Board of Regents approves UNI strategic plan

JOSHUA DAUSENER, Staff Writer

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On October 20, the Board of Regents approved the University of Northern Iowa Strategic Plan 2017-2022. The document lays out a new roadmap for UNI, including the university’s vision, mission and values.

Also in the document is the unifying goal “Student Success,” which is tied together by three supporting goals: Diversity and Inclusion, Campus Vitality and Community Engagement.

“It is a new vision for the institution, and the vision says that in five years, here is where we want to be,” Wohlpart said.

The plan can be found in an email sent by UNI Interim President Jim Wohlpart to students on Oct. 21.

“Most strategic plans end up on the shelf. At the end of the year, you pull it down, you check some boxes and say, ‘Did we live up to it?’” Wohlpart said. “My interest with the strategic plan is to make it something we’re all living on a regular basis. We’re all turning to it and saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to put resources here because it’s in our strategic plan.’”

Wohlpart laid out his vision to ensure the new plan was a living document to students in the email sent on Oct. 21. The e-mail announced the creation of a Strategic Plan Implementation team.

According to the email, “The team will be responsible for reaching out to the university community in order to create indicators for each of the metrics and goals of the plan. They will then finalize those indicators and discuss responsibility, resources, and reporting milestones.”

The first supporting goal of the plan, “Diversity and Inclusion,” aims to “provide a campus culture that reflects and values the evolving diversity of society and promotes inclusion,” according to the document. The plan calls for UNI to attract and retain diverse students, faculty and staff; to build relationships with underrepresented populations in the Cedar Valley, in Iowa and across the world; and to deliver programs, services and events to educate and celebrate diversity on campus.

Wohlpart cited several steps UNI has recently taken to increase diversity, including the hiring of a chief diversity officer in May of this year, UNI’s Diversity Advisory Committee and various diversity events hosted on campus.

The second supporting goal, “Campus Vitality,” seeks to “enhance resource and facility development to provide an enriched campus life experience which is both environmentally friendly and fiscally responsible.” Wohlpart said that UNI was becoming more energy efficient and was working to become even more so in the future.

Other issues that this second supporting goal seeks to achieve include campus well-being of students, faculty and staff, infrastructure maintenance, improving UNI’s revenue streams and improving the quality of university services.

The final supporting goal emphasized Community Engagement. The plan calls on UNI to “create opportunities for students, faculty and staff to build external relationships that enhance local and global learning experiences and contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of the Cedar Valley and Iowa.”

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