February 2015

February 13, 2015

The University of Arizona recently presented a progress report on its strategic academic and business plan to its governing board, the Arizona Board of Regents. In itself, this activity is probably not uncommon, especially at public universities. What is perhaps unusual is the fact that this plan, Never Settle, is explicitly designed to evolve over time in a way that continually reintegrates the academic goals and aspirations of the campus community with the pragmatic business decisions that are necessary for our success.

Why is this unusual? For one, there is a tendency on college and university campuses to believe either that strategic planning is self-reflective to a fault, or that it does not emerge authentically from the institutional community it is ostensibly meant to serve. Caught between these views, the adage is that many plans are written only to be placed on a shelf, destined for dusty oblivion while the reality for faculty, students, and administrators plods...