Higher education finds itself in 2018 at a crossroads. Numerous external and internal forces are exerting enormous pressure on colleges and universities throughout the nation. Some experts argue that many institutions of higher learning will not survive these forces and will cease to exist or will be merged with larger educational institutions. They also argue that only those institutions which are authentically innovative will survive and thrive in the decades to come.
The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) has chosen not to place its head in the beautiful sands around its shores and campuses, but to engage in a systematic process that reinvents the University, and thereby address the challenges it faces. Instead of striving to create a few innovative initiatives, UVI is committed to creating and institutionalizing a “culture of innovation.” In order to become a “great university” that not only withstands the disruptive forces of change, this island university is committed to being a leader for change and innovation in higher education.
The University’s new strategic plan, “Greatness Through Innovation,” is the first major step towards creating this “culture of innovation.” Throughout the plan, the goals and measurable objectives all point towards the creation of a university where its emphasis, incentives, and processes stimulate and nurture innovative ideas. Excellent teaching, research, and community engagement are still the fundamental pillars upon which the institution stands, though we plan to fulfill this mission through creative and innovative strategies and initiatives.
This new strategic plan creates a new standard for how universities can weave creativity and innovation into the fabric of their existence. This strategic plan, if successfully implemented, will propel the University of the Virgin Islands into the category of “distinctive leaders in higher education” for decades to come. We invite you to join us on this journey and support us as we strive to shape the future and not just wait for it to unfold.