UD Strategic Plan

The strategic planning (2013-17) process at UD began in October 2012 with a SWOT analysis conducted in Oct-Dec 2012 that revealed the following accomplishments and areas of opportunity for improvement and for maximum future achievement at UD.

For the purpose of continuous improvement, this plan brings our strengths together by exploiting opportunities over the next five years. This plan was created utilizing the work of more than 50 faculty, staff, students, partners, and friends who dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy to its completion. In addition, hundreds more participated in interactive feedback sessions, focus groups, surveys, and online feedback. 

MISSION: Realizing our vision will require us to:

  • Serve the educational needs of diverse undergraduates, graduate students and professionals.
  • Produce high caliber graduates.
  • Provide education based on international standards.
  • Provide a stimulating educational environment to prepare future leaders.
  • Engage faculty in applied research focused mainly on the economic development of Middle East and Africa (MEA) Region.

The Mission is accomplished through five strategic goals:

  • To streamline UD Governance for innovation and to be student-centered;
  • To enhance IT infrastructure for effective student learning;
  • To enhance marketing and communication for effective UD branding; 
  • To expand faculty and staff resources, energize basic and applied research and promote entrepreneurship; and 
  • To expand community (including alumni) relationships.

These  five areas encompass fundamental elements such as: leadership/alignment,  climate/context, operations, human resources, data management /measurement,  marketing and communications, and standards for  teaching and learning, all of which are required to enhance accountability and  transparency at UD.

Strategic  Goal 1:  To streamline  UD Governance for innovation and to be student-centered  (Time Line Sep 2013 to Aug 2015)
At its most basic level, innovation seeks to improve allocation of resources, processes, or values. Fostering innovation is especially critical in the knowledge-based industry of higher education. The need for innovation is driven by increased complexity in the challenges of constantly and rapidly changing practice environments, education approaches, and community settings. UD’s current governance must be enhanced in a manner that is widely accessible and facilitates flexibility and innovation in student learning, faculty and staff productivity across the University. Creating a culture of innovation at UD is dependent upon effective governance requiring a shift in incentives and rewards, learning from failures, and encouraging risk, and being student centric in UD’s services. Organizational culture and leadership that fosters and advances creativity are the most valuable assets for UD's future success. 

Strategic Goal 2: To enhance IT infrastructure for effective student learning (Time Line Sep 2013 to Aug 2014)
Creating a culture of innovation is also dependent upon fashioning an infrastructure to support discovery and creativity. This is especially true for UD, which is preparing the next generation of educators, researchers, caregivers, and leaders who must embody this leading edge of change. UD currently lacks good IT infrastructure. The traditional ways of doing business and working together, or working apart, will be eclipsed by rapid innovation in digital communication through social media, electronic communications, discovery, and teamwork.

Strategic Goal 3: To enhance effective two-way communication and UD branding (Time Line Sep 2013 to Aug 2014)
Effective marketing and communication strategies go hand-in-hand with enhanced governance (Strategic Goal 1) and IT initiatives (Strategic Goal 2) and both rely on open and collaborative participation to maximize impact and success. UD currently lacks an effective marketing and communication infrastructure. Effective two-way communication and UD branding are a must for success. UD recognizes the need to design marketing, branding and open communication channels that disseminate and receive information to and from internal and external constituencies. Items such as effective branding, electronic newsletters, UD-wide announcements, and broad utilization of social media are examples of existing tools that can be leveraged to enhance marketing and communication.  

Strategic Goal 4: To expand faculty and staff resources, energize basic and applied research and promote entrepreneurship (Time Line Sep 2013 to Aug 2017)
Entrepreneurship is a practice that embodies innovation. Research universities are hubs of creativity that can provide an enduring culture of innovation. Although UD has performed well in applied research, it has lagged behind in technology transfer and commercialization. Existing infrastructure can be enhanced by expanding faculty and staff resources to further improve research capability, and to support entrepreneurial and commercialization activities, business support and technical assistance for new ventures, and integration of innovative entrepreneurial business development activities into the curriculum. Further, being a research-oriented university, UD plays a crucial role for economic development in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

Strategic Goal 5: To expand community (including alumni) relationships (Time Line Sep 2013 to Aug 2017)
UD has successfully collaborated with local private and government agencies. Many challenges still face UD in areas such as transferring knowledge created through research for the betterment of society. UD needs to strike new partnerships with alumni, industry and the corporate sector. Building a culture that measures, rewards, and celebrates success in entrepreneurship and industry collaboration is a key element of this effort. UD is also new to the activity of fund raising. A robust fund-raising program requires intensive one-on-one relationship building with potential donors. A review of the current alumni base suggests that current fund raising is limited, but could be greatly expanded. Significant potential exists to attract more donors beyond the alumni base through effective community relationships.

Strategic Goal 1: To streamline UD Governance for innovation and to be student-centered
Strategic Objectives (Time Line Sep 2013 to Aug 2015)

  • Conduct monthly KPI reviews in each unit to assess progress in achieving the strategic priorities established by UD.
  • Automate strategic plan implementation.
  • Reorganize the IE section of the website to share benchmark and performance information with the entire University.
  • Establish standards across University service units for customer service and hold units accountable for meeting customer expectations measured by customer surveys and formal reviews.
  • Adopt strategies that value employee ownership of functions and results.
  • Implement a structure to permit incentivizing employees to find ways to improve efficiency and meet performance goals.
  • Foster student-centered approaches to personalized and collaborative learning that effectively tailor education to individual students through targeted approaches, such as learning analytics and ongoing assessments that optimize and maximize the learning potential of students.
  • Develop innovative, dynamic, and contemporary curricula that are relevant to current and future trends and needs.
  • Develop sound multi-year business plans for existing and significant new programs (including major faculty recruitments), for approval by the President/BoT.
  • Establish cash reserve targets and plans to achieve targets for schools  and the University to ensure flexibility and stability during challenging financial times.

Strategic Goal 2: To enhance Enhance IT infrastructure for effective student learning (Time Line Sep 2013 to Aug 2014)

  • Develop widely accessible, secure information technology (IT) electronic information infrastructure with knowledge management and decision support functions to support novel data-driven business/IT and legal research.
  • Enhance data sharing, processes, and structure for interdisciplinary research.
  • Form empowered teams to examine ways to better apply technology, streamline business processes, and improve efficiency and cost structure across the University while providing dependable support services.
  • Provide seamless, searchable databases for services, information, and business processes.
  • Enhance standard operating procedures for users in all routine business processes that will be paperless where appropriate or will utilize best practice. 

Strategic Goal 3: To enhance Enhance effective two-way communication and UD branding (Time Line Sep 2013 to Aug 2014)

  • Develop strategic marketing and communication plan for effective UD branding.
  • Develop University employee training programs to support routine business processes and improve communication regarding updates. 
  • Publicize events and programs that recognize and celebrate diversity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Develop a training program that promotes accountability and transparency as personal and professional obligations.
  • Develop incentives to encourage units to more carefully utilize space and University services.
  • Increase faculty and staff access to local arts, performing arts, entertainment, social, sports and recreational events, and offer more on-campus events and activities for faculty, staff, students, their families, and external communities.

Strategic Goal 4: To expand faculty and staff resources, energize basic and applied research and promote entrepreneurship (Time Line Sep 2013 to Aug 2017)

  • Recruit and retain diverse entrepreneurial faculty through appropriate compensation and support of their entrepreneurial activity.
  • Earmark a portion of resources for high-risk/high-gain projects to invest in promising new fields and reward successes.
  • Conduct a periodic compensation review to promote best practice in salary and resource allocation to ensure equitable and performance-based treatment for all.
  • Identify, assess, and support existing interdisciplinary research programs and identify best practices from which others can learn.
  • Enhance existing and support new sustainable interdisciplinary research programs and expand into new areas of expertise.
  • Increase the quantity and variety of practical, supervised, and safe experiential learning experiences for students locally and globally.
  • Incorporate entrepreneurial accomplishments in the tenure and promotion process.
  • Integrate the University’s commercialization and entrepreneurial activities. Develop students’ marketable entrepreneurial credentials through a formal. 
  • Expand and provide incentives and rewards for increased industry research partnerships, while continuing pursuit of traditional funding sources.
  • Establish clear expectations for civility and accountability and incorporate them into the faculty and staff performance evaluation and development process.
  • Build support services to facilitate University faculty, staff, and student experiences globally and increase the number of international faculty and student visitors to the University.

Strategic Goal 5: To expand Expand community (including alumni) relationships (Time Line Sep’ 2013 to Aug’ 2017)

  • Enhance incentives and eliminate barriers for faculty, staff, and students interested in local and global engagement.
  • Create on-campus centers for local and global engagement that support and facilitate community-engaged education, research, and service.
  • Enhance and develop University/community advisory groups that will guide and evaluate the University’s progress.
  • Charge the advisory boards to develop draft principles of community-UD engagement, partnership, and community-based participatory research that are reviewed by University leadership and adopted within a year of being drafted.
  • Secure increased funding from all sources to support early-stage company development.
  • Identify seven to 10 interschool and UD-wide “Big Ideas” and three to five specific top-level priorities for each school to showcase innovative and exemplary work being done throughout the University and to form its core philanthropic priorities.
  • Develop annual fundraising campaign goals using evidence-based research and analysis of prospects, benchmarks with peers, and track metrics and outcomes using consistent and transparent measures.
  • Expand and cultivate a robust pool of funding prospects at all levels of giving, through enhanced research, data-mining, and outreach.
  • Develop a UD-wide regional program of funding outreach for alumni development and events.