In October of 2012, a Joint Task Force on Strategic Oversight (JTFSO) was charged to "make recommendations to the Chancellor with respect to a high-level Strategic Plan" to be submitted to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) as part of the campus's fifth-year interim accreditation report in August 2013. JTFSO is a group of 31 faculty, staff, and students appointed by the Chancellor and the Faculty Senate to lead the planning effort. That group, together with numerous committees and subcommittees, produced a draft of a first phase document that was put before the campus for review and comment during the spring semester of 2013. In all, more than 130 members of the community contributed to this document. JTFSO members presented the draft to more than two dozen administrative and governance groups, and convened four campus-wide open forums. On May 9, 2013, the document was presented to the Faculty Senate, which voted unanimously to "specifically support the report's broad goals of establishing UMASS/Amherst as a "destination of choice for the next generation of the Commonwealth's high school graduates" and as an "investment of choice in the Commonwealth's and nation's future" and to "recognize and applaud the fact that this was the first strategic planning process in the institution's history that was genuinely collaborative among faculty, students and administration."
The first phase document is called "Innovation and Impact: Renewing the Promise of the Public Research University." It sets an agenda for the campus, and will guide subsequent institutional-level and departmental implementation plans.
During the 2013-14 academic year JTFSO is building on the Phase I report in three ways:
1. Implementation of Phase I Recommendations. The Phase I report included many specific recommendations consistent with the broader planning goals that can be implemented immediately or relatively quickly. These have been identified and assigned to the appropriate offices or individuals for follow-up.
2. Developmental Planning at the Campus Level. The Phase I document highlighted key goals requiring in-depth follow-up planning to flesh out campus priorities and direction. These developmental plans will carry forward the goals established in Phase I and help set the stage for unit planning in Phase III (see below). Major developmental planning efforts now underway include:
• Consideration of alternatives to the campus incremental budgeting process (assigned to the Joint Task Force on Resource Allocation).
• Defining the distinctive character of a UMass Amherst undergraduate education (assigned to a special subcommittee of JTFSO).
• Developing a unified strategy for student success (assigned to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate and Continuing Education and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life).
• Recalibrating the campus enrollment strategy (assigned to Provost’s Office and the Budget Office).
• Expanding support for curricular innovation (assigned to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate and Continuing Education and the Chief Information Officer).
• Organizing outreach activities for maximum impact (assigned to a special subcommittee of JTFSO).
• Developing a strategic plan for information technology (assigned to the Chief Information Officer).
In addition, JTFSO is working with the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Council to highlight opportunities in all these areas to promote diversity, inclusion and access.
3. Unit Planning Guidelines. With campus goals and directions clarified, JTFSO will develop guidelines for unit planning that will ask colleges, departments and administrative units to assess their progress with respect to those goals and articulate the contributions they plan to make going forward.
Contact JTFSO: email@example.com