Strategic Plan Document (Text Only)
The Future Search Mind Map
A clear sense of identity is central to the health and effectiveness of any community. The Mind Map was created by all the participants at the January 2002 Future Search Conference to make explicit a shared sense of identity: What the group held in common and what we shared as a community. This Mind Map was the catalyst for discovering the major themes and influences directly affecting the University. It provided the foundation upon which this strategic plan was built.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Quote
Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it but sail we must, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Who are we?
We are a regional comprehensive public university with a national reputation for delivering high quality undergraduate and graduate programs. We are Science and Allied Health; Liberal Studies; Business Administration; Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Teacher Education. We are a student-centered campus and a community of life-long learners. We are teaching, scholarship, creative endeavor and research, and public and professional service.
What do we value?
We value our commitment to high quality academic experiences for all students and we value a strong liberal arts education. We value one another and the contributions each of us makes to our university, our community and our state. We value diversity in ourselves and in our academic programs. We value our students and we support them both in and out of the classroom. We value recommitment to the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea. We value being an academic community of learning and inquiry both locally and globally.
Where to we want to go?
We will focus our resources on enhancing and sustaining our academic community of learning and inquiry. We will continue to be recognized as a model of superior educational achievement and scholarship. Our goal is to build upon our exceptional educational history and create an even stronger learning experience for all in a broadly inclusive community.
UW-La Crosse is recognized for its high quality academic programs and its focus on student learning. It is an institution that has experienced significant growth in the quality of the student body over the past nine years, in its physical facilities and in its support of students both in and out of the classroom.
In order to continue our ascent on excellence far into the future, the university community engaged in a strategic planning process that began with a Future Search Conference. Future Search Conferences are designed to build community, make the planning process open and inclusive of all constituents, and focus on the aspirations of the institution ( for more information on Future Search Conferences, please refer to Appendix B) . The Future Search Conference at UW-L included students, faculty, academic staff, classified staff, administrators, alumni, and community members from La Crosse and other areas. Core values, areas of focus, visions, and goals for each of the focus areas in this plan were identified as a result of the work done by the Future Search Conference participants. Utilizing outcomes from the Future Search Conference, the University Joint Planning and Budget Committee ( JPB) developed and refined this plan.
The JPB produced a draft of this strategic plan for the campus community to comment on. Extensive feedback was collected through open meetings, governance group discussions, and written documents received through the Strategic Planning website, e-mail and letters forwarded to the committee. Consequently, this strategic plan is the result of nearly a year of collaborative inquiry, reflection, discussion, and institution-wide feedback by faculty, staff, students, administration and community representatives. The JPB will continue to serve as the primary committee responsible for coordinating implementation efforts and for monitoring the progress of the plan in the future.
A Guide to the Plan
This document outlines a process for becoming an even stronger academic community of learning and inquiry. This community focuses on student learning supported by all areas of the university community. It provides a broad framework that reflects the values collaboratively agreed upon by members of the university community. Here you will find a vision of what UW-L will become as we focus on those values and work together to create our future.
This strategic planning document celebrates our past and recognizes our present accomplishments. It challenges us to imagine an ambitious future. This plan will be continuously reviewed as we pursue the goals we have identified here and discover new goals that also need to be explored in order to make our visions become reality. With the combined talents of all members of our community, along with the necessary resources, we have the ability to fully realize our goals.
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Mission
In addition to the University of Wisconsin System and Core Missions, UW-L has the following select mission: The primary purpose of UW-L is to provide education leading to baccalaureate and selected graduate degrees supplemented by appropriate research and public service activities as further detailed in the following set of goals:
( from the 2001-2003 undergraduate catalogue)
Celebrating our Past...
When our last strategic plan was created in the early 90s, Wisconsin was experiencing growth in student diversity and in the number of college-age students in the general population. UW-L was anticipating a nearly 50 percent turnover rate in faculty by the end of the 90s, which would result in an influx of new faculty from a variety of academic and personal backgrounds. The U. S. economy was embarking on a decade of unprecedented growth and prosperity. Ecological conservation and environmental stewardship were quickly becoming issues of greater importance in the educational and business communities.
In spite of this growth, state institutions saw a continued decline in state funding, resulting in increases in student costs and an increased dependence on extramural funding. Universities across the nation were also facing the challenge of replacing and upgrading aging facilities and equipment. Furthermore, the 90s arguably represented the most explosive decade of technological expansion and accessibility to date. The previous strategic plan, Forward Together, led UW-L into the 21st Century and set the course for that decade s future.
Recognizing Our Present...
Since Forward Together, UW-La Crosse has continued to make great strides in addressing many of the issues and challenges identified in that planning process. The continued development of our high quality academic programs, combined with successful recruitment and retention of exceptionally talented faculty and staff, has resulted in UW-L becoming the institution of choice among many of the most talented students in the state and beyond. UW-L has consistently ranked among the top comprehensive institutions in its class in the nation, a clear reflection of our success as an academic leader. This plan, Building Our Academic Community of Learning and Inquiry, will help to guide us into the future as we build upon the strengths of our past and create new opportunities for continued educational excellence.
Imagining Our Future...
As we continue into the decade, it is important that we focus on a UW-L that:
"Building Our Academic Community of Learning and Inquiry" is the next step in the process of planning for future challenges, celebrating accomplishments, and promoting academic excellence into the next decade.
Values, Key Areas of Focus, Vision and Goals
Visions and dreams need action to become reality. This plan is based on a core set of values that led to the identification of key areas of focus.
Core Set of Values
Commitment to high quality academic experiences for all students. Recognition of the contributions made by each of us to enhance the quality of the education that students experience. Diversity in ourselves and in our academic programs. . Commitment to students and student learning, both in and out of the classroom. Recommitment to the Wisconsin Idea. Creation of a stronger academic community of learning and inquiry both locally and globally.
Key Areas of Focus
We have identified seven areas to focus on in the building of our academic community of learning and inquiry. To reach our full potential, we must concentrate our energy, time and resources in these key areas.
Visions and Goals
A vision, along with broad goals for each of the key areas listed above, was developed as part of the planning process. The goals serve as a starting point for discussion and investigation on how to support the vision that we have in each of the key focus areas. Other goals are sure to emerge as exploration of the goals stated here proceeds. As we work together to strengthen our academic community of learning and inquiry, we must be mindful of how each of the focus areas continually intertwine.
Academic programs at UW-L deliver high-quality, well-rounded education in intellectually stimulating environments that foster and produce: critical thinkers, lifelong learners, skilled and collaborative practitioners, and global citizens who use knowledge and technology with wisdom and ethics. The academic programs are multidisciplinary, culturally relevant, and flexible in their design in order to be accessible and responsive to a diverse community of learners.
As a student-centered campus, UW-L will enhance student development by providing services and programs that address the needs of all students. By supporting the personal, physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, vocational/ professional, social, cultural, and global development of students, UW-L will nurture a community of active citizens and involved life-long learners.
UW-L is committed to ensuring an intellectually challenging and welcoming learning environment for all members of the campus community. Students, administrators, faculty, staff and community members learn and work in a physically and psychologically safe environment where they are valued for their similarities and their differences. Differences have been recognized as valued resources for the academic, cultural, and personal development that has occurred in our country and our world; therefore, they are viewed as essential to an intellectually stimulating environment. An atmosphere that fosters the exploration of issues from multiple perspectives will be commonplace for academic exploration and growth. Because diversity is an integral part of UW-L, students graduate with a commitment to being culturally knowledgeable world citizens. This diversity vision is designed to supplement and not to duplicate or replace Plan 2008.
We envision a community-friendly campus and a campus-friendly community that are interconnected; these communities collaborate to share resources and expertise; achieve mutual goals by building relationships with stakeholders; and embrace diversity and creativity in people, ideas, and opportunities.
UW-L desires to increase international participation for all students, faculty and staff in order to help them develop as global citizens. We will continue and expand our commitment to excellence in international programs.
Quality of Life
We envision the university as a great place to live, learn, work, and play. UW-L is committed to providing an environment that is healthy, secure, and intellectually and culturally stimulating. The freedom to explore and express new ideas without repercussions is particularly crucial to our quality of life. UW-L is committed to nurturing an atmosphere of tolerance, fairness, and trust. The obligations and responsibilities of work and personal life are recognized as changeable over time and circumstances. Accommodating demands of work and personal life are important to overall life satisfaction. Strong efforts will be made to arrive at workable balances. Healthy lifestyles are promoted and supported by our programs and facilities. Programs to nourish the mind, body, and soul are valued and advanced. Accessible physical facilities and grounds will be clean, well maintained, comfortable, and indicate a sense of pride.
UW-L strives to build upon its resources. University resources (people, time, facilities, and monies) will be directed to the highest priorities in pursuit of the greatest quality and value and in accordance with the overall strategic plan. We will continue to explore new and innovative methods to better utilize existing resources and we will aggressively seek new funding sources.
Enhancing and Sustaining Our Community of Learning and Inquiry
To be successful in enhancing and sustaining our vision, we will need to develop a method of accountability. The Joint Planning & Budget Committee will work in conjunction with other University governance groups to ensure that the exploration and implementation of the visions and goals set forth here actually become reality. The Joint Planing & Budget Committee should work with the Chancellor to ensure inclusive campus representation. The Provost/ Vice Chancellor will work in close collaboration with the JPB to ensure continuity in the evolution of this vision.
As we consider each new opportunity, we must ask ourselves how that opportunity helps us enhance academics, student learning and development at UW-L. How does it support our understanding and embrace of diversity? How will it build a stronger community? How does it broaden our global understanding and how does it improve quality of life for our university community? Above all, how will this opportunity help us to create the greater Academic Community of Learning and Inquiry to which we aspire?
The future of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse lies in our hands. We know who we are. We know what we value. We know where we want to go. Together, we will create a university that lives its values and meets its goals in an inclusive community of learning and inquiry.
Just watch us!
Suggested Planning Strategies Emerging Through the Planning Process
Below are the goals developed for each of the areas of focus: Academics, Student Development, Diversity, Community, Globalization, Quality of Life and Resources. Included with each goal are the strategies that emerged from the Future Search Conference and through the subsequent planning sessions. While there is not universal agreement on these strategies, there was general agreement that they should be shared with the campus groups responsible for achieving the goals. Those groups should consider, accept, modify or reject them.
Deliver a broad-based, rigorous General Education program.
Create a culture where there are high expectations for students and faculty in the areas of academics, scholarship and creative activity, and service.
Promote undergraduate and graduate academic programs that deliver a complete, well-rounded education.
Create a culture of teaching, scholarship and creative activity, and service conducive to excellence and quality.
Expand and enhance student advising and mentoring programs.
Enrich learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom.
Promote inclusive student involvement, leadership, service and activism across the university and community.
Foster programs and services that continue to optimize student health and quality of life issues.
Build a campus culture that fosters recruitment and retention of a diverse administration, faculty, staff and students.
Increase diversity throughout the curriculum.
Develop a reward structure for faculty and staff that includes and values diversity.
Centralize and coordinate diversity resources and programs to optimize impact and efficiency.
Foster the mutual expansion of diversity through reciprocal relationships between the campus and the community.
Develop, nurture and sustain an inclusive community where all voices are heard and valued.
Explore work/ life issues that strengthen the broader campus community.
Provide regular community building and recognition events on campus.
Develop and maintain positive university and community relations.
Enrich international experiences.
Develop on-going campus programs to promote cultural competence and promote international awareness.
Promote greater globalization of curriculum.
Develop opportunities for greater global interaction.
Quality of Life
Promote and support arts and humanities events and programs.
Support and enhance programs for advising and counseling.
Promote educational programs dealing with substance abuse and overall health and wellness.
Create an environment that fosters balance between professional and personal life.
Integrate more art and people friendly areas into the landscape and physical surroundings.
Promote and maintain active facilities and programs directed at healthy lifestyles.
Enhance orientation and support programs for new staff, faculty, and students.
Develop methods to ensure that allocations are linked to the strategic plan and EM-21 and are regularly assessed.
Explore alternative methods, mixes and combinations to better utilize existing resources.
Garner/ obtain resources for increased funding.
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