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Provost Seeks Community Input During Strategic Planning

Forums, Weekly Questions to Aid Committees Preparing Report to Shape UMD’s Future

By Maryland Today Staff

Students walking on McKeldin Mall

The university is seeking a broad range of community input as it moves ahead in its strategic planning process, Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer King Rice said in an email today.

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer King Rice sent the following email to the campus community today:

The past year and a half changed us.

While we faced many challenges personally and as a university, this experience was also a catalyst for envisioning what we want for the future of our university. I am writing to you today to share an update on our strategic planning process. Together we have the opportunity to reimagine the University of Maryland, the community we want for each other, and the impact we want to have on the world.

Planning for our future
In Spring 2021 President Pines launched our strategic planning process to engage our community in an inclusive and collaborative process to build a blueprint for the future of the University of Maryland. Our strategic planning process is guided by the foundational principles of excellence; diversity, equity and inclusion; impact; innovation; collaboration; and service to humanity.

We have enlisted a diverse and vibrant group of students, faculty, staff and community leaders in pillar committees to think expansively in six areas:

  • Academic excellence
  • Access and student success
  • Discovery, creativity and innovation
  • Operations and resources
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Student experience

Aided by a catalyst working group, our pillar committees are asking big questions that transcend single units, disciplines and roles. The deliberations have been fluid, creative and dynamic. In addition, the university has partnered with Huron Consulting to engage stakeholders internal and external to the campus, and to conduct an environmental scan and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. UMD's Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment has provided key data and peer comparisons.

Since we launched the strategic planning process in Spring 2021, over 250 individuals have been directly involved in forward-thinking discussions, including UMD faculty, staff, students, alumni and board members, as well as external partners and state leaders. We are imagining possibilities together.

Engaging You in the Strategic Planning Process
We are just getting started, and we need your input! We hope to engage our broader community this fall in several ways.

First, we are launching a strategic planning website where we will post updates on our strategic planning process. This is the best place to learn more and stay up-to-date.

Second, each week we will post a question central to our strategic planning goals and values in Maryland Today and look for your generous feedback and responses. I invite students, faculty and staff to submit responses as we seek big ideas to drive our future.

For the first question we are asking: What is one way we could make UMD a more respectful, inclusive and supportive place to live, work and learn?

Third, we will host three open forums from late October through November. To engage the widest possible audience, we will hold these meetings by Zoom, and invite questions and comments to be submitted ahead and as part of the open forum. We will share the dates and times for the open forums at a later date on the strategic planning website and through another email communication to campus.

What comes next
Each pillar committee will submit a report of key priorities and initiatives by mid-October and final reports by early November. We will bring a draft report and set of strategic goals and priorities before key students, staff, faculty and leaders before finalizing our strategic plan with the president's cabinet and Board of Trustees by Spring 2022. 

My sincere thanks
I'd like to thank all of the pillar committee members for their commitment to this important work, and the future of Maryland. Please provide feedback through our website and attend open forums. Together, we are making sure the pursuit of excellence, inclusion and impact drive our future.


Jennifer King Rice signature

Jennifer King Rice
Senior Vice President and Provost

Schools & Departments:

Office of the Provost

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