Strategic Area of Focus: Educational Excellence
Teaching and learning are the primary purposes of any institution of higher education, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level. Consistent with accreditation standards, an institution's educational offerings must display academic content, rigor, and coherence appropriate for its higher education mission.
Faculty, students, staff, alumni, and the community commented that the quality, variety, and relevancy of the University's academic programs and services needed to be strengthened and/or expanded. Community members recommended that professional programs be accredited; processes and policies be more student-friendly; enrollment-related processes be improved, particularly registration; and workforce training and continuing education efforts be expanded.
These perspectives, coupled with the future state and the SWOT analysis examining the internal and external environments impacting the University, factored into the development of VISION 2012 and resulted in the identification of educational excellence as a key strategic area of focus for UVI to realize its mission and vision.
Strategic Goal #1 supports the desire for high quality educational programs, activities and processes linked to UVI's mission components through the operational objectives and related measures of accomplishment that follow.
Strategic Goal #1: Create a learner-centered experience that fosters academic excellence and student success through innovative, effective teaching strategies and high quality academic and student support programs.
Operational Objectives and Measures of Accomplishment
The following operational objectives and measures of accomplishment detail the specific initiatives and activities required to realize educational excellence at UVI:
1.A. Offer high quality outcomes-based academic programs that are flexible and responsive.
Develop an Academic Master Plan by 9/30/2006. (The Academic Master Plan is a strategic plan for the academic component covering the period 2006-2012. Specifically, the Plan will delineate how Educational Excellence will be achieved by addressing the type and number of graduate and undergraduate academic programs to be offered; the profile of faculty and students; program assessments including the assessment of student learning outcomes, timelines, other key factors; and how these actions will impact the future direction of the University's academic component. Program efficiencies and cost reductions will also be addressed.)
- Create a technology support system for faculty and students to enhance teaching and learning outcomes by 9/30/2007.
- Establish a collaborative Center for Excellence in Teaching by 9/30/2008.
- Establish professional schools for nursing, business, and education by Fall 2008.
- Create academic learning environments that promote student success and enhance student learning outcomes by FY 2008.
- Develop protocols and systems for quality assurance and student and faculty support for e-learning by FY 2008.
- Establish a school or institute for Global and Graduate Education using a consortium-based model in collaboration with other institutions (e.g. University Consortium of Small Island States) by FY 2010.
1.B. Accredit all professional programs and develop internal standards to assess the quality of programs consistent with best practices.
- Achieve ACE (American Council of Education) accreditation for CELL by 9/30/2007.
- Achieve ACBSP (Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs) accreditation for the undergraduate business program by Fall 2007.
- Achieve reclassification from a Masters II to Masters I institution via Carnegie Classification by 9/30/2009.
- Achieve NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) accreditation for the undergraduate education program by Fall 2012.
1.C. Increase enrollment by enhancing recruitment, registration and enrollment-related services.
- Realign the Enrollment Management division to realize enrollment growth and process improvements by 12/31/2006.
- Assess selected deferred payment plan options by Fall 2007, and continue implementation as appropriate.
- Initiate comprehensive evaluation of enrollment management policies and procedures by 9/30/2006 and implement recommendations by Fall 2007.
- Develop and implement comprehensive recruitment and marketing strategy and plan by Fall 2007.
- Implement redesigned New Student Orientation program to enrich student connections to the University by Fall 2007.
- Explore variable pricing options as a key strategy to increase enrollment of high-ability students by FY 2008.
- Enroll 2,700 students by Fall 2009, and 3,000 students by Fall 2012.
1.D. Enhance student success while increasing retention and graduation rates.
- Assess balance of student transfers in and out following the sophomore year and develop appropriate retention strategies by FY 2008.
- Develop strategies to address gender disparities at UVI by FY 2008.
- Complete establishment of a Center for Student Success by FY 2009 that includes an array of academic, counseling, social, and career services. (For example, counseling services to increase success rates of UVI graduates on post-graduate tests)
- Increase retention rate for first-time, full-time freshmen from 72% to 75% by Fall 2009.
1.E. Create an engaging, student-centered environment that promotes school spirit and institutional pride.
- Begin operation of the Wellness Center on St. Thomas by Spring 2008.
- Establish a University-wide Athletic Program connecting both campuses by FY 2009.
- Implement a UVI BUC one-card debit system for student access to campus services by FY 2009.
- Establish a Wellness and Fitness facility and program on St Croix by FY 2010.
1.F. Increase scholarly, research and outreach activities that enhance student learning, respond to community needs, and/or generate new knowledge that also meets peer-reviewed standards.
Strategic Area of Focus: Institutional Improvement
- Develop a Research and Public Service (RPS) Master Plan linked to the Academic Master Plan by 9/30/2007.
- Continue leadership role in implementation of the United Nations-sponsored University Consortium for Small Island States.
- Establish a teacher/scholar model that integrates teaching, scholarship, and research to create a more learner-centered approach to the professoriate by Fall 2008.
- Establish a Center for Marine and Environmental Studies (CMES) as a Center of Excellence in Research
- Renovate UVI's shore laboratory to serve as an active remote laboratory site, as part of the CMES research and training program, by 9/30/2006.
- Investigate the feasibility of (and if feasible, implement) a Master's in Marine and Environmental Studies by 9/30/2007.
- Continue to develop interdisciplinary and incubator research projects which compliment and support marine studies.
Faculty, staff and students concluded that the University needs to improve its processes and systems as well as policies and procedures in order to strengthen institutional performance and effectiveness. The University community articulated a need for excellence in the execution of business processes and practices, higher performance standards, greater investment in faculty and staff development, and better internal and external communication systems.
In addition, we uncovered a need to support enhanced collegiality and shared governance to improve operational effectiveness. Students described several scenarios in which their interests were not reflected in course scheduling, registration processes, timelines for distributing financial aid, and billing policies. These perspectives are consistent with the mandates of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and other regulatory agencies demanding greater accountability by institutions of higher education. Collectively, the UVI community recognizes the necessity for continuous and systematic operational improvements that will facilitate the University's efforts to achieve its vision to become an exceptional institution.
These perspectives, coupled with the future state and the SWOT analysis examining the internal and external environments impacting the University, factored into the development of VISION 2012 and resulted in the identification of institutional improvement as a key strategic area of focus for UVI to realize its mission and vision of excellence in all aspects of the University. Strategic Goal #2 supports the desired future state for high levels of institutional performance and effectiveness linked to UVI's mission components through the operational objectives and related measures of accomplishment that follow.
Strategic Goal #2: Insure that the strategic goals and objectives are met by enhancing the University's capacity to achieve results
Operational Objectives and Measures of Accomplishment
The following operational objectives and measures of accomplishment detail the specific initiatives and activities required to realize higher performance levels that will enhance service delivery to UVI's internal and external stakeholders.
2.A. Support superior performance and foster individual and group success through advancement of compensation strategies and investment in training, professional development and cross-functional activities.
- Establish compensation adjustment policy guidelines and implement compensation adjustment plan for staff and faculty by 9/30/2006.
- Establish a process for aligning faculty recognition, rewards, retention, promotion and tenure with the mission, vision, and core values expressed in VISION 2012 by 9/30/2006.
- Develop a comprehensive compensation plan (including reclassification study) for submission to the Board of Trustees for approval by June 2007.
- Implement a new performance-based incentive program that recognizes excellence and rewards advancement of strategic goals outlined in VISION 2012 by 9/30/2007.
- Establish training and professional development program that bolsters excellence in cross-functional team building, collegiality, shared governance, and effective administration by 9/30/2007.
- Establish periodic measurements of faculty and staff satisfaction by 12/31/06.
2.B. Ensure enhanced customer service delivery and improved operational results (with specific measurements to be defined) by redesigning administrative and educational processes.
- Implement a new information-technology organizational structure by 9/30/2006; and build a collaborative cross-trained staff by 9/30/2007.
- Improve the reliability and redundancy of the University's infrastructure by 9/30/2006 through redesign of the information-technology infrastructure.
- Implement operational process improvements in enrollment management services, particularly registration and financial aid by 9/30/2007.
- Align the safety and security operation on each campus for greater effectiveness by 9/30/2007.
- Enhance service delivery by 9/30/2007 through implementation of process improvements in the Human Resources Department.
- Implement operational and process improvements in Administration and Finance:
- Ensure compliance with federal, local and institutional regulations and requirements for programs and services by 9/30/2007 through establishment of an internal control system that is linked to an internal auditing process.
- Reduce purchasing costs by 9/30/2007 through the establishment of a procurement card system.
- Create a comprehensive grants management system by 9/30/2008.
- Improve the internal efficiency of the payroll process by 8/30/2008.
- Implement a comprehensive facilities management system for campus operations by 9/30/2008.
2.C. Facilitate University-wide information and data flow by enhancing the internal communications infrastructure.
- Simplify technical operation of scheduling, email and document sharing by 4/30/2007 through the implementation of an enterprise-wide groupware solution.
- Explore use of groupware to facilitate group decision-making and group review and development of documents. If determined appropriate develop strategies for technology deployment and training by 12/31/08.
- Redesign UVI Website to enhance internal and external communication needs by 9/30/2007.
2.D. Optimize the successful implementation of VISION 2012 through the development of an integrated planning, assessment and evaluation system by 12/31/2006.
2.E. Continuously promote the image and reputation of the University by enhancing the external communications system.
- Achieve national recognition for at least one publicity event each year through the Public Relations Office.
2.F. Strengthen relationships with alumni and alumni association chapters through outreach, support and education.
Strategic Area of Focus: Financial Sustainability
- Implement cultivation and outreach programs that strengthen relationships with alumni chapters and presidents and provide instruction on the appropriate orientation on the role of alumni by 9/30/2006.
- Increase number of alumni contributors to 20% of the alumni population by 9/30/2009.
The most challenging issue confronting the University in recent years has been the uncertainty and volatile financial picture of the Virgin Islands Government. This ongoing challenge has thwarted efforts to increase compensation for employees, hampered growth in human resource development and hiring, and limited the University's capability to respond to demands from the community for expanded educational programs.
In an era of declining state appropriations, acquiring new revenue sources and reducing operational costs will be crucial to effectively managing institutional change and renewal. Focusing on financial sustainability will continue to be a strategic area of focus for the University through 2012.
These perspectives, coupled with the future state and the SWOT analysis examining the internal and external environments impacting the University, factored into the development of VISION 2012 and resulted in the identification of financial sustainability as a key strategic area of focus for UVI to realize its mission and vision while maintaining a strong financial operation.
Strategic Goal #3 supports the desired future state for a strong, diverse financial base in support of high quality educational programs and institutional change and success linked to UVI's mission components through the operational objectives and related measures of accomplishment that follow.
Strategic Goal #3: Enhance and diversify the University's financial base through the development of new revenue streams and realization of cost savings.
Operational Objectives and Measures of Accomplishment
The following operational objectives and measures of accomplishment detail the specific initiatives and activities necessary to build a strong, diversified financial base in support of UVI's mission and vision through 2012.
3.A. Assess markets for UVI products and services that might have the potential to provide significant new revenues.
- Update market assessments for delivery of instruction or training via e-learning technologies and analyze potential net profitability by 9/30/2008.
- Assess markets and develop appropriate strategies for intensive workshops and/or education/training experiences for non-residents, including capitalizing on the VI as a resort destination by 9/30/2008.
- Develop income and expense projections for CELL operations that identify the level of resource subsidy required based on mission orientation by 9/30/2007.
3.B. Meet internal and external demands, institutional goals and cost reductions by improving operating financial management systems.
- Hire an Internal Auditor by 9/30/2006.
- Improve the development and management of financial resources at the component level by 9/30/2007 by implementing a two-year budgeting process.
- Partially address internal energy demands by 2007 and eventual cost savings by 2012 through expansion of renewable energy programs including, but not limited to, wind energy.
- Reduce subsidies to identified auxiliaries from appropriation revenues to zero by 9/30/2008. (In 2006, auxiliaries include UVI bookstores, student and faculty/executive housing, Sports and Fitness Center and the Reichhold Center for the Performing Arts.)
3.C. Increase annual giving targets and ensure capital campaign objectives are appropriately linked to institutional, student and academic needs.
- Update annually the Institutional Advancement Strategic Plan beginning 2007.
- Raise $1.5M in external funding for FY 2006, $1.7M for FY 2007 and $1.8M for FY 2008.
- Launch private phase of UVI Capital Campaign by 9/30/2008.
- Increase annual gifts to the Reichhold Center by 10% annually for FY 2006, FY 2007, and FY 2008.
- Close out the 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign by 9/30/2012.
3.D. Increase mission-centered grant acquisitions that support and promote research and community development.
- Increase the number of mission-centered, sponsored-program grant acquisitions by 10% annually through 9/30/2012.
- Develop policies for the allocation of indirect costs to improve support for grant activities and incentives for grant acquisition.
- Acquire local matching funds for the VI-EPSCoR program.
- Acquire $154,210 in FY 2006.
- Acquire $142,873 in FY 2007.
- Acquire $310,607 in FY 2008.
Strategic Area of Focus: Community Engagement
Community engagement is the cornerstone of UVI's dedication to student success and enhancing the lives of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean. Focus group meetings with community leaders, local residents at town hall meetings, and UVI employees, alumni and students identified several community-oriented themes that will be essential to realizing the University's objectives.
The community affirmed the vital role UVI plays in the social and economic development of the Virgin Islands. However, the community recommended that UVI share its achievements with the public more often, collaborate more with the community to address problems/issues confronting the Territory, establish flexible instructional modes to meet needs of working professionals, expand program offerings linked to emerging careers, and expand research and assessment capabilities linked to the Virgin Islands. The community also urged the University to become more client-centered, expand access to higher education via distance learning, and align academic programs with the Territory's education and business sectors. These candid recommendations reinforced the University's ongoing commitment to serve the needs of the U.S. Virgin Islands through active participation, collaboration, and community engagement.
These perspectives, coupled with the future state and the SWOT analysis examining the internal and external environments impacting the University, factored into the development of VISION 2012 and resulted in the identification of community engagement as a key strategic area of focus for UVI to realize its mission and vision.
Strategic Goal #4 supports the desired future state to enhance the lives of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean through educational initiatives linked to UVI's mission components through the operational objectives and related measures of accomplishment that follow.
Strategic Goal #4: Become a leader and partner with the community to address social, economic, environmental, political, educational and cultural issues impacting the U.S. Virgin Islands through a range of higher education initiatives.
Operational Objectives and Measures of Accomplishment
The following operational objectives and measures of accomplishment detail the specific initiatives and activities required to continue the enhancement of community engagement as an essential component of UVI's mission and vision.
4.A. Continue addressing critical issues that will improve public education in the Territory by working with the VI Department of Education.
4.B. Enhance the quality and relevancy of programs by increasing collaboration with education, business, health, human services, art, labor and other community sectors.
- Develop a plan of action to strengthen K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the Territory by the VI-EPSCoR Governing Committee by 12/31/2006.
- Establish advisory councils linked to academic programs offering professional degrees by Fall 2008.
4.C. Address issues impacting the community by expanding consulting services, directed research and technical support.
- Bring internal and external stakeholders together to facilitate community engagement through the creation of community centers on each campus by 9/30/2010.
- Meet appropriate demands on St. Thomas through the establishment of a formal sports tourism program by 9/30/2010.
- Evaluate the feasibility of building a Hotel/Conference Center by 9/30/2009.
4.D. Support community skill development and success by expanding certifications, workforce training, continuing education, lifelong learning, professional development, and consulting services.
- Expand scope and capacity of CELL Workforce Training Center for Excellence by 9/30/2009 subject to self-sustainability.
- Increase to 4,000 the accumulated number of CELL-trained students by 9/30/2012 (Minimum of 600/year).