievement, discovery and innovation.
We need to find more ways to connect our students with outside-the-classroom experiential learning opportunities like internships, research, scholarship and creative activities, as well as serving the greater Chattanooga community as volunteers.
While our current strategic plan will serve as a foundation for our Vision, Mission, Values and primary goals, I believe at least three areas require more attention over the next five years. The positive movement in our retention, graduation and enrollment numbers relate to our academic progress and this will continue to be a priority, but there is more we can achieve for our students.
First, we must address the student experience. Building on the model of our Honors College, we need to expand programs that bring together groups of incoming students in cohort experiences.
Second, we must focus on General Education, our single common graduation requirement for all students. It is the foundation of a UTC degree and must be among our strongest programs.
Third, as we develop a new Strategic Plan, there will be clear, measurable and actionable steps to drive significant change and to hold ourselves accountable for diversity, inclusion and engagement. We must recruit and graduate more students of color. We must also build a more diverse faculty that will help us connect with these students.
The four subcommittees will focus on planning that will:
- Transform lives through meaningful learning experiences
- Embrace diversity, inclusion and engagement as a path to excellence and societal change
- Inspire, nurture and empower scholarship, creativity, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives
- Ensure stewardship of resources through strategic alignment and investments
The subcommittees will draw on the knowledge and expertise of the faculty and staff who will serve on the subcommittees. The subcommittees will consult with other colleagues, administrators, and students as needed. The list of subcommittee members and co-chairs, along with the Integration Committee members, can be found on our Strategic Plan website, which will be live today: http://utc.edu/stratplan.
The first agenda item for the Integration Committee will be selecting a timeline for the development of the Strategic Plan for 2021-2025. We have two options for completion: (1) Complete work by December 15, 2020 – a clearly ambitious goal; or (2) Complete work by March 31, 2021.
Steven R. Angle