UNL Strategic Compass: Preface

A Strategic Plan for UNL: Setting Our Compass 


This document summarizes overarching priorities and goals of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. It is born from ideas that have emerged from documents that have guided our strategic planning to date (see Appendix A) and from the themes emerging from our academic strategic planning. It is not a traditional strategic plan. Rather, it is a compass — confirming the direction initially set by a number of campus-wide reports and initiatives and subsequently refined by many of our academic units and faculty through their actions and their planning activities. Our assertion is that a university advances faster if strategic plans emanate from units, departments and colleges, are the product of faculty deliberations, and are revised or confirmed through conversations with the campus administration.

To this end, the principles in this document are distilled from these conversations and past campus-wide initiatives, and are an effort to reflect the current consensus that points the direction for UNL. We recognize that the university is a decentralized organization with shared governance where important strategic decisions are made at the unit, department, and college levels. More recently, interdisciplinary activities have increased at UNL, generating “centers,” “initiatives” and other less-formal collaborative arrangements through which academic directions are established. Within our system of shared governance and decentralized decision-making at UNL, a consensus about our overarching goals is desirable.

This document clarifies and affirms our shared vision for the university, our mission, our core values, and our priorities. Thereby, we can best assess the strategies employed by our units in pursuing excellence, our lead benchmark for success. Outlined below are the common aspirations that unite our vision of excellence across the university, informed by our core values. These goals also reflect NU system-wide goals for university achievement (http://nebraska.edu/docs/StrategicFramework.pdf). Every unit of the university shall seek excellence within the context of its particular mission, aligned with campus strategies and the Strategic Framework of the Board of Regents.