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Greatness Through Innovation - Executive Summary

Administrative Offices

The 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, Greatness Through Innovation, continues the transformational journey of Pathways to Greatness begun in 2012-2018. The performance goals identified for 2023 will keep UVI on course to emerge beyond the limits of its expanding ability. The growth attained under the last strategic initiatives demonstrated the University’s remarkable capacity for achieving lofty aspirations that may appear out of reach when compared to existing resources.

Greatness Through Innovation was framed through the window of the 2016-2017 Self-Study process. Like Pathways to Greatness, Greatness Through Innovation is an initiative with an ambitious target. The University’s ability to forge ahead in the face of numerous challenges is evidence of its persistent/persevering capacity for staying the course. The 2018 accomplishments have been assimilated and refined in the new strategic plan.

The Self-Study achieved major strides in steering components to employ measures that successfully demonstrate accomplishments. The new strategic plan strengthens that direction, giving the Institution opportunities for increasing effectiveness in evidence-based decision-making. Data collection and data management are threads that run throughout the Greatness Through Innovation performance requirements.

There is no doubt that creativity and innovation will be the hallmarks for achieving success in strategic plan 2023. Focus area I: Innovation and Distinction, leverages the persistence and ingenuity of the workforce for restoring and rebuilding in the face of several gruesome natural disasters. The goals ensure that UVI will see creativity as a natural element for accomplishing objectives throughout the operational programs. Through the establishment  and maintenance of an Innovation Fund, targeted creativity training, and expansion of innovation resources, the pockets of creativity that now distinguish some programs can become the established culture for the entire Institution.

Focus Area II: Leadership and Excellence in Academics, Research, and Public Services, emphasizes the understanding that the strength of the academy lies in the power of its curriculum and faculty. The strategic initiatives speak to the infusion of technology throughout the academic programs, ensuring that success levels may be broadly achieved. Through the operational objectives, renowned research areas in Science and Mathematics, Nursing, and Business may increase levels of visibility for their distinctive programming, and inspire similar achievements throughout the Institution and abroad.

UVI places the well-being of students at the head of its core values. Focus Area III: Student Access, Recruitment, and Success brings together the second largest pool of financial resources (after physical plant disaster repair) for addressing known impediments to student success. Strategic initiatives identify tuition support options, creative degree pathways and instructional pedagogy, and holistic approaches for attractive living-learning experiences.

The major achievement of the 2016-2017 Self-Study comes together in Focus Area IV: Measurement, Analysis, Knowledge Management, and Results. This area is key for demonstrating continuous improvement through systematic data collection and data management. It is here that efforts of UVINext may become fully-implemented, achieving its charge to drive the overall institution towards a culture of evidence-based decision-making. From improvements in student recruitment through graduation and employee performance assessments, UVI will be demonstrating its commitment to collecting evidence that clearly shows the impact and success of actions taken in academic and community programs.

Focus Area V: Operational Efficiencies and Focus, emphasizes functional accuracy and best practices in business operations. Strategic initiatives will address gaps in effective documentation of protocols and processes. This includes aligning workflows to reduce costs, errors, and inefficiencies; understanding and valuing consistent, high quality customer service; and systematically repairing and maintaining damaged facilities for structural improvements. The focus area recognizes the critical importance of effective budgeting functions for achieving the goals of the strategic plan, and gives attention to the important role of the University Budget Committee (UBC) in effectively managing resources to achieve the related objectives.

Focus Area VI: Valuing People, Relationships, and Culture clarifies and institutionalizes UVI’s systems for personal development and employee incentives. The shared-governance model addresses the mechanism for giving voice to UVI stakeholders in major policy development, and key operational decisions. Greatness Through Innovation fills the gap for celebrating the UVI population’s diversity, skill, and accomplishments. Strategic initiatives include opportunities for community engagement and intermingling, celebration of regional culture and history, and mechanisms for reward and salary enhancements.

As a uniquely American, English-speaking institution within the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean, UVI’s role as a producer/venue of thought leaders is critically important to the US Virgin Islands, the wider Caribbean, and the World. The impact of two devastating storms throughout the territory during the 2017 hurricane season, has created opportunities for the University’s informed leadership to add even greater value. Attesting to the adage of “that which does not kill you makes you stronger,” UVI’s strength demonstrated throughout the recovery and rebuilding process is evidence that the university IS stronger than it was during the last decennial self-study. In recovery, the institution marshalled its collective innovative and creative energy, to achieve goals that were seemingly impossible in the face of widespread devastation. As the territory embarks on the rebuilding process, UVI is well-placed to model these unique solutions, and to provide data and insight on the deployment of technology and services for communities to weather future natural or other disasters effectively.