A University gateway in St. Paul.
Team leaders prepare task force groundwork
From Brief, August 31, 2005
Significant work has been carried out through the summer to launch the University on its way to becoming one of the top three public research universities in the world within a decade--a goal the Board of Regents approved in June. Since then, attention has focused on the structure and process needed to achieve the systemwide transformation.
In mid-August, President Robert Bruininks issued charge letters that identified teams and task forces to carry the work forward. More than 500 people volunteered or were nominated to serve as chairs and members of the task forces; they will be named shortly after the start of fall semester on the Twin Cities campus. The task forces will meet for the first time September 16. To see a chart of the teams and task forces, visit the Transforming the U Web site at www.umn.edu/systemwide/strategic_positioning.
The task forces span a wide number of administrative and academic areas at the University, including academic redesign, coordinate campuses, research, administrative services, and culture.
Bruininks's charge letters to team leaders spell out that recommendations resulting from their work should relate to helping the University improve in the five strategic action areas outlined in the January 2005 report, "Advancing the Public Good: Securing the University's Leadership Position in the 21st Century."
The strategic action areas, which form the cornerstone for the transformation initiative, outline how the University can better
- recruit, nurture, challenge, and educate outstanding students who are bright, curious, and highly motivated
- recruit, mentor, reward, and retain world-class faculty and staff who are innovative, energetic, and dedicated to the highest standards of excellence
- promote an effective organizational culture that is committed to excellence and responsive to change
- exercise responsible stewardship by setting priorities and enhancing and effectively using resources and infrastructure
- communicate clearly and credibly with all its constituencies and practice public engagement that is responsive to the public good
Specifically, the president asked team leaders to prepare to respond to the following questions:
- What are the strategic directions that will move us toward being a top-three public research institution?
- What are areas of excellence and/or comparative advantage?
- What are the actions recommended to achieve these directions, including opportunities for reallocation of resources?
- What are the measures of progress and expected impact?
- What are the incentives necessary to achieve success?
- What are the barriers to success? What strategies exist to overcome the barriers?
The team leaders--senior vice president Frank Cerra, provost Tom Sullivan, senior vice president Robert Jones, vice president Kathleen O'Brien, vice president Tim Mulcahy, and executive associate vice president Al Sullivan--are now in the process of developing more specific charge letters for the administrative and academic task forces under their respective purviews.
By December, many of the task forces are expected to provide reports to the president. Some recommendations may require further action by the Board of Regents. Implementation will begin, with some work completed by next July and other tasks taking three to five years.
Highlights on strategic positioning from the UMNnews archiveState of the U highlights access, support, and innovation (March 2)
Among the best in the world (March 26)
Moving forward (March 30)
Excellence attracts excellence (M, spring 2005)
Pawlenty praises plan to become world leader (April 13)
President Bruininks releases next step for future of the U (May 6)
Robert Jones talks about General College (May 6)
Weighing in on the plan (May 19)
Forging a bright future (M, summer 2005)
U Board of Regents approves new strategic direction (June 10)
Riding a wave of support: Strategic positioning implementation task forces forming (June 28)