University of Arizona Integrated Planning Process

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TO: UA Campus Community
FROM: Ann Weaver Hart, President
SUBJECT: University of Arizona Integrated Planning Process
DATE: Aug. 7, 2012

The University of Arizona is one of the world’s great universities, recently ranked 50th in the world by the Center for World University Rankings. All of us are justifiably proud of the University’s distinguished past. As the stewards of that heritage, we seek to shape an equally distinguished future in a rapidly changing and often tumultuous environment.

The context in which we shape that future requires from us an unaccustomed nimbleness and entrepreneurship, sometimes making strategic serendipity as important as long-range strategic planning. Much work at the UA has been devoted to academic planning. This planning and engagement has laid the groundwork for our success in shaping the future. My goal is to initiate a process that integrates our academic planning with a renewed framework for campus development that will provide the physical and virtual setting needed to achieve our academic aspirations and a financial plan that maps the means for us to achieve our goals. This integrated approach is particularly critical to our success as we work toward the UA Enterprise 2020 goals developed with the Arizona Board of Regents and establish a strong business plan to do so.

I write today to announce the initiation of a three-pronged process designed to maximize the opportunities before us and promote the successful future we envision together. This process involves academic, campus and financial planning with the academic planning process at its heart.

First, I have asked Provost Andrew Comrie and Professor J.C. Mutchler, chair of the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee, to co-chair a focused academic planning process with SPBAC as its core and engaging people from across campus. They will be working with a small leadership team to design a process that can be completed quickly and will provide the base upon which to build the other two planning initiatives. They are charged to think big as we envision that future.

Second, Vice President Robert Smith will chair a committee charged with developing a campus development framework that will provide the setting in which UA can achieve its academic aspirations. They will define "campus" broadly, including settings outside our main campus in Tucson and the infrastructure necessary to provide virtual locations where appropriate.

Finally, Senior Vice President and CFO Milton Castillo will chair the third committee, which will be charged with laying out a five-year financial plan to be revised annually, projecting our financial design forward so that, as significant factors change, we will continue to achieve critical milestones. The rolling financial planning process will include modeling techniques through which we can assess the impacts of multiple scenarios and variables on goals and achievements.

You will be hearing more about all three of these initiatives in the near future, and I hope that you will participate when opportunities are presented through town hall meetings, discussion groups and presentations. Many thanks in advance to the chairs and committee members and to all of you who will be a part of this process.