Implementation Planning

After the university’s strategic vision for 2025 had been defined, the chancellor asked the provost to establish an Implementation Design Team and related workgroups charged with planning the critical steps toward realizing that fifteen-year vision, with an intense focus on priorities for the first five-year increment of the plan. A list of design team and workgroup members is available here.

Assessing Current Conditions and Designing the Plan

This phase of the strategic planning process had two critical components:

The Implementation Design Team had three primary functions:

  1. advance student success and development;
  2. enrich and expand academic programs and research;
  3. improve the learning, teaching and working environment;
  4. establish a financial resource model consistent with the university’s vision statement;
  5. develop an infrastructure supportive of the preceding goals.

The team communicated regularly with the provost, the Chancellor’s Executive Leadership Team, and the Faculty Council; it also drew information and support from throughout the university; and its representatives took part in more than 30 campus events at which they spoke and answered questions about the plan and the planning process.

Roles of the Implementation Workgroups

Working with and at the direction of the Implementation Design Team, six workgroups representing critical priorities designed the specific elements of the plan. Their work included a rigorous assessment of the status quo, provided costs and timelines, and also considered whether outside consultant help might be essential to success.

The Academic Planning and Enrollment Workgroup took into account considerable work done, since the 2007-2010 strategic planning process began, on developing and understanding the requirements of enrollment growth. It also responded to increasing interest in UMass Boston’s attaining a higher ranking as a research university and generating dramatically increased sponsored research, which has led to a growing appreciation of the need for a number of new doctoral programs, as well as programs at the master’s level. Its major responsibilities included:

The Additional Investment and Operational Revenues Workgroup began its work with the recognition that refining and implementing the university’s long-term vision would require specifying needs for, and obtaining, substantial new resources. This workgroup’s major responsibilities included:

The Administrative and Physical Infrastructure Support Workgroup was charged with undertaking a “bold, honest, comprehensive review of all existing administrative, financial, grants management, admissions, facilities and other support systems that sustain operations of the university.” Its major responsibilities included:

The Communications Workgroup worked to build understanding and appreciation of the university’s aspirations, the process the university is undertaking to achieve those aspirations, the sacrifices and commitments that will be required, and the benefits that will flow to all of the university’s constituents when the vision is realized. This workgroup’s major responsibilities included:

The Graduation Rates Workgroup (formerly the Retention Committee) continued to address the reality that graduation rates are, as a practical matter, a measure of the effectiveness of everything else the university does, and are thus central to its strategic success. Its academic mission implied a need to achieve graduation rates that are at least equivalent to those of its aspirational peers, and a recognition that improving rates will require and reflect improvements on many other fronts. While the work done by other workgroups will in due course have a direct impact on graduation rates, much can and should be done in the near term. This workgroup’s major responsibilities included:

The Residence Halls Workgroup responded to general agreement among the planners that bringing dorms online sooner than previously anticipated is an urgent priority. The absence of on-campus living facilities at UMass Boston is both a major source of failures to retain students and a major reason for students not to attend in the first instance. Furthermore, there is a broad sense that the presence of students living on campus will enhance the university experience, both for those students and for their classmates. This workgroup’s major responsibilities included:

The Space Workgroup addressed numerous issues related to the quality and quantity of space on campus. Inadequate classrooms, office space, research space, and social and study space for students—all tend to restrict the university’s ability to support its students, faculty, and staff, and to respond to opportunities for strategic partnerships and innovative new programs. This workgroup’s major responsibilities included: